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My Tay Tay's Eulogy  
As I write this, it’s been 6 days since I saw my little girl. My little girl who has turned out to be so beautiful. So shining. So alive and meaningful that I can’t grasp the thought of never seeing her again. I look at all her pictures and I feel her…I feel the way she always makes me smile. I feel the way that she expressed herself without worry, concern or a care in the World. My Tay-Tay was so Taylor. She wasn’t afraid of anything, she wasn’t afraid of who she was. She loved living. She enjoyed everything and everyone around her. Don’t get me wrong - if you made her mad – you knew it. She was not one to keep her thoughts to herself. She would give an opinion whether you wanted to hear it or not. She was head-strong and determined to do it her way. She loved strangers. She would talk to everyone whether she thought they would think she was crazy or not. She didn’t care what people thought about her in the sense of just being able to be herself. She would throw that beautiful blonde hair in a pile on top of her head with an elastic – not shower for three days – show up in some stolen sweats & sweatshirt from her guy-friends and go out anywhere in public never having matching socks on! She always said “love me like I am…or whatever”. Taylor loved to bust people. She loved the shock factor of being overly silly. Her smile is contagious and genuine. I would always make fun of her in her pictures when I knew it was her stage fake smile. Good genes made Taylor beautiful on the outside…I always said she got her great looks from me! But, more importantly – Taylor was so beautiful on the inside – she got that inner beauty from all the people that she had around her loving her everyday. She just reaped joy and saw the humor in everything. Tay-Tay & I - Thank God, had a great relationship and talked about everything. She could tell me stuff that I SO didn’t want to know! I hope that every parent can talk to his or her kids like I did with Taylor. I always told her life is short – tomorrow is not guaranteed. Enjoy what you have and be grateful for the friends you have and the people you have in your life – because honestly that is it that matters in the end. She totally knew that. She loved her friends, her family, her extended family, and her peeps! Everyone always laughed at how similar Taylor & I were. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Taylor’s attitude on life, her appreciation for people, her ability to just be herself – Taylor & I have the same walk – HER WALK….her sexy little stride she’s had forever….her honest ability to just have fun. She had the gift of gab. She never grasped that concept of don’t talk to strangers – cause I never taught it to her. We believe that every stranger could be a life long friend waiting to happen.



Taylor and her brothers Zack & Logan….now there has always been a love-hate relationship! They loved to drive each other crazy. They were feisty together..but, always knew that they loved each other. The three of them knew that when it really came down to it – they were there for each other. Taylor has her Grams ability to be organized – so not from me! She wanted to be an accountant –work with numbers like her Gram – I never could picture Taylor sitting behind a calculator - SO NOT HER PERSONALITY THOUGH but she loved numbers. That girl was so damn organized that every time she got her bank statement she would run down her stairs and say “Mom, they’re taking my money and shouldn’t be!” When she worked at Dunkin Donuts – she had those tips counted down to the last penny in Dunkin Donut cups & on her blotter on her desk. I would always be mortified when she would go down to Cumberland Farms with her rolls of $ for her gas! She had no shame what-so-ever! Taylor has her Dad’s feistiness and his ability to be strong in tough circumstances. She had his athletic ability (certainly not from me) and conquered softball with the desire to kick butt. A very competitive softball player- she would run those bases like a speed of lighting. She was the queen of the bunt & run!



Her friends are endless. From Paige, to Shelly, to Sweatpea, to Lisa & the Walsh Boys…and of course Courtney….she had a wide variety of friends. Courtney & her are such opposites that they brought out the best in each other. Taylor made Courtney jump out of soft, sweet comfort zone and learn how to jump into life with a vengeance. Courtney made Taylor a sweeter, kinder person. Courtney’s life is forever changed from sharing Taylor’s spirit for the last few years.



The way Taylor’s life has ended is insane. At first – I was crazed with anger. The thought of my little girl alone in those woods was too much to bear. How could one bad decision from everyone be so life changing? My Taylor would not want us to be sad. She would not want her friends at that party to feel that she was left alone. She would want them to realize that bad decisions are simply that – bad decisions – but that they can come with SEVERE CONSEQUENCES. She would want them to learn from this – and never let their friends be alone when they are not capable of making good decisions by themselves. The buddy system is the simplest of all concepts. Have each other’s back ALWAYS. Lord knows that everyone of my family & friends have had mine, Cliff’s, Zack’s & Logan’s for the last week. Taylor herself has given me the strength to deal with this. She loved all her friends that were there that night. She has already given me the strength & shown me that I can’t take away her 17 years of friendships for one stupid life’s changing decision they all made.



