This is Rex and Jeni, my wonderful brother and sister-in-law. They are both amazing examples of strength and faith, and have had ample opportunities to prove both of those things. Right now they are again a beacon of light and strength, and while I am grateful to have such stalwart leaders show me just what a real relationship with the Savior can do, I sure wish it wasn't coming at such a high cost.
For the third time, Jeni is facing breast cancer, and this will be her final battle. This was her post in Facebook on the day we found out: We are finding out how to ride the cancer rodeo again - Utah style! Which means yesterday I went to the doctor looking for relief from some pain and found out that my old cancer came back and spread to my liver, starting liver failure. Went to the Huntsman today and started our plans, which include an endoscope of my liver area and chemo starting again on Monday, (unless I get translated with the Primary on Sunday during our Primary Program). If you are looking for something specific to pray or send positive thoughts to I am most worried about my liver and kids/Rex... I want to add I appreciate the help we have gotten so far, it means so much when dealing with this shock!
She has hung in there for a couple of months now, and we have tried to help and visit whenever possible, but there is so little we can do in this kind of circumstance. If you would like to know more or find ways to help and support them, you can go to her cancer website: http://www.rodeoclownssupport.com/ It is filled with inspiration, stories about her, updates on her condition, and ways that they can be helped.
Ever since we were dating, Ross and I have had this habit of filling silent moments with the question, "What are you thinking?" It has always been a way to get conversation going again, and can be a fun way to illustrate the random way our minds work. We don't ask that question anymore right now because the only thing that has been on our minds in those quiet moments for these two months is Jeni. How is Jeni doing? How can we help? How are the kids doing? How can we help Rex?
I love this family so much, and I am devastated that they are facing such a horrible trial. All of my prayers are for her to be comforted from her pain, and to send strength to her husband and children. I have been so supported by some really amazing people as the news has gotten out. I have some people in my neighborhood who have sadly faced the trial of losing a spouse or a parent in their youth. As these people have learned the news, they have sent me suggestions and ideas on what I can do to help and what they might be possibly needing. These suggestions have been incredibly helpful, and have been another sign to me that God really is in charge.
I don't know why this is happening. I do not like that Jeni is being taken from us so soon. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't seem fair. Despite all of my sadness and anger, however, it has been abundantly clear through many different things pertaining to this situation that God really is in charge, is very much aware of what is happening, and most importantly, loves us all so very much. Moments of comfort and love are abounding and no amount of stamping my foot and begging Him to change His mind has stopped me from believing in Him and recognizing His hand in these affairs. I pray that His influence will remain as we try to help Rex and his kids carry on in the months and years to come. I don't know what to do or how to do it, but I pray to be led and inspired so that I can play my part well in what is coming.
I add my plea here to Jeni's in her Facebook post: If you are looking for a cause to send your prayers and good wishes to- let it be to her and her family. Pray for her to be in comfort during her last days. Pray for her children to remember her as a pillar of strength and love and to cling to the gospel and their father for strength. Pray for her husband to find a way to carry on in his stalwart and quietly strong fashion. Pray for them to feel love, because it truly is the greatest and most powerful force on Earth because it didn't originate on Earth, but in Heaven.