Thursday, 13 August 2015

My Living Proof

I wish that the high of Time Out For Women could last forever.  It's been so hard to settle back into 'normal' single mum/teacher life this week, and it doesn't help that everything is catching up with me, and I'm feeling very run down after all the preparation and lead up to it.  

I actually had a chat with David Archuleta about that exact thing after the event was over on Saturday.   He asked me how I was going now it was all over, and I said that I was so stressed and nervous leading up to my presentation, but then how I was so sad it was all over, and wished I could do it all over again.

I said I felt like I needed to have something else to look forward to because it's hard to go back to reality, and he said how life is like that - always ups and downs.  I made a comment that his life just seems like it's all ups, because he must always have something exciting coming up.  He was very wise though and said that even though he does always have a concert or performance somewhere and lots of 'exciting' things happening, that he has learned that those things aren't the things that make him happy.  That it's his family and faith that really give him true happiness. 

I was excited to see that someone had recorded all of his songs and him speaking from the event in Sydney, and had put them up on YouTube. The quality of the video isn't great, but it's so fun to reminisce and have a record of my time up on the stage with the other amazing presenters. It's also funny seeing my friend Simone's head in the video all the time as she was in front of whoever recorded it.

I love his song 'Glorious' and hardly even listened to it while we were backstage, as we were waiting to come on and I was just so nervous, so it's fun to listen to it again.   I laughed when I spotted myself in the video waving at my friend Alyson, who had come over from the USA, and love Brad Wilcox hugging me. He was so kind to me all day.
This song 'Angel' was sung just after I spoke - talk about a tear jerker! The boys were excited to hear him say my name as he spoke after the song about how what people go through.
I knew that David was well known in the USA, but I don't think I realised how big until I saw how many followers he has on Instagram, and have now seen all the fan sights popping up posting pics from his time in Sydney.  The World Wide Web is such a crazy thing.   These two websites included pics and videos that I had taken and posted online - here and here.

Below is the script for my talk.  I was only given a short time to speak (thank goodness!) but it was hard to fit everything in that I felt like I needed to say.  Hopefully I will be able to get a copy of it on video soon. 

Because I had to send them the script and I knew that the AV guys were following the script (to put the photos up on the big screens at the right time) I was so stressed about having to learn my talk so I didn't go off script. I couldn't really ad lib as they were following along and I had a countdown clock in front of me, letting me know how much time I had left.   I had cue cards to keep me on track, but I really wanted to stick as close to the script as much as possible.  I recorded my talk and listened to it over and over and over again.  Let's just say I'm VERY sick of hearing my talk!

My Living Proof
Even though I live it every day I still can’t believe what has happened over the last few years. 

When Noah was diagnosed we thought that it was going to be our big trial in our lives, and I never imagined that things could get harder.   So when Aaron passed away three and a half months after Noah, I had so many questions which I just had no answers for.  Why was Noah born disabled?  Why would Heavenly Father only send him for a short time? Why did Aaron have to die as well?  Why couldn’t he stay just a few years longer? Why did he have to go so soon after Noah?  Why us? 

I tell my boys that it’s okay to have questions, and to say it’s not fair, because it really isn’t! How can it be fair that they have lost their brother and Dad when they were 12, 7 and 3? 
We don’t understand it, but I have tried to teach my boys that even though it’s okay to be upset about what has happened, we can’t change anything, and dwelling on ‘why’ things have happened, just makes things so much harder.  I’ve found that the only way that I have been able to cope over the last four years is to focus my energy on the things that I can change, as there is so much that I can’t change. 

My boys still ask me these questions regularly, and I tell them that I don’t have the answers but we just need to have faith that things are how they should be.  It’s so easy to have faith when everything is going okay in your life.  But faith isn’t for the easy times. It’s for the times when you don’t understand why.   I don’t have the answers but I do know that Heavenly Father is in control and HE knows what He is doing, even if we don’t like it.

I’ve often had someone say to me ‘isn’t it great that we know that families are forever’.   It is wonderful, but as great as it is– it doesn’t stop the sadness and overwhelming grief and loss that you experience when someone you love is no longer here.    And sometimes you just don’t want to hear how great it is that families are forever or that they’re in a ‘better place’ or things are ‘meant to be’.  Sometimes you just want someone to listen, and to acknowledge that what you are going through isn’t fair!

And to be honest it’s not always the thought of ‘families are forever’ that gets me through each day, because when you are missing someone so much, the days are long without them and the nights are even longer, and forever just seems too far away. 

What gets me through every day without Noah and Aaron is the Living Proof that Heavenly Father is aware of us, that he knows what we are going through, and the love that he shows to us. 

I really believe that he’s trying to compensate for the things which he has temporarily taken away from us, because even though we are going through the hardest trial, we have also had so many blessings.
Sometimes we have to really look for the blessings, especially if we are having a really hard day, but we can’t deny that we are blessed beyond what we feel we deserve. 

