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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Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I should have coaxed her awake early this morning and fed her a warm, healthy breakfast.  I should have dressed her in new clothes and new shoes, rubbed her in sweet smelling lotion and done her hair up in ribbons and bows.  I should have gone through her new back pack, making sure all the necessary supplies were there. Each item with the name "Jalayne" carefully penned across it in black marker.  I should have placed that backpack over her shoulders and stood her at the front door for pictures with her siblings and some of just her.  I should have put her in the car, video camera in tow, and driven her to the school.  I should have sent my little girl to her first day of kindergarten with kisses and hugs and "have a great day."  I should have stood with other mothers, watching the line form and then the children filing one by one, through the school doors and out of sight. 

I likely would have felt the sting of tears.  But they would have been bittersweet tears.  Tears of "I can't believe she is so big" and "I'll miss her at home all day" and "I am so very proud of her." They would have been tears that mark one of a child's greatest milestones....the first day of kindergarten. Instead my eyes burned today with tears of raw, gut wrenching agony.  They were tears of missing her in the depths of my soul, of not having held her for three ruthlessly painful years. 

I went about my day as if nothing were wrong in my world.  I sent one off to our local college, 2 off to high school, along with our foreign exchange student.  I sent Moise to his first day of middle school and moved Jamee to her new apartment at SLU.  I sent 6 beautiful people off to school, all the while, keenly aware of the one I was not sending.  This reality has hung, heavy and burdensome, upon me for several weeks.  I felt it as I bought the seemingly endless amount of school supplies, as I met with teachers, and signed papers.  This morning like a vice around my heart, I felt the glaring truth that Laynee will never attend school.  She will never ride the school bus. 

Earlier in the week I gave in to the need to purchase a backpack for her.  I chose one that I knew she would love, pink with princesses on the front.  I also bought new crayons and markers and placed then in the backpack.  I bought them, not because she needed them but because I needed them.  I needed to smell them, to touch the tips of each new crayon and feel the weight of the pack on my arm.  I needed to see her lovely name printed upon that bright pink fabric.  I needed the satisfaction of buying something for my little girl.  I needed to remember what should be and forget, just for a moment, that all is not well, that life is incredibly, brutally painful.  I took it to the only place that feels like hers........her grave.  I hung it there and hope that it tells the story that she cannot, that she is a big girl now, big enough for kindergarten. 

She should have started kindergarten today.........but she didn't.



  1. I'm very ashamed to say I hadn't thought about this. I've been so caught up in the chaos here, and I'm so sorry. I can imagine how excited she would be for school and how adorable she would be with that big backpack on her shoulders.

  2. Oh my friend. She should have been a kindergarener and you should have done all the things you spoke of. All except the taking of the backpack to a place, no mom should have to go. Ever.

    My love and prayers are flying to you tonight. In great abundance. I am heading out for a run right now and I will be keeping you close to my heart. And Laynee too. Always your Laynee too.

  3. I prayed for you. I'm glad you bought the backpack and placed it on her grave. :)

  4. I am so touched by this post. What a beautiful, tender way to show your endless love for your baby girl.

  5. I took it to the only place that feels like hers........her grave. I hung it there and hope that it tells the story that she cannot, that she is a big girl now, big enough for kindergarten.


    Tears, tears, tears for your big-enough-for-kindergarten Girl...and for you.

    How many more years, Lord, until face-to-face?

    Missing Laynee here,

    Cathy in Missouri

  6. I read your comment on Kelle Hampton's blog and followed you here. What a beautifully written, moving post. Thank you for sharing. Many virtual hugs from a small town in Missouri!