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Letters to Taylor: On Heavenly Kisses
I’m sitting with Daddy by the ocean this week and the sound of the waves soothe my soul. I would wish that you were here, only the beach was such a strange place for you. The one and only time we brought you by the ocean, you could not stay standing in the shifting sand. I can see your squinting eyes as you struggled to understand why the ground kept moving underneath you.
While to me, the gulf wind feels like kisses from our heavenly Father, it did not feel that way to you. You always strained against wind and scrunched up your eyebrows, whether an ocean breeze or midwestern gust. Sand and sea were too far from your routines for you to enjoy them as I do. It used to sadden me that my happy place was not yours.
I’ve been reading C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed and his effortless explanations of profound concepts help me continue to grapple with mingling joy and sorrow.
“If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which (she was) created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief and only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to ‘glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her (daughter) on her knees, or bathe her, or tell her a story, or plan for her future, or see her grandchild.”
Yet I am not mourning as those who have no hope.
Four months have passed since we celebrated your graduation to heaven. I truly tried to celebrate for your sake. But O how my selfish heart still longs to hold you and feel your hand slip into mine. You had such a gift of making your mama feel accepted and loved, even with all my flaws.
In a society full of misunderstandings and culture of confusion, all seemed right with you by my side. Your love was pure. I fear that my memories will begin to fade with time, and I’ll forget the beauty of your simple love for your mommy. I don’t know how to keep that from happening and that is one of the reasons I write to you. To help me remember should I ever begin to forget.
Last week, I met Sawyer, a precious girl who is also affected by Sanfilippo Syndrome. Her family is wonderful, and I enjoyed having lunch with them and getting to know them a bit.
Her sweet spirit reminds me of you in some ways. When I stood beside her, she leaned into me and rested her head on my chest.
It seemed as if she longed to comfort me without words, as I did her. The world is a weary place to live.
And yet, did you paint the sky purple at the end of that day on my visit with her? I know you did. It’s a rhetorical question by now.
Last night at dinner, Daddy asked me if I noticed the waiter’s forearm tattoo, a purple rose. Of course, I had. The waiter shared, “That’s for my mom. She died in a car crash unexpectedly years ago.” He proceeded to explain the details of her accident and that purple was her favorite color. Daddy shared your story briefly and that purple was also your color.
All I could manage to squeak out was “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Though my words were inadequate, I hope that he received a renewed sense of comfort in knowing he was not alone in his sorrow. For if there is one thing I’ve learned in the past few months, it is that death is no discriminator of persons and neither should we be. I know, you’d think I would have learned that from you while you were living. I thought I had.
Daddy and I will be heading back to suburbs and cornfields soon. As I sit here and feel the beach breeze whisping my hair, I can’t help but ponder the healing you’ve experienced. I try to imagine how much better are the kisses of the heavenly Father from your position rather than mine.
As Daddy described in “Your First Day in Heaven,”
“We’ll be united soon on Glory’s side
And bask in the Sun on the heavenly shore
In God’s presence we’ll forever abide
And praise His healing name forevermore!”
What a day that will be.
All my love,