Two years ago on September 21st my nephew Jaylen drowned in our backyard pool. He would have turned two on September 25th that year. It was a dark, devastating night. But it was a very sacred night. The Lord sent comfort in such tangible ways. Heaven was very near. People are so kind and we were strengthened by friends and strangers alike. Even after the darkest night there is light. Because of Jesus Christ, Jaylen lives on. We will see him again. Family relationships can continue after this life as we follow the Savior and make sacred covenants.
In memory of Jaylen the 21st day of September is a day to "spread sunshine". He was a happy ray of sunshine to all who knew him. I would like to invite you to take time that day to do specific acts of kindness. Look for someone to serve, to help lift burdens and bring light into their life. Forgive someone you've been struggling to forgive. You will feel lighter. You will be happier as you spread sunshine!
(These are the cards we passed out last year for our Day of Sunshine. It was fun to read the experiences people had on the "Spreading Sunshine for Jaylen" FB page. If you would like to share your experience of "spreading sunshine" on that page I know it would mean so much to my sister and her family.)
"At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel's end-no dawn to break the night's darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes...If you find yourself in such a situation, I plead with you to turn to our Heavenly Father in faith. He will lift you and guide you. He will not always take your afflictions from you, but he will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face."
-President Thomas S. Monson