Psalm 130:1 says, "Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;" And so I did. I screamed at him, actually. "I miss her..." - over and again - pounding the steering wheel as I drove home from working with a colleague. I didn't have any expectation; I have just tried everything else. Nothing extraordinary happened - immediately- I stopped the hot mess prior to pulling into the garage and going in to my boys.
Hours later, a late night text from Colson, a friend of Taylor's - came just to say he missed her. "Hey Momma Witch" it began... Baseball has started and the Norman gang misses her smart mouth, her laughter. He said, "She knew how to be ornery at one moment and sweet the next. She knew just how to balance that." What a great young man. I shared the text with Joey and thanked Colson.
I slept fitfully and tackled Monday. As the day closed, I received an email from my mom. She paraphrased Dub (my mom's husband) his sermon from Sunday. She was quick to point out that she wasn't trying to send an object lesson - just a memory; so, I will reiterate the same. Mom's email reads:
Dub spoke Sunday about how what is in our hearts determines what we do, our actions, our behavior. His scriptures were Proverbs 23:7 from the KJV, “As a man thinks in His heart, so is he;” Philippians 4:7-9; Proverbs 4:23, 1 John 5:4-5; and Matthew 6:20.
We need to invest in something that lives on after we are gone, something like God’s people, other believers.
As he closed his sermon he said, “Taylor”. Tears came to his eyes and to mine simultaneously. He told briefly the events of last summer. Then he said, “So many people emailed and told Taylor’s mom and dad how she had helped them and pointed them to faith in God. The quality of character like Taylor’s is what I want to take to heaven.”
I read the email just as my day ended and for a moment - peace.
Board meeting and tasks for tomorrow kept me running for a few more hours. When I arrived at the house, I dropped my bags near the couch and kissed my man. As we talked, I removed my jewelry, put up my shoes and pulled the "Mom's Day" t-shirt Aubrey brought home this weekend over my head. Before, I could sit down, Joey announced that Aldyn had sent us a letter and told me to grab it off the counter. I snagged the stiff envelope and fell into the loveseat next to Joey. He winced at the ice cubes my feet had become and let me place them beneath his warm thigh.
The card slipped out of the envelope easily and this pair of red boots pictured above rested on its face. Taylor loved red boots! The words inside the card related Aldyn's physical pain as she misses the red-headed friend that traveled the awkward stages of early adolescence to the beauty of womanhood with her. It began, "Mama Witch". She expressed thankfulness for their friendship and then she wrote just what Dub said. "I want the world to know God better just because I existed in it. That's Taylor. The world knew what true love looked like just because she exists."
My girl wasn't perfect - but she did love fiercely and those of us that she loved need new hearts. Slowly as the screams of grief subside, we can hear and feel the spirit he gave our baby girl moving in us.
"I cried out to the Lord and he answered from his holy mountain." Psalm 3:4
Ezekiel 36:26 "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh."
These words, these cards are not Taylor. They will never replace the ache that I feel because I can't hold her. These young people who call me "MamaWitch" can never make the sweet sound her voice did when I heard her voice say "Hi Mama" on the phone - but these words do manifest God's promises to me. I don't know why this happened or how I got to be the mother of this baby girl, but because there is a Taylor, I have the privilege of being 'MamaWitch" to more children than I brought into this world; I think God nudges them to take turns reaching out to me. It's the way he answers me when I cry out. I think that through them he is giving me a new heart.