Archive for the ‘Kenneth Randolph Taylor 2014’ Category

Ministerial Cottage, Americus, Georgia, and Difficult Memories   Leave a comment

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 01

All Photographs by Kenneth Randolph Taylor, May 8, 2015


In 2006 my parents moved into a ministerial cottage at Magnolia Manor in Americus, Georgia.  He was already declining due to Alzheimer’s Disease, although that diagnosis came later.  I had moved to Athens, Georgia, in August 2005, so I visited occasionally.  Geographical distance protected me from the worst of my father’s dementia and physical problems (some of them related to it) most of the time.  My mother, however, was not as fortunate.  Being his caregiver was quite difficult.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 02

A friend in Athens lost her father to Alzheimer’s Disease also.  She told me that her father had died about ten years before his physical death.  I have come to understand what she meant, for the man who died in October 2014 occupied my father’s body yet was quite diminished from the man who had raised me.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 03

My mother occupied the ministerial cottage until the beginning of June 2015.  I paid my last visit, mainly to help her pack, in early May of that year.  Looking at the rooms stirred up difficult memories related to my father’s illness.  I recalled, for example, that, on Thanksgiving Day 2013, shortly before my father left the house for the last time and entered the nursing home (visible through the kitchen window) involuntarily, his behavior prompted me to take a long walk up and down the sidewalks beside Lee Street just to get away from him.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 04

It is unfair that often the last memories we have of certain loved ones are difficult.  When these loved ones die physically, they have actually died already, for the people they were have ceased to exist.  Trying to conduct a simple and intelligent conversation with such a loved one in the final stage of life might prove impossible.  One seeks to treat him or her with respect and dignity, but he or she, as he or she is at that phase, makes that difficult.  I have compassion for these loved ones and for those who struggle to treat them properly, for I have had a taste of what that is like.  Even visiting my father in the nursing home for an hour at a time was emotionally and physically draining.  Repeating myself too many times due to his confusion, bad memory, and bad hearing was difficult.  I tried to be kind, but I realized that I did not know what do in that moment.  A sense of futility had set in.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 05

Fortunately for everyone, especially my father, he died before Alzheimer’s Disease had a chance to do its worst.  He knew his family until the end.  I had suspected that the end might come in late 2014, as it did.  His death was merciful for all involved.  I recall watching him struggle with confusion and become frustrated.  But what did he feel that he could not communicate to anyone?  What was it like to be him at the end?  That struggle ended in October 2014.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 06

We humans associate memories with where events occurred.  I associate my father’s end and the final stage of his decline with Magnolia Manor, Americus, Georgia.  Now that no member of my family lives on that campus anymore, I have little reason to visit the place.  That is fine, for I seek to build positive memories when I visit Americus.




Maybrie, November 2, 2014   Leave a comment

Maybrie November 2, 2014

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


Here I am holding Maybrie Pittman, my niece’s daughter.


Dedicated Altar Flowers   Leave a comment

Bulletin Heading Christ the King 2014

Bulletin End Christ the King 2014

Scans Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


A pleasant surprise awaited me at church on Christ the King Sunday this year.


Eulogy for My Father   1 comment

Nell Taylor and Probably Jack Taylor

Above:  My Grandmother, Nell Barrett Taylor, with My Father, 1943




NOVEMBER 2, 2014

Before I departed Athens last Thursday, I posted a notice of Dad’s impending death in the Facebook group of my parish, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church.  Many of my fellow parishioners expressed sympathy and informed me of their prayers not only for me but for my family also.  One person commented on my Facebook page that I am a “living tribute” to Dad.  That thought had not occurred to me, but may the sentiment be accurate.

Each of us carries the legacies of other people, extending back into generations immemorial.  Much of Dad’s influence is evident in me, from my bookish ways to my preference for classical music.  Most important, though, are lessons in faith and mere decency, which he taught primarily via a pattern of mundane deeds.  Among my earliest memories is one, from the late 1970s, of him preaching and mentioning the “presence of God.”  I, being a concrete thinker at the time, was confused, for I saw no wrapped packages with tags reading “To Ken from God.”  I see clearly, with the benefit of hindsight, how many presents (even some in wrapped boxes) God gave me via Dad.  The best such gifts, however, are intangible.  And they are for the benefit of others, not just myself.  Dad taught me that also.

Now he belongs to the Church Triumphant.  This being All Saints’ Sunday, a verse from “For All the Saints” is doubly appropriate:

O blest communion, fellowship divine!

We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;

Yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.






These were my prepared comments.  I remained close to them as I extended them.–KRT



My Feline Child   Leave a comment

My Feline Child

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


Leslie Catherine Taylor,

my furry feline child,

will be my child forever,

half-wild, all-cat, half-mild.


She has joined the pantheon

of great cats I have known–

Jean-Luc, Harry, Charlemagne,

Caesar, and Duncan; done


are their lives on Earth yet they

remain my furry kinfolk;

those feline monarchs do reign

in my heart; death can’t revoke


their status as cat children

in my mind.  This tuxedo cat,

with her determination

to leave feral ways at


the altar of the past, has

chosen the better part.

And the black on her nose, paws’

pads, and her fur is art-


ful.  Her nose is pink and black,

her fur coat distinguished,

her manner no sweetness lacks;

she’s all I could have wished.




Below:  Leslie, September 30, 2014

Leslie September 30, 2014 02 Cropped

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


Shadow of a Cat   Leave a comment

Shadow of a Cat

Above:  The Original Draft of the Poem

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


In the darkness of the night,

as I look at the window,

through which shines the outdoor light,

I see the back steps’ shadow,


and the shadow of a cat,

Leslie Catherine Taylor,

who might one day hunt a rat.

My friend cleans her feline fur,


sits on an elevated

step, taking in the view from

on high, then decides to get

a new view of her kingdom.



Leslie Catherine Taylor   Leave a comment

Leslie August 11, 2014 01

Leslie August 11, 2014 02

Above:  Leslie, August 11, 2014

Images Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


Leslie, who grew up outside my back door, has remained.  She lacked human contact during the crucial time of socializing to people, but daily feedings have done much to earn her confidence and increase her comfort level.  We have progressed to the point of playing with her; she swats at fingers.

Crystal, Leslie’s mother, has white fur, a blue eye, and a green eye.  She comes to the back door most days for food then leaves for her next destination.  At least she is sufficiently comfortable to do that much.

Below:  Crystal, August 11, 2014

Images Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Crystal August 11, 2014 02

Crystal August 11, 2014 04