Friday, December 31, 2010


Leightyn Leightyn Leightyn,

All I can say is "What a Year!!!" One year ago, I would have imagined what 2010 had in store for us. I remember when you went to Disney and how excited you were. I was sad that I couldn't go with you, but I LOVED talking to you on the phone and hearing that smile and excitement in your voice as you talked to me about your days there. I will never forget when mommy told me on the phone the conversation that the two of you had when you found out you had to leave Disney... something like this... "but mom I don't wanna go home, cant we just stay here?" Then mommy asked you, "well what about daddy, don't you want to go and see daddy, he will miss us." without hesitating you told mommy "daddy can just come stay with us here!" I missed you guys so much that week, but little did I know that it couldn't even begin to compare to how much I would miss you now. about 196 days left......

In March, we all got dressed up and went to church for the deacon ordination. I was one honored and humbled man. To see you and Mylea and mommy setting there, well, it was such a blessing to me, to be called a husband and a father of such a great family that day. I sobbed like a baby giving my testimony and I am sure you was wondering what was wrong with me. I had realized how blessed I had been through out my life, I was so happy. You looked so beautiful in your yellow and blue dress. Mommy always did awesome at dressing you and Mylea. What a day that was, and not only a highlight of my year, but of my life. 144 days left ...........

We took you to a ball game in Springdale. It was so much fun. I was so proud that you got your first autographed baseball. That was a great time. Then, do you remember going shopping for mommy's birthday. You and Mylea had a blast picking out her presents. You would pick out some of the craziest, silliest, useless stuff. I had to veto quite a few options so we could narrow it down to stuff that she could actually get SOME use out of. Unlike the parrot hat and big glasses that you picked out for uncle Nigel for his birthday. You did so good at writing in mommy's card too. Then, the morning finally came when you got to give her the gifts that you and Mylea had picked out. That was a great day for me in 2010. To celebrate mommy's birthday and see the two of you so excited about it. 74 days left........

July was a busy month. We had the fourth and shot off fireworks at Jo and Grandad's. You and Mylea had a lot of fun picking out your fireworks with the money that Grandad gave you. The sparklers were fun, and the chicken was kind of a dud. The neighbors shot off fireworks for what seemed like forever. Then came the big 5. Your birthday, and party was a blast. There were SOOO many people there. You always had a blast on the water slides and there was no slowing you down. You got so many presents. Mommy did an awesome job at decorating the house for you birthday day. We left the decorations up for a while. Mommy and Jo took you and Mylea to Chuck E Cheese, and there is a picture of you and Mylea standing outside with your star glasses on. It breaks my heart to see that look on your face. You tried your best to smile, but it just wasn't you. I'm sorry. Lei ... you were such an amazing little girl and an awesome daughter. .....31 days left

I remember coming home form work one night, you came running to me and gave me that hug that I loved so much. You were so excited and told me you had fixed a dessert just for me. It melted my heart and I felt like I was on top of the world in that very moment. So, after supper you even got up and brought me dessert too me. I Love You SO much! That chocolate delight was the best dessert that I had ever tasted. Thank you for that memory. .....about 9 days left

We went to watch Beauty and the Beast in Fayetteville on Wednesday. You were so scared when it started. I don't know why. Once it started though, you got so into it. You sang every song and hung onto every word. I thank God for the opportunity for that memory. You absolutely LOVED Beauty and the Beast. Afterwards, we beat everybody back to the car (even though no one else knew we were racing) ..... 1 day left

As long as I live I will never forget my last night with you. I met momma at church and picked you and Mylea up. Then we headed to the mall to meet uncle We we, Wendy, and the kids. After staying there for a while we headed off to Cici's pizza. I think you and the rest of the kiddos spent like twenty dollars on games and candy. You ate and acted like such a big girl. We got home and all of you played. We got the video camera out and you were watching yourself make funny faces and you had the sweetest smile on your face. I don't why I got the camera out, but I truly believe it was a "God thing". I went to bed early, and momma said you came soon after me and we cuddled. .........about 8 hours left

What a year it was for you and our family, like momma said "you finally got to meet your Jesus". I still cant even begin to understand everything, but I know with all of my heart that God was in control and there with us (and still is) every step of the way. The rest of the year will be like the rest of our lives. Full of emotional ups and downs. Goods and bads.

Just want you to know that mommy and daddy miss you every single day, and we love you with all our hearts. We are still trying to come up with ways to keep your memory alive and well. You should see the shirts that we had printed up. We have sold close to one hundred. They turned out awesome.

Here's to a an amazing daughter, a here's to a new year, here's to waiting for that glorious day when we see you again.

Love you Lei Lei


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

"First" Christmas

My Angel Leightyn,

It's Christmas Eve. The hustle and bustle of the season is in full swing, and yet, it seems like any other day to me. It's hard to believe that Christmas is already here. It's even harder to believe that you aren't going to be here with us. I think that today and tomorrow will be our first big moment without you here with us. Daddy and I just keep saying "if we can only survive Christmas".

We had our Christmas get together with Logan, Laney, Macy, and Mady earlier this week. When all the kids were playing and opening presents, there was a very special friend missing.....YOU! I watched Logan play and I kept noticing him looking for you. All he wanted to play with were "Leightyn's toys". He kept asking me for a mermaid toy that "me and Leightyn always played with". I didn't know what he was talking about. As I watched him run around, I realized how much he has grown up since starting school. I wondered what you would be like now. How would school have changed you? How big would you have gotten in just a few months?

We had Christmas with Grandad, Jo, and Uncle Nigel on Tuesday. Mylea had fun and got some neat toys. There were a few gifts that were hard to watch her open. She got two aprons. I remember picking the aprons out for you and Mylea one morning while you were in Vacation Bible School. Mylea got some things that we picked out at Disney. It's so weird to think about when we bought certain gifts. Our life was normal and we had no clue that things were going to change.

Last night Macy came over and played with Mylea. They had a ball. Mylea was so excited to have a play buddy. It was so good to see her happy and laughing and it also reminding me of old moments that you two shared. Bath time was hard. Both girls wanted to play in the bathtub. As soon as they got it, it was shrieking and laughing and splashing until the moment they got out. I miss the sounds of bath time. You and Mylea could play in the tub for hours! I never realized how quiet Mylea plays until last night. Such good memories from the tub. I remember the time that we spiked your hair straight up with soap. Who knew that you had so much hair!!! I remember you teaching Mylea to swim in the big tub.

Yesterday I kept thinking about last Christmas. How normal and perfect every thing was. As I thought, it hit me that last year was your last Christmas with us. Little did I know that last year would be it for my sweet girl and Grandma Nancy. I thought about families that are celebrating this Christmas and wondering if this will be their last Christmas. I am so thankful that we had no idea that you would not spend another Christmas with us. I can't imagine the pain and hurt that families are going through wondering if their child will survive cancer or other illnesses. It really puts "holiday spirit" in to a new perspective for me.

Many wonder if I am still in a funk. I think I have gotten over it. Now it is more of an emotional funk. I can cry in a split second. As I walk through the house, I am surrounded by pictures of you. It really hits home that that is all I have left to hold on to......a picture. As I look at each picture, I am instantly taken back to that moment. It just really stinks!

Mylea said the sweetest prayer the other night. We were sitting at the table and she goes "Thank you God for mommy, daddy, and my sweet sister Leightyn". Oh Lei babe, how I wish you were here to be her sweet big sister! Last night, I was in bed talking to Mylea. We got to talking about you and I told Mylea that I miss you so much. Mylea looked up at me and said "me too! I miss my leightyn"! It just really stinks that she is not going to have her big sister to grow up with.

Faith and Grace gave us the sweetest Christmas card. They included a picture of you in their picture. The picture was from church camp. You were at the pool. How funny is that....your two favorite and the pool. It was so sweet to see that they wanted to include you. They sure did love you and they miss you so much. All the church kiddos do! I often hear them talking about memories and hearing them say "I wish Lei Lei didn't have to die". They also talk about getting to see you again. Many of them are hoping that you will meet them at Heaven's gates when it is time for them to go home. Some have asked if you are going to forget about them since you have many new friends. I always tell them that they hold a special place in your heart. And I believe they do! You loved your church friends and loved being around them!

