Mackiegirl, the second from the left, brought roses and mementos from Spain - a Barcelona magnet for the refrigerator, a picture of Park Guell, (two little dots need to be placed above the u) where she climbed to leave a few of Taylor Renee's ashes beneath an olive tree, and a small offering of leaves from the same tree - a compelling tribute to the love and friendship Mackiegirl carries with her and a striking metaphor for the peace the place and the action left with Mackiegirl.
A series of events occurred this week gently reminding me of the verse I asked Tom Harrison to read at Taylor's funeral "And we know that all things work for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." and I let them resonate within me.
I hesitate with great caution and raw emotion to write as two more families from our community have been ushered over to this side of the fence - to the world of before and after - after losing precious babies in a wreck on I-35.
Loss so new may not want to hear about hope.
Friends and family close may not want to read about hope.
And that's okay.
The hope and breathe of heaven see me through each day - even when my envy of heaven and my denial of peace run thick.
Even so, great joy filled this often empty house Tuesday night. My girls arrived, walking in the front door as if it were their very own home, a gift in and of itself. Immediately, the sounds of laughter and heart friendships filled the space. The final details of dinner kept my hands and head busy but did not thwart each girl as one by one they found me and wrapped their arms around my neck.
Time had not betrayed us, nor the adulthood that followed adolescence that every day was mine to guide. Comfort and ease galloped along side conversations. Jake, Jonathan, Colin and Brodie conversed with Wade Garrett as if he had been their friend, and I hung on every word they shared - seeing 'good work according to His purpose' and being thankful for the men my girls married.
On Wednesday, I met with a colleague sensing a heavy spirit attached to him. Without fail, he is always wearing his "Go Light the World" bracelet. He and other members of the Sixth and Seventh Grade Team wear their bracelets everyday. I have yet to not be physically moved by their commitment to our mission, and each day I see the red band on a colleagues wrist I am reminded of my sweet friend Tracy, who also lost her daughter, Kasey, to a drunk driver. She had the first batch made and delivered to us.
In my conversation with Scott, he relayed this story. On a mission trip in Colorado this summer, Scott served the homeless by passing out water when a reporter approached Scott asking him about his work and if the reporter could film Scott. Serving is intrinsic to Scott's nature. As the camera rolled, Scott noticed it focusing on the red band around his wrist. The reporter asked him to move the bracelet so all the words could be read, "Go Light the World.....In Memory of Taylor Witcher."
Scott's eyes began to redden as he continued, "The reporter asked about this bracelet, Lisa. And I want you to know that I told Taylor's story, and I said her name and thousands of people in Colorado heard it. She mattered." Having lost his sister to ovarian cancer, Scott understands the dream-like state that life often seems without his sister here, and he knows how important it is to remember with intention.
In surrogate brothers-in-law....
In red bands that say "Go Light the World".....
In friendships that endure trial and maturity......
In ministry that serves others.....
I have shed tears this week. Tears for my sweet Taylor - for my daughter, my friend, my sassy, irreverent, head-back and belly laughter soul mate .... and tears for the families who lost their babies.
Burying our babies is senseless.
I don't understand. I just don't.
But God's grace does allow me to see good working through the days that have followed the end of our world -
Prayers that His grace and His people will wrap around the families in Jenks in the same way - I wish I could give them their babies back.