I read today a book that had this quote. It said, “There would be changes that we have to face, and would need to stick together as a family”. We need to stick together as a community and not let Taylor’s passing go without a reason. We need to let everyone learn from this – kids and adults combined.



I believe in Heaven – I know she is our guardian angel now. She has already shown us she is there. She gave us the sky-blue-pink sky over the field the night of the next football game. She made sure that I was there in my office yesterday when her bracelets got delivered so that I could be the first to touch them.



Jodi reminded me that the day Taylor was born – God had a plan for her. He wanted her back – but we still have her with us everyday – in our hearts and in her memory of that great smile and laugh. Zack & I know God is now wondering if he made the right decision taking her early because we know she is up there – trying to make a lot of changes…



I read a quote from Colin Murray Parkes, a British psychiatrist & author. Grief – he wrote – is the price we pay for love. And God – did she ever love us with the amount of grief she is causing everyone. I also was in Jodi’s car for the first time alone driving yesterday. The song “I Wish” from Rascal Flats came on. The only verse I heard was “I hope you find God’s Grace in every mistake”. We all make mistakes through our lives. Taylor’s and her friends that night was life changing. It was life changing for Taylor…but it will also be life changing in a POSITIVE note for years to come – because her passing is going to help everyone in the future make better decisions. I am going to personally see to it that Taylor’s message is heard – everywhere – simply said - “Got Your Back. The Buddy System”.



Taylor also had many, many quotes and saying written about her room. To quote the now famous Taylor Lee Meyer “Here’s to the Moments where we didn’t think RIGHT & WRONG – where we just lived, crossed our fingers & hoped for the best”. And lastly my favorite as her Mom .. “Life is only as good as the MEMORIES we make”. To honor Taylor’s life – please go out and make great memories, wise choices and take care of the people you love.

Taylor is changing lives everyday from Heaven  
Since Tay has passed,, her Mom and her spirit have been reaching out to people in hopes of helping people make better choices about underage drinking and making good choices for yourself and your friends. Please go to Taylor's Website at www.taylorsmessage.com and see all the beautiful things that are happening directly from our Taylor. Also go see her facebook page at Taylor's Message and see all the love! Facebook.com/taylorsmessage
Country Gazette Article 2/6/09  

Mother works to use her daughter’s death to teach a lesson

By Heather McCarron, STAFF WRITER


PLAINVILLE - "It was like a scene out of a movie," she began.

Her gaze shifted toward the window of the Starbucks in the Plainville Target: A place where, perhaps, the still-fresh grief could not take her over so easily, and she could deliver her message unimpeded.

A place without attachments.

Beyond the glass, icebergs of snow drifted in the parking lot, where cars and people slogged through sloppy wetness — oblivious as a mother unraveled her heartbreaking story.

Three months after losing her beloved, 17-year-old daughter, Taylor, Kathi Meyer last week spoke candidly about her loss, and her mission not to let it be meaningless. She is determined, she said, to hold up her experience to the world to show teens and their families what drinking and substance abuse can do, to let them see the tragedy it can create.

And, ultimately, she hopes, to save others from living a similar story.

"It can happen to me. It can happen to you. And that’s what I want people to grasp. I want to make it so nobody else’s parents have to go through this. I want to make it so nobody else’s friends have to go through this," she said.

As she recalled Oct. 20, 2008, three days after her daughter wandered away from an underage drinking party in the woods at the former Norfolk Airport and drowned in a swamp, Meyer didn’t seem to be looking through the window at Starbucks or seeing the parking lot and the people and cars moving through it.

Her vision was turned inward.

"State troopers coming up the road, dust trailing out behind them," she continued, wrapping trembling hands around her venti-sized cup of coffee.

The cruiser pulled up to where Meyer, family and friends were waiting. "One of the troopers got out of the car," she said.

She had had a feeling — call it a mother’s intuition — about what he was about to tell them: "We found her ... she’s gone."

Meyer described crumbling to the ground, pulling out the grass, supporters moving around her.
Indescribable grief.

Something she would not wish on her worst enemy.

And then the slew of arrests afterwards, as police in Plainville, Wrentham and Norfolk broke up numerous underage drinking parties — some held in memory of Taylor.