Ms "Carol-win" gave me the sweetest present. She put some pictures of you from Sunday School in an album for me to treasure forever. I love it! Mylea proudly carries it around and will show the pictures to anyone who will listen. Mylea loves the one of you, Logan, and Tyler playing dress-up. She starts laughing and says "Logan's wearing a dress". I will cherish these pictures forever. You loved going to Sunday School. You loved playing with your friends. And you loved Ms Carol-win with all your heart.

I wonder what yall do in Heaven for Christmas. I can't imagine that there is not some sort of celebration for Jesus. I mean, without Jesus' birth and death there would be no way to get to heaven.

I love you sweet angel!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Card Picture and Letter

One afternoon this past summer, the girls and I were pulling out of Wal-Mart. There was a homeless man sitting near the road. Leightyn noticed him and very quickly began asking questions “Who was he? Where is his home? What does he eat? What if it rains tonight? Where does he take a bath? Why doesn’t he have a family? Where would he sleep? What if he got cold?”.

Leightyn told me over and over that we needed to pull in to McDonalds and “get that man some food!” So, I did. I ordered a big bag of food. Leightyn was so happy that he was going to have something to eat tonight. As we handed the man his food, he told us “God bless us, My Jesus saves, Do you know my Jesus?”. We talked for a few seconds before getting in the car and going home.

Although we gave the man some food, Leightyn still was not satisfied. She wanted to know if we could bring him to our house and let him play in the bathtub. She wanted to let him take a nap in her bed. Leightyn brought me her rain boots and umbrella and begged me to take them to the man.

This man made a huge impression on little Leightyn. Every time we drove by the Wal-mart parking lot, Leightyn would start asking questions. “Where was he now? Did some people take him home? Did he get to take a bath? Was he still lost?”

Christian artist, Brandon Heath has written a song that clearly explains how Leightyn saw this homeless man through the eyes of Christ. "Give me your eyes for just one second, Give me your eyes so i can see, Everything that i keep missing, Give me your love for humanity, Give me your arms for the broken hearted, the ones that are far beyond my reach, Give me your heart for the one's forgotten, Give me your eyes so i can see "

So, here is our challenge. Well, Leightyn’s challenge to you. This next year, we challenge you to look for situations where you can serve someone…anyone. A neighbor, a friend, a family member, or maybe a stranger on the street. Ask God to give you eyes that seek out ways to serve. Look for a way to meet the needs of others. Do it in Jesus’ name and in memory of Leightyn. Just think of it as Leightyn’s Christmas present from you.

Will you accept Leightyn’s challenge?

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 6:3-4

If you wish to share how you meet someone’s needs, we would love to hear about it! Email us your story at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Leightyn's Shirts

Well..... HERE THEY ARE!
We are so EXCITED!

These are the shirts you can buy and proudly wear in memory of Leightyn Nan Holmes.
Starting Monday December 20th we will be putting orders in.
The t-shirts are 50/50 preshrunk and true to size.
The cost is $9.00 for sizes up to XL
ADD $1.00 for XXL, $2.00 for XXXL ect ect
ADD $2.00 for Long Sleeve

The "Leightyn Holmes" that is written on the shirt is HER HANDWRITING that we had the printer copy and paste on the shirt for us.

Finally... we ARE NOT making any money off these, we just want people to spread Leightyn's Lifesong.

If you want us to mail the shirt to you then please add $3.00 for shipping.

If interested, please email me at for payment information.

Thanks and God Bless,
Landen, Missy, and Mylea

Monday, December 13, 2010

In A Funk

Leightyn Nan,

So, I am in a funk. Well, I have been in a funk for the last two weeks but seem to become more "funk"tified every day. Christmas is next week and I could care less about the holidays. Actually, I am ready for them to be over with. How are we suppose to celebrate without you here with us? It doesn't seem right. I know you are celebrating with Jesus this year but I really want you here with us. Lei Babe, I can't believe it has been 128 days since you left us. With my funk comes lots of wondering why you had to leave us. Last night I was driving home from church and it was like it all of the sudden hit me that you really aren't going to walk through the door at any moment. Someone told us that reality would not set in until the six month point, but I think that reality has set in for me and daddy this past week.

We have been super busy going through the holiday motions. Daddy and I had a Christmas party every night last week. This week seems to be more low key and we are excited for that. Friday night we went with the youth group to the Children's Shelter for a Christmas party and it pretty much stunk for me. All these kids who needs a home and have no where to go. Mylea made a buddy real quick. She enjoyed getting to play with a few of the kids. It showed daddy and I just how much she misses having a playmate. After the party, we went to Creekmore to ride the train through the light display. As soon as we pulled up, daddy and I were ready to leave. There were so many memories from last year. You loved riding the train and you really loved the lights. It just really stunk! People all around us happy and loving life. Families that were complete. Kids everywhere. We were surrounded with happiness but yet, it was all daddy and I could do to hold back the tears. I think it is easier to hold back the tears than it is to have people looking at you like you are crazy. But you know, if people would look in our eyes, they would see heartbreak and pain. This whole situation has made me realize how many times I have seen hurting people around my but I never took the time to see if I could help. Or I guess I never really cared for them and their feelings. It makes me realize how much it stinks to be one of the ones who is hurting and to see how people are to busy in their own lives.

Sunday was an emotional mess for me from the beginning. I was sitting in Sunday School and all the of sudden this vision came clear to my mind. I could see you and Logan running across the playground having a great time at recess. The image was so clear that I felt like I was there with you. It only lasted a second, but it was enough to bring on the tears. I held them in because I did not want to be an emotional mess again. It was so nice to see your smiling face but I wish I could have seen it longer. During the morning service, every song we sang got to me. We began the service with "Hark the Harold Angels Sing". As people sang, the tears fell. That was when I finally realized that you were not going to be here with us this Christmas. My heart was broken. It's just not fair. I caught my breath and thought I was ok until I heard the music for "Away In The Manager". That was your song last year in the Christmas play. You were so excited to get to hold the microphone all by yourself and to sing to baby Jesus. I thought I was all teared out but I wasn't. I was sitting on the front row with all the children's choir kids. I heard one of them say "Missy's crying again". I was a tough morning, but the choir kids get me and all my tears. They love me even when I am an emotional mess. We all had a good cry during children's church.

Sunday night was the children's play. I have been rehearsing with the kids since September and it never bothered me. But that night during the performance.....whew! I sat on the floor directing the kids with tears running down my face. When the preschool choir came on stage, I lost it. That was when I realized that you would never be in a play again. I realized that all your friends are growing up and you are not here to experience life with them. That you would never sing in church again. That my baby was really gone. That you should have been on stage dressed as an angel singing a solo. I looked across the church at daddy and it broke my heart. I could tell by his face that he was realizing the same things as me. He just sat in the pew crying, well, really weeping. After the performance, I was talking to Ms Brenda and I just kept saying "She should be here. It's not right! She should be here on the stage singing". I just keep thinking "Why you? Why my sweet Leightyn"?

Today was a better day, well, compared to yesterday. I think I have only cried about six times today. I just thinking that Christmas is next week. I wonder how I am going to make it through Christmas. I mean, the holiday parties and songs are bad enough. How am I suppose to watch Mylea open presents by herself? How are daddy and I suppose to visit family on Christmas and pretend that we are ok? We dread it. We don't know how we are going to survive. When I think about this Christmas, I think about your big Christmas present. We planned to leave the day after Christmas and spend a week at Disney. You and Mylea had been asking for months to go back to Disney. Mylea still talks about wanting to go back. You didn't know it, but you were going to be going back. It was going to be a trip to remember. Dinner at Cinderella's castle. Breakfast with all the princesses. Six days at all the parks. Looking at all the lights. I was so excited about watching you open a box that had your Mickey ears wrapped up. I can only imagine your look and excitement when you found out about the trip......but, it's not going to be happening.

