**I have been waiting on pins and needles all week to post this.**
Last night, my best friend Taylor said yes to her Prince Charming. And now she and her fiance Phillip are about to set out on the dance of a lifetime. A dance that the words of this song below describe oh so beautifully.
And when I say best friend, I mean best friend…I mean sister. She’s the girl I have known literally my whole life. And she’s had my back since day one. She’s loved me even in my darkest days and has jumped for joy with me during my happy times even if they overlapped with her heart-breaks. I can’t say enough of how blessed I am to call her my best friend, and I couldn’t be happier that she has found someone who makes her happy and more importantly, adds to her already overabundant joy for life.
(My mom holding Taylor and Mrs. Nan holding me…we are only 3 days apart)
(recreating the hospital pic 21 years later)
If you know Taylor like I do, you know that she is always smiling and still has that kindergarten capability to make friends in 5 seconds flat. She doesn’t meet a stranger…and by this point I am pretty sure she knows every person at Wofford College. She has so much love to give, and Phillip Grimshaw is a lucky man indeed.
I’ve got two favorite Taylor stories to share as my way of celebrating this news, and I hope you find them as perfectly descriptive of her as I do.
Story 1 –
We’re at the top of Winterset…the blue square slope at a ski resort in Canaan Valley, West Virginia. It is probably our 3rd year going skiing with Belin Youth Group and we are still pretty bad at it. Stopping is particularly difficult. This is our first slope of the trip. We decided to skip the green circle slopes and just go for it. The rest of our group is definitely more confident, as in they don’t drag their poles the whole time in a desperate attempt to slow down. They ski side to side and don’t have to do the pizza to stop. They quickly leave us at the top of the hill as we both are a little hesitant looking down the first drop.
I believe some conversation is exchanged between us…I remember trying to keep things light and positive saying “we can do this!” and other encouraging sayings. Neither one of us can seem to make the first move, the one big swing of your poles as you push off down the hill. Finally I do it. After too much waiting I just decide to go for it. I told myself that falling wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world but the whole way down I was praying not to.
I assume Taylor has followed me and I make it to the end of the first drop and stop at the flat/leveled part. When she doesn’t stop beside me I re-position my skis to look up the hill, hoping to God she hasn’t wiped out farther up.
I wait for awhile, and just when I am actually starting to get worried, I see her coming. No, not just coming down the hill…but flying. Yea the whole controlling our speed thing was difficult for us too. I am watching her fly towards me and realize, she’s not going to stop at the first leveled off point where I am waiting. I’m pretty sure I try to yell some instructions to her like “make the pizza!!!” or “drag your poles!!!” (horrible advice I know, but there’s just something about putting your poles to the ground that makes you feel more secure) but they are to no avail. And as she gets closer I hear what I think is her screaming down the mountain.
When she flies past me I realize that she’s not screaming, but singing at the top of her lungs…”Our God is an awesome God, he reigns…” and it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen/heard. And since we are both alive and well today you can just be reassured to know that we both made it through the ski trip unscathed…heck, how can you not when you’re praising God the whole way down?
(We look fearless, but that is because we were on the ski lift…the only part of skiing we mastered)
I’m lying in a hospital bed, the kind that has wheels. And they are prepping me for surgery. My ovaries have decided to act up for the second time that year but the dilaudid is seriously working…so I am feeling gooood. My Aunt Carol and saint of a roommate Katherine have followed me up there from the ER and are standing at the foot of the bed while the nurse asks me questions about whether or not I had smoked in the last month or something like that.
And despite the fact that I was high as a kite (from the dilaudid I mean), I will never forget the image of Taylor Buckner coming towards me. First of all, we need to back up. When I say I was being prepped for surgery, you should know that I was in the most hidden part of the hospital, and by hospital I mean the multiple buildings connected by indoor bridges kind of hospital. Hidden by way of zig-zagging halls and hidden elevators. It was one of those parts of the hospital that only personnel knew about. You with me?
All of a sudden, Taylor comes flying through the restricted access doors dressed in her Wofford College best, a t-shirt, running shorts, and pearls. Coach bag slung frantically over her shoulder. Sunglasses still on. I don’t even know how she navigated her way through the hospital like that. She practically gallops straight towards me leaving no time to acknowledge any of the quizzical stares directed her way.
Honestly we were all just kind of flabbergasted. I hadn’t even known she was coming, I don’t think any of us did. Katherine had been dutifully notifying everyone important, so she had definitely been updated, but we absolutely weren’t expecting anyone else to show up…it was a quick transition from ER to surgery once the decision had been made.
Despite all of that, none of us could figure out how in the world she had found us. We didn’t even know where we were. When I asked her how she managed to find me, she plainly stated that she asked everyone she saw that looked like they would know something where I was and told them she was my sister. I can’t imagine how many people she had to talk to to get to where we were but she did. She made it. And it is one of my most fondest and comical memories of her. It’s also one of the last things I remember before I went under.
(Sorry, I don’t have a hospital related photo to accompany that story)
That, my friends, is Taylor Buckner. And she deserves to be loved with the greatest love. A task I believe Phillip Grimshaw is highly capable of accomplishing.
Today we celebrate their happiness. Tomorrow, let the wedding planning begin!
Congratulations Tay! I love you always and forever my friend.