Letters to Taylor: On Procrastination
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?
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?
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.
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.
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,