When I decided to start this blog I knew that I wanted to share Laney’s story with the hopes that it would encourage others. To help them know that they can make it through whatever hard things they are going through. But Laney’s story is also my family’s story now.
Sometimes through this journey of life, we have mountains placed in our way. Everyone will have their own struggles and hardships. While I am not ready to say I am okay with losing Laney, that it has helped me to be a better person, I can say I am trying to piece my life back together. I know that eventually I will make it through. That eventually it will be my beautiful heartbreak. But not yet. I will say that the things that have happened since her accident have been amazing. How her testimony has been shared to thousands of people. How her example and legacy continue to live on. The new perspective I have on life.
All of the pain we are going through, all of the heartbreak of losing Laney, has been so hard. There aren’t even words to describe it. Oh, I know that someday things will be softer, easier. He is picking up the pieces of our broken hearts even now. We have seen tender mercies along the way that show us that we will make it. That He is mindful of us. We have to go through this to get where He wants us to be in our life.
I have no doubt that I will come out on top of this particular mountain. I am choosing to face each day with courage. To be strong. To be an example to others. To be more like Laney.
Laney was a goer. Once she hit high school, she wasn’t home very much. She was always with her friends having fun or working or playing whatever sport was in season. She formed the four square club and the hiking club. But the night of her accident, we found out exactly what she had been out doing. And it was amazing.
We had heard that people were posting things about Laney on her Facebook wall. We were afraid to look, though. We were already having such a difficult time that we didn’t think we could handle it, so we didn’t look at it until 3 am.
We sat there for the next hour or so reading, with tears streaming down our faces. We knew Laney was amazing. All parents think their kids are amazing, don’t they? But, we truly knew the extent of Laney’s good works when we read things like, “I don’t even think Laney knew my name, but she always said hi to me,” or, “Laney helped me through _______ ( fill in the blank).”
We knew that instead of toilet papering peoples’ houses, she would “chalk” their driveways with nice messages. We knew that she included everyone in whatever she was doing. Including her younger sisters. One of their last memories is going to the lake with Laney and her friends. They had a marvelous time and love how she wasn’t afraid to take them along.
But the most amazing thing is that every week Laney went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. And she took along a group of people. She took her three little sisters as soon as they turned twelve. Their first experience was with Laney.
After she died, Brynna noticed an app on her phone that logged the number of times she performed an ordinance. In 2011 alone, she performed 119 baptisms and 118 confirmations. At nine different temples. Think about it. They only allow you to do five baptisms at a time. FIVE. She was indeed out about doing much good. We continue to be amazed by her example of always being about, doing much good. I only hope we can be a little more like her.