Daddy and I are still learning to deal with our emotions. It seems that my bad days are his good days and daddy's bad days are my good days. It's so hard to deal with all of this. We are now members of a club that no parent every wants to join. No parent wants to know what we are going through. But we somehow make it day by day. We have a very small group of people that we can go to. This group has no idea how much they have helped us and how much they mean to us. Daddy and I have gotten good with putting on a front. We know how to act like every thing is ok and that we are doing great. But, it's hard to hold back the tears and emotions. It's hard to deal with people who think we have had plenty of time to deal with this. I mean, there will never be enough time to deal with losing you. You were our first born and sadly our first loss.

I'm sorry Lei that I have avoided letter for several weeks. I don't want to be Debbie Downer but that's how I feel this I said, I'm a "funk"tified momma!

I love you and miss you more with each passing day!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Leightyn On Spirit 106.3

Last year, Leightyn sang "Hark the Harold Angels Sing" on a local radio station.

Landen contacted the station and asked if Leightyn's song could be played again this year. Not only did the station agree to play her singing, they also asked Landen and I to come in a record a 30 second spot about Leightyn.


If you get a chance, please email Spirit 106.3 ( and thank them for playing Leightyn's song!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Give Thanks?

Well, Here we are, a few days after another holiday without you. Our hearts ache, our hearts have such a big hole in them. Its hard some days, its easier some days, but every single day we miss you so very very much. I know that life goes on, but we wish so much that you were still with us. I know that you are having such an unbelievable time. Me and mommy wish that we could fast forward through the holidays, but even doing that would not make the hurt go away. Sorry to seem kinda of down. Its just hard.

We went down to the deer woods for thanksgiving lunch with the family. It was tough driving by the cemetary. It just doesnt seem right that we pass by and your there (I know your not there there, but you know what I mean) and not with us. Then we finally get to deer camp and there is a story on tv about an football player who passed away and helped four or five different families through donating his organs. Oh Lei, I wish you would have been able to help some little kids. Seems like it would have made things a little more easier. It just wasnt apart of God's plan for some reason. I know that your time on earth was just right to fulfill Gods perfect will and plan. But it did not fill my wants and desires for you, for our family. Anyways, Mylea had fun until she burnt her hand on the stove. The ride home was NOT fun.
Mommy and aunt Charlene talked about you alot. Not that everybody doesnt miss you, but aunt Charlene was obviously hurting. I meant to tell you what an awesome poem she wrote about you. One the day you were born and another on the day that you went to be with Jesus. I will have to put them on here. Even though my whole family was there, my whole family wasnt there. Its not the same, it will never be the same untill we get to be with you again.

You would have loved last weekend. We went to see uncle We we, Wendy, Bonnie, Kelly, Case, Brannon, and Brayson (oh and I cant forget Mylea's boyfriend briiiiiaaaaaan). Its still wierd driving down th road with only ONE carseat with only ONE little girl. Mylea had so much fun. She was so wore out on the way home after spending the weekend palying with her cousins non stop. It was so good to see her play and have a ball like the two of you did. I try to make it a point and play with her more, she loves playing doctor and giving me shots. Remeber when you used to wear those rubber gloves and take My's temperature? You two were too funny. Your sister has a little attidue sometimes, that I dont remember you having. It makes me miss you so much when she will have nothing to do with me or tells me to "GO AWAY". You were always so lovey and I could always count on a big Leightyn hug! They were the best and I miss them.

GUESS WHAT??? I heard you on the radio twice yesterday. They played the song that you recorded last year, Hark the Harold, and me and mommy got to talk a little bit about you. We never could get you to say mercy mild, you always sang it mercy morrow for some reason. There is some how a difference between saying mild and singing it I guess. My was singing Jingle Bells in the truck on the way to Hon, you would have been so pround of her. She is getting to where she knows alot of songs, and I cant help but to remember when me and mommys hearts would melt listening to you sing along with the radio. I loved listening to you sing and should have played the songs you wanted more. We want to do every thing we can to let people know about your life and our story. I know we have told you before, but you wouldnt believe all of the lives that you have touched, and I dont think we can even begin to know.

I find my self always wandering, always thinking. I see your pictures and wander when and how your sickness started. I was watching Disney home videos with Mylea and thinking. I wish I would have know you were only going to be with us a few more months. But then again do I really? There are many things I could have done different, I would have done different, but I couldnt have loved you anymore. Its funny how Mylea sounds so much like you sometimes. She says luB you, just like you use to. I am glad that we get to see so much of you in her.

Thanksgiving, or better yet, Giving thanks. How can we possibly give thanks during this time of year, when its so hard because you are not here with us? Just as God gave (and continues to give) us the strength to move through this storm that we prasie Him in, we use that same strength to help us see how blessed we are. First and foremost for Jesus Christ, for salvation, for eternity, for peace, and hope that we WILL see you again one day. For your life, for the honor and privilage that we had to watch over, raise and love you for five short years. For your legacy and God using your beautiful life for His glory. For family, I dont know where I would be without family, your mommy, little sister and YOU. For our church family, Bro. Mike and the rest of our friends who continue to pray for us. I thank God for who He is and Jesus for what He did.

Love you Lei

Friday, November 12, 2010

To My Precious First Born,

Here we are, three months since you have been with us. My emotions are all over the place lately. I love to talk about you and think about what it would be like to have you with us still. I find myself happy, and then sad, and then ok, and then crying. It's amazing how my emotions can change in a split second.I find myself crying at any and all things. I guess that reality is here and I now realize that you will not be walking in the front door.

Today, Jo and I were at the mall and I couldn't help but wonder if you would still be the same girly girl or if your choice of clothes would have changed when you made friends at school. Speaking of clothes, I packed up part of your closet the other day. You know how it is, the weather changes and the tubs come out of the attic so we can save them for Mylea. I left your untouched school clothes, your favorite dresses, and your beautiful black coat out. It just doesn't seem like the right time to put it all away. When I look at your school clothes, it brings me to tears. I can't help but wonder how you would have loved school and all the stories you would have to share. You were so excited to finally be going to school.

So much has gone on since you left us. We have lost two more family members, your Papaw got hurt at work, and your Uncle WeWe's house burned down. It seems like it is something all the time. I remember WeWe calling me when he first found out about his house. He was so upset about the pictures and cards you had mailed him over the years. Don't worry, I have promised to send him more artwork, schoolwork, and photos once they get in a new house. Your daddy and I can't wait to go visit them for a few days. We have this bond that no one understands. Well, we were close before but Uncle WeWe understands us. How odd is it that his daughter died exactly ten years before you. August 7th is kinda a crazy day! Have you met WeWe's daughter Trina? Does she remind you of Madison? You sure loved Madsion. And she was crazy about you.....just a little:).

Speaking of meeting people, have you met Ms "Carolwin's" grandbabies? They went to see Jesus last week. I know how much you loved Ms Carolwin and how much you loved babies, so I am sure that you are taking care of them and showing them around.

Your daddy and I went to preview your monument before the final wording is finished. I think it is beautiful. It made the past three months seem more real. Seeing your picture on it, with your birth date and your death date took the breath out of me. Mylea went with us and loved your picture. She kept saying that her "sissy is gonna love it".

We met with your sweet Dr a few weeks ago. We went over every thing in your file and looked at all your scans from Children's. Daddy and I just needed closure to a few answers. We got a general idea on the type of tumor. But more importantly, I got to hear over and over that you didn't hurt. I keep replaying your last night over and over in my head. You were perfectly fine when you went to sleep. When you woke up, you needed to throw up and then went quickly back to sleep. You mentioned your head hurting and took some medicine but that was it. I just keep thinking that we could of and should of done something. The next morning when I tried to wake you, you looked up and put your head back down and went back to sleep. I wonder if you were trying to tell me something but you couldn't. It blows my mind how you went from fine to gone in a matter of minutes. Oh Lei, I just wish we could have done something! It just doesn't make sense. Your sweet life over just like that.

