Letters to Taylor: On Procrastination

Letters to Taylor: On Procrastination

Sweet T,

I miss you. To say that I miss you doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel. My heart holds a void like I’ve never known before.

I’ve been looking back at our lives from the past few years and pondering over the decisions our family made while you were living. I analyzed the choices on what we did and did not do. I’ve spent many hours working in the basement of our home since you left us for heaven. As I’ve cleaned and organized, it’s made me think deeply about how I prioritize things. Do you think I am a procrastinator?

My friend, Sandi, saw this purple sunset on Daddy’s birthday. The next night she saw it again and sent me this photo.

For the last 16 of the 22 years you were with us, you couldn’t tell me how you felt. I tried to wrap my head around that and how your brain could cope with the frustration of it. But as Daddy would remind me, you couldn’t always comprehend what you felt either. So, I’ve wondered what you would honestly say about your mother if you could tell me. Would you think I waited too long to act? I don’t think you would. Would you think I acted too quickly in certain scenarios? Perhaps. But would you say that I put off until tomorrow what should be done today? Why do I ask?

Posted on Instagram on June 2: 5 months have passed since you left us for heaven, sweet Taylor. Having one’s heart walk around outside your body is challenging. Having one’s heart walk around in heaven is especially challenging. I love you so much and miss you every day. I can’t really find the words right now. Thanks for the purple wave this evening. #letterstotaylor

Well, I finally closed out your bank account this week. The last transaction was March 11, a little over 2 months after you took your last breaths. I have no idea why it was such a big deal to me to close the account, but I kept putting it off. It’s not the moment of telling the truth that bothers me. The thought of walking in the bank and forming a shell of words to a stranger felt disrespectful to you. There have been many times since you left us for heaven that I’ve felt like I had to briefly explain to someone that you  are no longer here, and the casualness of the moment felt irreverent. It’s awkward and ridiculous and I hate it. I did what I usually do to avoid the uncomfortable: I put it off. I avoided taking care of a simple business matter due to a potential awkward moment.

Of course, it’s deeper than that. Telling someone in business conversation that your heart is now walking around in heaven is not a simple matter. The response is usually the same mumbled “I’m sorry” with a brief pause, then relief when I move the conversation on without tearing up or breaking down. Who wants their deepest emotions to be carefully stepped over like a banana peel? But I finally walked in the bank and closed your account. As I left, the Lord whispered to my heart: “I am caring for her every need now. Money isn’t an issue anymore.” What I had dreaded for months brought an unusual sense of relief and peace.

Battelle Darby Creek Park

You’re still teaching me, my girl, and always will. The truth is that some people see the messes in life, like the past state of our disheveled basement, and they think we must live life upside down. They would feel that our basement stacks of papers, piles of books, and such indicate a lack of priorities. Before I had you, that would probably have been my judgment.

While it feels good to have a grip on our basement now, I don’t regret one moment of the many years we lived with it messy. Because it means that we loved well. As hard as it was for me to let things go unattended, I have always tried my best not to let people go unattended. The ones God has entrusted me with have been prioritized and I believe you would say you are one of those blessings.

Last Friday was the last day of school so your brothers and sisters are home during the day for the summer. I love having them home and am enjoying the simplest things like talking around the bonfire, making s’mores, and walking through the park. There are reminders of you everywhere in between. We are all looking forward to a wonderful summer together and the first few days have contained more smiles than we have seen in a while. I’m grateful.

Checking out the lily pond with the girlies this week.

Oh yes, our crumb-covered floors are never-ending, and the bathroom sink can always use another wipedown. The shoe pile by the front door is constantly overflowing. Most days I do nothing about it. We’re striving to be clean and orderly as usual, but there’s a lot of mess happening. Because there is a lot of life happening.

I’ve always been a “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” kind of person. But you’ve taught me a valuable life lesson, my sweet T. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean it’s what should be done.

What to many looks like procrastination is actually prioritization.

Thank you for teaching me how to live and love well. I’ll keep practicing, my precious Taylor, until we meet again.

