It's been a week since Walker Hayes and his wife, Laney, lost their seventh child, daughter Oakleigh Klover, shortly after her birth. Still, the singer-songwriter took time to wish Laney a happy anniversary, among the most trying days of their marriage.
I love this picture of Laney the most...I hope all of our kids find someone they could stare at forever...and feel like I do when I look at this. Happy 14th anniversary to us. pic.twitter.com/9HWUTibeNo— Walker Hayes (@walkerhayes) June 12, 2018
"I love this picture of Laney the most," Hayes wrote alongside the black-and-white pic. "I hope all of our kids find someone they could stare at forever...and feel like I do when I look at this. Happy 14th anniversary to us."
On Wednesday, June 6, Hayes revealed the devastating news that their child died shortly after her birth.
"It is with great sadness that Laney and I share the news with you that our sweet Oakleigh Klover Hayes was born this morning at the hospital and is now safely in Heaven," Hayes shared on social media. "Thank you for honoring our privacy as we grieve."
The Alabama native credits his wife, who weathered a lot of ups and downs in his career, for sticking with him through the hard times.
"It tested us to see how bad we wanted it," Hayes tells PopCulture.com. "It tested our marriage, our faith. It sharpened us, I guess you could say. We just look at the world totally different, I guess, after our experience in Nashville. We have gone from content, financially OK, to scary, and financially not OK. We've learned to appreciate so little, which is great. Also, it's changed my why I wake up every day. I wake up to be a better father, a better husband first and foremost. And be honest in my music."
Through it all, it was Laney who kept encouraging Hayes to pursue music, even though it meant she was home alone with their growing family while he followed his passion.
"We struggled financially for a really, really long time," Hayes recalls. "This doesn't mean, 'Oh, my husband gets to go chase this crazy dream.' This is, 'My husband can provide for us.' She's excited about that, but also seeing that dream come to fruition. It's her dream too. We did it together. It's not like I said, 'Hey, can I drag you along here?' She would say, she was gung ho. 'Let's go to Nashville. You can do this. I want to be a part of that. Let's do this together.'"1comments
Hayes canceled all planned appearances at CMA Fest, and does not currently have any tour dates listed. Updates will be posted at WalkerHayes.com as available.
Photo Credit: Instagram/walkerhayes