I had an unpleasant experience this morning. About every 6 months we have a round of doctor appointments. Most of their specialists want to see them bi-annually, for routine check ups. Because Moise and Jalayne saw many of the same doctors, I often tried to schedule them together. Today I received a call from one of the offices, confirming their appointments. My heart pounded and my hands shook as I told her that I need to cancel the appointment for Jalayne. She asked if I would like to reschedule and I simply said "no." She then voiced her concern, saying that "she really needs to be seen" and questioned if I had plans of switching to another doctor. She also was concerned that we had not done the "telephone check" of Jalayne's pacemaker for several months. There was no way around it, I had to voice the dreaded words. "Jalayne died in September" I told her, to which she responded with profuse apology and the rote words of sympathy. I think that I shall never get used to saying those words.
Yesterday I walked out to our shed in search of something. It's strange how few times I've been out there since the accident. I'm not sure why, except that there are so many beautiful, heart wrenching memories of Laynee and her daddy. Hanging on the bulletin board with push pins, is her little jacket that she wore just days before the accident. She went into daddy's shed, straight to a bucket of grease, naturally getting it everywhere before daddy could redirect her. That jacket, badly stained with grease, is testimony of a curious, little girl who once occupied are home and our hearts. As I went into the shed yesterday my eyes were immediately drawn to the red cooler sitting on a table. I've known that the cooler is there for awhile now. This cooler's significance is that it was with us on our wonderful trip to Sounthern Illinois Labor Day weekend. I had taken food for all of us to eat for lunch at the park. Pepper Jack Cheese will always bring bittersweet memories because Grandma, that day,was unprepared for such a taste and dubbed it "EVIL Cheese." One day, I did open the lid to the cooler, only to close it quickly upon discovery that it still contained that weekend's food. Laynee's death washed away the importance of all tasks such as emptying a cooler. I know that someday I will have to empty the cooler but I continue to put it off, dreading the idea that there may very likely be something in it that will bring another flood of heartwrenching Laynee memories. I'm quite certain that the contents of that cooler are "growing" by now but I guess they will have to keep growing because opening that cooler, for some strange reason, is something I just cannot do. And so the red cooler sits, there on the table, a mere object, yet so full of memories and reminders that the joy and sunshine of that weekend is gone. I know that Laynee's light has not gone out. It shines in heaven, brighter than it ever did here on earth, it's just that I can't see it.
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.