Saturday, October 31, 2009

Different Feelings

Today started out gloomy and looking like rain (is that something new for Ohio :)). It was so windy that I decided to go back out to the cemetery to see how my beautiful white roses were doing----a lot more rain and wind has hit since I was there on Wednesday. But after my meltdown on Wednesday, I was not sure I was ready, or even wanted to go back so soon, but decided i needed to check those flowers. As I drove up that long drive, my thoughts took a different street. Instead of the street of loneliness and terrible sadness, they took the street straight to Jesus's heart for comfort. I seen the flowers were all knocked over and so was the vase, but the flowers still have been protected. They still looked really good--all opened up, but not wilted yet---not like they had weathered monsoon rains and lots of wind. I picked them up and put water back in the vase. (side note, I found out I was the third one out there today to set them back up-----Taylor, you are a loved boy by many---) As I sat in my car---too windy. There were alot of clouds in the sky, but the sun was shinning though---making a silver lining. As I sat there, I had to think, some day Jesus is going to come through those clouds with trumpets blowing and ten thousand angels singing -Wow! how great will that be!! and Taylor will be with him. Jesus told us the dead will rise first. Will I be looking for Taylor, probably not at first. My eyes, i am sure, will be fixed on Jesus's face, but soon after that I will be hugging Taylor----he will probably be saying "mom, not so tight, can't breathe". What a Day that Will Be.
Last night before i went to sleep, i was reading this book called "When God and Grief meet" In those pages I read, God gave me a verse in that book, to which I thought was very powerful, especially for me at this time in my journey. It is Deut. 31:81---.THE LORD HIMSELF GOES BEFORE ME & WILL BE WITH ME. HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME OR FORSAKE ME. DO NO BE A AFRAID, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED" God just knew I needed that verse after this week. When I got up this morning, I decided I was going to think on that verse and study it. I thought, that is a promise and Jesus never breaks promises, so it has to be true, today, tomorrow, and always----so i need to grab a hold with both hands and remember this one. I had to think Jesus is always with me, in fact He is already in my tomorrow's. He is always just a whisper away, and He is never going to leave---it is me that moves from Him and lets go of this promise---at least for a little while. I also thought, Jesus did not say, I will sent an angel instead of Myself , but He said He was going Himself---how comforting is that! Just why is it so easy to let go of a promise like that from Jesus and look at my circumstances and let satan pull me back into the streets of pain, loneliness and discouragement that comes with that. So, I am thinking out in the cemetery and looking up into the clouds---knowing Jesus is right there looking down saying those exact words to me in that verse. i had to think when my kids were little, like maybe kindergarten or even younger (not so much Taylor--he had much "tougher'" skin than Spencer---anyway he would every so often come home with tears running down his cheeks because some kid had hurt his feelings or took something he thought was his.(at first, i may not have reacted much like Jesus , instead I would have wanted to get a hold of that kid that hurt Spencer and get revenge)but most of the time, I would take Spencer and set him on my lap and hold him close to my heart and talk with him----that was always calming and he knew I was there for him---I was not leaving him, he knew I loved him, I could just see a calmness come over him, and he felt everything was going to be fine---he trusted me to make everything alright . But I thought, I will fail Spencer many many times in life, but Jesus will never break a promise to me, or fail me.
With this verse, I could visualize myself getting that close to Jesus, in his arms, with my head on his chest---I am so close I could hear his heart beating. Fear, discouragement, loneliness all leaves. Now the key is to stay there, but satan certainly does not want that----he would never win a single battle. It does help me to memorize these verses that are promises and say them over and over, but I must say some days, in fact, alot of days, I lose the battle and fall into 'self" mode and fall into a puddle of tears. So again,what makes it so easy to let go of these promises, and let satan take me down the street of despair, loneliness, discouragement so often. Why can't i just keep that thought--Jesus in already in my tomorrow, and He is never going to leave me.. He will never pull away from me, so it is always me that pulls away. I guess, it just shows how weak man is----that is why prayer from all of you is so important--In my weakness, sometimes I can't even pray, just moans and gr0ans.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Seeing God in the mist of extreme sadness and loneliness. On Tuesday afternoon, Jeff came home and said through tears that somebody was out visiting Taylor and left 12 white roses. Not just one, but 12 beautiful white roses. Jeff and i decided to go out there and put them in a vase. They were just laying there by the mums. We opened up what they were wrapped in and put them in a vase. By this time it was evening and getting dark, but they were so pretty that I took some pictures of them. I had to think, his friends are hurting and missing Taylor in a terrible too. Most of them have not experienced death at all, most still have their grandparents--- please pray for them. Later than night, when I woke up and heard all the raining, I thought all those pretty rose petals will be knocked off and the vase will probably be knocked over too. i just prayed, God please protect those flowers. I know I have so many other thinks to be praying for, just why would i be praying for those flowers---I don't know,--maybe I just wanted them to be beautiful for a little bit longer. The next day was Wednesday and it was once again time for Diane and I to go clean the dentist office. We do take alot of breaks while cleaning, but today Luann decided to stop by and we probably did more visiting than cleaning----Oh well, we did get it done, just took longer. When we were done, i took Diane home and decided I would go check up on the flowers. I was once again listening to the song "Far Side Banks of Jordon". I know this is my song for when I meet Taylor on the shores of Heaven. If you have not listened to it---it is a song with a powerful message. As I was driving up that long lane to the cemetery, all that kept running through my mind was "this is not right, it is just not right---he should not be back here---he is the only 20 year old boy in this whole place." As I get to the opening, I just say a little "arrow prayer, please let those flowers be fine, and Lord just please let the sun shine even alittle bit. It had been cloudy ever since I left and now it looked like it could start to rain any minute. As I turn the corner to go up to Taylor, I see the beautiful white rose still standing perfectly and blowing in the wind. I get out of the car and walk over to Tay and just stand there looking at those roses, when I realize they have all opened up and they were what God created them to be --gorgeous----one would never have imagined they spent a night out in the rain. God protected them---as little as it may seem, God answered that prayer. As I am standing there, I can feel this overwhelming sense of sadness and loneliness welling up inside of my heart. It is almost what one could call unbearable. As i stand there looking at his picture (Amber put up a cross with some flowers and a picture of Taylor at the beach holding little Max)I feel my heart starting to break into a million pieces again. At this point, I realize that the sun has come out and is shining right on Taylor's face in that picture---yes, it is also shining on the flowers, but I don't even notice that because my focus is on Tay's face . I take to sobbing so hard that I can hardly stand up. I know God is right there with me, He showed me with the the beauty of the flowers and His presence with the sun shining. It was like God was saying, I love you, and yes I know this is terrible, but I will help you through this, just hang on. I felt all this, but I just keep thinking, or at this point I think I am saying it out loud. I want you home, Tay, I want you at our dinner table with the rest of us, I want you in bed at night, I want you to be able to go on vacation with us again, I want to just hold you in my arms. By this time I am sobbing so hard, I can't even see his picture anymore. I realize that this is not helping me at all and I need to bring God into this conversation---so I just pray--"Please God, Please help me, Please just help me to understand this even just a little bit---Please help me through this terrible journey." I did not hear or see anyone coming up that long lane to the cemetery. i did not see them drive in, nor did I see anyone come around that curve over by Taylor. I just heard alittle beep and looked up to see April and Diane in the car. I thought God is so faithful---He brought help just when He knew I could take no more. They get out of the car and walk over to me and we just stand there in complete silence looking at Taylor's grave. When I can not take the terrible ache in my heart anymore, I start sobbing again and say "I am missing him so much today, I just want to see and hold him again" and then i fall sobbing into Diane's arms. We stand there with the wind blowing around us not saying a word. No words are needed. I finally get myself under control enough to stand on my own two feet. We all just stand there in complete silence---there were no words to say, just their presence was a comfort. Finally, April said it all. She said there is nothing to say, this is just all so terrible. I said, "as terrible as this all is, I know this is suppose to be." I just knew in my heart that God's plan is always perfect. As we were getting back into our cars to leave, I realized I just had a major meltdown and I did not even feel it coming, well not to that extent. I was having a fairly good day, well at least it was a decent day. I went to back to thinking how grief is so much like a wave on the ocean. I had to think, today not only did I get flattened, I almost drowned out there in the sea of grief. But God will not let me drown, He will always grab me and help me back to shore, today it was with Diane and April coming out. I drive home very slowly because I am sure I look like I just got ran over by a truck and i also knew they would probably be home from school and work. No need to work, they were busy with their own stuff and barely notice me---for that I am rather thankful, because I was still trying to recover. I go down and check my e-mail---and there is God once again. I end up crying a little more, but not this time because of loneliness but because God is right there holding me up through encouraging people who send me comments or e-mails that touch my heart. I pull myself together because we have a night out planned to celebrate Gale's birthday. We get ready and meet Max's, Larry's and Craig's for dinner and have a very nice time. So, yes, I cry some each and every day---my heart aches for Tay all the time, but I do have moments of joy also. Then when we get home, I check my e-mail one last time-----(yes, I like e-mails so i check it often or maybe i like to see what God may have for me in the way of encouragement)---anyway God touches my heart one more time in this day. Thanks-Gwen---that song fits me perfectly. I hope and pray that whoever reads this will see God's Faithfulness, His Mercies. His Amazing Grace and hopefully His healing Hand in my heart, well perhaps you didn't see much of that today, but some day. I also see God's power through your comments and e-mails----they come at exactly the most perfect time----That is our Amazing God.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saying Good Bye For Now!

we went to our grieve sharing class last night. I think it is helping us at least to some degree. Next week it is going to be on losing a child. There is so much pain in that room, at times it is almost breath taking. God does seem to be a part of most of their lives, which is what is getting us from one step to the next.

