There is no footprint too small to leave an imprint on this world.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Today has been an extraordinary day, to say the least. It has been filled to the brim with friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers somehow knowing that I need their love. On this fourth anniversary of Jane leaving us. Most likely all of them were following a prompting by the spirit to send me a message.

Today, we had a special stake conference. Elder Neil L Anderson came to our building. I have been to general conference once and seen Elder Nelson from afar another time. But have never been this close to an apostle. For those reading who are not LDS, we believe that the church Jesus Christ organized while he was on the earth has been re-organized, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Just like Peter, James and John were apostles to Jesus Christ, we have apostles today with the same priesthood and authority that they did. It is a position we reverence. So it was a pretty big deal for everyone to see Elder Anderson today. In fact I joined a choir to ensure we got seats. (If you know me you are allowed to laugh really hard. No, I'm not a good singer.)

During Elder Anderson's talk I was completely overcome with emotion. It felt like he knew me and knew exactly what I needed to hear. He talked about his knowledge that there is life after death. He said it was beyond a belief, he had knowledge of a spirit world. He shared some stories of tragedies he has been involved in recently. Really, his whole talk seemed centered around tragedy.

During one of his experiences in France, President Monson who was with Elder Anderson, testified to some parents who lost a son, "I give you my love, and I promise you, if you will live worthily you will be with your son again someday." I basically lost it. Full-blown sobbing and trying to not make too much noise. On stage nonetheless. (Remember I was in the choir behind him. Cameras were on us as well because this was being broadcast to another building.) 

How did Elder Anderson know me?! How did he knew exactly what I needed to hear? The fact is, he doesn't know me or my story. But my Heavenly Father does. And the Holy Ghost does. Whether Elder Anderson listened to the spirit telling him what to say or whether I interpreted what he said to be exactly for me I do not know. But in either situation the Spirit knew me and comforted me in a way only it can. I am SO thankful for the comforting witnesses I receive from the Holy Ghost.
Elder Anderson's talk was long but there was one other thing that stood out to me the most. He posed the same question I have been running through my mind so much lately. This life is not fair....Why are some saved from death and some not? 

He shared an allegory of two farmers. Both farmers worked hard, but one chose not to work on Sunday, to observe the Sabbath. Come October, the man who worked on Sunday had a better crop and ridiculed the other farmer. "You should have worked on Sunday and you could have had a better crop too." But the man said, "The Lord doesn't balance His books in October." 

That is the answer I needed to hear! My book will be balanced. It won't be today, tomorrow or probably this year. But our lives on earth are just a speck compared to eternity. My book will be balanced and I will have my daughter back. All will be made right and fair.

But I am so grateful that in the meantime, He sends his earthly angels to my side. After conference was over I checked my phone to see a text from our Bishop's wife and someone I have grown to love and respect. 
"Heavenly Father loves you and Bryan so much.  Today is just for you, I'm sure :)" My sweet friend felt it too, she knew that this message was exactly what I needed. After we were home I had four other messages. Another friend who mentioned seeing me behind Elder Anderson because she was at the building where it was broadcast and for her it was not a coincidence that I was over his shoulder. She felt the same inspiration that I needed this and she did too. An acquaintance sent me a similar note. A cousin who shared a powerful and moving testimony with me and another dear friend who was checking on me. All of these people who felt pushed by the Holy Ghost to reach out and make this anniversary a little easier. Even if only one of them actually knew today was an anniversary, they listened and blessed my life.

I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and his far reaching ability. The spirit I felt was so deeply personal, yet others felt it in their own very personal ways too. What a blessing. 

Friday, March 14, 2014


After my blog was re-posted on Facebook by Matt Townsend, it seemed to get a lot of attention and spread pretty quickly. More specifically on my Criticism post. It really caught me off guard, to say the least. And after a tiny panic attack I got to thinking...why do I really do this blog? I have said all along it was just to clear my head, and that is definitely how it was born. But what about now?
Honestly, I felt like anything I posted after that "sharing" frenzy would be a major letdown. How can I live up to that? I have been trying to tell myself I can't, and I shouldn't worry about it either. I don't need to one-up my posts. Nobody likes a one-upper anyways.
I have had a lot of very generously kind people tell me I inspire them. And come on, that's extremely flattering. I mean, there is no better compliment then for someone to tell me that the way I live my life makes them want to be better. But I feel so undeserving of such a compliment. I am just a girl, dealing with a tragedy and trying to live my life. But if my little thoughts and musings make people want to love more then who am I to keep them to myself? It seems silly that random thoughts and inspirations have that effect, but so be it.
Also, I blog because I want "Jane Love" to live on. "Jane Love" is a phrase my sweet friend Stephanie coined. It has been a reminder for her, and now me, how Jane has changed her life and capacity to love more freely. To have more patience with our children and to love our Heavenly Father and His plan for us. As a parent, I could not wish for a more perfect legacy for my children to leave on humanity.
English and writing has never been my forte and I envied people who succeeded at it. To be honest I always felt like I was terrible at it. I suppose I just needed to find my inspiration; sweet Jane and my tested faith in my Heavenly Fathers plan for her.
I guess what I'm trying to say is thanks for reading and sharing my blog. It sure makes this girl feel like a winner. And I feel humbled and grateful everytime I see it reposted. Thank you for letting "Jane Love" live on.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Hard "moments"

