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.

Celebrating Laynee

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Friday, December 25, 2009


Wherever I go, there I am.  I can fly to another part of this great country that I live in and yet, the sorrow and grief go with me.  There is no escaping it.  As Christians, Christmas comes regardless of where we go, what we are doing, or the level of sadness in our hearts.   In Florida, the sun shines brightly, lifting my spirits considerably.   The ocean tide sweeps in and out, it's vastness reaching further than the human eye can see, a reminder of how awesome and mighty our Creator is.  The ocean serves as reminder that I am so small, a mere speck on the earth's face.  I am nothing, I have nothing, I give nothing but that which my God allows.  He gave my Laynee, one of the most precious gifts I've ever received, and He took her, exactly as He had planned when He created her.

On the beach, my heart clenches at the sight of little children toddling in the sand.  Sun hats, shovels, buckets, smells of sunscreen, all remind me that I no longer have a tiny little girl.  Oh how adorable she would be here.  How fascinated she would be with the waves, and the sea birds.Yesterday I wrote carefully , in large letter in the sand, "Merry Christmas, Laynee".  I wonder, can she look down from her place in heaven and see how badly we want her here with us?   I noticed that many beach walker read the words there in the sand.  One woman even stopped to read it aloud to her children.  Yet no one, but our family, understands the significance of the words.   It likely never crossed a single mind that those words were for a 2 year old in heaven.
We celebrate Christmas!!!  Even here in Florida.  Last night, Christmas Eve, my nieces, Amelia and Chloe, and nephews, Drake and Stoner, came to our condo to make and decorate cookies. This morning we ate our traditonal Christmas breakfast, we opened gifts, this evening we will be with exteneded family.  We celebrate Christmas because it is Christmas, with or without our little girl sitting here beside us. Laynee Grace is not here on this earth but life goes on.  No matter where we go or what we do, life continues on.  Minutes turn to hours, hours to days and days to weeks.  Holidays come and they pass for those who remain.  We survive.   Though every breath hurts, we survive. 
Chloe, Jade, Jamee, and Amelia making Christmas Cookies

We brought Laynee's bag along for the trip.  It is filled with her swimsuit, sunglasses, pink jacket, Tennis Shoes and Sandals.  Just right for little girls who should be going to the beach with family

 Jamee, Moise, Brock, Jade, and Grant Christmas Morning

Jamee and Jade with the Angel Wings from Ashley.


  1. Merry Christmas to all in Florida,
    We miss you here in Illinois-and to imagine the missing your family is experiencing this Christmas season, we can not imagine. With her pretty angel wings we know that Laynee girl is the unseen angel with your family today and always. The little babe in the manger - is now the awesome "king of kings" holding her on his lap. Enjoy your trip and know that Laynee has had alot of visitors this week while you are away. We love you and may you have a safe trip home.
    Mark, Fern, and Guito

  2. The Holmes,
    I am sure you are all enjoying the weather with the sunshine. It is very cloudy here, but was sitting in Restmor for Christmas sevices and it was snowing lightly. Very pretty.
    Mrs. Hellrigel said she was thinking of you guys this Christmas and I told her you were all in FL.
    I visited Laynee yesterday and told her how we all miss her and that it is Corey's B-day.
    I am sure she is having a ball with all the other angels.
    The kids have a little something for her that we will take and put in her stocking.
    Miss you guys and have fun.
    Marty, Karla Danielle, Corey and Garrett

  3. hope you guys are having good weather. We woke up to snow this morning and Larry is out plowing. We watched "It's a wonderful life" famous Christmas movie. Maggie heard him say "everytime a bell rings an angel gets it's wings." She wanted to put a bell in Laynee's stocking with a note so we did that. Our thoughts are with you enjoy yourselves I know Laynee would want you to do just that.
    Love, Larry Ida and Maggie

  4. Karol,
    I have been wanting to email you this poem, but I just finally got my hands on it. This season I have been thinking alot about this poem, as Kevin read it at our friend Mitch's funeral 8 years ago, right before Christmas. 8 years later I still find myself going back to that very difficult time in our lives. Christmas has been very difficult for me ever since that day 8 years ago on Dec. 19th. This year has been by far the best. The Christmas Carols are getting easier to listen too, and the meaning of Christmas is coming back to me. For many years, for me,Christmas time meant the death of Mitch. It felt so good to be able to allow myself to finally enjoy Christmas again. Is 8 the magic number? I don't think so, it just so happened to be the number that settled with me. Christmas will always be somewhat bittersweet. Anyway, this poem really meant a lot to many of us, so I wanted to share it with you. Sorry I didn't get it emailed to you on Christmas. I am going to trust that this moment is the right moment.

    I see the countless Christmas trees
    Around the world below,
    With tiny lights like heaven's stars
    Reflecting in the snow.
    The sight is so spectacular
    please wipe away that tear
    for I am spending CHRISTMAS
    WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.
    I hear the many Christmas songs
    that people hold so dear
    but the sound of music can't compare
    with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.
    I have no words to tell you
    of the JOY their voices bring
    for it is beyond description
    I know how much you miss me,
    I see the pain inside your heart
    for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.
    I can't tell you of the SPLENDOR or the PEACE here in this place
    Can you just imagine CHRISTMAS WITH OUR SAVIOR face to face
    I'll ask him to lift your spirit
    as I tell him of your love
    as you lift your eyes above.
    Please let your hearts be joyful
    and let your spirit sing
    for I am spening CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN and I'm walking WITH THE KING.

    I hope that this brings you some joy and peace. I know that Laynee would want you to know that she is doing great, and that she wants so desperately for you to be doing great too. She loves you, and wants you to enjoy just knowing that she is with the King! For me there is some great comfort in that! Love you! I hope that you are enjoying your trip. Soak up some rays for me! I am getting paler by the day!!!!!!! Is summer about here?