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.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Camping is a summer highlight for our family.  We've enjoyed camping for as long as I can remember.  Usually we take short camping trips but occasionally we feel adventuresome and take the camper for a longer trip.  Next week we will be heading to Asheville, NC with the camper.  In preparation, Jim brought the camper close to the house so that I can get it cleaned and packed.   Though we typically camp several times a year, this is the first time in the camper since July 4th of 2009.  That camping trip was one that will stand out in our memory for a long time.  First, because it rained and rained and rained.  Also, because it was the last camping trip with Laynee. 

The rain stands out in my mind because Laynee, at 2.5 years old and full of energy managed to find every puddle that she could. We were with a large group of people who, undoubtedly, remember the challenges of keeping her out of the mud.  We made the rounds through all of our family and friends campers, trying to stay dry, while she wreaked havoc in all of them.  I clearly recall that she kept everyone laughing that weekend by simply being who she was. 

As I was cleaning the camper this week, I found, hanging from the stereo dial, a forever reminder of that trip and my little girl.  Things like this always have the same impact on me.  They come, first as a kick in the stomach, snatching the air from my lungs.   Then, as the shock wears off, they  become a cherished, priceless, treasure.  A reminder of the beauty and innocence that once graced our home in human form.  This reminder was a beaded necklace that the kids in the group had made for her.  Stashed in the cupboard of the camper is a box full of assorted beads and elastic for occasions such as rainy days.  I smile as I recall even the boys in the group holed up in the camper making bracelets and necklaces.  I suspect that Laynee was unwilling to wear the necklace for long, which explains it's presence on the dial.  Nevertheless, it was made for her,  she wore it on her neck, against her skin, she touched it with her chubby little fingers, and if my guess is right, she probably threw it across the camper when she tired of it. Upon finding it, I pressed it to my lips, I held it against my face as visions of  muddy hands and feet danced through my head.    This little circle of elastic and plastic is worth more than gold or silver to me. 



  1. I may ask this a couple of times to those who understand grief - but how do you deal with all the people who want to "fix" it for you? As if death can be fixed....

    Sometimes their need to have it "fixed" feels more like they want to act like nothing has happened. Or, if it did happen, that somehow it should be "over."

    They mean well and just want to make things "feel better," but that rings so false when nothing can ever be the same again.

    This is hardest for me as a Christian dealing with other Christians. I have been amazed at how many seem to think that longing for Heaven is a sign of weakness or lack of faith. They want me to feel better NOW.

    In Heaven, I *will* feel better. I don't mean there isn't any joy on earth now, but there will always be deep sorrow, too. Jesus certainly knows what we're talking about when we say that. I know He longs for the final, great Reunion Day!

    If you ever feel like writing a post about these kinds of things, I'd be helped by your perspective, I'm sure.

    You would be amazed how much my heart aches for you and your daughter and your family - and I have never met you. In Heaven, though, I will. I want to get one of those "soft" hugs that your Laynee is so famous for.

    Thanks for writing. You make it easier for me, and I know you help others, too.

    Cathy in Missouri

  2. Sending you love and peace and strength as you navigate this world with out your sweet,sweet Laynee Grace.

    Several months ago I found your blog and your beautiful girl.I don't know how I came to find you but I remember vividly crying,heaving in fact,as I read your story.Her story.

    My heart literally aches for you and what I wouldn't give to have your amazing Laynee Grace sitting beside the other 3 "Grace's".

    So unfair this road you are traveling.Actually,unfair does not even come close to describing this walk you walk.I have watched far too many of my mommy friends say goodbye to their precious little ones over the past year and I will never,ever reconcile it.Not in this life.

    But in the next,I hope to have all my questions answered and it is in that steadfast belief,that belief of Heaven,that I get through these days.

    Thank you for commenting and sharing a piece of your daughter with me.I know it cannot have been easy.May god continue to cover and keep you in his amazing grace as you continue to find your way.