Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm hiding. It's Taylor Week. Don't know what that is? Click here and here.



Since you asked, I'll tell you that I'm not having a very nice time of it. Curly turned 6 last week, and once her birthday was finished, it started. Crying on the way home from work, and on the verge of tears at any given moment. I've already asked Darin to stay home from work on Wednesday, because I know I'll need it.



I've decided this year to pay tribute to just a few of those who helped care for us during that out-of-body time in our lives. It goes without saying that our family was vital to our survival, both emotionally and practically (ie: There were days in there when I realized at the end of the day, "I never fed li'l ~j. today." Luckily, someone else always had.). Today I'm going to honor a few others. Namely, our then neighbors, and always friends. More specifically, these are the families who lived in our same apartment complex at the time.



The Rohm Family



Trevor & Stephani lived across the hall from us, but they had also been in our ward when we lived at Wymount. Plus, they both grew up in close proximity to Darin; he and Trevor played soccer on rivaling teams in high school. As our neighbors, they really stepped up to help us out during this trying time. They bought a toy for li'l ~j., then 18 months old -- this meant so much to me. They also gave us a framed print of Jesus with a small boy on his knee, in (presumably, what with all the clouds) Heaven. This oak-framed print is always on the wall right next to our most recent family photos. They also sent some friends to the hospital at 10:30 at night to make something for us: plaster casts of Taylor's hands and feet, as well as a molding of my hand holding Taylor's, with Darin's hand around both of ours. Trevor created the dual-sided program for our little graveside service, and it was perfect.



The Barlow Family



I'll just never forget Sarah coming downstairs, knocking on our door, and with tears in her eyes, handing over a framed 5x7 print of the Savior -- the one where He's knocking on the door with no outer doorknob. She just cried and said, "I'm so sorry."



The Prieto Family



Anyone who gets the chance to have their life intertwine with this family during this earth life will never be the same. That's the only way I can describe this honorable Brazilian family. Brother Prieto, with his no-to-broken-at-best English, gave me the most meaningful hugs I could have possibly gotten that week. His sincere sorrow was in his eyes. He helped me create the pages for Taylor's scrapbook. After each page printed on their printer, he'd carefully scrutinize it, checking to make sure the margins were perfect and that the pages were completely without smudges or errors of any kind. If imperfections were found, that page was dicarded until the right one had been created. He was most patient and helpful. And Sister -- I mean Mama -- Prieto is always amazing, never without wisdom. She shared her talents and feelings by way of a poem which came to her in the middle of the night. This poem is framed and in my bedroom:



Glimpses of Eternity

A tribute to the life of Taylor Eckton



Warm as the first sunbeam in a cold morning,

beautiful like the first blossoms of

early spring,

unique like a snowflake,

tender as the love of

your parents' hearts and

pure like an angel...

You came into our lives;

Warm, beautiful, unique, tender and pure.



Through your eyes we saw God's

glimpses of eternity.

Through your ears we heard the whispers of

His comforting words.

Through your heart we felt His love divine,

In your countenance we saw the

image of our Maker.



We thank our Father in Heaven for the gift of

your precious life and through His only

begotten Son the gift of eternal life.



You are beloved, wanted and

present in our lives.

Today we bid you farewell, for a

brief moment 'till the blessed day when

hand in hand we will see together

the glimpses of life eternal...



by Vitoria Prieto



The Burch Family



Speaking of getting to know a family and never being the same...also former Wymount neighbors, and Kerri also grew up in the same town as Darin. And Doug had been my manager when I worked at an office supply store ("Yeah, We've Got That.") in Orem a few years previously. They were so very helpful. Doug, then still a manager at the office supply store, gave us as many copies of that program for our graveside service (the one made by Trevor) as we wanted, at no cost. Kerri put together a gift basket with survival necessities (chocolate) as well as a shirt for li'l ~j.. She took pictures at our funeral service. She taught me some funeral ettiquette that I hadn't been aware of. She made countless meals for us, to our great delight and fortune. It would be impossible to list all the things the Burches did for us that week, but one thing in particular stands out: Kerri told me of something that happened at her home at the very time I was giving birth. You see, as I was in labor, the phone in the hospital room rang; I had Darin answer it and asked him to tell whoever it was that we'd have to call them back. It was Kerri on the phone, just checking in on us. After she hung up the phone, knowing I was about to give birth, she watched her own little boy, Bret, playing with his toys (I'm going to guess Legos). After a couple of minutes, she said, "Bret? Bret, where's Taylor? Can you tell me about Taylor? Is he in Heaven?" Pausing for a moment from playing, he considered her questions, and then nodded affirmatively and told her: "Stay there."





************

Neighbors and friends since have done some wonderful things to support us on this anniversary that has not ceased to be painfully sorrowful for me (ie, cw brought me some delightful apple strudel on Sunday night, "so that you can start Taylor week off with some comfort food".). It's not that I think that it's going to get any easier. I'm not sure what I expect, or expected, to happen after seven years. I guess I just need to prepare myself better for being reduced to this slobbery puddle of tears during the first week of October each year.



This year's celebration will consist of my going to Costco on Wednesday morning to buy flowers for Taylor's grave, as well as a pumpkin cheesecake. It's what he'd want. Or, at the very least, what he'd want for his mom.

19 comments:

c jane said...

You are in my thoughts.

tio said...

skim milk

Bek said...

Jen,

You and your family are in my thoughts this week. I wish we could make it easier for you.

I can't send cheesecake but I can send love....

Queen Scarlett said...

Love you.

swampbaby said...

We all are sad for you. I heard a great quote the other day: God may give you a stoney path, but He will also give you strong shoes.

You've got strong shoes, and you've got strong friends to carry you if they wear out...

Lucky Red Hen said...

[hugs]

love you.

compulsive writer said...

As I left I realized I forgot to give you a hug.

(hugs)

sue-donym said...

I think God sends us friends just for times like these.

AzĂșcar said...

Thank you for sharing (everything.)

Kerrianne Lehnhof Burch said...

I'll never forget that week, mostly because of what I learned from you and Darin. Strength, Faith, Hope. ...the curly dark hair on his head - an image burned into my memory forever. I love you guys.

~cari~ said...

Thoughts and prayers for you and your beautiful family. Thanks for sharing your story.

Tori :) said...

I'm thinking of you and your family this week.

lisa v. clark said...

I'm thinking about you and your family. You are amazing.

pflower10 said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish I could bring you something. I'm so glad that you had the support you needed when you needed it and still today.

Kalli Ko said...

After reading your post today, and after about Taylor, I can't help but feel like my testimony of what it is to be an eternal family has grown a little bit stronger.

Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer B. said...

Thinking of you today.

more caffeine, please said...

There's a special place in Heaven for mothers like you. Thanks for sharing.

Sue said...

Thank you for sharing this with us - I'm in tears. I'm sorry for the pain you must be feeling. It's amazing how God sends us the right people to help us at the right time, isn't it? I'm glad those people were there to help you when you needed it. Take care.

Tori :) said...

Just checkin' in on you.