My cousin was visiting from Korea. We had spent the past few weeks getting acquainted after a great trip to Niagara Falls. It was our last dinner together--she had an early flight the next morning. The phone rang. It was Ben. I knew immediately that something was wrong. The timing was off--at 6:30pm, it was 3:30am in Iraq.
I didn't even say hello. I just asked what was wrong. He said, "Dave died." I yelled, "DAVE TAYLOR?". It was.
I remember the tears. I remember hearing my mom crying for him--he was a favorite of hers. I remember continuing to cry as I asked Ben questions. Did he suffer? Was it an IED? What happened? Does Michelle know? What are they going to do? I didn't really expect answers. I did, though, desperately want to know that he did not suffer. I hope he didn't. I remember my Honey rubbing my arms in comfort. I remember the silence of all the children (my four and my two nephews). That night is burned into my brain. Every little detail.
Michelle called me that night. She was very strong even in her grief. All I could think was that Jake was robbed of his father.
One year ago today, Major David Gladney Taylor, Jr. was killed by an IED while serving in Iraq. He had two weeks left before his tour would've been over.
Rest in peace, my dear friend.
Dave with Honey (2003). He loved her from the moment he picked her up in the hospital. There was no hesitation with holding a newborn for him. We all miss him and my heart has not stopped aching.
I grew up in a household where you knew you were doing well if you weren't criticized. There was no positive reinforcement at all. I would bring home report cards with all A's across the board and my parents would look at the conduct marks, see the "occasional infraction" (which was a farce because I had never been called to task about anything--I was a goody-goody) and point it out to me.
I have found myself to be that way too. I'm working very, very hard to overcome this. It's hard! Anyway, today I saw the impact of positive and negative impacts on people while I was out and about running errands.
There were only two lanes open to enter the military installation to get to the commissary. The lines were backed up with cars all the way to the lights. Up ahead, I could see one of the guard gates running and pounding on the doors to the main gate area. Then I heard a siren. The other two lanes were blocked off and these two lanes had cars with no where to go. The one guard gate was quick thinking and had all the other guards spring into action to stop the flow of traffic leaving and diverted the ambulance that way. It never had to slow down. The guard was in my lane so when I came to her, I complimented her on her quick thinking and action. I could tell she was a bit embarrassed but pleased.
On the flip side, when I was checking my groceries out, I had a pretty slow bagger. I think he was new and was trying to get into the groove (put cold things together, meats together, etc.). Well, the ladies who were pros were grumbling the whole time in English and Korean (the Korean ladies have a pretty good monopoly on this particular job). Of course, being able to understand Korean, I knew exactly what they were saying. I was so embarrassed. I knew it was discouraging to this man, but he kept on chugging along. I thanked him with a wide smile and gave him his tip (baggers work for tip only).
So, I've to remember to use good positive words even when I'm correcting.
Our homeschool group has been trying to get the fathers involved. One of the ways has been to have them give a presentation to the children in whatever special topic the dad chooses. Ben did a presentation involving military paintings about the 82nd Airborne. He taught them the routine for jumping out of an airplane. The kids got a kick out of that! Here they are learning the routine:
Last Friday, one of the dads did a heart dissection. He used a beef heart and the kids loved it!!
This is some major artery or vein. I should've written this down. It's pretty cool to see like this though. See the probe?
These are the heart valves.
Thank you, Dr. Carl!!
Where the two year olds were during the dissection.
Some of the girls fell out early, some didn't even make it to the table, but it was a great experience for most of the group.
Inspired by Margaret's example, I signed us up for the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil outside the misnamed Killeen Women's Clinic. I signed us up for Tuesdays and this was our second week. We prayed all 20 decades of the rosary today. A picture speaks louder than words so here are the photos:
This is the final shot of all of us at the end of my hour. Three families were on the right but I couldn't fit us all in. This was a vast majority of our homeschool group.
Thirteen years ago, we were married at the beautiful Marsh Chapel on the Boston University campus (our alma mater). Our reception was held at the Castle, a beautiful old house that the presidents of the university used as a residence.