Saturday, June 23, 2012


You know, I just went through the last entry in the blog.  Well, most of it.  I didn't actually read the middle part.  But looking at those 3 pictures, I just think, how could such a picture of health die within 24 hours.  All 3 of those pictures were taken Thursday afternoon and evening.  She died the next day.  I still can't quite grasp this whole thing. 

My emotions are so mixed and changing and hard to deal with right now.  

I feel guilt.  How many times was I told that I'm her mom, and I'm the one that knows her better than anyone, and I have that maternal instinct to know when she's not right... "You'll know, Linda."  Well, I feel like I failed my little girl.  I didn't read the signs right.  I didn't err on the side of caution.  I didn't react soon enough.  I don't have very good maternal instinct.  I failed her.  She's gone because I didn't do things right.  I'm not looking for pity or anything by admitting this.  I'm just voicing my emotions.  This whole idea has sent me into fits of weeping on and off tonight.  I finally admitted to Lowell my guilt and waited to hear him say that no, I've got it all wrong, and that I'm ok and did everything I could.  Instead he said that he'd felt this too and had been struggling with these same feelings as well.  When we noticed her breathing slightly change 2 days prior, why didn't we jump on it.  When doctors looked at her bottom, why didn't I push for antibiotics to clear it, even though I know she can't be on antibiotics for 4 months, not that they're even sure it really was her bottom that caused this.  He totally understood where I was at and was there too.  BUT... then he gently reminded both of us and Samuel sitting there that we could have done everything perfectly and caught it all at the exact right time and got her to the right doctor, and God still could have allowed her to die.  And then he also said that we could have missed even more clues, taken her in later, not done half of what we did, and God could have still allowed her to live.  Her life was in His hands and she didn't die a minute before or after it was her time.  God is sovereign.  He said he felt that he trusts God completely even if he doesn't agree with what happened.  I thank God for my husband and his honesty and for him telling me exactly what I needed to hear from God and what my focus needed to be on.  I feel better on that issue, but there's so many more. 

I feel confused.  I don't want to be at home and find myself with some down-time where I end up dwelling on it all and weeping. So I've kept busy today and gone out as much as possible to avoid it all.  Then I feel guilty for being out doing something I couldn't do with Cayla and feeling like she should be there in the stroller with me. 

Basically, my day has gone like this... After a night's sleep that was actually very sound once we stopped crying and went to bed, I woke up thinking it was time to feed Cayla.  This set me off and the tears came.  I eventually got up and attacked the dishes and put away her pile of syringes, bottles, tubes, nipples, and all that it took to get through one day with our precious Cayla Joy.  They were piled over an entire dish towel from edge to edge having to be washed and reused daily.  I cleared them all off into a trash bag.  That didn't feel right and made me cry and wash dishes harder.  We had to meet Jodi, Lowell's cousin who owns Baumgardner Funeral Homes, at the funeral home in Andover at 10am and had to leave by 9am to pick up Mom and Joe on the way.  So, once the dishes were done, I started my last load of Cayla Joy's laundry.  I went through the whole house gathering any and all that needed a final wash... sheets and all.  I folded the load I just did of her clothes that was in the dryer, taking my frustration and hurt out in every little thing I did.  I took my shower and cried through it.  I put the clothes in the dryer feeling like I can't wait to get in the car and leave the house.  We left, and once we were around other people, I went into a mode of almost taking myself out of the reality of the situation and talked about the arrangements as if I was discussing what was for dinner.  Couldn't cry if you'd pay me to.  We saw the coffin, the notebook, gave her the dress and blanket and made all the arrangements which went so well thanks to Jodi and her wonderful professionalism.  We all went to lunch and after dropping Mom and Joe off at home, stopped in to the Hollon's house to see them.  When Wendy hugged me a piece of the dam broke and tears flowed.  We caught up with them and their lives as they've moved to Detroit, but are still trying to get this house ready to sell.  Lowell's mom was heading back to our house to help us put away and deal with all of Cayla's things.  Wendy came up with us for the afternoon to help too and then Mom dropped her off on the way home.  We gathered all her things and I sat and sorted it all.  I called Erin, Elise's mom (the little girl we babysat this spring) to have her come and see if Elise could use any thing.  So she came too.  It was wonderful having support so I didn't have to think.  I sat going through her clothes, most of which she never wore so there was no real attachment to them no matter how cute they were.  Organized what I would keep and what would go to Birth Care in  Ashtabula Harbor.  They are volunteers that help women who have chosen not to abort their babies and tell them about God and His love for them.  I love this.  I was given their number by a friend and look forward to putting Cayla's things to a wonderful cause.  Well, they even disassembled the crib and everything.  We will take all that back to Ann Sutch tomorrow after church.  I feel bad for wanting all this out of the house, but I can't keep looking at it day in and day out.  Confused emotions again...

Well, Lowell's brother's came up today from Columbus and when everyone had left, we went to Covered Bridge Pizza with him for dinner.  When Lowell asked if I wanted to go play a game of Frisbee golf at Lakeshore Park, I jumped at the idea.  As we were playing the course, I started feeling like this was wrong to be doing when we just lost our daughter yesterday.  What if someone saw us?  What would they think?  I then finally voiced my feeling to Lowell as I cried.  He once again said that he'd been feeling the same way, but knew he couldn't sit at home all night dwelling on Cayla and wanted to keep moving.  So some of my confusion left.  Lowell lost his concentration and threw his disc in the pond... Well, we'd all played enough after 14 holes anyways and decided to call it quits and head home.  Then we stopped at Giant Eagle to grab some groceries.  Putting off the inevitable of having to be home without Cayla.  It's been an avoidance day...

