At dinner each senior stood introduced herself to the room, and then announced her plans for post graduation. These ladies are becoming teachers and doctors, nurses and engineers, missionaries and accountants, art directors and world travelers. When Kendal, Taylor's sophomore roommate, stood up and announced she would be the an Art Director for an advertising company in New York, it instantly occurred to me that Taylor Renee would be figuring out a way to go with her. It would be a plan carefully and strategically created on a wing and a prayer - but there would be a plan.
After dinner, we all walked out onto the front lawn of the big white house on Chautauqua and took a balloon as the western sun set on a beautiful spring day. The president of PC 12 invited the forty or so girls to share a memory of Tay.
The stories about her dancing or teaching her sorority sisters to dance caused me to laugh and smile and cry the most - always the freaking party.
One of her pledge sisters, Sarah, offered that she knows Taylor better from the memories that Tay's friends share and encouraged us to always speak her name and share our memories, and I am still crying over her words.
As the stories ended, we released our balloons and Kendal reminded us that Taylor would think it hysterical that we were littering the world in her honor. Afterward, the house mom, Jeannie, showed me the plaque and the tree her pledge class planted in Taylor's honor offering that she passes by it each day keeping it clear of leaves and trash. Jeannie was always good to have lunch more than once each week with Taylor. I reminded the sweet soul that Taylor always told me about sharing lunch with Jeannie.
In the end, the president, presented a fifteen thousand dollar scholarship the pledge class offered in Taylor's name. It begins next year.
My attempts to put all of this in a box are failing me this week - Mother's Day and Senior Week and Theta Love undoing me.
I don't know how other mothers have survived this; I just know they have. They must have friends like mine.
They must have a Kendal and Josie who never left my side Wednesday night, who laughed with me and cried with me and loved our Taylor girl so well. They must have girls or boys who loved their son or daughter well like Aubrey, Ashley, Mackie, Brynne, Aldyn and Carlie. They must have friends like Julie who drove all the way to Oklahoma City just so I wouldn't drive home by myself. They must have a husband like Joey who waits up just to wrap his arms around me and kiss my forehead knowing that words alone would fail us. They must have co-workers like Kathy who make the work stop long enough to remember. They must have a son like mine who takes his mama to a funny school play just so we can laugh. They must have family like mine who are constant, and a God who is unfailing.
I am heart-broken but loved, empty but continually poured into, lost but held.
At Maezie's (my great-aunt) funeral the minister said - "Now Maezie sees what she once only believed."
I think we have opportunities to see the unseen here before we enter eternity, the manifestation of God's promises, of his unfailing love and tender mercy. I think I saw a few of them last night while being held literally and proverbially by these hearts.
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."
We try again, tomorrow.
Thank you Kappa Alpha Theta - you are goodness and mercy in these days of my life.