On April 23, 2016 our granddaughter, Letti Marie Gingery was born already in the arms of Jesus. To watch my brave daughter and son-in-law walk through this is one of the most painful things I have had to experience as a mother. To lose this grandchild is the most heart shattering thing I have ever experienced. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and what a joy she would have been.
My sister sent this poem that she wrote, which exactly captures the universe of grief. I believe God's heart is deeply grieved along with us because this isn't how He planned the world to be.
In the Valley of Letti Marie
Written by Jenny Poelman
Oh Universe, go backwards til
That fateful day-- then, Time, stand still
Oh Sky, weep with me in pain
Each teardrop is ten thousand rain
Oh Ocean, make some space for me,
Or my tears will overflow the sea
Oh Sun, were you not warm and bright?
Why am I cold? Where is your light?
Oh Moon, do you not understand
That nothing shines in this dark land?
Oh Mountains, I am lost, you know,
In this shadowed valley, far below.
Oh Trees, bend down, this storm of grief
Is gale force, with no relief.
Oh Wind blow a song to me
Of what was, and is, and cannot be.
Oh Life, I don’t want to come this way.
Yet here I stand, on this dark day.
Oh Path, lead me, urge me on
When hope and strength and will are gone
Oh God in heaven, carry me
To a resting place I can't yet see.
April 24, the day after Letti was born, we had a huge thunderstorm. When the storm passed Bryan looked up out the window and saw this double rainbow in the sky. He told me to look at it and my first thought that I voiced was, "It's Letti's rainbow!" God's promise she is with Him and safe. At the same time in Lincoln Travis was out and saw the rainbow and went in and got Bobbi. They were just home from the hospital, Bobbi one day after surgery, but Travis knew she needed to see Letti's rainbow, so he got her in the car and drove to where they could see it clearly. People all over, we found out later, were just amazed at the intensity of that rainbow. Our whole family and lots of friends were comforted by Letti's rainbow.
When my friend, Carmen found out about us seeing the rainbow and that we had all called it Letti's rainbow, she asked her son-in-law, who is a professional photographer in Omaha, to send me this photo that he took of the rainbow.
Friday, April 29 (Jayme's 25 birthday) we had a memorial service out here at our house. Bryan did such a great job of sharing with all of us about Letti and her life and God's comfort in all of this.
My sister, Jenny, had told me that she suggested to all of our scattered family that they release pink balloons in honor of Letti and as a way of participating in her memorial. She had also asked them to send pictures to Bobbi and Travis. Bobbi liked that idea so we decided to release balloons at the memorial. Then we took it one step further and posted to Facebook that anyone wanting to join in releasing balloons could do so and post their pictures to Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #lettisrainbow that way everyone could see all the pictures. The church sent out and email to everyone telling them about it and word just spread. Then the dear staff at Lincoln Berean Church donated many many flowers and plants and three of my dear friends, Robin, Kim and Carey came on the very cold Thursday before the memorial and cleaned up my garden and planted those plants in what is now Letti's Garden.
We did our balloon release at the garden.
Bobbi and Travis with their balloons.
This was how the garden looked then.
And this is more recently. I have added some raised boxes and other perrinials, people have given memorial stones and stepping stones to be placed in it.
It is hard to believe that almost 2 months have gone by. Sometimes it seems like forever ago and some days if feels like just yesterday.
We will forever miss this dear little girl who changed our lives forever.
She is so loved.