Friday, June 22, 2012

... the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away

"... the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD."
Job 1:21
"Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."
Psalm 103:1,2
"I cried unto the LORD with my voice;
with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path."
Psalm 142:1-3
"In the day when I cried thou answeredst me,
and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul."
Psalm 138:3
"Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust:
cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee."
Psalm 143:8
"He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds."
Psalm 147:3
"Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God :for unto thee will I pray.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD.
In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up."
Psalm 5:2,3
"As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried:
he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."
Psalms 18:30
Overwhelmed but at peace; numb but feeling God's peace and strength; weeping yet calmly resting in His hands; heartbroken but knowing God is the healer of broken hearts; struggling to understand but very willing to trust.  I so fully believe and cry out every one of these verses to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is everything we need to get through something like the loss of a child.

I really don't know what to write.  I do know that I need to write this out now while I'm still kind of numb and in shock and not later.  God has chosen to take our precious Cayla Joy home with Him in heaven.  I hurt.  Deeply. We all do.  I want to trust God's plan and I do, but the tears are ever on the surface and spilling over.  I will praise Him forever for the 2 months He gave her to us!  Very labor-intensive months, but ones I will never regret or forget.  Actually we had her and enjoyed her for more than those 2 months.  I enjoyed her, for the most part, throughout the pregnancy too!

What a strange and very sad day today is.  Cayla had a very bad diaper rash that we found out is from her little bottom problem.  She had just been to the pediatrician yesterday and seemed fine, even had her immunizations and seemed to do just fine.  She woke up throughout the night and just cried with no real provocation.  She spit up 3 times after she ate at 7:30 this morning and then when I fed her again at 10, I think she spit up one more time.  I went to change her diaper again and noticed it was not looking right at all.  She was kind of making this weird crying noise.  At this point she was unresponsive and actually never did regain that responsiveness.  So, Samuel and I hooked her up to the pulse ox machine and she was around 85-97 (only supposed to be between 75 and 90).  Then I looked at her laying on the bed and realized something wasn't right.  Her eyes had now rolled up in her head, she was whitish-purple, and was breathing really hard.  I called the pediatrician back to see if she was having a reaction to her shots and she said to bring her right in.  So, I knew this was another re-admittance to the hospital, got dressed and threw some clothes in a bag and ran out the door with Samuel.  She was almost in a trance.  Her eyes hadn't moved and she was very methodically making a strange noise.  I debated whether to take her to 4th floor to her pediatrician or the ER.  The nurse said that since Dr. El Gammal had just seen her yesterday that she would think I should bring her up to see her today and go from there, so I did.  I waited, in the room and finally went to the nurse and said, if she can't see her right away, I just need to go to the ER and get her on her way to Cleveland Clinic.  Well, the doctor came running in then, took one look,  called the ER and I don't know who else and thus it all started.  Dr. El Gammal carried her to the ER herself and spent the rest of the day by her side. 

They tried to life-flight her to CC, but couldn't get a chopper here right away.  Then when they arrived, she wasn't stable and never made the trip.  This all started around 10:30-11am this morning at home and she died at 3:05pm this afternoon.  They did everything they possibly could.  I didn't realize she was that serious the whole time until they asked us to go the family waiting room and a doctor would come talk to us.  Then I knew and couldn't believe it.  I was just so sure this was going to be another visit to the hospital, maybe even a long one, but then we'd come home.  That's when it hit me and I lost it.  While we were waiting for the doctor, Pastor and Mrs. Emery walked through the door!  They had heard we were here and decided to turn around and stop by to see us before we went.  A few minutes later the doctor came in and told us she was gone.  I'm not exactly even sure what the actual cause of death was.  Her bottom had become infected and got in her blood stream I believe.  The doctor said at one point she was septic, but I had no idea what that meant and asked her, but still didn't realize how serious it was.  I believe from what I've picked up, that her body didn't have a good way to fight that infection and so with little resistance it spread quickly right through her and to her heart and her little heart couldn't take it. 

Everything has happened so fast.  I am obviously still in shock or numb or something.  I'm sitting here writing after weeping for my baby girl that is now gone even though I'm not crying as I type and will probably cry again when I'm done.  But I'm kind of in a stupor as I type.  No, you know what... it's not a stupor.  It's answers to your prayers.  Underlying throughout this whole day has been a peace.  I honestly can only explain it as that peace that passes all understanding coming only from God.  He is everything in this situation.  He knows the beginning from the end, and I WILL trust Him no matter what comes my way.  He gave us this precious girl and has taken her back.  He can do that and we will give her back to Him and thank Him for the wonderful time He gave her to us.  I am not just saying words, I feel this truth deep into my soul.  God is in control.  To God be the glory for this beautiful little baby girl He shared with us!

