DeLanee's Story

10 years ago, Becky and Tommy, were blessed to be pregnant with their second child. Shortly thereafter they learned that they were going to be parents to a little girl, but the probability of their daughter living for very long was extremely low. Their daughter was diagnosed with a condition called Dandy-Walker Cyst. The doctors believed that their baby girl would deteriorate and pass away during pregnancy, but much to their surprise DeLanee developed until 28 weeks gestation when she was delivered and lived for three hours. As you can imagine, these 3 hours was precious time that they spent as a family with their daughter taking pictures, bathing, dressing and holding her until she passed away in their arms. Upon DeLanee's passing, the nurses brought the family a box to put their daughter’s belongings in to take home with them. Because DeLanee was born in January the nurses were able to find a leftover Christmas box. That Christmas box became extremely special to them and they clung to it and the contents inside that held their daughter’s precious belongings as they left the hospital without their baby. It was because of this box that the inspiration for Lanee’s Legacy began. . .

Thursday, January 28, 2016

12 Years....My Beehive

My feelings have been close to the surface this past week as DeLanee's 12th birthday has approached.  Its so funny how almost instinctively we can feel the "season" we are in.  Whether it be the temperature outside, the traditions of the time of year, the activities we are accustomed to participating in or whatever....I have felt it.  Each year that passes, the grief gets further and further away.  Its always there.  It just becomes more distant.  But this year (this past week rather), it has seemed closer.  I have wondered why?   I understand 5 years old.  The year they start kindergarten many other "firsts".  10 entire decade.  But 12?  As I've thought about it, I think it has to do with our church and the progression that happens for 12 year olds.  She would be crossing over into a coveted organization called "young womens".  She no longer would be in with the primary age kids, but joining other girls between the age of 12 - 18 to participate in more mature lessons and attend once a week activities with the older kids.  Girls that are around 10 and 11 years old, really start to look forward to entering the young women's organization and leaving the "babies".

12 and 13 year olds are known as the "Beehives".  DeLanee would be a Beehive this year.  I think these "marker" years cause extra feelings.  The realization of what we "would be" doing this year.  I was recently in the young women's organization. When a new Beehive would enter, their Mom was also invited in to "introduce" them.  They would talk about their daughter....their personality traits, talents and likes.  What a fun way to get to know them a little bit as they enter.  I wonder what I would say?  I wonder what she would look like?  These places our minds takes us. 

When I first lost DeLanee, I wanted to progress through my grief.  I wished I could fast forward time to escape the pain.  The hurt was so intense that I didn't want to "feel" so deeply.  Everyday was such a struggle to get through.  The sorrow was so overwhelming and consuming that I had to take it not even a day at a time, but sometimes an hour at a time.  I got my wish though.  Time DID pass and the hurt wasn't ever so present. Now it comes and goes.  Less and less all the time.  This last week as I have felt it creep up on me....and as weird as this sounds....I have almost welcomed it.  Grief is something that connects me to my daughter.  When I feel it, I feel her.  My life has changed so much in the last twelve years.  I had three more babies and added other children to my life through re-marriage.  My life is very full and busy and lovely.  I still miss her.  I wish I could walk with her into young women's this coming Sunday and introduce my sweet girl to the other girls.  I wish I could experience the excitement and sweetness on her face as she crossed over this bridge in her life.  I wish....

A few years ago I was in Colorado and we went into a Honeyville store.  We sat and watched a hive of bees as they worked and we even spotted the queen.  It was super interesting to watch.  When thinking about bees and what I know of them, they spend their entire life pollinating, gathering nectar and then condensing it into honey.  The term "busy as a bee" comes to mind when you realize that they flitter around so much in their short little life to fly around the world TWICE!  AND, all that hard work and gathering of honey only amounts to one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.  Only one-twelfth!  But their contribution is vital to the hive.  Each one doing their part contributes to something bigger and oh so sweet!  The honey we left with that day in Colorado was some of the best I have ever had!  The Peach one was so yum!

This morning as I ate breakfast with my kiddos, we talked about how today (on DeLanee's 12th birthday) we were going to do an act of service for someone....either in secret or openly.  We're going to act as a bee doing our one-twelfth of our contribution to something bigger and sweeter.  This world is so big, but there are so many opportunities to serve those around us if we are watchful and act upon the promptings that come.  It gives us the opportunity to not only bless another's life....but our own.  I can't wait to hear what my kids chose to do while they were at school today.  It will be awesome to hear their stories when we go to DeLanee's grave later today.

Although, I have felt the grief stronger this past week, its my hope that today can be sweet.  I'm going to keep the "Bee" in mind and look for opportunities to do my part.  DeLanee has blessed my life in so many ways over the past 12 years.  I am so grateful to her and the lessons I've learned.  I'm thankful for this organization and the opportunity it has given me to serve others, meet amazing people that have positively influenced my life.  I'm thankful for those that have done their "part" as they have contributed to Lanee's Legacy to help it become what it is today.  What a blessing!

Happy Birthday to my sweet little Beehive!