Letters to Taylor: On Christmas

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.

Mommy

Letters to Taylor: On Tension

Letters to Taylor: On Acceptance

Letters to Taylor: On Grief

Letters to Taylor: On Suffering

Letters to Taylor: On Heaven

Letters to Taylor: On Control

Letters to Taylor: On Expectations

Letters to Taylor: On Anger

Letters to Taylor: On Gratefulness

Letters to Taylor: On Dementia

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22 Comments

  1. Thank you Rachel for sharing your emotions as you go through the painful path of life. whenever I read the letters to Taylor I am so blessed, I get a new perspective of how to be thankful in the midst of suffering and pain.
    I thank God for you.

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  3. Amen! I Am Praying for God’s Blessings of Peace, Hope and Love and for every need of your hearts at this very minute!

  4. Rachel
    So beautiful. Yours and Taylors strength and faith are a gift to us all. May God bless you and make the remaining days of Taylors life on earth Loving and peaceful.

  5. Praying for you and family. God let Taylor come into your life for a season – You learned a lot! Thank you God for the lesson! Taylor you have to leave us to live again – you are a beautiful spirit! ❤️

  6. Jean Smith says:

    Rachel,

    As I read this I am moved to tears. You have a strong character and a strong faith. No that you and your family are always in my prayers. Thank you for sharing

  7. Thank you for sharing these letters to Taylor with us. Your family is in my heart and prayers. I lost my middle son 5 years ago on the 3rd of January. I cling to my faith that He walks with me every step to get me through each day. My heart breaks for what your momma heart is going through. God bless you and your family. ?❤️

  8. I have a nephew with cerebral palsy but this letter to Taylor is an encouragement to me.
    May you continue to strengthen you and your family. God bless.

  9. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family! You are such a blessing and every time I read your letters, I am filled with gratitude and feel like my faith grows.

    Thank you for sharing with us your precious Taylor. She is definitely having a positive impact on us.

    God Bless you always and forever.

  10. You are so strong! Thank you for sharing and may God continue to give you strength and peace.

  11. I am extremely touched by theses letters to Taylor. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. Your vulnerability and strength at the same time is truly amazing and the work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am sure you feel His presence, and Taylor feels His presence as well. I truly am thankful to Jesus each day that Taylor wakes up.My prayers go out to you and your family.

  12. Christina says:

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  13. My prayers are with you for strength.

  14. Vicki Byrnes says:

    I have been so moved by your writings it helps me to get another perspective of other people and their trials and suffering . I pray that you and your family receive strength.

  15. Jan Noblitt says:

    Sending love, hugs and blessings of comfort and peace, to all of you!
    (( <3 ))
    Love your letter, Rachel. Take care.

    God Bless all of you!

  16. God bless you and precious Taylor.

  17. Karen Johnson says:

    I am lamenting my 25 year old son missing his 7 month old baby daughter’s first Christmas, her first Thanksgiving, and holding her….because her mommy is not thinking with a Christ heart……Then I read your story about telling Taylor it is OK to go to Jesus……….
    Thank you for sharing your deep heart………….and deep pain…but deep love to grant your child healing and freedom in only one way….going to Jesus.

  18. Its extremely difficult to have courage during these trying times, but… our prayers are for GOD to keep U brave & give U strenght & faith to persevere and yield to HIS will for Taylor.

  19. Your letters to Taylor are beautiful. You are such a gifted writer that teaches your readers a great deal and a different perspective of viewing life through your experiences! God bless you Taylor and your whole family!

  20. Oh God, sounds like a sad story, yet at the same time a joyfull one. May the Lord bless and strengthen you all.

  21. Elaine Till says:

    Very moving , sending gentle hugs and prayers .

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