"When the kids did that," Meyer said, "that’s what started it."

The anger.

But not anger at the kids for whatever role they may have played at that post-Homecoming party where Taylor, a senior at King Philip Regional High School, was last seen alive. It was anger, rather, that they just didn’t seem "to get it," and — much to Meyer’s dismay — some of their parents didn’t either.

"I don’t have any resentment toward these kids," Meyer insisted, as she defiantly forced back threatening tears. "I just want them to learn."

Meyer, a Realtor and single mother with an 11-year-old son, Logan, and a 20-year-old son, Zachary, has already begun to act on the posthumous lessons her daughter has to teach her peers: About good people making bad decisions, about taking alcohol seriously, about watching each other’s backs, about not being afraid to turn to parents or other adults no matter what the situation.

Earlier this month, on Jan. 9, Meyer was joined at North Attleboro High School by Attleboro District Court judge Gregory Philips, and North Attleboro Selectman Paul Belham — a long recovered alcoholic who started experimenting with alcohol as a teen. The three spoke to the senior class about underage drinking and its potential consequences.

Taylor’s story was the highlight of the presentation, and a large portrait of the smiling, blonde teen served as a backdrop.

"I told them ‘if it could happen to Taylor, it could happen to you. You all think you’re invincible. Taylor did, too,’" Meyer said. "I said to them, ‘I want you to picture me your mother, your grandmother, your father. Picture me your parent.’"

She described the day she learned of her daughter’s death to the students, and the days that followed, while Belham and Philips discussed other aspects of underage drinking and substance abuse.

It was a presentation that left a definite impression, North Attleboro High School principal Bob Gay said this week.

"Kathi Meyer is a remarkable woman. She possesses so much strength," he said. "The day she came and spoke to our students, I will tell you she left a very strong impression."

He said when she was done, and the students were told they could return to their classes, "There was silence. It was like being in a church at a funeral or a wake. It was just so powerful."|

Meyer has been invited back to the school, where her nieces are students, next Thursday, Feb. 12, to speak to the junior class, and on March 10, the school is planning a similar presentation for parents.

"She really does not want her daughter Taylor’s death to be in vain," Gay said, adding, "Hopefully it’s a lesson they (the students) will remember for many years to come."

Meyer isn’t stopping with North Attleboro. Norton High School has slated her presentation, for both students and parents, for March, and in April, she will visit Bishop Feehan High School in Easton. She is also hoping to schedule a session at her own daughter’s school, King Philip Regional High School.

Meyer last week said she doesn’t blame the kids for her daughter’s death.

"They’re all young. They all made a bad decision," she said. "My whole point is, bad decisions. All made by alcohol."

In the aftermath of Taylor’s death, Meyer confided, there were some not-so-nice things said about Taylor. Even questions about how the teen’s family could have missed the cues of a young person who was trying out alcohol.

But Taylor wasn’t a troubled teen, Meyer said. "She was normal. She wasn’t a derelict."

Yes, Meyer admitted, Taylor did have a run-in with police because of drinking, though Meyer thought the experience had deterred her daughter from further incidents.

"I knew she drank before. She had something happen at school probably a year or six months before this happened," Meyer confided, describing how Taylor was pulled aside by the school resource officer at a football game because she had had a drink, caught because she was helping a friend who had become sick.

"She was grounded for a month," Meyer said.

Not only that, she continued, Meyer asked the police to keep her daughter in the cell at the Wrentham Police Department for nearly two hours after they called to inform her of the incident. And then, after picking her up from Wrentham, she said she then took Taylor to the Plainville Police Department, where they agreed to keep her another few hours.

"I wanted her to sit and stew for a while," she said, to think about what had happened.

"I never would have known that Taylor drank as much as she did," Meyer confessed. "As the parent, I was totally oblivious to it. Honestly, I didn’t think Taylor could get herself into this kind of trouble. She was a smart kid."

She paused, fingering the lid of her coffee cup, before adding in a quiet voice, "it’s just a shame … it’s just a waste of a life. There was no reason for it."

Meyer said, in hindsight, she would have insisted on being a part of Taylor’s circle on Facebook, a social networking Web site. She had had access to Taylor’s account on another social Web site, My Space, but hadn’t pursued similar access with Facebook.

"If I had seen her Facebook account, I would have had a heart attack," Meyer admitted. "So, just for parent awareness: Be aware of their computers."