I love you,

Your Mommy

Letters to Taylor: On Numbness

Letters to Taylor: On Heavenly Kisses

Letters to Taylor: On Miracles

Letters to Taylor: On Singing Again

Letters to Taylor: On Anguish

Letters to Taylor: On Growth

Letters to Taylor: On Change

Letters to Taylor: On Reminders

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8 Comments

  1. When we have any illness or suffering a loss, there are no comparison because PAIN is PAIN and painful. At any level. Those who even struggle along side a love one experience tooo. When I hear of another’s pain that is different, i have empathy in that I can’t imagine your loss or your families struggles because I can only learn from my own experiences and carry my own. Yet another’s burdens I can hurt for them and encourage. I have 4 special needs adopted adult children and my x-husband hurt them in a very depraved way and we left him immediately when it was discovered but I have beat myself up it for 14 years now. I guess because I didn’t recognize the signs until it my 9 yo had the COURAGE to tell me. I see procrastination in my life as well then and now, but God has been gracious to give me nuggets of truth at just the right time. I can’t go before God, I need to follow in those appointed times. The teach me in this verse helped me.
    Matt11:28 “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Shortly after we left and needed to report their @dopted father I developed a lung disease that affected my heart and central nervous system and immune system. God has been so gracious and GOOD to keep me thriving.
    I shared this because one time I was reading these 3 verses in Matthew together and the words “Teach me” stood out in vs 29 and I realized even more that Jesus is present in suffering and pain and that is a PRESENT to have Him there in pain and loss.
    He will not only help me bear up under the my burdens but teach me in them. Some of the lessons I’ve learned through my painful experiences are far greater than when I was a healthy hectic hurried human. Yes I WANT my health back, but there is God given CONTENTMENT at times if I don’t. Some people may not know humanly understand what it is like to have illness that doesn’t get better because they never experienced it or it’s not something for them to bear. But maybe they lost a loved or God uses other circumstances in this fallen world for them to bear up under. But in God’s love and sovereignty he teaches us or gives us enough strength for the day or moment. Even in my discouragement he cares for me, my family and my health. He grants me another day, another adventure here with my children or just seeing my children learn to thrive. I actually am “learning” that my yoke is easy and my burden is light. My perspective changes as God carries and reveals Himself to me. I still get discouraged or ask why or beat myself up but He continues to give me “breath” and courage and strength. I also know that I was not the mother years ago that could handle the struggles that my children have now but He is teaching me and them. I have empathy for far greater because of my struggle. Isn’t God Good. I also met people like you and your website. We use your tools for adults and children and share them. Thank thank you for you empathizing with struggle and being transparent about it. You take the time time to care and lift up others ? I am praying for you And your family to grieve and celebrate your victories that were not procrastinate as well. ❣️❤️? to you!

  2. 5hank you for another wonderful letter…. your grief a spot on with all the feelings that I have had too…Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and another great beautiful picture of Taylor. Your letters help people know that They are not crazy with their feelings and grief .

  3. Dear Rachel, I can’t begin to tell you how similar I have felt with “dragging my feet” in areas where grief has hovered; or at least, a reluctance to be “quick” about sorting something out that you just could do with it being around, “just a little longer”…

    I love this particular photo of Taylor; I know she has been sooo loved, but somehow, in this photo, to me, there’s something in that photo: a contentment; a reflection of her being very-dearly-loved … something that I haven’t quite got the words to describe…

    I love your love for Taylor & what you have consistently said of how much she has taught you. The best lessons I have learnt in life, have been from those who have often struggled in life, as it’s been humbling to see how little they have been equipped with to “do life” compared with what I have been blessed with…

    Taylor’s life has been blessed with a loving family, & a superbly devoted mum & dad. There’s no doubt about it, her life here has definitely been used to minister to myriads, me included!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your precious relationship with Taylor with so many out here.

    Many the Holy Spirit’s comfort continue to strengthen you in His love.

    Much blessing to you, Matt & the rest of your wonderful family
    x o x o x o

  4. Oh my goodness, Rachel, I love this so much! Though I can’t imagine how you feel, grieving the loss of your sweet girl, I do know exactly how it feels to try and be the best mom you can be-and sometimes that means leaving things undone!

    “What to many looks like procrastination is actually prioritization.” Best thing I’ve read all day!!

    Blessings and hugs to you, my friend!
    xoxo

  5. Margie Everhart says:

    Thank you, Rachel, for your letter about procrastination. We, too, have a basement family room that’s a total mess. My kids are 26 and 23; my daughter (our eldest) is married and our son lives 3 hours away. Both have had chronic medical issues.
    As an empty nester at 64, I am unable to clean out the toy boxes, the papers, the games. The clutter says we and the kids’ friends lived there, had family movie nights there, hung out there when the AC died one summer. Our rabbit lived down there in her hutch, and she loved being out with us. I know it’s silly, but it feels like I’d be closing off something if I clean it out. But I know that I will have to.
    Because of His Grace,
    Margie Everhart

    1. It’s not silly. You’ll find a way, little by little, to store the memories and let go of the mess. I’ve been working on it for months. xo

  6. This was God sent. I have not been experienced anything out of the ordinary just the normal hustle and Bustle. But it felt so overwhelming today. I prayed to the Lord today and by Gods grace and Love I saw and read your letter. Your letter helped me put things in perspective. Thank you for being faithful. Our Lord Jesus Christ hold you and guide you my dear. Much Love and God bless.

  7. THANKYOU FOR YOUR LETTERS, EVEN THOUGH I’M NOT GRIEVING IT HELPS ME TO
    HELP THE YOUTH WHEN THEY HAVE QUESTIONS
    YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO MANY PEOPLE, MAY GOD BLESS YOU TO DO MORE
    FOR HIS WORK

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