I always look forward to Thanksgiving,
but I always find myself dreading it just a bit too.
I know that I will eat too much and not feel good.
I know that the family will not all get to be together.
But those reasons aren't why I dread it.
Thanksgiving has often been surrounded by tragedy for our family and people that we love.
This year, unfortunately, was no exception.
Meet Bailee and Taylor.
I love these two people.
Bailee has been one of my dearest girlfriends for years and Taylor has become especially close to my family in the last year and a half.
Several months ago, Bailee and Taylor met while working at the BYU Young Ambassador summer camp.
A first date quickly followed and the rest is history.
They were perfect for each other.
Things moved seamlessly into a perfect engagement on Monday, November 19th.
Early the next morning, only three hours after their engagement,
Taylor, Bailee, and Taylor's little sister Madie were driving to Mesa for Thanksgiving.
Still in the darkness, they were in a car accident.
Madie, a freshman at BYU, immediately lost her life.
Taylor sustained serious injuries including a broken neck, torn lungs, broken ribs, and the list goes on and on.
Miraculously, Bailee was able to get out of the car
flag down a passing car,
and literally save Taylor's life.
The details and miracles behind the event are awe-inspiring and heartbreaking.
Madie was just as vibrant as she looks in these pictures.
She scattered sunshine everywhere she went.
I never saw her without a smile...or without her big brother, Taylor.
|Taylor and Madie|
They were quite inseparable.
This tragedy could not have happened to kinder people.
Taylor has already had one surgery on his neck and spine, and will have another one this week.
He will then spend an estimated 8-10 months in rehab.
On Thanksgiving day, as I was making gravy, this picture showed up on instagram.
It was posted by Bailee and said:
"Holding hands with this guy on Thanksgiving. Today I am so grateful he is alive."
Our gravy might have been a little extra salty as I shed tears into it and was quickly reminded about what is truly important this holiday season.
Yesterday was Bailee's 25th birthday.
She spent it by the side of her new fiance who looks as handsome as ever.
The newly engaged couple, who now have no idea when their planned January 3rd wedding will happen, will start their marriage with millions of dollars in medical bills.
These two have had to be strong enough dealing with the emotional difficulties that come from a tragedy such as this.
The last thing I want them to worry about is how they will pay their medical bills.
At this time of year, it is difficult to find any extra cash to give away but I beg of you to help in any way you can.
This Christmas, my siblings and I will be donating the money we would have spent on Christmas gifts for each other to Taylor and Bailee.
That small amount of money will mean more to them than it ever would have meant to us.
You too can donate as much or as little as you like by clicking on the image below.
Please keep Taylor, Bailee and their families in your thoughts and prayers and share this information with everyone around you.
And remember to say I love you and squeeze each other a little tighter this holiday season.
Love, the Lady