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

You might want to scroll to the bottom of this page and pause the music before playing this video.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Missing Laynee, Missing Downs

Yesterday afternoon we had the beautiful priviledge of meeting Nebraska "Braska" Larae Woods.  I've written of Braska before.  Her mother, RK, and I met on an online Down Syndrome Forum.  RK has helped me with the blog background and so graciously allowed us to send clothes, which we would have chosen for Laynee, for Braska to wear for the holidays.  The Wood's family was meeting friends in Morton and came to visit us as well.  I admit to being a bit apprehensive about this visit, uncertain of the direction my emotions would take upon seeing sweet Braska, who has become so dear through reading her own blog and pictures.  Braska is her own sweet, beautiful little person, so unique and individual.  As is so typical with Down Syndrome,  she has certain areas of developement which are lagging behind and others in which she excels.  She gave hugs willingly, without reservation, and oh how good those hugs were to all of us, soft and squishy with the "floppiness" of low muscle tone.   RK allowed me to talk freely and openly about Laynee.  I think I said "Laynee would........"  or "Laynee always did....." more in those hours than in the last 4 months combined.  RK and Braska's daddy, Muncher, looked at pictures of Laynee from her birth up to her last weeks of life.  Our kid's, with the exception of Grant who was at a wrestling meet, were completely enamored by Braska and her sister, Kinlee and vice versa.  It was impossible not to note the DS traits that Braska possesses.  Universal traits familiar and dear to a family who has loved DS.  Braska, like Laynee, was quiet, at least while she was here, her voice soft and slightly husky. Her eyes,  her nose, glasses, the soft, wispy hair, short fingers and tiny feet, all bittersweet reminders of a little girl who is gone from us, a little girl who also was blessed with an extra chromosome.  She had certain ways that she would hold her hands, gestures that we once took for granted, now so endearing.  At one point, she snuggled up close to me for quite some time and my heart ached for my own sweet baby girl.  For while this child was beautiful in a way that only Down Syndrome children can be, she was not my DS child.  Indeed,  there will never be another child quite like our Laynee Grace.  As they were leaving we said good bye, and Braska's sweet "bye bye" could have been a recording of Laynee's own softly spoken "bye bye." The words wrapped tightly around my heart and eye contact with Jade told me that the similarity was not lost on her. 

I've always been amazed by the beautiful people that I have met as a direct result of being mother to Moise and Jalayne.  This experience with The Woods Family was no exception.   Indeed, many of my most cherished and valued relationships are those which originated because of my being mother to these to lovely little people.  I find also that it is these relationships that prove to be the most sustaining on this difficult path of sorrow.  I read somewhere a few days ago that the greatest friends are not those who have been with us the longest but those who are willing to walk along side of us through the darkest times in our lives.   I praise God for my friends, old and new, who have gone, time and time again into the pit of darkness and despair with me.  They hold me up in my weakness.  They pray when I can't remember how.  They allow me to talk about my Laynee, laugh with me, cry with me, get angry with me.  It is evident through this relationship with the Woods' family, that although Laynee is not here, she's still being used to bring amazing people into our lives.


  1. Thank you for letting us visit... for some reason, I needed it, though I'm not sure even why specifically. But I felt I had to come, and I'm so very glad we did.

  2. Karol,Thank you for this blogspot. You know me I am so not verbally or writing coordinated but I am so blessed and fulfilled from your writing. It made my heart so happy to see your family with Braska and Kinlee. Your family has so much love to give. You and Jim are teaching your family the meaning of walking in His ways. May God continue to BLESS YOU as you choose to continue to serve Him everyday.Love, KB