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.


Finding a Note Brings Peace

I have been thinking a lot about what I wish I had said to Laney. What I wish I had done differently. They say that hindsight is 20/20, right? In looking back, we can always see more clearly the decisions we should have made.

I mentioned in this post that I loved to leave her notes on her favorite candy and put it in her car when she came home from college. Or hide it in her luggage so she would find it when she got home. I actually laugh at how corny she probably thought I was. Then her friend Kyli told me that she actually kept all of the notes. I have been trying to get up the courage to look for them.

So, on Valentines day, I was thinking about one note in particular that I had written a long time ago. It, too,  had been stuck to some sort of her favorite candy. The part of the note I was thinking about had something to do with the Stripling Warriors and how they had been taught by their mothers, and that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them (Alma 56:47-48). Because the Stripling Warriors were heading into battle, I equated it to her going off to college (Corny, I know). I just couldn’t remember exactly what I had written.

I was still thinking about it the next day when I went into Laney’s room for something. Laney was very sentimental. She kept a lot of things. Like all of the bottle caps she collected in the 5th grade. She even kept the backpack that she used that year.  She kept the bottle caps in it. So, I decided to take a few minutes and see if I could find the notes that I had written her. I wasn’t prepared to look through her entire room. I don’t think I could have handled that this week. But I knew where she kept a few papers.

Laney playing softball in the 5th grade

The very last thing in the stack of papers was the exact note that I had been thinking about. She had kept it. But the thing that is amazing to me was the rest of what I wrote.  I will admit that I have been thinking a lot lately about how much I miss her and love her, and how much I wish I would have made sure she knew it. I have also been thinking about what it is I would say to her when I see her again.

So I wasn’t prepared for what I read in the note I had written to her. Every single thing I had been worrying about. Every single thing I had been thinking about. Every single thing I have been wishing I could tell her…was written in that letter. Every single thing.

I believe everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe in coincidence. I know that Heavenly Father knows me and wants to bless me. What a tender mercy it was for me to find that letter when I did. It has brought me peace. I read it every day. I now know that what I had wished so badly I could tell her…I already had. She knew. She knows now.

I am so glad that I wrote her those corny notes. I am so glad that I had such an amazing daughter. That she kept everything. Because finding that note has given me the strength to make it another day. And then another.