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.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Every Day Life

In the 2.5 short years that we were blessed with Laynee's presence in our family, I have very few regrets.  We loved her with all that we had.  We drank in every moment of her sweetness.  Some would say that she was a bit spoiled and that may well be the case; I'm so glad she was.  I did leave her with her babysitters, Kathy and Karen, on a regular, weekly basis.  To regret that would be selfishness, as both Kathy and Karen have shared with me that she served an important purpose in their lives and has made a profound impact on them.  She gave back so much more than anyone could ever give to her. 

It goes without saying that my life's greatest regret is summed up in the last two minutes of her life, the minutes when my attention, and that of everyone here,  was diverted from her.  Otherwise, I have only one other regret about her life and lately it seems to haunt me relentlessly.  It is not an act of commision, but rather, one of omission.   I will forever regret that I did not take enough pictures of every day life with Laynee.  I have many, many pictures of her, yet not enough.   I have photo after photo of her dressed in cute outfits, posing with her sisters, and many of her "firsts" but I failed to capture many of the moments of every day life.  It is those things that she did day after day that I find myself longing for most, and it is of those things that I have no photo to look back on.

As we approach the one year mark, I remember so vividly what she was doing exactly a year ago.  It was about this time that she began to be enthralled with her hee hee's next door.   I have no picture of her and her hee hee's.  She would stand, endlessly, at the fence seperating her and the bawk bawks (chickens), never seeming to tire of watching the gangly, ugly creatures.  She would pick blades of grass, squat down with her backside nearly touching the ground, and feed the blade to the bawk bawks.   I never captured this on camera.  Hours and hours we spent taking her for rides around our property on the golf cart.  There are no pictures of her on the golf cart.  We would stop every time as we passed by her mmmms, just so she could see the cows again.  She was never photographed with the mmmms.  I have no pictures of her running/waddling, as fast as her little legs would take her across the pasture to Aunt Karla and Uncle Marty's.   The image of her carrying a large zucchini or squash from the garden has not been frozen in time.  Her long, sloppy drinks from the water hose are  viewed only from the album of memory.  The image of nightly walks around the lake, holding tight to her daddy's hand can never be shared with others, because it is only preserved in my mind. 

All of these things, so beautiful, so perfectly Laynee, so taken for granted, were priceless photo oppurtunities that I missed.  I suspect that if the story had a different ending, I would have captured all these things with my camera in the next weeks, before the cold weather set in.  I didn't appreciate these moments enough.  I assumed that we would have many more of these experiences.  Never did I imagine that our time with her was about to be cut short.  Forever I will regret this omission.  I will always remember, but never again view the wonder in her eyes as she watched and learned and marveled at the things of every day. 

I have made a point this summer to capture those priceless, every day moments.  Life, grief, sorrow and  pain have taught me that when all is said and done, the little things are what matters most.

Jamee is often found playing the piano, a sound I love to hear
Jade spends many hours swining back and forth on the swing. 
Always the same swing.  Sometimes she sings....loudly ;-)

Grant and Moise have begun a new habit every night after dinner. 
Moise climbs up on Grant's lap during Bible time.  They share a
special bond and it never fails to melt my heart. 

Moise loves riding on the golf cart and someone is always
happy to do the honors of driving him.

Finally, many summer evenings find the Holmes kids spending time
with their cousins and neighbors, Danielle, Corey, and Garrett. 
Our lake provides hours of summer fun. These seven kids share
a very close relationship.  They are neighbors, cousins, friends, and
sometimes they fight like siblings.   They share an unlimited supply
of memories, most of which are made outdoors.  Together they swim,
walk, dance, sing,  hunt, ice skate, bike, sled, and play ball.  They have
shared 9 years of laughter and good times.  Now they share the
memory of one awful evening and the tragedy that claimed our
Laynee Girl from us. 
The girls always find something imaginative to do together.
For those of you who do not know us well, can you tell which ones
are my daughters and who belongs to my sis, Karla.  They are often
called by the other's name and often asked if they are twins. 

The boys have a strong tendency to just jump in
wearing whatever they have on.  I wonder why it is I buy
swimming trunks?
Garrett and Brock
jumping together.  I think
they were shaking hands.  Or was it
high fives?  Something like that.

Enjoying the evening sunset
but always out of the water by dark

A little football toss, with dad being the "arm"
Once again, can you tell who's who?
The one on the left is my Jade, on the right is Karla's, Dani.
Special Cousins, Special Friends, and...... well.......Just Special

Lord Jesus, help me to never take for granted the beautiful moments of every day, because I know now
that sometimes tomorrow never comes.


  1. Thank you for selflessly sharing the gift of your everyday moments and reminding us to do the same.