Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday evening

This past week past another anniversary of Tay's death. It has been ten months. Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, passes and pretty soon days turn into months. My heart aches for JP and Crystal for they have experienced one of the worst things that can ever happen to a parent. The extreme emptiness, sadness that can not begin to be explained in words, all the "what if's", the "why's" and the dream of what kind of little boys would they have been is gone. Yes, they will be changed forever. They will have a whole different view on life, God will be their life line. God has chosen them to Glorify His name and for others to see God in them, which I am sure we are all seeing clearly. I have read some of their post and I know that God is carrying them and giving them Grace minute by minute, which He will continue to do.
Why is it that songs are one of the things that will most likely bring me to tears. I hardly ever get through a whole Sunday without tears running down my face. Maybe it is because they are so beautiful, it makes me feel like I am in heaven. A lot of the time if I just listen to the words, they are so beautiful---so full of praise. We have not yet gotten a tombstone, but the other evening, we were out at the cemetery. Jeff was working with Tay's grave. As i stood there watching him and spencer work, I could not help but think---Taylor what are you doing out here---this is not what any parent should be doing. I thought, how many times did Taylor drive by the lane to this very cemetery to go to rittman church and I can say I doubt very much if he was ever back here, or probably even knew it was here. I stood there thinking, just how uncertain life is---that very sunday before his accident, he drove right by the lane going to church--not a care in the world, not knowing that by the next week, he would not be driving by the lane, but instead being driven up the lane.
It was one year old today, that Taylor bought that fateful fourwheeler. I can remember so clearly, how I did not want him to get it, but how do you stop a 20 year from getting it. Brooke and I made a trip to the bank, and Taylor decided to come along to see if he could get a loan for his 4-wheeler. I was so very happy that he had no credit, so they would not give him a loan. I thought it was a done deal, but when Taylor set his mind to something, he went after it. He soon came up with a plan that he presented to me. He wanted to take money out of his savings account---which was for college and buy it then make payments back to himself. I agreed that would be ok to do --thinking it would make him more responsible having to make payments each month, sometimes I wonder what would have happened, if I did not ok that plan. I looked at his bank book the other day, and it was a year ago today, that he withdrew his money to buy it. I remember that smile on his face when I said he could do it---his smile was contagious, it even made me smile. Little did we all know that exactly two months later he would be in eternity and that day would be his viewing day---again the uncertainty of life. There is that fourwheeler still sitting out in our shed all covered up. It is just too painful to look at. To look at it is so bittersweet---when I stand there looking at it now---I can see him on it with a big grin on his face ready to tear around the yard on two wheels, and then I can also see it as the terrible thing that took his life.
It soon will be one year---we actually survived, even though at times I had my doubts. As I think back, yes, we each healed at least to some degree. Sometimes I wonder will I ever get to the point where I do not have that heavy feeling sitting right in the middle of my heart, or has it settled in to stay. People have told me to hang on to all the precious memories, and that is true, but I have to say, memories are right down painful-----will someday the memories turn from painful to happy, or I guess I should say, nice--because they will probably never be happy---that is like some days I miss him so much that I feel I just want to see him alive again. I am so tempted to get out my home-video's from his prom and graduation---but I am just not sure if that would healing, or down right heart wrenching.
As I am writing this, the thought popped into my mind, God never promised us that it would be easy here on earth, that in fact we would have trouble and trials, but He did promise us that it will be worth all our suffering when we get to those shores of Heaven and see the beauty He has in store for us. I am trying to remember life here on earth is just a vapor and eternity is forever and forever---and I have all that time to be with Taylor and best of all Jesus will be our Master. One last thought. The other sunday in church I heard something that has stuck with me. He said we all pray daily for the Holy Spirit to fill us---but the thing is, when we ask for the spirit to fill us, are we wanting also to be in the driver seat and Jesus riding with us in the passenger seat, or are we quickly getting into the passenger seat and asking Jesus to drive for us. I thought it was very interesting, and how many times, have I asked Jesus to go with me, when I should be asking Jesus to take me with Him.
