Saturday, August 31, 2013

Why WE Love Dakota…Grammy

This is the last day of Dakota’s “birthday month!” I have to say a HUGE thank you to EVERYONE who wrote a post for me and all those who were able to read these amazing posts. I know for me, being Dakota’s mom, they have been EXTREMELY special, touching, and emotional to read! They have strengthened my faith and testimony that this VERY hard trial I have been asked to bear has been worth it all!! Even though every day is a challenge and my heart still aches for the boy I once knew…I am understanding more and more the bigger picture and plan that my Heavenly Father had for Dakota! I am SO grateful for the true “angel” he has become and the MANY lessons he has taught me and those who have been blessed to know him! I truly feel it a privilege to be his mom and I thank EVERYONE from the bottom of my heart for your love, support, and encouragement that you continually give to our family!!

I must end this birthday month to Dakota with words from his Grammy (also known as Vicki, Zach’s mom). Besides Zach and I, her and Poppy (her husband aka Doug) have spent THE MOST time with Dakota and have loved him unconditionally!! Dakota was their very first grandchild and they were THE MOST excited grandparents you have ever seen. They would joke with the 3 kids in Zach’s family that were married (we all got married in the same year) that whoever had the first baby would get free diapers for a year. That’s how bad they wanted a grandbaby!! When Dakota came into the world they were right there to welcome him and love him from day 1. Ever since that day he has been and continues to be spoiled rotten (NOT REALLY ROTTEN ;) ) from these 2 amazing people!!

When they got the phone call about Dakota’s accident they immediately flew down to AZ (since that is where it happened while we were visiting my family) and stayed with us the whole 3 weeks we were there!! They put their lives, their jobs, EVERTYHING on hold to be there to support and help us and Dakota through the hardest time in our lives. They talked about leaving at the 2 week mark but even though I never told them to stay…they must have known in their hearts how desperately Zach and I needed them there, so they stayed!! She is not my birth mom but I love and adore her just as much as my own mom!!

When we were finally home with Dakota after the accident, these 2 were helping us EVERY week religiously because we were struggling so bad emotionally and physically to manage this new life we were trying to deal with! They would come up to give Zach and I a date night EVERY weekend which I’m sure they could have used for themselves! On top of that they would come up whenever they knew we were having a hard day or we had been up all night with Dakota just to give us a break or a rest. Even though they don’t come up weekly anymore they will be here ANY time we EVER need it! I really don’t know what we would do without them!!

They too have been a strong support for both Zach and I emotionally and spiritually! They have seen more then their fair share of tears then they probably ever needed! They have helped us through the different stages of grief as we transitioned from disbelief, sadness, anger, etc and they have been patient, loving, and understanding through it all! I have never felt like there was anything I couldn't share with Vicki or ever felt as if she judged me for feeling a certain way! She always seems to have the perfect things to say, story or scripture to share, or just a hug to bring us comfort when we needed it most!


They are THE MOST fun grandparents you have ever seen and their love for Dakota and ALL of their grandchildren is truly AMAZING!! They go above and beyond in their call to be grandparents and parents!!


Here are Grammy’s sweet words:

My sweet little Dakota,

Where do I begin to tell you of my love for you. My heart was so full of love for you even before you came to this earth.

I remember with joy, the day you were born. You were the first one to make me a 'Grammy.'  I will forever be grateful to your parents for that.


I remember that moment that your Daddy walked down the hall with you all swaddled up moments after your birth, with tears in his eyes.  That moment changed my life forever. It is written in my heart.


Little did I know you would continue to change my life from that moment on.  I always knew you were a special boy. I've never seen such a content baby that never fusses and is always happy.  I would always tell your parents, "You have no idea what an angel baby he is!"  Even the best babies cry.  You showed us right from the start that you loved life and were so happy to be here.

You also have been a fighter right from the very start.  You overcame challenges from your first few days of life.  You have always had that inner-strength that now looking back we didn't realize you would need to get through what was to come.


Your little family has faced many trials. All that you have faced testifies that you were meant to come into the family you were born into.  Heavenly Father chose one of his righteous, loving daughters to be your mommy.  He led her to find someone so full of love for her that they could face anything together.

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Your daddy would experience his own trial first, so that they would be prepared  to undertake the challenges of mortality that they would face together. When your Daddy lost his sight, you were the rainbow after the storm. During those trying times, he would always ask to hold you.  You gave him the will to keep going. You lit up his darkness. You still do! 

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Before the accident, we would always want to steal you and keep you for hours at a time.  You got to where you would want to come home with us whenever we were together.  Your mom and dad would say to you as we would take you, "Be sweet!"  You would say okay as if that was your ticket to go.  I remember a week or so before the accident you stretched out your arms for Poppy at church (wanting to go home with us) and looked at your parents, "I BE SWEET?"  As if to say,"PLEASE let me go." Those are some of the last words we remember you saying to us.

You continue to BE SWEET every time we are around you.  It is the sweetness of your spirit we feel now.  It whispers to me every time I hold you.  I love being in the quiet when I am alone with you.  You comfort me, you calm me, you give me a sense of complete peace.  You help me to understand that trials can strengthen us and change us in ways we never thought possible. 

You have taught me to trust in my Heavenly Father and that his will is what is meant for us in our lives.  He knows what we need, and what will change our hearts.  You were the vehicle through which many lives were touched and forever changed.  You have taught us so much and continue to teach us the worth of a soul.  Your precious little soul. 

Even though your life is lived in a body with limitations you have so much to give that others can't give us. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father let you keep your smile. He knew we needed it.  I don't know where all of us would be without that smile.   It lets us know you feel joy.  It has been a precious gift.  I remember seeing it the first time probably months after you were hurt.  I can't describe how happy we were to see that on your sweet little face.  We cried! We never imagined we would see that again. It's amazing what small things we should be grateful for.


Dakota, I know you were allowed to stay with us because you were willing to teach us to be more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful to you for you being righteous enough and worthy to be able to do that for us.I will forever be grateful to our Heavenly Father for his mercy.

Thank you for loving us enough to be willing to sacrifice the things we take for granted so that you could continually mold us into what we need to become so that we can be worthy to live as a family in Heaven. 

The day you were hurt, when I saw you lying there in the hospital I thought my heart would break.  I look back on that day now, and my heart is mending. It still hurts, but you have shown me heartache can bring strength.


I have a quote I have framed in my house that says, Perhaps strength doesn't reside in having never been broken, but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places.

I always have dreams that you are running towards me with your arms outstretched, ready to wrap around me and I hear your voice say "I love you Grammy!"  That is Heaven to me!  I know that day will come and I know you will say to us, "I BE SWEET and that's why I did all this for you!" 

For now, I will snuggle you and take in all that you continually give me.  I am so grateful for your life and the blessing you are to me.

I love you Kota-bug!  You are a precious gift to me.  I am so blessed to be your Grammy. XOXO
  I love........your shoulders when you giggle, kissing the back of your little neck, your cute little toes,
                        putting your arms around me, your stick skinny little legs, our finger kisses, our prayers together,
                        kissing your baby lotion face, reading stories, your smiles, getting you up from a nap, bath-time giggles,
                        holding your hand for as long as I want, how you roll over, feeding you treats, long walks together,
                        singing in the car, laying on the grass together, sleep-overs, just holding you.



  1. oh man. I am bawling! What a beautiful tribute from Grammy to her sweet Kota and from you to her. This is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Oh thank you so much Sami! She is an amazing woman! We are blessed! Thanks for sharing this sweet comment!!!