Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Work for Taylor and Allie

When asked what her mom does for a living, nine year old Tristyn replies, "She works for my sister." Sounds about right to me.

Today is Taylor Brewton's 11th birthday. My sweet friend, Larissa, is having a hard day. For her, this is her hardest day of the year. It's a reminder of what should be. For me, it's the anniversary of Allie's death. I think it is because we never had a birthday with Allie. I don't know otherwise. But Larissa had four special birthdays with Taylor. My favorite picture of Taylor, the one above, is from her last birthday party, I believe. She loved 101 Dalmatians, and she had a puppy party.

I never met Taylor. Larissa never met Allie. And yet, their legacies have so strongly impacted our lives. My life wouldn't be the same without the life of Taylor Anne Brewton. Her smile is with me every day, driving me to work harder and do her legacy justice. Her beautiful eyes and gentle spirit are with me every day. I love hearing stories Larissa tells about Taylor. She was a beautiful child, both inside and out.

Her family is now my family. Her mother is someone I so deeply adore and love. When Larissa and I first became involved together to form Heroes for Children, I spent time reading through Taylor's entire story. While Larissa did not maintain a blog during her treatment, she and her family sent emails out to everyone keeping family and friends updated on what was going on with Taylor's health and treatment. You can read all of the emails from initial diagnosis to after Taylor's passing.

I wish Taylor were here with her family, as engrossed with Hanna Montana mania as her two sisters and hoping that the Jonas Brothers will notice her now that they are moving to North Texas. I wish she was driving Larissa crazing with "tween" antics. I wish that my sweet friend was not going through the pain of missing her daughter today and every day. However, I'm grateful to be a part of her life and a part of carrying on her memory.

In her sister's memory, Tristyn went to the hair salon today and had eight inches cut off to be donated through a program with Pantene. In her daughter's memory, Larissa spent special time with her family and shed tears for her child today. Tomorrow, she will be at work to honor her. Because, of course, we work for Taylor and Allie.

To my wonderful friend--thank you for sharing Taylor with me. I know she is so very proud of you and what you continue to do for cancer families. I know that she smiles on you each day and loves her siblings so much. I love you very much.


kitkat said...

you thank your friend Larissa, and I thank you. Thank you for sharing Allie. Thank you for carrying on her legacy. Thank you for being the amazing and strong woman that you are. I admire you so much! You are an incredible woman and mother. I love you greatly Jenny!

Aly said...

Both you and Larissa are amazing women. Thank you for all you do.

Melissa Spence said...

This post made me choke up. This weekend I thought of Allie. My family was at Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels...while my DH was waiting 1.5 hours in line to go on Master Blaster I was playing with the kiddos in the kiddie pool. 2 children there caught my eye. One little boy with severe and very noticeable burn marks all over his body, my thoughts "I'm so happy he can enjoy playing in this water, and how good it must feel to him compared to his burning accident." The next child I noticed was a little girl, probably 3 years old. I assumed she just got over battling cancer as most of her head was bald but there were patches of hair growing back, my thoughts, "I was reminded of sweet Allie and how her story touched me on BBC's Dec 03 baby board, that because of you Jenny and what HFC does, this little girl is beating cancer and that I'm sure her parents were so thankful she was alive today so they could see her enjoy a day at Schlitterbahn." :-)

Tammy said...

Jenny, what a wonderful birthday tribute to Taylor! You are such a great friend! Not to mention a great person! Keep on keeping on, for Allie and Taylor!! Hugs from Fort Worth!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of Taylor and the Brewton/Linton family!

tricia said...

words of love for a special girl named Taylor and her loving family.you made me cry. my prayers to you all

Dee said...

Thank you for posting this. I just read Taylor's story for the first time and it made me cry. You and Larissa do amazing work.

Suzanne said...


Please forgive me for being such a doofus!!! When I met you on Monday while Philip was getting his picture taken I didn't realize I was chatting with the two amazing women who started Heroes for Children. Thank you for all you do.



The Hoodies said...

Taylor you are forever in our hearts as is Allie.

Thank you both for what you do and who you are. Jenny this post was beautiful and I am sobbing. I hate that anyone has to go through what your two families have experienced, but I am so thankful you are both working for Taylor & Allie.