Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Life has seemed pretty weird lately. Not that anything major has happened or that things have gotten harder, just different. Sending Dawson back to school without Dylan was not so fun for me and I am sure he is feeling that void. Avery started Kindergarten yesterday so I am sure it's nice having her to walk with to the bus stop in the morning, but I know that is always in the back of Dawson's mind. He is doing very well though!

Time just keeps on ticking and the days keep getting further and further away since I last heard my sweet Dylan's voice. It is so hard. But we really are okay. I try not to think of how much time I haven't seen him but turning that into how much closer I am to seeing him again. I don't in any way mean for this to be a depressing post, because I'm not- I just miss him. I can't begin to describe the amazing blessings we have been given with our other children. I am grateful for every single one of them! (Even when they are naughty!) I can't imagine going through all of this if I didn't have their sweet faces to cheer me up every day. Even our 2 yr. old Dax has picked up on it. Last night I was caught off guard by a St. Jude's commercial and started crying and Dax looked up at me and said, "no cry, be happy!" I do my best and have way more good then bad days but when those bad days come, they come with a vengeance! This is not something I ever thought I would have to deal with but we are and doing it the best way we can! We are committed to this experience bringing our family closer together and also closer to our Savior.

I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people that exist in this world. We couldn't have gotten through this without all of the love and support we have received. Words aren't even enough. And I sound so cheesy saying that but it's so true. You know if you are one of those wonderful people and I continue to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The movie "Ever After" was playing in our car a few weeks ago and there was a line in it that really stuck with me. The evil stepmother said, "no matter how bad you think things are, they can always get worse." I know there are many others out there who are suffering worse then we are. And my heart goes out to them. I feel so ignorant at times thinking back to before all of this happened, I didn't realize how many sick kids there are or how many people are dealing with all kinds of trials and tragedies. Often times it is only through our trials that we gain a deeper sympathy and develop a love for others we may not ever have known. I am thankful to have learned this even though it still is so so hard.

My husband is my very favorite human on this whole planet and there is no one else I would rather have by my side facing adversity. He is my best friend and I am not sure how I lucked out snagging him!!! He is such a rock and doesn't judge me on my worst days even though I am sure he would love to send me away at times! I have developed such a deeper love for him watching him as he handled many of the situations with Dylan. I love him so much...

Another example of the circle of life has occurred today! My little brother Trevor and his cute wife Tami just welcomed a new baby into this world... Little Trey! Congrats to them! I don't know how many of you know but Tami's brother Kasey was killed in a plane crash about a week and half after Dylan's passing. It was a pretty intense month for her. My heart continues to go out to their family. I hope that this new little blessing is able to bring a little healing to their hearts as my baby Drew was able to do for me.

This life was never meant to be easy. But we have to tolerate it and come out better people especially through these tough times! It's so easy to become relaxed and in ways ignorant when things are going well. That in itself is a test... What will YOU do when you don't have something devastating looking you in the face? It's easy to hit your knees when you want the help. But are you doing it when you aren't desperate for it? That's something I am trying to keep a constant eye on. Not getting comfortable. Trust me, I have gotten comfortable many times! I still have sooooooo much work to do. But I do need to acknowledge my sweet little Dylan and for the example he set for my family and for so many others. I know that he was willing to go through this for us. I am committed that his sacrifice won't be in vain.... I love you Dylan and I will forever be missing you! (Well, not forever- :)


  1. Adjustments, I think we will always be adjusting from here on out. A little over a year ago, we lost our daughter Preslee in a drowning accident. She was our only child at the time. As I scroll down your blog and see your other children, I am so HAPPY for you that you have other kids in your home. Even though I know it must be very difficult to watch them grieve, your house isn't silent. You have other children to love and hold. I am so so sorry for your loss. I love looking at Dylan's pictures, he really was such a cute and happy kid! Hang in there, I promise the pain slowly eases up over time. I think we just learn how to adjust to this new life. Sending love your way from a mom who understands.

    Ashley Sullenger

  2. Mandy you and Ryan and the kids are such an inspiration to others. You make me take a step back and appreciate what I have. And not stress the things I don't and the things I can not control! You make me a better person and I thank you for that! I love you more than you know!!!

  3. What a beautiful post Mandy! We love you guys so much. Our family is stronger because of Dylan's example and valiant spirit. It is such a blessing to know you. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily. Love you :)

  4. Grief is interesting. It can be so overwhelming at times. It's like finding a new "normal" that takes a lifetime. I think about you guys so often and pray for you. Your attitude is amazing. And I think you're so right about experiencing difficulties in order to be more understanding and loving to other people that are suffering as well. That is a beautiful insight! Blessings to you and your family.