Taylors Helping Hands is a charitable organization dedicated to the memory of Taylor E Cothran.

  2 Corinthians 1:2-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Churst, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."(NIV)

Home Moms Blog

September 9, 2010

Senior year 2010. I'm doing the same things I did for the senior year 2006. Same college applications, spirit week, senior photos, prom, graduation... The same things. I can't help but relive all these things. They are so fresh in my mind, I guess because that is the last big thing we did. I've not had anymore 'same' memories since. 4 years seems like forever, I mean, most people don't remember so much about a year, I know there are decades of years I can't remember but bits and pieces and yet, this senior yearr stuff is like I did it yesterday.

Maybe because it's a repeat of a year. Maybe it's because all these things I did 4 years ago held so much promise, so many amazing new adventures, a new life. Finally got a bird out of the nest in search of his own nest.

Now I can't help but think, is this the beginning or the end?

I'm compiling pictures for Tara's yearbook page. The senior parents put a page, like a collage, of the past 18 years, I call it a journey of the life past, and excitement of the journey of life future. Then you add some special words, words and photos that cumlinate how much you love your senior and how proud and excited you are about the future. Our excitement ended before his yearbook was 6 months old.

Now I'm going back through photos trying to find how to find Tara's journey. I had these photo albums boxed up from the move, not planning on looking at them. Now I've spent a day looking at our journey of life past. Beach trips, Halloween costumes, Christmas day, snow, Easter, all the adventures of a family.

Looking back at Taylor's yearbook page, his journey just about to end.

I wonder as I try and find the words to put in Tara's yearbook page, what to say without saying, "don't leave me!!! Stay alive!!! forget about planning on the future- just try and live beyond October 2011!"

I won't say that, but knowing now what I didn't know then, it's hard to find words to say that are in my heart, but can't find letters to spell them out.

I love you Tara, in spite of your hurts and tragedy from your past, focus on the magic and the joy of your future. You carry us with you in your heart and mind forever. No matter how far away, you are loved beyond words. Make your life count, make it matter- for you and for Taylor. Use your story, your journey to you and you will achieve amazing things.

(or something like that...)


August 27, 2010

Dear Tara,

I can't beleive you are 17 today! Only 4 1/2 when you were born, I have to admit, I was a bit jealous by your arrival. But I loved you so much, and as we both got older, I know we had our share of arguments and fights,  but- you were always my sister. We had to deal with mom and dads issues, and I'm glad we had each other. I know you didn't mean to slam the door on my big toe and rip off my toenail when we were home together.

What I want to tell you, my little sister, is to live your life, full and well. Don't let your life be defined by my absence. I know you hurt everyday and how much you miss me. I know that the 4 1/2 years are now just 1 that seperate us. I never meant to leave you. I would have never hurt you. I know how much you need me, but I am always with you. Just not the way you want. But you do carry me with you everywhere. This is your final year in high school, make it count! Have fun, but always be careful. Life as you know is so fragile, every day is a gift, not a given. Do great things, use what you know, that most of the world doesn't, to make a difference in this place.

The world is your oyster, as mom and dad used to tell me, but it's true. Oysters make pearls not because they are easy, but because of the pain due to 1 grain of sand. It irritates the oyster and due to that irritation, a pearl is formed from that. Make pearls from your pain. Use the pain in your life past to make pearls out of your future. I'm so proud of you. I know that you will continue to become the most amazing woman. I'll be with you through it all.

I love you my baby sister,



I woke up thinking of a song, as I seem to do lately. The line that sticks to me most, is the one "some of it was magic, some of it was tragic, but I had a good life all the way."

I love you Tara,


Jimmy Buffett, thank you for your songs!

He went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bothered him so
He was impressive, young and aggressive
Saving the world on his own.
But the warm Summer breezes
The French wines and cheeses
Put his ambition at bay
And Summers and Winters
Scattered like splinters
And four or five years slipped away.

Then he went to England, played the piano
And married an actress named Kim
They had a good life, she was a good wife
Bore him a young son named Jim.
And all of the answers and all of the questions
He locked in his attic one day
'Cause he liked the quiet clean country living
And twenty more years slipped away.

Well the war took his baby, the bombs killed his lady
And left him with only on eye
His body was battered, his world was shattered
And all he could do was just cry.
While the tears were falling, he was recalling
The answers he never found
So he hopped on a freighter, skidded the ocean
And left England without a sound.

Now he lives in the islands, fishes the pilin's
And drinks his green label each day
He's writing his memoirs and losing his hearing
But he don't care what most people say.
Through eighty-six years of perpetual motion
If he likes you he'll smile then he'll say
Jimmy, some of it's magic, some of it's tragic
But I had a good life all the way.

And he went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bother him so.


August 21, 2010

"All God's children got problems!"

I'm going through a situation where I may be going through yet another change. Facing a life, again, so (bleep) far away from where I had 'planned' on being. Couldn't be farther from it actually. Like if it weren't  so scarry and sad, I would just laugh at how life can 'throw you a curveball'.