Back to the Dr., she told us over and over that you didn't hurt. The tumor somehow shifted causing a lack of oxygen and blood flow. I hope so bad that you weren't hurting or scared. I can't imagine how scared you must of been. With the type of tumor, there was nothing that we could have done if we would have discovered it sooner. There's no cure and it's location was in a tricky and dangerous spot. It just makes me sick! We asked if we should be worried about Mylea and were told that there is no reason to be. Thank You Jesus! I can't imagine just waiting and wondering if Mylea has the same gene.

This past Wednesday was a special night in Awanas. The clubber of the month in each class was announced. Bro Dale has renamed this award to the "Lei Lei award". How cool is that! Bro Dale asked me to be in the gym to present this award. I was a-ok until the pledges started.Then.... I lost it! I kept thinking that you should be here. I kept thinking about how much you loved being at church and in Awanas. I thought about you teaching Mylea to say the pledge. I thought about how you made up your own pledges when you couldn't remember the words. Somehow, all three pledges turned in to one pledge. Bro Dale told the kids about the new award and it really hit home. There should not be an award in your name because you should be here to get the award. I am so thankful that they are doing this award in your honor but still it's tough.

It's that time of the year......holidays! How do I feel about it? I'm not sure. The thought of doing the whole holiday thing without you... makes me want to puke. Getting to see the holidays through Mylea's eyes....brings a smile to my face. You loved decorating the house, and now Mylea can't wait for her tree. Daddy and I have decided that we are only going to do what we can handle. The house will be decorated for Mylea to enjoy. We will travel and put a smile on our faces....but it's gonna stink! It would be ok with Daddy and I if we could just skip on the January 1st.

The mall is all decorated for Christmas. Tonight is Santa's big arrival. You and Mylea had fun at Santa's arrival last year with Logan and Laney. This year, Mylea is down right scared of Santa.....up until last year, you would have nothing to do with Santa. I remember you telling me that you wanted to go see Santa and I was thinking "yeah right". When we arrived at his chair, you walked right up to him and sat on his lap. When you were finished talking, you came right over to me and said "see, I'm not scared anymore, like I was when I was three". It was amazing how turning four changed you. I can't remember how many times I heard "like when I was three" or "well, I'm four now".

You would be so proud of the little sweetheart that Mylea has become! She reminds me of you in so many ways. Her mannerisms and sweetness have you written all over them. She is so polite and loving and still funny as ever. Yesterday in the car, she told me that she didn't love me but it's ok cause she "likes me"! Where does she come up with this? While carving pumpkins, she leaned over and said "I have the best family in the whole wide world". If that doesn't sound like my Leightyn Nan, then I don't know what would! This morning at playgroup, she pulled my photo album out of my purse and proudly walked around showing her friends pictures of you.

Lei Babe, I have to share this email with you. I received flowers from a cool momma named "J". When I sent her a thank you, this was "J's" response......

You have no need to thank us and know that you can expect it because I not only think of your family on the 7th of every month but every day. Let me tell you why. For years I have been trying to make some name for myself in my job and thats what it is a job. I have always thought that the more that my kids have the happier they will be. I have told you before that Lei has changed my life, our life but I don't believe I have made that clear. I am sitting here after a long horrible week at work and my son had a reprimand on the bus and my daughter doesn't want to go to sleep and stay asleep so I am up at 11pm when I have to be up at 5am. Normally I would be very upset as I'm sure you know. Now not so much now. I sit here and thank God I have my son to be upset with and my daughter to be up with. I think about Lei every time I discipline and love and wonder if it is something I would regret tomorrow. I have always thought of myself as to busy to enroll them in things that they would like or want because I'm busy and tired. I don't anymore. "K" is getting ready to go to dance classes and "K" karate. I know that nothing will make Lei come back nor the hurt go away but I thank that little angel every day for making me a better mother! My kids deserved a mom and I wasn't giving that to them. This is something that I have never admitted to anyone. I now know that is the most important thing they can ever have. You write letters to her, so next time will you tell her thank you for making me a better Mom?
I could keep going on but I wont keep you. Give Mylee kisses for us and tell Landon that we are Making time to Make Memories! "T" and I love all four of you and think of you every day. Cant wait till we can spend time together.

Oh Lei, look at the impact that your little life has made! I get emails and notes every week people telling me how you have changed them! Daddy and I are working on an idea to keep your impact going. I can't wait to share it with you, if God allows.

I think that's all my thoughts for tonight! I love you and miss your little smirks so much! Thank you for being mine!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Little Stinker!!!!

Oh Lei Lei.....

What a little stinker you are!!!!!

Do you remember your last trip to Chuck E Cheese?
That would be the trip where you had fun teasing Mylea that "ChuckE was going to get her" or " comes ChuckE". Today, Jo took Mylea to Chuck E Cheese while I went to the eye Dr. Well....Guess what! Mylea was terrified the entire time that ChuckE was going to get her! Mylea was so concerned about ChuckE that she only played a few games. When she left, she kept asking if ChuckE was in the parking lot, if that was ChuckE's truck, and if ChuckE was going to follow her home.......You little stinker!!!!!

This afternoon, Mylea and I were watching home videos. Mylea absolutely loves the video of you two on the plane and shuttle bus heading to Disney. At one point in the video, you are making silly faces at the camera. Whenever this part comes on, Mylea makes the exact same silly faces. She then laughs and laughs at her silly sissy.

We also watched Mylea's 2nd birthday party this afternoon. I cracked up laughing when I saw you being a stinker! Mylea is opening presents and you are standing next to the cake. You quickly look at me and then daddy. When you realize that we are watching Mylea, you run your finger through the icing. Then you look back at me and daddy. Trying to be sneaky, you quickly lick your finger clean. This process goes on three times. On the third time, WeWe catches you with your finger in the cake. You very quickly flash a goofy smile while looking like a deer caught in the headlights. When WeWe walks off, you stick your finger back in the icing and then walk off to eat it. A few seconds later, you walk back by the cake, get some icing, and quickly walk little stinker!!!!

I love these funny memories! Nothing like a good laugh over ChuckE, your silly faces, and you stealing icing!

Love ya!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Wonder.....?

I wonder what you spend your time doing? Do you and Grandma Nancy, Grannie Holmes, Nanny, Poppa, Trina all hang out together all day long? What was it like to meet your family members for the first time? I know that you know them, but do you know them as your family? Probably not, since in all reality everyone is brothers and sisters in heaven. I wish I could have seen the crowd that greeted you at the gates. I wish I could have seen your face when you finally got to meet Jesus. I can just picture you running into His arms as fast as your little legs could take you. Maybe you can replay that for me some day.

Speaking of Jesus, I am sorry that I didn’t take the time to explain things to you better. I am sure there were MANY opportunities that I missed or passed up and I am so very sorry. I really did enjoy the time we all had together doing bible stories. I miss all of your questions. You certainly had some difficult ones that stumped me and mommy both. I should have been better, I should have done more. Mylea just isn’t into the stories like you were. We did read the story about Jacob and Esau giving away his birthright for some soup, and she actually got some questions right. I am going to do better with Mylea.

I wonder if you think about me and mommy and sissy as much as we think about you. Do you get to check on us from time to time and see how we are doing, especially in moments that you would love, such as last night on Halloween. Mylea did an awesome job filling in your footsteps of passing out candy to all of the trick or treaters. It took me back to the exact moment a year ago. When the door bell rang, you would run to the door to see all of the different costumes and hand out the candy. Me and mommy went to get Mylea some costumes for dress up today that were on clearance. She does so well at playing by herself. It’s hard to watch, but it's good, if that makes any sense. Oh yeah, mommy made an angel pumpkin for you, and I will let her tell you what mylea told us when we finished carving pumpkins. It was so precious. I’m sure you are so busy with so many amazing things that you dont have much time to think of us.