This is going to be another one that is hard to write, but hopefully it will also be a little bit of healing in the process. I got up on that Thursday morning---the day of my son's funeral---I can hardly even say it let alone live it. I look in the mirror and say how can I really be living this nightmare--my 20 year old son is going to be buried today---but then God will whisper in my ear, yes, I know you are mourning, but remember he is with Me. That does help, but my heart is breaking into so many piece one can't begin to count them. I realize I am losing weight rather rapidly and am getting weak. Everybody is telling me you have to eat, but tell me how do you eat when you feel like anything you try to swallow will only end up on your shoes couple of seconds later. We some how all manage to get dressed and get in the car to leave for the church. When we get there, Gillman has us pull our car right up behind his-----there are times you just don't want to be first in line and this is definitely one of those times. We get out and walk very slowly into the church. Once again, I just wish with all my heart this funeral would not have had to be in Smithville church---it all just leaves such terrible memories, I hate to say it, but I can not stand to walk into that church. All I can see is Taylor's casket against that window and the top of his head. I just want to take to crying every time I walk into that church. It all comes back like it was all just happening again. Anyway back to that day---we open the doors to go in, and yes, the first thing I see is his casket and the top of his head. We get to a few people, but mostly just go up to the casket before the people start to come, because we know we have very little time left to see him my ourselves. Brooke and I walk up to talk to Taylor. She is talking to him---a little story between those two. Brooke would always buy sour patch kids candy. Taylor also loved them, but never bought any, just ate Brooke's when she was not home. He loved the lemon ones. Just a couple of weeks before, she must have caught him "stealing" her candy--which was up in her room. She told him, just ask, and I will give you some, don't go into my room and just take them. Of course, Taylor had that little smirk on his face and said OK, but we all knew---it was going in one ear and going out the other---he just thought that was not important and Brooke should not get that uptight about her little candies. So, now Brooke and I are up by his casket and she is talking to him, touching his face, hair, and his arms. She is talking about that candy episode and pretty soon, she brings out a little lemon sour patch kid candy and puts it into his hands and says, it is ok Taylor, I am sorry for yelling at you, you can have this candy. I love you. Well, that is too much for me, and I take to sobbing even before any people start through the line for the last time. There are already a bunch of kids sitting in the church, they come out and start to go through the line. My heart is breaking for them as well as for myself. Those kids had tears running down their cheeks. I hear the songs starting to be sung, so I knew our time was growing short before that dreaded moment of closing the casket. I had told the kids and Jeff at home do not look when they are closing the casket---that will be too much to watch and a memory that will be forever in graved in your mind. Brooke is constantly looking at the clock and realizing she had little time left. Now, my family is starting to go through. I remember Ron coming through. When he got to me, we just sobbed in each others arms and he told me later that I said to him- use this tragedy to reach the friends (I do not even remember saying this. At this point I could not have made a coherent sentence if I tried---it had to be the Holy Spirit speaking), but he said as soon as I said that- it was like the Holy Spirit said I will help you, and it will be powerful, then a great peace came over Ron. Now, it was time for our family to go up for the last time. You can't even imagine the horror of that moment, all i can say is God was carrying every one of us, even though Brooke did almost end up on the floor. We go up to the casket, we all talk to him, and was saying our final good bye. I kiss him on the cheek and am sobbing so hard I am just leaning over the casket, but do find the strength to stand up to fall into Diane's arms who is standing right behind me. We just stand there holding each other up, while Brooke, Spencer and Jeff are giving the final kiss good bye. I do finally get a little bit under control. I start to walk over to get to my dad, who is in a wheelchair. When he sees me coming, he takes to sobbing real loud and saying OH DEBBIE, which is where I lose it again and just hang onto him. While this is going on Brooke gets her turn with Taylor, she is again talking to him and sees that the candy has slipped from his hand and so she fixes it and then takes to sobbing so hard, she has her head on his chest. She thought she would take one last whiff of his Cologne that was on his shirt, but instead she got a whiff of death. She stood up and turns around, but that is just too much for her when she realizes they are closing the lid, she takes to wailing and she starts to go down. Max grabs her and Diane goes to help him hold her up. Gillman gives Jeff some smelling salt and Jeff puts it under her nose, by this time they have her laying on a bench. The smelling salt brings her right back, in fact , she says in a rather loud voice, Just what was that. Spencer by this time is over by me, He told me later he almost went down too, but quickly got over by a bench. Jeff is so busy helping all the kids, that they are cranking Taylor's head down, when Jeff said Hey, I have not said my good bye yet. So, they cranked Taylor back up. I knew now was the time to look anywhere but at Taylor, cause I could not bare to see that lid close down on my son. I grabbed Spencer and hung onto him and said don't look. As I was looking anywhere but at Taylor, I thought why are there so many people standing around. There were people every where. I guess the church must have been full. Now, the ministers were ready to go in. Ron had just seen all this emotion, as I am sure it would had been hard to watch even if you did not know the people, but we were his family, so it was very emotional for him. He told Andy just as they were ready to walk in I think I might be in over my head. He said as he was walking in, he had a whole pocket of tissue and a hanky and didn't know if he would be able to say a word, but he said as soon as he stood up a real peace of God went around him and he knew he was going to fine. Oh, in the mist of all this emotion, Brooke found Randy and gave him the tribute she wrote for Taylor. Randy had already said he would do it, but just needed a nice printed out copy. Andy had an idea we were going to do it, but not for sure---so Ron thought better make sure Andy knows before they walk in, so he tells Andy. Andy said I don't think we should do that---Randy said, I feel we should and they look at Ron and Ron said-- what God gave him to say----with God's Grace we should read it. I truly believe that was what God wanted done, because Brooke would have been devastated if it was not read---it was some sort of closure for her and the rest of us. We hear the song Precious Memories and knew that was the song we were to walk in on---Brooke got up off the bench, we started to line up. i did not know if I was strong enough to even walk up the aisle, my knees felt pretty weak, in fact I just felt weak all over,so I got in the middle of Spencer and Jeff and put my arms around each of the, and them me. We hung on to each other tightly. We are right behind the casket. I think I can not stand this, i don't think I am going to make it----God once again is going to have to carry me. I just closed my eyes and walked all the way up there with my eyes closed. I didn't want that memory burnt into my mind. Behind us Max and Diane got a good hold of Brooke so she would not collapsed to the floor. All the way up the aisle she just kept saying over and over it is just a shell, Taylor is not there anymore. It was getting louder and louder the farther up the aisle we got. I was hoping the song did not stop until get got seated. We knew what ever songs they sung, no matter how pretty they might be, we will never be able to listen to those again, but God took care of that. i can't remember hearing one song and Diane said when she walked in she was trying to listen to see what they were singing and God put it in another language to her ears, she said I could not understand one word----one never knows how God is going to work. Anyway we finally get up to the front. We are sitting very close together and hanging on to each other. We are mostly under control now, maybe just softly sobbing at times. Andy gets up to read the obituary, then Ron stood up and his voice cracked once, but God gave him the words to say and a real peace in his heart and a peace around him. The church was packed and lot of them kids, I pray that every soul that does not have Jesus, will never forget this service and God will convict them night and day. Ron does bring out in his service something I forgot to say earlier, Jeff wanted to put Taylor's bible in his casket with him, but before he took it to Gillman's, Jeff opened Taylor's bible and the string was on 2 Tim Chapter 1 whether Taylor had it there or God put it there we will never know, but Jeff's eyes fell on verse 4 which says-- Greatly desiring to see Thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy. It was like Taylor was saying--He had a great desire to see Jesus, but knew it was going to break our hearts, but he was filled with great joy in going home---maybe it was God telling us this--which ever way it was, it turned into a great comfort for us. I believe God was very much present in that service and comforting us, but also convicting souls not yet ready to be where Taylor was---eternity. Randy got up and finished up with more encouraging words then he read Brooke's tribute. Randy did a wonderful job, even though he did not really know Taylor. He read it just like Taylor would have played it out. Now it is time to walk out. The service went over 15 minutes, but I did not even notice, somebody else told me that. Anyway, when the ministers were walking off the pulpit, Randy tells the choir to sing Amazing Grace--this is not the song we were suppose to walk out on, but once again, God changed our plans for His purpose. What better song for us to walk out on that Amazing Grace, that was exactly how Taylor was saved---Jesus shed Blood and His Amazing Grace, It was like God was saying I love Taylor and I saved him by my Grace and every one of you can have this-God picked the song for Taylor to be wheeled out on, not any of us---No Taylor was not the Christian I would have liked for him to have been--I would have liked to have seen him on fire for Jesus , but he had a child like faith and God showed us very clearly that was enough for Taylor to be saved and spend eternity with Jesus----Praise His High and Holy Name!! We walk out slowly to the car and am amazed how many people are there. We are sitting right behind Gillman's and watched all the people coming out----it was a testimony of how many people's lives Taylor did touch. Oh, Taylor we loved you with all our hearts and will miss you terribly every single day, but it looks like your friends loved you and will miss you too. When we left the church for the cemetery, I could not believe all the cars, there were cars in the front yard of the church, I have never seen that before----I certainly hope that the hearts that Taylor did touch, will never forget him and one day we can all be reunited in Heaven. I will finish the rest of this funeral day next time. I do know that the day we buried Taylor, they buried a part of my heart with him. No, our lives will never be the same again, but hopefully with God's Grace we can glorify His name in this terrible tragedy and grow closer to the One that does hold the very breath of our lives in His hand.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Today was a beautiful fall day. We went to Rittman to church to help April give lunch---can you imagine telling people you made lunch for six hundred people---impressive. For me, going to Rittman is easier than going to Smithville----Smithville has terrible memories for me---hopefully they will fade in time. Going to Rittman is very hard for Jeff. Taylor usually went to Rittman to be with his friends, so Jeff sees all these kids and Taylor is not there, so it makes it very hard for him. So, just where do we go???
I thought this was sort of interesting. One of my favorite verses that I have memorized is Isa. 40:31 and it says. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not get weary. They will walk and not be faint. I always sorta wondered what did it mean to soar on wings like eagles---I thought it sounded rather freeing---the wind blowing in my hair, flying high in the sky. The other night I was reading something about eagles and it gave this verse an interesting meaning. They said eagles can sense a storm before it arrives, so they fly to a high spot and wait for the inevitable winds to hit. When the winds come, the eagle will set its wings so that the wind will pick them up and lift them above the storm. Then while the storm is raging below, the eagle is soaring about it. The eagle does not escape the storm but simply rises on the winds to be lifted higher. So, God does allow storms, and this time it was a hurricane---But with His Grace I can soar on wings like eagles---I will not escape the pain, the loss, the grieving, but He will give me the strength each and every day to rise above the depths of depression, anger, and the terrible loneliness, but I need to hang onto those wings.
It really touched my heart that a couple of Taylor's really good friends went out to the cemetery on this very beautiful afternoon to visit with him. No, Taylor could not say a word, but they wanted to be close to him and talk about some of those great memories that nobody can take away from them. They are grieving just like we are. They miss that kid probably almost as much as we do. They probably seen more of him than we did in the last year or so. Yes, it is a different kind of loss---they lost a best friend, we lost a son, but a loss is a loss and we are all in pain and grieving. I know many people are still praying for us, and I am very thankful for that, but could you please say a little prayer for his close friends too---Thanks.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Some have told me they have tried to make comments, but they can't get it to post. I know it is alittle tricky. One would think all you needed to do was hit the post. Brooke showed me what you need to do, if you want to comment. You go to google, then go to the right side and create an account---just use your e-mail address if you want, then go to the blog and go to the upper right hand corner and sign in. Then write your comment and hit the drop down arrow and hit google and it should send.
Comments are good----they are encouragements to me----even to say, you are still praying for us---in fact that is the very best thing you can do for us----Thank you for praying!!