Somehow these past 3 years have been like I've been tied to home plate with curveballs being pelted at me non stop. I'm tired of going through a life change that seems to be lasting a life time of one change after another. Wave after wave.

Monday I was told that I'm looking at living my life not married anymore, facing 'moving on', again, forgetting my plan X to find plan Y. Wondering why God isn't 'doing something' to make things work the way I wanted them, even plan X was better than plan Y. Scared, feeling so lonely, so unloved, or unloveable. After all when the one you have spent 22 years of your 49 with tells you things, you just don't feel too good about yourself.

I go to work wednesday and meet a young woman who's in school to work in the optical field. Come to find out, she got here 2 1/2 years ago via a 26 hour bus ride from her 'family' that she was escaping from. Only allowed to take the things she could carry, leave the rest behind. Got off the bus, having never been here before with all her possesions in her pocket. God has been her source of making her life work ever since. She's been able to get a car, rents a basement apt, saving for a toaster oven. She works at a fast food restaurant trying to get enough hours to make her bills. As small as they are, when you're 26, 2 1/2 years into a new life, it's a big deal.

So, God, you showed me AGAIN how you make plans that work out. This 'child' had to run away from a family that abused her for years, leaving no forwarding address, disappear. Never being able or wanting to see them again. Move to a place you don't even know anything about, but God knew, and she allowed him to send her where he had already set things in motion for her to prosper, keep her safe and give her a job, friends, school, a life she hadn't been able to live.

My faith, or lack of it, made me ashamed of my self pity. God controls everything, and his plans are perfect.
She stepped out in TOTAL FAITH, she had to trust God was sending her to where she was supposed to be.


"A little child shall lead them". I sure got a testimony of what faith looks like, in a young woman, living in the lap of God's provision.




August 15, 2010

Well, son, I imagine you'd be moving back to college this weekend. Seems like everyone is gearing up and packing for the great college life. You would be a senior this year. I wonder if you'd still be in Columbia or if you would have changed schools. You talked about it, saying you wished you had considered some more opportunities instead of following your friends. You were going to be an International Business major. Going to take Chinese. Big plans. I wonder about the trips you would have taken, the places your studies would have offered you. I wonder if...

But now I just pretend.

Tara's a senior at Mann this year! I didn't realize that I'd have had 2 graduates in the same year! She starts tomorrow with dreams and plans to her college life. Where to go, what to study. And I know in the back of her head, I know it's in mine, is 4 years ago. The day you started with your dreams and plans. Now we just hold our breath and pretend that we don't know the end of the story.

She got her senior portrait done and I can't wait to place it next to yours! She's a beautiful young woman. You'd be so proud. She's worked so hard as a lifeguard all summer, she can be very grown up, and you know, she can also not be so much! But she's turning into an adult, and I'm not so sure I'm ready for that.

In 1 year, I'll be officially an empty nester. Something I joked about for years and now I wish I could just do it all over. I'd do a better job, be in every moment, savoring all the memories.

Who am I fooling, I'd probably make the same mistakes.

Here's my chance to help Tara through this year, with all her dreams and plans.

I love you so much, that is the one thing that hasn't changed in the past 3 years. Help Tara, she needs your voice to tell her that she'll be ok. I guess I do too...


Outside JL Mann in your honor, Dreams and plans...

Here's to the class of 2011, don't let there be a reason for another one of these to be made.


August 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy! It's been 10 birthdays you've been gone and not one day when I didn't need you.

Sounds selfish, but you were always there, getting me out of trouble, and not judging me when I messed up.

 You used to take me to the 'bubble gum store', a gas station, it may have been called Burns grocery store. I got to get to my hearts content, it was our time! Back then you could get candy cigarettes! Funny how that was ok in the 60's!!! I remember how cool it was to go up and down the rows of candy and gum, picking out my favorites! I miss you so much and know you are where you are free, free from the wheelchair you were in for the last 10 years of your life.

You handled your hadicap with such determination and never let what life had left you stop you from getting to where you needed to go.

I admired that. You didn't  ask for help, you did what you needed- had- to do. And you never complained. Well you did but, it wasn't whining,and who could blame you, you got some disease that no one knew about at the time, lost your leg up to your thigh and the muscles in your other thigh.

You couldn't work as a mens suit salesman anymore, and you were quite the salesman. We always said you could sell ice to eskimos!

 But you worked every day until the day you died. In a wheelchair, sometimes 2 jobs, just to make enough money to give to me and Lisa and Tracie. You sacrificed your own needs to give to your kids.

I'd do anything to talk to you today, take you out to the Clock for a hot dog with chili and onions and a sweet tea!

You and Taylor and Holden celebrate with joy-- and I know you are keeping close to your grandsons. You were gone when they left this earth, I'm glad in a way, it would've killed you, but I know you were there when they got 'home' and I'm grateful to know you showed them the palace.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Carter Lee Bishop

August 12, 1937- February 8, 2001.


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