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

May 15, 2010

Before the Morning by Josh Wilson 

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there’s a God who loves you where is He now

Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending

Someday somehow you’ll see you’ll see

Would you dare would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

My friend you know how this all ends
You know where you’re going
You just don’t know how you’ll get there
So say a prayer

And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture

Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory

It’s just the hurt before the healing
Oh the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning


Help us LORD to try and find and until we do, help us to WAIT for the morning...


May 12, 2010

Missed Opportunities...

This may seem to go nowhere, but it does.

I'm taking 20 of Taylors Helping Hands bags to Triune Mercy Center. Its a great ministry to the homeless and down on their luck in Greenville. I'm all listening to Christian music on the way, getting filled up with encouraging music. Got to hear my new favorite, Before the morning, that I'd plan to incude in another "sermon'.

I pass a young guy, in his 20's sitting by the curb, there's always some people sitting, waiting for the meal, or just waiting. I said hello as I passed by with my minstry. Good looking kid, I thought about Taylor and if that could've been his lot in life and how I wish it was just that easy considering where we are, as I always do when I see a guy around Taylors age.

I take the bags inside, snap a photo and the man who signed my paper said, "you sure are good!" I said, "no, haha, I'm far from good! My son passed away in October 2007 and I started this charity to help other people." I start to get a tear. He said, "well- he's still loving on!" I showed them the story on the bag and said they could read about us. I opened the door to the outside, thinking, tear falling from my face. The kid was at the ashcan thing and he had a cigarette butt in his hand, apprently where he opened it up to get someones left over butt. He looked at me and said, "I'm sorry you had to see that."

My mind- where ever it was- was not firing fast enough or too fast to try and say something. All I could say was, "man, I do the same thing, no problem." And walked to the car. Thinking, "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!" So, I went to the car to get a cigarette (don't judge me, God was using this to make a connection), however when I walked back, he was GONE! In thin air and it's not like that is an easy thing- it's on Rutherford St at the corner!

I had an opportunity to talk to this guy about failure, sin, mistakes, Taylor, Jesus' love for us all and how much we're all alike- just all sinners, beggars- but through God we're royalty- children of the king and will live one day with Him forever.

But all I said was, Man, I do the same thing, no problem. :(

All I could do now was pray for him, and pray I did! I hope he got a toiletry bag, maybe he'd recognize me as the woman who brought them in and see our story. There's a Bible in each bag, no cigarettes though!

I got all caught up in my delivery of the bags I forgot about the people who get them. Like it's not my problem, I give the bags, someone else does the witnessing. I have to say I turned off the Christian music, I felt too bad to listen when with all that I get from my God, I didn't even recognize a chance to share that with someones child, someone's son...

God I lift this boy, child, son to you! Please speak to him and allow someone to show him how much you love him and what you did for him, even while a sinner. Forgive me for missing an opportunity to share 'my bread' with another beggar, just like I am a beggar. Please allow what I do, even though sometimes nothing, to somehow shine a light on you. Please pray for his child, I believe that through my own omission that many can lift him up and do what I didn't...


May 9, 2010

Mothers Day 2010.

A glimpse of 2 mothers.

I seem to dwell on our bird nests. Since my dad passed away and the Father used Andy Griffiths tale of Opie and the mama bird he killed and how he nursed the baby till it was time to leave his cage. Opie said the cage sure looked empty and Andy said, but the trees and sky never looked so full.

I've been attached to them ever since. I see the birds as life, and I believe some of the birds God sends directly to me to see how- not only the circle of life, but how much he loves the birds, "not ONE falls outside the Lord's will". How much He loves me and my family.

We have 2 nests this year. One outside our window, a red bird! You could watch her from the couch. Then the messy mama robin on the front porch. Her first nest was destroyed, but to my delight, she built again! A really big girl, and Tom noticed she seemed to be an older mama, like she had a grey streak in her face!

But to our pain, it seems that the red bird, for some reason has left. The nest is in disrepair, we haven't seen her in about a week. It's obvious something happened. The eggs either were taken by some preditor, or they just didn't make it, who knows. But she's gone, the nest is empty.

The robin however is almost constantly in her nest, obvious she's protecting her eggs, maybe awaiting the birth and is keeping them warm so they'll be ready and healthy to crack out.

One mother, without her eggs, the house is empty, gone, neglected. I don't know where she went.

One mother, perched atop her (messy) nest, waiting, warming, keeping guard.

Kind of like human mothers. Some, without their baby or babies. Some complete with a full house. And even a full house is not guarantee every one will prosper.

But the birds go on, to the next phase. Raise their young, bury the ones who don't prosper and send the ones who do out into the sky to make their own way, their own nest, their own eggs...

Happy Mothers Day to every kind of mother. How awesome is God to design such a display of unconditional love.

Tears are not a sign of weakness... They are sacred as they demonstrate overwhelming grief and unspeakable love...

terrible photos, but the one on the left is the empty one, The one on the right is big mama, I have to take it through the window so she won't fly away, but she's beautiful!


May 7, 2010

Ok Taylor, we need to talk.

Not that it's just 2 days away from mothers day, that in itself means another in the first of the year rememberences, Valentines day, your birthday, Easter (you were born on good friday), dad's birthday, mothers day... then we get to my birthday, fathers day, Tarass birthday- which is why we need to talk.

