Monthly Archives: April 2012

Whispers

Being

Gnarled silhouette
                              perching precariously upon the craggy cliff.
Defying the odds
     of a world that says
     it should not be there.
Roots digging,
                     grasping,
                          clinging,
Fierce determination
     to thrive.
Winds pummel the delicate branches mercilessly
      trying to tear them
      from their roots;
It remains steadfast.
Delicate, fragile, a beauty
      one regards with reverence.
Inner strength which the eye
      cannot behold.
Wisdom within
      its knotted branches;
God’s whisper upon the Earth.

Often that’s how I feel. Barely clinging on, grasping desperately at memories and trying to keep our lives moving forward. Sometimes I think I hurt more for my kids than for me. But even with all that is hard and feels close to impossible, I have seen and felt many of God’s whispers, especially since Lizy died. And often, they are accompanied by Lizy whispers too. A pink sunrise or sunset, pink flowers winking at me along a trail, a memory, a smile, a likeness.

All tender mercies from God that we are not forgotten.

Pink Sunset

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Filed under Child loss, Miracles, Religion

Free Therapy

Nothing is quite as therapeutic as ripping out big ugly bushes.

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The two little boys even lent a hand – in exchange for a wagon ride, of course.

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All in all I ripped out 9 bushes.

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4 BIG UGLY ones from the front by the driveway

and 5 little shrubs from the front walkway – the before picture is 2 years old, so they don’t look as big and bad then as they did now :-).

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Filed under Child loss, Every Day Life, Nature

I said yes, instead of no, and that has made all the difference

So many times as parents we tell our children no when they want to do things with us.

We’re too tired.

We’re too busy.

We don’t feel like it.

We’d rather get the cleaning done, or maybe we just slipped into that delicious book we started a week ago and have been waiting to find out what happens next.

I know I’ve been guilty of it far too often, but there was one week where I didn’t say no. It was Spring Break.

On Sunday the kids wanted to lay outside while Dad grilled dinner. I said yes and read “Harry Potter” to them on the grass.

On Monday the kids wanted to use our newly created fire pit. It wasn’t really finished, but I asked Dad and he said Yes (even though he wanted to finish it first) and we had our first hotdog roast in the backyard and read scriptures and ghost stories around the fire. It is an AWESOME memory.

On Tuesday I had planned to take the kids hiking, but the morning was slow and things weren’t going the best and I almost changed me mind. It took them hiking, even though I wanted to just stay home and we had an amazing time. I was blessed with a special experience and some wonderful fun memories.

On Wednesday Lizy asked if I could take her shopping. She’d earned some money babysitting and needed some new shoes. I wasn’t really in the mood to go. The house was a wreck after our hike the day before, and there was SO much that needed to be done. But, despite all that, I said yes. We had the BEST time. We laughed and joked and she found some adorable pink flip flops with a big pink flower on each one and a pair of new tennis shoes. She even had enough to get the CD she wanted – Ocean Eyes by Owl City and we had fun listening to the fireflies song.

That night when Em went to a friend’s house, she and Dot wanted to sleep in the basement. I said yes, and I didn’t even complain when they stayed up to 12:20 – I’m so glad I didn’t send them to bed early. I’m so glad they had that time together.

On Thursday morning the kids cut pictures out of old magazines and then the accident happened.

I am so grateful I said yes.

I am so grateful I said yes, when I wanted to say no.

I am so grateful that instead of a week of regrets, I have a week of wonderful memories.

I am SO grateful that I had that last mother/daughter date with my little Lizy.

Life is so precious. Hobbies and cleaning can wait to a degree. I know we need to say no once in a while, but we need to say yes more often. We never know when our yes, might be the last yes we can say.

Enjoy your children. Put down the broom, the computer, the washcloth, the book, the amazing project your doing, and go play with them now. They’ll never forget the time you spend with them, and beleive me…..

neither will you.

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Filed under Child loss, Children, Family, Lizy, Parenting, Philosophy

Our First Annual Lizy Day

I remember holding you when you were first born. SO delicate, so tiny. I had never held a baby so new from God before. My heart was filled with awe and amazement that you were mine. I held you so close that first night and you snuggled in my arms. Falling asleep to the beating of my heart. You enchanted me and made me yours.

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Over the years you grew into a charming young lady and a friend. Your smile enchanted our hearts and brightened our days. Your desire to live righteously guided those around you. I have felt and continue to feel honored to call you daughter.

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You loved your family and protected them, taught them, showed them a loving example. We will always hold wonderful memories of your laugh, your lizard tongue, our hikes, plays, games, and music together. You enriched our lives and will continue to not only enrich our lives, but the lives of many to come.

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We love you so much, Lizy, and miss you terribly. Today was so hard, not being able to celebrate your 13th birthday with you, though I know you were with us in spirit. We laid flowers on your grave and celebrated all things pink – just for you! Thank you for blessing our lives and the lives of so many others.

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Filed under Child loss, Children, Lizy, Memory, Parenting

Planting Lilies for Lizy

lillies for Lizy

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Filed under Child loss, Children, Family, Lizy, Nature, Parenting

Gaining A New Perspective

The first Monday after Elizabeth passed away I woke up between 5:30 and 6:00 in the morning. I couldn’t sleep. I lay thinking of my daughter and how much I missed her.  Paul woke up around the same time and we lay in bed talking about her and the recent events.

