light and dark

I have much to write about and thousands of photos to share– silly kids, a fantastic visit with my brother in New York City, summer antics, flower fairies in my roses– but today my heart is heavy. It is my grandfather’s funeral, Ben is struggling immensely in Italy (but maintains a good attitude in an incredibly difficult situation), and we are packing up my mother’s home for the new owners who will take possession at the end of the month.

The destruction of my extended family since my mother’s death is almost more than I can bear today. Yes, I know it’s a commandment to ‘be of good cheer’ but I always take comfort in ‘Jesus wept.’ I am counting my blessings, embracing my children and praying for peace. Tomorrow, or next week, I’ll write about the good, the beautiful, the wonderful, but today I simply have to walk through the pain.

August 2, 2011
August 15, 2011



  1. Tasha

    August 11, 2011

    I know it’s always hard to walk through the dark, and it seems that you have had a lot of it. My heart still breaks for you and the trials your family has gone through. Hang on to the hope of the light ahead, and know that lots of us are keeping you in our prayers.

  2. Kerri

    August 11, 2011

    Love love love to you. You’ll be in my prayers.

  3. jen

    August 11, 2011

    one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.


  4. chococatania

    August 11, 2011

    I came across a really good quote from Elder Packer recently…thought I’d share.

    “We live in a day when the adversary stresses on every hand the philosophy of instant gratification. We seem to demand instant everything, including instant solutions to our problems. …
    “It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal.
    “Teach our members that if they have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out.
    “There is great purpose in our struggle in life.”

    I don’t know if this will help you or not, but I found it helpful as I’ve been facing a few difficulties myself. Sometimes it is hard to be “of good cheer.” Yes, we should try our best, but we will still have a hard time once in a while, and that’s okay. It is comforting me to know that there is purpose in struggle. Even if the struggle isn’t easier, it’s nice to know that it will be consecrated for our gain.

    for what it’s worth – i don’t know you, but your blog is one of my favorites. Often, when i’m having a hard day, I find the images beautiful and the words inspiring.

  5. Linn

    August 11, 2011

    I’m so very sorry sweet friend.

  6. Jeanelle

    August 11, 2011

    I emailed you…check it when you can. LOVE you!!

  7. Jennifer

    August 11, 2011

    Michelle- I am sorry you hurt.

    I too remember finding solace in the fact that Christ, who saw the big picture, was sad when he heard of John the Baptist’s death.

    I am grateful that he allowed himself to feel those sad emotions…it gave me “permission” to feel sad after my son’s passing.

    I love your honesty and it bouys me up. If you were always of “good cheer,” I would not visit your blog as often as I do.

    Thank you for being real, yet hopeful.


  8. Tracy

    August 12, 2011

    Thinking about your dear friend. I am so sorry about your loss. I am sending you hugs today and always. Love you. xo

  9. Lisa

    August 12, 2011

    Oh my goodness, love you my friend. May you find calm and peace in the days ahead…I’ll be praying for it!

  10. Adri

    August 12, 2011

    So sorry, Michelle. My grandfather’s funeral was this week, too. It is hard to say goodbye.

  11. Mitchell Family

    August 12, 2011

    Love you Michelle. Thank Chocotania for that wonderful quote.

  12. cristie

    August 12, 2011

    poop. xox

  13. jenjamin

    August 12, 2011

    Many prayers sent your way. XO

  14. Azúcar

    August 12, 2011

    Do you know how many lives you’ve brightened with your little gifts to us? So many people. And you’re a gift to the rest of us.

    I love you, my friend!

  15. Seagulljaap

    August 12, 2011

    I will be praying for you!

  16. Sharlee

    August 12, 2011

    I’m so sorry, Michelle. We, too, came home to a funeral.

    I will pray for you. It brought great joy to my heart to see you all in NYC.

  17. Selwyn

    August 12, 2011

    Hugs. Prayers. We love you all.

    I love you.

  18. michelle

    August 13, 2011

    Here’s my thought for the day, one that I needed recently as well.

    “[I]t is not without a recognition of life’s tempests but fully and directly because of them that I testify of God’s love and the Savior’s power to calm the storm. Always remember in that biblical story that He was out there on the water also, that He faced the worst of it right along with the newest and youngest and most fearful. Only one who has fought against those ominous waves is justified in telling us—as well as the sea—to “be still.” Only one who has taken the full brunt of such adversity could ever be justified in telling us in such times to “be of good cheer.” Such counsel is not a jaunty pep talk about the power of positive thinking, though positive thinking is much needed in the world. No, Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them.”

    -Elder Holland

    I love you.

  19. Tifani

    August 20, 2011

    John 11:35 is in the Bible for a reason. Crying and sorrow are a part of the process of life. I’m so sorry for your pain now and will pray for more light.

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