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 23, 2011

Prayers for Tripp

Over the course of the time that I have been blogging, I have made countless  friends in fellow bloggers.  Many of these friends are those who have lost children, others are mothers of special needs children, some have experienced both.  I need both of these groups of women.  Somehow, in sharing the joys and struggles that we all face, the path that life has taken me on seems a little less lonely. 

Today, through one of my blogger friends, I have become aware of a young child and his family who are walking a very diffiuclt path at this very moment.  Little Tripp suffers from Epidermolysis Bullosa or EB.  I have read of other children with EB and know that it is a disease that causes suffering that is beyond comprehension.  Today Tripp's mother, Courtney, is faced with the very real probability that life's natural cycle will be interuppted and she will outlive her son.  Tripp's story, his joy in the face of great adversity, and Courtney's positive outlook,  have touched me at the very core of my being.  Please join me in lifting up this little family to our Father in prayer.   You can read Tripp's Story here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Laynee's World

We spent a quiet Saturday evening at home.  It seems like a long time since we've had one of those and I so enjoyed it.  I took a walk around the yard and, not for the first time, was reminded of Laynee nearly everywhere I looked. This was her world.    She owned this place, the land and everything on it, and she loved every bit of it.  With aching heart, I smiled to think of how she would positively be in her element this time of year. 

Her cows or "mmmms" were up close, munching contentedly on grass and looking at me as if I'd invaded their territory. I cannot look at them without seeing her sweet wonder at these animals. Her dedicated observation of them was tireless. How I loved to see her precious upturned face with lips pursed together in a mmmm sound as her chubby little fingers pointed them out to me as if maybe I didn't see them. The memory, though painful, is priceless and I thank my God for the presevation of every such memory of her.

The sky was beautiful, and doubly so as it refelected off the water.  I was struck by the fact that there was once a time, not so long ago, that the evening sky was something that I took for granted.  Now, this is the time of day when she feels closest to me and it is because of that beautiful sky and the colors that so remind me of her. 

The willow trees that her daddy planted and is so proud of truly seem to weep.  They've grown immensely in the last two years.  Their weeping........well.....it's just so appropriate.

Jim, Brock and Moise came out to feed the fish and it hurt knowing that she should be with them. The fish create quite a stir when fed and she would have been in absolute awe of this.  Later they got out the fishing pole and reeled in a few catfish, another event that would have left her eyes round with excitement.   Her abscense seems to loom over us at times, last night was one of those times.
After years of failed attempts at starting a patch of wildflowers, Jamee has finally succeeded.  Undoubtedly, Miss Laynee would be driving her sister crazy with picking all of the flowers.

Her swing still hangs from our swing set, a reminder of a little girl who loved and laughed nearly every single moment of her too short life.  I should take the swing down, I know I should.  But not yet.

And Laynee's garden?   There simply are no words.  I am pleasantly surprised by how all of plants are thriving.  It will be no time at all and her garden will be completely filled with brightly colored flowers.   There is still work to be done, the border for the walkways in the garden need to be replaced with a more suitable border stone than what is currently there.  I plan to hire someone to do this in the fall.  The spaces between the pavers need to be filled with dirt so that we can plant a ground cover.  Some of the plants are planted too close together to accomodate for their rapid growth.  This is simply a matter of moving them to a different spot once they are finished blooming.  

 When we had the idea to put a garden where the pool was, I admit that, at the time, it was mostly a way to fill the space left by the pool.  I had no way of knowing the deep sense of comfort and peace her garden would bring to me.  It is here that I feel closest to my sweet little girl.  It hurts, but I have learned that there are different types of hurts.  There are good hurts and bad hurts.  The feeling that comes to me in her garden is, in a sense, hurtful but, at the same time, peaceful and appropriate.  It is the hurt of grief and somehow, I suppose, that there is healing in the hurting.  Every item in her garden is meaningful.  I know from whom each plant was given and I know that every plant is a legacy of the love that she showed to all who knew her.   It is impossible to be in her garden without the awareness that this is the place where Laynee left us.  At the same time, I stand in awe of the knowledge, that it is here, in this very spot, that my daughter saw her Jesus for the first time.  It is because of this that her garden feels sacred. 
The pictures (especially taken in the eveing) cannot begin to do justice to the beauty of her garden. 
 They cannot capture the love and peace and hope that is there. 

The bench below, which was donated by my siblings,
 sits beneath a weeping cherry tree that was
donated to us by the girl's cross country teams
 via gift card.

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
 I will put my hope in God!
 I will praise him again--my Savior and my God!

Psalm 43:5 (NLT)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


So often I find myself feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of grief.  The finality of death and the permanency of sorrow, together,  make this load almost unbearable at times.

Today at work I documented the date countless times.  With each patient that I saw, I wrote  7/7/11.  With each scratch of those numbers I was struck, not so much by the date, but by the continued intensity of pain 22 months after our Laynee was taken from us.   It continues to take my breath away.

As I think back on the first year, I recall the words of many who seemed to believe that the first year would be the most difficult.  They were wrong.  This second year has been every bit as painful but there is one major difference.  There is not as much freedom to express the pain.  People assume that the pain is lessened and that we have "moved on."  The prayers have lessened (we can sense that) and the enemy of souls has attacked in mighty ways in this second year.  In recent weeks and months I have had oppurtunity to talk to a few mothers who have lost children years ago. These women do not tell me that the pain gets better after the first year. They tell me the truth, that after 12 years, 25 years, 31 years the pain continues. They tell me that every single day they remember, they hurt, they long for their child.  

Most days I still open my eyes to the morning light feeling as though the weight of the world rests upon my shoulders.  I still want her back..... every single day I want my baby girl back and still, my mind cannot wrap around the reality that I can't get her back.  Tonight as I was driving home I looked to the sky, knowing that she's there and I'm here and I want her here or I want to be there and "Please Lord, just another day with her, let me see her just one more time.

Death is forever and grief is for always.  It's not getting better and it's not going to get better.   I am overwhelmed with knowing that I will hurt for the rest of my life.  Every day I wonder if I'm really going to make it through this. 

Psalm 13:1-2
How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever?
 how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
 having sorrow in my heart daily?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July sweet Laynee Bug.  I missed you so much this weekend.  I know that you would have loved camping with us.  As we watched fireworkds my arms ached to have you sitting in my chair with me.  I know your eyes would have been huge from all of the loud bangs and  lit up with the bright lights.  I would have suggled you close as we watched.

The sky was beautiful as we waited for the fireworks.  There were pink and purple streaks all across the sky.    I know you were there with us, somewhere in those pink clouds.  Mommy's heart hurts for you tonight baby girl.

  I Love You so much Laynee Grace.