Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Break - A different perspective.

The Storch Family
L-R Ryan, Tara, Peyton, Todd and Taylor
Sunday March 14, 2010


Our families come in all shapes and sizes, and as we know, varying degrees of "happy".  With Spring Break coming to a close,  I'm sure many of us are just as happy to come back to the grind, the office, school, and a "break" from all of that togetherness.  

The picture above could be any family, on a skiing trip - smiling for the camera as requested, and turning immediately after to bicker or complain about the cold, or who punched who on the car ride home, or who gets to ride with whom on the chairlift.  

I want you to look very closely at this picture above.  Imagine you are seeing it and have to describe what is happening.  Small little things start to stand out to me when I see it.  Young Ryan on the left has his head raised ever so slightly as if he is really proud to be there with his family and perhaps is feeling pretty confident on the hills and about his expertise.   Peyton has that sweet innocent smile that shows that she cannot quite contain her excitement about heading up the hill in order to be able to schuss down it (again?  or for the first time?  - we do not know from this picture if they have already been up although everyone is looking quite lovely and dare I say, even coiffed!).  Todd and Tara are the proud parents, and Todd with his arm over Taylor's shoulder is showing how proud he is of his family.  Taylor has that beautiful confidence that shows through her smile, and is leaning in towards the family.  I don't know about you, but I do see true love in each and every smile in this picture.  

The family was on the trip of a lifetime at Beaver Creek Mountain in Colorado.  This was the first day of their family Spring Break vacation in 2010.  The family was having a blast.  They were happy.  

The last run of the day belonged to Todd, Ryan and Taylor as Tara and Peyton were pooped and went for a hot chocolate at the lodge.  Taylor had learned to ski that day, and being an athletic and coordinated girl, was a "natural", said her ski instructor.  

That final run was, for this family, the moment when everything changed.  

Taylor lost control on her skis.
Taylor hit a tree head on.  She was wearing a helmet.  
The next day, Taylor was declared brain dead.  

"Would you be willing to donate Taylor's organs?"

The response from both Tara and Todd was the same.  "Absolutely! It's what Taylor would want".

Kidneys, Pancreas, Liver, Heart and corneas.  
Life.  To 5 different people this decision meant life.  

Taylor - pensive

In death, Taylor Storch was a hero.  In life, she was a generous, loving, and Christ centred soul.  

In a poem, written the year before she died, she describes herself as "outgoing and friendly" and specifically that she tried "to make every day like her last".  As we read her words we cannot help but imagine this 13 year old girl, full of life and look at our own children on their Spring Break.  Did they fight?  Was every moment pure bliss?  Did they hug you every chance they got?  Did they tell you that they loved you?  Did YOU tell them that you loved them?  

Was each day like your last?  


I saw Todd Storch's post today on Facebook where he shared the family image above.  This image speaks to me.  I see this family, and the intense smiles on every person and my eyes are drawn to Taylor's.  Those stunning Taylor Blue eyes.  Those eyes that look into that soul that did not know.  It did not know that it was ready to share this "last day" with 5 other souls and give them life.  Taylor did not know, her family did not know, but the Storch family honoured Taylor's wish in their grief.  

If you would like to learn more about Taylor's story, please consider reading Taylor's Gift which can be ordered through your local bookstore.  


  1. Replies
    1. Tara - Taylor is on my mind daily. Although I try to ensure that I am living each day to the fullest, I am so humbled by the reminders of what transpires on the other side of transplant and the loss that families have had to endure. I thank you and Todd for what you do to continue Taylor's legacy.