Monday, August 19, 2013

4th anniversay

One thought can has ONLY been four years. It seems so very long since I have seen taylor walk through the door and say "Hello, family I am home" and then give me that famous smirky little grin. Then other times I can think, it ALREADY has been 4 years. It seems just like yesterday that I got that dreaded phone call on a hot summer night where my life has never been the same since. I can remember every single detail just like it was yesterday. This week is always a hard time, because as each day dawns I remember what we were doing 4 years ago. I go through my day looking at the clock and thinking what was happening 4 years ago. I am sure that many of his close friends also were remembering back to that hot summer evening that went terribly wrong. I had one of his friend's call and we talked a half hour of so just of memories, but he not only wanted to talk about memories, he also wanted to know just how I was doing, how was  I coping....and that always leads the conversation into the presence of God and all His mercy and compassion. I got several cards from his friends who had remembered the exact day. That will always touch my heart, when I know he still lives on in their memories. On the 16th I would keep looking at the clock remembering that long quiet horrible ride back from Illinois. All that kept running through my head at that time was How can this possibly be true, and how will we ever get through the horror that will follow this week. This is where the prayers of everybody that knows and loves you are praying without ceasing, because at this point we are so far in the depths of shock and disbelief our brains cant even put thoughts together to pray. When we did finally arrive back  home we were so very exhausted and it didn't help that we slept little if any the night before. The whole yard was filled with cars,  all I really wanted to do was crawl upstairs to bed and pull the covers over my head and stay there until Jesus came back. That was all 4 years ago, and like I said, every memory is crystal clear, but also the memory of how God held me and carried me through it all is also crystal clear. Back to the present time...Friday afternoon, I went to Wooster to get balloons for the kids to let go out at the cemetery later in the evening. It was a beautiful night, one just like Taylor would have loved, sunny, slightly breezy and warm. Us and Max's and their families when out about 6:30. First, we all walked around looking at different people's graves, but slowly one by one we found our way back to Taylor's. We all just stood there remembering 4 years ago. We did, though, something a little different this year...we all told of memories we had of Taylor. Most brought a smile or even a chuckle to our hearts, because Taylor was one with a lot of action, some good and some that ended not so good, but funny for the ones around him. Max was telling a story of when he took Taylor deer hunting. Max said that when a really nice big deer came and stood right in front of Taylor, he got so nervous he could not shoot, Max kept whispering shoot, when taylor got up enough courage to shoot... the deer had seen them by this time and was running away, taylor did end up shooting, but of course he did not get any deer on that outing. But he did get more courage and the next time they went out, he got much more brave and shot sooner, but max said this time about 12 deer were out in shooting range, so one would think taylor would try to shoot the biggest one, but not taylor, he shoots bambi, a much smaller one. He didn't care, he was just happy he hit one, now he brought meat to the table for dinner. Then after an hour or so, we gave all the kids balloons and had them write anything on them if they wanted. Then as they held the balloons we started to sing "Jesus Loves Me" and then the kids let them go...I have to admit this really touched my heart as we watched those balloon ascend into the heavens and we sang this song which we all truly knew was the heart of our God...He does love us. After we left there, we went out to the accident site. It was all so quiet this night, but as I stood there, I could imagine the night of 4 years ago, the red lights flashing of the ambulance come screeching down the road to help Taylor and all the kids standing there with extreme fear on their faces and in their hearts. Has this changed their hearts, I certainly hope so, at least I know of a few that it has, but God only knows about the rest of them. Some of this friends had visited the site today. There were several bouquet of flowers set out close to the cross, someone had put several little tractors by the cross. I sometimes can get caught up in the "what if's", like what if Taylor could have seen that culvert just 3 seconds earlier could he have gotten the 4wheeler up soon enough and he would have been fine, what it nobody would have been riding on the back of him, was it too heavy to move fast enough to miss the culvert. What if I would have had him go with us to the wedding of my sister out in Illinois, he was home that week on vacation from school, so he could have easily gone with us, what if they would not have laid those two big rock only two weeks before. But I found "what if's" will only give my heart more pain, because I can't change a thing. So, once again I remind myself, God never makes a mistake, Taylor's work and life came to the twelfth hour that night, it was finished. Brooke even said, mom if he would have gone to the wedding with us, you were driving and most likely you would have had an accident and he still would have died, because God was calling him home that night and now you would have to live with that too. I know just how hard some days it is to live with missing Taylor, I can't imagine how hard it would be if I had somehow been in an accident and he died from injuries from that accident. So, rest assured I try to always just know that God's plan is a perfect plan even when it hurts so much you are not even sure you will survive to tell about it. God will sometimes even give me little clues in why He picked Taylor. One of his friends told me that in all the people he has ever met, Taylor is the one person he will always remember, not only because of all that happened he said but because of who he was, his character. That same day, I had another person say, taylor sure touched many lives even though he was so young, there was just something about him. So, did God possibly look down from Heaven and see taylor's heart already belonged to Him, and could also see that Taylor's death would bring other souls to Him, if this is true.. then all the pain of losing him so early in life is worth it...and I am sure after all what Taylor has seen in these last 4 years, he would strongly agree.....and to think some day, we will be face to face with our King and He will answer any questions we will have, He will explain it all to us and I am quite sure, we will say that plan was perfect....but until that day, we live by faith and I do have faith, it was a perfect plan, does it hurt, is it hard....a big resounding YES....but God is my Best Friend and Comforter. 

