We did go to Wheeling to see the Christmas lights on Wed. We left about 5:00, then we met Brooke and BJ at our motel. The lights were really pretty neat. It is a six mile drive. We ate first, so by the time we got to the lights, the line was non existing, we just drove through with a few cars in front of us. It was really nice, because we could stop and take pictures anytime we wanted. Then the next day, which was Christmas Eve, we got up and decided to go to Cabela's to look around--BJ, Spencer and Jeff had never been there. God blessed the weather, it was pretty both days. We got home and went to Diane's for Christmas Eve. We usually have our own little Christmas on Christmas Eve, but decided we could not do that, we had to do something different. It actually went well. It was exciting to watch the kids open their presents---it is always fun to see Christmas through the eyes of the kids. We wanted Christmas to be something different, something we never have done before. I found out you can do whatever you want, it does not make the hurt any less painful. As I woke up Christmas morning, I heard it pouring down rain, I thought that is just what my heart feels like--pouring tears of sorrow. I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and pray the day could just be over. Christmas was a lot different than Thanksgiving. Tay's absent was felt in every fiber of my body. I knew though, I did not want to spend the day in tears. I finally crawled out of bed came downstairs and just stood there looking at Taylor's picture---wishing with all my heart he could be here, but knew that was gone forever. I lit the candle and just watched it burn---with my mind drifting off to other Christmas's. Nobody said anything much about Taylor, we all knew if we talked about him, we would all be sobbing. Even though, we never talked about him much, our hearts were all broken in a million pieces, you could just see it on all our faces. We had the kids open their stocking stuffers first. Yes, Taylor's was laying right there beside the rest, but it was not empty---it had a lot of memories stuffed in it. The kids were great---some put them out at the cemetery, some brought them over and visited--some e-mailed. Thank you all who took part in this memory of taylor---I have not read very many, it is just too sad for the moment, but the time will come when I will--yes, i am sure I will shed a few tears, but if I tried to do it now, I would be sobbing---probably uncontrollably. After the kids were done with that, Brooke and BJ took over the kitchen and cooked us a delicious brunch. We sat and ate for a while---we just kept it light conversation---but every once in awhile, i could not help myself, I would find myself, just staring at Taylor's picture sitting there on the bow window. My heart was breaking and knew sometime in this day, I will need to "spend time" with taylor. We then went back into the livingroom and opened the rest of the gifts. We did pretty well, until the last two presents. The Rheem's (where the accident happened) got the kids a T-shirt just like the one Taylor use to wear everywhere, and I mean everywhere---I almost had to peel it off of him to wash it. It was navy blue Yamaha T-shirt. They got one just like it---same color and everthing---,but when we turned it around on the back it had Taylor's famous made sticker---In Loving Memory of Taylor Gasser and in the middle was his racing number 614. It was like taylor just popped into our Christmas---but was still absent. We all lost it on this one. His absent was so strong, we just could not take it anymore---the pretending was over. We did recover, but we had moved to a different place----each of our hearts were breaking almost uncontrollably. BJ. held Brooke until she cried though the moment. He did not seem uncomfortable with all our sorrow, even though he was not here through any of it. We asked him if he wanted to see where it happened, and he wanted to see it. So, we all got into the car and drove over to where it happened. It was silent ride, each was in their own thoughts. We all got out and just stood there looking at the crosses, flowers, and the rock where he died. It was cold, windy, cloudy about to rain---just the way my heart felt. Jeff explained to BJ how it all happened, but other than that we just all stood there in silence, again lost in thought. When we got back to the house---Jeff wanted to go up to Barb's for his side of Christmas, but at this point, I felt like I just wanted to be alone---like I said---I needed time to "spend" with Taylor and that feeling was getting stronger and stronger. I told him, I just could not go up there and he took that well---I think one look at me and he understood what I was saying. Brooke and BJ left in their car to go up to Barb's also---she wanted BJ to meet them for the first time, but she was feeling alot like me, so she did not want to stay very long. When they left, I just sat a while longer looking at his picture and remembering some of the good times, but as of now, memories are so bittersweet, they just make me cry. I just had to hear his voice, so I went and called his cell phone. His voice mail message is so Taylor---what he says is just him. I called it twice to just hear him talk---did it make me feel any better----no, much worse, more lonely, but I just had to do it. It was like I wanted to connect with him again. I looked at some more pictures of him, then I just wanted to go to the