Letters to Taylor:
On Heaven’s Scent
My dear girl,
Tomorrow will be six months since you left us for heaven. I stood at the beach last week staring at the waves as though they represent life without you here. Sometimes I’m on top of the wave, enjoying an incredible view, and other times I’m drowning in salty grief. To say that I miss you has become so trite. There must be another word in the English language that treads deeper than “miss.” Your absence lingers over me.
Remember how we’ve hosted an annual gathering for all the families affected by your disease each year? I didn’t think I could do it this year. I really didn’t. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, every part of me felt drained and incapable.
The week after July 4th when I last wrote to you, I used every ounce of my strength from the Lord to organize, budget, finance, decorate, and host. Of course, I was not alone. Now that you are in heaven, I’m guessing you can see the team effort that takes place in order to help families connect with one another and hopefully spend time that shows them they are loved.
On the Thursday before the event, I kept praying for the Lord to carry me. How could I possibly stand in front of a room of families facing all that we have been through with you in the last year and bring encouragement? I can hardly speak about you without crying. Yet I continually whispered to myself, “This is what Taylor would want. She would want us to keep loving others.”
At my deepest point of weakness, just when I thought I couldn’t whisper those words to my heart even one more time, our family walked outside to see an incredible purple sunset. Tell Jesus thank you for allowing you to send a visual confirmation to your mama.
When I made it over that milestone on the journey of life after loss, your precious nephew, Greyson, was born at 26 weeks old. He had to be moved from Charleston, WV to Cincinnati, OH for surgery and his mama needed to recover from emergency surgery before she could travel to be with him. I was so blessed to spend the day after he was born with him and his daddy. I quietly sang over him, “There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain” while holding his tiny hands.
I can’t explain that moment fully, but the enormous wonder of God filled me while my hand rested on Greyson’s precious little head. It took me back to your bedroom and the final moments of your life when the Spirit of God felt so present to me.
It’s as if a newborn baby is as close to heaven as we can get on earth. The first moments of entering this world and the final moments of exiting this world are those in which we have the sweetest opportunity to be fully aware of God’s presence. The scent of heaven fills the air. The beginning and end offer a sacred vulnerability and connection to all that is holy, the Giver and Receiver of life.
The middle of life is what gets muddled. And so, I continually seek the Lord and I also find him. He is ever ready to make himself known to me. I couldn’t live through the loss of you without remembering that He loves you even more than I do. You are his perfect creation in whom he delights, and I am honored to be the mother chosen for you.
After spending a day with baby Greyson, I travelled back home to prepare for a beach week away with Daddy and the kiddos. I’ve experienced many reflective throwbacks while at the beach and since we’ve arrived home. One was an email from a reader who didn’t realize you had graduated to heaven and wanted to know if everything was ok with our family since there hasn’t been much action on the blog this month.
Another was the pizza guy standing on our porch, raising his arms without realizing your windchimes were so close. He kept apologizing for the clanging, but I could only laugh. If he only knew how noisy you were as a preschooler. It was as if with the clanging the Spirit spoke to my heart, “With her heavenly voice, she’s full on again.”
Facebook memories pop up at least once a week and remind me of how much I miss you. One of the days while we were at the beach last week, it bothered me that once we came home, you wouldn’t be waiting for us. The last couple years of your life, you were too ill to spend a week at the beach. But coming home to you was glorious. However, when I shared my heart on the memory, a friend shared back the comment, “She is waiting for you in her heavenly home.”
What a beautiful, sweet reminder.
I could keep chatting with you for hours more, but I’m still needed on this planet to do other things too. So, I’ll hush for now. Enjoy your heavenly home, my sweetie. I think I know what it smells like. Until we meet again.
All my love,