I wonder how much better I could have been as a father? I’m sorry that I didn’t take more time to make memories with you. I know we had our moments and we had some good times, but there should have been so much more. Some of the most precious moments that I cherish is when you would be sitting in my lap in the chair. I would say “I Love you Lei” and you would say “I luv you too”. I would say “Lei, look at me” Then you would look me straight in my eyes and I would say “you know daddy loves you so much” and you would say “yeah, I know!” I thank God for those moments, but I could have…. I SHOULD have been better at making more memories.

I just wanted to say that I am sorry for when I punished you. Not that you didn’t need discipline, but for the times when I punished you out of anger. That was so wrong of me and I think (I Hope) I am doing better with Mylea. I remember one time when we were walking to the mommy’s car after a t-ball game and you asked a question and we both told you no and then you got upset, and I swatted your bottom as you were taking a step and I made you fall down. Then I got mad because I made you fall. It was all my fault. I failed in so many ways as a father and I still do. I am trying to do better, and I am sorry I wasn’t better for you. I'm sorry it took your home-going for me to see how much I needed to improve.

I wonder if you even get these letters we send for you? I wonder if you are counting down the days till we meet again? I wonder if God gives you the hugs like I ask Him to give you from us? I could go on and on. There are days when I fight back tears all day long. There are days when I cry like a baby. There are days when I want to see what the rest of this life holds for me, mommy, mylea, and any future "brudders" or sisters. Then there are days when I wish I was with you. However, just like with you, its ALL a part of Gods will and His perfect timing. So, I will continue to follow, serve, love God, and seek His perfect will while I am left here.

I would guess that there are not many fathers who read this blog. If there are, or any moms who would like to pass this along, or even for mom's that matter. I would beg you ...... Take time to make memories. I regret the times I passed up on making memories with Lei. I was "too busy". Yeah, really, too busy? If you call facebook, tv, or just plane laziness (among many other excuses) being to busy. Get angry less, Love more, and ....... MAKE time to MAKE memories.

Love you so much Lei.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Activities

Sweet Lei Lei....

So many good memories keep coming to my mind today. Fall is here. That means pumpkins, costumes, hayrides, and lots of candy!

You would be shocked to know that we have not carved a single pumpkin this year. Can you believe that? Not a single pumpkin! This time last year (and the year before) you would have already carved 3 or 4 pumpkins. I remember last year we carved some with Grandad, Jo and Uncle Nigel while daddy was at work. We sat out on Jo's patio with Mylea and Macy. I gave you a black marker to draw the pumpkin face that you wanted us to carve for you. It was such a silly face! You thought the pumpkin inners were nasty and really didn't care much about scooping all of it out.

We have two pumpkins sitting on the patio. We just haven't carved them yet. I promise we will get them finished before the weekend!

This morning was costume day at the library. I think about all the past Halloweens. I always started looking in August for the perfect Halloween pair for you and Mylea. My favorite pair was when you were Little Bo Peep and Mylea was a sheep. favorite costume was your first Halloween. You were a Tootsie Roll. Every one loved it!!

I remember last year's Halloween. You wanted to be a wolf and Mylea to be Little Red Riding Hood. You only wanted the wolf costume so you could run around howling at people. We dressed up for costume day at the library and you were so excited to howl at your friends. Well, when we got there, things quickly changed. I will never forget the look on your face and the tears in your eyes when you came to me all upset because all of your friends were pretty princess' and you weren't a princess. We left the library and went straight to the store. You ended up being Dorthy with a pig-tail wig and you carried a dog in a basket. You were absolutely adorable! I love my picture of my two blonde haired girls wearing brown wigs.

I couldn't help but wonder if you still would have been Wendy. You wanted Mylea to be Tinkerbell or Peter Pan so that you could be Wendy. I remember you telling me that all I had to do was find a blue dress cause you already had a blue hair bow. Mylea has been asking to be Wendy since you have been gone. But I just didn't think it was right.

Mylea decided to go as Belle. Not that that should really surprise you. I really figured that you would have gone as Belle this year. I know how much yall have loved Belle since meeting her at Disney. Mylea has a wig with curls. She reminds me of you so much!

Tomorrow night is the fall festival at church. You sure did love playing games with all your friends. Last year, the maze that Mr. Mike built was "just awesome!". When I couldn't find you at the games, you could always be found in the maze. Your favorite game was Ms. Brenda's sticky egg game. You had so much fun throwing the egg at the frying plan. Every time I look at the picture of you throwing the eggs, it reminds me how you became the game leader towards the end of the night. You stood with Ms. Brenda and helped other kids play the game and then you gave them candy when they won the game.

It will be hard trick or treating with out you. We will go to Grandad and Jo's party Sunday after church. Their party friends always looked forward to seeing what yall came dressed as. It will be a little different this year.

Do you remember our hayride last year? It was so much fun riding through the neighborhood, unloading and reloading after we knocked on several doors. You were so excited to be the leader of the group. All your "little" (younger) friends had fun following you door to door. I think the adults had as much fun as the kiddos.

As I sit here, I think about all the times you played dress-up. You sure did love to play dress-up! I don't think there was a single day that you did not dress up as something. Well, your sister is the exact same way. She has been a different character every day!

I'm sitting here chuckling in my head. Remember the night (one of the many) that Logan and Laney were here and you were dressed up as Superman and Logan was a princess!!!!! It was hilarious!

Leightyn.....thank you for all the great memories!

I love you babes!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Faithful Abundant True

Dear Leightyn,

I just got home from Bible study and I can't wait to share just a few of the many things I learned tonight. We are doing the Faithful Abundant True study that is written by Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore. I heard these women speak at Memphis last you remember that weekend? I remember daddy calling me and telling me that you "smelled", well, really you just stunk! We thought that maybe you at an UTI. All weekend I worried about you. When I returned home, daddy was right about the "smell".....whew! We got you in the dr and had you checked. You didn't have an UTI. The smell continued so we went back to the dr. I will never forget the drama of you having to pee in a cup. I took you to the bathroom many times and nothing would happen. I finally had to promise you a surprise if you would just pee. Finally, about 45 minutes later, you peed in the cup. We celebrated in the bathroom! The sample came back and nothing was, were was the smell coming from. You finally told us that you stuck an M&M up your nose about 4 days earlier. I will never forget you telling me the story. You said you were at Jo's house and were eating candy. You decided to stick it up your nose to see if it would fit. Guess did! Not only did it fit, it got stuck. You didn't tell anyone for 4 days. That was the stinch!!! Daddy took you to the Dr and he pulled it out. Well, it wasn't candy! It was a piece of foam. You never told us where the foam came from. I will never forget that little adventure!!!

Anyways, back to Bible Study.......

I was so excited when this study was chosen. I remember getting so much out of the weekend and I couldn't wait to do a more in depth look at the topics. Off all the topics, I remember Priscilla's the most. She spent the weekend on Ephesians 3:20, 21 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." .

I have never shared this before, but Leightyn, this verse stayed with me while we were in the hospital. I kept thinking to myself "God is able to do more than I can imagine". I remember praying in the chapel "Lord, you are able to do a miracle for us, do it and do it better than I could ever imagine".

God didn't answer our prayers in the way that we wanted. I know He could have healed you, and I often wonder why He didn't. Well, tonight Leightyn, I gained a new understanding of why He didn't. I know that He has plans for us and had plans for you. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that "He knows the plans He has for us". Lei Babe, your plan was not what we had planned. God put you here on earth for a short while to show the love of Christ to others and to lead them to Him. It takes a special angel to do what you have done. Tonight it hit me that God had every thing planned out in His mind. While on earth, I may not see or understand God's reasoning for taking you home, but one day in Heaven, I will know His reasons.

Don't get me wrong. I would give anything to have you here with me. But that wasn't my decision. My job was to pray and believe that God could have healed you.....if it was His plan and His will. God has the ability and the power to do anything that He wills!

God had a purpose for taking you Leightyn. His kingdom purposes are way past my ability to understand at the moment. I think about the lives you touched, the ones that came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the ones who made wrongs right in their families, and all the other stories we have heard. God was using you to build His kingdom. Not only His Heavenly kingdom, but His army here on earth. Daddy and I are amazed every day when we get an email from someone telling us how your lifesong has changed them. How people who have not been in church in ages are now there every week. People who gave up on God and now know that He is all they have. People who have gotten back in the Bible and now have a relationship with God.

