Tag Archive | heaven

Picnics in Heaven

A few weeks ago, we attended the Midwest Transplant Network Donor Family Picnic. It was located just a few miles from our house at a ranch. They had a lot of activities for children (pony rides, bounce houses, hay ride, games, etc.) and provided a BBQ dinner for donor families and volunteers. When we received the information, we were hesitant to attend. After thinking about it for a few weeks, we decided that it would be a good thing to do and a way to get more involved with other donor families. I dressed the boys in their Big Brother t-shirts the day of the picnic and off we went. It was the one and only Saturday where it rained all summer, but the rain stopped just long enough for everyone to enjoy the picnic. Rodger and I bought Donate Life t-shirts and we had four buttons made with Kyleigh’s picture on it.

When we first arrived, we were filled with an unexpected emotion. The button table was the first thing we encountered when we walked in. Handing over Kyleigh’s picture to have buttons made was almost too much. Others families had buttons made as well and some had their own t-shirts made using their loved ones photo and name. As we walked around and enjoyed the activities, I made note of the other buttons and t-shirts. I saw a few pictures of women, but most were men. It was easy to assume who the person was, a grandmother, older brother or father. There was one family who probably had four or more children. They were all wearing t-shirts and buttons with pictures of their dad. He was younger then Rodger when he passed away. As I looked around, I never did see anybody else with a button of a baby or young child. We got a few sympathetic looks from others when they realized that our buttons displayed a picture of a baby, but nobody said anything. We walked away with mixed emotions … happy for having a good time with the boys, but sad for the reason that we were there. Rodger and I both said we would go again, so maybe this was the first of many Family Donor Picnics.

Today, I am wearing my Donate Life t-shirt in honor of Kyleigh’s 5 months in heaven.

As I was cleaning up the dishes from lunch today, Oliver asked me what I thought Kyleigh was doing. It was one of the out of the blue questions that just about knocks the wind out of me. I told him that Kyleigh would have been 5 months old today and that I thought she was celebrating with Jesus. Then he asked what I thought she would do tomorrow. I started to tell him that she would probably be tired from celebrating and would have to rest. Then I stopped myself. There is no rest in heaven! Our bodies are made whole again and we don’t get tired. Oliver and I talked about heaven for a few minutes and concluded that it’s such an awesome place that it’s hard for us to imagine what it will be like. He also decided that Great-Grandma was celebrating with Kyleigh today and that our dog, Boston, was waiting for Kyleigh when she got to heaven. He also said that Boston will be excited when he gets there so they can play fetch.

I often catch myself looking at the world around me and being sad because Kyleigh isn’t here to see it with me. Of course a lot of that is because I miss her terribly, but a lot of that is also because I wanted her to see rainbows, mountains, flowers and butterflies. Then I catch myself and remember that what Kyleigh is seeing in heaven is so much more beautiful than what I am seeing here on Earth. It’s so much greater than what any of us can imagine! And that brings me comfort.

Happy 5 months in heaven Kyleigh! One day we will all have a picnic together in heaven. I love you!

4 Months

Today marks 4 months since Kyleigh was born into Heaven. Sometimes I think the anticipation leading up to days like today are worse than the actual day. I was a mess yesterday. Cried at the drop of a hat. We took the boys to a movie in the morning and had a great time. The boys were so excited to see the new Thomas the Train movie on the big screen and we loved hearing Oliver sing along to the songs. We stopped at one of our favorites, Red Robin, for lunch on our way home. Then we got home. And it hit me. The tears started flowing and didn’t hardly stop until God delivered what I needed.

We have been in a major drought this summer. No rain and hotter than usual temperatures. Last night after dinner, Rodger convinced me to step outside with him and the boys. I really wasn’t in the mood, but a cool front was blowing through and it sounded nice to get out without it being 100+ degrees out. As I stepped outside, it started to sprinkle. Not much, but just enough. The sun was still shining and all I could think of was, “Please God, send me a rainbow.” I searched the sky and saw nothing. I told the boys to keep their eyes on the clouds because when there is rain and sunlight at the same time, there is sure to be a rainbow. Of course, the rain did not amount to much more than a few sprinkles every few minutes. I quickly became disappointed because I knew it wasn’t enough to make the beautiful rainbow that I had been hoping for.

The boys wanted to take a walk, so we ventured down the street. As we got to our turn around point, I looked up and saw the smallest sliver of a rainbow. It was just enough to make me smile and make me content in my wish. Nobody saw it but me. The boys were already too far ahead of me to call them back, so I enjoyed the bright colors all to myself. I thanked God and turned towards home. That’s when I saw it. One of the biggest rainbows I have ever seen, right over the top of our house. It literally looked like the rainbow was engulfing our home. It started on the left side and ended on the right. No other house underneath. I’m sure God got a good laugh out of this one. He was making sure I knew who was in charge and that He wasn’t done yet. He was also giving me the reassurance that I needed yesterday. Kyleigh is okay. She is safe in heaven and resting in Jesus’ arms. While we continue to grieve for Kyleigh and miss her terribly, God is holding us in his hands, just like that rainbow was holding our home. There was an immediate sense of peace and calmness that came over me. I asked Rodger to take pictures with his phone and I think we ended up with a few dozen. It was absolutely beautiful.

We ate our dessert on the deck out back and went in shortly after to get the boys ready for bed. As I went in the kitchen to close the blinds, God showed me that He wasn’t done yet! Another wonderful rainbow graced the sky behind our house almost an hour after the first one. The top of the rainbow was covered in clouds, but the left and right sides were clearly visable. By this point in the evening, the sun was beginning to go down and the sky was no longer blue, but pink. The most beautiful pink clouds surrounded the rainbow. The brightest pink that I have seen in the sky in a long time. This time I grabbed my phone and started snapping photos.

God showed me three times last night that Kyleigh is at peace, free of pain and full of joy. Each time was more beautiful then the one before it. All of these rainbows in the sky above our house where only a few sprinkles fell. God knew what I needed yesterday and He provided, just like always.

Happy 4 months in Heaven Kyleigh! We love you!



Dear Kyleigh,

A wonderful woman joined you in heaven on June 9th, your Great-Grandma. I know that your days have been even more glorious since then. She promised me that she would take care of you and I know that is exactly what she has been doing since she got to heaven. I imagine her rocking you in a rocking chair, just as she did with Oliver and Garrison. Great-Grandma was too sick to come to your Celebration of Life and I know that was very upsetting for her. While none of us here on Earth wanted her to join you so soon, it brings me comfort and peace to know she is now with you forever. I am blessed to have been with her in her final days and at the moment that she went to be with you and Jesus. I will tell you more about her another time, but for now, snuggle down in her arms and tell her I love her.



Great-Grandma rocking Oliver