God of Yesterday, God of Today, God of Tomorrow

I had to think, God is never changing, always the same, but it us who does the moving and changing. April 1st would marked Taylor's 24th birthday. I have to say, I have done a lot of changing in these three in half years. Some days I have moved so close to Jesus I could feel His arms around me, and other times I would have to ask, God where are you...but in all reality, He was always there right beside me, I just had moved away, even when I never intended for that to happen. As I think back over these three years, I realize how much I have changed, my interest and desires are so different now. God grabbed my full attention in a split second and gave me the biggest test of my life. I must say, He never sent me out on the battle field alone, not even for a second, He always went with me and most days He went before me. I, at times thought I would never survive the road of grieving. At one point God gave me the verse Isa: 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. when you walk through the fire, you will not be burnt. The flames will not set you ablaze." This was a promise of God and He did exactly what He said He would do. The flames may have singed me a few times, the water may have gotten up to my waist, but God always came and picked me up and carried me to safety. I have found that it is very possible to be completely devastated, but still feel like you are on a mountain top with Jesus. Even when it felt like my heart was breaking into a million pieces, I have never felt the presence of Jesus more intimately. Is it possible to be on the mountain top with God without going through  fire of a trial...I know that is the time you hang onto God with both hands because you know deep inside of your heart that is the only way you will make it through, so we move very close to Jesus's heart. Why can't we stay there, my heart thirst for that, but we end up rolling down the mountain. I believe God gives us a glimpse of what an intimate relationship with Him feels like, so it will put a fire in our hearts to always want that, but it will never be a continuous mountain top until we are living with Jesus in eternity. My God of yesterday, before the accident, was like a  friend, somebody I would spend time with and talk to, but did not look for Him like one would look for treasures, because we know God has treasures hidden in all different places all through our day. My God of today, the days and months after the accident, God became my very best friend, like I could hardly take a breath without Him being right beside me. Now, I was very alert looking for treasures everywhere I went. Each treasure I found brought Jesus a little bit closer and a little bit more real. My God of tomorrow, which is the present time is a good friend, but I want my relationship of my best friend back, but I don't want the fiery trial that came with it back. So, is it possible to have it all here on earth, or is it heaven thing??
Taylor's birthday this year was more quiet than years past. Spenc was off school, so him and I went out to the site earlier in the day. When we got there, we seen some of his friends already had been there. Flying in the cold wind was a happy birthday balloon tied to the cross and one single red rose in a vase sitting at the bottom of the cross. Spenc and I stood there for awhile looking at the cross and the area around it, thinking this is where in a moment of time our lives all changed and Taylor's last breath was breathed, and the angels came and got him. Usually, Max's family and us go out to the cemetery in the evening to let off balloons and just do alittle remembering of Taylor, but this year just our family went. It was more quiet as we each thought in our own minds of memories of Taylor. I can not help but think about the day he was born. It was cold day, pretty much like this one. I just remember how little he was, but oh so perfect. I remember they brought him into my room after he was all cleaned up, with a cute little green stocking cap on, which green turned out to be his favorite color. I stood there thinking about his childhood, he was a boy that was not scared of much, and loved being outside, and he hated school from the first day I took him to preschool, until the last day he walked out of his college class for the last time, well, I guess he only hated the school work, he loved to socialize with his many friends in school. He really didn't like sports all that well, but thought a good way not to have to do any chores and could spend more time with his buds, so he ran track. I remember one day he had a meet and I did not go, but when he came home, I asked him how he did, and he said I did really good. I said did you win your heat, and he said, oh, no, but there were kids behind me. I had to chuckle, he was so different from Brooke. Then my thoughts went to the day we stood out here in this cemetery around his casket for the last time. It was a hot stormy day, a day not only were there tears flowing from his friends, and of course his family, but those black stormy clouds filled with rain were tears of Jesus crying with us. And finally my thoughts turned to the day in the future, when Christ will be coming through the clouds with ten thousand angel singing the most beautiful songs one could only imagine, and Taylor's grave will open up and his spirit will be reunited with his body, only this time his body will be immortal, and we will all meet Jesus in the air. Oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be!