Viewing Day (part 2)

Today is Friday and usually Friday's are bad days, and especially when it is raining--but today God brought a little sun shine into my life. Gloria called and wanted to know if I wanted to come over for tea with her and Stan. It did not take me long to say yes. I enjoyed it so much, I almost stayed until dinner, in fact Gloria sent dinner home with me----now how great is that. It is so great how God will provide encouragement just when He knows I need it----He does not always wait until I am hanging on by a thread, but sometimes He just gives me a gift of encouragement because He is God and God is love. Thanks Gloria, dinner was a hit.

Back to the viewing day. We got back to the fellowship hall about 5:45 and there was already a long line. Gillman rushes us into the back door and tells us we better start seeing people right away. As we were walking back up to our stools, I see Ron and Carol. I was so happy to see them, I run over and give them a big hug. We go back up to our spots and people start through again. Again, I can't remember much, it all sorta became a blur except I do remember some moments. I remember when Taylor's friends came through. It tore at my heart to see these big guys with tears running down their cheeks. They never said much to me, just hugged me and cried. I remembered the kid that Taylor had the accident with, he said he was so sorry, and he looked so sad, with tears running down his cheeks. We kept trying to tell him, it is not your fault, it was an accident. This boy had called the house the day before and asked if it would be ok, if he came to Taylor's viewing. We told him, we did not blame him at all and it would be fine. A few days later, later we get a note from this boy's mom thanking us for being so nice to her son and she said, he turned 21 on the day of Taylor's funeral. She said he became a man real quick. I remember looking out the window and seeing the line clear down to the field. Someone that went through the line said they waited between 2 1/2 and 3 hours. That was unbelievable---I don't think I waited that long in line for anything. That was very humbling, to think that people would wait that long to meet us. I guess when Gillman seen that long line he thought he was never going to get to bed that night---poor Diane, she is still on the end of the line, now Gillman is pointing at this watch again, but instead of saying the old people were not going to make it in the hot sun, he now is saying the people were getting eaten up by mosquitoes---so if Diane was not talking much and acting like she was in a hurry to move people a long, it was Gillman, not Diane. Mom must have thought I was looking rather haggard, and tired because she comes up behind me and says maybe you should sit down awhile. i have never hugged so many people in all my life and cried so many tears on people's shoulders. I am sure I left my mark on some of their shoulder's (tear stains). Gillman told us he thought between 1500 and 1600 people went through the line. I was totally shocked how many lives Taylor touched, I hope he left a mark in each of their hearts. I hope they seen God in his life. Something I will always remember is when Spencer's soccer team went through the line, it was very good for Spencer to see all his friends and to give them a hug---but what will always stick out in my mind is when they were all through the line, I turned around and they were sorta behind us and they were in a circle with the coach praying with all of them.Now that is what we need for our kids--coaches that care about their kids and praying with them. God had to be smiling down on that. Spencer went over and joined in with them. I seen Taylor's girlfriend, well they use to be a "couple", but the last several months they had decided to be just friends---well that was more her decision than Taylor's. Anyway, they still talked alot and always were texing each other and would be together in groups. She was coming through with her parents, which Taylor always told me that they(her parents) loved him as a son, but he sure wished "D" would love him too. I was watching them, when "D" got up to Taylor, she leaned over and kissed him between lots of tears. By the time her dad got to me, he was crying and he told me--Taylor was the son, I never had---I could not help but hug this strange man, I never seen before in my life, but my heart was breaking, but so was his---we were connected by this terrible tragedy. I think it was almost 11 until the last person went through the line---I was exhausted but didn't really want to leave, because I knew my time with Taylor was growing short, just one more day, or actually it was measured in hours now. Brooke's boyfriend's mom and her son came from Michigan and she did not get to the fellowshiphall until 11, but by this time, Gillman had enough of people and wanted to go home---he said, we need to go. I thought, we could have alittle time with Taylor, because the next day is our finale good-bye, but as we were getting ready to all go up to the casket---we were just looking at the flowers at first. When we turned around, Gillman was wheeling Taylor out the back door of the fellowship hall---so no closure that night, no time to say good-bye. I wanted to spend some time with Taylor, but didn't get the chance, so on the way home, I was aggravated with Gillman (probably the stress of the evening did not help), but I kept saying we will not take our business back to Gillman's. When we got home and walked into the house, Spencer said in a little quiet voice--I just hope that we don't have any business to give to Gillman anytime soon---we did all have to smile at that comment. Jeff got the mail in and we got probably another 50 cards. It was 11:20 by now, so Jeff did not look at the cards that night. I was so drained, I just hobbled up to bed and knelt beside my bed and thanked God once again for his Grace of getting me through a terrible terrible day and please Carry me through the next day. Ron, Carol and Mandy stayed at Diane's place. Diane gave Ron and Carol their bedroom. She was going to put a night light in the hall so if anyone had to get up during the night they could find the bathroom, but through all the stress and mourning she forgot to put the night light in. About 3:00a.m., Diane wakes up to a big thud and a scream from Carol. Diane knew instantly that Carol had fallen down the stairs. Diane's heart was pounding so hard and she told Max get up and see how Carol was, but it took Max too long, so Diane ran out into the hall way to look. She said she was scared to death that Carol had fallen all the way down the stairs and had broken her neck at the bottom. Yes, Carol fell head first all the way down Diane's stairs. What happened is Carol went to the bathroom, and was coming back to their bedroom in the dark. She thought the bedroom was the first opening, but it was the second and she stepped out into thin air and her face and hands hit the stairs. Mandy said she never came out of her room, until she heard her mom's voice and knew she was ok. Carol was hurt, but not terribly. She had rug burns all over her face and ended up having a hair line fracture in each wrist. She could not make the funeral the next day. When I was talking to Ron several weeks later, he said Carol was doing much better, but he did say that while he was up here in Ohio, one of the ministers in Florida was attending a funeral for a lady that did the exact same thing, except she broke her neck. There it is again, when God is calling you home, you are going to go---we can not add one day to our lives. Carol still has work to do here on Earth, so God protected her from serious injury, but Taylor's work was done. God has a plan for each of our lives, if only we could life as if each day could be our last----how different would I live that day----I try to send some time thinking on this---it sure changes my priorities.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Calmer Day

