We have survived through all the "firsts". Last week was a hard week with so many memories running through my mind. The week before the accident I kept finding myself thinking of what I was doing, and also what Taylor was doing, when was the last time I seen him, what we talked about. On the 15th, us and Max's family spent the evening together. We talked about how that day was one year ago. We all went to Dawn's wedding and how we got home and decided to go on a walk to relax and unwind from a busy day. We were so thankful that the day went so well, dad had done so well, God had blessed the day. How we just got back from our walk taking off our shoes and relaxing just talking , when my cell phone starts to ring. Our lives were changed forever in that one split second from the time I said hello- to the screaming on the other end. As we sat there in Diane's family room, we just all relived that night. We decided to all go out to the site where it happened. It was a pretty night, and as we pulled into the little drive that I have so often visited over this past year, I notice one of Tay's friends had again painted his racing number "614" in bold black paint on the rock where he hit his head. i also noticed that somebody had put some fresh flowers in a vase by the cross. As we all just stood there visualizing what that night must have looked like with Tay laying so lifeless on that rock and all his friends around screaming and somebody calling 911 for help, my eyes drifted over about four feet from where his cross is to see four little black eye susie's growing up just blowing in the wind and blooming so pretty. I had to smile just alittle. because if a boy can have a favorite flower----these would have been Taylor's. I had to think just how did they get there---then I knew, God put them there---it was His way of giving me just a little comfort on a terrible day----to say, I am here with you. After we left there, we decided the next place to visit was the cemetery. I stood there looking at Tay's pic the sun was shining on his smiling face, again God showing His presence and thinking----it seems so very long since I have seen you, hugged you, talked with you----but again, I can remember so well that day we drove up that long lane and brought you out here, which seems just like yesterday. I remember Max saying during that terrible week a year ago, we now have to learn to life with a new normal---a year later wondering, will I ever learn to live that new normal---they say I will, but I am not sure.
The 16th was a day filled with almost constant memories of the year before. My heart was breaking, but was thankful it was one year later, and that God had brought us this far. Yes, I am sure I took some giant steps backward that week, but I was expecting this to happen.
His friends had planned a memorial for Tay. One of his friends told us to come to the cemetery at 6:30 and bring balloons to let off. It was a beautiful sunny evening, not a cloud in the sky. When we drove up that long drive to the cemetery, I was fighting tears, just remembering this same drive a year earlier. I could not see if anybody was there yet or not, because of all the corn, but as we made that turn, a few tears started to slide down my cheeks, when I seen all the cars and trucks, some with big stickers on them saying "In Loving Memory of Taylor Gasser". All these kids standing there, some around Taylor's grave, but all standing silently. I could not help but take to sobbing alittle, it was just such a touching scene---one year later and all these kids still wanted to be out here in the cemetery on a a beautiful summer night remembering Taylor----Taylor's voice was softly whispering in my ear---See, Mom I really was popular" with that famous grin on his face. Jeff talked some, or at least he tried too, Mark had a very nice prayer, remember not only the pain for us in losing Taylor, but also for the Schar's in losing Joey, and Crystal and J.P. in losing their twins. We then left off the balloons, we all just stood there in complete silence until they were all completely out of sight. His friends told us all to go back to WG Dairy pond they wanted to present us with some gifts. Brooke and I stayed awhile at Taylor's grave just remembering and talking about how we were feeling----how God had taken us by the hand and many times just plain carried us this last year----and how someday, our family circle will be reunited again. As it was getting dark we decided it was time to leave and go to the pond. As we drove up there, again amazed at how many young kids were there. Some did not, or just plain could not come to the cemetery---just too many memories, but came to the pond to talk with us. It was always sorta joke with Tay, he use to do some really "crazy" things and we would say, if you keep that up you will never have any friends---and he would always say with a big grin I just have tons of friends and we would all laugh----little did I know how true that statement was. I talked with so many of his friends, one being just as nice and kind as the next. One boy even came up to Jeff and gave him his cell number and told us to call him anytime and he would like to show us the cabin that Taylor spent so much of his last two years at. I always wanted to go see this cabin when Taylor was alive, but he always said, "oh, mom you will never find it", but later found out that was not so very true, it really was not that hard to find, he just did not want me popping in one night----probably scared i might tell his buddies some of his secrets. One boy I was talking with ended up talking about the service that was preached at Taylor's funeral, how it had impacted his life. They had collected money when taylor died and now wanted to present us with some of the gifts they had bought with that money. They gave us a beautiful tree that blooms flowers, not very big, so was thinking perhaps in planting it out by his grave site, so every time we go out there we will remember friends, a really nice stone with In Loving memory of Taylor Gasser on it and last but definitely not least they took the trade mark picture of taylor, the one where he is just getting ready to sky dive, in fact the last picture taken of him, and blew it up on canvas and off to the side had my favorite verse printed on it. Yes, Isa, 41:10--the verse God used many times to encourage and give me strength. The one regret i do have is I never took the time to get to know these kids any better while taylor was alive, they are a great bunch of kids. Brittany also, took the time to make a really nice slide show of Taylor, She used pics from when he was little up to the very end. She had that playing the whole evening. I did not watch alot of it that evening, it was just too hard to see his face in every picture, but she is planning to give me a copy and I will someday watch it by myself-----where it will be Ok to cry. it was a very hard day, but the kids made it easier. It touched my heart deeply that so many made the effort to come and be with us----some even wore the famous Yamaha shirt with his number and name on it. I certain hope they will continue to come and visit us. yes, it is sometimes hard to see them, because i know Taylor should be with them, but I love hearing the stories of Taylor. Sara came on the Sunday afternoon before just to talk about Taylor and she said, there is not a day goes by that she does not think of him----I know for me that will be true for the rest of my life, but he must have touched her life so deeply that she still thinks of him every day----
Tuesday, Wed, and the rest of the week, I found myself going through every detail of every day, but many, many were praying for us and I certainly felt the prayers. Today being the first day of school and I am here all alone again, why is it I find my mind keeps going to the things I can not have and all the things I am missing-----but I know and have seen God's faithfulness, He will provide for every need I have.
Autumn and Keith's baby (Kendall) came so close to being born on the day Taylor died, I am so thankful that she didn't, but God has brought new challenges into her life, which again, we all have to give it all to God and trust knowing He has a plan, a perfect plan. On the day of Taylor's funeral (Aug 20) Kendall had a very bad spell, in fact her heart did stop and for a bit of time, she was not breathing on her own, they were frantically working with her heart----the doctor said, for a bit of time we lost her-----Max said, in that bit of time, do you think she met Taylor----I don't know if she did or not, but I like to think the two of them met---Taylor loved kids. The doctor's know what she has, or they are pretty sure, and it is very rare, so if you could please pray for Kendall and also for the whole family, as you might imagine it is very stressful. I want to thank all of you who have prayed for us through this past year, and if you find it in your heart to keep us on your prayer list, I would greatly appreciate it.
In Jesus I Trust!!