Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"She's With Me"

I am sure by now most of you are used to me apologizing for letting so much time go by between each post. But the reason for this most recent time lapse has been the most life changing thing that has ever happened to me or my family. Many of you know about my granddaughter Haley and the neurological condition which she has had for most of her 9 years on this earth. We knew her condition was fatal, but nobody had any clue how long she would suffer with the disease. The day I have been dreading for the past several years has finally come and gone. Our sweet baby angel Haley left this earth the day before Easter, April 3, 2010. Words cannot express the pain and sorrow that her passing has brought. We miss her every second of every day, and I will always feel like a big part of my heart is missing. I have met, and continue to meet, people with a similar story such as ours, whether it be backstage at my shows, and on and off the road. Parents and grandparents who have lost a child have told me that it is the hardest thing to live with and go through, and that you can only try to move through each day. It is not something you ever "get over," and we will have good days and bad days. But with this extreme sadness comes extreme joy. I know she is not suffering any longer and she is experiencing a pain-free, joyful, and peaceful existence and is surrounded by God and angels. Haley is a perfect soul. She was perfect in every way while she was with us, and continues in her perfection today. She has brought nothing but joy and happiness to our family and to all that have met her. She has taught us many lessons, and even though she is not physically on this earth, she still continues to guide and bless our lives.

Thank you to all who have expressed sympathies and condolences during this tough time. I have and still continue to receive cards, letters, and emails, and want those of you who sent these things to know that I have read every word, and each of you have touched my life. I am so fortunate to have been able to talk about Haley during my shows, television shows, and radio interviews. I am especially grateful for Mike Huckabee, who called me out of the blue just because he felt compelled to get Haley's story on his show so people would know of her and her condition. I have received hundreds of emails since being on his show, and it is my intention to respond to each one. You all know how slow I am with technology, so it could take awhile, but please know that there isn't one email that was sent in vain. It has touched my heart to know how many good people there are in the world. I think many of us have a tendency to get down with all the evil, disasters, and troubles in the world. But hearing from these wonderful people strengthens my faith in humanity and reminds me of how great the hearts of the people in our country are.

Thank you, as always, for your continued love and support. We have felt the presence of the thousands of prayers offered in our behalf. We need all the help we can get, so please keep those prayers coming! For any of you that may have a sick child, my heart aches for you. Parents of children like Haley understand how blessed they are to have such a child. Spend every moment with your children that you can and never take anything for granted, whether your child is sick or not.

Shortly after Haley's passing, a dear friend left me a sweet message. Those of you that are familiar with the tribute I wrote for Haley, "She's With Me," will understand. We had so many miracles during the last week of Haley's life that we can't count them all. In all my sadness, I was brought great peace when my friend said to me--Collin, now we can rejoice. God has Haley and everything will be alright because he is now saying, "She's With Me."


  1. Collin please know that you are in all of our hearts and prayers everyday. Thank you for sharing Haley with all of us. You and your family are truly blessed to have had her in your life.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Laughlin! It's been way too long since Lake Jackson. Keep smiling because Heaven is smiling down on you!



  2. Although I have not lost a child and I don't have any grandchildren (yet), I do have friends who have lost, and also being a teacher, I have lost students (which are my barrowed kids). I can't imagine any greater pain than losing your child or grandchild. I think you have to take comfort in the fact that she is perfect now and watching over you in all her glory! My prayers are still with you. Julie

  3. I was heartsick to hear of your beautiful granddaughter's passing. Sadly, you are now a member of a club no one hopes to join. We too lost as special needs child in our family, my sister, Mary.

    You are absolutely correct. It is not something you "get over". As with a physical injury, the passage of time eases the pain but an injured soul takes much longer to heal. Seek that healing from our Lord. Remember His promise to us to be here in our hour of need. You need travel no further than your knees.

    I take comfort (as I know you do) in the knowledge that my Mary and your Haley will be waiting patiently for us until it is our time to meet the Lord. Somehow I feel better knowing that I will have someone waiting for me to show me around heaven.

    Know that you have a friend in Euless, TX who is keeping you in her thoughts and prayers. Fellow Texan grandparents have to watch out for one another.

    God Bless.
    Lexie Malaszewski

  4. I am so sorry for your families loss. A parent or grandparent is NEVER supposed to outlive a child. I have thankfully not suffered a loss of a child, but as a early childhood education teacher, I have lost students (they are my borrowed kids and I love them dearly), and I know how that feels, so I can't imagine your own. I think you just have to keep telling yourself she is in a better place now and the big man is saying "She's with me." and now she is watching over you! God Bless you all!

  5. She s with me is just beautiful. Collin keep touring as your precious grandchild Haley is with you spreading Love grace and faith and making this world a much better place for everyone.You know that there is nothing more pure than a child. As you tour and spread beautiful music please never forget that Collin your not just singing from your heart you are singing from Haleys heart too!!!!!!!

  6. Hey Collin--
    Always remember Haley as the precious angel she always was and always will be. Hold on to the precious memories and keep them close to your heart and they will always comfort you in your time of sorrow. I lost a niece at age 1 to a similar disease and it is so hard. There will always be sad times and happy times. But, remember Haley lives on through you and your music. They are with us each step of the way! Hang in there Collin and know that we love you! Your Arizona friends - Kristin and Vern - we'll see you in Laughlin!!! (Just booked our room tonight.) Love ya!!