I will finish part two of viewing day tomorrow morning when I am here by myself, so if I cry nobody will be here. Today was a calmer day--the waves were not as big and with God's help I didn't get knocked over. Yes, i cry some everyday, but what is bad is when I get up and have this terrible sadness in my heart that is so deep I can barely breath. I don't have this every day and for that I am thankful. God probably knows a person could not survive day after day in that kind of pain. An emotional pain ---Heart pain is so different from a physical pain. I know I can't say this for all physical pain, because I have never been in intense physical pain for a long period of time and I pray I never am, but usually there is some kind of pain killers a person can take that can help to some degree. With an emotional pain, there is really no medication to take, well I guess you could get on drugs or alcohol, but that will only make it worse in the long run. I have found there is only one kind of medication that helps and that is crying out to God for His help. Just like today, I knew if I had too many days in a row like yesterday, I was going to be on a slippery slope to depression--another favorite tool of satan's. When I got up today, I decided to look up some of the verses that was in Taylor's funeral. Yes, I have listen to it again. It was very sad in some parts, but also very encouraging in other parts. I was taking some of the verses in the encouraging parts and was going to read and think on them. Psalms 46 was one of them, so thought I would study that one. While I thought I was in the Psalms's, God must have thought that I needed something else because He took me to Isaiah 46. I started reading it and when I got to verse 4, it was like God was saying "This is What I Am doing for you, you just got side tracked yesterday and didn't feel it". Here is what the verse said I have made you (this is very true) and I will carry you (He has done this often in the last weeks); I will sustain you (He has upheld me many times), and I will rescue you (He has pulled me more than once from satan's grips of discouragement, fear, loneliness and He will rescue me from grief one day). Another verse to put into my memory. I have a little plaque that Amber, April, and Autumn gave me that says "God will always keep His promises" I am hanging on to each and every one of them. I heard something today that I thought was rather interesting. They said God has a plan---the plan of Salvation, a plan for each of our lives and satan has an agenda---his agenda is to destroy every plan God has for us---he is trying to take every blessing that God had planned for us to have. I know satan gets his agenda plenty of times with me, but maybe I can be just alittle bit more aware of his agenda--trying to destroy God's plan for me. Thank you all who perhaps prayed extra hard for me yesterday or even today---it was a better day--God carried me through another day. Thank you Jesus---I give Praise to your Name!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sad Moments

It was a beautiful day today, probably Indian summer. Diane and i went for a two mile walk before we even started to clean our office---ya, we were tired before we even started, sure hope we did a good job. I was going to finish Taylor's viewing day, but did not feel up to that trauma tonight. Even though it was beautiful today, I had some very sad moments. A couple of days ago, Jeff decided to get Taylor's truck out from under the trees in the back yard, where it has been since the accident. Jeff brought it up and we cleaned it out. It was rather sad going through all his stuff. He had his sunglasses hanging on the sun visor, and every once in a while you would get a whiff of his cologne that he wore. There was a can of it in there, and he probably used it when he didn't have time to shower :)---too busy with life for a shower. Staci came yesterday and gave me some more pictures of Taylor and all of them riding. I love looking at them, but have to say they make me very sad,because they are recent pictures and it looks like he should be walking through the door at any moment. I put them on face book and looked at them for a long time, then went off to bed. I couldn't sleep, all I could think about was how much I am missing him and how much we lost. No, Taylor did not lose anything, but he did gain everything. It is us that are mourning for ourselves, all we will miss with him not in our lives. It was like I was at the beach today, and the waves were rather rough. They came in and would hit me at knee level and end up knocking me off balance more than once today. This afternoon when it was so beautiful, I decided to pull out some of my flowers and pull weeds. Jeff had used Taylor's truck today because his was being serviced, and when he pulled into the drive, and I looked up from pulling weeds, it almost took my breath away. I felt my heart really start to ache, but when he got back into Taylor's truck and drove down the lane, I could feel that wave coming in again, only this time it hit me so hard the water went clear over my head. I just stood looking at that truck going down the road and just sobbed. The only thing that wasn't Taylor about that truck, was that it was not spinning gravel all over as it drove out the lane :). I felt weak today, like I could get lost in the grief. After Spencer was home for awhile, and we were talking, I asked him how his day was going. He said he did not have a very good day---he said he was not sure why, but in study hall he just started thinking about the day of Dawn's wedding and how it lead up to Taylor's accident that night. He said he was very sad too. Brooke came home saying she was not feeling well---which is no surprise lots of sick kids in school. Anyway, I talked to her awhile, then went out to pull more weeds----she in the mean time left. When she got home several hours later, she looked really bad---eyes all red and sorta swollen---I said I think you do have the flu bug, sure hope it isn't the swine flu, your eyes look "sick". I later felt terrible, when she told me she was out visiting Taylor at the cemetery. I was trying to figure out why on such a beautiful day, did we all have such a sad day. I know not nearly as many people as when it first happened are praying for us---and yes that is normal---life happens--new things to pray about----but yes it is scary when I think what will it be like when less and less people are praying for us. So, Please anybody that is reading this, please continue to pray for us. I think I will go to bed now and pray for a better day tomorrow. I know God was there wanting to fill my needs today, but for some reason I did not feel Him close to me . Satan probably won the battle today, but he will not win the war---well I hope not---Jesus help me to be on the winning side.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me

It is Monday morning, and all are off to work and school. I am all alone, well not really alone, God is always just a whisper away. Luann e-mailed last night and said to pray for Tim and Joan Reinhart from Peoria, which are living in Haiti right now doing God's work being missionaries. She said that their 5 year old son was killed yesterday in an accident on the way to church. She also said that 11 years ago another son of theirs drowned--he was eighteen months at the time. When I read this, I found myself starting to shake, I could feel the horror all over again. I wanted to scream---God, what are you doing here---you said, you work ALL things to the good for those who love you and been called according to Your purpose---How can this possibly be a good thing. They are doing Your work---spreading Your word, then to take two of their kids. I could feel another one of satan's favorite tools taking a hold of me (FEAR). I found myself thinking if God took one of my kids, surely He would not take another one, but found I am filled with fear about that. I know this sounds so silly, but I found myself thinking, I prayed so hard for Taylor and God took him anyway, now to truly place my other two kids in God's hands and close the door on fear is very difficult for me. But in my heart of heart's I do know that God has their very breath in His hands and wants to do what is best for each of them. Maybe the true Fear comes in thinking, I would never make it through another tragedy like that----doubting God's Grace. Anyway, God seen all the fear that was starting to take root in my mind and heart and He had me open to Psalm 91:4-5 this morning--God will cover me with His feathers, and under His wings I will find refuge. His faithfulness will be my shield. I will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day. I just thought how comforting, I thought if I am under His wing, I am very close to His heart and what better place to be-----He is my shield, and He will give me the Grace to get through all things. I have to say, though, fear is knocking on my door quite often, just ask my other two kids---I would like at times for them to live in a bubble. Just like Spencer was about to get his driver's licenses when this all happened with Taylor. He still has not gotten them. I just said the other day, maybe you should just wait to get them, I don't think I can take the stress of you driving yet too. I think he gets it even better than me at times----or maybe he just wants his license, but anyway he says "mom, you know my days are numbered just like Taylor's were". He heard us so often say, God knew the day Taylor was born, just how many days he had here on earth, it really was no accident in God's eyes, it was His perfect plan. It was that Taylor's work here on earth was finished. Spencer will get his license, and I will need to put him totally in God's hands every time he leaves the drive way---cause like Spencer says----God already knows his days.

Ok, I will go back now to the morning of Taylor's viewing. I get out of bed thinking how will I ever get through this day. I felt so weak, and exhausted before the day even had begun. Diane and I use to say how terrible will that be when we have to stand in that receiving line when either mom or dad die, never in my worst nightmare did it ever enter into my mind that it would be my own son. We all got up, and slowly moved around, nobody saying a word. We were all in our own thoughts. I really can't remember much what happened in that morning. Diane, Max, and all her kids came over for lunch----nobody ate much. We talked some about Taylor, but mostly just quiet. Some people came and stayed at the house when got ready to leave. We left about 12:45 to go the fellowship hall. As we drove into the drive, I thought I will never see this place the same again. As much as I hate to say this, I will go there as little as possible, at least for a long time. We get out of the car, this is going to be Mark and Matt's first time in seeing Taylor, all the rest have seen him several times, but of course it that does not make this any easier. Matt just walks around outside for awhile, before he can come in. I know at this time I am no longer walking on my own, Jesus is now carrying me---there are only one set of footprints in the sand and they are not mine. We walk in the door, and i am walking very slowly, because I know as soon as I turn that corner, I am going to see something no mother ever wants to see, her son in the casket. We walk around the corner, and yes, it almost takes my breath away, because there he is laying in that casket. My heart is breaking in a million pieces,I am thinking-- how will I ever make it without him in my life---yes Jesus is right there with me weeping along side me--I can almost feel this. We walk slowly by all the flowers and there are some beautiful ones, but I could hardly notice. The Sunday school class gave us a big black plaque with one of my favorite verses----BE STILL AND KNOW I AM GOD. I have that on the entertainment center with some of his pictures now. We all go up by the casket to see him again. Brooke and I lean over him, and Brooke is touching his cheek and hair, and we are talking to him. Then we say to each other, if we look close you can even see that famous little smirk he always had on his face. Jeff's family come alittle bit later and they all go through and see him. This is their first time, so it is very emotional for all. The viewing was not to start until 2:00, but already there was a line, so at about 1:35 they open the doors to let people in. That can almost be a blur. I do remember hearing time and time again, There are no words to say, I liked that, because there were no words for such tragedy. The very best thing to hear was, I am praying for you and I will continue to pray for a long time. I could look into some people's eyes and their eyes said it all---they did not need to say a word. Some people told Diane, they(jeff and I) think this is bad, it will get much worse. I had to think on that, I don't know if I would say much worse, but it is just as bad. That was horror, and shock, yes a nightmare beyond words, but afterwards, there is such sadness and loneliness-- that is indescribable, for example, some days you think, I just have to see and talk with him, but knowing in your heart that is never going to happen on earth. That too is a nightmare, but just a different kind of pain. As time went by, the line was getting longer and longer. I started to see people coming from Illinois. I was happy to see them all, but it really tore at my heart when I seen Mom and dad coming in with my cousins. They were the ones I seen on that Sunday morning right after it happened before we left Illinois. Warren and his two girls came through---that was very hard. We were to leave for supper at four, but that did not happen, it was five or so. In the line was Jeff, Me, Spencer, Brooke, Diane and Max. Diane should have found another place to stand, because Mr. Gillman kept blaming her that the line was moving so slow---I am not sure what he expected, but how would anyone tell people to hurry up through the line after they waited hours to get through it. Anyway, he would look at Diane and point at his watch and say, it is so hot out there in the line, those old people are not going to make it. She was not sure what to do about that, because there I was telling anybody that would listen to me about that phone call from Craig, and making sure anyone that wanted the flier had one. Yes, my heart was breaking in a million pieces, but I still had that joy in my heart that God was sooooo merciful in answering my prayer and showing us through His Amazing Grace and His blood, Taylor was rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus at that very moment. At five o'clock, I guess somebody decides it is time to go for supper, but who was hungry, certainly not me---maybe that is why I felt so weak----anyway, mom, dad, warren, and all of us went up to the casket to take a closer look, because mom and dad could not stand in that line. It was a very emotional time, with all of us there. I think all of us were still in shock, how can Taylor, the boy that was so active and always with a smile on his face, actually be laying so still and now so cold right in front of us. We then left to go back to the church for supper. I felt very drained, but knew God was carrying me----I knew that without a doubt. Like Diane said to me later, that week was so terrible, but we have never felt God so close. Each night as we knelt beside our beds, we gave Him praise, because we seen Him everywhere. One example was Dad made it out here---seven long hours, usually driving makes him very dizzy, but he was fine. He felt good. Many people drove long hours to stand in long lines to show their love and support to us, I truly want to thank you all.
If anyone reading this would like to leave a comment or a thought, or maybe what God has done in your life, I would like that, and it would be appreciated. I will continue with the rest of this day next time.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Friends

