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

October 21, 2010

Taylor,                                                                          10/6/2006

I don't think I tell you enough how proud I am of you and how much I love you.

I assume you know it, but it always helps to hear words of encouragement.

Your whole life you have been a blessing to me. I guess God knew what I was capable of as a mother so he blessed me with a 'perfect' child! You don't know how many people complement me on you. From when you were a child to today- friends, family, adults, kids, other moms, and teachers-they all brag on you.

First of all you are so handsome! Tall, strong, eyes, hair, smile... you are the total package!

Your sense of humor, you are so funny and clever. The 'Taylorism's' from over the years, I wish I have been writing them down- what a funny book it would be! You are a funny funny person!

You are also very very smart-WOW! I am so very amazed at your intelligence! It seems like you are just naturally gifted, you don't ever seem to make much of an effort and you excel in all your studies. I am so very proud of what you have accomplished in your schoolin'! It makes me beam when I tell people of how gifted you are. I know that you can become whatever you want to become, the world IS YOUR oyster.

You are good. Your soul, character, who you 'are', is genuinely good. You just don't find many grownups, much less youngsters (especially boys! sorry) who others look up to as having character and integrity. You are trustworthy, your word is good.

I know now as you are thrown into 'adult hood' in March, things are going to be harder for you. Living your life on your own, going to college, finding a job, buying your own car, house and 'stuff', managing your time and money- it's not easy. Then throw in finding your future wife- and unfortunately having to go through a lot of 'no's- ugh!

I wish I could spare you the heartache. But in order to grow up, I have to let you grow up bumps and bruises. That is the hardest part of being a parent, watching your child hurt and make mistakes. But you will the wiser and stronger for it. Don't forget to learn from your mistakes and failures- that would be the only failure.

I pray for you every day, I want you to remember that. Where ever you are in this world, whatever is going on, as long as I'm alive- I hope you find comfort in that your mother is praying for you.

 Love, mommy


Funny, not in a haha way but a odd way that I wrote this 1 year in advance of the accident. Now I look at the words and wonder if they sunk in. If he really knew how much he was loved.

When I write letters to Tara, I just hope that she understands the love behind the words.


A life in review...




October 11, 2010

Today, 3 years ago, my dear son, Taylor left this world for home. What a day. Last night, I knew he was gone really. But the official word wouldn't come until Oct 11 at about 10:30am. The "death test", the official series of tests that no matter what you think, what you want, what you beleive- means nothing. The final test, taking you off the respirator, waiting for a breath on your own. The 2 doctors wait for 8 minutes, I think, to see if you can just breathe. Something so simple, an involuntary response, we do it everyday.

But as everyone expected, no breath.

 "Time of death..." it's called and it's official.

So, within a couple of hours, we signed paperwork for organ donation, mom calling the mortuary of choice to come and get her firstborn grandson and proceed with the cemetary to find a spot. Things grandmas arent' supposed to do.

Drive home from Columbia, quiet, leaving behind our son, alone while the coroner, medical examiners and the team to collect his precious heart, kidneys, corneas were assembled. I didn't want to leave, but I knew he was gone, and things needed to be done, things I hadn't thought about- ever.

Waiting on us at home were our 2 doggies, who we hadn't seen in a week. Jumping and kissing and loving, Tom and I just laid on the floor rolling around crying and loving Tulip and Teddy. Tulip, Taylor's dog, it was so hard to look at her. He loved her so much. Unconditionally, just like she loved him.

Then, Fenton, the preacher, along with the person who plans funerals at the house. All in just a few hours.

What day, time, songs, people to participate, what to say... things to be done.

Caskets to pick out, plots to choose, clothes to wear, details you just do, all in a few hours.

Things changed this past week 3  years ago, all in a few hours, that lasted a lifetime.



Story by Taylor - "A Lesson Learned the Hard Way"

Dad was dropping off the kids of the carpool. “I am supposed to go home with Kevin.” I said, but Dad said that those plans had changed because something had come up. I was really mad with my dad because I had planned to spend the day with my friends, and I thought that he was keeping me at home to do yard work or something silly. Then when we got home he said that Carter had died.
Carter was my mom’s dad and my grandfather. He had cancer before and they had to cut off his leg. Ever since then he had to use a wheelchair. He had to live in a small apartment house after he got divorced from my grandmother. So as you can see his life wasn’t very bright and sunshiny. They say he died peacefully on his couch.
I hardly ever saw him. I would even make excuses when I got a chance to see him just to be with my friends. I will always remember the time on his birthday when we went out to The Clock and had burgers. He was so happy even though all this bad stuff had happened to him. I miss him so much. I know now to always love the ones that love you, because if you don’t they might not be there tomorrow.
Taylor Cothran
Taylor was almost 12 years old when he wrote this for a class in February, 2001.  Taylor's grandfather, Carter L. Bishop, died on February 8, 2001.

October 5, 2010

A story, poem, or lament by Tara.

( Last night was the eve of the accident. yesterday seemed kind of looming, like I felt an impending disaster, which off course I knew as my PTSD relives with great detail what happened before, expecting the same ressults. I know that I know that I know at 3:30 am he's gonna fall, and I woke up. At 4:30 I woke up as that is the time we were notified of his fall. Woke up again about 7 as we were in the hospital finding out and seeing for the first time, our son, brother, grandson. Lying peacefully, looking beautiful, even though there were signs of being hurt, most important were the hurts we couldn't see, the ones going on in his precious, smart, amazing brain. Ugh, what a STUPID STUPID day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)



Have you ever woken up and found a spider bite on your body, the familiar 2 holed scar left behind in the night? You think to yourself, if only I had woken up in time, I could’ve stopped it. Every single day I wake up with the same reoccurring scar. Every single day I wake up and think, if only I had been awake, or stayed up just in time, I could’ve prevented this bite , I could’ve changed the outcome. Except this isn’t just a small bite, this is a crater left behind in my heart and soul that will never heal.