actually, I found this post that I forgot to post in april, but will go ahead and post it now...better late than never

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fear, But God Openig Doors

I have been wanting to write for awhile, and just say how God can open doors in the mist of fear. It was probably about Thanksgiving time when we got the tragic news that a 24 year old kid was killed out in Illinois from the Forrest congregation. Just the news of a  child being killed always sends chills up my spine. It instantly puts me back to that hot summer night when I got that phone call. It touches every emotion in my body. As more news came in about this accident, it was so very similar to Taylor's. It was late on a Saturday night, a bunch of kids out having a good time. He was driving an ATV with other kids on it. He went off the road and hit a culvert, all soooo very much like Taylor's accident. My heart started to be gripped by fear when I heard that this was their second son that was killed in a freak accident. Six years ago, their 21 year old son was killed in a auto accident. I always thought God never gives anyone more than they can bare, but two kids being killed seems like more than anyone can bare. I wanted to think we paid our dues with losing one son, surely, God would not take another one, but as I looked on in this case, that was exactly what He did. I could feel myself losing the battle with fear, thinking, I would never make it through it again, Please God don't let that happen. I forced myself back to where I had spent so much of my time after Tay's accident...God makes no mistakes, and He knows the number of our days before we are even born. Did it help, some, but I will probably always battle with this fear to some degree.
Diane, Mom and I went back out to Forrest to check on mom's house the first part of December. The first time I went back to Forrest church after Taylor's death was extremely hard and this boy's mom had come up to me and gave me a big hug. Her first son had gotten killed just three years earlier, so she could relate to the pain of grieving I was in at that time. God was starting to plant in my heart that maybe I should try to get to her on the Sunday. I really did not want to do this because it was so recent that it happened, and just what was I going to say to comfort her, and on the selfish side, just talking to her, and seeing her pain, would bring all those feelings back like it was yesterday...and lets be honest who likes having their heart ripped out again. So, when I heard our plans had changed and we were not going to be in Forrest over a Sunday, I was secretly sorta happy, now I could just send a card, instead of seeing his mom face to face. We get to Forrest on a Thursday and after mom talks to some of her friends, she thought maybe we could go to church on Friday night because they were having a Christmas song singing, but then as Friday night came, my brother came back to Forrest too, so we all sorta decided to probably not go....again, i was sorta glad....I was thinking God must be Ok with me just sending a card. Friday night comes and we all go out to pizza, enjoying seeing Warren and Sherry again, but pretty soon mom says out of the blue well we better hurry up and get going so we can get to church for the singing. I am thinking where did that come from, I thought we weren't going. Off we go to church, but I was thinking they probably will not be there, since it barely was three weeks since the accident and just who would feel like singing Christmas carols. But we barely get inside the door and there is his dad. I really didn't know his dad, but Diane did so she tried talking to him, but he had walls up so high you could not begin to touch his heart. I looked around but did not see his mom and so in my heart, I was really thinking OK God i don't need to talk with her, You knew I couldn't comfort her anyway, what could I possibly say to comfort a mother's heart that just lost her second son...and truly there was something inside of me that kept saying, if this happened to her what makes you think it won't happen to you too, so i felt like I would be no comfort, probably more of hindrance. When the singing was over, several people came up to us and we of course talked about how tragic it all was. I asked how his mom was doing and they said, terrible, she barely comes to church, never answers her phone, she really does not want to see anyone. I thought it was then safe to ask, do you think I should go see her, and I got the answer I was hoping for, well she won't answer her phone and if you just decide to go, if she is home..her van will be in the drive. At that very moment, God whispers in my ear, you will be going to see her tomorrow. I thought, Oh God do you really think I am going to be a comfort to this extremely grieving mother, I feel like I have nothing to say, and I myself am filled with fear. I talked to several other people that night and most said, no this is probably not the time to go see her, she needs some time to grieve, go maybe another time. But as I went to the car that evening I knew I was going to see this mother and God was going to open every door. I told Diane, she better go with me. We didn't have a clue where they lived, somebody at church tried to tell me, and first I hardly listened, but after God whispered in my ear that I was going, I listened up...sure didn't need to spend a half a day lost in the country somewhere. The next morning we got up and spent time with God, pleading He would go ahead of us and open every door. Diane and I get in the car and head out. We had no trouble finding the place. We pull into the yard and my heart gave a little jump because the van was gone. We thought we would still go up to the door and knock, but really not expecting an answer. As we knock and wait, just like we thought, no movement inside so we turn to leave. As we are walking off the porch and I look up and here comes his dad to talk with us. At first Diane and I both say how very sorry we are for his loss, but again his walls are so high he barely heard us, but then I said something about how similar Taylor's accident was to Lucas's accident, and at that moment one wall started to crumble. It was like God had me say just the right things because before long, all this walls were completely down and we could talk very openly. After awhile, we said well we are sorry we missed your wife and he says, oh no, she would really like to see you, she is right up the road cleaning out Lucas's house. So, Diane and I walk slowly back to the car to now go up to where she is. I could only imagine what she was feeling, she was already cleaning out Lucas's house, it barely was three weeks. I was thinking, it has been three years for Taylor and it is still too hard for me to clean out some of his stuff, it is right where he left it. Oh, what are we going to say. We drive slowly up the road and pull in. She does not know my