Tara's starting to stare down her senior year of high school. Starting to begin to search for colleges, all the senior year stuff that for her- all she sees is your senior year- since that's the last thing she has to remember. As you recall, what was a magical time in any kids life, for us was a clock ticking down to the end. Heading for a train wreck but no clue it was coming. Senior year was the LAST year for you, her, us.

She'll also turn 17, very young for a senior but what she sees is that 17 is one year from when you left her. I see her mind beginning to see the 4 1/2 years that seperated you for her life is now down to 1. Then she'll be in college and turn 18 and see right ahead of her, October when your college life, and her life as she knew it, vanished.

She isn't talking about it, but I see the wheels turning. She's asking about graduating in December, I assume to be out of school when all the senior stuff comes to a fevered pitch. Not be there to see how excited everyone is, graduation plans, prom, college acceptances, senior day...

She says she wants to maybe not go away for the first year, take classes locally so when she gets to her sophmore year, she'll be almost 19 and in her words to not be 17 when she starts college. What I see is she wants to miss the freshman 'year' that took your life. Start as a sophmore, never having to be in college on October 4, your last day as Taylor, on to October 5 when she woke up to the words that her brother was in the hosptial in Columbia and we need to go NOW. Then the 6 days she spent, trying to go to classes, trying to live on her own while her parents were missing in action in Columbia. A child, not understanding that the end was close and what it would mean to live with death. She was in denial, hell we all were- but at 47 and up, we were more able to live in the realization of life and how crappy it can be. She lived in the world of fair and assumptions.

Now she lives in the shadow of you and the closer she gets to you I think she sees that shadow going away, in that her life is now past yours. The shadow will now be hers with you living so to speak in everything she does from now on.

That's a heavy burden to carry son. I know you never planned it or wanted it or knew it would happen. But just like any tragedy, people are left behind to live, so to speak, in the wake.

That never goes away, it just changes shapes.

Taylor, son, please tell her it's ok. Tell her she needs to live and do and go and get old! Tell her that she is destined to change the world because of you and what she knows. Tell her that you're ok and with God and love her so much more now than you ever could here with us.

As mothers day comes, despite how much I wish it wasn't- another day with a hole we all almost fall in. I'll cherish it with Tara and my mom and sister, but God, how much it hurts my heart to live with half of it gone.

this is the first year of mothers day with my whole heart in tact.

yes Tara it does look like your brother is choking you, but actually he- as you can see by his face just loved to squeeze you like you were a little doll. He thought you were just so cute! How blessed I am with such wonderful children. Thank you God for allowing me the privledge to be a mother to Taylor and Tara. And I will be forever.



April 24, 2010

The bird nesting of 2010 continues...

New news, the red birds that Tom's been seeing in the crepe myrtle in front of our window decided to build! If you sneak to the window spy like you can watch her sitting at about 3 feet from your nose.

The front porch messy mama had something happen to her nest last week. Either a snake, another bird or I guess the wind- but like the little pig- someone huffed and puffed and blew her house down! I was so sad, but the next day- YEAH! She had rebuilt! But She is one messy mama builder- does the daddy help construct nests by the way? She's up and nesting but, gee, I am still the only one here that can keep things neat!!!!! I sweep the front porch extra nesting material off and the next day it's back all over the porch!!!!

Our other thing besides the birds are spiders. I HATE spiders but facinated by the writting spiders. They build a web every night and then every morning- it's all gone! Then the next night almost to the minute, she's back building and building and lands in the center and sits, and waits for something to get caught. We've watched in horror and facination at how this process works, the circle of life.

I remember one night as we watched the spider sit on her 5 foot wide web that most people would have been horrified to have on their front porch, but we waited every night to the time she appeared from no where- and like clockwork and perfect execution- went about her business. Well, we wanted to see her get something so Tom grabbed a moth from the porch lights and threw him into the web and BAM- that spider had him wrapped, cleaned out and back in the center of the web like in 'A minute to win it' episode!

Taylor was HORRIFIED! Always the champion of the underdog and the animals of the world, the circle of life is ok if you don't witness it and certainly NOT be a party to it! It was funny, even though if you ask the moth, he was the one who didn't get the joke.

Now I think I may be a little weird about my spiders and birds. More so than when we watched it as a family. I guess now that the circle of life has us in the web, I see things so much more louder. I feel things in vivid color. I see the bird nest cycle and cherish every part of it- watch them off and on all day. Dragging Tara to the porch to see how the bird rebuilt and the pretty red bird on the back. She just says "really mom? yeah, that's nice..."

An ah ha moment! The Bible talks about the birds- how much God cares for them, porviding for their needs, and how much more He loves us, providing for our needs. The birds don't worry and yet we (I) do about everything. 'Don't be anxious for nothing' and in my paraphrasing -just know that God knows everything you go through- He's not sleeping- He knows-He KNOWS and PROVIDES for us while we're in a foreign land and will safely bring us HOME where nothing- can tear down our eternal nest.

My sister lost her son, Holden at 28 days old. My first and yet arms length look at grief. She never got a real birth certificate in her hand, just a death certificate. August 17 2002- September 14, 2002. So, to Holden and Taylor- baby birds safe in the nest of our Creater. Mommies who loved and lost but still love Tara and Lee.

(Holden top, Taylor bottom)

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