Finding Strength in Our Many Blessings

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Despite all that has happened this past week, I've found strength in our many blessings, and the kindness of those around us.

1. When Brandon and I got to the hospital, we were welcomed into his aunts' arms, in additional to family and church members. The support of family and friends has been especially warming to my heart. The scriptures tell us to mourn with those who are mourning, and without one another, the burden, and the sadness, would be too hard to borne alone.

2. A family in my sister-in-law's ward (church) were out of town, and they opened up their home to us and my in-laws. Their generosity really awed me. We were complete strangers, people they have never met before, and yet they left their home for us to gather together. We were able to be together to support one another, and to just be close, and that meant so very much. I am hoping to pay this forward in the future, as it helped us tremendously.

3. The amount of family and friends from out of town was overwhelming. Despite the distances they had to travel, families and friends made that journey. I heard so many comments about why we had to meet in such circumstances, and it's made me more conscious of visiting our families and friends, and not waiting. I also got to meet more families that I only knew on Facebook, and got to visit and talk with them, and that made me happy.

4. A fund was set up for the expenses for my sister-in-law, and the generous donations just blew me away. I had friends that donated, and shared, and it just made me so very grateful. I saw $5 donations, and was thankful for those, as I felt in my heart that those individuals and families gave all that they had. I saw big anonymous donations that made me get down on my knees and thank the Lord. I hope they know how tremendous of an impact that made, and I do wish I knew them so I could thank them personally. I saw donations with names, and I was grateful for those so I could keep them in my prayers.

5. Before we left the house that was opened to us, we cleaned with the help of my mother-in-law's family, and that was such a big help. I'm not the best cleaner, as Brandon would freely attest, and at home, I would set out to clean, end up reading the mail, and call it a day. With my mother-in-law's family, we were able to split up all the tasks and give it the best clean we could. That helped tremendously, and really got me thinking about delegation and teamwork. We can't subsist without others, and why should we when we can grow and learn with others?

6. One of Brandon's aunts spoke during Michelle's service, and she said something that stuck with me. She spoke about what kind of "breeze" Michelle was, and gave comparisons. She then said something along the lines of how our "breeze" impacts those around us. I've been thinking a lot about that, and what kind of "breeze" I am to those around me. I am not sure what the future holds, and I've been thinking a lot about what I can do for my brother-in-law, and their kids. I don't have the answer to that question, and I don't know if I will be able to be impactful, but I am praying that something will come, and I will be able to do something that will help them.

The feelings comes and goes. It doesn't hit me all at once. It hits me at different times. Yesterday, we drove from eastern Washington. As we drove through one of the valleys, I saw two horses that appeared to have passed away, and three horses standing around them. That just hit me so suddenly, and despite all the things that we are doing this week, it just struck me. Here I am, going about my week like nothing happened last week! Sometimes I want to shake myself, and say What the heck! What are you doing?!!! We just buried Michelle last week. We just left her there in the rain, the cold, and soon, the snow. The leaves are turning, and they'll fall on her grave, and we'll be eating pumpkin pie like nothing happened. What the heck?!!!

But I'm glad to be close to Bryan and the kids. And though it hits me hard sometimes, I'm grateful for the memories I had with Michelle. I have to let those sad feelings pass, and if I have to cry, then so be it. I know she's in Heaven, smiling over us.

Despite all that we are dealing with, there is so much to be thankful for, and I'm thankful for them all.



  1. Oh, Kaolee, I love this. Thank you for putting your feelings into these words.

  2. Oh, Kaolee, I love this. Thank you for putting your feelings into these words.

  3. Kaolee, I also really liked the comparison of Michelle's life (and each of ours) as a "breeze." That evoked such strong imagery in my mind.

    Death and grieving is so weird. I wish we could all stay close through this time. Also, I love the pictures you shared at the end of this post.


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