Today is Laney’s birthday. She would have been 21. On the 21st. They say that it is her “golden” birthday.
I want to tell you about how lucky we were to have Laney. After she was born, she stopped breathing 3 separate times. After lots of tests and procedures to figure out the reason, they sent us home with an apnea monitor and a profound fear that if we took our eyes off of her, she would stop breathing. So when we drove anywhere in the car, my hand was always in the back seat on her chest, feeling it rise and fall. When she slept at night, I was in her room more than my own. Watching and loving her. This went on for 8 months. And then they told us she was okay to come off the monitor. But that was scarier than not having the monitor at all. I swear I must have checked on her every 15 minutes during the night for months. It took me a long time to not worry.
And then I think of all of the fun things and personality she brought to our family and it makes me smile. How she wanted to help me redo the kitchen. How we had started planning what we were going to do. But then things changed. I still felt like I needed to go through with our plans to redo the kitchen. So Ally came to the rescue and helped me. It was incredible how much like Laney she is. When it came time to buying the paint, she said, “This one,” and I knew it was right. Ally also helped sand, paint, and reassemble the cupboards and drawers.
When I went to look at samples of counter tops, Ally looked through them before I had a chance, and picked a couple with extreme confidence. And they were just what I was thinking. She has a take charge attitude, just like Laney. Ally was actually my Balm of Gilead during this project. Working with her made me think about teaching Ally and didn’t allow me to think so much on the fact that Laney was supposed to be the one helping me.
I was able to get the kitchen entirely done before Laney’s birthday. It has been a labor of love, and it finally occurred to me that I was doing it as my gift to Laney for her birthday. I am sure she loves it. I am posting pictures of the kitchen before and after so that you can all see my gift to Laney. I am so incredibly proud to be Laney’s mom!