To say that I have a different perspective on life would be an understatement. Because of the different trials I have been through in my life, I see things a little differently. I have for a while. I like to think that my trials have made me more compassionate. But nothing could have prepared me for the perspective I have now that we have been though such a tragedy as losing Laney.

I cannot look at the news and see that someone else lost their child without my heart breaking. I look at the things that I used to worry about and realize that they just don’t matter anymore. The little things just don’t matter. I can see how much more important my family is to me. How those I hold dear, I try to hold a little tighter to.

But I also see the suffering of others more clearly. Feel the need to lighten their burdens. I find joy in things that I didn’t take the time to notice before. I pay more attention to those around me that may need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. I have had some of my friends say, “You don’t need to listen to my cares because you are going through so much.” But to them I say, I do need to listen. I need to help. It helps to bring me peace and comfort to help others.

So, don’t be afraid to talk to me. Don’t be afraid to talk about Laney. I absolutely love to talk about her. To keep her memories alive. And because she isn’t really gone. She is still my daughter.

I hate that I lost my daughter. I hate that I have to learn how to live without her. I even hate the new perspective I have. But I love the peace I feel when I serve others. When I reach out to strengthen another person. When I put my arm around someone who is struggling and let them know that they can make it through another day. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone else. Just a little added perspective.


Be Kind, You Don’t Know What Battles are Being Fought

It is so important to remember to be always be kind to others. You don’t know what battles someone else is fighting today. You don’t know if the comment you make in passing can be the last straw in a very hard day for someone. Or the thing that helps them through the day.

It happens all the time. People say things to someone, totally unaware that the person they are talking to may be struggling through the day.

I had one of those days just this week. What started out as a rough morning with the fridge going out, turned worse when someone said something very hurtful. I don’t think it was even directed at me. But it was very insensitive and said in a very public way.

Then at home, missing Laney hit me, and I ended up in tears. Oh, did I mention that my garage door also broke? I ended the day deep in discouragement hoping that the next day would be better. (Thanks to my angel niece who always knows when I need her, it was)

As our own trials make us more compassionate, it should always be our goal to say kind words to others. We don’t know what battles someone is facing today. For some, it means putting your arm around the one who is struggling and telling them it will be ok. For others, it could be as simple as a smile.

When Wade and I were first married, we lived in a small town smack dab in the middle of Utah. We had the fortune to live across the street from this amazing family, the Bradleys. The dad ALWAYS waved at everyone as he drove along. Or as they drove by him. I often wondered what made him so happy, and why in the world he smiled and waved at everyone. I can now look back and know that although he didn’t know he was doing it, he was lifting me, helping to brighten my life. And it worked. Now, every time I think about it, I smile. And sometimes I wave.