Life is precious and it is fragile. At any moment it can be taken from us. Taylor’s parents Todd and Tara Storch share their heartbreaking story of loss in Taylor’s Gift when their little girl went home to be with the Lord at just thirteen years of age. I knew this would be tough to read and I did have tears streaming down my face most of the book. But I also felt inspired, encouraged and reminded that God can make something good out of every tragedy.
Todd was able to find purpose in their loss and streamlined his grief into a project that could make something good come out of their loss. Taylorsgift.org is a website in their daughter’s honor where you can sign up for organ donation. I’ll admit, it’s not a subject I’d previously given a lot of thought to. It’s not something anyone wants to think about and so they don’t. No one wants to face their own mortality. But after getting only halfway through this book, I stopped and visited their website and signed up.
This book is different from other stories of grief I’ve read in that it didn’t just share their story. Towards the beginning they dedicate a chapter each to three of the recipients of Taylor’s organs. This made them people with lives of their own to lose and brought the focus to where it should be; what can be gained instead of only what was lost. They followed up with their stories with chapters at the end as well to show the difference that Taylor’s gift had made in their lives.
In the darkest hour of losing a loved one, so many people who are faced with this decision can’t see past their own grief to the lives they could save and the grief they could prevent other families from suffering. It’s a decision we should all make on our own so that loved ones don’t have to make it for us. It’s amazing to me that Todd and Tara had the presence of mind to even be able to make this decision.
I greatly admire the courage it took for Tara, to walk us through her darkest hours. She held nothing back about the grief that she suffered and how she coped, and didn’t cope. As a mother I can’t really wrap my brain around a tragedy like this but I imagine I’d respond much in the same way she did. I have a deep respect for people who are up front about their emotions and put it all on the table. It lets other people know it’s ok to feel the same way. It’s ok to scream and wail with grief and shake your fist at the injustice. But as Tara eventually experienced, there is light and there is love still to be received and to be given.
I can not say enough how deeply this story touched and has affected me. Taylor’s Gift inspired me to sign up to give the gift of life. All I had to do was imagine my child as the one who needed an organ. The fact that it’s so easy and so many of us don’t do it is almost sickening.
Taylor’s gift is a beautiful tribute to their daughter and a testament to their faith. I would really encourage you to visit taylorsgift.org to sign up. If you need further convincing, read Taylor’s Gift for yourself and I promise you will be changed.
The IE Mommy
Available April 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.