car, well in fact, she really doesn't know me. I only got to her that one time in church, and I was so much in the grieving process at that time, I probably would not even have recognized her on the street, and now I have to say some comforting words...God help me here. As we drive in, she is out in the garage cleaning out his truck and as I look at Lucas's truck he had a loving memory sticker on the window for his brother that was killed six years before. That hit a place in my heart, because I also have one of those stickers on my window in memory of Taylor. She looks up from cleaning out his truck and has that familiar look on her face that I had so many times. I knew she was most likely thinking just who are you, and I really don't feel like making conversation right now, you have no idea what I am going through, in fact I am not even sure I am going to make it through the next ten minutes. I slowly get out of the car, and the first words that come tumbling out of my mouth you remember who I am....why I said that is any one's guess, but God must have known those were the right words. She dropped what she was doing and yes I do and came right over and gave me a long hug. We just held each other for a long time, and I can't even begin to remember what I was saying in her ear at that moment. What ever it was, she started to open up and share her heart. We stood in the freezing cold for a long time just sharing our hearts. God had one more surprise for us that day. As we were standing there talking with her, Lucas's dad came over to this place and brought his brother along. His brother was a very good friend of Diane's when they were young and running around. When Diane repented all those years ago, this guy said he really wanted to repent too, but he put it off and life took him in a different away from God, but now he stood there in front of Diane and she seen a soft spot in his eyes and decided to ask him if he knew Jesus. He said no he doesn't, but he would like to one day soon. Yes we all know that is one of satan's favorite tools, procrastination, but Steve had a very soft heart. Diane got to spend some time with him talking about God. When Diane and I got back into the car, we just looked at each other and said, God opened every door, we were so glad we listened, when He told us to go. It turned into a real blessing for us too. No, it is never easy to find words to comfort a person's grieving heart, but it is not us giving the comfort anyway, it is God just using us. We are planning on going back to Forrest very soon, I will try to make contact with Lucas's parents again. Satan likes to use fear to stop us from doing what God is whispering in our ears He wants us to do for Him. Or satan like to use fear to draw us away from God...wants us to start to doubt the promises God has given us, and if I am not careful satan can do this without me hardly noticing until I can find myself in the field of fear.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


It has been awhile since i have written. I will do alittle updating. Summer had some unexpected turns, but then isn't that the way things usually plays out. At the end of may, we were planning on coming to see mom, and warren, steph and her kids were also going to be there. It was going to be a lot of fun, we had not seen steph and her kids in a long time, and mom was really excited for us all to be coming. Brooke and i were leaving as soon as she finished with her last day of school.Warren and steph were already there a couple of days ahead of us.  I was in at Walmart, (the place that seems to get way too much of my money), anyway when my phone rang. I seen it was Warren's cell number, so i just answered it by saying, we are still coming today, just going to be later than I thought. There was a long pause, and he says in a very somber voice, mom took a bad fall this afternoon. I can't explain the pit that hit my stomach at that very instant. This is something i have been afraid that was going to happen and mom has osteoporosis, which makes falls all the more dangerous. I asked how bad was it, and he said, the ambulance just left with her, it wasn't good. He said i heard a pop, so i am pretty sure that her leg/hip is broken, and her wrist is also hurt, but don't know how bad. So needless to say, all i wanted to do is get out of walmart and start for home. All the excitement of going home was gone, and in its place was anxiety of how bad is this. Brooke and I left as soon as possible and finally got to mom's house about 11:30 and by that time Warren was home from the hospital with some updates. He said mom had broken her femur bone, which is the biggest bone in the body and can also be a dangerous one to break, you can bleed to death with a break of a femur bone. But for luck warren was right there when she fell, so she was in the ambulance within 15 minutes of her fall. The next day we all went down to Bloomington where she was hospitalized and now waiting for surgery. We found out her surgery would not be until 4:30 that afternoon. They did have her pretty stabilized, so the pain was manageable. She ended up being in surgery 4 in a half hours. They put a rod in her leg to stabilizes her femur bone, which will stay in there for the rest of her life. Her wrist was shattered, so they had to put external pins (4) in it, which is I guess rare for the arm. The nurses on her floor were scared to change the bandages the next day, so they went and got a long term nurse, and she said she never seen this in an arm, but had seen it in an ankle. She was in the hospital 4 days, then went to Fair View Haven, which is a nursing home for rehabilitation. Seven weeks later she is still there, but recovering nicely. Yesterday they took the pins out, but much physical therapy will be needed on her wrist, and she is now walking with about 50% weight on her leg. I had to think when mom got up that morning, she had all kinds of plans for the day. All kinds of fun things for her and warren, steph and the girls to do. Never did she think that she would not be sleeping in her bed that night, and not even for that night, but many, many nights to come. Her life changed in an instant. We never know God's plans for us on any given day, we can only pray He will give us the Grace to get through them. I  have to say God has answered our many prayers, He has given mom the spirit of.. I will get through this...there has been alot of pain in the healing of all the breaks and now the Physical therapy and occupational therapy, but not once have i ever heard her say, I can't do this or I am tired of all this pain. I do believe God gives us trials to strengthen us and develop us to be more like Him, but He never, not even for a moment leaves our side. She has been an inspiration to me as I have talked with her on the phone and visited many hours with her at the nursing home. I have treasured many memories that I have tucked away in my heart that I will have forever.