cemetery to talk to him----I know he is not there, but that is the closes i am going to get to him here on this Earth. So, I drove slowly out there with tears running down my cheeks. When i get ready to pull in, I see Brooke and BJ are standing out by Taylor's grave. I thought it was best to let those two alone, so I just drove around until they left. I think Brooke felt alot like me today---she just had to "connect" to Taylor in some way---She said by the time she left the cemetery, she felt drained and worn out. I drove up that looooog drive once again. It was getting dark, it had rained lot today. Water was standing on Taylor's grave. I just stood there looking at his grave, i could feel the emotions starting to bubble up inside my chest---I knew I was at my breaking point. I just took to sobbing trying to talk to him---I know he is dancing on those streets of gold, but my heart was anything but dancing. I reached down to check to see if any of his friends were out there leaving any memories, and sure enough two more. I am not sure why I did this, but I did. I took them back to car and read them. It was from two of this best friends, they both were there the night he died---they wrote about that---I thought, my heart can not take any more today. I just sat there and sobbed, by now it was almost dark. I finally, got the strength to go home. This was a day, I felt so utterly exhausted and sad, I could not pray for myself, so I am very thankful that others were praying for me. I had to think where would I have been if nobody was praying in my behalf----I was never so glad to crawl back into bed that night---thinking this day is finally over. It is days like this that you just know in your head that God is truly the Great Comforter, even though I might not have felt it so much in my heart today, but I just have to take a moment or two and remember all He has brought me through and know without Him, i would never make it through this journey, well not as a whole person. I would probably make it, but just only a small part of my heart would be here.
The day after Christmas, Brooke and I both wake up with the flu. I hardly even cared, I thought staying in bed, didn't even sound that bad, but I did not realize what staying in bed with nothing to do would take me. It is times like these that it would have been great if there could have been a little switch inside my heart to shut off. I don't know what ached more my heart or my body. I felt too drained to cry, I just felt an overwhelming sadness---wondering will this ever end---will i truly make it through this. There is a picture of Tay along with the rest of the kids beside my bed, I spent alot of time just looking at that picture. I again was so happy to end another day (Oh, it is beginning to sound like I am wishing my days over). Today, I did feel alot better and am very thankful for that. Every body went off to church, I decided I was not feeling well enough for that. This afternoon, Kirk came by to drop off his memories. He also brought another really good picture of Taylor right before they went skydiving. In this one---Tay is all smiles, and looks like he has the world by the tail, and i had to think, in less than two weeks after this picture was taken he was in eternity---looking at that picture, it was just unbelievable hard to think he is really gone. Kirk stayed and we visited for a couple of hours about all the good times each of us had with Taylor. It is so good to talk about him, it just seems to bring him right to the table with us, but all too soon it is over and he is again gone. Then Brooke and BJ left to go back to MI for the week. He was very kind to spend Christmas with us, since he is only home for a couple of weeks on leave, but I will miss Brooke this week. She has come to help pull me out of the "pit" on bad days on more than one occasion---I guess Spencer will have to take over that job this week:). These last several days have been very hard days, and thankfully most are not this hard. The one thought that keeps radiating thought my mind is that God never makes mistakes, no not one---He knows what He is doing every minute of every day. He only does what is best for each of us---His plan is always perfect. As I was doing my grieve bible study today--- there was a part where it says to always remember---and of course God was right there picking me up again, yes i fell into the pit for a spell, but He will never let me there---it says, Great suffering will occur in this fallen world, but God can turn EVERY situation around for an even GREATER good. We may not see how a person's EARLY death could be good for that person or for those left behind, BUT GOD KNOWS THE WHOLE STORY, AND WE MUST TRUST HIM IN HIS GREAT LOVE TO KNOW WHAT IS BEST. Now doesn't that say it all----God knows what He is doing, my job is to trust Him. I feel like I have fallen down these last several days--I want to question God, Why Taylor, now I need to get up shake off the dust and take one day or even one moment at a time---and know God is there, even on those days, i don't feel Him, in fact some days, He might even feel really far away-and I can feel very alone---but know He never will leave me.
Thank you for all your prayers, please continue to pray for us---this is very long journey with some very deep valleys. And thank you all for your memories---they really do not have to stop now because Christmas is over---I will take any and all you want to give me.