On June 1, 2010 our two year old, "Little Air Bear," was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Type M7. After enduring 146 days at Primary Children's Hospital, Erin is now in remission and living a full life at home with our family. Her strong will and constant happy smile is an inspiration to us all. Through our difficult circumstances we found great strength and peace in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for checking in on us.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Live life fully, bravely, and beautifully.

When Erin was first diagnosed and we were doing even more driving than we are doing now I happened upon a radio station in Salt Lake City, "Positive, Encouraging, K-LOVE (107.5 FM)".  We don't have a CD player in our car and it just didn't feel appropriate to listen to anything else on the radio at the time.  So now, on my long drives, I flip on my K-LOVE station and listen to the uplifting music and stories.

As I was driving home on Friday night, the DJ shared a quote that just seemed so applicable to me that I had to search it out on the radio station website and share it here.

"One life on this earth is all that we get,
whether it is enough or not enough,
and the obvious conclusion would seem to be
that at the very least we are fools
if we do not live it
as fully
and bravely
and beautifully
as we can.”
Frederick Buechner

The part of the quote that struck me the most was that we have to live life fully and bravely and as beautifully as we possibly can.  I feel like even though things are difficult for us we are doing this.  In the beginning of this trail I debated about what to do with our lives.  Should we hold Cecily back from kindergarten?  Should I quit teaching piano?  Should I stop the children's piano, flute, dance and tumbling lessons?  Should I move to SLC while Erin is in treatment?  I had so many questions about what to do with our lives and my first response was to stop everything and run to the beside of my sick child.  But I didn't. I am so thankful that I didn't. 

Besides a very sick child, I also have a husband and two other children who are just as important as my sick child.  I made the determination in the beginning to do the best I can possibly do to make life in our family as normal as it was before. 

My wise younger sister gave me the advice that I needed to let people help me.  I had to humble myself to accept help.  This was hard at first, but it's getting easier.  I know that we were not meant to carry this burden alone.  The very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we need to carry one another's burdens.  Thank you for helping us carry this burden.

Having our children involved in educational, musical, and other enriching activities has been such a blessing for them.  They have been able to continue living their lives fully and beautifully.  The hardest part is helping Erin live a beautiful life in a little hospital room.  We play music and sing and dance with her and we have been educating her with letters, numbers, and colors.  Her verbal skills have blossomed since she spends so much time talking with adults.

We are also living our lives bravely. 

The kids are brave when either mom or dad leaves to stay with Erin at the hospital.  We are all brave when we don't feel Erin's presence in our home.  John and I are brave on the days we spend apart.  We are brave when we wait for lab results and when we talk to doctors.  We are doing our best to live the principles taught in Joshua 1:9:

"Be strong and of good courage;
be not afraid,
neither be thou dismayed:
for the Lord thy God is with thee
whithersoever thou goest."

Our Heavenly Father is with us and He is strengthening us.  It reminds me of a line that stuck out to me the other day as I was watching a video about a girl whose infant life was almost ended when her mother tried to abort her at 7 1/2 months.  She is here today to speak about life and how important the sanctity of life is. 

She said, "God has a way of making a most miserable thing, beautiful." - Gianna Jessen (abortion survivor)

He truly has a way of making a most miserable thing, beautiful.  Yes, beautiful.  We have had so many wonderful, beautiful experiences.  I am thankful for the trials we have had to endure.  I am even more thankful for the beautiful blessings we have had, they far outweigh the grief that we feel.

So, when things get difficult I tell myself, "Okay, Jill!  Be strong and of good courage.  Live life fully, bravely, and beautifully.  And remember, God has a way of making a most miserable thing, beautiful."


  1. I love that radio station! my dad found it driving back and forth to salt lake for work. It also comes in at 88.7 in logan:)

  2. I love that quote. Thank you for this post. I needed it tonight. Jill- you are brave and amazing and SO very inspirational! Can't wait to see you and Erin again soon ((hugs)).

  3. Jill, I loved this post. I am thinking about you today and so thankful for your positive attitude that you share with so many people.

  4. Wow Haley, thank you for sharing the Logan station with me because I always have to turn off the SLC one when I get to Logan Canyon. Yay!

  5. Beautiful. Life can be so hard but is worth giving our very best. Thanks for the reminder. I am still looking at your blog but our recent move has left me sleep deprived and not blogging as much. Sure love you and think of you and will pray more for your little air bear.