Sunday, August 14, 2011

In Memory of Mikayla

It's hard to believe that it's been one year since this sweet girl left us. I know that for our family it's been a hard year, seeking to understand and trying to heal. I've thought a lot this week about the covenant that I made when I was baptized to mourn with those that mourn (see Mosiah 18:9). Through this experience with Mikayla we have had many opportunities to mourn and grieve, but also to be comforted by people who are willing to mourn with us. I am convinced that one of the great blessings through all of this is the strengthened relationships that we have with Mikkie's parents and the rest of our family. 

Mikkie's parents wanted to spend some time today together with family members remembering some of the wonderful things about Mikkie. 

We met at Mikayla's grave this afternoon. It was a beautiful and sunny day, and although it was sad and hard, it was also so good to be with each other and draw on each other's strength. Laura's dad and Tim shared their thoughts and testimonies. We sang some primary songs (and finished with Mikkie's favorite: "I Am Like A Star Shining Brightly"). Tim also sang a beautiful song that he wrote to Mikayla. I was overcome by the evident love that Tim has for his daughter. I feel grateful that their family can be together again. My respect and admiration for Tim and Laura has grown a lot this year. They are strong and faithful and continue to lift others around them.  

Laura wrote a beautiful blog post (read it here) and encouraged people to do something productive with the sadness and grief that we feel, and forgive someone today. She suggested letting go a white balloon. 

Sophia didn't want to let her balloon go... but Ryan finally helped her release it.

Aren't the white balloons beautiful against the blue sky? I love what Laura wrote about why she chose white: "White symbolizes purity, cleanliness, truth...I also think of heaven and angels, reminding me of Mikkie."

Laura's sister found some live butterflies online and had them shipped to her overnight. Mikkie loved butterflies! Tammy made the correlation too that butterflies are a symbol of change... we are all changed because Mikkie was a part of our lives, and we are certainly changed with her death. I would like to work on using this experience to be different, in a better way. We opened up the envelopes (that had a little butterfly food in them--although I'm not sure what butterlies eat when housed in a wax paper envelope?) and let the butterflies go.  Some of them needed a little coaxing. We sort of expected them to all fly away quickly, but I think they were all still waking up. Many of them stuck around for awhile and landed on the flowers near Mikayla's headstone, sort of like they wanted to be around her for just a bit longer too.

Sophia's been making this funny face lately.... so Ryan had to make one too.

Mikayla also loved bubbles, so they had big bubbles for the kids to blow. I loved the determination on Faithy's face!

Everyone was fascinated with the butterflies.

Sophia loved the bubbles. Ryan said he could hear them popping when they hit her in the face.

Here is their sweet family... Laura, Tim, and Faith. We love them and continue to mourn the loss of sweet little Mikkie.  Laura's sister put together some little favor bags for the kids, full of things that Mikayla loved. Lip gloss and bubble gum for the girls and bubbles and bubble gum for the boys. Everyone worked really hard to make a really hard day good too.

These suckers were made by a friend of Laura's parents. It was just another example to me of the many ways that people have shown their love and concern for our family during this hard time.

This year has brought many opportunities to reflect again on the things that I know to be true... families can be together forever--Jesus Christ made that possible. The atonement is not just for forgiveness from sins, but also to help our hearts heal. We need to take time for the most important things--particularly cherishing the moments and experiences we have with our loved ones.


Rockelle said...

lisa...I heart you! Precious post. I alos loved you vacation posts!

Linn said...

Absolutely beautiful. I think about all of you, especially Laura and Tim, more often than you could know. It sounds like the perfect way to celebrate the life of a perfect little girl.

Ria's Random Thoughts said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate a beautiful little girl.

Kristi said...

I love all the little details you all did to make it a special day for such a special girl! *hugs*