Balloons for Layla
I really hesitated writing this post because as my first words to my friend Missy were, "there are just no words that could be enough..." and it is still true.
They say the loss of a child is the most painful thing a person can experience and as a parent, I simply cannot imagine what my friend is going through because like most parents, I can't even let myself imagine it.
But the reason I finally felt compelled to write this short post to honor little Layla Shea Stauss, is I realized it was impossible for me not to remark... when there were two things about her so remarkable:
What a beautiful little girl she was, full of so much joy and love, despite so much hardship in her relatively few years... and...what an amazing mom and dad she was blessed to have.
I was never lucky enough to meet Layla in person, but have seen her and her siblings (triplets!) grow up over the last 4 years on Facebook.
Back when Missy first knew me and Amy, I was younger than Missy is now and she was younger than my adult daughter is now... so basically a hundred and twelve years ago.
Yet even with it being over a full century, I still remember the missions trip on which we compared the length of our beautiful, long hair (mine won) and she borrowed my expensive, brand new Notre Dame sweatshirt that my brother in law gave me for Christmas (and still hasn't returned it).
But despite many years and miles between us, the Internet has let us (all thanks to Missy, really) still experience so much that she and Cody have gone through in the last four years with their babies.
That is because Missy is a full on, Pinterest-grade mom. I suppose faced with the daunting prospect of triplets, she had to choose between the nuthouse or being a super-mom and luckily she chose the latter.
The end result is we all literally saw the triplets' 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th birthdays in amongst the hundreds of thousands of pictures Missy takes each year. (She uses a full 10% of Facebook's servers).
But we're lucky she takes so many pictures and we know full well this is still only a tiny fraction of a glimpse into their lives.
Born with a congenital heart condition, Layla had many surgeries in her short years, starting with the day she was born. Her most recent one had complications too and was very touch and go, but you never saw a happier little girl.
Despite making it passed so many milestones, she passed away suddenly just after the new year. They had her service just yesterday and Amy and I, like so many others, are just heartbroken. Our hearts go out to you Missy and Cody.
I know some of these next things I say will sound like pat comments at a time like this, but maybe that is because such tragedies always force us to finally be honest and these truths never change...
Make the most each day of the time you have with those you love and love you. We do not know what tomorrow holds for any of us. Don't leave anything unsaid.
Missy, I am sure you think Layla was more of a blessing to others, but part of that is because she was incredibly blessed to have you guys, just like Olivia and Brayden. You're still a super-mom.