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I asked Shannon Salmons — the mother of 6-year-old murder victim Jaymie Grahlman — if she’d like to write a guest blog on the anniversary of the fire that claimed her only daughter’s life. The following is Shannon’s post.
Remembering My Daughter, Jaymie Grahlman
by Shannon Salmons
Jaymie was the sweetest little girl that anyone could ever ask for. I was so blessed to have her in my life. There was never a dull moment when she was around, whether it be when she was singing and dancing, trying to beat up her older brother Jarrod for not wanting to play “Barbies” with her, or trying to dress up little baby Jesse in her baby doll clothes. Her brothers were so important to her…
When Jaymie would call from her father’s house, she would always want to talk to her brothers before she did me. It was always so sweet; she would tell them how much she missed them and then would always tell them ‘I’ll get you when Mommy comes to get me.’ I still laugh when I think about that.
But one of the many memories I have of Jaymie is that every morning when we woke up, she would always climb up on my lap and give me my morning love. She would grab my face with her little hands and tell me, “You are my most beautiful mommy,” and then go on to sing Good Morning Beautiful. Even when she sat on Grandma’s lap, she would hold Grandma’s face the same way as she did mine and tell her that she was almost as pretty as her mommy.
Jaymie is still making us smile when we think about everything she did or loved, or even when we remember how she got mad so easily — it must have been the red hair she got from her Grandma Lahoma. Even Jay, her father, said that at one point he told Lahoma, “Well, now I know where Jaymie got her temper,” and they would laugh.
She was Jaymie to many, but to me, my daughter was always known as “Sissy.” She loved her chocolate milk and her goldfish crackers, though I think her most favorite meals were biscuits and gravy and meatloaf. She always wanted biscuits and gravy in the morning and meatloaf at night. If there was gravy left from the morning biscuits, she’d put that over her meatloaf. I’d first thought it was gross until I tried hers one day. It tasted so good, I still eat it like that to this day.
She also loved her mustard sardines. That was one of the things she shared with her father, for she knew her mommy would not each such a thing.
As her uncle and aunt said, she loved the pink and purple sunsets, but that wasn’t all. She was a true little girl, and when with me she would not even wear clothes that weren’t pink or purple. She even tried to get her “bubbies” to wear those colors.
She loved the outdoors… swimming… and just getting downright dirty with everything she did. She even had a pet slug at one time. She named it ‘Sally the Slug,’ and then one day I was washing clothes and didn’t discover Sally was still in her shorts pocket until it was too late. When she realized Sally was gone, we had to have a funeral for her and buried Sally in the yard.
Jaymie was truly one of the best creations that God could ever have given me, and I’m so blessed to have had her as my daughter. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and miss her terribly. She was always mommy’s baby girl. I hold the memories of my little girl deeply close to my heart, and neither she nor the memories will ever be forgotten.
I just know Jaymie is up in heaven and sitting on Jesus’ lap, loving on him as she would me, and asking him to look after her mommy and brothers. That was just the type of little girl she was, always thinking of how to make others happy and how to make them smile.
Though it has been terrible for us to lose such a beautiful little girl, I have kept myself strong by thinking that Jaymie would not want me upset and that she would want her brothers taken care of and looked after.
It is with that strength — Jaymie’s strength — that I have gone on, but she is always and will forever be my little girl who is deeply missed and loved so very much.
I Love you, Jaymie!
Forever your mommy.
By Shannon Salmons