My beautiful girl,
Merry Christmas! One week ago yesterday, you grew ill so quickly that I was unsure of how to best help you. You’ve barely been able to swallow anything for several days and unless the Lord gives us a miracle, I think this may be your last Christmas on this side of heaven. The pain of typing those words has been soaking into my soul throughout the usual joys of this Christmas day.
It’s crazy that there can be so much sweetness in the bitter. I’ve been thinking about the Christmases we’ve experienced together over the years. Your third Christmas was particularly memorable because you couldn’t stop picking up the presents under the tree. One evening I thought you were sleeping so I took a speed shower, meanwhile you opened each present with no one watching. I re-wrapped, and the same thing happened again two days later. Oh Girl, you are something else!
I can remember Barney DVD’s, frilly dresses, and lots of toys that played music. There were several years of watching you rip open gifts with joy and then the memories get a little muddy. At some point, you stopped having the capacity to understand how to open gifts and your siblings began assisting you and then eventually unwrapping them for you, like your sidekick, Tessa, did today.
The difficulty in keeping you comfortable is torturous, but between the looks of anguish and suffering, there are hours at a time that your face appears peaceful. Those are the moments I use as fuel for strength. Yesterday Daddy and I went to church with the kids and the pastor gave the reminder that peace can’t be found in a place; true peace is only found in the person of Jesus. He is so evidently with you.
I wonder what it was really like that night he was born in the stable. The shepherds had to be scared out of their minds! I mean, those guys sat out there every single night watching sheep and yet on this night, the sky lit up and beautiful notes of praise filled the air as the angels announced the glory of God had ascended on earth. A new era of peace was being ushered in by, of all things, a baby.
I’ve been thinking about that because when you were born? It was anything but peaceful. Hours of labor that ended in emergency C-section, 4 days in the hospital, days of adjusting to reflux issues. But baby Jesus wasn’t like us; he was God in the flesh. Because of him, we have hope and a home in heaven.
I know I already talked to you about heaven. If you were more like the average 22-year-old, you might remind me of that fact. But since heaven is seeming a little closer right now than it’s ever been, I’ll whisper it again.
I love you, Taylor. I’ve loved you since the day you were born and even when you die, I’ll never stop loving you. You are one of God’s most gracious gifts to me and one day, you’ll be completely free from the restrictions of your diseased body and brain.
But to get to there, you’ll be leaving here. Yes, we’ll miss you dreadfully. I’ll miss your incredible way of presenting the lessons I’ve so needed. I’ll miss your sweet spirit that so easily accepts mine. But let me remind you one more time, that you don’t have to stay here for me. Whenever Jesus calls you, run into his arms. Go to the Giver of Peace. His peace is large enough to sustain us while it reaches you; isn’t that magnificent?
Thank you for being with me this Christmas. For gifting our family with photos and memories and more opportunities to surround you with love for another day. It has been a joy.
Good night, Sweet T.