Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A different plan

My sister wrote about a miraculous experience they had in her family recently. Her husband felt a prompting to check on his daughter in bed. Because of his obedience to the prompting, just a thought really, he was able to save his daughter from chocking to death.

I felt a mixture of emotions as I read about the experience. I am grateful, so very grateful that my sister doesn't have to experience the pain of losing a precious daughter--one that is loved, hoped for, and treasured. I am also grateful that my brother-in-law is living his life in such a way that he not only felt the prompting, but acted upon it. I am grateful our sweet Eva is still here to sing her beautiful little songs to the world.

I also can't help feeling sad. I don't write this to make my sister feel bad for posting her experience. In fact, I'm so glad she did so that we can all rejoice with her in the safety of her daughter. I obviously do not wish for a different outcome for her family. Never would I wish that.

Only, I've asked myself a million times, why did I not receive a prompting that Laila was dying and that she needed me to come and get her? Instead, I stood in the kitchen, laughing with my brother Jess and his wife. The boys ran around the house, joyfully playing with their cousins. In a horrible turn of irony Mike said, "My life was handed me on a golden platter. Nothing really bad has ever happen to me. I've never lost anyone close to me to death." At the same time my daughter's spirit left her body, while we stood downstairs unaware, talking about our easy lives.

It isn't entirely true either that I felt no promptings. I did think to have Laila checked on more frequently than normal. She slept about two hours and in those two hours three individuals checked on her. Each time they found a peaceful, sleeping, breathing Laila. It wasn't until the fourth, Mike, found her already dead.

I've asked, "Why did I feel to check on her so frequently, but not at the necessary moment when Laila most needed me?" Mike in his wisdom has given an answer, one that I feel is right. He said, "Perhaps you were prompted to check on her so often so that when she died, and these feelings creeped into your heart, you would know you did everything in your power. You DID check on her and frequently. You did all you could have done." and then, "There were four worthy individuals in our home capable to receive a prompting that something was wrong but none of us felt anything."

I know he is right. As he spoke, I felt the spirit confirm his words. But I still wish for something else.

I often imagine the scene in our home that day. Laila sleeping, the boys playing with their cousins, the adults laughing, cleaning up dinner. And then, unseen spirits all around us, waiting for the moment they know they will be needed. I imagine them wishing to whisper in my ear, "Go get her," but they will themselves to stand silent, knowing that prompting us would impede the plan of our Heavenly Father for our family. I don't imagine he found joy in knowing the pain that was about to come to us. But, knowing this was essential, the prompting was withheld. I imagine they waited with heavy hearts, ready to greet Laila, and ready to surround each of us with the love and comfort we would need.

Even though I know the plan for my family is different than that of my sister's, I still wish for a different outcome. I still wish I had known Laila was dying or that even if I wasn't allowed to stop her death, that I would have been allowed to be there for her as she took her last breath. Instead, I stood at the sink thinking all was well.

To add more irony, the day was the 24th of July, Pioneer day. I can't help but hear the song, Come, Come, Ye Saints and the specific lyrics, "And if we die, before our journey's through, Happy Day! All is well."

Laila's journey was done and I hope one day to say the same, "Happy Day! All is well."


Jess and Jen said...

I was so grateful when you shared with me what Mike had said about checking on Laila and, like you, felt that it was true. I often think back to the time that I checked on her and wish that I had gone further into the room...that maybe I'd have made a noise and it would have woken her up.

I think you are right and that there must have been spirits in that room because although they couldn't stop what happened to Laila, they helped where they could in other ways that day.

I love you! -Jen

Papa Doc said...

Good heavens! I am not supposed to cry through reading a post on the blog, am I? I am alone in my bedroom with the computer and weeping my eyes out.

Laila was not only your daughter, but she was my grandaughter. I loved her, too. I, however, did not have to make any sacrifices to bring her into the world like you did. When we sacrifice for any one or any thing our love deepens.

It is wonderful how deep your love for Laila was. I thought the last four paragraphs in your post were not only wonderfully written (as you always do), but contained some of the most poignant thoughts I have ever read.

Thank you for being who you are, for having Mike, and having kids like you have. May God bless you!

Dad Clark

Lokodi said...

I don't really know what else to say other than the fact that I love you. I'm so sorry you have to go through the pain of losing Laila over and over again. My heart breaks for you Adrianne. I bawled all the way through this post. I love you with all my heart.


Jed and Kera said...

I think Mike was completely right with his answer. You know that you did more than normal.

