Alayna: a Tribute to Courage and Destiny in a Life Never Lived – Book Review


Book Review of Alayna: a Tribute to Courage and Destiny in a Life Never LivedA Story of Finding Courage and Faith in a Time of Grief and Loss

It is about a life that left before it was lived, at first with a beating heart and soon a name, Alayna.  She was sung to and prayed for and her parents and grandparents were thrilled at the prospects of holding her and watching her grow up.  They anticipated little-girl ways, playing with her hands, softly cooing to her newly-discovered world, going to school, playing with her cousins and growing eventually and too soon into a lovely lady.

It was not to be so with Alayna.  She would never take her first breath outside her mother’s body.  She would die a few weeks before her scheduled arrival, fiercely loved and eagerly waited for by all of this wonderful family.

It is a remarkable happening when someone, caught in a perfect and multiple storm, is able to keep centered in reality while being crushed in the vortex of the swirling winds.  That someone was the grandmother, the mother of the mother, the author of these pages. This family rooted in faith and grounded in the truths of Scripture, stood firm in the face of tragedy, each one’s faith bolstering the others’.

One who has not walked through the loss of a loved one never quite understands the crosswinds of such a storm, the inner stirrings of a powerful love suddenly facing a dead end, multiplied when it is a mother who loses a child and, to increase the pain, bearing a dead child inside her.  Labor pains, normally accepted as promises of a new life, now stabbing reminders of a life ended too soon, nourished by a mother’s fierce instincts.

This is the story of a life that never lived, and yet baby Alayna will influence  an ever-widening crowd all the years of the future.  It is the story of a bold and daring young mother who never suspected her inner capacities to respond with such faith and fortitude that pleasingly stunned all around her in this saga.  But Amanda, that young mom, would walk out of the storm only to discover Cystic Fibrosis in herself, a feature of grief compounded.  But stand she did!

It is the story of a mother, Brenda, Amanda’s mother whose grief was escorted by her own helplessness to prevent the looming crises and all the while taking mental notes that would form this treatise the reader is holding right now.  Many, caught in the grip of similar losses and disappointments, will take heart from Brenda’s courage to produce this booklet.

It is the story of a family, brought together by tragedy which, when the clouds began to gather, would stand together, each making the other stronger and better.  Joe, father and grandfather, ever firm and encouraging in his unshaken faith and love.  Nick, the husband  and father showing what tenderness and thoughtful love are really about.

Life is a strange mixture of midnight and sunshine, grief and gladness, pain and delight, tragedy and triumph, the latter always winning out at the end of the day. The last verse of this otherwise sad song brings delight to all, heralding a new day. A new life is introduced into the world, Alayna’s cousin, Phoebe, born a few days afterward to Amanda’s brother, Matthew and Lisa, his wife.

Thank you, the Godson clan and thanks again, Brenda for giving us something we can touch and hold and remember, a story well told, a map through stormy days we will all need one day ourselves and cannot forget.

And a note from all of us who witnessed and walked together through the night: “Alayna Renee Wilson, we will see you later, a stunningly beautiful sight!

This book review was done by Jack Taylor.

Alayna: a Tribute to Courage and Destiny in a Life Never Lived is available at:


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