I’m continuing with the football theme for this week. If you never had the
pleasure experience of watching a football game with my husband, the picture I could paint you would resemble a Jackson Pollock. Taylor and I met New Year’s Eve and dated for a blissful nine months before he first bought me flowers. He had already moved home to the ranch and was in town for a few days to visit me and attend the first TCU game of the season. I came home from work on Friday afternoon and found a beautiful bouquet sitting on my desk. I didn’t realize that early in the weekend that they were actually preemptive apology flowers.
Taylor’s mom, Kathryn, was given an abundance of compliments on her son’s manners over the last 32 years. He was usually a perfect gentleman, but she was quick to declare that she did not raise “Football Taylor.” No, you could thank Teresa (Davis) and Mike McKee for raising Football Taylor. People who watched a game with Taylor would often comment that they were more entertained watching him watch the game than they were watching the game themselves. Teresa and Mike are dedicated alumni, TCU’s biggest fans, and our dear, dear friends.
Similar to me, Teresa was a city girl who fell in love with a Roswell boy. A kindred spirit who found herself living in a small town with a very different environment than the action of Fort Worth that she was used to. When she moved to New Mexico after marrying Mike, she and Kathryn became fast friends that turned into family. The McKees have been second parents to Taylor and his sister and have two grown boys of their own. The McKee boys are upstanding young men and somehow missed the indoctrination of yelling at the television when the horned frogs are playing. However, I’m still counting on Teresa and Mike to instill the love of football and school pride in my girls because I know that is what Taylor would have done.
“But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”1 Thessalonians 5:8
As passionate as they are when it comes to TCU football, the McKees are even more passionate about living to serve Christ and those around them. When I think about those first few days after losing Taylor, I see their kind faces handling things and nurturing our whole family. More than once I thought to myself that everything would be OK because the McKees would take care of it. I will never be able to thank them enough in this lifetime for all they have done for us. One Sunday at the beginning of March, our family went to church and took our usual seat in the row next to Teresa. Mike was out of town that day. Teresa leaned over and whispered to me that they were signed up to serve communion and asked if I would like to fill in for Mike. Without even thinking about it I agreed. This just seemed like something I needed to do and I was thankful for Teresa’s gentle push to stand up before everyone as we remembered the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for every single one of us.
I walked to the front of the sanctuary with Teresa and picked up the handmade ceramic plate that held the wafers for our section of the congregation. Just a month after losing my husband, the weight of the dish felt like it was filled with solid gold coins rather than paper thin wafers, but holding it up made me feel strong. I remember thinking to myself, “shoulders back, chest out, hold your head up high. God has you.” It is hard to practice self-control when all you want to do is fall apart, but it is important to remember who is holding you up. When we arm ourselves with faith, we are able to overcome absolutely anything we will encounter in this world. For those who have faith in Jesus Christ, we are protected by the incredible hope of salvation!
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