I remember my sister running to meet me, shutting the door that led to the kitchen, bawling her eyes out and clinging to me as if her life depended on it.
Holding me in that room, as if she were trying to keep my life normal for a few more seconds.
Then I remember walking through the door to the main part of the house. I remember seeing my mom and the look on her face as she came and stood by my side revealing my pastor and two men in uniform, a military family’s worst nightmare.
I remember my pastor’s voice as he said the words I already knew in my heart. ‘Tayler, I am so sorry, your dad passed away last night.’”
On June 20, 2009, Tayler’s dad, CMC Jeff Garber, died of a massive heart attack at the age of 43, while deployed with Carrier Air Wing 7 aboard the USS Eisenhower, in the North Arabian Sea, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and maritime security operations.
He was a month away from being home.
The grief and pain was overwhelming. Tayler was only 17 years old. Her sister, Paige, was 15 years old, and her brother, Joshua, was 13 years old.
The thought of having to go through the rest of her life without her dad there seemed impossible.
But in the midst of the tragedy, the Garber family grew stronger and closer, and the light of hope shined through.
Tayler found a relationship with God and became a follower of Jesus Christ.
She attended her dream school, Belmont University in Nashville, TN, and in May of 2015, she graduated with a Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Music Business.
Tayler finds joy in the beauty of experiencing the world, knowing that life is short and that every day is a gift worth cherishing.
With this knowledge she presses on, knowing that despite the loss of her dad she can rest in the comfort that she will see him again, and that she can carry on his legacy.
A beautiful legacy.
A legacy full of heart and love.
A legacy to serve others and the Lord.
The legacy of an “Easy Day.”