a peacefully sleeping ruby jane, days before she returned to her Father in Heaven.
i've been avoiding this post for a few days now, but i can't push it away anymore. one of my best friends lost a child this week... and i'm not quite sure how to handle it. do you remember me writing numerous times about ruby jane taylor? she lost her fight for life to liver failure this past week at only 7 1/2 months old. it's ripping me apart. if i can hardly take it, i can't imagine for one second how ani is feeling.
it makes me crazy.
what do you do when something like this happens? how can you even comfort someone when they are dealing with the greatest lost they could imagine? no one should have to bury their child, especially one so tiny and wonderful as ruby. but when i step back and try my hardest to see the bigger picture, i know that there is a very specific plan for them professionally tailored by a very loving Heavenly Father. i know things will eventually be okay. but the very human part of me still wants to ask why. the very human part of me still wants to be angry and confused and upset. the very human part of me wants to lash out and freak out and scream at the top of my lungs. the very human part of me wants to ask why did it have to happen to them? why to ani? i want to understand. i want to make it all better for her and her husband and her sweet little daughter kate. i want to take away all the pain and thrust it into the ocean, never to be seen again.
but we don't live in that kind of a world, do we? that's not the plan... it never was, and it never will be.
when those questions creep into my mind, i have to silently push them away and remember that these are the moments and the times of life when we're tested the most. these are the times when satan slowly creeps his way into those who are grieving and does all that he can to turn sensitive and tender feelings of grief into anger and confusion. he wants me to blame Heavenly Father for taking ruby away from a mother, a father, a family, and thousands of other people who loved her unconditionally, prayed for her constantly, and hoped for her miracle every second of the day. he wants me to only focus on the negative part of all of this: that little ruby is gone and it's too devastating to even comprehend. that i can't even breath thinking about my best friend losing one of the loves of her life. he wants me to be sad forever and angry that i can't understand it all. he wants rage, fire, and anything but peace.
unfortunately for satan, he's not going to win this time. not with me, anyway. ruby wouldn't want it.
she did so much good. she was so tiny and special. she brought thousands of people back to prayer, back to God, back to believing in miracles, back to the beauty of hope, back to the basics of understanding that there is a greater purpose to this life. she taught me how to fight a little harder for the things that i want. she taught me to be patient. she taught me to love a little harder. she taught me to be a better friend, to pray more fervently, to express my love for people more willingly, to never be afraid. she opened my eyes to the importance of being an organ donor. she taught me to hold tighter to this life and live it for all that it's worth. she really is a pillar of strength, one to never, ever, be forgotten. ruby might not be here physically anymore, but her spirit of love and bravery will never leave i don't think. she'll always be protecting her family, watching over her mother, comforting her father, and showering her sister kate with love and protection. everyone who was touched by ruby will always remember the way that she fought and the way that the world literally came together and united in prayer and fasting on her behalf. these kinds of moments change people. they are a big deal. she might have only been here for a very short time, but her legacy won't ever go away. her mission in this life was fulfilled and she taught me greater lessons in just a few months that i could have ever learned in a lifetime.
the strength of her parents baffles me. ani would not let one negative thing be spoken through this entire process. matt was nothing but supportive and protective and prayerful. they were both completely dedicated to her cause, doing everything in their power to save her life and to make her feel comfortable and safe. and while they were doing all of that, they still took the time to make sure that big sister kate was still being taken care of, loved, given attention... they made sure she could still be a kid while her tiny little sister struggled so hard. their story of faith sits so deeply in my heart that it makes me want to be braver and more faithful through my own petty trials. ani carried herself better than i could have ever done. her shoulders were broadened and she carried the heavy burden that only a mother can understand. she was with ruby every single minute... never left. monitoring medicine, untangling lines, watching for signs of anything changing, singing songs, saying prayers, giving baths, feeding, whispering love songs in her ear, cheering her silently on, cuddling her through long hours of the night while little ruby cried out in pain. ani has always been the kind of mother that i look at and think, "this is the example i need to follow." i've always thought that about her, but after watching her experience this kind of heartache... she is on my highest pedestal. they are the most faithful and wonderful people. i can only pray my hardest, with every single fiber of my being, that they are given more strength than ever during this time of serious heartache and loss. i pray so hard that they will feel incredible love and strength from those around them, and that they will allow themselves to grieve and feel the sorrow that so easily follows losing such a precious little baby. i also pray, however, that somehow, and in some way, they can find peace and understanding through it all. maybe not right away... but eventually. the Savior brings hope and peace to those who willingly come to Him, and they've been by His side for quite awhile now. i know good things will come to them. families are forever.
