These past weeks and months my very least favorite thing to do, which causes me a great deal of pain, is to go to the store. I never would have believed how many things I bought strictly for Laynee. It seems that nearly every aisle has a painful reminder of Laynee. Being the only baby in the house she needed things that the other kids didn't have use for. In the health and beauty aisles are her baby soaps, shampoos, wet wipes, etc. In the grocery section it is limitless, her yogurt, her crackers, her pretzels, her cereal, her fruit cups, her bananas, and on and on. Her diapers are there but I don't need to buy them. I go through the clothing section and see little articles that I know I'd be buying, if only. All the adorable holiday clothes are out now and Laynee would be so sweet in them. I stop, I look, I touch, I feel and I probably look like a crazy woman but I can't help myself. There were an adorable pair of boots hanging on the end of an aisle and I could picture her marching around in them, thinking she's really neat. She needed new boots for winter and these are the ones I want her to have.
Laynee and I went shopping together, and what a joyful job it was with her along. She'd sit in the cart and wave to everyone that walked past. She'd happily point to all the pretty things on the shelves. As I'd push the cart sometimes I would lean in close to her and breathe in deeply of her sweet scent. In the cart she's the perfect height for kisses on the top of her head. As the cart filled more and more, she would grab things from the back. She squished loaves of bread sometimes or ate an unwashed grape when I was turned away. On more than one occasion we had to be buy something from the checkout candy aisle because she grabbed something and tried to bite through the wrapper. When we went through checkout the cashiers adored her. There was one particular cashier who seemed to appreciate Laynee and Moise so much. She knew them by name and would talk to them as if she was their closest friend. I have to confess that I avoid going through her checkout at all cost now. I know that she will ask me "where's Miss Laynee today?" and I know what my answer must be, and I know that it will devastate her. I know that her question will turn my knees to jello and snatch the air from my lungs. I don't want to tell her that my Laynee died, that she's in heaven, that she drowned in our pool. Those are words that no mother should ever have to say. It's backwards, it's not the way things are supposed to be. She's supposed to be with me when I go shopping.
CS Lewis once said that "grief is like the sky, it covers everything." In recent weeks, our family has found that this is so very true. It seems that there is no right or wrong way to travel this path of grief. I have created this blog in hopes that some day we will be able to look back on our journey and see written proof that our great God never leaves us. God is good all the time.