I really do not think there is a supernatural connection between my sorrow and the jet stream - but, the irony presented itself, nevertheless.
By the time my last meeting ended after 6pm, the sky had opened and sheets of rain fell in hard, unrelenting succession like the question, "How?" repeats in my brain.
There are days I live within this reality and navigate my path - even unwillingly. Then, there are days I am swallowed whole by the inconceivable truth that my daughter went to a concert and just didn't come home. Today, the latter stared me in the face.
I write these words to tell you this: Without fail on these days, I am met with text messages from friends of mine or friends of Taylor's.
It. Never. Fails.
I usually only dump on my mom. It's a long standing dump - the poor woman could barely make it in the door from teaching fifth grade before I hit her with every second of my day. So it isn't lost on me when I send her a dramatic comment like the one above, only to be met with text messages from people who couldn't know I was in the toilet, emotionally. The sweet lady hasn't had a conversation with the daughter that she knew before the wreck. She only gets the pieces that are left, because that's what we do to our mothers.
This morning, it began with Aldyn sharing a Facebook memory that showed up in her feed. She and Tay were 'kiting" on the Theta lawn and their joy looked unstoppable, indestructible. I love the flashbacks that Facebook offers me - but stop short of sharing. When Aldyn shared hers with me, I knew God had connected us. We offered to each other the emptiness of today without our favorite red head. Later today, Kim, Josie's mom texted; we celebrated the friendship Duchess and Wade have, and the happiness it brings us. I let Kim know I was struggling and was thankful for her love - but not without realizing who connects us all.
I seem to hang out around the edges of the "end of the world". Sometimes, honestly, I am there by choice - other times, I am victim all over again. God's faithfulness isn't as fickle as I am, and I am reminded on these days of a verse that brings me great comfort - "For lo - I am with you, even unto the ends of the earth. - Matthew 28:20"
I didn't know how I could write about anything good tonight as I faked most of the day. I did what I needed to do, but I wanted to be beneath the stripes of her zebra blanket curled up asking the same God that meets me at the edge of the world - "Why?" while I pleaded for a different ending. Then I picked up this month's edition of "Tidings", our church's monthly publication. An essay from one of my 2013 seniors, Kylee Broadhurst, waited for me. Kylee acted as an on-call taxi driver for a young Wade Garrett when sixth hour golf practice called for reinforcements. In the essay, she describes some of the time she spent time in Guatemala caring for orphans recently. While the entirety of the essay shouts praise to this sweet girl and the parents who raised her - and the God who she loves and serves - these two lines from her prose gripped my heart.
She talks about the kind of heart we have to have to serve and then writes these three lines: "True discipleship isn't done in one grand gesture and shaking things up for a bit. True discipleship is done by entering in the lives of your disciples and just walking alongside them in the least glorious of ways. Jesus performed miracles, but the majority of his time was spent just pouring into 12 people and doing life with them."
This twenty-one year old said it. "Walking alongside of [us] in the least of glorious ways" you have been "just pouring into [us] and doing life with [us]" even when life seems like it shouldn't have stopped 408 days ago. We are here because you continually pour into us - just like Taylor loved pouring light into young girls around Texas and Oklahoma.
When we raise children like Kylee, like Aldyn, like Kim, like Duchess, like insert one of a hundred names, we pour into this world the love of a God who meets us at the end of the world -
Every. Single. Day.
I texted Kylee; I told her she was my hero. She pours light into others -even in the storm of abandonment, and forever, this will be a good thing, the sunshine that waits for us all.