Saturdays are usually rather sad days, but today was different. God brought some one into our lives that we can talk and relate with and become friends with. They also lost their 18 year old son in an accident in May. As I am sure some will know them, or at least will have heard their story, so as you are praying for us, please remember to pray for them also. They are Rick and Denise Plummer. Diane and Max had us all for dinner----Max worked really hard smoking his meat----it was delicious--Thanks Max. It helped us to hear their story and how God got them through that terrible tragedy and how they are working through their grief now. God is so faithful. If you don't know their story, I will tell you a little about it. Their son Nathan had graduate from High School on Sunday and was on his motorcycle going to work on Monday morning when he was killed. They had his graduation party all planned for the next Saturday night, but instead of the pictures going to his party, they went to his viewing. Again, it shows how we make plans, but God is in control of our every breath. God did provide them with lots of memories of graduation day through pictures. They had taken lots of pictures with family and friends----I hope they enjoyed the evening as much as we did. It was nice to talk with someone that knows what we are going through. No, we may not be able to relate exactly to what each of us are feeling, since each of us grieve differently, but it was good to talk to somebody that has been through the same experience as us. God is faithful, He does provide for all our needs, even when we are not sure what they are.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two Months Ago Today

It was two months ago today that Taylor had his accident. It seems like we have been in this horror forever. I was getting groceries today and three different people stopped and talked with me. It is so encouraging to hear them say they are praying for us and and think of us often. I know everybody's lives move on and there are new concerns and things to pray about. It always touches my heart when I look into people's eyes and truly see that they care for us deeply and are grieving with us and it is just not words. I thank every one of you from the bottom of my heart that are reading this and praying for us daily. As I opened the newspaper yesterday, I seen a 16 year old boy was killed in a car accident. I could just relive those terrible moments just like they were mine own again. I could feel their horror and pain, so with God's help I wrote them a letter. I do not know if they believe in God or not, but I said the only thing that kept us from collasping from overwhelming shock and horror was God and we are hanging on to Him with both hands every day since.
Bev came over yesterday to give Brooke her birthday present, then she also gave us two CD's to listen to. As i was driving to the Rec center today, I thought I would play one in the car. One song really got my attention. It was talking about two people that had a very close relationship and one was dying. The one that died(I was thinking of Taylor) was now in heaven. He (Taylor) was telling the other one (me) that he is waiting for me on the far side banks of Jordon---as he is waiting for me, he is drawing pictures in the sand (well knowing Taylor he would get bored with that), but anyway, when he sees me coming, he will rise up with a shout and come running through the shallow waters reaching for my hand. I could just picture it all in my mind. It just made me smile. As I thought about this, I have realized that everything---and I mean Things---has lost all importance. My heart's desire is having myself and my family in Heaven---to have our family circle once again complete, but this time in Heaven. Please continue to pray for us----God has been very faithful and been my constant companion. I am thankful that He has given me a very strong Christian family and many, many strong Christian friends to lean on and cry on their shoulder's if need be many times-----Thank you Jesus--I praise your High and Holy Name.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

God's Faithfulness

Today is Brooke's 25th birthday. I can't believe it has been 25 years ago, that I was holding that tiny black haired baby in my arms. Bev came over and brought Brooke a bunch of balloons. She said she did not want to bring flowers, and she was right. As beautiful as flowers are, right now they just hold a lot of bad memories.

I have found that my relationship with Jesus is much different than what it was six months ago. I thought I had a close relationship with Him, but now it is like I am hanging on to Him every minute of every day. I have conversations with Him all day long, because i know that is the only way I am going to make it through the day. As strange as it may sound, the closer I get to Jesus, the closer satan gets to me. Satan likes to get out his favor tool---discouragement---to use on me. I can fall into that trap easily, especially if I have loosened my grip on Jesus. Diane and i were cleaning the dentist office today and we usually take several breaks---we tire easily, so we need breaks :). If the grief counseling person is correct when she says talking through the tragedy time and time again will be healing, Diane and I should be the first ones healed, because we have talked it through many times. Today, though satan was present and brought his favorite tool with him---discouragement. As we were talking I found myself asking just why did God pick my birthday, and Dawn's wedding day for this horrible tragedy to happen on. There are 364 other days of the year why that day. But what really hit me hard was when I started to think and talk about that fateful night. I told Diane if mom and dad were not back in that bedroom sleeping I would have screamed at God when i heard that Taylor was gone. I would have screamed why Taylor, I prayed so hard for him, I prayed constantly for him. I prayed, or more like pleaded with God not to take Taylor unprepared or unsaved and at this point I did not know where Taylor was----so why God, would you do that. Brooke has even said, she wanted to scream, why did you not take me---I know where I am going and so did everybody else. You could have taken me last week in my accident---why Taylor. As we were talking about this, I found myself thinking again, God why did you take Taylor---I prayed so hard for guarding angels to protect him. About this time, my cell phone rings and i look at the number and realize I don't know the number so was not going to answer it. Then I think, oh, that might be Amber's new number, so i do answer it. It was Spencer's driving teacher and she asks how we are doing, and i say one day at a time, but at that moment, I was thinking, it is more like one moment at a time, but her next comment is what caught my attention, she says, remember God is in control. When i hung up, and told Diane what she said, Diane said, just listen to what she said-----God is in Control. It was like God was calling me himself, and saying---I know this is terrible, I know you are grieving, but remember I can see the whole picture, and Yes I am in Control!! Satan was defeated at that moment, he had to take his favorite tool and exit, because God stepped in and got my focus back where it should always be---God does not make mistakes---His plan is perfect. Like Diane said she prays every day that she will have eyes and ears to hear God when He speaks. I believe God speaks every day. I just need to have eyes to see and ears to hear, because satan's tool is so very well used and he knows exactly where to hit me with it, which can make me miss when God is trying to encourage me, or tell me something. I try to remember God's mercies are new each morning. I need to be looking for them each day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day by Day

I had to do some hard stuff today. I had to go to the bank and close out all Taylor's accounts. He had a CD that came due, so I had to take care of that. As I was walking into the bank, I was just praying Please God give me strength to do this, and please don't have them ask a bunch of questions. My name was on all of his accounts along with his----which made it much easier, but still very hard. God was once again very faithful. It all went very smoothly and they did not ask one question----well, that might have been because I looked like at any second I could have busted into tears. Then i had to go make copies of his death certificate and work some more with his financial aid loans. Doing this makes it all so final, yes I realize Taylor's life is over, but it is just so final closing everything out. I just kept thinking, how everytime Taylor wanted to do something and spend money (which was all the time), I would constantly remind him that he really had no money, he would need all his money to pay on his school loans. Now, as I was driving home this afternoon, after closing all his accounts, I felt really, really sad---what am I going to do with his money, the money I would not let him spend because he had to pay off school loans. The sad part is, he did not even like school all that much.

