Layton Ivins’ father and grandmother share their story of losing this 16-year-old to fentanyl poisoning.
YaYa’s (Layton’s grandmother) words from Layton’s memorial service:
Layton James Ivins was our first-born grandchild. I am Lori, Layton’s YaYa. My husband Wayne is Papa.
Layton was a blessing to us from the day he was born, before he was born 16 years ago. He is now Forever 16. We are shattered, broken and numb. There is so much to say but its hard to make sense of the words. Your smile is forever engraved in our memory. Layton’s heart for his family, friends and others was so very big. He knew Jesus and we are comforted knowing he is in Our Father’s Presence.
At no time in my life did it ever cross my mind that I would be standing up here giving a eulogy at my grandsons funeral or writing his obituary.
My heart breaks…
In the days following Layton’s death I was once again sitting on my couch crying. My 5 yr old granddaughter snuggles beside me and asks what’s wrong? I told her I was crying because I was so sad, I would never get to hug Layton or talk to him again. Her parents had already explained what happened to Layton and that he is in heaven. She gently rubs my arm and with the innocence of a child that has not be jaded by this world looks up at me and says “YaYa, you will talk to him and hug him when you get to heaven. Layton is in heaven talking to Annie right now (Annie is her dog she lost a few months back).” I pray that each of you know the innocence of a child.
I had the privilege of being a very involved YaYa in Layton’s and Kylon’s life. I will continue to be very involved in Kylon’s. I make no apologies for that.
When Cody or the boys needed me. School pick up lines, doctor appointments, birthday parties, school functions, teacher meetings, hours at the skate park, trampoline park, music lessons, sports practice and games the list is long.
As high school rolled around it was – bringing him and Ky lunch, or over to a friends house, to work and back, thrift store shopping. I never minded – it was never an inconvenience. It was an opportunity to be part of his life and to always see his smile.
Don’t get me wrong we had our share of heated conversations, disagreements, him not heeding my words of wisdom. But he always parted with a smile and “Love you YaYa”. You see “love ya” was his words after every phone call, when we were in the car, anytime he left. I hear stories from his friends he did this with them as well. Oh, Layton was such a kind, caring, compassionate soul. Even when I brought food at school, he was never embarrassed to hug me and say “love you”.
So I stand here today absolutely confident that Layton is in Our Father’s presence now. No mater if you walk away for a bit, Jesus is still with you.
But my heart still hurts…
Layton’s assignment on this earth is complete. However, there will be ripple effects. Whether it is a reminder to a friend or stranger that one pill can kill and it saves a life on this earth. Yes, Layton died on January 22 from fentanyl poisoning. 1 laced pill. The persons complicit and responsible will be brought to justice. Layton’s death is still under investigation. We will not be quiet. Layton is now one of the hundreds of thousands of faces that died from fentanyl.
Another ripple effect of Layton’s death will be his testimony of Jesus. His character, his love for others, his acts of service, his being the light for someone else’s darkness. This effect will affect many with eternal life. I believe that will be his greatest legacy.
Oh my heart hurts, but I am at peace.
Layton, you are so loved and will forever be missed. Watch over us until we see you again. Forever in my heart. YaYa and PaPa
Naloxone, the active ingredient in NARCAN and many generics, can reverse an opioid overdose if administered quickly enough. Some areas have NARCAN or Naloxone generic versions available for free. Google it.
In the U.S., you can easily access 24/7 emotional support. Call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org/chat to connect with a caring counselor.