Letters to Taylor: On Reminders
My Sweet Girl,
I miss you.
Oh, how I miss you.
If I could measure the volume of water in the oceans deep, I know it wouldn’t come near the amount I miss you. I know, it’s quite selfish of me considering your last days on earth. You were extremely sick and suffered so much. Your body was done, and you fought to the end. For your sake, I don’t miss your failing body and mind one bit. But I surely miss your beautiful spirit. I miss being with you.
I don’t know what others think or believe about what God allows loved ones in heaven to see happening on earth or how much they are permitted to interact on earth, but I’ve experienced so many reminders of you this week.
On Monday, I was painting your old room for your sister. I know you are excited for her to have a little space after sharing a room with your other two sisters for seven years. But as I painted and listened to Brooklyn Tabernacle choir, the tears flowed. It’s a good thing you don’t have to be able to see details to paint walls. Every song seemed to touch a different area of grief. Pain, loss, sorrow, joy, relief, guilt….the list goes on. Music reaches my soul like nothing else and when Brooklyn Tabernacle sings, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” then your mama breaks down sobbing. It’s a good cry though. Cleansing. There are many ways to express grief and tears are an easy one for me.
So, while I was painting and crying and listening and praising, the Lord brought to my mind an elderly couple who attended church with our family years ago. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I’ve been continually praying each day that God would order my steps and show me what to do for the day.
When the Spirit places someone on my heart, I know it is time to act, even if it takes extra creative time management. In snippets of minutes between chauffeuring children after school and making dinner, I managed to cook a little extra and take dinner over to our sweet friends. I just love them.
On the drive back home, the sun shone brightly, but I couldn’t get over the beautiful splashes of purple clouds hanging all across the sky. Purple is your color. I felt like you were giving a wave and sending hugs to say, “Way to go, Mom. You’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to do.” It was a confirmation in my spirit that filling the needs of others who suffer and helping them is my life calling. So simple and yet so profound.
I suppose some can scientifically explain the existence of purple clouds. But no one on earth can explain the timing of a purple sky after a moment of obeying the Spirit of the Lord.
Yesterday morning my sister texted me and asked if everything was ok. She didn’t know how much I was thinking about you, but she said she woke up with me on her heart. Her text was a reminder that the Lord works among his people to intercede for one another.
After a full day of large family life yesterday, I sat down on the couch and your favorite movie, Parent Trap, was on tv. I don’t know who turned on the tv or how it landed on that channel, but “The Girl Movie” as you used to say, was playing. All I could think was that I wished you were sitting beside me like days gone by. You’re not here and it’s a good thing. You are finally healed. Whenever the longing to be with you feels all-consuming, I must direct my thoughts towards your wellness and wholeness.
The reminders of you will always be with me. While the physical reminders of your fuzzy jacket that I moved into my closet, your Winnie the Pooh baby blanket, and your big Barney plush that your brothers and sisters have been holding are wonderful and dear, the reminders I treasure the most are the God reminders. The beautiful circumstances that only he can orchestrate. If he can do that with the whisper of his Spirit or the text of a friend or a silly movie, imagine how much more he is doing with the tapestry of your life and ours!
I have a question for you. Are there seasons in heaven? I’m sure I’ll receive an email from a great theologian after they read this letter to you and the email will state all the Biblical facts to support yes or no to this question. But I’m just asking because I’m ready for spring. I have never been much of a winter person at all; I don’t think you were either. With the harsh temps we’ve had even this week and all that we’ve processed in loss and grief, I’m ready for winter to be totally over.
But Daddy and Samuel were hoping to go skiing one last time this weekend. I had to laugh when Daddy sent me a text saying, “Taylor is bringing a storm.”
The winter storm’s name? Taylor.
Oh girl. You are everywhere.
All my love,