Now, I am going back to the Tuesday after his death. None of us slept very well Monday night. I got up, and noticed that I was starting to feel weak, almost like when you are just getting over a terrible illness. I tried to think, did I eat anything yesterday,I could not remember if I did or not, so thought maybe I better try to eat something today. As I was getting ready in the bathroom, I heard Jeff sobbing downstairs and thought this is going to be another day we will never forget. As I listened, I noticed that he was sobbing harder and harder, so thought maybe I better go down and talk to him. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I instantly knew why he was sobbing uncontrollably, he had the newspaper opened on the table. I didn't even have to look because i already knew what it was, but I knew I had too. I went over to the table, and there was Taylor's darling senior picture right under the word Obituary. How could that possibly be, my smiling son's face staring back at me in the obituary part of the paper, yes, there was other people in that part too, but they were all in their 70's, 80's. I just stood there staring at his face, and sobbing my eyes out. Again thinking when will this nightmare come to an end---then realized it only began. I thought at least today I would not have to do anything but stay in the house and not make one decisions. I went down to check my e-mail, when I saw Brooke was up half of the night writing a tribute for Taylor. As I read through it, I thought she had described Taylor exactly as he was. It was so sad, but it also made me smile. I knew at that point, I did not know who it was going to be, but somebody was going to need to read this. I knew for Brooke and probably for all of us, it was a small point of closure. Karen came over in the morning. She was a great help. She would get the names of all the people that would bring food, or just be stopping by---someday, I may want to go back and see who all came and brought food. She would organize the kitchen, freeze food that we were not going to be eating and set out food that needed to eaten. Diane, Max, Keith, Autum, Mark, April, Amber and Matt all came over, some were here all day, some came and went because of their kids. It was great to have family so close by at such a terrible time. I talked to mom and she said Dad is going to try to come for the funeral. Dad has alot of health problems, in fact the last time he was here which was five years ago, he spent the whole week in the hospital. So, yes, we wanted him to come, but just wondered what will that all entail, hopefully he does not end up in the hospital again. We all prayed really hard that God would give him health and strength. God answered our prayers, Dad made the trip out fine, he got along great all the while he was here. He even went to the cemetery. Bill and Dawn are on their honeymoon, Warren has to tell them (ya, we make Warren do the hard things like tell everybody). So, now they are planning on coming too for the viewing. This will be the first time in a very long time that my whole family will all be together, but oh did it have to be at such a high price. It was amazing, God even answered the small prayers being said. Karen said she was praying that somebody would bring lunch---I guess she froze all the food---and here comes Pat and Rich Steiner with a big roaster full of food right at lunch time. Then for supper, she is again praying for dinner----she was probably the only one praying for food, because all the rest of us had bigger things on our minds than food, but thankfully God hears each and every prayer----at dinner here comes Martha Walder with a big casserole of beef and noodles. We had Taylor's wallet and phone just laying there in the living room by some of his other stuff. We noticed that day, as other days, kids kept calling his phone. We would look to see who it was, but figured out they just wanted to hear his voice message---that just made me cry---we are hurting, but so are his friends. His friends were coming all day---I think I hugged some of them three and four times. Craig Wellert called and wanted to know if he could bring over a bunch of Taylor's ag friends---I think there were probably 15 kids that came that evening. We just sat around and they would tell stories of Taylor. It was so bittersweet. I loved to hear the stories, and yes they were all the "crazy" things that Taylor had done----you could not help by laugh, but there was such an ache in my heart----Taylor should have been sitting on one of those chairs acting his "silly" self, but his chair was empty. I did notice though that Mr. Wellert really had a love in his heart for each of these kids, he wanted all of them to know Jesus. And you could also see the kids had a great respect for him and loved him as well. Even though, I did not know all Taylor's friends, I could see he did have a nice bunch of friends. The kid that was on the back of Taylor's 4 wheeler with him, sat very quietly and never said a word and looked very sad. I had to give him a big hug, in fact I think I hugged all of them as they left. Like I said that was bittersweet, but am glad they came. We pretty much just sat around here all day and talked about Taylor. i remember Max saying something that has stuck with me----He said we now have to get use to a "new normal", as I found out that is exactly what we are trying to do with every ounce of our strength. It will never be normal again, our family circle is now broken, but slowly day by day and with God's help we will develop a new normal. We will never forget Taylor, in fact, I will think of him every day, and probably many times a day until the day I die I am quite sure of that, but our family circle here on earth is now a "new normal". Jeff every day had to get out of the house, so he would run little errands. Everyday on his errands, he would stop at Gillman's to see Taylor---that was too hard for me, but for him it was a comfort. Well, he comes home that day after visiting Gillman's and says he saw Taylor in the casket today. I just looked at him and thought I never want that image of Taylor in my mind to remember, but knew that was not going to be possible. Then he continues to say, he looks really good, just like he is sleeping. I also remembered when i seen him the day before, his hair was combed straight back, thought that was from the wind from riding his 4 wheeler. I just said did they comb Taylor's hair right (he always wore it combed down). Jeff says, it is combed like it was straight back-----I know, why should it matter at a time like this, but I did not want his hair combed like that, so said I want to go see him and have Gillman comb it right. Everybody is here, all Diane's kids and Max and Diane. So, now we are trying to decide if we want the trauma of seeing him in the casket yet that day. We all were getting emotional just thinking about it----it was bad enough to see Taylor on that cold steel stab, but now in a casket, can my body take any more. It definitely was all the people praying for us that kept me from just collapsing on the floor from one emotional moment to the next, because right then, my prayers were pretty much just moaning and groaning. I would find myself just walking around the house and would be moaning----my mind was just trying to comprehend what had happened, but my mind only lets so much in at a time. If my mind let it all in at once, I would have collapse and never got up.-- Side note---They told us at grieve sharing, it takes your mind 6 to 9 months to comprehend the loss, and probably two years to get through the grief. We finally all decide it is probably best if we go into Gillman's that day and get the initial shock of seeing him in the casket over, but I am thinking I will never get over that shock. Gillman's have other deceased people in there, so they put Taylor in the room with the caskets. So we have to go back into that terrible room again. We all go up to the casket to see him, again it is just too much for me to see Taylor laying there. He was so full of life and always with a smile on his face, now he is laying so still in this casket. I can't even remember who was holding me up, I think it might have been Diane and Amber . I do remember touching his arms and face----they were so cold and stiff. Something had been bothering me----before we had left for Illinois I had been "on his back" about this 4 wheeler and how much I hated it and how he was going to get hurt. He was outside in the garage washing it when i was talking with him, like he so often was. I will always remember it, he says, Mom, it will be alright, you have to take some risk sometimes. After we talked alittle bit longer, I could feel myself getting really aggravated with him, so I just went into the house. Even as I went into the house, I felt I needed to tell him that no, i did not like that 4 wheeler, but he did do alot of things I did like. I thought I needed to tell him things that are good, not always what I did not like. Brooke was out in the garage too that night, and after I went into the house, she said that Taylor said, Just once, i wish mom would be happy for me in what I am doing with this 4 wheeler. So, after she told me that, i thought for sure I needed to talk with him, but I never got the chance. i was going to do it before we left for Illinois, but time ran out. So, when we were in there at Gillman's, Diane says why don't you just go talk to him and tell him now how you feel. I decided to do that, let me tell you that was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but am very glad I did it. It was so hard to be telling your dead son what you should have told him in life. I wanted him to know how I really felt, I love him with all of my heart, and the only reason I did not want him to have that 4 wheeler, was because I was deathly afraid of this happening. I told him I was so sorry for not getting the chance to tell him all this. I was sobbing so hard, that I am pretty sure that tears and snot were falling all over his chest. I am leaned over the casket, and finally Diane helps me up and we go out into the other room where Diane's kids are. Then we decide to come back in and look at Taylor one last time before we leave. Keith is busy looking at all the caskets in the room--going from one to the next. They all have the lids open, except for this one right behind Taylor. While we are all looking at Taylor, Keith decides to see just why this casket has it's lid closed. Well, Keith got a little surprise, when he peeked in, there was another person in it. He very quietly closed the lid and says to the rest of us in a very calm voice, I don't think we are the only ones in this room. In time of great grief, we did all have to laugh----that is so Keith---he is one to put a smile on your face through your tears. Through all the trauma, I forgot to say, that yes Taylor's hair was combed straight back. I asked Mr. Gillman if that could be changed, because Taylor never wore his hair like that. It made him look much older. Gillman acted like it is too late to change it. He said it would stick straight out if he tried to change it----I will never know why he did not look at the picture I took in there, but he didn't. I did ask Wendy (she cut Taylor's hair and also Spencer's) if it could have been changed, and if she would have done it for me. She said it would have been very hard to do, but yes, she would have done it, and yes it could have been done even though it had gel on it. She said it could have been changed, you just wash it out alittle and redo it. But what is done is done. Cards are starting to arrive. I think we got probably around 50 that day. Jeff loved getting cards, he said he would read every verse on each card. At this time, so early in the tragedy, cards were not that much of a comfort for me, they just seem to be a constant reminder of this terrible tragedy---as time went on, they were more of a comfort. In fact, the ones we got a month or so later were much more of a comfort, because that reminded us people were still thinking and praying for us. Everybody went home fairly early on Tuesday evening, because we all knew the next day was going to be very long and very, very emotional. They told us in our grief sharing class, grieving is like working eight hours of hard labor. I truly believe that---every evening I felt so weary and tired. We all went to bed not saying much. Again before going to bed I had to thank God for the Grace He gave me to even make it through that horrible day and prayed for alot of strength and Grace for the next day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