As she shared her story, Meyer talked about the surreal days following the discovery of her daughter in 24 inches of water.

The scratches and bruises on Taylor’s arms and legs.

The missing shoe.

"It was clear she was fighting to get out," she said, tears brimming again.

Taylor’s blood alcohol level was .13, Meyer said; ".08 is when you get arrested. But you don’t get alcohol poisoning until you get to 3.0."

Meyer is "99.9 percent sure" that Taylor passed away the night of Oct. 17. "Because if she had sobered up enough, she would have gotten out of those woods. She was a tough chick. There was nothing wimpy about her … because of the alcohol in her system, that’s why she couldn’t get out of the woods."

And it was because of the alcohol in their bodies, she said, that her friends at the party let her go.
"We’ve got to teach the kids about alcohol and how it can affect their brains," Meyer said. "They’ve just got to get it. They really do."

Meyer wears something pink every day — Taylor’s signature color — including memorial wrist bands in three shades of pink that variously read, "In the arms of the angel. TLM," and Taylor’s motto in life, "Live, Laugh, Love."

"Did I mention how much I hate pink?" Meyer asked.

But it’s the language her daughter’s memory uses to communicate with her, producing "big pink sky" when Kathi Meyer needs it most, when her grief presses in close. Reminding Meyer of her dear daughter every time she sees it.

"Unfortunately, for me, my end result is my end result," said Meyer. "It’s just not changing, and it’s hard."

But, she said, she must carry on. Get up every morning, get dressed, go to work, love her sons, spread Taylor’s lesson.

"You have to go on," Meyer said. "I have an 11-year-old son … and Taylor would kill me if I sat here and just balled my eyes out. I know that. I couldn’t do that to her, or to Logan."

But it’s not an easy thing.

There have been the moments spent curled up in Taylor’s bed.

And the days when she didn’t want to leave the door to Taylor’s room open, wanting to keep her scent there.

And, on a recent "bad day," the four hours spent parked by Taylor’s plot at the cemetery, sitting atop Taylor’s car, wrapped in Taylor’s blanket and listening to the last CD in Taylor’s player, until a "big pink sky" appeared to bring Meyer some comfort.

And there are, still, the briefer visits to the cemetery four or five times a week, "just to chat" with her best friend.

"The biggest thing for me is, I still picture her going through the door. I think that’s the toughest thing," Meyer said.

Straightening, an expression of strong determination took over the mother’s face.

"If I can save one freakin’ life from someone making the wrong decision…" She paused and sighed, shaking her head.

For her, in spite of her loss, there is this hope.

"Hopefully," Meyer said, "hopefully Tay will make a difference."


Obituary  
Taylor Lee Meyer
1991 - 2008

PLAINVILLE – Taylor Lee Meyer 17 a resident of Plainville and senior at King Phillip Regional High School in Wrentham passed away Monday Oktober 18 2008 in Norfolk. She was the beloved daughter of Clifford Meyer and Kathi (Grant) Meyer both of Plainville.

Born Juli 15 1991 in Attleboro she was a lifelong resident of Plainville. Taylor worked part-time at Johnny’s Oil in Plainville and briefly at Dunkin Donuts in North Attleboro.

Taylor was an exceptional athlete and competed in softball much of her life in the Plainville Athletic League. She was planning on attending college next year for business.

Taylor was funny and outgoing and loved hanging out with family and friends.

In addition to her parents she is survived by her two brothers Zachary and Logan Meyer of Plainville. She was the granddaughter of Wanda Meyer of Plainville the late Tubby Meyer Lawrence and Roberta (Logan) Williams of Attleboro and Richard Grant of Sun Center City FL and the late Nancy (Wilson) Grant; Taylor was the beloved niece of Jodi (Grant) and Scott Meyer of North Attleboro Clark and Kerri Grant of Lincoln RI Debra (Grant) Guy of GA Kristi and Hitesh Patel of FL Scott Meyer of Cumberland RI Jessica (Meyer) Evans of FL and Seth Meyer of Centerville.

Taylor is also survived by many cousins and friends including her best friend Courtney Barry.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday Oktober 27 at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church 14 Park Street North Attleboro followed by burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery Attleboro Falls. Visiting hours were held in the SPERRY & McHOUL FUNERAL HOME 15 Grove Street North Attleboro on Sunday Oktober 26 from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. In honor of Taylor the family requested those coming to the funeral wear the color pink if possible.
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