Today is Thanksgiving. How do I feel? There is a definite sadness, but I have a choice in what i think about today. I know there are probably going to be tears, and maybe a lot of tears, but I choose to be thankful for the people God put in my life. I got some nice e-mails from people that said they were thinking and praying for us over this Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you, I will need them.
Yesterday one of Taylor's close friends stopped by. It was so nice to see her, but it was bittersweet. We talked about memories of Taylor, which made us laugh and cry. We talked about last Thanksgiving and how Taylor was a part of that. We looked at some pictures of Taylor. We seen one of Taylor sitting on Diane's couch last year. It is just so hard to believe that he will not be here this year.
I thought it might be a good thing to actually name some of the things I am thankful for. It is Thanksgiving of 2009. Our lives are changed forever and more often than not, I find myself looking at all that I have lost, instead of counting the blessings I do have. We go to Diane's every year for Thanksgiving, it is my favorite holiday. No hassle of gift giving, just alot of family time and alot of good food. It has became a joke with Diane, every year she will say after we eat our big dinner, she will say OK, lets go around the room and each say what we are thankful for. We use to do it, but we found out we were saying almost the same thing every year. Diane told me today as we were cleaning our dentist office, she would not ask that question this year. I said, i actually wrote some of what I was thankful for, but said, i am sure I will not be able to read it, so thought I would just print out a copy for each. As I sat down and thought about what I was thankful for, I realized it would be so easy to get lost in the tragedy of losing Taylor. But I remembered how faithful God has been, how He has picked me up many, many times and just held me in his arms and carried me. He showed me great mercy---He had mercy on me and answered my prayers of Taylor's salvation within four hours of asking, He has answered many of my prayers within hours of asking. He is always very near, just like that verse says. "I am close to the brokenhearted." He has shown me in many ways His Amazing Grace. He showed me very clearly that is how Taylor was saved---His blood, and His Amazing Grace, in fact God had Taylor wheeled out of the Church on---Amazing Grace.
God knew before this ever happened that I needed to be in this family. He had me in the perfect family for what I was and am going through for comfort and support. He knew that each one of them would be needed in a different and special way and each of them has stepped up to what God has called them to do. I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart.
Jeff---You took charge of what had to be done in a very difficult time. You made decisions that I could not possibly have made. I was pretty much in the state of shock and when my mind would let me comprehend what had happened, I was incapable of making any kind of decisions. . You took charge and call the life insurance company and his financial people and explained what had happened and started the process of closing every thing out. I could not even say the words that Taylor was killed, let alone, try to explain to these strange people the story of his accident.
Brooke---You were my stronghold when I was losing it at times. You would help me to refocus. The time that comes to mind most often is when I kept saying over and over how much and how hard I prayed for Taylor that the angels would protect him. I had safely put him in Jesus's hands and be then at peace that he would be fine. When Jesus took Taylor, it shook me to the core of my being---you helped me to see a different picture, one I never thought about. You told me Jesus did answer your prayer, just not like you ever thought He would. He did protect Taylor---God heard every one of your prayers, He just decided to take him home that Saturday night. He had one of those angels go and get Taylor and take him to the arms of Jesus.
Spencer--You also have been strong when I was falling down. I remember that fateful night it happened at grandma's. I remember grabbing you and saying Spenc, how will we ever get through this terrible nightmare and you very calmly said, God will get us through one day at a time, Mom. When I am down and feeling really sad, you will remind me that Taylor is having the time of his life, he is not spending one day being sad, and he would hate to see us all sad and crying. You know, mom, taylor hated to see anyone sad. He would hate to see you crying.
Max--You were the rock when we were all crumbling like pebbles around you. You held us up both physically and spiritually many times. I remember that horrible Monday when we had to go into Gillman's. After we seen Taylor for the first time, I was barely hanging on to reality by a thread, I was very close to losing it all. You calmly sat on that chair and explained how God that morning or maybe it was the day before, showed you clearly that Taylor was in Heaven. That was a great comfort to hear one more time that God mercifully showed another person that Taylor was actually safely Home. You were never far away when Brooke needed a strong arm to hold her up. You also never hesitated a second that Saturday night to jump out of bed in the middle of the night to go be with Jeff at the hospital.
