Spring dresses, youthful faces, beaming smiles filled a beautiful home. Mothers and daughters who love the bride congregated, showered her with gifts and shared the stories, the hopes and dreams for each young girl's next chapter.
The bride opened her gifts; the guests oohed and ahhed at the pretty beginnings that would soon occupy the blissful couple's home.
I was not without the weight of Taylor's absence.
She was everywhere in the room next to these girls with whom she cheered and attended high school. She was the cackle rich with secret history in one young lady's laughter as she threw back her head in pure glee. She was the wide-eyed joy in a girl's eyes when a long time friend came through the door. She was the one competing to win the shower game - arguing about the answer and embarrassing the bride with her story that countered. She was everywhere.
Tonight, I am thankful to be a mother whose daughter introduced me to other mothers and other daughters. Some of these girls are mine, and gratefully, Taylor belonged to many of their mothers. It's a circle that has buoyed me, comforted me, strengthened me. And while I often see the harsh reality in the eyes of others, I am so thankful to be in this circle of life, and so abundantly grateful Taylor knew all about this kind of love.