As the sky lightened, I had a sudden longing.

“Paul, lets go watch the sunrise,” I whispered.

He nodded his head and checked to see when sunrise was supposed to be – we had 3 minutes, so we got dressed and went to stand in the drive way.

We faced east and waited.

And waited.

The sun rose, but it was overcast, and while it was pretty, it was difficult to see much. Honestly it was a little dissapointing. There were a few tinges of pale pink and gold that crept around the heavy clouds, but nothing like what I imagined. I leaned my head on Paul’s shoulder and sighed. I wanted more.

Then, Paul turned and looked behind us – towards the west.

“Look!”  He said, and I turned.

Behind us the clouds were bathed in golden pink light. My heart thrilled and I felt close to my little Lizy.

I thought about that beautiful moment many times in the past week. How often do we become focused on what’s right in front of us or on a single moment and fail to notice the beauty behind or all around? How often do we fail to see the little miracles, or even bigger ones, because we are focused on one major, specific event?  How often do we not notice how blessed we are because they come from unexpected places?

Life can send us many unexpected events. We can miss the blessings in these events if we only focus on where we expect the blessings or joy to be. We need to have a 360 degree perspective to really find all the joy in life. We never know when it might be right behind us.

Lizy’s death was tragic and unexpected, and we miss her SO very much, but just like our surprise sunrise in the west, we have witnessed so many unforseen blessings and miracles through this.

We have felt sorrow, yes, but also peace and immense, powerful, joy.

The sun will always rise on our sorrows….. if we let it.

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Filed under Child loss, Children, Lizy, Miracles, Nature, Parenting

Lizy’s Eulogy

Ray of sunshine come to play
Scatters rainbows dancing merrily
Chasing storm clouds from my face

Teasing me as I try to catch it in my hand
It breaks into a million pieces
As giggles bounce off the walls
Infusing everything with sheer delight of life

A splash of gaiety to even the darkest of days
I never thought I could hold a piece of sun
Until I held you.

Elizabeth Ane  was born April 22, 1999, to Paul and Julia in American Fork,Utah. She was born two weeks early and proved to be unexpected throughout the remainder of her life.  From her earliest days she enjoyed sticking her tongue out and thus earned the nickname Lizard. Her favorite toy was always her sister, Dorothy, and as they entered the family, Emily, Jacob, James, and Robert became subject to her fun-loving nature and imagination, and her love of Pink.

Lizy always had a genuine  smile  that warmed the heart and made everyone around her feel better about themselves.  She loved people. It didn’t matter who they were, what age, or where they were from. When she was eight she decided to host her first lemonade stand. She insisted that all the funds raised went to the Children’s Heart Foundation to help kids like her brother.  Whether it was a secret smile and wave from the primary choir or raking a neighbor’s leaves she lived to bring joy into others’ lives, and the color pink.

She always had this way of looking on the bright side of things. No matter how bad a situation was she always found a good way of looking at it. She loved looking at the world through rose colored glasses because everything looked pink.

She loved nature and being outside. She was a huge advocate for our family camping trips and hikes. She would race ahead on the trail to hide behind a tree, hoping for the chance to scare her daddy, and how she grinned when he pretended to jump in surprise.  She loved the ocean, building sand castles, playing with cousins, splashing in the waves, and she loved the sunsets, especially when they turned pink.

Lizy loved being goofy. Sometimes it was on purpose, and sometimes on accident. One time when she was in third grade her sister asked at dinner how we could taste things.  She proudly proclaimed that, “It’s the taste bugs on your tongue that do the tasting!”  There was also one night when we were having spaghetti and she asked “Could you please pass the noods?” We all started laughing and she turned beat red, while giggling herself.  She learned all the jokes she could and shared them with anyone who would listen, especially if they included the color pink.

She loved music. As a one year old she would sing her baby sister to sleep. She didn’t typically bang at the piano but try to make up sweet little melodies to sing to until she was old enough to learn to play. When she entered sixth grade she fulfilled a dream of hers and began playing the flute. Whenever she was angry or upset, she turned to music to comfort and we’d often hear the sweet (and sometimes sour) tones of her flute drifting from her bedroom and down the stairs.  She was tickled pink with the thought of participating in her first solo ensemble contest.

She loved being in Young Women’s, going to girl’s camp, and attending the temple with the youth.  She earned her Faith in God and loved working on her Personal Progress.  She helped keep her mother on track as they worked together setting goals. She did her best to exemplify each of the eight young women values. Many today come with their toenails painted in honor of Lizy. One color for each of the values she incorporated in her life. White stands for faith, blue for Divine Nature, red for Individual Worth, Green for Knowledge, Orange for Choice and accountability, yellow for Good Works, Purple for integrity, and gold for virtue.

Lizy loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we forgot to hold family prayer or scriptures she would remind us immediately. She knew Jesus Christ was her Savior and that He loved her. She dreamed of going on a mission and being married in the temple. She strove each day to improve the person she was.  We know she had a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and loved to share it with others by simply being who she was and standing for her values.

We will miss her terribly, but we know she is happy. We know families can truly be together forever, and until we see her again, we will find her in people’s joy, in the flowering blossoms of a cherry tree, in the heartbeat of a child, the little twinkle in two people’s eyes, in the skip of a stranger’s step and in the pink of every sunrise.

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Filed under Child loss, Children, Lizy, Parenting