It will be hard getting back into life after being so consumed 24/7 with Cayla and her needs.  God will give us all the strength to get through each day though.  I don't look forward to readjusting to life without her.  Samuel was really coming around and losing his inhibitions with her.  He was really feeling comfortable holding and handling her without feeling like he was hurting her or something.  He feels he should have spent more time with her, and Lowell and I keep second-guessing every decision we've made in the last week that maybe could have prevented it.  Please pray for us to not go down these destructive paths of "What if I'd..." or "Why didn't I...".   We know so many of you are praying for us and we thank you for that so, so much.  It's those prayers that have got us through this day already.  Samuel went ahead and went on the bike ride with the teens and others down the Greenway Trail this evening, and is down at the church cooking hotdogs at the bonfire.  I'm glad that was tonight.  It was good for him to get away and do that today. 

I am done talking/typing.  God is still God in our lives and will never change or alter in any way.  It's that steadfastness, faithfulness and compassion of God that is our strength.  If He's not been part of your life, don't wait any longer.  He's lovingly waiting for each of us to respond to Him and realize our need for Him.   He is a comfort that is unexplainable.  Thanks again for the prayers and support.  Love to you all.

She found her thumb for the first time. 

Samuel and Cayla bonding

Daddy getting Cayla to laugh.  The only time we were able to catch it on camera.


  1. Crying for you and with you, Linda and Lowell. Thank you for glorifying God with your testimony of faith in Him. We don't understand this but we can trust. Please know you both and Samuel and your extended family members are in our thoughts and prayers. I can't wait to meet Cayla Joy the day I arrive in Heaven. May God comfort your hearts and may His love fill the hole in your hearts. We are praying.

  2. We love you Linda, Lowell, Samuel and Cayla. When it comes to the bond between brothers and sisters in Christ, when one weeps, the other tastes salt. We weep with you and we praise God for blessing you with such a precious child that taught us all a lesson for life. He Reigns! He is supreme and He is in total control.

  3. My heart has been so burdened today for each of you. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and grief you bear today, but I am so glad that we know the ONE who not only knows our pain but bears it for us. Thank you for letting us glimpse into your heart for these many weeks as we have shared in your journey via your blog posts. We will continue to pray for your precious family in the days and weeks ahead.

  4. LInda JOY~ I love you and my prayers are continually for you, Lowell and Samuel! May our Lord continue uphold you!

  5. I wouldn't begin to compare our loss to yours, but I know how hard it was to let our Mia go at only 9 1/2 weeks gestation, so I can't begin to know how you will survive letting Cayla go after having her as a daily part of your existence for 8 1/2 precious weeks, BUT I do know that you will survive because you trust THE ONE who is not only upholding you today but is already making the sorrow of tomorrow bearable. You will play the torturous "what if" game because you are a mom, but you will have to trust what you KNOW when you feelings are running rampantly in the opposite direction. Cayla's time in your arms was too short by our standards, but for God it was perfectly what He had planned all along. While our mother's heart cannot comprehend that or understand why God would even give only to take away too soon, it's okay...we don't have to understand, we are only asked to trust. We gave Mia the middle name of Faith because Pastor McBride told us that the simple definition of faith is trusting what we cannot begin to understand. Your faith will uphold you. Hold onto each other, and keep looking up. (On a lighter note, Bella says our kid's gonna want to strangle us when we get to heaven if we gave the name Mia Faith to a boy instead of a girl!) We love you guys! If has been a privilege to walk Cayla's journey with you though from a distance. You are strong in the Lord, and He's going to stretch and increase your faith even more as you continue to rely on Him for every breath in the coming days. We love you!

  6. Oh my heart breaks for you. Although we have faith we still grieve and we are entitled to grieve. I am one of Pats long time Cyber pals and I have been reading her updates on Cayla regularly. I was very upset to hear the news this morning. There are no words that I can say that are encompassing enough to express my sympathy.

    Carolyn Stirling Auckland City New Zealand

  7. Your testimony through the whole time of being pregnant with Cayla and then bringing her into this world and trusting God through the entire time has been a positive impact on all that met you, spoke to you and were just near you all. God used you and little Cayla to teach us ALL to just trust in HIM! I thank you for your testimony and all that you've been through. Reading your blogs have been a blessing to me. I cry for you, Lowell and Samuel. My heart aches for you and your loss. But you will hold her again someday...oh what a blessing that will be! I know she loves you and she knew she was loved and is resting PAIN FREE in Jesus' arms!
    God bless you all. I'm praying for you. Love you!

  8. My heart is broken for all of you; I don't know how or what to say, except that I am praying for all of you. Your strength and faith is amazing; your little girl has made such a difference and is so beautiful. It's been an honor to be able to pray with your family these past few months; and our prayers will continue for you. Love in Christ, Gayla Holman - Anniston, AL

  9. I have wept with you, rejoiced with you, celebrated with you, and now I grieve with you. You may never on this Earth know the reach of Cayla Joy's may never meet everyone who has loved her through your words these last months. But when we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! Not only will we all see Jesus, but we will see each other, and we will know that we are joined by the love we have for your precious family.
    Linda, Lowell, and Samuel, through this journey of yours, I feel that I have come to know you as well as I know my best friends. I pray that God's strength continues to surround you and that His love buffers you and that His peace fills you. Cayla Joy's mission here was very short in our human eyes, and I ache inside for the pain you feel. I will pray for you daily...know that there are a lot of people out here praying for you and loving you. And Cayla Joy - I think she is looking on you right now and saying, "Momma, don't worry. You'll be Home one day. I'll be right here waiting." With love and my deepest sympathy, Cassie Perry

