For Part One of Angie Keith’s Inspiring Mom Story click here.
The week after Palmyrs death was a true nightmare. Angie had no time to grieve. They were immediately questioned by the detectives and coroner. The police came to the house and took all of Palmyr’s bedding. It was an open investigation.
After the autopsy, they very sorrowfully told Kyle and Angie that they were unable to find anything wrong. Her heart, lungs, brain, and everything looked completely fine. They had no answers. In these cases, they refer to the cause of death as SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child). It is similar but less common than SIDS.
On top of all that, Palmyr’s twin sister Paylinn was brought in for testing the next day. They found a slight elevation in her platelets and called Angie saying that she had to be admitted immediately. Because of the nature of the unexplained death of her twin sister and her abnormal blood results Paylinn was put in quarantine.
The infectious disease people were on high alert. Everyone that entered the room wore masks and full protective gear. There were no visitors allowed.
Then big sister Pyper started having difficulty breathing so she was admitted to the Emergency Room. At five years old she was unable to cope with all that she had witnessed in the past 24 hours and her body went into a state of shock.
All at once Kyle and Angie had a child in the morgue, a child in the hospital, and a child in the ER. Angie was starting to lose her mind. She describes it as the darkest time in her life. She had no strength left and the last thing she felt like was turning to a God that she felt had abandoned her.
While sitting by her daughter Paylinn’s hospital bed for four days straight mourning the loss of her twin sister she looked up at the nurse through weary eyes framed in dark circles and she said “I cannot do this. I can’t”. The nurse looked back with compassion and came down to where Angie was, both literally and emotionally, and she said “You can. You have to.”
While all of this was going on the family was preparing the funeral and all the arrangments were made. Angie’s one request was that in lieu of flowers donations could be made to the church nursery. Angie was the director of the nursery and it was in desperate need of some updates. Since Palmyr really loved being in the nursery it seemed like a good fit and it would be called “Palmyr’s Playhouse” in memory of her.
Once Pyper and Paylinn were given a clean bill of health they returned home and attened the funeral and buriel of Palmyr. The money poured in in response to building a new nursery and Angie got a vision for something even bigger. This wasn’t just for her personal church nursery. God told her He was taking Palmyr’s Playhouse to the nations. Angie had no clue what that looked like or if it was even possible, but as months went by Angie felt the prayers of the body of Christ and she felt restoration and healing come to her.
In March she had a vision of lime green doors and knew that that was where the next Palmyr’s Playhouse would be. For three months she kept this vision close to her heart and prayed for more direction. She even googled School or building with lime green doors and came up short. Then in May Kyle was away on a mission trip and Angie was looking at a friend’s photo album of a mission’s trip to Kenya Africa. Angie started crying as she saw all the little children being cared for at this orphanage. Then in the very last picture, she saw it. The orphanage was a large building with lime green doors!
Angie immediately called Kyle to explain and she could hardly get the words out because of how overjoyed she was. Because of Kyle and Angie’s father’s connections as pastors, they know the missionaries (Becky and Matthew Murray) who oversee the orhanage. They later met with the missionaries and Becky said “we have been praying for someone to come to build a playground”. And that was what started the first step of the miraculous journey to seeing Palmyr’s Playhouse go overseas.
It was a year to the day, November 28, 2014 that the children of Kenya were able to be on a playground for the first time in their lives and the joy that they exuded in that moment was like no other. In February Kyle and Angie went over for the official opening and dedication; it was an incredible celebration that would hold a special place in Kyle and Angie’s hearts forever.
It was so fulfilling to know that God was using their loss for something far greater than they could have ever imagined. Angie says that she will always miss Palmyr. She will always cherish the memories of her precious baby. But she left all of her grief in Africa on that trip.
The following year another Palmyr’s Playhouse opened up in Sri Lanka.
There are currently three Palmyr’s Playhouses around the world and the next one is in the works. (*UPDATE, as of Dec. 2020 there are currently SIX Palmyr’s Playhouses around the world and currently working on building one in Democratic Republic of Congo in 2021!!!)
It takes a lot of money to build these playgrounds around the world and God has miraculously provided every step of the way. One of the annual fundraisers is Breakfast with Santa. It is a delightful experience for kids and families to come and make crafts, treats, and Christmas memories! Of course all proceeds go toward the new location for Palmyr’s Playhouse.
The Palmyr’s Playhouse motto is Extending Joy. Palmyr’s short life was full of joy and now God is taking that joyous memory and extending it to little children all over the world!
Angie wanted a miracle. She prayed for one. But she wasn’t expecting it to look like this. However, this miracle is evident in her words when Angie testifies “I can honestly say that I am thankful for a broken heart”.