I don't fill my days with people anymore. Having a very independent 18 year old and a husband involved with high school athletics causes there to be large spaces of time. While I still don't crave the time alone, I do find myself capitalizing upon it as the deluge of others' needs pummel my senses daily. The volleys of human emotion
I haven't really bought but one pair of shoes since we lost Taylor Renee. Since we wore the same size, shoe shopping gave us great opportunity to spend more money on shoes that we told her daddy we would. We would always come home with the line, "It's like getting two pairs for the price of one!" He would roll his eyes and grunt, "Uh huh..." succumbing to the not so subtlety of his daughter's charm.
I wear the same pair of black heels almost everyday though. I've looked before but haven't pulled the trigger relying on excuses... too funky....too expensive.... too much heel...when really its just too hard.
Finding myself alone since Joey didn't want to accompany me to the mall to purchase mascara, I paused at the shoes before I made it to the Clinique counter. I found a classic pair of black heels for an incredible sale price and once the sales lady saw me bite on the extra 30% off, she began bringing pair after pair. Disappearing for several minutes at a time, she gave me the space I needed for I hate to be handled while I am shopping. Finally, she brought me a pair of wedges that Taylor would have loved. Also on sale, I purchased them and left the shoe department with three pairs of shoes, and I still needed mascara. I felt the giddiness with which she would have bounced out of the shoe department. Despite knowing she would have reveled in the spontaneity of the purchase, I couldn't laugh. I could barely smile. Purchasing the shoes alone had to be accomplishment enough.
Hours later, the boys left for the golf course and I pulled out moments before them to treat myself to a pedicure. I walked into the shop and the sweet Vietnamese matriarch welcomed me, "You here for pedicure?"
"You alone today. No girls?"
It hurt to sit down, and I turned my face to the wall.
Here's the truth of it. Even though the boys were with each other today, they were still alone. Who Taylor Renee was to me is starkly different to who she was to Joey or Wade. We each carry this aloneness.
I wondered Thursday night as my son confidently stood alone on the stage at Union's Reggae Fest to present his sister's scholarship if I had made a mistake asking him to shoulder that responsibility alone. I told him it never occurred to me last year that we would have subsequent years to give the scholarship; I was unable to see years into the future without our girl. But he spoke of her so acutely proud, so easily, I marveled at his courage and strength. Here's what he said...
A flashlight at noon is wasteful;
a flashlight in an underground mine could save a life.
In the same way those who are a light in already bright places still bring joy but to an area without need
and those who bring light to areas of unknown darkness save hearts and souls of numerous people
my sister, Taylor, was always looking to shine light on
those areas of darkness.
She was the person you wanted to be with when you had no where else to go.
I remember every time I was really sad my sister would take me out to dinner, probably Qdoba and just seem to make everything better.
She is no longer with us but her spirit has not left Union High School.
The winner of the Scholarship dedicated to this spirit shown by my big sis has brought light to areas of darkness.
He has not only connected our special education students into the student body through Mesh, been an amazing Student Council president, always helping with a servant attitude, and always setting the example in the classroom and the hallways for positivity and the Redskin Spirit.
He has been a generous and loving friend
to everyone he encounters
Including even me.
Chris Loerke has truly brought a light to Union High School and I'm happy to present him as the winner of my sister's scholarship
As one of her funny quirks my sister always dreamed of playing tambourine in a rock band
So as a symbol of my sisters joy and spontaneous personality here is a tambourine for Chris to always remind him to rock out and smile like no one is watching even though everyone is."
A pair of shoes shouldn't be this hard or this much - but they are. Maybe when I wear them, I can be strong and courageous like my son with spontaneity of my girl.