Now on to why i titled this 4wheeler. We decided to sell taylor's 4wheeler, yes the very one that he had his accident with. It carries so many memories, some good and of course some that are right down tragic. It has been sitting out in our shed for the last three years, occasionally Spenc would get it out and ride it, once in a great while one of tay's friends would come over and want to drive it, but mostly it just sat there as a reminder. Yes, a reminder of what, the good times, or the terrible times. I guess it had some of both. I remember so many times tay out on the drive so busy cleaning it up and i would go out and talk with him. But on other days, i can just stand and stare at it with the thought running through my mind, this is the very last thing Taylor touched here on this earth. I can so easily see him in my  mind racing around our yard, even doing some jumps in the back yard. It made a lot of noise, and that is just what he loved, the more noise the better in his mind. i can remember on summer days when I would have the windows open, and he drove by, I could not even hear anyone who might be talking. Now, one of Taylor's good friends asks if we would ever sell taylor's 4wheeler. I asked everyone how they felt, and at first some were not sure they wanted to do that, and I agree it does feel like everytime we sell something big of Taylor's we are "losing" another part of him. But we all decided that if we are going to sell it, it would feel the best to be going to one of his friends. So, we decided to sell it. When this friend came over and we pulled it out of the shed for him to see it again, we all just stood there staring, all lost in our own thoughts of the memories this 4wheeler brought back. After a few minutes this kid said, "when I use to  ask taylor if i could drive his 4wheeler, he would always say no, you might wreck it", we all had to smile alittle, because we could just see tay saying that. Then this kid says something that touched my heart, he said "I want you to know, every time I ride this, I will think of taylor and I know he will ride with me". We took taylor's racing stickers off and kept them. The night came when he and a friend came to pick up the 4wheeler, i just watched as they loaded it into his pick-up..i remembered so many times when taylor would do the exact same thing before taking it somewhere. This kid even reminded me of Taylor, his build is the same, his mannerism is the same. He gave me a hug when he was getting ready to leave and said anytime we wanted to see it again, or if spenc wanted to drive it, just let him know and he will bring it over. I just stood there and watched as they drove down the lane with taylor's 4wheeler all strapped in the back, it felt like a little piece of me went with them. It was a very sad moment. I was once again thinking of all the losses and how much i missed taylor. Our God is always right beside us and does provide for every need. A couple of days later, i was emailing another one of his friends, saying I have not seen you in a while and was just wondering what has God been doing in your life. It was sorta neat, i had not thought about this girl in a while, and God just brought her to mind and said get in touch with her. I really thought God wanted me to talk with her to perhaps encourage her, because her mom had told me some time before that she was struggling with her relationship with God. God's ways are almost always do different from ours. That was not at all what God had planned...yes, he wanted me to contact her, but it was for her to encourage me. It was for God to talk to me through her. I was telling her how selling the 4wheeler was a very sad moment for me, and i was missing Taylor alot, i was having a hard time letting go of another big thing of Taylor's, in fact it was something he truly loved. She wrote back and said, 
  • Deb, yes Tay's fourwheeler was the last physical thing he touched..... but more importantly he touched so many lives here on earth. I like to think of it as a ripple effect.... starting with him and expanding out through everyone that he impacted.... for example tay - me- and now Justin..... I often get asked Wat does the sticker on my car mean 614? And who is Taylor Gasser? It's the starting of a new ripple effect everytime..... I tell people Tay's story and your family's testimony..... you can just see how it impacts them.... even for a short while. Tay might not be here physically on earth.... but he is still doing God's work from heaven through everyone he impacted.... I hope you see it too! :) I will defiantly be over soon :)

God came up beside  me to remind me again, tay's accident was no "accident", it was His perfect plan and God has and will continue to use it to bring Glory to His Name. I especially loved how she said tay doing God's work even from Heaven. Yes, there will always be a huge hole in my heart, but that is only here on earth, we will be back together soon, very soon. I continue to pray that God will use Tay's life and death to Glorify His Name.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spring time

It seems that winter has turned into spring, even though we didn't have much of a winter. I really like spring time. All God's creation is coming to life again. The trees have light green buds on them, the wild flowers are sprouting up, the grass is turning that deep green. As I was out walking in the woods the other day, I just had to take notice of this beauty. God gave us the change of seasons just for our enjoyment. When I was walking in the woods, it seemed that I was all alone, just me and the wild life. I could hear all the birds "talking", I saw a family of deer walking through the woods, many chipmunks. It was in the "cool" of the day, just like when God would come and talk to Adam in the Garden of Eden. It was so extemely peaceful, I could almost feel God walking with me, and sometimes I can almost "hear" His voice talking with me. I had to think, this is just a little piece of Heaven here on earth. I am so looking forward to the "real" thing someday