It has been eight weeks since I have seen Taylor---it seems much longer. Saturday's are very sad. I was thinking eight weeks ago this morning, he was at work getting ready to come home for lunch. I had to think when he got up that morning, probably tired from staying out too late the night before, but was excited about only having to work until noon, then he had big plans of going to the bon fire and riding his 4-wheeler with his friends. I am sure it never entered his mind when his alarm went off that morning to get up for work, that today would be his last day on earth. Why would it---he was young, healthy, lots of friends,and lots of fun things to do that day. In fact,, he was in such a hurry to get going, that he left all his work clothes and boots right in the middle of his room, but God had other plans for Taylor that night. What would Taylor have changed if he knew the Saturday before when Brooke was in her accident and he came running home to give her a hug and to say "I am so happy you are OK" that the very next Saturday he would not only be hurt, but he would be in eternity. Like Grandpa said, Taylor rode his 4 wheeler right into Heaven. Yes, he is saved and with Jesus now, but would he have lived those last days more for Jesus than himself. I am sure he would have, but then wouldn't any of us. I guess, i am really thinking about myself---live my life each day, like it could be my last. I will have a very different focus----one focued on Jesus's face.
As I was spending time with God today, it was like He wanted me to go read in Revelation 21 about Heaven. I was happy to do that----that chapter gives me such peace. As I was reading in verse 4---where it says--He will wipe every tear from my eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain. That in it's self makes me want to go today, but then when it talks about streets of pure gold, how beautiful the twelve foundations are, the gates are of pearls, God's glory is the light, and Jesus is the lamp. I am certainly looking forward to that day when I can jump into Jesus's arms and then grab Taylor and hold him close to me. It could be today---who knows God may be putting the trumpet to His lips at this very moment ready to blow the trumpet for Jesus to come and collect His children, or maybe my work is finished here on earth either way I am ready. Praising Jesus's name---I love you, Jesus, who is the King of Kings,and the Lord of Lords

Friday, October 9, 2009

Worst Day of My Life (part 2)

Today is Friday----Friday is just not a good day for me. I always just seem to have strong waves of sadness and lonliness. It seems like it is harder to keep my focus on Jesus, my mind wants to go to all I have lost, yes all I have lost, because Taylor did not lost anything, in fact the only thing he has lost is all track of time. I know he would say just like he did in that dream-"don't worry about me, I am fine." But that is so much easier said than done. I think of all the lost time I will never get to talk with him, and all the things I wish I would have said or done with him. I think he will never get married or have kids. I must try to remember, someday, yes someday, I will get to talk with him as long as I want, give him a hug. They told us in our grief counseling class, which I thought was rather interesting---grief is like walking in the water, on the beach by the ocean. They said you walk along and the water may be just running slightly over your feet, a little bigger wave comes in and the water may come up to your knees and push you slightly off balance, still not terrible, you don't loose your balance, maybe a little taken off guard. The next wave you may be looking backwards and don't see it coming and it is a big one, and knocks you plum over and the water goes over your head and into your ears. You come up coughing and choking, thinking boy, I did not see that one coming. That is alot like grieving deeply. You can be going along your day, and you feel sad, but not overwhelming sad, but you are not even sure what caused it, the next hour you can be knocked to your knees or even completely down, and are pleading for God to help you back up to a standing position. It is amazing how just about everytime I plead with God to help me back up, He is right there and is grabbing me and helping me back up and then He will be upholding me with His righteous right hand like it says in Isa. 41:10. I was listening to another Bluffton sermon today as I was working out, he had a very good point. He said when God has us on mountain tops that is the time to be developing our relationship with Jesus and a learning time, because when we are in the valley's and which we all are going to be there sometime in our lives, we will know Jesus well and hang on with both hands and let Jesus carry us through the valley. I thought how true that is----because if we did not know Jesus well I think it just might be impossible to ever get out of a valley this deep.
I am going back to the second half of Monday. It is much calmer than the morning. On Monday morning, Brooke had commented to me that she would like to write a tribute to Taylor and have it read at the funeral. I thought that was a good idea, but didn't know if she really would or not, she can be a real procrastinator at times. When I walked in the door of our house, I seen Andy standing by our kitchen table. I walked over to talk with him. He hands me a black folder like thing and says to pick out the songs we want sung at Taylor's funeral. I thought, I hardly ever go to funeral's, and any song I pick out, it will forever have terrible memories, and I will never want to hear them again----little did I know, God would change that thinking and Amazing Grace would become one of my favorite songs, even though Taylor was being wheeled down the aisle out the doors for the last time on this song (I will explain that on the day of the funeral). Once again, Diane made all the decisions about the songs. She did a wonderful job. Anyway, at this point, we were trying to decided who we wanted to have Taylor's service. There was only one thing I wanted to be brought out and that was the phone call from Craig about Taylor having Jesus in his heart, and Taylor expressing that he was a Christian, but as i am again trying to tell Andy this story, I can see he either is not believing it or did not want to bring that out in the service. At that point, I knew Andy was not having the service, but I was not sure who was. I did think before Andy left I better tell him that Brooke wanted to have a tribute read at the funeral. He was not too crazy about that idea---He just said, we don't usually have that done---it can get carried away. I just said that is something she would really like done, it would be some sort of closure for her. We just looked at each other and neither one of us said another word. He soon left. Amber, Matt, April, (Mark came later), Autumn, Keith, Max and Diane were a constant in our lives at this point. They were all here most of the time. I was so thankful to have them here for support. Amber said, I have something to tell you that God showed me. I am always all "ears" when God is involved. She was with Jeff over in the ER and was with Taylor soon after he died. She said later that night, or maybe it was the next day---I can't remember exactly-- she too, ask God to show her a sign if Taylor was safely with Him. She was up most of the night, so in the morning she stayed home with the kids and Matt went to church. Amber was thinking about how God left all the kids 20 and under go into the promise land when they were in the desert. She got to thinking Taylor was just 20. Matt knew nothing about this prayer Amber began to pray. She was praying all morning that if Taylor was with Jesus that the first words out of Matt's mouth when he came home from church would be about this. She said when Matt came home before he even had his tie loosen, he said just those words---the kids 20 and under got to go into the promise land. Could this be by coincidence or chance---I don't think so---God was answering another of our prayers---He was being very merciful time and time again showing us that yes, Taylor is fine---you will see him again someday. God knew that was the only thing that was going to get us through this horrible experience. But God wanted more than to show us where Taylor was, He also wanted us to Glorifiy His Name. So, Autumn took it upon herself to listen to and re-listen to that voice mail of Craig's time and time again until she had it all written word for word. Later that day, Keith and Autum took it and had it all printed out.( i never even thought of this---God showed Autumn and Keith to do this) We tried to decide just how many copies to make, first we thought maybe a hundred, but as we seen later, a hundred would never have been enough. I think Keith said he decided on a thousand. We put them right up there with Taylor's memory cards, so it was there for anybody to take. I also took a bunch with me, and if I noticed somebody going through the line did not have one---I would try to give them one. We wanted God's power and saving Grace to be seen. I pray that in some way it touched hearts----I will probably never know, but God does. People were coming all day long. Food was being brought in----I really don't remember eating much, but it was nice to have food for whoever was hungry. Neil, Jer, and Ellen usually came for supper and stayed the evening with us. In the evening Ron called, He told me this much later---even weeks later---that when Warren called him to tell him about Taylor----Ron said at that point, God said to Ron "you are going to have that service". Ron said back to God, or he probably just thought it---oh, no, I am way to close, but God says again, "no, you are going to have that service, or at least some part in that service". Ron thought, I won't say a word about that. Well, I was not really going to ask him to have the service, i felt, he was Taylor's uncle and was too close---it would be too hard on him. I did think about just having him have the prayer at the cemetery. As we talked, I told him about the phone call from Craig and how I really wanted that brought out and I was not sure that was going to happen. After some more talking, he says do you want me to do it. I could not believe my ears----God at work once more---God is amazing!!! I said that would be great. Then Ron says how do you want the service to be---like based more around Taylor's life---more personal is what he was getting at. I said, all I really want brought out is that phone call and Taylor being saved, then I believe God wants to reach the unsaved by Taylor's sudden death, so preach to the unsaved. I also told him about Brooke wanting to have that tribute read----and Ron said, "we are free in the Lord", meaning we will go where God leads. Then he said he would see us in a few days. Neil then told me that Randy G was also coming for the funeral, I said, do you think he would also speak at Taylor's funeral. I then called Randy and he was more than happy to speak and read Brooke's tribute. Over and over God was present----just like that verse Phil 4:19 My God will meet all of my needs according to His Glorious Riches in Christ Jesus (if you look these up in your bible---you will find I change them a little to make them very personal). This terrible day is finally coming to an end. We are all exhausted, but will we sleep? We say good night to everyone and we are now left alone. We are too tired to even cry anymore, we just slowly get ready for bed. I knee beside my bed, and thank God for His Amazing Grace that He got us through this terrible day, and know that He will get us through tomorrow. I am beginning to see God on a much deeper level---He has been faithful in hearing and answering our prayers. I am feeling a great Love for Him. I know that hundred's of people are praying and I thank every last one of them. I lay my head on my pillow and all I can think about is this terrible day, but God mercifully brings sleep.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Worst Day of My Life (part 1)