  10. I don't know you, and you don't know me. But, a friend on Facebook has posted your blog tonight, and it caught my eye. My heart is broken for you tonight. Much of what you described going on in your heart, even to many of the verses you's all very familiar to me. We also have a child in heaven, and God cared for us in much the same way. He is so good, and He really does bring peace in the midst of the storm. Please know that there is a mom in Casstown, OH that is praying for all of you tonight. - Bonnie

    Psalm 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

    In "pastures green"? Not always, sometimes He
    Who knowest best, in kindness leadeth me
    In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.
    So, whether on the hill-tops high and fair
    I dwell, or in the sunless valleys, where
    The shadows lie, what matter? He is there.
    -Barry (from Streams in the Desert)

  11. Linda, my heart breaks for you. My little Carmen was 128 days old when she died. She never made it home from the hospital and we had to make the decision to take her off her life support. I prayed for healing, but I didn't get it the way I wanted. I have no doubt Carmen is in Heaven and I will see her again. The Steven Curtis Chapman song "With Hope" helped. The pain never completely goes away, but I have learned to deal with it and found a way to praise God through this. That's something my friends who aren't Christians don't understand. The grief still finds me. Sometimes it's unexpected, like when I got a birthday cake for Carmen's identical twin sister, Grace. It was birthday #5 and I suddenly realized I wouldn't be celebrating with both my girls. I cried so hard I had to pull over on the side of the road.

    Carmen's passing has allowed me to be more compassionate to my students but I also cry a lot more at dead animals and can't watch anything were the mother loses a child. I even cried at an episode of Meerkat Manor where the babies were eaten by a wild animal. All I could think was, "that poor mother just lost her children."

    Hang in there. It will get better and God will be there. Get angry, get sad, get depressed. Let yourself feel. I will be praying for you.


  12. Just found your story via Facebook. I am so sorry for your loss. My husband and I lost identical twin boys, Nicholas and Benjamin, in 1985 at 7 months into my pregnancy. They had a rare situation in which they shared the same amniotic sac, and got themselves tied into a knot. They were born 2 lbs. and 2 lbs 3 oz. They were precious gifts from God, and I know from God's Word that they are in Heaven. I cling to the story in Samuel where David fasted for his dying child, but ate after the child had died. His servants said, "why did you fast and mourn while your child was alive, but now that he is dead, you eat"? And David told them that he fasted that God might save his child, but now that he's gone there is nothing more he can do, but that he will go some day to be with his child in glory. I just love that; knowing they are in the arms of the One who created them. We just have to be grateful for the time (any time) God gave us with those children because it's far better than never having had the opportunity at all. I hope this comforts you.
    Please know that I truly care about you and your family even though we've never met.

    Blessed be the ties that bind.

    1. Karen, just wanted you to know that this reminder again, even though I know what David said and did, is a great encouragement at just the right time. I needed to read that and be reminded. Thank you. Thank you.

  13. Linda and Lowell AND not forgetting our dear Samuel, we love you so much and we loved Cayla Joy and how wonderful to be "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" as wee Cayla Joy is right now.

    More words fail me at this time and the tears keep falling but what a wonderful Saviour we have Who makes no mistakes.


    Cayla's Grandma and Grandpa Halbach


  14. I almost said something earlier...and dad says I should just go ahead and say it. You KNOW that Dave Thorton Sr. is just loving her up and showing her the sights, right? :)
    Again, Thank you for the testimony that you all have been throughout this whole experience. I was able to show this to a couple of my co-workers and explain to them why you all are "ok" with Cayla's going home...because we all KNOW we'll see her again someday. We've all been blessed by having her here for such a short time. Again, praying for you. ((((HUGS))))

    1. :o) She's in good hands with Dave up there. I'm sure he's already got her to laugh! I told my sister in Montana that my mom got to see her before she did. Hard to believe, but so comforting knowing God has her. Thanks Rene.

  15. I came across your blog from my friend, Kim Lapato, and have been reading through your last several months. I could only imagine all you've gone through as I have a baby girl. My heart aches for you, but I so appreciate your testimony of complete trust in God and how you have used all this to witness to others. As I read, I realized I know your precious sister in law...she was my mentor teacher. I am glad you have such a wonderful during this time. I will continue yo pray for you all.

  16. I found your blog through a friend. My heart breaks for your entire family. Your faith through this entire ordeal is truly amazing and inspiring. I pray God gives you whatever you need to make it through this horrible time. Know that many people are praying for your family and for your precious baby girl.

  17. So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful little baby that God has given you..and a beautiful little Angel he has now, because of you. May God keep watching over you and help you through your difficult adjustments.

  18. 10 years ago we went through a similar situation when our 10 week old boy, Logan Dale, died. Reading your post brought back vivid memories of that day. God is good...all the time! That is a truth that kept me and my wife as we traveled through the days that followed his death. Our prayers are with you!