I am a Sweetheart to One and a Mommy to Four Loveable Babes, one of which is smiling down on us from Heaven. I am learning to dance in the rain. Come with me on my journey as I make the most out of Life's mud puddles.

Put on your rain boots. Great adventure lies ahead.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Tonight was an interesting night. The evening was spent taking a family excursion to Costco to purchase David's Father's Day presents. Then home to put away the loot and enjoy one of Daddy's surprises (Vitamix 5200 Blender . . . LOVE IT.). Fresh orange sorbet . . . it. was. divine.

So, after putting away groceries and finishing our refreshing treat, we headed up to bed. All was going well until Gracelyn came into our room, suddenly breaking into a torrent of tears.

"Mom, (sob) I (sob) really miss Bennett (sob) tonight," as she fell onto the bed in my arms.

What? Where did THIS come from?

But I know better. I am learning myself that the reality of it all hits you at moments when you least expect it. So often, you don't even see it coming! Tonight, it was our night time routine that reminded Grace of the gaping hole in our family. After the kids would get in bed, Bennett (if still awake) would make his rounds to each of his siblings, taking turns cuddling with each one of his beloved sisters and brother. They adored him and he knew it. And they could feel his love for them in return. It was a beautiful little tradition they shared and one that made for a tender remembrance tonight.

"I wish Heavenly Father would have taken me," Gracelyn whispered as I held her. "Bennett was the best thing that ever happened in my life. My heart hurts so much."

As Gracie lay in my arms sobbing, her arms wrapped tightly around my neck, I quietly said a prayer to my Father, asking Him what I could do to help this little girl's broken heart. It was then that the impression came. Pray for her. Okay. I do that all the time. Pray with her. Well, I can do that, so I asked her if I could offer a prayer. She feebly nodded her head.

There I was, late at night, with my little girl melting down in my arms, praying to the Heavens in my daughter's behalf. I summoned the Spirit to come and comfort her and - if possible - to let Bennett speak peace to his big sister's heart. I asked that she would be able to feel the loving arms of her Heavenly Father enfold her as her heart was hurting and that she would feel that He was aware of her and that He loved her. And then I closed the prayer, thanking the Lord for all our children, both here and in heaven.

I felt peace. I felt comfort. But the sobs continued.

As the tears and the accompanying body convulsions continued to increase, I knew my faith and prayers alone might not be enough, so I called in the "big guns." David - my sweetheart - is a man of purity and virtue and has the faith to move mountains. I believe the Lord pays special attention to his pleas because of the man he is in public and in private. It was time to cash in his brownie points. We needed all the help we could get.

So David took a sabbatical from Ashton's storytelling time to come and share a special prayer with Gracie. In our faith, we refer to it as a Father's Blessing. As I held her, David stood above her, put his hands on her head and began to plead to the Lord in her behalf. He blessed her with peace, comfort and the reassurance that she would see her brother again. He reminded her of the promise of forever families and how those relationships continue beyond death. And then he expressed his love and the love of her Heavenly Father for her. And then he solemnly and humbly closed the prayer.

Something happened after that. It wasn't sudden, but it occurred gradually. Bit by bit, Grace's body began to let go of the tension that accompanies deep emotional pain. The tears slowed, her breathing began to regulate and her grip loosened on my neck. "Can I sleep in your room?" came the request. I consented and we tiptoed into the room to "make her bed."

Now she lays by my side, cuddling my arm, tired, calm and collected. Did she just wear herself out? Maybe. But I think it was also something much greater than that. I believe that tonight - a night that was average in nearly every sense - the Heavens opened and sent us down a blessing that was a tender mercy for Grace and her parents. A Loving Father and Savior made possible a miracle that Mommy could not fix. No band aid or neosporin could take care of this owie. This was not going away (anytime soon, that is). But He knew her heart and knew just what to do to "make it feel better."

And mend it, He did.

Did Bennett come back? Is our heartache gone? Is everything "back to normal"? Hardly. But the Lord is aware of us. He is getting us through it.

One meltdown at a time.


  1. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL post! Every.single.word. touched my heart. I sat here unable to even breathe because my heart was hurting for Gracie and her mom and dad. So grateful that we have such a loving Heavenly Father. I know that you are still a newbie in this horrible club we were forced to be a part of, but you are doing well. Bennett is, I'm sure so proud of the higher road your family has chosen to take. A road that with every grueling step brings you closer to Him and your Sweet Bennett Boy.

    It's seems to worsen my pain when my Coby (husband) and my Corbin get those awful waves of pain from losing Jack. It brings me to my knees and I'd do ANYTHING to take their pain and sadness away. Thank goodness for the power of Priesthood and it's ability to ease the pain...even for a moment.

    You are amazing Mandy! Loves to you and your sweet family.

    Tiff Rich
    (Jack's mom)

  2. What a beautiful thing prayer is. I think about you all the time. Thank you for the example of strength and faith you are to me. I love reading your blog because it reminds me of what is most important.

  3. It is so heartbreaking to see our own children in pain, but what a great learning opportunity for Gracelyn, I am sure she will remember that moment for the rest of her life. Thank goodness for a father's blessing, they have comforted me so much in my own life over the last year, I have a whole new appreciation for this very special gift our Heavenly Father has given us.

  4. Thank you for sharing your blessings, struggles and tender mercies of the Lord. Each one of us is touched by the spirit of compassion and love.

  5. Thank Heaven (literally) for worthy daddies who bear the priesthood! And for pure and righteous mommies who stand by their side, adding faith and prayers to help those blessings come down from on High! Love your family!
    Jenny B.

  6. So sweet! It is amazing to understand how children's minds work. How they deal with stress and the heavy emotions. It seems like you guys are doing really well with helping her understand. Thank you for sharing and sharing your faith and belief. It broke my heart that she asked why she didn't leave but Bennett did. Such a compassionate little girl!!

  7. Beautiful and powerful experience, thank you so much for sharing. I feel my heart holding a small piece of both your sorrow and joy. Tears streamed down my face and I felt the peace wash over me as I read the power and love of our Heavenly Father washing over sweet Gracie (and her parents). What a blessing this gospel is! What a joy!! SO MANY times I have found the only place from which I could find peace was to look heavenward and likewise seek a priesthood blessing. I feel blessed and profoundly grateful for priesthood power and for the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
    I also want to add the power of little Gracelyn's spirit. She is radiant and such an example to me. Her faith and courage strengthens me greatly. What a doll!

  8. Oh the sweet power of a righteous father's blessing....and the tender mercy of a Father's response. Beautiful!

  9. Thanks for sharing. I love you.


Thank you for being a part of my journey. I appreciate your supportive and healing comments. Here's to a Promise of Sunshine!