Why "Matangi Lemon"

“There’s no lemon so sour that you can’t make something resembling lemonade.”

-This is Us (any “This is Us” fans out there?! I’m obsessed.)


As I’ve gotten older I have come to realize that there are a lot of hard things people are going through. As a matter of fact, pretty much everyone at some point goes through a pretty intense trial. Earlier this year we almost lost my baby girl. When she was just three weeks old she got really bad pneumonia and had to be life flighted to Primary Children’s hospital.

As we arrived in the hospital, it was as if we were in one of those television shows where doctors come running and swarming to help. I immediately couldn’t see my tiny baby as doctors and residents surrounded her and quickly started to put a breathing tube in her. It was then that I overheard the life flight crew proceed to tell the doctors that she, in fact, had been resuscitated on the flight over. I don’t think I realized how intense everything really was until that point. That day she had to be resuscitated three more times. I didn’t know if I was going to be leaving that hospital with my baby girl or not (read a little more about that first day here).

The second day was probably the worst. Her heart rate quickly dropped and didn’t come back up. The nurse hit the “code blue” button and immediately 10 or so doctors and residents came running into the room as Ruben and I just clung to each other while they tried to revive our precious little girl. I thought, “This is it.”

They were able to bring her back, but I really wasn’t optimistic about how everything was going to end up. I decided to read my scriptures and a couple of verses touched me.

“For behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake will I do this (The Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 20:10-11)”

“For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?… Behold, I have engraven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me (The Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 21:15-16).”

I still didn’t know if our baby girl was going to make it, but I began to have peace. I had peace in my Savior Jesus Christ and in my Heavenly Father’s plan, whatever that was. I had peace knowing that because Jesus died for us, we will be resurrected and will live with our family forever. I was able to let go and say, “Not my will, but thine.”

The Pre-Earth Life

I recalled a story while I was sitting there in the hospital that I had heard when I was attending an institute class in college in 2013.

There was a girl who had a dream that she was in the pre-earth life. There Heavenly Father told the people in heaven that he needed someone to carry a child. Her pregnancy would be rough and soon after the baby was born, the baby was going to die. It wasn’t going to be easy and it would bring immense sorrow. The girl thought to herself, “Wow that would be so hard. I could not do that.” Then everyone heard a voice saying, “I will do it.” She turned to find her sister raising her hand, and then she wept.

I have always loved this story because it reminds me of a stronger self. One that heard of some difficulties life had to offer, and I volunteered to come down anyway. I felt confident that I volunteered for this life, knowing it wasn’t going to be easy and still saying, “I will go down.”

That couple of weeks spent at Primary Children’s Hospital changed me. As I walked down the halls I kept thinking about this video where it beautifully displays that every single person is going through something. Life was immediately put into perspective, and all of the silly worries about life faded. I heard an aching mother tell her young daughter that she was going to have to do another round of chemo that day to which the little girl responded, “What’s chemo?”. I saw disabled children whose parents seemed all too familiar and comfortable in that building. I heard stories of children seeing angels, and of miracles that happened within those walls. I felt my own angels and witnessed my own miracles.

I came home from that hospital and had to go to the store. Most definitely looking like I hadn’t slept or showered for weeks, because I hadn’t. A stranger could have looked at me and thought, “Wow that is one unkept lady. Doesn’t she know she should take better care of herself?”, never even knowing that I had just spent a couple of weeks at a hospital with my little girl who was fighting for her life, and was having severe anxiety, and what I’m sure was PTSD.

So why Matangi Lemon?

Life hands you the sourest lemons sometimes. Motherhood is hard. Having three tiny little girls ages 3 and under is hard. Almost losing your child is hard. Anxiety is hard. PTSD is hard. But through all of this I’ve realized that those pieces of heaven moments are in every single day, and I need that. I live for that. So right now with my three tiny little girls that are totally dependent on me, I’m choosing to make lemonade.

I hope what we share can help you create your own lemonade with your child. Let’s Play!