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DAY 12

February 13, 2016
Day 12 comes from one of my all-time heroes and favorite people, Ashley Mitchell. She became like family to me when I was serving in her ward in Minnesota for about eight months. In that time, Ashley always had an encouraging word or a listening ear. She knew how to make us laugh, how to bolster our faith, how to comfort us. We never left her home without a healthy snack or a meal, and we always knew we could call her for anything. We spent many hours in their home, working in the yard, or helping prepare meals for people in the ward in need. It was really and truly a safe-haven, and the closest I felt to being home with my own family. She and her husband shared our joys and our sorrows and loved us and everyone we taught and brought to church. She taught me and my companion about loving others with the love of Christ, selfless service, discipleship, friendship, marriage. She especially taught us what it means to be a mom.

 A year ago today, Ashley gave birth to their baby boy, who because of complications, was only able to take a few breaths in this world before slipping into heaven. Today, they celebrated his party with cake and blue balloons sent to heaven. As Ashley said, they were only able to hold him that day, but they have held him in their hearts every day since.

“This is a bitter sweet story of love. I’ve learned it can make some people uncomfortable to hear it, but it’s mine. My sweet son Gary was born February 12th, 2015 and was buried February 14th, 2015. Due to all of his complications, we knew beforehand that he wouldn’t be able to come home with us. My oldest daughter was four at the time and it was heart wrenching to have to explain to her that her little brother was going to have to go back to heaven. Like me, she struggled. We gave her the option the come to the hospital when he was born, but explained that although his spirit might be back in heaven, his body was still special. When the day came, and Gary’s spirit went back to heaven, his big sister (with help from my mom) came and held his sweet body.

She was so proud to have a little brother. It has been a hard year, but it’s been amazing to watch my daughter talk proudly and daily of her brother that is waiting for us in heaven. My younger daughter, who was two at the time and didn’t really understand what was happening, now joins in with her big sister in talking about her little brother. We wish Gary could have stayed on earth with us, but we are so thankful that he joined our family. For us, Valentine’s Day will truly be a day to remember those we love.”

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1 comment

Sabrina February 14, 2016 at 3:41 am

So precious!!

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