Almost didn't want to go to church tomorrow to have to face everyone, but I know it's right where we need to be and will be there no matter what.  We need the encouragement of our church family.  Mixed emotions and guilt resurfacing for even admitting that first line there.  I don't think her death has really hit me completely.  I just want all this to be over and go back to feeding Cayla and taking care of my baby. These are thoughts that run through my head.  It's almost as if at times I'm in denial.  There are times when I try to picture her laying in her crib and all I see is a blank face.  I can't picture her.  Then I get scared and cry out to God to not let ever forget that precious face.

Ok, enough of all this rambling.  I'm tired and it's totally coming through this post.  I just reread it.  Kind of weird and doesn't always make sense, but I'm too far gone to fix it.  Thanks again, seriously for the prayers.  God is good ALL the time!  He will get us through this with his joy.  I want to sing the same song I sang at my mom's funeral, at Cayla's... A Storm Now and Then.  Can I do it?  Don't know.  But the message is what I want to get across to everyone there, that God uses these times to bring us to Him if we let Him.  It's a powerful song, but I don't want anyone thinking I'd sing it for any glory of my own.  So for that reason, I might not.  We will have to see.  Pray for us as we plan a simple but completely God honoring and glorifying service for Cayla.  Thanks again and goodnight to all.  It's almost midnight, but I want to be so tired that as soon as my head hits the pillow that I will fall asleep so I don't have to lay there thinking too much.  Once again, we'll see. Till the next post.  Goodnight.


  1. Your transparency is amazing. I love you Friend. Rhonda

  2. LInda, I weep with you and love you so! Praying for you!

  3. Oh Linda your post reminds me so much of the period after my husband died at the young age of 49 after 6 years of living with cancer. Guilt is absolutely something that everyone feels in your situation. We feel unreasonable guilt. We feel anger too. That is not a sin its perfectly normal. I wish someone had explained to me that all the feelings I had were absolutely normal in the situation.

    Carolyn Stirling

    I followed little Caylas progress via Pats posts and I know from these posts that you were a wonderful mummmy.

    Looking at that photo of Cayla sucking her thumb nobody could have thought there was anything wrong. She looks so perfect.

  4. Linda, I cried and prayed for you all day yesterday, and beautifully, all of the things you mentioned were the moments I prayed for. From the feedings, to the clothes, to the trips you would take, to the doubts you would be facing, to the sympathetic people on Sunday who would unwittingly revive the pain—I'm in awe to think that the Holy Spirit led me to pray for you in exactly the moments you needed it, though I could have no idea of what you are going through. And I know I'm not the only. I say all that just so you'll know that you're not just being prayed for in a general way, but in those hardest moments the Holy Spirit is leading many of us to pray for you specifically. Love you so much.

  5. Thank you for your encouagement and prayers. We all need them.

  6. Dearest Linda,
    You have been on my mind practically every moment of the day yesterday (Saturday) as I mourned with you over your loss. I went shopping and everytime I saw a pregnant lady or a mother with a baby, I wanted to go up to them and tell them what a wonderful blessing they have and to cherish every moment of every day and then I would say a prayer for comfort for you and your family.
    You've been an inspiration to me throughout this entire time and even though you are going through what seems to be the darkest time of your life you are STILL a woman of amazing strength and a wonderful testimony to all who have the opportunity to meet you or even just read your blogs.
    I wish I could make it to Cayla's funeral but I have to work and I doubt they will let me leave for non-family member funeral. But I'm going to try as I want to let you know in person how much I admire you and pray that I could become a 1/4 of the Christiam woman you are! God bless you and Lowell for being the wonderful Christian parents that you are and Samuel and Cayla are truely blessed for having you as parents. ((((((HUGS))))))

  7. Cayla now has perfect understanding and KNOWS how much her mommy, daddy, and big bro loved her and that you did your very best for her. Don't let the enemy beat you up. (He's so good at that, you know.) You will go through the grieving process and can only take it moment by moment with God's grace, love and peace seeing you through. I've not been "been there" but surely am praying for you, Linda. Thank you for baring and sharing your heart so we better know how to pray for you all. May God's never-ending love and unfathomable peace flood your hearts. Love in Him!

  8. Dear Lowell and Linda,
    Mom shared Friday's post with us. . . and we just want to express our love and sorrow. Linda, thank you for sharing the way you do in this blog. Though we have been out-of-touch for some time, I feel more "caught up" with your recent life events. . . and especially how your hearts are processing this. It is evident that God has walked with you both as you have faced so much. We are praying for God's comfort and tender mercies in the midst of your pain. Love, Cuni & Ruth

  9. I just had an amazing picture come to mind -- Jesus welcoming Cayla Joy to Heaven and then calling your mother to come and meet her granddaughter. I can imagine your mother's joy. (Of course, I don't know what Heaven really is like in these matters.) Love, Ruth