Lei Babe.....that's what gets us through each day. We worship a God who is powerful and mighty. He is able to do so much more than I could ever imagine. Look at how He used you....I never would have imagined all the miracles that have come from our loss!

"The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made" Psalm 145:17

I Love You Baby!!!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Emotional Letter

Dear Lei Babe.....

WOW......What a week!

A very emotional week for your momma. I feel like reality has finally started to set in. It's once again a late Thurday night/early Friday morning and I am replaying every minute over and over in my head. I just keep thinking that there could have been something that I could have done to help you or maybe there was a sign of cancer that I missed. It just stinks! How could you really be gone for now? Like I said....a very emotional week. Reality is setting in and it's not fun. I see you every where. I feel like our house is so empty. I just miss you so much! Many days I feel like I am on the verge of an emotional breakdown. I have held back many tears this week and I have also let many tears fall. It has just been so hard!

It's report card time here...that means parent teacher conferences. I can't help but wonder what your teacher would have said about you. What would your grades have been like? What books would you be reading by now? Were you a big teacher's helper? Did you learn to make your "3" in the right direction or do they still look like a "S"? Would you be to big for momma to pick you up at the door?

Tomorrow morning we should be on our way to Branson. But Leightyn, I just can't do it. I can't go. I remember planning this Branson weekend back in June. I wanted to take you on a trip as a reward for doing great on your first report card. I told Uncle WeWe my idea and he wanted to join us. You were so excited to be going with your silly WeWe and also Madison. After your funeral, I still planned on going to Branson....just to get away for the weekend. However, the closer the dates got, the more it made my stomach churn. This trip was for you. The entire weekend was planned for you. Sure Mylea was coming with us, but she would not have enjoyed the water park as much as you. So, daddy and I talked and we are going to skip out on the trip. As emotional as the week has been for us....Branson is the last place we need to be.

So, what all are you and Grandma Sissy (Nancy) doing in Heaven. I know yall are having a blast. Her birthday was this week. I wondered what kind of party and cake you had for her. I can only imagine the types of celebrations yall are having. I know she loves having you with her. It's been hard not having her or you here to celebrate her birthday. We spent so many days with her and now you are getting a head start in eternity with her. Please give her a hug for me and tell her that I love her. While you're at it, make one of your silly faces that she loved. Oh yeah, don't forget her birthday spankings!

Daddy, Mylea, and myself met Mr. Chad, Ms. Ashley, and Laney at Chick-Fil-A tonight. We had a great time with them. It was good just to be back to Chick-Fil-A with them. We sure have spent many nights there with them. I remember how we use to go there after t-ball practice. It got to the point that you and Logan wanted to skip practice and go straight to eat at Chick-Fil-A.
You guys sure were silly!!! Back to was what I needed. We talked, and laughed, and hide a few tears. Laney and Mylea had a wonderful time playing. Mylea needed that time with Laney. We were there for three hours...that's right...3 hours! Can you imagine playing there that long? Towards the end of the night, Laney came out and tried to tell Ms. Ashley a secret. She kept saying that you missed your sissy and that you were crying. Sure enough, I looked through the window and there were big tears streaming down Mylea's face. I know she misses you. I just wish I knew how to talk to her. I want Mylea to know that it is ok to miss you, to talk about you, and to cry over you. And that's what she got to do tonight with Laney Grace. In her own way, Mylea got to talk about things with Laney.

Mr. Chad was telling me a story that I just have to share. I hope I get it right. The other day, Logan was getting out of the truck. Mr. Chad told him to wait a second and he would help. Logan asked why he had to wait and if a car might run over him. Mr. Chad said yes and that Logan needed to watch for other cars. Logan looked up at Mr. Chad and said that it would be ok cause he would get to go to Heaven where Leightyn was. Oh Lei was the sweetest story. Logan and Laney miss you so much. Yall were the best of friends. God really gave you some special friends here on earth....friends that can't wait to see you again.

Guess what!!!!! Mylea drove her tractor the other day! It was awesome. I had to tell her over and over that it was ok to drive it. She was so afraid that you would be upset....cause you always drove. I convinced her to drive to McDonald's (the tree in the yard) and then to the ice cream store (the green flower pot) and she did! I stood next to her so she wouldn't be scared. Mylea said that you would be happy for her. I know you are!

Daddy and I go to the Dr on Monday. We are going to talk about what happened and go over your records from the hospital. I know that it won't make things any easier and that it won't bring you back, but I need some answers. I need to know how we missed this. What did you have? Does Mylea have a chance of having it? It will kill me if there is a chance that Mylea has it.
So, I'm just hoping for some answers.....answers that I need to hear.

Leightyn....I have so much guilt about some things that happened in those few short hours. I feel guilty that Uncle WeWe carried you out of the house. I just remember telling him "I can't do it", so he carried you. I should of carried you out. I remember him holding you in the driveway as I wondered around trying to call people and begging you to wake up. WeWe and I have never talked about it, but I know that it was his honor to be holding you. should have been in my arms....your momma's arms....and I'm sorry that I couldn't do it.

I should have never left your side at the hospital. I don't know why I did....other than just to get away for a few minutes. I should have been there, right next to you, the entire time. I am so thankful that your Jo stayed there for me. But once again, it should have been me. I really don't think that I understood how serious everything was. It was like a dream....a horrible nightmare.

I think about when it came time for the Drs to do the 12 step test to determine brain activity. We were told that anyone could be in the room during this test. I remember saying "I can't, I can't watch, I can't be in there". I don't even know what they did during this test, I have heard that it was hard to watch. But I should have been there as your mommy.

When organ donation was ruled out and it was time to take you off the machines and let you "medically" go, I should have been in the room. I knew you were already gone, but I should have been with you. I remember telling your daddy "I couldn't do it. I couldn't watch you die". Oh baby, I should have been there for you. Not looking through the window. Not stepping in for just a few minutes, only to step right out. I should of been the one holding you, telling you how much I loved you, and kissing you good-bye. I'm so sorry!

I remember someone asking me if I wanted to hold you, and once again, I just couldn't do it. You were so lifeless. I didn't want that to be my last memory of you. Not that that memory is any better than any other memories that weekend. What I wouldn't give to be able to hold you. I am so thankful that my family stuck around and were there for me when I couldn't do it. But still, it should have been me.

It's been a tough week....can you tell?

I Love You So Much!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

God's Still Working

Just wanted to share part of the Rye Hill Baptist Church October newsletter.

October, 2010

There is not a week go by that someone in our church doesn’t stop me and tell me what a blessing it is to see God moving in our church in such a mighty way. To see God’s children so happy in Jesus truly brings a smile on my face and joy to my heart. This past Sunday was a perfect example of how God’s presence is in our church. From the very first song, you could sense that God was going to do something special. During our time of decisions, two families joined our church fellowship. In talking with one of the families afterwards, they told me that the first time they came to our church that they knew that God’s Holy Spirit was here and that they would join our church. We also had a first time guest rededicate his life to Christ and give a testimony of how God brought him to our church and that the sermon was just for him. The other family that joined told me that it was time to come home. Praise God, this is what church is suppose to be like! A place where you are accepted, loved, taught the Word of God and are able to Worship with other believers in truth and in spirit. I pray that revival will continue in our church and that we will never take for granted the power of the Holy Spirit moving in the lives of our people and His church. To see the tears at the altar and everyone hugging each other is a testimony of the unity and love in our Church. Sunday night we had one of the sweetest testimony services that we have seen since we have been here. People were just thanking and praising God for what he has been doing here the last few months. Just a week ago we had 163 in Sunday School and 252 in Worship. We had the wonderful blessing of making a building payment last month of $31,505.33 because of a precious little girl named Leightyn. This brings our building balance down to $158,116.02 which is such a small amount from the $700,000.00 we started with just 6 and one half years ago. I could go on and on but time and space would not hold the many stories of how God is changing the hearts and lives of His people. To God be the Glory!

