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.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

He Carries Us

This morning the pain is great.  I have written those words countless times in the last year and I suppose that I sound a bit like a broken record.  The only excuse that I have for being so redundant is that there are no other words.  I have had many say "I don't know what to say" or "I wish there was something I could do."  Jim and I and our children have no expectations of anyone.  We know that there are no words and there is nothing that anyone can do.  It's a journey that we must travel with all of the bumps, bruises, and sorrow. 

One thing is certain; we have not traveled alone.  As I woke this morning, I remembered all of the horror, trauma, and pain of our great tragedy one year ago. In the midst of all of that, I also am reminded of family and friends who have been there with unfailing love and support.  Early this morning some young girls, friends of Jamee and Grant, stopped by with a beautiful vase full of flowers.  Along with the flowers was a card with the names of several friends and this verse:   John 16:22  You may have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.  This group of young teen girls reminded us that our Lord does not bring trials without the resources to see us through. 

In the haze of memories, I recall the love that surrounded us.  There were loved ones at the hospital within moments after we arrived.  Our entire community was holding us up in prayer:  the churches, the schools, our friends, our family, the very old and the very young.  Family stepped in to hold our children while Jim and I rushed to the hospital.  Someone made it possible for our children tocome so they could hold their baby sister one last time.  Arms embraced us, tears mingled with our own, some of us had to be reminded even to breathe as shock claimed us. I cannot say who all was at the hospital, but I know there were many.  They were in the waiting room, in the hallway, and those closest to us in the trauma room where her body lay.   I recall being granted the beautiful pleasure of handing my sweet baby, wrapped in a blanket, to those who needed just one more chance to hold her, touch her, kiss her.  I recall placing her in the arms of each of my beautiful children and watching the love and agony pass across their faces as tears dripped into her hair and onto her face.  I shall never forget the fierce, she-bear instinct that rose up in me as I was told that they needed to take her away, but someone was there to hold me up.  Someone rubbed my back as I spoke on the phone to the coroner.   As we left the hospital, we were not alone.

The single most stunningly beautiful memory of that night is that of pulling up to our driveway and seeing, in the darkness, the reflection of the tail lights of numerous cars in our driveway.  I admit that at first I was a bit overwhelmed by this and not at all sure I was up to seeing that many people.  As our home came into focus I could see that the garage was packed with people, those who loved us, those who would carry a part of our burden.  In hindsight, I am so grateful for all of them and the fact that we did not come home to a deafeningly empty home.  Again, I do not know who all was here, but there were many.  My children's friends were here to hold them up when Jim and I didn't even know how to hold ourselves up.  This memory, though blurry, stands as proof that our Lord, through his servants here, was carrying us from those first awful moments.

The next day, though I cannot say who all came, our home was virtually flooded with people.   There were those who came bearing food.  Someone organized all of the food and kept track of who brought what.  Some held us up with knowledge and support as we faced those who came to investigate the accident.  Others helped with planning the memorial service.  Once again, our children's friends were here to help them through the day.  There were some whom we'd never met, but were, nevertheless, praying and touched by the life and death of our angel baby.   Perhaps the clearest memory in my mind is that of my dear friend, Laynee's "aunt" Karen, sitting on the sofa beside me.  I think that maybe I clung to her as she was, aside from Jim and I and our children, the one who loved Laynee best and the one who would ache from her abscence the most.  I do not recall a word that was spoken by Karen, in fact I think that maybe there were none.  Words were unnecessary and grossly inadequate. 

As horrific as the memories are, the fact that our God has supplied for our needs is not lost on us.  There is a beautiful song that speaks so clearly of how, in our greatest need, he says "I Will Carry You.  (you may need to turn off the sound of the playlist at the bottom of my blog to hear this song)  I praise my God that he allowed us to carry Laynee through her short life. I praise him also that just as we will carry her, forever in our hearts, he will continue to carry us through this valley.

God is good.............all the time.

Happy Angelversary Jalayne
You will always be our forever love
Wait for us, we'll be there soon


  1. Thinking about you and your beautiful family today. I will be praying for you to get through this difficult time. Thank you for your testimonies and faith in our God. Your story has forever changed me and for that I am forever grateful.

  2. I'm right there too...your story has changed my life and made me a better mom to my kids, just because you never know when God might call them Home. I have been aching for you guys for the last year, and I cannot imagine how deep your ache is. I'm amazed at your strength, which you might think is weakness, but I find your ability to hold strong together a miracle from God above. I love you all more than you know and I am thinking of you all daily, if you can believe it. With tears in my eyes, I pray that God gives you comfort today and in the years to come. Again, I'm so sorry you have to go through this...it's not fair and it's tragic and horrible that a family that loved her so much should have to deal with such pain. I pray that God's grace and strength wash over you all.

    Love always,
    Amy Gayle

  3. Last night we were reminiscing a year ago and Maggie remembered it quite clearly. She had got up that morning and for some unknown reason had decided to give Laynee her precious doll changing table with the crib. It played music and was a treasure amidst her play things. She lugged the heavy (to her it was heavy) piece upstairs and looked at me and said "Mom I think Laynee will love this as much as I do. I don't play with it much anymore and I want her to have it." For Maggie to part with something of hers is like pulling teeth. But on this day she unrelentingly - was willing to part with one of her toys - only to have Laynee have it. I told her she had to wait until you all returned from camping to take it out to Laynee. So after dinner Larry and Maggie took it to your house. I remember the joy on her face as she helped Larry lift it into the van. She said, "Laynee's gonna love it!" They returned home and Maggie said, "Mom, Aunt Karol wanted to give it to Laynee for christmas but I don't think that's going to happen - she was playing with it already." Within 45 minutes Karla called with the news about Laynee. We ran over to your place and tried to console the kids. I remember looking at Maggie and seeing the saddness and disbelief on her face, she said to me "How can this be? Laynee was so happy a little bit ago." We know you have the same thoughts of how can this be and we can't wait to get to heaven to find out. We don't understand God's timing but I know our Maggie will forever remember giving her treasured toy to someone she loved but whom God loved more. We love you guys. Larry Ida and Maggie

  4. Peace and strength to you all on this day.May God continue to carry you and keep you and cover you in His amazing grace as you navigate this day and beyond,without your Laynee.

    *Put a package in the mail today for the garden from Miss Zoey.

  5. I am reduced to tears reading this entry...Laynee's first angelversary. What a tribute to her and your family that you were surrounded by such great love at the most horrible time in your life.

    I think I am struck most by the crystaline trueness of your post. There are no words that we remember, but the love that got us through it. I pray that you are continually surrounded by such love ~ as it is and always will be needed.

  6. i miss Laynee and today must be very hard for you but when you get to heaven im sure Laynee will be waiting for you im praying for you today and missing Laynee more than ever

  7. Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment on my blog...you are a sweetheart. I'm sending prayers your way tonight and this week as you honor your little Laynee's first angelversary. Hugs to you and your whole family.