I am really glad that Brooke came up with the idea of writing memories of Taylor to put in his stocking for Christmas. A lot of his friends have taken the time and effort to write memories, some even brought them over. It was so nice to see some of Taylor's friends. I want to thank each of you who took the time to do this. Like I have told them, these memories will become treasures for us. We have not read many, it is just too painful this year. Talking with these kids and listening to their memories of Taylor are so bittersweet. I can just see Taylor doing what they are talking about. He just becomes so alive through their conversations---It touches my heart how these kids have so many fun and good memories. But on the flip side of the coin, it makes my heart ache to listen to these stories---it just feels like he should soon be walking through the door and saying "Hey, family---I am home" like he always did when he came home from college and then drop all his dirty laundry and book bag, computer bag on the floor and walk over to talk with us. Oh, how I miss that kid, but know he is having Christmas every day in Heaven.
For Christmas this year, I took all the pictures except the ones with him in them on the bow window and put them away and put up the 8x 10 picture Kirk gave us where Taylor was skydiving. I put a candle beside his picture and every evening we light it and burn it until we go to bed. Today I got one red and one white carnations and put in a vase beside his picture. We have an angel also beside the vase. It is a way to remember Tay, No, we are not going to forget him, but it makes him be a special part of Christmas It is very sad every night when I light the candle, and stand looking at his picture---I just have to think how different this year is from last--our normal for last year is over forever, and we are trying to find a new normal to be able to live with.
Brooke's boyfriend from MI which is in the navy is home on leave and he is here visiting until after Christmas. I am very thankful for that---anything that is different from last year will help.
We went and helped Brooke today unpack at the new school. I am trying to keep as busy as possible for these next days. I just don't want alot of time to actually think about how horrible this really is. In our grief share group---every body was pretty quiet and sad---it is most everybody's first Christmas without their loved one.
We are planning on all going to Wheeling tomorrow evening and viewing the Christmas lights at Ogle Park----I don't even care if we have to wait three hours in line to get through the park----at least I will not be home. I know doing different things is not going to take the pain away---but maybe, just maybe it will dull it a tiny bit. God is always faithful---He gave me this verse the other day---Psalm 91:4-5 "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 arrows that flies by day." Doesn't that sound so comforting---what better place to be than under Jesus's wings and having His huge shield of faithfulness to stand behind, ---but I am still having major trouble with those arrows that fly by the day, and the terror at night, only that is usually sadness more than terror. Those arrows can cut right through my heart. I know if I would just stand behind His shield and stay there, I would continually be under His wing, but instead I find myself turning and running in the other direction when things get "scary and tough" and as soon as I get out from under that shield, satan shoots those arrows and guess what i am not protected anymore and they hit me right in the heart.
We have gotten many Christmas cards and cards that say we are just thinking and praying for you through this season,these last several weeks.---Thank you---we do need prayers to get us through this very tough time of year. We really do feel them---My eyes have been open to the compassion I have seen in people---many I barely know. It touches my heart deeply that people seem to truly care and love us, and in some cases, our lives have never really crossed paths in the past. I wish every one a very nice Christmas----take lots of pictures and hug each one of your kids tightly, we don't know what God has in store for each of us in this next year. As we found out, life can change in a twinkling of an eye. One thing I regret---last year, I decided not to take any pictures Christmas Eve when the kids were opening their gifts. i thought to myself, Oh, I got enough pictures of that---I thought, they look the same each year, I will take some next year---how I wish I had pictures of Taylor opening his laptop. I pray God will provide the right about of Grace to get me through Christmas---I know in my head He will, I just have to move that to my heart. He promised His Grace will be sufficient---I am holding onto that promise.