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.