When you move forward in life, it all blurs together. The days become mushed together, and weeks fly by like fast cars and airplanes. But when you really get down to it, you can pick out the moment where everything changed, The one night, the one drink, the one drug, the one stop light, the one decision that changed the world as you know it and would never be the same.

Tara Cothran 2009





October 3, 2010

Well, thank goodness for the time consuming process of helping to run a golf tournament! otherwise I might have aleady been in my annual funk. The fraternity Taylor was pledging to, Theta Delta Chi (TDX) have blessed me for 3 years now in holding a golf tournament in memory of Taylor to benefit our charity, Taylors Helping Hands.

Amazing that these kids, who only knew him for about 6 weeks, would 3 years later still be a part of my life. Which is the theme of todays story!!!

His 'friends' BFF's since childhood haven't darkened our lives in 3 years. When they dropped him off at the dorm curb about 3 years ago exactly, they began their decent from us. In my opinion I'm thinking they hung around due to shock and CYA. But, I look at this through skewed eyes. And we didn't exactly send out christmas cards either.

But 6 months after Taylor's death, Matt from the frat called me to talk about this annual fundraiser they could do to help our charity. They knew Taylor to be a good kid, one who wanted to make a difference. And for 3 years now, they have done a amazing job, nothing short of a professional event. I'll put pictures up soon. But the theme of today is how the ones you think will do what you think are the ones who don't do squat and out of no where, a grand blessing comes. I didn't even know these guys before we met at the hospital!!!!

Not that I'm judging, really, I guess I am, but time and time again I see where I look for the sure thing, the people or places or whoever I think I can go to and know that I know that I know, and then come back empty handed. It happens alot. We seem to seek things from people and things that we expect things from, I guess. But it's cool how blessings flow from the things they 'shouldn't, just to show us, thanks God! Angels abound everywhere!

And then those same empty hands get filled up with the 'widow's mite after being passed up by the millionaire. (Somehow figuratively speaking!)

I'm at work and I'm asking my manager if I can have these things we usually give away to people, but since I was wanting about 60, I wanted to not appear to be stealing what was a 'grey' area. I had already asked both the managers at both the places I work for a donation, and they said, sure, remind me later. I did, and did and then it was apparent that I was gonna get nothing. Which is fine! I don't care, just say no and I'll go on. (I LOVE my job and the people who work there, but I get OCD about marking things off my list, yes or no gets it scratched off, a later only keeps it on my list!!!!)

But any way there was this older African American gentleman, typical blue collar dressed, I mean just your average joe. He asked about my charity and what we did and so on. So I told him, while I don't even think my mgr even knew all the details. He asked how we got donations and I told him this golf thing was our only fund raiser, but we take toiletry items and then he rose up and pulled out his wallet and told me he wanted to contribute.

He gave me a $5. bill. I went to the back to bring him a flyer and he showed me the bill where he wrote "For Taylor" on it.

God is good.


September 25, 2010

So much to say, so little time!

Dreams, I wish I knew how to intrepret them. I need a David from the Bible. But, in retrospect, he 'splained some bad stuff!

I had a dream that we were moving (and duh we did recently), but as we were leaving, I made a point to write a note on the refrigerator to tell Taylor where we were. Wrote down the address, included our names, just in case he forgot and how old he was and the date. So he could find us. I wonder if other people in this situation dream stuff like this? It just never ends I guess, the things in our mind that we don't think about, but in our dreams they make sence.

Almost to the 3 year point.

Looming ahead, October.

October 5, the accident, the 11th the day they told us he was gone and right in the middle, on October 8 will be me and Tom's 22nd wedding anniversary. We spent that one at Richland Palmetto 5th floor trauma unit asking for the only gift we could ever want.

Remembering the October 1988 that we got married. I was pregnant with Taylor. We got married because of him. Not that way like a shotgun thing, but in that we knew God was giving us a chance, a life with a child that would be the start of a life of so much more than where we were headed. We knew it was divine that it happened and we were gonna honor God and from that day he blessed us beyond anything we could have ever imagine or achieved outside of His will.

So, this October 8, 2007, we spent our last anniversary 'together', the 3 of us. This also has been the last October 8 we've celebrated at all. It's a week of firsts and lasts and it's been hard to find celebration in the middle of the worst week of our lives.

I know I can say well, God in the midst of tragedy supplies a blessing. I'm trying to get to that point. Maybe this year...

Tom and I have been doing better, we're working on stuff. But at the same time, I think we're just in the same place but just have decided to "try to try" as my Tay would quote Bart Simpson when asked to do something, "I can't say I'll try, but I'll try to try!"

But it's nice to be past where we were and kinda back to where we were before.

We took Tara on a tour of Clemson. I took this photo of her and Tom as she took his arm to walk with him. This is beyond a minor miracle, they've had so much hurt and blame and anger for themselves and each other. Alot of it I am ashamed to admit, I put together. He's a Clemson graduate so I invited him on this tour with me and her to see what would happen.

So, maybe we're ALL going to 'try to try'!

More Articles...