This will be very difficult to write, and very difficult to read----so you may not want to read this one. On that Sunday night after Jeff had said we had an appointment with Gillman's on Monday morning, he also said we had to have Taylor's obituary written up. I just thought how can I possibly write something like that. There were so many things to say about Taylor, but I did not feel like saying a thing. Diane and I sat down to write something, but our minds were blank, the only thought passing through my mind was THIS CAN NOT BE TRUE!. Luann and her kids ended up writing it and e-mailing it to Diane. They put a lot of thought into making it very personal and very much TAYLOR. I truly appreciated them writing it for us. As Diane and Max were leaving that evening, she said we will let you go as a family to the funeral home tomorrow, but if you need us just call and let us know and we will go with you.
Monday morning---I can't remember if it was sunny or raining I just knew that in my heart it was very dark and sad---this was going to be the worst day of my life. I think my prayer for this day was again just moans and groans----. The Holy Spirit, I am sure was interceding for me and also, by now hundreds of people were praying for us. Yes, you do feel the people's prayers. We, I am sure were in the palms of Jesus's hands---like that saying FOOTPRINTS----.The only footprints were Jesus's. Karen came that morning to stay here while we left for Gillman's. People were stopping by and dropping off food. As it got closer to the time for us to leave for Gillman's, I could feel my body starting to shake and thinking I just can not go there. I sat on the livingroom couch and called Diane and through sobbing tears I tried to say, " I just can't do this". She said we will meet you there and go in with you. It was time to get dressed to leave. Spencer could not even go into his room (he shares one with Taylor) to get his clothes. That room is so much Taylor----Taylor left all his work clothes laying on the floor---he just jumped out of them to take a shower that Saturday night before he left. He had jeans and some shirts laying across his bed, his shoes were right in the middle of the room I could barely go in there to get Spencer's clothes out of the closet----just looking at all Taylor's stuff, I just wanted to fall to the floor and sob until there was not a tear left in me---but knew I could not do that, Spencer was standing right outside the door waiting for me to get his stuff. We finally are all ready to leave. Jeff picks up the clothes we had picked out for Taylor and carries them to the car----my heart is breaking into a million pieces----.No body says a word all the way into Gillian's. It is very silent in the car---all in our own thoughts. As we pull into Gillman's, we see Diane and Max are already there. As we pull in, I am thinking, my boy is in there-----How can this be. I do not want to go in---this is a my worst nightmare, but it is not a nightmare, but true---Please let this not be true! We slowly get out of the car, and so do Max's. Diane and I just look at each other and we fall into each other's arms and sob. I am sobbing uncontrollably now, I can barely stand up. Brooke gets out and she just leans over at the waist and is sobbing so hard that Max comes over and helps her from falling to the ground. After five minutes or so, we get ourselves half way under control and hobble and I mean hobble to the door. Bob Gillman opens the door and lets us in, Jeff hands him Taylor's clothes and a picture of Taylor (remember I gave him a picture of Taylor--his senior one) and he says, oh, we usually dress them in long sleeves. I thought Taylor never wears long sleeves, he probably does not even own one. I guess by the look on my face, he got that picture, because he says, but I think this will work just fine. Him and his daughter take us back to a little room and we sit on couches and chairs. I can not control myself anymore and just take to sobbing. Bob comes in with a book of flowers and says what kind of spray do you want on the casket-----the word casket was too much for me and I said I don't know and I really don't care, but i was sobbing so hard, he probably did not even understand what I said..----at that point, Diane, Max, and Jeff made pretty much all the decisions. Gillman's came out and said you want this thank-you or this one, and I can't remember a few more things had to be decided on. It is a really good thing I was needed to make any decisions, because I was plain worthless in that department. Then Bob said, well should we go pick out the casket now. My body started to shake uncontrollably and I just took to sobbing once again. ----I should never be picking out caskets for my son----this is just not right. We all get up, Bob opens up two big doors and we walk in. Caskets are lining the room with some in the middle. They all have their lids open with price tags in them. I only walk around alittle bit but started to sob so hard, I thought I could not stand up anymore, so I said, I just can not do this and had to go back out and sit on the couch, or maybe I was laying on the couch I can't remember. Again, I was not part of this decision, but Jeff wanted me to see the one they picked out. Again, Max and Diane were helping Jeff make decisions----I am so thankful for them, because I was of no help at all with any of this. Jeff had support from them, I was usually all leaned over sobbing or laying on some couch. I did hobble off the couch to look at the one they picked out, but to tell you the truth I can't even remember what it looked like, but agreed it was fine. We all came back out to this same room. Diane gave them the obituary that Luann had typed up, we made a few changes to it. Then Bob wanted to have his viewing at the fellowship hall, but i really did not want it there. All I could think of, I will never want to step foot in that place again. It will always carry terrible memories for me. But Bob said the view is going to be big, so better have it there----I was too weak and tired to fight any more so I agreed. But I did think later, what if my kids get married and want their reception there some day, and we would have to stand up front where my son's casket was. I thought, I could never do that, the memory of his casket being there is engraved in my memory forever. Ok, back to Gillman's. After we got the decision of the casket made, Bob leaves the room for a bit and pretty soon comes back and sits by Jeff and goes over the bill. All I remember of that is him telling Jeff this is the price of embalming, the price of opening the grave, closing the grave and here is your bill, pay in 30 days. I sat there thinking, there surely has to be a better way of giving us the bill that this---could you not mail it. Now, the very worst part of all, the part I was dreading----this was going to make it reality---I was not ready to see my son---not yet. Jeff says can we see Taylor----I say, I don't think I am ready to do that, but the kids wanted to get it over with. We all look at each other and decide OK. Bob says, well I am not done working on him, just stay on this side closest to the door and do not touch him. We all get up from the couch---Brooke and I are first, holding on to each other, I think Diane was behind me and Max was behind Brooke---I don't remember, but I think Jeff was with Spencer were last. As we walk down this long hall, well it seems long at the time, each step we took, Brooke and I started to moan and the closer we got to the open door, which we knew where Taylor was, we moaned louder. When I got to the door and started to look in, and all I could see was his feet and they were covered up---I lost it and collapsed, Diane grabbed me to keep me from falling on the floor---yes, my knees just collapsed. Brooke started to wail and was going down, Max grabbed her by the arms to keep her from hitting the floor. I never knew was it meant to hear or see somebody wailing, but now I know what that is and what that feels like. That was exactly what Brooke and I were doing. I can't not even remember what Spencer or Jeff were doing, probably holding each other up. Finally, after some time, we got control of ourselves, well i guess I should say, we could stand on our own two feet. I just stood at the door, and did manage to look in and just see his profile, and I just kept saying through terrible sobbing--this is too terrible, I can't go in any farther, I have had enough, I can't take anymore. Diane left Brooke and me at the door and she went on into the room where Taylor was. Yes, he was laying on a steel table----that is all I remember, I did not look around the room. My eyes were only on my son. He looked like he was sleeping. Finally, Brooke and I did walk up by Diane, which was right beside his face and shoulders. We looked down at him and touched his face and shoulders and by this time I was again wailing and sobbing so hard, I was going down, so Diane helped me back out to the couch. I think I was barely walking at this time, and by the time i got to the couch, i just fell on to it. The only thing that got me under control again, was Diane kept repeating over and over in my ear, he is not there, that is only his shell, he is with Jesus. Brooke by this time is sobbing and wailing so hard that Max is holding her up, and he brings her out to this same couch and she falls on it. I guess we must have looked like a pretty big mess, because Kelly, Bob's daughter says to Diane do you all want some water---we actually needed something stronger than water, but that is all we got . Jeff and Spencer then come out after Brooke---they seemed to be holding up much better than Brooke and I. Max then sat down on a chair beside the couch and started to tell us how God had shown him that Taylor was in heaven. God was also very clear in showing him---which is always comforting. When he was finished we all were calmer and had refocused that yes, Taylor was really in heaven, that was just his body----even though I knew that to be true, I still just wanted to scream----I want Taylor back in his body out sitting with us on this couch. Then here comes Bob again, out of that room and probably thinks I have not seen anything like this in a long time. Bob is now ringing his hands saying we have to get to the cemetery---somebody is out there waiting to see where you want your burial lot. I thought, i can't take one more thing of this-----please let this be over. We do sit on the couch a little bit longer trying to get a little more strength back-----i don't think any of us have eaten very much, if anything at all since yesterday sometime. We go out into the parking lot and get in our cars to go to the cemetery. Again, a very silent ride, no body says a word, I don't think any of us had the strength to talk. We get there and the Hartzler's are there---they must be the cemetery lot people. They looked really sad, they could relate to what we were going through. I think she told Diane that it has been thirteen years since their son was killed in a a car accident. He also was twenty, I think. We picked out the lot for Taylor. We then decided to just pick out our lots, of course right beside him, and we just picked out Brooke's, and Spencer's and their spouse too. We are all right together. The kids did not say anything, but I am sure they thought that was a little bit strange to have their cemetery lots all picked out for them and I am sure that if Brooke's boyfriend, which is over seas in the Navy, would have known this, he for sure would have thought we lost our minds. . As we were doing this, Max and Diane decided they would take the lots right beside us. We have been so close in life, we might as well be close in death. Ya know, just last memorial day, Diane and I were out at the cemetery looking at all the flowers and graves and we just commented, just where do you think we will end up getting buried. Little did we know that by August we would have our lots picked out and my son would be out there. I, to this day can not believe Taylor is in the cemetery and not up in his bed at nights----that makes my heart just ache thinking about that. We finally hobble over to our cars and get in them and come back to my house. The day is only half over and it felt like I have lived a hundred years in just three hours. Even though, this morning was extremely emotional and I cried, and sobbed and wailed million tears-----I knew Jesus was right there with us crying a million tears too. His heart was breaking for us----He carried us, or He worked through Diane carrying me, and Max carrying Brooke, but He never let us fall completely down. Even though, you might not have seen it through some of this, He really did give us Grace for the day---Yes, it was second by second, but He did. I probably never really seen it, until that night when I was crawling into bed, and I thought about the day----I knew without God's Amazing Grace, i would never had made it----I felt beaten up and whipped, but I had made it. I thought of the verse Isa. 40:29---God gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Like i said it is only noon, but I will finish the rest of the day next time---but take comfort the worse part of this day is over.