Jane’s death and my grieving is a constant part of my life. The best way I can describe it (this is seriously ready?) is like the tide of the ocean (yep...the cheesiest). 
But seriously. 
The tide is always there and can be danced in but sometimes it overwhelms you. It usually catches you off guard and when it does you find yourself in an extremely ungraceful flipping backwards fall and completely engulfed in sticky salt water.
I have realized in the last 4 months that I am an extrovert. I feel good being around my friends. I love talking about Jane, it makes me feel like she is right next to me. But sometimes I need that ungraceful back-flip in the sticky salt water. Those moments that wipe me out are necessary and healthy for me. They are very private, even Bryan isn't usually around when they hit. They are inter-reflective and cathartic. Crying, for me, is a purging of emotional tension and sadness. It is in those moments I truly feel like I am a grieving mother. I am reminded how difficult my trial is.
I lost my only baby girl. 
I saw her lifeless body. I watched doctors frantically try everything they could to save her to no avail. Then I watched those same doctors and nurses cry, really cry, for us. That was really hard stuff for a girl who is still in her twenties. Actually, that is really hard stuff for anyone.
Those back-flipping, ungraceful moments are also a reminder of how lucky I am to have been my sweet princess’s mommy. After about 5 minutes (to 15....depending on how bad it is) of being sad during my sob session I start feeling blessed and privileged. Why was I chosen to be her mother? I will probably never feel worthy to be such a perfect little angel’s mom, but I will try my whole life to be.  And the tears continue, but now in gratitude. Thanking my Heavenly Father for giving me this opportunity to be Jane’s. Thanking Him for letting me have 13 hard and wonderful months with her.
Then I feel strong. I reflect on what I have been through the last 4 months and I am amazed with myself. Who ever thinks they can survive something this hard? Definitely not me! But I have!
I can do hard things.

(Sidenote: A dear friend of mine text me almost everyday after Jane passed and would say “You can do hard things.” It became a mantra, and our family motto. I have mentioned this in previous posts. Turns out, I am not the only one who has lost a baby who uses this line. If you know the Sullengers blog, she recently posted some free printables with that saying. Go check it out.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Why the criticism?

Something I have really noticed going on around me lately is the overwhelming amount of compassion and acceptance people have shown to me. If I come to a play date in sweats and no makeup, it's okay because I'm grieving. If I came in a cute outfit and makeup on then it would sound like, "good for Christy, she is trying." If I wanted to lay in bed all day everyone would understand. If I needed to get out of the house because I couldn't stay here by myself, I am asked if I need a buddy to keep me company. It is pure love at its finest! I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by many people who want to lighten my load in whichever way I need it lightened. Without judgement, only compassion.

It got me thinking...why do we wait until we know what trial someone is going through and have deemed it difficult enough to warrant our compassion before we are willing to love and serve them? Why is it that we can't be kind and accepting without reservation? I am totally guilty of this, so I am not casting any stones here. I have passed judgement an embarrasing amount of times on friends, family and complete strangers. The rude guy at the drive-thru, the snarky lady at the grocery store, the couple who cut off my family in line at Disneyland, a family member who offended me and hurt my feelings. And I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this.

At any given stage in my life I have had some difficult things going on. As a teenager I was best friends with the most popular girl, a student body officer and had a great seems wonderful right? Secretly I was desperately insecure, wanted so badly for everyone to like me and struggling in math (which I eventually failed and had to retake). As a newlywed, Bryan and I were on cloud nine. We were more in love than the loviest love birds, so in love I have to make up a word for it. But man finances were a struggle. We were both in college and working part time making $7/hour.
 It was rough.

I am not sharing these embarrassingly personal situations with you because I think life is terrible all the time. I have had a wonderful life. But to show you that everyone, at any given time has something difficult going on. Nobody is exempt from this and there is always a hill we are trying to push our cart up.

Why do we feel the need to judge the way others climb that hill? Why can't we just walk it with them for a bit? Ask if I can carry your pack for half a mile? Can I help push that cart? Even on the so-called easy downhills, sometimes it's hard to keep our feet from coming out from under us or our cart from running away.

I have had anxiety and depression for years, but kept it wrapped up in a tight little package that very few people could see. Now everyone knows my trials and I am experiencing how wonderful support and people praying for me can be. And because my life is so public I have had about a dozen people send me private messages and tell me the unbearable trials they are very privately experiencing right now and how Jane's story has helped them. These are people who are perfectly packaged and seem like their life is a bowl of cherries. You just don't know what people are going through.

I have seen both sides, suffering silently and suffering with support. It has made me realize that everyone is struggling whether we know it or not. And everyone needs the compassion that I receive. It doesn't matter if you have lost a baby or a job or have claustrophobia or miss your family or have an eating disorder. It's all hard and we don't need to reserve our sympathy for the ones we think seem the hardest.
Hard is hard.
How about we not wait until they tell us their life story and deepest difficulties before being willing to step up and help. How about we stop criticizing others for their different religion, political or moral views? How about we just love them and ask them how their day is going with a smile?