Feb 19, 2014

In Loving Memory of Pamela Taylor Part II: My Favorite Memories of Mom

The best way I can think of to honor my mother is to relive those special times I had with her.  She is such an amazing person and her influence continues to be felt in my life and in the lives of all her posterity.  I try to raise June in the very same way she raised me and my brothers, for I cannot think of any way I could improve on that.  My most prominent memories of her center around her spectacular holiday spirit, her love of the temple, and her excited anticipation of the birth of her first granddaughter.





Holiday Spirit
Every holiday in my home was always a special event.  As one would approach, Mother would pull out a big box from the garage and start unloading it’s bounty of decorations.  She had decorations for every holiday:  New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Not only would she decorate the house, but she would play holiday songs, put on holiday movies, read holiday books, and tell us holiday stories.  She’d even dress up in a costume or the colors of each holiday.
On the day of the holiday, we would have a get together of family and friends to celebrate that day.  As us kids got older, we’d even have huge parties with games, food, and fun.  Even now as holidays approach, I grow excited.  I want June to grow up looking forward to holidays just as I was as a child.  I now have all our family’s home movies to remind me of the fun times we’d have celebrating Halloween, or Christmas, or any other holiday.  To this day, holidays with Mom have a special place in my heart.


Friday Lubbock Dinners
My parents attended the Lubbock temple every Friday night.  Since I was attending school at Texas Tech during that time, we would have dinner together after their temple session.  Usually, we would meet at either Logan’s Steakhouse or Rosa’s Tortilla Factory.  They were Mom’s favorites.
These family dinners were a time full of good conversation with good people.  We would fill each other in on the events of our weeks, discuss issues I was having in school or with people, and talk about accomplishments and good times.

Mom set such a wonderful example for me, just by attending the temple regularly, even through all the family’s adversity.  They had a 2 hour drive just to get to the temple – a 4 hour round trip.  My dad was unemployed, so funds were low.  They saw the importance in temple worship and service, so it was one of their top priorities.  After tithing was paid, they would set aside gas money for the temple, and then bills were paid after that.  Family came first, both on this side of the veil and on the other.  Once her children were taken care of and becoming successful, then she would delve into researching genealogy in order to make her family on the other side of the veil successful.  I know she has, and I know she was welcomed with open arms when she passed away.  I know all the people she did temple work for were there to greet her and to thank her for her sacrifices and service for them.

Not only were these Friday night dinners for me, but they set a high standard for me to carry on for my children, of showing them the importance of temple attendance and being temple worthy.  I want to carry on the great work my mother started in family history research, and she has shown me the way.


June’s Baby Shower
Mom was so full anticipation for the birth of her first grandbaby.  She was ecstatic when I asked her to plan and host my baby shower for June.  She spent a lot of time designing the invitations with Danny to make them in such a way that they would be cute, beautiful, and Rachel-friendly.  She worked with her visiting teacher and my Aunt Sonja in finding decorations, prizes, and awards for the shower games.  Between her and my dad, they invented or discovered creative shower games.  Mom knew I wasn’t much of a game person, however she came up with the most wonderful baby games that even I enjoyed – along with all the men at my baby shower.
They used a baby olympics theme as well as a red and black color scheme – my alma mater colors.  They served delicious deli sandwiches and had picnic style sides.  The awards were plastic gold medals, candy, and water bottles.  She had a game where we all put paper plates on our heads and with a crayon, we had to draw a baby and I got to pick the winner.  The next game required listing as many baby names as you could think of in a minute that started with the letters R (for Rachel) and T (for Travis).  Then, there was a pretty hilarious game where we all had to chug apple juice out of baby bottles as fast as we could.  That was much harder than you'd think, and everyone looked goofy.  The last game was Dad’s creation.  He had a list of 20 songs that had the word “baby” in it where he would play a 10 second clip of each song, then everyone had to guess the title and artist.  What a wonderful and memorable baby shower.  I still look back in joy as I relive it.

Mom was so excited for June to be born.  She loves her so very much and I know she still watches over her.  I miss her so much it hurts deep into my heart.  I wish she was still physically here with us, to watch June and all her other grandchildren grow-up and become the people they are meant to be.



Polishing and Assembling the Chandeliers for the Lubbock Texas Temple
When I was a teenager, the Lubbock Texas Temple was announced and under construction.  Along with the constuction workers, a lot of volunteers help to assemple various items for the temple.  One of my most treasured memories is of the time myself amd my mother helped to assemble chandaliers for our new temple:  one of the sealing room and one for the celestial room.

It was tedious work as we had to shine and polish each piece of crystal before placing it onto the chandelier fixture, and we worked all through the day.  But nothing compares to the happiness I felt when I went through the temple my first time and saw that very same chandelier hanging in the Celestial room.  It brought back that memory in full force and I could feel my mother's love so strongly in that moment.  Every time I go back to the Lubbock Temple and complete a session, I see that chandelier and experience the same feelings.  I love the temple, just as Mom loved the temple.


Today is and always will be a hard day for me and my family because we so strongly feel her loss.  It was the worst day of my entire life.  I still feel the sting of her absence acutely.  Time has taken away the sharpness, but there will always be a place in my heart that will never be whole.  However, I'm thankful I have so many joy-filled memories of the wonderful times with my mom that I can bring to mind during those moments I miss her the most.  She helped shape the person I am today and she provided me the best example of what it means to fulfill my divine calling and be a mother in Zion.


2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. Your sweet memories of Mom help me during this difficult time. It is so nice to look back on the wonderful times we had with her and how much she continues to influence our lives for the better.

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    1. I feel like I can't do her memory justice as she was such an incredible woman. I hope though, by sharing the wonderful moments I was blessed enough to share with her, that others can know of her love and see her example.

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