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.