We Can Do Hard Things

Mark bought me this necklace for Christmas. It was the only thing I really wanted last year. I LOVE it! This statement "We {I} Can Do Hard Things" seems to be our family motto anymore. It's what we live by. It strengthens us, encourages and drives us each and every day.

When Miles was in the hospital and the doctors were doing all that they could we knew things were not  looking good for Miles. But we still had hope. We had a long, deep and very honest talk with one of favorite doctors, Dr. Glissmeyer. He was holding out hope himself but he was honest, precise and very loving about Miles' state and future. As we all talked about the next steps we would take to try to stop the continuous and never ending brain seizures that Miles was experiencing we came up with a plan. We would continue fighting through the night and into the morning. If things didn't start improving we were then approaching a very delicate balance of medications that doctors have never seen anyone come back from. After 12 long hours of balancing the medications and monitoring that never ending wave of seizures Mark and I knew what was coming. We had to make the decision to take Miles of life support. A decision many face, but a decision I wouldn't wish upon anyone. As Mark and I were walking down that all too familiar hall that seemed to have wear patterns from us and all the family to Miles' room we stopped, held hands, looked one another in the eyes and with tears filling each of our eyes I said to Mark, "We Can Do Hard Things.... Right?" He paused, choked back the tears as he looked into my soul and repeated with a repeated nod and a visibly heavy heart "We Can Do Hard Things." We then hugged and continued on our walk to Miles room where we met with the doctors and let them know that we were ready to let Miles move onto his glorious mission elsewhere.

That was a defining moment in our lives. A moment that we had to put our selfishness aside and allow Miles to leave this mortal world. It was a moment burned into the very depths of my soul, a moment in which I will never forget. 

Last week we found ourselves facing another monumental mountain. It was Sunday and I could not pull myself together. I was frustrated as we were with family celebrating my brother in law who was about to leave on his mission. I spent all of sacrament meeting in the mother's lounge with Clara bawling as I feed her. I was frustrated with myself. I kept having flashbacks of the resort where Miles' accident occured. My mind was racing with wonderful and hard memories. A picture show of sorts. The smells, the feel of the fabrics, the noises and more from those days at the resort were swirling around me. I kept feeling as though Miles was telling me that I needed to go back there. As I kept fighting this feeling my heart was breaking and the tears flowing. We haven't been back to that resort since my brother in law drove us down the mountain as my eyes were glued to that helicopter carrying my son in such a fragile state. In fact we haven't driven near the area at all. It's just been too hard. So how in the world was I to tell Mark that I needed to go back?

When I told Mark the feelings I had felt that day, he was very taken back. He was completely caught off guard. I told him I would love for him to join me or I could go alone. Either way, I just needed to go. He took a little bit to soak it all in. He looked at me and said "We Can Do Hard Things...Right." I nodded to him and replied with a nervous chuckle "Yes." 

So Friday night Mark came home from work, changed his clothes and we took Vivian over to my aunts house. We didn't want her to be worried about us as we knew there would be a lot of tears shed that night. Before we drove up the mountain we said a prayer together. The drive was somber. Mark's hands were sweating on the steering wheel. Clara was getting fussy. The colors were changing up there, just as they had almost a year ago when we were up there. It's felt just like yesterday that we were driving through those yellow and reds up to that resort.

As we pulled up we looked at one another and again said "We Can Do Hard Things." We were greeted by the resort manager, as I had arranged to meet with him upon our arrival. We had a wonderful conversation with him, and then he took us up to the room we stayed in. It was just as I remembered it a year ago. It felt good to be there again. As Mark, Clara and I spent time in that room we could both feel Miles so close. He was there with us, smiling down on us. I could feel his warmth around me. We spent a lot of time in there. Then we each spent some time alone in the room, which we both took the opportunity to say a personal prayer. We then said a prayer together in the room, where Miles' bed was, before leaving.

We then met with the manager and the head of security. Mark and I had questions about Miles' accident in the pool. There have been so many things that haven't added up to us. I have recreated many different scenarios in my head for 11 months now. None of which are easy. But I know as badly as I want answers I cannot watch the surveillance video of my son slipping below water as I was less than 10 feet away. I have enough painful images of him in my memory from being pulled out of the water, CPR and the hospital. I don't need more!

After they described in detail what happened and answered our questions we all ventured down to the pool. It was a long and hard walk, with plenty of heavy sighs from all four of us. We stood where Miles laid as CPR was performed on him by Mark, a staff member and then medics. They answered more questions we had. It was a very hard moment yet very healing.

We all hugged and shed a few more tears of love and gratitude with one another. The resort manager even gifted a snuggly rabbit for Vivian as we left. They were beyond kind, loving and very professional. We truly are bonded to them for life, as sort of family in a way. The resort and the people there will always hold a sacred place in our hearts. This was the place we spent our last moments with Miles. They were wonderful moments too.

It was a very hard evening to begin with. But as the night went on, I truly felt so much love and warmth. I felt a heavy, heavy weight was lifted from my entire body. I felt Miles smiling upon us and even proud of us for facing such a hard obstacle. An obstacle that he knew we needed to face in order to help with our healing. 

As we left the resort my heart felt warm and light. An honest smile was not only on my face but in my soul, a rare thing these days. I felt good. We felt good. We both left feeling as though we now need to LIVE FOR MILES. We have always known that we need to live exceptional lives in order to be with him again as he is perfected and without any sins, one day soon to be glorified. So we want to as well. But as we are apart in this mortal world we need to LIVE For Miles, enjoy each day we are given, enjoy those around us and LOVE them with all our being, LIVE in the moments of each day and most of all LIVE in joy and happiness as we look towards the future. LIVE....LIVE For Miles as We Can Do Hard Things and through those hard things come blessing never forseen. LIVE.


  1. Wow, you guys are so brave. What a hard and wonderful thing you have done. I don't remember ever facing anything head on like that. Once again, we admire you!

  2. It seems kind of silly to say I'm proud of you, like I'm your mother or something, but I AM!!! You both faced an incredibly difficult thing, head on! You are doing hard things every hour of every day! xoxo

  3. This post was so touching and gave me courage to face the trials in my own life. Thank you

  4. I am so, so sorry. You are so brave.

  5. You definitely can do hard things, and I'm proud of you. I know it was so hard to go back. In a weird way I envy you. I envy that it happened at a hotel. Somewhere you don't have to go very often.

    Pat and I knew we had to walk over to the canal at his dad's house as soon as we got back. And we both felt Preslee as well. Though it's gotten better, I still think about Preslee every time I'm at my inlaws. I think about my last moments with her, and I'm on edge every time any child is in the back yard. There still isn't a fence up, and parents have already forgotten, and don't always keep an eye on their kids. There have been times I have to go inside because I get upset. Anyway, sorry for the novel, sometimes it's nice to talk to those who understand.

  6. I'm so glad you got the chance to go back and that it was a good, healing experience. I also felt that same pull and after I went, even though it was so hard and many people didn't understand why I did it, I felt like such a burden was lifted. I hope that it continues to bring you peace.