Happy Easter everyone! My thoughts this week have been a lot with what our Savior did for us. His atonement. About how amazing it was that He suffered, died, and was resurrected FOR US. I cannot imagine how much He must love us.
I have also been thinking about Laney a lot this week. About the Easter traditions that our family has had since Laney was little.We lived in southern Utah until Laney was 13. Every Easter weekend, we would go out to the San Rafael Swell and have an Easter egg hunt with other members of our family.
Hundreds of eggs were colored and then hidden among the nooks and crannies, Usually at a place called “Dino” (It looked like a dinosaurs mouth coming out of the ground). My kids looked forward to this time more than they did the candy they were going to get! We would spend the day with family and then go home all dusty and tired. But we loved every minute of it.
As I look through pictures to post on my blog, I have found a few from when Laney was younger from our trips to the desert that I thought I would share. Looking at them and remembering the good times helps me to know that just as the kids were excited about going to the desert every year, we are now excited for our own Easter weekend. For our own Sunday to come, when the waiting and the cares from this world will be over. When all will be resurrected. When we can see our Savior and Laney again.
Laney had a passion for life. She loved passionately, too. She lived for everything. You always knew where you stood with her. And once you were her friend, she treated you like her best friend. When everyone told us Laney was their best friend, we believed it. I think we would have to put them all into a room and let them fight over who was her best friend. That’s how she made you feel.
When Laney was a junior in high school, she started liking this cute boy named Jens. Okay, like is an understatement. Laney LOVED Jens. Right from the beginning. He was a good friend of hers, even coming to say goodbye to her the night before he left on his mission. That was the first time I had met him. And I knew he was amazing. Even then.
They wrote to each other his entire mission. Laney knew she was going to marry Jens even before he left on his mission. She wrote about it in her journal.All the time.
The remarkable part of this story of Laney’s love is that Jens loved her, too. So much so, that he was there when she needed him the most, and knew exactly what to do to help her. He was with her when she left this life. He is the best of the best. He is the man that every mother wishes their daughters would grow up and marry. She was so excited to get married to Jens. While not officially engaged yet, they were planning on getting married in the Laie, HI temple this year.
Jens has been a constant presence and provided ongoing support for our family. Laney and Jens loved each other truly and deeply. They still do. We love Jens, too. He is our brother, our son, and our hero. He deserves the very best this life has to offer him. We can’t wait to see what amazing things unfold for him. Because he deserves amazing. And I am sure Laney will help still him achieve it. Jens helps us to have courage everyday because we can’t wait to see how his amazing turns out.
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.