Last evening was busy with preparation for today's Thanksgiving meal. The void of Laynee's abscence is ever present. We do what needs doing in spite of the void. It's what we've learned to do. But last night, when the house finally quieted down and Jim and I were preparing for bed, the crushing, nearly debilitating weight returned. I don't want to do another Thanskgiving without her. I don't want another round of holidays to come and go without her laughter and joy. I am resigned to the knowledge that I will never again celebrate as fully as I once did. I can go through the motions, put on a happy face, and even enjoy the celebrations but I will never enjoy the holidays as completely as I once did. One of my children is missing and I that is not ever going to change, nor will it stop hurting completely.
Still, I refuse to celebrate Thanksgiving without a spirit of thankfulness. It is with greatful heart that I observe my five living children. They are young people of strong character and compassionate hearts, made better, I believe by our tragedy. They miss Laynee desperately, they hurt for her. They long for the joy and sunshine that Down Syndrome brought to our home but they have persevered beneath the burden of sorrow.
I am grateful for the love and mercy of our Lord. Without this I am nothing and can do nothing. I am humbled by the sacrifice that was made, more now than ever, having experienced the fierce intensity of giving up my child. Most of all I am grateful for the beautiful oppurtunity to be Laynee's mommy. I thank my God for 2years, 7 months and 7 days of the love that she gave us. Even knowing all of the pain we would face, I would choose to do it all again. The sorrow is great but the joy and peace that she taught us was far greater. Because my God gave up his son, I am going to see my daughter again someday. Until then I will wait, I will try to enjoy, I will celebrate the time that we have left, and praise my God for hope.It seems hard to believe that a single heart could be filled with so much thankfulness and so much sorrow, all at the same time. It is possible only because of Hope.
Thank You, Lord for every day that we had Laynee with us. Thank You for the hope that we get to see her again some day. Hold my baby close to you today. Tell her much I love her, tell her that I will see her again, hopefully very soon.
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.