My Mom | A Letter From Her Son, Taylor

Mom, We still have so much to talk about. I still have so much to ask you. You still have so much to teach me beyond the love, strength, grace, and compassion you demonstrated every day. I want to go back to the day. October 19th. Two days before your passing. The day we sat together on the couch in the living room as I assembled an essay about things falling apart. With oxygen passing through tubes by your nose, when things were indeed falling apart, you exuded a delicate strength. Your quiet fortitude then and your quiet fortitude now have always and will always hold our family together like the cornerstone in each of your buildings. I wish I could see you one more time. Your tall, striking, poised figure. Your deep, calming brown eyes, eyes that came with a smile that shined not just happiness but a peaceful certitude. I wish I could hold you forever; I wish I never let you go that day on the couch. I know these aren’t just wishes. I know that you will be with me forever as I continue my journey through life. Keep in touch mom. I love you. Sincerely,...

The Love of My Life | “You Will Never Know a Love Like Mine”

It was Friday night. 2 weeks ago. In San Antonio. Taylor, Kyla, Katelyn and I had just made the drive down 281 from Austin for a weekend in the Hill Country. We had settled into our hotel, and I had popped down to the corner Walgreens, along the Riverwalk, to pick up some powdered donuts. The Riverwalk is a special place for our family, both before Maureen’s passing a year ago and since. Actually, I can still remember the first time I visited the Riverwalk with Maureen. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving, the year we had moved to Austin in 1994. She and I sat there basking in the sun, enjoying a beer, thinking to ourselves, wow, it is probably pretty cold back in Chicago, from where we had just moved that summer! The kids and I had come not just to celebrate but to reflect on a very emotional month in our lives. On Friday, October 9, tomorrow, the one year anniversary of Maureen’s passing from this world to the next was still two weeks hence. We knew we needed time then to be ready for now. We knew we needed to come back to the Riverwalk. Like Heraclitus, this river is never the same twice, but the love that flows through it is never changing. It is where we stayed when Maureen and I took the kids to Seaworld. It is the place of Bubbles AND Powdered Donuts. And, on this night, it is the place where heaven once again intersected earth. Ever since my visit to Cured back in June, which I wrote about here,...

My Mom | Reflections by Her Loving Son, Taylor

“Blessed By Angels Unawares” | Hebrews 13:2 When I was fifteen, I lost my mom to breast cancer. The day was October twenty first, and I was sitting on the left side of the library at the table near the window. As I was confirming my fantasy football lineup, Mrs. Winter, wearing a white cardigan, brown shirt, and white jeans entered through the front doors. She informed me my dad was in the front office. I didn’t think anything of this information or her arrival. However, as I entered, my dad wasn’t the only person there. My aunt, a short, grey-blonde, spitting image of my mom was there as well. Their faces were both blank. My dad broke the silence with two words, “follow me.” He led me to the little hill near the office where the grass fades from green into yellow. He said, “your mom’s sodium levels dropped last night. We don’t have any more time. She is already gone.” I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I started running. I ran to the track and never looked back. Four months later, I was still running. This time I was running a half marathon through the streets of New Orleans in memory of my mom, side by side with my dad. We ran stride for stride with each other for thirteen point one miles. Throughout this ordeal, we both had moments of doubt and fatigue, but when the miles got tough, we thought of the countless chemotherapy sessions my mom endured with a smile. As we ran through the French Market just off Jackson Square where...