Our Ladies Sunday School classes and our Women’s Ministries have come up with a really neat idea of how we can keep the memory of Leightyn alive. Leightyn touched so many hearts and was such a part of our church that I feel like this is a great cause that our whole church could participate in. They want us to consider putting a memorial outside our building in the form of a prayer bench, called “Leightyn’s Prayer Bench.” They would also suggest we put the verse Luke 18:16 on it. Our youth have even said that they would like to plant a sycamore tree beside the bench. Somewhere also would be the words, “What a difference one beautiful little life made.” The cost of this prayer bench will be right at $1,500.00. With the churches approval, we will take a free will offering on Sunday October 24, to help the Women’s Ministry purchase this prayer bench in Leightyn’s honor. This bench would be in a place where anyone could go and pray at any time of the day. Please continue to pray for the Holmes family and the loss of little Leightyn.

I was shocked when I read the newsletter. I had no idea that the Women's Ministry wanted to do a prayer bench or that the youth wanted to plant a tree. A few hours later, Bro Mike posted on facebook that he received a call saying a couple in our church wanted to pay for the prayer amazing is that!!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

... Every Single Day I'll Be Missin You

Well, I just finished reading mommy's letter to you. It is so amazing how she can put her felings into words. I love your mommy so very much, she is an amazing woman, and awesome mom!

Lei... You are suppose to still be here with us. I miss you so much. There is not a day that goes by that I dont think of you, think of the what if's, think of the how come's, the why's, and most of all that day when I finallt get to see you again. I miss what we miss every single day without you here. Everytime I see a post or hear someone talk about their kids being so smart, or so good at school, I get jelous. Me and your mommy both looked forward to so many things that we are not going to get to experience now. School functions, singing at church, trips, watching you grow into a beautiful woman. I wish I had the answers, I wish I knew what to say.

Mommy brought home your footprints and handprints in a sadow box the other day and it broke my heart. Just to see the imprints and to know that's it. I'm sorry, I know that it is selfish of me to want you here, but just know that my life will never be the same, never be complete. I know that you are having such an awesome time.We had some bracelets made in your memory. You would love them. They are yellow and pink, and we even got one for Mylea too. Mr. Steven did an awesome job on them. We are trying to sell some so that we can give kids the opportunity to be envoled in everything church and go on trips that they cant afford. Seeing how you LOVED church and awanas, we think it is a perfect fit.

Momma, Mylea, and me went on a walk the other day. When we got to the loop, we let Mylea get out and walk. She was "super fast". To tell you the truth though, it was bitter sweet. I remeber the last time we all went for a walk, we would race, and you always won. You tried not to step on the pine needles. Its so hard to see Mylea grow up witout you. You were always there with each other side by side. Alot of who Mylea is, is because of You. You taught her so much. Thank you for being a great big sister.

We learned that the women's ministry was wanting to put a "prayer bench" outside of the church in your memory. We got to see a picture of it last Sunday and it looked good. Just another of the many ways that your Lifesong Sings. They were going to take an offereing to raise the money, but to our surprise, there was a couple in the church that wanted to pay for the whole thing. Simply amazing!

Just like momma said, I feel bad for be able to live life without you. Please dont ever think for a minute that we have forgot you. As much as it hurts every single day, and as much as it stinks every single day, we have to go on. You want us to go on, you want us to be happy.

Love you, Miss You, CUWIGT

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Letter To My Lei Babe

Dear Leightyn,

It's been two months since our lives were forever changed. I can't believe that it has only been two seems like it has been a year since I have seen your smiling face and heard you say "mom....seriously". I haven't written to you in a long time. It's not that I don't have things to say, it just that as soon as I sit and begin writing....the tears and emotions start flowing. I'm sorry that I have waited so long.

Daddy and I were talking the other day about how crazy this all has been. It's crazy that our healthy girl had cancer and we never knew. It's crazy that you are no longer here with us. We sometimes feel like you have gone on a trip and that at any moment you are going to walk in the door and be back with us. It's crazy how life can change in a matter of moments.

I feel guilty that I am able to move on. Wait, I don't mean move on....I feel guilty that I have continued life without you here. I feel like I should be in a pit, unable to live, unable to think, unable to accept my new normal. When I think about losing you, it makes me sick. Should I be able to adjust so quickly? I don't know how we have found our new normal so quickly. You are on my mind and in my thoughts. Lei Babe, I will never forget you and I will never stop loving you. But we have had to adjust for Mylea. She needed to know that we were still going to keep on keeping on.

Mylea misses you so much. Daily she talks about you and ask questions about you. While at Hobby Lobby, she found this blond pig-tailed scarecrow. I think she was instantly in love! Mylea calls the scarecrow "Leightyn". She just needed a way to know that you were still around. And Leightyn, I love it! Mylea takes you with her everywhere. She plays with you and talks to you. Just a few days ago, I had to buckle "Leightyn" up so that she wouldn't get hurt while we were running errands. Mylea has grown up so much in the last month. She just talks and talks and talks. She has started doing school work because "my sissy did her school work". Mylea loves going to Awanas. She is very proud that you taught her some verses and the motto. At bedtime, she ends her prayers with "Tell Leightyn hi and I love her". It is the sweetest thing to hear!

This past Sunday was my first week back in Children's Church since every thing happened. I remember the last week I taught, you wanted to sit in my lap the entire hour "cause I love my momma". Anyways, I had gotten a lesson together on the Lord's prayer, but God had something else in mind. During song time, we began with "Every Ounce of Me", and the "I Have Decided....No No No" and ended with "My Savior, My God". Did you notice that all of those songs were your favorite songs! I can still hear your voice singing loud and proud each of those songs.

When it was time to start the lesson, I couldn't get the first words to "My Savior, My God" out of my head. I sat the kids down and we talked about the words "I am not skilled to understand, what God had willed, what God has planned". Oh Leightyn......that was exactly how I felt. I don't know or understand why God planned to take you early. Why you? Why not another child? Why couldn't our miracle be that you would have woken up and be fine?

The next words we talked about were "My Savior lives, My Savior loves, My Savior is always there for me, My God He was, My God He is, My God He's always gonna be". That's so true Leightyn, no matter what happens, my Savior and my God are the same as they were before we lost you. God was just doing His will, and even though we don't like it, God is still on the throne!

After we talked about the song, I tried to go in to my lesson, but I just couldn't. I wanted to keep talking about you. We talked about Heaven. The kids wanted to know if you were ok. If you would remember them. If you were scared. If they would see you again. If they would have to say good-bye again. We had the best discussion (and some tears) about how you are having the time of your life in Heaven. We talked about us getting to see you again and how this time there would be no good-byes. We talked about forever.....i mean FOREVER. The kids were in awe of how long fffoooorrrreeeevvvveeeerrrr would be. They were excited to know that you would remember them and that you would be so happy to see them. They asked if you could give them a tour and let them meet your new friends. Oh Lei....what a day it will be when we get to see you again......forever!

The kiddos at church miss you so much. There isn't a service that goes by with out one of your friends telling me how much they miss you. Last week, I peeked in one of the Awana rooms. On the board, a child had written " I Love Leightyn". It brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. That night, someone else had written you a message on another board. They don't understand why you are gone (and neither do I), but they sure do miss you!

Last week, I got the privilege to speak to the women's group at church. You know how much those gals loved you. There were tears, tears, and more tears. I got to share all of the miracles we have seen and heard about through your little life. It is amazing how many lives you have affected in your short five years on earth......more that most people ever reach! That's what keeps me going! Hearing how my girl has changed people.....makes me one proud momma!

There is a song that your daddy and I listen to constantly. When I think about this song, I can picture you in Heaven, telling us to see...

