Friday, September 02, 2011


We still do not have a headstone for Laila. I hate thinking about her spot having a bunch of dead flowers there and nothing else to honor her so we printed off pictures and laminated them, then stuck them in the ground. We also bought some beautiful flowers for her.
We visited her when my mom was here, on the anniversary of the day she was buried. On the drive there we saw a beautiful rainbow...perhaps a message from Laila? I don't know, but it was beautiful and made me think of her.
Today Laila would have been 4 months old. It's been a really hard month. Obviously. I've felt the entire range of emotions--anger, jealousy, despair, happiness, peace, hope.

There is a lot to be grateful for though.

1. I didn't have to see Laila struggle. As far as I know, she died peacefully. The not knowing is hard...I wish I had been there to hold her as she took her last breath, but I'm so thankful that I didn't have to see her in pain. I'm confident that someone, perhaps a relative that already passed away, was there to meet her and help her make the transition back to her home above.

2. I'm thankful for answered prayers. Things have happened this month that could only be made better through the power of the priesthood and through the many prayers that have been offered on our behalf. (As a side note, I'm also grateful for the very simple prayers that are answered. Isaac couldn't find his homework and was very concerned his teacher would get him in trouble. He kept asking Will, "What is it like when your teacher gets you in trouble?" Then he asked me if he could just stay home that day. We prayed that she would be nice to him and I wrote her a little note. He was so nervous walking into class! But of course, she was very kind to him and it turned out that another student had somehow gotten his homework and put it in her bag--so of course he couldn't find his homework!)

3. I'm thankful for friends both old and new. We have felt strengthened and loved. I have decided that I have the best people in my life imaginable and I'm so thankful for the friendships I have made.

4. I'm thankful for forgiveness--that I can give it and also that I can receive it. I've prayed that Heavenly Father will help me be a better friend and I know through effort, I can.

5. I have the best family in the world. Really, the best.

6. I'm thankful for strangers who made us meals for two weeks straight. I already knew it, but now I'm reminded, that there are good people everywhere, regardless of their faith. Heavenly Father inspires people that will listen. One woman went to the grocery store to get some ingredients for a particular meal. While there, she had a thought, "I should buy double the amount." She didn't know why she was doing it but she did it anyway. When she got home she found a message from a friend telling her that someone in Colorado Springs lost a baby and would she be willing to make a meal? Of course, it suddenly made sense to her why she needed to buy extra ingredients.

7. I'm thankful for my time with Eli.

8. I am so thankful for my Mikey. I read One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish, to the boys this morning. In the book it says,

We like our bike.
It is made for three.
Our Mike sits up in back, you see.

We like our Mike
and this is why:
Mike does all the work
when the hills get high.

It rings true for my Mike. Even in his own suffering, he is still pushing us uphill, to brighter days and a better future. (I like to think though, that we are both pushing things along. That is mostly true, but I'm thankful that during my weakness, he is pushing me, urging me forward).

9. I'm thankful for the kind detective that allowed me to cut Laila's hair, even though she wasn't supposed to, so that I could have something of her forever.

10. I'm thankful that even though it's horrible she's gone, Heavenly Father is loving enough to take Laila home so she wouldn't have to endure the pain and evil of this world. While we are sad for ourselves, we believe what Joseph Smith said concerning infants, “We have again the warning voice sounded in our midst, which shows the uncertainty of human life; and in my leisure moments I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it … grows more wicked and corrupt. … The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again. …

There is more to be thankful for but those stand out in my mind right now. In thinking about how we can honor Laila's life and spirit, we have decided to do a family service project every month of the year. On the anniversary of her death, we want to write the acts of service on pieces of paper and put them in balloons. We will then release the twelve balloons to celebrate her and her life. We invite anyone that wants to participate, to do so. If you'd like to just do service, we would appreciate that. If you'd like to do service and keep track of them and join us to release balloons (or do it on your own if you don't live by us) we would appreciate that as well. Mostly, we just want to invite a feeling of service into our lives and the lives of those around us, as we consider the service Laila has done for our family just by being a part of it.


Mommo said...

As I read this post I just feel such love for you. I wish I could be there to give you a big hug. I think of you all.the.time! I pray for you and your wonderful family. I feel blessed to know you and be your friend. Thank you for your strength and example and faith! I love you.

Jess and Jen said...

Who knew Dr. Seuss was writing about you, huh? I'm glad you have a great Mike to help you through this! I think the service projects are a great idea! -Jen

Katrina said...

Loved that post- I definitely think service will be something wonderful to honor Laila for the rest of your lives! Very sweet!

Jess and Jason said...

I have never even thought about One fish two fish book that way...but that is Mike...always has been!

I think you are amazing at taking a tragedy and turning it into something incredible.