Each of these posts act as lessons I need to learn, thoughts they I had to wrestle, faith I have to claim and peace I have to find. I'm thankful I didn't get to watch a movie I had already seen and read these posts instead. I needed to learn this again.
(a letter I wrote in October 2014)
Dear Girls –
I wanted to share this with you – more than I wanted to share it with anyone else. I think somewhere in my heart or mind I feel like you understand more than anyone else what I am trying to say or feel on paper about my girl. Maybe that’s because if I keep you close, I will keep pieces of Taylor close to me; maybe it’s because she gave so much of her heart to each of you; or maybe I just want to hold on to yesterday. At any rate, if I frustrate you or cause you pain, please just delete this and don’t read it. I would never want to hurt you.
Other parents who have lost a child keep wanting me to feel Taylor with me. My heart aches for her; it’s not like I don’t want the same thing, but it has evaded me. There is this blanket of grief that keeps me from feeling anything but sadness and brief bouts of extreme rage.
When I re-read my blog entry from Friday I realized, I missed her that evening when the sun was setting, Nickelback was playing and the Alabama hillsides were on fire with the last rays of daylight. I missed her.
Can’t you just see her disgust? It makes me laugh. Whatever she had to say would have begun or ended with, “Mother…” and her green eyes rolling. She always called me mother when she was disgusted with me.
You are all so smart; you have probably already figured this out, but I have to write just in case you haven’t.
Don’t get so comfortable under this blanket of grief that you miss her coming to your hearts. It’s a deceptive blanket; it seems more comfortable than living some days. Realize that. I realize that our feelings of safety and security have been forever altered, but this blanket of grief will leave us cold if we rely on her too long.
Don’t miss the tambourine moments, the sundrop-girl moments, the stupid bicycle video moments, sonic runs, the crafting moments, the long talks, the plaid shirts, the poolside moments, the Nickelback and NeedtoBreathe and obscure rock band moments. Don’t miss her finding you in sunsets, in guitar rips, in drum solos, in scarves and boots, in yoga pants and ratty t-shirts, under blankets watching movies. Don’t miss the pyramids on Tuttle field, skipping class, trashing boys, the bucket lists, or the snap-chats. Don’t miss the reminders the universe sends us that celebrates that fireball, that brightest star, that girl who was more comfortable with herself than anyone else.
Please hear me. You can cry and miss her everyday. Tears fall as I write you. I think I will forever have streaks through the make-up on my cheeks. (Sorry Aldyn.) The girl who was just as comfortable with an animated face as a smile in pictures, who lived life large on a stage she believed was created just for her, still wants us to smile, still has ways to make us smile, still wants us to remember her with laughter.
Whoever she was to you, strive to be that to someone else and you and I will keep the best parts of her with us and alive until we all go home to dance with Jesus and Taylor. I want to be courage and bravery to others as that’s what she was to me, my hero in so many ways.
If thoughts of heaven still fall short of consoling you, you are in good company. I am not comforted, yet, by eternity. I am too selfish. I am hoping time and faith will change that. I know heaven to be true. I know she is there. Sometimes we have to act on our faith even when we don’t feel it.
I am so very sorry.
Sharing your thoughts with me will never cause me pain. You are my girls. I can read or hear anything. You owe me nothing, but I will always be your MamaWitch.
Here’s to those moments when the hillsides have been set on fire by the setting sun, when the sky paints with bold abandon and when Nickelback tells us to "live like it was our last day".