In respect to summer, I find myself in a place that I have been many times in the ebb and flow of this seemingly endless grief journey. It is a place wherein the heart, soul and mind meet in quiet resignation of what is and will forever be. I accept that, for the rest of time, summer will bring a sense of sorrow.
Summer, being Laynee's final season on earth, was the time in which we loved most and lost most. That summer, as her beautiufl personality began to shine through, we delighted in her every moment. We loved her like crazy. Then, that same summer became the time when our grief journey began. Our clearest and fondest memories of her were during that final summer. Likewise, our most tragic moments are forever stamped upon the pages of summer memories.
I know, understand and accept that I will never again look out the window to see the vivid green of summer trees and grass serving as a backdrop for Jim's walk around the lake, without wishing that our little girl was holding his hand. The smell of the fresh lake water will forever bring to mind golf cart rides with her beside me. Every time I get on my bike I will recall that my time with her in her bike seat was cut tragically short. When I hoe my garden or work in the flower beds, I will always feel a sense of longing for my little girl who should be there to help me. I miss the sweet combined scent of little girl and the great outdoors. I miss the sound of her wailing because someone went outside without her. Lady bugs crawling upon blades of grass, stir up a deep need to see my Laynee Bug. The brilliant colors of summer...... the blue sky, the fluffy white clouds, the rainbow of flowers......will always remind me of her unrivaled zest for life.
Even as summer is reminiscient of days when we loved her so much, it reminds us of the time when we lost so much. The crystal clear blue of a swimming pool and the clean scent of chlorine will forever bring haunting memories of her lifeless form beneath the solar blanket. The once simple task of washing the car will always bring a sharp pang of regret as I recall the mistakes that were made that day as Jamee and I washed our cars. Today as I was working in the yard, with children playing nearby, I heard the words "COME ON." Words, so simple, so ordinary, yet etched upon the pages of my mind. With those words came a moment of reliving, of being transported back in time, when the words "COME ON, LAYNE" were followed by life's greatest mistakes and ensueing nightmare. The sights and smells of summer usher in a deep desire to go back and change that which cannot be changed.
Though I do not like that this wondrous season is now viewed through the lens of grief and tragedy, I know and accept that it is so. While tragedy has not robbed us of love and laughter, the new reality is that summer and sorrow go together.
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.