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, May 14, 2012

Laynee's Room

Mother's Day has come and gone.  It was a day filled with myriad emotions as I focused on my children who are living, but remembered my child who is gone. I awoke yesterday morning to the ever so comforting thought that all of my living children, the ones that I worry about, were all right here, under the same roof.

 On Saturday, Jim and Jade headed to Saint Louis with my dad's truck to move Jamee home.
I spent all of Saturday at Brock's sectional track meet but received several texts throughout the day, telling of me of the "moving home" progress.   When I arrived home, one of the first things out of Jamee's mouth was "ummm, I need help."  Just in case I ever entertain the thought that I'm no longer needed by my soon to be my 19 year old, she laid that thought to rest.  She took me back to her room and said "I have so much stuff and I don't know what to do with it." She did have a lot of stuff, indeed.  But within a few minutes it all found a home for the summer months, months that I know will pass far too quickly.

Jamee's room for the summer is actually what we have, for years, referred to as Laynee's room. During the short breaks that Jamee has been home in the last year, we quickly discovered that sharing a room with Jade does not work quite as well as it once did.   Last week we changed the bright pink flowered walls of Laynee's to a soft and comforting green.  I had wiped out the dresser drawers and the closet shelving and was surprised to find that there were still a few things left of Laynee's, a few baby clothes hangers, some unused socks and swim diapers and a couple of blankets in the bottom drawer.  Saturday morning, before heading to Saint Louis, without a spoken word, Jim dismantled Laynee's crib and put it up in the attic. My heart squeezed at the treasured image of a little girl standing, chattering, waiting to be lifted from the bed each moring.  Words were unnecessary, we all knew that it hurt, we all knew that it was time, and so it was done.   And just like that Laynee's room has been transformed.  Jamee will use the room for the summer months and in August, just as Jamee is leaving, a young lady, Anna, from Finland will take her place in that room as she spends her foreign exchange year with us.  Though it hurts to wipe away another of the traces of Laynee, I know that this is good and if not good then, at the very least, necessary .   I am so glad that Jamee is home and my heart looks forward, with nervous anticipation, to meeting sweet Anna, whose name is already written into the story of our life.  So much gladness and yet........... 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jalayne "Laynee" Grace Holmes Memorial Scholarship

Tonight Jim and I attended the Tremont High School senior awards night.  I, along with several other parents, presented scholarships that have been set up in memory of our children who have been taken from us far too soon.

The nominees for the Jalayne Laynee Grace Holmes Memorial scholarship are selected by a panel of school faculty members.  They are nominated for being excellent role models, having positive attitudes,  service to others and for their demonstration of compassion and kindness.  The nominees are asked to write an essay detailing their attitude toward the word "retard" as used in name calling.  Our family chooses the recipient based on the content of the essay.  This year there were 12 students nominated and it was difficult to choose between the essays.

 It is with a bittersweet feeling that I spoke tonight to our community about the offensiveness of the "R word." I am delighted to have this oppurtunity to reach a large group of people and hope that at least some of them will really hear what I am saying and commit to ending the deragatory use of the word.  While I am grateful for the oppurtunity to keep Laynee's memory alive through this scholarship, my heart aches from the fact that there is a need for a memorial.  I wish that she, herself, with her squishy hugs and radiant smiles were here to continue touching lives, not just her memory.

This year's recipient is a young man that I know will prove himself worthy of this scholarship.  He is a friend of Grant's, one  of strong character and values. 

Make Laynee proud, Sam Stuber.