We just passed another birthday for Taylor. He would have been 23 on the 1st of April. He would have been growing from a boy into a young adult. I often wonder just what he would  be doing, would he be dating, maybe even perhaps thinking about getting married. The thought even crossed my mind, do they celebrate birthdays in Heaven, then decided most likely not..there is no measure of time there. After that first year when we celebrated his 21st birthday with all his friends, we decided to keep his birthday mostly a personal/family thing. It is always a hard time..time filled with memories of the day he was born until the day of his accident. I got some balloons to let off, and several birthday banners, one to put out at the cemetery and one at the site. As I took the banner and balloon out to the site, I was very touched to see that some of his friends had already been there. In fact, they had put some time and effort into the site. Some of his friends had taken a bunch of rocks and built up the place where they had placed the  cross. Over the last several years, the water had started to wash part of it away, but they did not want it to all disappear, so they built a wall of rocks to protect it. They have taken the time and fixed it all up, they tied a balloon saying happy birthday, put in some of Taylor's favorite things, like a little tractor, flowers, and an angel. As I stood there looking at it, it really just touched my heart to know, Taylor touched their hearts so deeply, even years later they remember his birthday. Spencer had worn a T-shirt to Wayne College that has Yamaha on the front (taylor's favorite name) and "in loving memory of Taylor Gasser" on the back. As Spenc was walking out of class, this guy probably in his 30's came up to Spenc and says "Do you know Taylor?" Spenc says, "Yes, he was my brother, did you know him?".  This guys says, "well, I really did not know him personally, but I heard about him. He continued and said, I was working in my house that I just bought that was right beside where the accident happened that night."  I thought it was rather amazing that this man, remembered Taylor's name after almost three years. Yes, you would probably remember that "some kid" got killed on his fourwheeler on a hot summer night, but to remember his had to have made a mark in his memory.
This was a rather hard week or two, his birthday, then we also sold his "danger" ranger. We sold his truck. If that truck could talk, it would probably be able to tell stories for a week straight. I just heard a few from his friends that would come to visit us. They all brought a smile to our faces. Even though Taylor acted like he hated this truck, way too small for him to "burn" any rubber. He often said to me, he thinks his truck is a one wheel drive, it goes so slow. We took lots of pictures of this truck, but i am sure we will never forget it. I can't tell you how many times this truck has hit the ditch, even though tay acted like it had no power, he seemed to have a hard time keeping it on the road. Jeff took it to  the Kidron auction and sold it. Jeff took videos of the auctioneer selling it. Yes, it did bring a tear to  my eye watching it sell and spenc then handing the keys to the buyer.
I must have forgotten to post this entry, because when i came back to this page i seen it was not posted, so it is alittle behind .

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Does life ever catch up to change, or are we always trying to adjust to change? I have come to the conclusion that when life finally does catch up, our work here on earth is done and God is calling us home. Change is one way God moves us closer to Him and makes us more like His Son. Nobody is all that crazy about change, but God will use it for our good.  No, I will never totally adjust to the change of  Taylor not being with us, but especially through all the Christmas festivities. That is one time of the year that his absence is very keenly felt. This was one change in my life, I was not sure I would survive, but God came right alone beside me and picked me up and carried me many times. My life has never been the same, but God has used his death to touch many people, and some has even given their hearts to Jesus. I will say even for myself, I have moved to a place with God that I never would have found without this terrible tragedy in my life, so yes God has picked up the pieces of my heart and used it for good....just like His promise says Rom 8:28.."God will use ALL thing for the good of those who love Him and been called to His purpose". It  still amazes me how fairly often one of his friends will just say to me how much they miss him and think about him. A couple days before Christmas, I went out to the site and I could see that somebody had been there and decorated his cross for Christmas.This has always been a prayer of mine..Please God do not let the kids forget how fragile life is, the young sometimes die seeming way before they should.  It does truly make me feel good that they have not forgotten him, no, we never will, but to think these 20 year kids still take time to remember him. He had a great bunch of kids that called him their friend. This being the third Christmas without him, I thought to myself, I feel like we have done a measure of healing, maybe even catching up to change in a small way, but God moved us to the next point of change. On December the 2nd, my dad died on the way to the hospital. He had knee surgery on Oct 17th. We went home to spend time with him and mom. He was in the hospital then to the nursing home for rehap. After a couple of weeks, and he was doing pretty well, we decided to go back home. When I was telling him good bye, and that I was planning on coming back in a month or so, he answered with a statement that was so much more true than I ever dreamed at the time. He said "I will not be here when you come back." I said, "well, where are you going to be?" He says, "I will be in eternity." I said, "in that case, be sure to look Taylor up." He looks at me and smiles and says, "He will be the first one I look up." Little did I know that would be the last words I would say to him. On December the 2nd early in the morning, I get a call from my sister saying they are taking dad to the hospital, he is bleeding internally. Then about 15 minutes later, I get a tex from my brother saying, dad did not make it to the hospital. It was early in the morning, so I just laid in bed and tried to imagine just what all dad was experiencing. He just finish his very last battle, he just laid all his armor down and was on his way to see Jesus and Taylor. Just what would that be like!!! I had to think, was Taylor standing on the shores of heaven, right behind Jesus waiting to give his grandpa a big hug. I could not help but feel just alittle bit jealous of dad, he was on his way where I have thought about so very often since Taylor's accident.
