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, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, and "labor" we did.  For the record, I've never really understood the point behind Labor Day. The name would indicate that we are to "labor" and yet it's a national holiday, in other words, a day off of work.  I know that it has something to do with the death of laborers during a strike long ago and was established in recognition of the labor movement and so on.  Still, I wonder, how many people really have any idea what Labor Day is in observance of? 

We started the day off by being treated to breakfast out by my parents.  It was very nice but I couldn't help remembering that last Labor Day we ate breakfast out with them as well, except we had Laynee with us.  At that time we were blissfully ignorant of the fact that our life was about to crumble around us.  The girls and I then stopped and picked out a few flowers for Laynee's garden.  We had begun the work on the garden on Saturday but there was still much to be done.  The pool that once stood in the garden area was 27 ft in diameter, a large area that needed much work to be transformed into a garden suitable for remembering our sweet baby. 

When people began arriving to help with the garden, I was feeling more than a little overwhelmed.  The level of emotion in our home was high and I didn't even know where to begin with the garden. But as friends began arriving, everyone went to work.  Within a few hours, the barren hole that served as such a painful reminder of death was transformed into a beautiful memorial of the vibrant life that she lived.  Many who love Laynee dropped off flowers, bushes and starts of plants.  There are sunflowers to remind us off her cheerfulness, grasses with fuzzy tops that remind us of how squishy and huggable she was.  There is a large Beauty Bush to represent the prettiest girl in the world.  There are roses that stand among the thorns.  Pink tulips will dance along the walkways next spring.  Daisies raise their sunny faces to the heavens.  Mums of every color will bloom at this time each fall, casting out thoughts of sadness that will likely try to consume us.
By the end of the day I was amazed that we had finished the garden, leaving only a few small finishing touched to add.  There is only one explanation for the rapid transformation of empty and gloomy,  to full and beautiful.......we have wonderful friends.

This evening I visited her grave at the cemetary.  As I leaned in to kiss her sweet face etched in the stone, I glanced at my watch.  Sadness washed over me as I realized that it was 6:20, exactly the time that Laynee was taking her final breath last Labor Day.  As I got in the car to go home, I felt so weary and heavy.  The radio came on as I started the car and this song was playing.   The tears flowed, not just because I miss my Laynee so, but because my Lord, who has so often felt out of reach in the past year,seemed to be reminding me that He has never left me.  He has carried us every step of the way.  It is because of his grace that we have found the strength to face each new day.  He is in control. He is merciful.  He is good!!!!!!

The kids hauled many large rocks

We dug

We trimmed

We dug more

Sometimes we just has to take it all in

Moise helped by being really good. 
Legos, Capri Sun and Cheez its.....who wouldn't be good?

Many hands make light work

Jamee, Jade, Danielle and Amelia
busied themselves in the kitchen

We planted

We posed...........well...........Shaney posed

Paris and Sienna planted tulips

Mya helped too

Laynee's best buddy
Shaney Bee plants her flower for Laynee

Midway through the planting we were blessed with a visit
from Marie Lucie.  She is from Haiti and aids us in keeping
in contact with Moise's birth mother and brother.  She brought news
for the first time since the earthquakes that Moise's family
in Haiti is well.

Moise loved the tractor, as always

Many friends

We've made much progress
Now, sunshine and rain
and watch it grow
This group, who spent endless summer hours in the pool together, worked
hard to help create Laynee's garden.
This shirt was worn by several and served as a reminder
of a little girl who was larger than life. 


  1. Karol,
    Your writing still blesses me each and every time. I have shared some of it with others and they too have been blessed by your words, your heart, your transparency. Thank you for sharing it with us, and for sharing your sweet Laynee. Please know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers all weekend and will be especially tomorrow. The garden is beautiful, the fact that so many hands came together to create it, all of whom were touched by Laynee. I know it will be a place you will treasure always. Praying for strength, peace that passes all understanding and comfort... and that your day is filled with love and memories.

  2. Thank you for posting these. Pathetic as it sounds, YOU helped ME...backwards to what should be today. I so wanted to be there. And yet I knew you would be well surrounded with great support. It is already beautiful, and I can't wait to watch it grow. Praying that God once again holds you all extra close tonight...

  3. Thinking about you today...loving your Laynee.

    Just put one foot in front of the other and remember that we are always one breath closer to holding them again.

  4. Precious little Laynee Bug, wonderful strong and caring family. You know your Forever Love and have testified so beautifully to His eternal and intimate care.

    May your gardens keep flourishing as seeds are transformed by resurrection life.