123K - Libby

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

The word ‘inspire’ literally means to breathe in. When someone inspires me then, it means that they breathe a new life – a new spirit – into me. Something wells up in me because of them that gives me the motivation and the strength to do better – to try harder. And I need to be inspired. There’s only one though who has ever been inspiring in every way, and that was the Savior. The rest of us are ordinary mortals. However, among those ordinary mortals there are some that face their trials in an extraordinary way. They inspire, and they don’t even know it. May I tell you about one?

When Libby was just two years old, her family moved from Bogotá, Columbia to Atlanta, Georgia. Then they moved again settling in Queens, New York. Again and again in and out of the country and all over the country the family moved, and Libby hated it! But she learned to adjust making friends wherever they went. Then in 1980 ‘kicking and screaming’ as it were, Libby came to Utah. Now after living in Bogotá and New York City, Salt Lake was like ‘Mayberry.’ But she came and she stayed, even after her family all moved far away. It became her home.

Well, Libby married and was blessed with three beautiful daughters. And then, after ten difficult years her marriage ended, and it was just [she] her and her girls. Then in time, Libby married again – a man who was her best friend. “It was wonderful,” she said. There were times I thought I needed to pinch myself because I couldn’t believe how great it was!”

Well this good man carried a secret – alcoholism. Without warning it erupted in their lives overcoming him and ruining their marriage. Once again, Libby was alone, but not alone. Rather than morning her loss, she said, “I looked at those three little girls and realized they’re it; they’re everything for me. They represent my whole entire family, and more than anything, I knew from the time they were babies, they were my future. I just threw everything into them,” she said, ”and looked forward to the future.”

And it worked. Where so many parents are strangers to the children, Libby and her daughters are friends.

When Tesh, her middle daughter, was 10 years old, she was struck with type-1 diabetes. Libby’s first thought was, “What did I do? What – what did I do when I was pregnant? – Did I eat the wrong food?” But as before, Libby and now her daughters took the challenge head on.

“You just learn,” Libby said. “You get the facts; you get educated, and you realize this has nothing to do with me. This is something that happened to us!”

Well, there were tense moments and some close calls with Tesh, but today she leads the normal active life of an involved teenager, as do her other girls. And as for Libby, she’s a successful account executive. They live by this family motto: Don’t complain; find solutions; put the drama aside and let’s figure out how we fix this.

Libby told me in an interview, “I don’t believe in luck. I’ve had opportunities where if I work hard enough, or I sacrifice, or I just put in the time and the effort, it pays off. It’s been working for me my whole life.”

My friends, life never plays out as a fairytale, or a fictional romance, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t happy endings. As someone said recently, trials are inevitable; misery is optional. Well, that’s what I saw in Libby. She has an indomitable attitude of optimism and appreciation. She’s grateful for those around her and life as it’s been given to her.

She told me this, “Maybe for me a happy ending comes in the shape of my three daughters.”

When I asked her about marrying again, she said, “I know love. I want to feel that again, but if I don’t, at least I got to feel it once.”

What we tell ourselves it what we believe. And I believe Libby has it just about right.

Glenn Rawson – March 2009
Music: A Gift of Love, track 8 (edited) – Marvin Goldstein
Song: You Raise Me Up – Daniel Beck