After, a few minutes, it really hit me, I never got to say "good bye" to my dad either. I was remembering when Taylor died, I was 7 hours away, out at mom and dad's, and when dad died, I was again 7 hours away. So, again we had to make that long seven hour drive to say "good bye" to somebody we loved. We had to help mom make the arrangements, at times it brought back so many memories, I could hardly take it. I was not sure I would be able to go into the casket room to pick one out for dad, but decided God would help me fight my fears. I went in, and did pretty well, until I came around the corner and seen the exact casket that we picked for Taylor. At this point, the memories came pouring back, almost like we were standing once again at Gillmans'. I found that, yes the memories can bring tears and sadness, but they were not overwhelming and all consuming like they once were, but with the power of God's Grace I was doing fairly well. There is always that first terrible moment when you see them in the casket. It is almost like your eyes are playing tricks on you, and your mind wants to keep saying this is not true. But after that terrible first moment, my eyes settled on dad's face, and my mind went to thinking once again.. dad, what are you seeing right now...Was Jesus the first one you seen, is Taylor with you...was he glad to see it more beautiful than any eye has ever seen, what is the singing like. These are all questions as of yet, but someday the veil will be lifted and I will for myself. What a glorious day that will be.  For the funeral, we were trying to decide if we wanted to have them sing "Amazing Grace when they wheeled dad out of the church, this would have been the same song we had for Taylor. Was this too much for us, would the memories at this point be too overwhelming, plus this is final time before we go to the cemetery, or would it be a comfort, it is a beautiful song, and the words fit perfectly, that is exactly how each of us will ever get to heaven..God's Amazing Grace. This song has helped me through some really rough times, but there are some really painful memories wrapped up in it too. As we talked about it, we decided that the comfort of that song out weighed the least we hoped it would when the time came. The time always comes, which we all dread the most, time to say our final "good bye" to dad here on earth. It always feels like part of my heart is being ripped out. I guess, in a way that is true. Each one that I love dies takes a part of my heart with them. I will never understand how a person that does not know Jesus gets through death of a person they love, or worse if that person did not even  know that would  truly be mourning without hope. The service was very nice, well what I can remember of it, but I do remember very clearly when Marvin stood up and said, "now we will have the choir sing Amazing Grace, the same song that Leroy's grandson, Taylor was escorted out on in 2009." Well, did we make it out without tears....not even a little bit...but was glad to say that we did all make it out still standing. That was alot more painful than I imagined, but at the same time very comforting.
As we all know, life here on earth was never to be all fun and games, but God is maturing us day by day. Some storms are like little thunder storms, light rains alittle wind, but other storms, can be bright lightening, hail and hard pounding rains and some can be devastating tornadoes and flatten everything. At times I can feel like I am in those types of storms. Sometimes I can feel like the disciples in the boat when that big storm came upon them, and the boat was rocking from side to side and they thought they were going to drown.  Peter sees Jesus and gets out of the boat and starts to walk on water toward Jesus. Peter was fine walking on water as long as he kept his eyes focused on Jesus, but as soon as he looked at the crashing waves coming his way, he lost focus of Jesus and started to drown. I had to think that is exactly the way I am. I have often felt like I was in a boat being tossed from side to side and very soon the boat is going to capsize and I am going overboard, and probably most likely drown. In the misted of a storm, as I am looking frantically around for something to hang onto, but when my eyes lock with Jesus, I feel myself calming down, and starting to feel safe. I can even start to climb out of the boat, because I don't even notice the waves all around me, as long as I keep my focus on Jesus. But why is it I can not keep my focus there, but out of the corner of my eye, I start to see this danger, another big waves is moving closer and about to knock me completely flat. I take my eyes off Jesus to take a better look at this wave (my circumstances), and I start to feel this fear, panic again, because this wave is heading right for me and it is my eyes are completely off Jesus and onto the wave (circumstances,) then like Peter I start to go under.... Jesus in His compassion and mercy reaches out his arms and just picks me up and holds me, and will whisper in my ear...You of little faith. If only I could keep my focus on Jesus, no matter the size of the waves, fear would never win. What a God we serve, What an awesome God.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Brooke's wedding day

Brooke's wedding was July 30th. I prayed so hard that God would be so present on this day...also, who wants to enter marriage without God being the most important Guest there, but also, I knew it was going to be an emotional day. A day where family is suppose to be all together to celebrate a very happy occasion, but Tay was not going to be there. God answered my prayers, God was there and very present and I do think He brought a little of Taylor with him. It was suppose to be a stormy and rainy weekend, but guess what God gave us instead..ya sunny skies. We had a lot of people that were going to be traveling from many different states....all arrived and got back home safely. The only mishap was BJ's mom gave her sister her car keys for safe keeping, and forgot to get them back from her sister before the sister left and flew back to CA. So, BJ's mom was stuck in Seville with her keys in CA, but God worked it all out in a day or so.
