Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Ladybug

A few weeks ago Mommy and Daddy enjoyed a day with Layne at Keeneland in Lexington.  It had been a few years since we had last taken Layne to see the horses race.  What started out as a chilly October morning quickly turned to a beautiful and warm fall afternoon.  It was a perfect way to spend a Saturday as a family.

Between the races Mommy and Daddy took turns with Layne playing in the grassy area.  As usual, Layne was quick to make friends with two other kids who were also playing in the grassy area behind the stands.  Pretending to be sleeping giants on the stone wall, Layne and her new friends played for over an hour together.  But soon it was time for her friends to go.

As Layne joined the grown-ups at the little table on the backside of the race track it was easy to tell that she was disappointed her friends had to go.  It wasn't long before she found another friend.  A ladybug.  This little ladybug had been crawling along the short wall that sat behind our table. For a while Layne watched the ladybug move along the wall.  Soon she scooped it up and began to talk to it like it was her baby. Quickly, Layne had made it her new friend and pet.

She continued to carry it and talk to it and care for it like it was her little baby.  Mommy even found a little box from my purse for Layne to use for the ladybug's house.  Layne was so proud of her ladybug and took very special care of her.  Anyone who stopped by to talk was introduced to her ladybug and was given the chance to carry her.

It wasn't long before Layne realized her ladybug was asleep.  No longer moving, just laying still.  Layne continued to brag on her ladybug and shared her with anyone who would listen.  Always quick to mention that her ladybug was sleeping, Layne spoke proudly about her special pet.  When it was time to go Layne insisted on carrying her ladybug in her special box.

That night when Layne was going to bed she asked if her ladybug could sleep with her.  Mommy told her it might be  better for her ladybug to sleep in the special box on her dresser for the night  She would be able to see her ladybug again in the morning.  That was a good enough plan for Layne. It was easy to see that Layne loved her ladybug.

That night Mommy and Layne said our prayers like usual. All was well in Layne's little world.

The next morning when Layne woke up the first thing she spoke about was her ladybug.  Mommy could hear her in the monitor talking about seeing Ladybug.  Mommy heard Layne pop open the box where Ladybug had been sleeping. What Mommy heard next broke my heart.

"Oh Ladybug..." Layne cried.

The sound of Layne's little feet running on the hard wood floor to Mommy's room made it clear that everything in Layne's world wasn't ok.  With her arm stretched out and the little box in her hand Layne's tears said it all.  Ladybug had passed away.

Mommy held Layne as she cried in my arms.  This cry was so different than the ones Mommy had heard before.  This one was the cry of a broken heart.  As Mommy held her close and tried to soothe her the best way I knew how, Mommy, too, began to tear up.  Mommy's heart hurt because Layne's little heart hurt.

As Mommy held Layne in my arms that morning Mommy couldn't help but to think of you - my own little ladybug.  Just like Layne doted over her little ladybug, Mommy did the same with you.  I was always so proud to share you with others and talked about you every second I could get.  Mommy's heart was so full when you were here and life was so perfect.  When you passed away part of Mommy's heart was taken with you.  Seeing Layne experience her own kind of grief reminded me of just how broken Mommy was those first days, weeks, and months after you passed away.

As time has passed Mommy is able to think more about the good memories we were able to have with you and less about the sad times.    I can see this happening for Layne and the memory of her ladybug, too.  It's sad to see her experience grief, even in this small way, but I am glad she is able to find the joy in the short time she shared with her little friend.

Loving you, missing you, and thinking of you always my sweet little ladybug.

 Kaden Layne's first birthday party - February 2010.

Your first birthday party had a ladybug theme.  It fit you so well. :0)