For many in our path, my daughter’s death is just a fact, an event.
I think they look at us and think we’ve moved on.
It isn’t a fact for me; every day my daughter’s death is still a tragedy. However more and more, I can’t talk about it.
As if talking about it would dissolve the glue I’ve used to stand myself back up.
As if talking about it would give me the necessary strength to comfort the pain in her daddy’s eyes when he shares his heart, when he makes his soul vulnerable.
As if talking about how broken I am would invoke the winds, I sometimes long for, that would billow across our plains and take me with it in infinitesimal pieces.
Families with small children play effortlessly in the pool in front of me. Pushing my headphones deeper into my ears, I allow the music to play over the sounds of the humanity in front of me. My friend said the words I’ve only thought silently aloud, “Hate to be fatalistic, but which ones of these babies get to live, go to college, get married..." We hate knowing that not every baby gets to grow up. We live in the joy of the miracles other families experience and battle the evil question of "Why?"
Which lives will be quieted not by music but by gunfire riveting out of a heart so full of hate that those of who know Jesus wish only that he would return and rescue this old world?
Which lives will be silenced by a disease that note by note takes the vibrant music of youth and health?
Which lives dancing will be stilled by a soul inebriated by a kind of
emptiness that poisons all reason?
Part of me is still lying half asleep in my bed on Greeley Street on a Saturday night in July of 2014 waiting for my girl to stand at my bedside whispering- "Mama, I’m home.".... The other part of me gets up every day to love my boys and the children God puts in my path.
So I ease the headphones out of my ears and listen to the laughter bouncing off the water's surface. I watch daddies throw their babies in the air and soak in the gleeful shrieks from little bellies. I giggle at the toddlers already waddling on their heels but laden with a water filled swim diapers doing their best to pad heel after heel away from their mamas, and I thank God for goodness that thrives in spite of and in the midst of the empty hate.
Hurt is still hurt. God is still God. And in those two truths lies the one good thing. The prayers and faith that have sustained us these last five years will last one more day because they were/are fueled by love, a love powerful enough to get us up for 9,125 days, a powerful love.
"If I could speak all the languages of earth and angels, but didn't love others, I would only be noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1
This world that allows parents to bury their children needs a whole lot more love and hundreds of thousands fewer opinions. Opinions didn't feed us; opinion didn't comfort us; opinions didn't remember Taylor or say her name. Only love did.
Your opinion will likely only validate the thoughts of those who already think like you. Your love, your light could change the heart next to you, and the next one, and the next. #Golighttheworld was sister's hashtag while she was still in high school - long before we knew the world could end. It meant for Tay and for us - to take the gifts we have been given and share them - bring light to the darkness, bring love.