Spencer and Mark were ushers..and if I say so  myself, they both looked rather handsome, but I could not keep myself from thinking, Tay should be there ushering with Spenc. My mind went back 6 years ago when one of Warren's daughter's got married and she asked Taylor to usher. He was so excited to look so important all dressed up in a tux, he did not care he did not have a clue how to usher..that people actually do have specific places to be seated. In fact, when the church was getting full, and he did not know where to put the later comers, he forgot and put them where grandma and grandpa were suppose to sit.
I prayed that in some way, maybe God would just let me feel Taylor's presence ...I sometimes wonder does God ever let the ones that are so much a part of us, look down on happy occasions---I believe He does.... God did plant little things into our hearts and minds that we could do to "bring" Taylor into the wedding with us. This was not a memorial for Taylor, but a celebration of two hearts that God had brought together 5 years ago. We put a picture of Taylor along side a burning yellow candle up on the alter. It burned off to the side of the unity candle. As I sat on that front bench watching Brooke and BJ's repeating their vows, I could also see Taylor's face smiling back at just made it feel like he was present in spirit with us. Brooke had decided to carry a single sunflower tucked into her wedding bouquet in memory of Taylor...that was his favorite flower. She also picked the sunflower to give to the mothers. When she came over and hugged me and handed me the sunflower....a few tears could not help but run down my cheeks. As I watched Spenc and others "decorate" their vehicle, I again thought how Taylor would have loved that...He was always one filled with ideas to play tricks on others.  Yes, there were moments when my mind and heart could not help but feel his loss, but I must say with a grateful heart...God blessed the day and there were many, many happy moments and memories. Brooke's husband is a deeply spiritual man, and for that I am very thankful...don't we all pray that our kids will marry a guy/girl that loves the Lord with all of their hearts. The one thing I didn't pray for was that he would be in the navy. That sounded like they would not be living in Ohio...since there is not much water close by...if they would have said a rainy state...ohio would have been in the top  that was going to mean they will either be on the west coast or east. God would give me time to adjust to that thought, since BJ is in training in Chicago and Brooke is living at home working and finishing her masters program, but then what?? I must admit I have had a really hard time with this. I kept wanting to pray that God would in some way take BJ out of this program, which is a very dangerous one. I kept thinking can Brooke, or for that matter any of us take the stress of always wondering where he is, is he ok..will he come back in one piece or even will his personality be the same or will it  be totally different..will they have taught him to completely emotionally detach from any situation. I kept thinking..God just what are you trying to teach fact I wanted to whine alittle and just say...didn't we learn enough hard lessons with losing Taylor, but I found that when I would try to pray my "will" God would very quietly whisperd in my ear..."Don't you trust Me to know what is best." I stressed many days, looking at once again all that could possibly be taken away. Brooke could be living 1,000's of miles away, grandkids that I could possibly only see once a year, but God just kept whispering in my ear.."Trust Me." I was pretty much like Moses, I could come up with a hundred excuses why I really did not think this is the best place for BJ and Brooke, it all looked so stressful and hard, would any of us be able to get through another death, so please God can you help me out here. All God kept saying was "Trust Me".  I knew if I was ever going to have that indescribable peace in my heart about this, that was exactly what I was going to have to do...surrender it all to God. So, I did what Jeremiah 29:13-14 says.." You will seek and find Me when you will seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, Declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity." That was when I could finally say..God I know You will do what is best for each of us..Yes, I trust You. No, I don't know what the next step is for them, but God is in our tomorrow and He does. I have found over and over happiness and joy have not much in common. Happiness is fleeing, it goes and comes with circumstances, joy can be long lasting and has nothing to do with circumstances, it is all within the heart where God is found.