I would like to ask one last thing of anyone who happens to be reading this, please keep us in your prayers as the one year anniversary date of Taylor's death is getting closer. Also I want to thank those who have continued to pray for us day after day. I will sometimes get just little short e-mails that say---just want you to know, you are still in my prayers---nothing touches my heart more than hearing those words---because I have seen great power in prayer. We all serve an Awesome God.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A New Month

I can hardly believe it is June 1st, the kids are almost out of school. I love the warm and sometime sunny days, spring just brings new life to so many things, but also brings new first which I have to crawl through each one. Some are so much harder than others, but hopefully the second time around it will be a tiny bit easier. I have found that the change of season, winter to spring and then sliding into summer is much harder than I was expecting. I expected Christmas, his birthday to be gut wrenching days, but sunny warm days are much tougher than I thought it would be. I find myself expecting to hear his fourwheeler racing around the backyard, and Taylor loved loud noises, so the louder the muffler the better, sometimes it was so loud we would have to shut the windows if we wanted to carry on a conversation without yelling. I find myself thinking it is just so quiet, I miss that loud noise zooming by the open windows. Just so quiet, and I always thought I liked quiet, but it now can make my heart ache. He had made himself a jumping ramp out in the back yard, I use to do dishing watching him go around and around jumping that ramp, and yes, each time I said a little arrow prayer that God's angel would be jumping with him, and have their arms around him to keep him safe. Now, when I look out that same window doing dishes, I see the path going to that jump and the ramp itself growing all up in grass---it just makes my heart so sad to see that, so now instead of saying a little prayer for Taylor, I say a little prayer for myself, that God will just come a little closer and hold my hand for awhile.
Memorial day weekend----what would make this a hard first? I really never thought too much about this holiday, and no it was not nearly as hard as some. Yes, we missed him terribly at the family picnic's. We were at Amber's last year and again this year we were at her place. We remembered where he was sitting what we talked about, Amber said I remember talking with him in the kitchen, then when we were outside standing by his truck, we were teasing him about his truck and all the funny stickers he had on it, we looked at some pictures, but I think it was the element of life's uncertainty that struck me the most. Almost every memorial day Diane and I would make a trip to the cemetery, which in those days that was the only time I ever went through out the year. We would walk around looking at the new graves, and so often would say, who do you think will be next, or even who do you think will be first in our families---last year we even said, just think we will be buried out here somewhere, just where do you think that will be--just one year later we all know where that is going to be. We never in our wildest dreams thought that taylor would be first. He was so young, so full of life, and we thought so much time to live, but in all reality he only had 2 in half months----in our minds, his time table was just at the beginning, but we were clueless to God's time table, which was almost to the end. This year when I went out to the cemetery, I just knelt by tay's grave and found myself saying, tay, what are you doing out here, you are not suppose to be here-----but as I looked up into the sky, I knew I was once again in my own time table, but God's ways are so much higher and bigger than ours---I said, yes, God I know you are in control of all of this---You understand my breaking heart, and will be my Rock.