When Aaron and I went to the funeral home to plan Noah’s funeral, we decided that we wanted him to have a white coffin.  The lady at the funeral home told us they don’t have white coffins, but that they could paint one of the other coffins for an extra charge.  She also told us that there were no children’s coffins ready and that Noah would have to have an adult size coffin.  At the time we were disappointed, but we knew it really didn’t matter and went into a room to choose which coffin he would have.   Just after we went into the room, the lady came back in and told us that in the workshop the men were actually just finishing off a child sized white coffin!
We had no doubt that things were how they were meant to be, and that this was always meant to be Noah’s coffin.  It really didn’t matter if Noah’s coffin was white, but it was living proof to us, of God’s love at the hardest time in our lives.

I love a General Conference talk given by Elder Ronald A Rasband in April 2012, which was titled ‘Special lessons’.  He said ‘If you come upon a person who is drowning, would you ask if they need helpor would it be better to just jump in and save them from the deepening waters?

If someone says to me ‘let me know if I can help’ I can guarantee they won’t hear from me, because I am too independent and I will never ask for help, and most of the time I don’t even know what people can do to help us.

But since Noah and Aaron have passed away, so many people have just jumped in to save us from drowning.  There have been so many things that people have done for us.    Some things have been huge, such as a stranger who has since become a great friend, who started a fund raising campaign to help us financially.  
Just before Noah and Aaron passed away we moved into a new home which we had just built.  The landscaping hadn’t been finished so one of Aaron’s cousin organised a group of 16 professional landscapers to finish off the landscaping for us in one day.

Other things people have done for us have been smaller, but have meant just as much to us, as the bigger things.  

One friend often texts me to see how my day is going and has left a note on my car while I was at work, just to let me know they were thinking about me.

Two friends have sent me flowers every Valentine’s Day since Aaron passed away, because they know it’s an extra hard day for me now, and that same friend sends me cards all the time, for no particular reason at all.  

Different friends in our ward who are great gardeners have built us some us garden beds, and others helped us plant our veggies for the summer.  

On my first birthday after Aaron passed away, I had friends turn up on my doorstep at 7 o’clock in the morning, dressed as chefs and waiters, ready to cook us breakfast, complete with special menus for the table.  They helped me to not only get through the day, but to have some fun and be able to actually laugh, on a day I was absolutely dreading.  

Other friends have brightened some of our hardest days, by letting us know that Aaron and Noah aren’t forgotten as we celebrate their birthdays together.  

There are so many things that people have done for us, and I would need so much more time to share them all with you.  All of these things that people have done, has let us know that we are loved and has reminded us that we are not alone in our trial.  

I’ve had so many people say things to me like ‘I shouldn’t complain to you after what you’ve been through’.  But just because we are going through a huge trial, doesn’t mean that what they’re going through is any less.   

If there’s one thing that I have learned from what we have been through, is that it doesn’t matter what someone is going through – everyone needs to know they are loved and aren’t alone in their trial.  There doesn’t have to be a death in the family, for someone to feel like they’re going to drown.  

About 18 months ago our friend’s baby girl passed away suddenly.   I went to visit them, and didn’t really know what to say, but just wanted them to know that I was there to listen.   The husband said that he felt bad because when Aaron passed away he was overseas.   When he got back he expected everyone to be hugging me and for people to be talking to me about what had happened, but he got to church and was surprised because it he felt like everyone was just acting like nothing had happened.  He then said he wanted to hug me, but felt like he shouldn’t because no one else was.

When I went to visit them after their baby passed away he said he now understood how hard it must’ve been for me and said ‘everyone needs hugs’.  Now whenever we see each other, we make sure we give each other a hug. 

Not everyone is a hugger, but everyone needs to know that they’re not alone when they’re going through a tough time - even if it seems like they’re okay.  It’s a very lonely road when you feel like everyone is getting on with life, when yours is falling apart. 

Sometimes it’s easier to say that you’re okay, because some people aren’t sure what to do if you aren’t okay.  But I now know that you don’t have to say anything.   Just a listening ear is often the thing that someone needs the most.

I have also learnt that even if it looks like someone is floating, they may actually just be a few seconds from drowning.  Waves can come when you least expect them, even years later.

I often have people say to me ‘I don’t know how you do it’, but I have not done it on my own.  The love and service that others have shown to us over the last four years, and the comfort of the Holy Ghost has been LIVING PROOF of God’s love, and has given me the strength to keep going, even when I felt like I was about to drown. 

I hope as you’ve listened today, that the name of at least ONE person has come to your mind who is in need God’s love in their life right now, and I pray that you can reach out to them and be that LIVING PROOF because I know without a doubt that small and simple things can give someone the strength to keep going and not give up, no matter what they are going through.  I’m so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, who has made it possible for us to be together as a family again, and I am so looking forward to that day. 


  1. Hi Lisa, I am Konnie's friend and have followed your blog for a while. I was there at TOFW with my daughter. I came up to say hello but you had a long line waiting for you :) Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    1. I had a line?!?! :) I saw a few people hanging around to talk but didn't realise that people didn't get a chance to say that wanted to. That's crazy and so nice. Thanks for wanting to say hi and sorry I didn't get to chat. Wish I could meet everyone to say thanks for all the love and support xxxx

  2. Beautiful post Lisa. I love how real you are and how you share your feelings. This post touched me and I agree that you never know what someone is going through and that everyone needs a hug. Thank you for giving me food for thought today. I will indeed be thinking of someone that could use a hug or that I can reach out to. We are all in this together.


We are so grateful for everyone's love and support, and appreciate your comments xoxo

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