Right now all I can taste are bitter tears
Right now all I can see are clouds of sorrow
From the other side of all this grief
Is that you I hear, laughing loud
Calling out to me

See, its everything you said that it would be
And even better than you would believe
And I’m counting down the days
Until you’re hear with me
And finally you’ll see

I Love You Leightyn Nan!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another Miracle Story

I want to thank you guys for coming to Kylee's surgery, it really meant a lot. I'm sure it wasn't easy for either of you but just know that you brought a calm over both of us. I know that there is nothing that I can say that will make anything easier for you but know that I think of all of you every day. I have no great words of wisdom and I'm not going to act like I can make the pain go away but I do want you to know that I will be here for you if you need me.

Know that your little angel has changed the lives of so many. People that don't know you or your family. People that now go to church every Sunday (us) that never went before, people that hold their children a little tighter and tell them they love them more often than before, people that help others now that never would have before. Ive seen all of this and its all because of Leighytn. She is truly a miracle in so many ways and just know that she lives on in so many more people than you can imagine. You are a great Mom to two beautiful blond girls that have so many more peoples lives to touch.

Love you guys!

Out Of These Ashes ......

I am sure that some of you have heard about the tragic accident on May 21, 2008. Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman's five year old little girl went to be with Jesus. One of the many things that came from their tragedy was an inspirational, heart warming, tearful, and an (another) awesome album "Beauty Will Rise". What an awesome testiomony that has spoke to both Missy and I. As much as I hate for anyone else to have experienced what we have, I am glad others have chosen to use it for good. Here are a couple of the songs on his album. I would encourage everyone to check it out. Thanks you Chapman's and to whoever got us their album. These words are so exactly how we feel.

"Just have to wait"

Well I can't wait to see your smile again
The one where your eyes disappear
Along with all my troubles
And I can’t wait to hear you sing a song
Mainly Jesus loves me or a song you learned up there
But I, oh I, just have to wait
Cuz I know that day is coming
So I, oh I, just have to wait
I can’t wait to hear your mother laugh
The way that only you can make her laugh
When you get silly
And I can’t wait to see you in her arms
And know the wounds so deep inside her heart
Are sealed for good
But I, oh I, just have to wait
Cuz I know that day is coming
So I, oh I, just have to wait
Ohhh I can’t wait to dance with you again
Knowing that this time we dance
Will never have to end
But I, oh I, just have to wait
Cuz I know that day is coming
So I, oh I, just have to wait
I can’t wait to see your sisters play
The way they do when all of you
Are playing altogether


Right now all I can taste are bitter tears
Right now all I can see are clouds of sorrow
From the other side of all this grief
Is that you I hear, laughing loud
Calling out to me
See, its everything you said that it would be

And even better than you would believe
And I’m counting down the days
Until you’re hear with me
And finally you’ll see
But right now all I can say is Lord, how long

Before you come and take away this aching
This night of weeping seems to have no end
But when the morning light breaks through
We’ll open up our eyes
And see, its everything He said that it would be

And even better than we would believe
And He’s counting down the days
Until He says come with meAnd finally
He’ll wipe every tear from our eyes

And make everything new just like
He promisedWait and seeJust wait and see
Wait and see
And I’m counting down the days

Until I see, Its everything He said that it would be
And even better than we would believe
And I’m counting down the days
Til He says come with me
And finally we’ll seeWe will see
We'll taste and see that the Lord is good

The Lord is good
The Lord is good
Oh taste and see that the Lord is good
The Lord is good

Wow, Simply amazing the talent that some people are blessed with, and how Romans 8:28 rings so true. Thank you all for your continued prayers, support, encouragement, cards, and love.

Love You , Miss You Lei

Leightyn's Daddy

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lei's Legacy

I know that Leightyn's Lifesong Sings and that God has used her life and our Storm to reach others. It's still tough, and I wish everyday that there could have been another way. However, it is when I actually get to hear the stories and read it in an email, that it helps me to understand a little more why us, why Leightyn. It's through these stories that God shows us some of the why, and how through it all He has been and will continued to be glorified. With that being said here is and email that I recieved:

"Hey man, I haven't talked to you in a bit. ..... ...... Buddy, I only met Leightyn once but God
has used her and your family in such a huge way in my life. God has opened my eyes to LIFE.
I was just 'getting by'. He was working in me before, but Leightyn was the catalyst for change.
Now He is transforming me. No doubt I still take things for granted, but I'm conscious of it
now. He speaks to me because I spend time with him. I see things in a different light. I'm
TRULY in love with my savior! I'm still praying for y'all and thanking God for you all. The
blog is a blessing. I say all of that to say that I love you and your family is constantly on my

"Wow, all I can say after reading that is THANKS. It is stories like yours that helps me to see
why God chose our little Leightyn. It still hurts, but at the same times makes it a little more
justifiable (if that makes sense). We are truly honored that God has used Lei and our family
for His glory and to bring true change to people's lives. I dont pretend to be as close to God as
I should, or would like to be, but I know that God is working in us and through us. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing how God has changed you. ..... ......Thank you for allowing God to
transform you and use you. Thank you for the prayers. Thank you for the thoughts. Thank
you for your love. Know that we love you to. Hug your wife and kids for me. Pray that God
will continue to use Leightyn's Lifesong and our story to reach others, and most fo all for His
glory. God Bless you my friend. Love You."

We love hearing these stories. Of how people have been genuinely changed. Of how our mighty God has used our precious angel's homegoing for His good. It just goes to show that through the pain, tears, and grief that God is still moving. Keep the stories comming! Keep the prayers comming! Thank you all.

Leightyn's Daddy


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Email From "Ms Kelly"

Hey Missy. Just checking on you. I pray every morning that you'll have a time during the day when your mind and heart are at peace. I can't imagine how you get up and go every day......but you are and that is awesome. I think about Leightyn and you and Landen and Mylea so often. I can't even process how much you and Landen think about Leightyn and how much you miss her. Love you guys and am always lifting you up.

Hey girl! We have adjusted to our new normal. We have our moments and our days, but things are better than I would have thought. Mylea is what gets me through the day. We have kept our normal schedule (library, parks, playgroup, and "school" work). If I didn't have Mylea, I don't think I could get through the day. In the last 3 weeks, she has become Leightyn. Her expressions, attitude, words are Leightyn made over. When I look at her, I see leightyn at that age. I feel guilty that I don't think about leightyn a lot. But when I do, the tears and emotions come. The pictures, videos, kids at church....everything is a constant reminder of what we have missing in our lives. I love to think about her (when I am alone and the emotions can come) but I feel like I have to stay strong for Mylea. I like to sit and look at pictures when Mylea is asleep or at my parents house. I really want to watch some home videos but just haven't done it yet. Mylea talks about her sissy all the time. She likes to tell me stories of the things they did together. She likes to ask questions about leightyn. We bought Mylea a powerwheels tractor for her birthday. She went straight to the passenger side and asked who was going to drive her. Lei always drove her around. She told me the other day that she couldn't drive it because it was sissy's job to drive. This past weekend, I went down to the commentary. It was a better experience than I thought it would be. The dirt pile was the size of her small casket. I told Landen that I really wanted to start digging just so that I could see her again. I know she isn't there but I knew her little body was there. What I wouldn't give to see her again, to hold her, and to hear her sweet little voice. We requested Leightyn's records be sent from both hospitals. We want to know what all she had and what all happened in the short 24 hours that weekend. The nurse had already received a short summary about leightyn. She told Landen that her nephew has the same thing that Leightyn had. The Dr discovered it but there is nothing they can do . They have a Dr coming from England to help them. The little boy (he's 3) doesn't remember his mom and dad, doesn't talk, does nothing. I am so thankful that we had leightyn up until that morning when she didn't wake up. I thank God that we have good memories and no memories of treatments and surgeries. I honestly believe that when I found her and while we were in the driveway waiting on help, she was still with us. She was still breathing and her heart was barely beating. I got to tell her that I wanted her to wake up and that I loved her. I honestly believe that she heard me. When we would talk to her, her tongue would move like she was trying to say something. But I believe that she went to see Jesus sometime between the ambulance ride and St Edwards. I think she was already gone by the time she was in the hospital bed. Wow...I just wrote a really long response!!!