The weekend of the 22nd, Diane and I went back to mom's, Ron was there from Florida visiting. In fact, Warren and Dawn were there too. We could not remember the last time all us kids were home visiting mom and dad all at once---God truly blessed that weekend. Ron is always encouraging to talk with. Ron made a comment to me that I found real comfort in. He said, just remember, you are just one heart beat away from Taylor. I know to some that may sound like I am wishing for death, I am not, it just makes me feel close to Taylor. It makes him not feel so far away. There were so many staying at mom's that we decided that some of us would go stay at the nursing home apartments----the same ones we stayed in the night of Taylor's accident . I said, there are just too many horrible memories for me to stay there, but Diane thought she could, and Bill and Dawn went with her. I went along to help them take their stuff---I was sorta shocked at all the emotions that hit me full in the face when I walked through the door. As we rode the elevator down to the rooms, my mind went racing back to that night. As we walked into the bedroom, my body wanted to take to shaking. It is amazing how a smell can trigger so many memories. I think the smell of that room almost provoked more memories that actually seeing it, but the more I stood there looking around the memories did start to flood back even faster. I remembered how my cell phone was laying on the floor by my bed and how it started ringing so early Sunday morning with several close friends leaving heart wrenching messages----how Diane and I just laid in bed, saying very little, except---we will never get through this------as we did not realize quite yet, that yes, we would never get through it by ourselves, but God was standing right there with us and getting ready to hold each of us in his arms. Then we went into the bathroom, I just stood there remembering how I walked into the bathroom that Sunday morning, just looking in the mirror and saying, This can't be happening----How can I ever live without Tay, he can not be truly gone, my heart was breaking into a million pieces---and then I walked out of the bathroom to find Brooke standing in the hall---that was the first time I think it really hit us that yes this is true--Taylor is gone----that was the first time since we heard about the accident that reality actually got past the fog of shock and hit our hearts. Brooke and I sobbed so hard we could barely stand up. As I stood there months later, I had to think, yes, all those memories came rushing back, and yes, they were as clear as if they were happening right then, yes, I could stand there and feel the extreme pain, but I could also see the power of God. He brought us down a very rough and steep valley, but He is slowly bring us through. I had one more first to get through, and I was rather dreading it. I had to go back to the Forrest Church--- No, the church did not have bad memories, in fact I love the people there---many I have known all my life, alot of my relation goes there-----it was more along the line of--can I go and not be a puddle on the floor when they come up and hug me and are so kind to me. I thought if i could prepare myself somewhat then maybe I would be OK. Almost as soon as I walk into the door, Paul comes over to us and when he gets to me, he gives me a hug and says "this hurts does it," as tears start to flow down my cheeks---he knows all too well what I am feeling. He is just about to mark the second year anniversary of his 21 year old son that died of a brain tumor. I remembered talking with him in depth last summer in July about the death of his son, and just how horrible it was---he had to watch him die inch by inch, but little did I know that less than one month later I would understand his level of pain and grief a lot more clearly, more clearly than I ever wanted to know. After talking with him, I fought tears all morning, but had a continuous prayer on my heart---Please God just give me enough Grace to get through this day without sobbing on every body's shoulder. As I sat there through morning service I seen another friend that had lost a grandson a year or so earlier and knew she would be very hard to talk without sobbing. As I found out over the fellowship time at noon, it was very painful, but God did give me the Grace to not be a sobbing noodle. I did talk with the one that lost her grandson, and yes some tears were shed, but seen God was there through all the pain. I talked to a classmate of mine 23 years earlier she lost her 7 year old son---he was riding his bike and was hit by a car. She said I just want to tell you even though it has been 23 years, it really does not get any easier-----I am not sure how encouraging that was, but I think she probably meant there will always be moments that will hit a painful memory. Another lady, her son was also killed in an accident---I spent all my time talking to mothers' who have lost one of their children---I was shocked how many in that Forrest Congregation have had such grief and pain of losing a child. By the time I left church, yes, I felt drained, but seen that all of us had something in common besides our broken hearts---we all knew God was our life line and He would never let us go, we just had to hang on with both hands. Yes, I have had a lot of first, and they are all hard in different ways, but God does walk right with me. through each one. I think God wanted me to not loose sight of that thought, because just the other day when I was spending time with Him, I opened the devotional book--"Today in the Word" and was reading it when I came to the place I knew without a shadow of a doubt God was wanting to remind me of His presence. It said "God is near to you today. He knows you and your circumstances. He knows what you will do and say. He goes before you." Then the verse that went with it was Phi:4:4-9 which says "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" I could think--in everything give thanks---just how can i do that. I realized God was not expecting me to thank Him for what happened, but to just close my eyes and think on God's character, His faithfulness, just Be Still and Know that He is God---I can trust Him to carry my burdens, I can cast all my cares at His feet, and I know He has a perfect plan for me, and just let the perfect peace of God which transcends all understanding seep into my heart. Yes, this is easier said than done on some days, but I am trying to keep this verse on my heart every single day.