When your cousins, Bailey and Tatum, were about Layne's age I remember watching them at Papaw's house running down the driveway with pure delight. It was the adult-sized umbrellas they carried that made this moment so fun for them. This was at least ten years ago and way before Mommy could fully appreciate how magical this little moment was for them.
How coincidental is it that last Christmas when Layne sat on Santa's knee the only thing she asked for was an umbrella. Sure enough, Santa brought her a Doc McStuffins kid-sized umbrella. After her birthday last May she now has two. Perfect for when friends come over. Mommy loves the fascination young kiddos have with umbrellas.
A few months ago Layne became obsessed with umbrellas even more. It was after her Bobby (your Donna Ma) took her to see Mary Poppins at the play house in Louisville. The minute she got home she asked Mommy for her umbrella. She insisted that I use her other one to play along as Mary Poppins. She continues even today singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as loud as she can as she prances around the house holding her umbrella in hand.
It was about three weeks ago when Layne said the most thoughtful thing of all out of the blue to Daddy while driving in the car from school. "I wish I had a magic umbrella like Mary Poppins." she said.
"You do?" Daddy responded.
"Yeah, I would fly up to heaven so I could play with Kaden."
Mommy's not exactly sure of what Daddy's response was like, but I can imagine it included a big sigh and the thought I wish I had a magic umbrella too.
Since that day Layne has told countless people of her wish for a magic umbrella. Her innocent and simple way of looking at life is just precious to Mommy. Sometimes it helps to ease the hurt of losing you when I see her thinking so much of you and heaven. Occasionally I can even see it all as a gift.
This request of Layne's to have a magical umbrella has open the door to many deep conversations about life and loss. Well, as deep of a conversation as a three-year old can really handle. Mommy appreciates the opportunity these conversations have given her to share with Layne about the many other people we could visit if we had a magic umbrella that could take us to heaven.
After her request to see you, there was her request to visit Sammy - our cat who passed away last fall after getting hit by a car. Layne talks about him all the time.
Mommy told Layne about Grandma Wanda, Grandma Trish's Mommy, whose pretty pink vase sits in her room and whose bell Mommy rings everyday at school.
Mommy told Layne about Bobby Jack, Mommy's young cousin, who passed away when he was just six and how neat it would be to see what he would have been like all these years later.
Mommy told Layne about Grandpa Goose, Papaw's Daddy, who loved cars and boats and time together on the lake. Mommy wonders what kind of fun you are having up there with Bobby Jack and Grandpa to play with.
Mommy told Layne about Bobby's Daddy, Poppy Art, who is Daddy's grandpa and someone Mommy never got to meet. Mommy sure hopes you have met him by now and wonders how much he is like your Daddy.
As tough as it is sometimes to saying things in just the right way so that Layne can understand, Mommy sees these talks as gifts. Mommy loves these opportunities to share with Layne how important family is to us. I love the way she enjoys hearing stories about the people in her family she never met. Most of all, I love having an open and ongoing conversation about you and heaven.
Love you, miss you, and thank you for all the gifts your little life gives to all of us.