Diane--I am not sure where to start. You were with me every step of this journey. You were there that horrible night of that phone call, in fact you were the one that Jeff told Taylor is Gone and you had to tell the rest of us. How horrible is that, but you did it. All those horrible days, when I thought I can't take another step, I just can't do this, I am not going to make it, you would encourage me that God will get us through. Every horrible step I had to take, you were right there beside me taking it with me. You were never too busy or too tired to listen to me, or to talk with me. As I wanted or needed to go through every last detail time and time again, you would go right with me, never stopping me, but just a listening ear. You were always there to hold me up when i could not stand on my own, which was plenty often. It seems God always would bring you to me when I needed you most. I am sure I would not make it through this journey of grief without you at my side.
Matt---I feel such compassion and love from you. You do not have to say a word; it is all said in your eyes. Max made the comment after the viewing, he said some of the people going through that long line did not have to say a word, their compassion and love was all said in their eyes. That is what I see and feel from you, Matt----your eyes say it all.
Amber---I love getting your cards and letters. They mean so much to me, I read them over and over. I especially love the one you wrote in what Taylor might have said to each of us, if he would have had a chance. As we each read it, we all cried some, but we all said, it was exactly what Taylor would have said. You prayed that God would show you that Taylor was in Heaven with Him, and God answered your prayer very quickly too. It was a very special way, one I will never forget. You also got up in the middle of the night to go to the hospital to be with Jeff. I know that was very hard to see Taylor like that, but you did not let that stop you. You knew Jeff needed family and you went.
Mark--I remember on that Saturday night right after we got the news about Taylor, we were all in the state of shock, and did not know how we would ever get through the next minutes, let alone the next week. You reminded us all that at that moment very few people knew about Taylor and by morning hundreds of people would know and they would all be praying very hard for each of us and we would feel those prayers---and so right you were Mark. Those prayers carried us all through the hardest days of our lives. We needed you to remind us of that very important thought.
April---You were there that fateful night. That in itself has bonded us all very deeply. It was so comforting to have family with me at a moment in life when my life was falling apart and would be changed forever. You ran errands for me. you picked up my medication. I would have been in no condition to even drive, let alone know where I was going and what I was suppose to be getting. You were at my house every day during those nightmare of days, it was a comfort to have you here. Everybody changed their plans to be with us at a time we needed you.
Keith--You were a man of action. You knew what needed to be done, even though you had to be in shock too. You quickly started a plan of action in how to get us home. At this point, I barely knew where I was, I could not have begun to think about how to get home. You worked until you had a plan. Your family was so kind in letting us use their van, but then you had to figure out how to get our cars home. It was one less thing I had to worry about, you took charge and got it all worked out. You got us all safely home.
Autumn---You made it possible for God's name to be Glorified through this tragedy. You took the time and it had to take time to replay that phone message over and over to get what Craig said just right. You and Keith then took the time and effort to go and get it printed out and made many many copies. You put them in a place where people would see them and pick it up to read. God had to have a smile on his face with each person that pick one up and read it.
Taylor---This one is a hard one---there is so much I could say. First, I am so thankful that I could be your mom for 20 years. When you made a mistake you were always quick to apologize. You never wanted any one to be mad at you. You were quick to smile, and had a great sense of humor. You could always make me smile and lots of times just plain laugh. You wore that famous little smirk on your face so often that I can hardly think of you without it. No, you never cleaned up your messes, you never had time for such small things in life like that. I will miss you more than I can ever explain. I will always have an ache in my heart for you---I long to hug you again, talk with you, laugh with you, but know in a blink of an eye I will be with you again, until then I will hold your memories deep in my heart.
So am I thankful this year---yes, I have alot to be thankful for, even though God has taken a treasure of my heart, I had to think, God has never left me alone. I have never felt the presence of God in such powerful ways. He has given me many promises to hang onto, and i hang on to each one of them with both hands. I just know if i would let go, even for a minute, I would start down that slippery slope. God is my life boat back to recovery. God has given me a family that are all deeply spiritual and each and every one of them are helping me to keep my focus on what is really important while going through this journey---they help me remember God is in control, nothing happens without God knowing and approving of it. God's plan is always perfect, we just can't see the big picture right now, but someday we will understand it all. If this had to happen, I am thankful that we were all together either in Illinois or at the hospital. That has bonded us very deeply. Please continue to pray for us all of us as often as we come to your minds. I thank God for each one of my family, and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for being who God has called you to be. I am also thankful for each one that reads this blog and prays for us. I thank you for your comments and e-mails, they are all very encouraging. God will Bless each and every one of you. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!!!