September 23, 2013

Rainbows, Hope, and Forever

About a week after Amber passed away there was a wonderful rain storm. After the storm had passed, Kaden and I were driving home and we saw the most beautiful double rainbows. We were just a block from home, and we rushed to the backyard and took pictures and just looked at them with complete awe and joy. 
I felt such an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude... I felt like those beautiful rainbows were a gift straight from heaven, and that Amber and Leah were saying, "Mom and Dad, we're with God, we're together, we're doing good, we love you , and we will all be together forever someday.
All is well." Such a sweet, sweet gift.

I recently read this poem...and while I'm still pretty envious of those who seemingly don't have to endure very much heartache and pain, I was touched by this message and I'm filled with gratitude for our loving Savior.
Traveling by bus, those around me slumbered,
Yet sleep eluded me.
I thought how fortunate my companions were,
Oblivious to the aches and pains.
They missed the tedious hours. 
They missed the pouring rain.
I envied them so…..until they missed the rainbow.
            Lisa South, Ensign, August 1997, p. 17

At church yesterday we had a wonderful lesson based on this talk by President Uchtdorf, The Hope Of God's Light.  It's an amazing inspiring talk. I love this part..."There may be some among you who feel darkness encroaching upon you. You may feel burdened by worry, fear, or doubt. To you and to all of us, I repeat a wonderful and certain truth: God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things.  It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn."

This sweet gift from our friends Chris and Sonya, is something I look at everyday. These are the words that Allyn spoke at Leah's funeral, almost two years ago. It is our new family motto.

September 18, 2013


Just the thought of writing these words have caused the floodgates of tears to flow again...  
Our oldest daughter Amber passed away September 2, 2013.
I thought that I knew heartache pretty well, for indeed our family has experienced a lot of tragedy and sadness in the last few years, but my heart has never known the sadness and heartache that we've experienced in the last few weeks. We are devastated and truly heartbroken. Our beautiful, kind, generous, funny, and joyful oldest daughter Amber has died. Never in my worst nightmare did I ever dream that we would bury two daughters and a beloved grandson. Grief and sorrow don't even begin to describe this heartbreak.
I loved Amber  from the moment I felt her kick, from the day she was born, from the first words she said, to every minute I was blessed to be her mother. I wish I had been a better mother. I pray she knows how much I love her, how much I've always loved her. Our lives will never be the same without her. Our lives will never be the same without our precious Leah. Our lives will never be the same without our angel Caleb. 
I miss them so much it hurts every minute of every day.
 The last words Amber said to me were, "Hi Mom, I'm not calling because I need anything, I just called to tell you I love you." And I said, "Oh, I love you too Amber..."

It does bring me peace and comfort to know that Amber and Leah are together, and that Caleb is giving them both big hugs and kisses while showing them the way. I know they are with God. I know that this life is not the end.  
My heart is more grateful that it has ever been to know Jesus Christ, to know He is my Savior, and to know that because of Him our family will be together again forever someday.

Thank you for all of your prayers, your love for our family. Your prayers are truly lifting us up.
I love this picture of Amber and her son, Kaden. He was the absolute joy of her life. 
She loved him more than words could ever express. 
 The last time all five of our girls were together... 
When the day comes, I will run to find you. I will cry tears of joy when we are all together again.