One year ago we were beginning to see the emergance of a very strong personality in this little lady of ours. The the constant battle to keep those silly glasses on her face had begun. We were constantly looking for glasses as she was constantly hiding them. Oh how I have to chuckle to think of how she always knew where they were and how she very delightfully directed us to them. This fact alone is a beautiful testimony to the innocence that she possessed. To her, leading us to the hidden glasses meant pleasing us, it never registered in her little mind that it also meant having to wear the dreaded things again. Those who are new to our blog might appreciate this sweet story about her glasses.
She was beginning to be much more vocal and we were beginning to hear the formation of long awaited words. One of her favorite words was "bye bye" and it was always said with an adorable wave with her arm extended, bent at the elbow, palm facing straight down. When she said "bye bye" her voice was the softest of whispers. She innocently assumed that any and everyone who came to our house was there for the sole purpose of taking her "bye bye". At this time last year her love for outdoors was great. She seemed to hear the door opening no matter where she was in the house and would get very upset if anyone dared to go out without her. My heart aches as I recall that sometimes Jade would make her escape to the swing without Laynee. Laynee would then run to the window with giant, but silent, alligator tears with lips turned down. Jade would see her sadness from her spot on the swing and it got her every time. She couldn't resist Laynee's silent, mournful expression and without fail, would come in to take her out with her. The transformation from sad little girl to joyful exuberance was instantaneous when she realized her sister was coming back for her.
On this day last year, the Sunday before school started we had friends over to swim in the lake with us. When we came inside to enjoy some snacks, Laynee was seated right smack in the center of the table. She entertained us all with her sweet personality. My friend, Paula, reminded me today of how much love Laynee had that night and how everyone was enamored with her sweetness.
As we approach the anniversary of Laynee's death, I am keenly aware that our happy memories of "last year at this time" are numbered. In just 3 weeks, the memories of "last year" will change from happiness and joy to sorrow, mourning and debilitating grief. Never again will I be able to look at a photo of Laynee and say "That was taken 'last year at this time.'" Time and life have continued. One day has turned into another. Our "last year with Laynee" is running out. As time goes on she feels farther away from us. The image of her beautiful smile becomes increasingly difficult to pull from the compartments of our minds.
I wonder how it is that we will manage to make it through another year without her. Yet, even as I wonder, I know the answer. We will make it in the same way that we made is through last year, one moment at a time, with the grace of our Lord.