When I was in kindergarten my best friend was killed in a car accident in her babysitter's car. I had asked my mom earlier if she could come over and play. She told me to wait to call until after lunch. When we called she had just left to go to a movie with the babysitter. My mom beat herself up for years over not letting me call when I had wanted. I wish we had had the gospel in our lives. I think she wouldn't have felt guilty. The way she felt was nothing like the sorrow of a mother though and I know that. I'm just grateful we have the gospel. I can't imagine the hurt and I hope to never experience it, but I imagine the knowledge of the gospel has to "help" a little.

When you described the way you imagined the spirits there with you all I was overwhelmed. You are such a spiritual person.

Greta said...

like everyone else, I'm just sobbing as I read this...I wish more than anything that we lived closer so I could visit with you and hug you! I'm just amazed at the person you are, the way you have and are handling this. I have to say that I love you tremendously and look up to you so much....you are a truly divine daughter of our Heavenly Father!

chelsey said...

I thought of you as I read Lindsey's post. I marveled at the different outcomes as well. Only our Heavenly Father knows the reasons for the different outcomes. I'm sure there will continue to be times of questioning and wondering what if...
that said, though, it is a comforting thought to know that you most certainly had those ministering angels surrounding your family as your outcome was not a happy one. Just think. Laila can be one of those angels for you throughout the future too. She'll be there.
Thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts!

Papa Doc said...

I've been sobbing so hard I can hardly write. I remmeber all those conversations we had in August and all that pain you have had to experience. You lost a daughter - but I can't take your pain away as a mother and that is an incredible hurt as well. I wish with all my heart God would let me do the suffering for you. This is when I definitely feel the power of the atonement. I can't take those pains away from you. What love Christ had for all of us to do that! I would give my life for any one of my kids if possible. You are all in my prayers constantly.
We all understand your feelings in this post and we, too, are grateful that Eva is safe. Maybe Laila was there to prompt Hans. One day you might find out.

The Duke said...

Above post was by Mom, not Dad. I forgot that I was not signed in.

Gillian Mohlman said...

Oh Adrianne, I just cried through this post. I often think of how strong you are and how spiritual you are and how you have been working through this trial with such faith. Life isn't easy or fair but I know I would not be as faithful or strong as you seem to be if this were to happen to me.

I am glad you have an amazing husband who is so intune with the spirit too who can help you and give you answers to hard questions like you have asked. I am glad he has helped you understand that you did all you could and you could not have prevented this.

You are such a great mom who really has such love for your kids and I see that as I see you interact with your boys and see it as you write your words about Laila on here.

I do agree with mom, Maybe Laila was a little spirit prompting Hans to help Eva. Wouldn't that be cool?

I never know what to say and feel like I always say the wrong things to make you feel better but I hope you know that I think of Laila often and love her and love you and the rest of your family too. I am so grateful for your example. I am so sorry you have had to go through this- but thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me faith.

Frances said...

I absolutely think what Mike says is right. You did do everything you could do. I can't imagine having to replay that experience in my mind again and again. My heart just aches for you Adrianne. I just have such love and admiration for you. I wish that I could just relieve some of that heaviness for you.

Sherry Lawson said...

I'm so grateful for your faith - and Mike's. My testimony of Heavenly Father's love for us, Christ's healing power, and the Holy Ghost's role to comfort us has been strengthened today from your experience. Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts and feelings - your testimony - because it truly blesses my life too.

Michelle said...

I am grateful for this post because it really touched me deeply as I sobbed and sobbed and felt the spirit. Your posts make me think deeply and this one really allowed me to ponder many things.
I am so sorry you are hurting. I can't imagine what it must be like daily to think about that day and other days without her. My heart breaks for your family. I think of your family often and I love you all very much.

politicchic6 said...

Thanks for sharing. It reminds me of a talk our High Councilman gave a few months ago. He and his wife were unable to have children and they prayed, fasted, and did all they could but the doctors could find no medical reason why they weren't able to conceive. Eventually they were able to adopt. They THEN found out that his wife had a hole in her heart that she'd never known about, but would have almost certainly been fatal had she gotten pregnant. He said that they whole time they thought that Heavenly Father had been 'withholding happiness' from them when in actuality he had a different plan for their family.

Karen said...

I am so inspired by your posts. I just read and cry and read some more. Learning about your loss makes all the other things in life seem so petty. I can only imagine all that you have learned from your experience, and I feel like I just want to sit and listen to you and learn more from you. I also read your post the mormon mommy blog about judging others. I thought that was very wise. I need to be more careful, especially when I'm the one in the doctor's office asking the questions, that I don't pass judgement. (just in case you don't remember me, I was roommates with Chelsey right before she got married).