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Letters to Taylor: On Significance
415 days have passed since you closed your eyes for the last time. There is no significance to today other than that. My fingers are shaking as I try to write to you. I desperately will them to work. They do not want to move into the truth that you are no longer living on earth nor do they want to invite in the pain that resurfaces when I stop the world and write to you.
The therapy of writing to you is both wonderful and awful. Here I sit once again, wishing I could see you. Only I honestly don’t want to see you as you were, but I wish I could see you as you are now. As beautifully glorious as you were on earth, you must be perfectly glorious in heaven.
The sun was shining brightly today like it was the last day you ever rode in the van with me. While I was driving, I could see the slight smile you gave when I glanced over at you as we left the hospital for the last time. I spend a lot of time inside my head, fighting the demons that follow grief and sorrow. I suppose some would say that grief or sorrow are demons themselves, but I know better. There are gifts in grief and lessons in sorrow, so I refuse to label the emotions as demons. But I do believe demons follow them, doing whatever they can to keep me from fulfilling the purpose for my life.
It feels as though they have succeeded to some degree, I’ll admit. I’m continually crying out to the Lord, continuously begging for guidance, still feeling lost after more than a year. I recently heard Andy Yarbrough say that we think of ourselves as the roles we play. With this in mind, I know every caregiver experiences a deep void when their role is removed.
I am no longer waking up throughout the night, thinking I heard you make a noise from your room. I think moving into the new house has helped me begin to establish routines without you here, but the fog of mourning still hovers and often prevents focus and clarity in the deepest parts of me. Oh, I manage to physically make myself follow the order of life. And most of the time, I manage to connect and relate with your awesome daddy and brothers and sisters. I hope I am doing a good job of helping them to know how much they mean to me and how much I love them; I’m giving it all I have.
During the day, I can muster up the energy and courage to check off tasks and wear a brave face for folks who don’t know me well. But at the end of the day, I am mentally exhausted and find myself having to do mindless activities like watch the Andy Griffith show. For someone who is driven, who wants to change the world, who wants to help others, this lack of personal vision and drive is completely frustrating.
I ponder what your advice would be, as someone in heaven who could speak into life on earth. I can only imagine that you would whisper, “Focus on what matters for eternity. Walk with Jesus day by day, moment by moment. He will strengthen you. The battle is the Lord’s.” All the lessons I learned in the wilderness with you return to me.
Though I have many roles in which I serve, I miss being called “Taylor’s mom.” Sorrow jerks me around and dares to ask me who I am without you. After 22 years of caring for you, lately I’ve come to realize that I feel insignificant. But I am the daughter of the most High King. My Creator started a good work in me, and He will be faithful to complete it. As long as I am breathing, life has meaning. The One Who gives me breath is the One Who sustains.
Just as I finished writing the above, a tinge of purple danced around the sunset and I looked up to see it. As if the Lord is allowing you to say, “Yes, Mom. All that.”Oh, my sweet Taylor, until next time.
I love you with all my heart.