writing all this out is helping me in my own way grieve for my best friend and her family. when i heard the news, i happened to be up feeding my own annie early in the morning. i sank a little deeper into my pillow and started to hyper-ventalate a little bit. i put annie back in her bed and ran to my bathroom, sinking down into the floor and cried for a very long time. i didn't want it to be true. i wanted the miracle. i wanted the liver to come for ruby and i wanted her to live. i felt helpless and sad and angry. i quickly said a prayer, asking for peace and understanding, asking to be in tune to what i needed to do for ani. for the next day or two, i found myself almost robotic, walking around, keeping myself busier than ever so that i wouldn't have a moment to stop and remember such a great loss. i didn't want to cry, and i didn't want to allow myself to feel the pain. all i wanted to do was find a way to my friend and be there to simply hold her and let her cry on me. that's all i wanted... and it's not possible at this exact moment, which is also hard. but i've been able to think about it for a few days, and i've had some pretty long conversations with Heavenly Father, and i'm feeling a little more peaceful about it all.
i have had my own battles with grief.. with losing babies. not to this extent that ani is going through, but i have felt life inside of me and i have felt death inside of me one too many times. i have felt the sting of grief and of loss. when i lost those twins, i fell into a deep depression that took a long time for me to come out of. looking back on it, i allowed those feelings of anger and confusion to take over, and because of it i lost faith and hope for my future and for the fact that i can be healed by a greater power than my own.... healed spiritually, mentally, physically; the power of the Savior reaches far greater than anything i can understand. but i know it's real because i have lived it. and i know with unwavering assurance that the healing powers of a loving Savior will bring comfort and peace to the taylor family, something far greater and much more beautiful than anything i can give them. they will see their ruby again, and i know that they know that. the gospel is true.
anyway, i'm choosing to do my best to be hopeful and encouraging during this time of loss and saddness for them. i'll allow myself the moments i need to cry (which are many), and then it's time to be strong for my friend. that's what really matters to me: being there for ani.
i believe in miracles, and i believe that ruby was a miracle herself in the way that she changed the world in such a short period of time. what an honor to have known her in the way that i did, and what an even greater honor to be associated with her parents who will be blessed tenfold for the faith that they have shown through this entire process.
life is a beautiful thing. i hope that i can take advantage of the time that i have been given. i hope to be a more loving and patient mother. i hope to be a more dedicated and loving wife to my husband. i want to love hard, live hard, and be completely worn out when my time comes.
ruby has taught me that: to live in every moment. i'll do it just for you, ruby-doo.
in other notes:
the taylor's medical bills are astronomical, as you can imagine. there are several ways that you can help. here are some links for you to click on-- i hope you'll take the time to read their story and to give a little. if you can't give anything, then prayers are just as good.
to read their story:
to view the bows for ruby website:
donation auction in honor of ruby jane starts august 15 and runs through august 22:
donation auction in honor of ruby jane starts august 15 and runs through august 22:
Ruby Jane Taylor was born to Ani and Matt Taylor on January 5, 2011. She returned Home on August 12, 2011.
She valiantly battled liver disease for much of her life and is the hero of people around the world who have been touched by her story and the love and courage of her family.
Please join us in a celebration of her life on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Santa Margarita Stake Center, 30422 Via Con Dios, Rancho Santa Margarita, California.
Flowers and plants should be delivered before 3:00 p.m. on Monday, August 15 to:
Laguna Hills Chapel & Crematory
25301 Alicia Parkway
Laguna Hills, California 92653
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ruby Jane Taylor fundraising website: rubyjanetaylor.blogspot.com. If you want to read more about the Taylor's journey with Ruby Jane, visit their blog at aniandmatttaylor.blogspot.com.