Find It in Your Heart

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Taylor Kopp

Hi Friends,

I haven’t posted here in…more than two years! What?!

During that time, so much has happened. In May of 2018, Dave retired from Penguin Random House and we moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon to be near our grown kids. Dave is freelancing part-time, and I’m finally writing again, after losing the ability for a long time due to… well, that’s a story for another time.

I apologize to all of you who have tried to contact me or attempted gain access to this site but found it set to private. It’s not that I’ve been posting to a select group, I just haven’t been writing here.

I really do miss that part of my life, interacting with so many of you, and I’m thinking about restarting the conversation soon with more and different. I continue to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

But friends, I’m posting today because I just couldn’t not. My stepson Taylor is releasing his first ever album today. It’s titled “Found.” I am so proud of him, not just for his vocal and instrumental gifts but who he is as a person. Oh, you guys! He is just the best. kind. of. human.

The album, as you’ll discover, was partly inspired by Noah, and the theme of that loss runs heavily through it. Taylor writes, “The songs on the record exist somewhere in the place between the death of my brother, and my need to carve out a bigger life. When my brother died in 2015 I realized I couldn’t waste any more time.  I saw with this intense clarity that I needed to focus on what’s real.  For me that’s music, and being in the woods, and human connection.”

Noah and Taylor were 10 and 11 respectively when Dave and I began to date. From the get-go, they recognized each other and became like two peas in a pod. Two brothers on the couch in equally stinky socks who spent hours playing video games and talking sports, in particular, the Trail Blazers.

As they got older, Noah and Taylor increasingly bonded around their shared love of music. In high school, Taylor played saxophone and Noah played bass. Eventually, they both played guitar and other instruments, too. They roomed together at college for a while. Now and then, they jammed together.

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Noah and Taylor

As they grew into young men, our sons separately dreamed of making music their vocation but couldn’t see a way to swing it while still paying the bills. In fact, a couple months before he died, Noah cut back his hours at work, hoping to jumpstart the music thing.

Then the worst happened, and you already know about that. Taylor was devastated, of course. But in the next few years, Taylor processed a lot of his sorrow through music—listening to it, and ultimately, writing it. Eventually, he decided he was done dodging his dream, done letting fear of failure get in the way of pursuing his love of music in a serious way. He quit his safe job and flourishing career at Columbia Sportswear to devote himself full-time to his music.

Taylor began playing at open-mics around Portland, developed an audience, booked gigs (on hold for now—thank you–not!–Covid-19), and recorded this album.

2020_VINYL RENDER_feb27-compressedIf you like American roots music, singer/songwriter-style, it will blow your mind. If that’s not your genre, it might still blow your mind. He’s that good. 

One song on the album is specifically about Noah. You’ll hear Taylor playing the saxophone, piano and guitar on this song. It’s incredibly haunting. With his permission, here are the lyrics.

You came to me
in a dream I had
And you said,
Brother, what have I done to us?

Man, I got lost
trying to find my mind.
And when I found it,
It had all turned to dust.

Well, I tried to so hard
To be a better man.
Please tell Mother
she did all she could do.

And if you could find it in your heart
To see the man I was
And not the demon
I left behind for you.

I’m so grateful that Taylor has found it in his heart to remember the man Noah really was, and is helping others do that, too. Thank you, Taylor.

Check out on “Found” on Spotify, Bandcamp, or wherever you listen to music online. It’s also available on vinyl! Click here for all your listening/buying options–and a link to his super cool music video.

(And listen, I promise I won’t wait so long to talk again. Big hugs and be well.)

62 thoughts on “Find It in Your Heart”

  1. Thank you, Heather! I was so grateful to see that you had once again posted on your blog. I hope most of us who followed you were able to respect your need for space and healing during this time. Thank you too for sharing the backstory to Taylor’s album debut. Knowing a little about this will make listening to Taylor’s music that much more enjoyable and poignant. Grace and Peace to you and your family.

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  2. I was so happy to see your email this morning. I listened to Noah’s song while still in bed. It’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us.
    God Bless you and your family.

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  3. Heather it was a delight to open my email and find your post there. Thank you for sharing Taylor’s song. It is beautiful. I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “My heart left.” Wow, that’ sone of the nice things anyone has ever said to me! Thanks Amy. I hope I will write again soon.

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  4. God bless you and your family, Heather. You are such an inspiration. Many years ago I read your column in Virtue magazine, and then read Daddy, Where Were You? I was touched by Sober Mercies, and my love of the Narnia Chronicles led me to Roar! All this to say you have touched my life throughout the years. Thank you for your courage to share your struggles, and I pray for the Lord’s blessings and healing upon you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, you really have tracked with me! Thanks so much for this lovely comment and for your encouragement and prayers. Means a lot. Really. H

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    1. Holly, so good to see your name here!! I miss you too. I had to go away for a long time to get better and heal and all the good stuff. I hope you are doing well, friend. We need to catch up. And yes, let’s hope this is the beginning me saying more here. I have TOO MUCH to say is the problem. It’s overwhelming, you know? Hug yourself for me, friend.

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  5. Dear Heather,

    It was so good to hear from you! You are so often in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing Taylor’s amazing music with us. What a blessing for my day! I loved the video–and look forward to hearing more. And “A Dream I Had”–so very touching and beautiful and healing. Sending you and Dave much love!

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    1. Deb!! So good to see you here. I think of you often. I want to have coffee with you one of these days. 🙂 You’re too far away. Best and hugs.

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  6. So happy to open my email and see this post! ❤️ This truly made my day! Your words always comfort and heal. I’ve missed them and YOU. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Will also check out Taylor’s music.

    Big hugs and love from Nashville!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Hey, speed the word around Nashville. 🙂 I appreciate your comment here so very much. To think of someone feeling happy to see my post means a lot. 🙂

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  7. Heather! This touched me deeply. Our family has survived an unspeakable tragedy much like yours. The love, compassion and forgiveness given by a sibling is one of the most beautiful rays of hope. I cried. Thank you for continuing to share. You and your stepson are encouraging aching hearts.

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    1. Wow, these were such kind words I had to pass them on to Taylor. I am incredibly sorry to know that you have suffered a similar unspeakable tragedy. Mr. Rogers says, “If it’s mentionable, it’s manageable,” but some deaths feel hard to even mention, because there is so much pain attached. I hope you have experienced continued healing and the experience of grace. I have, and I continue to heal. Thanks again, Kelly.

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  8. I am so so happy that you are posting again! You have ministered to me in the past when our 32 year old son passed away. This was the most painful time (still is) in this momma’s life and heart. Welcome to Portland, OR. This is where we live. Anxiously awaiting resonating with your heart and thoughts.

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    1. Oh, I just responded to the Anonymous post, but it’s you, Lynn. You live in Portland? How awesome. I am liking it more than I thought I would. Your words (still is)–I so get that. Sending love and hugs. Heather

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    1. Hi Katherine! How are you, friend?! I have been so rarely on FB or interfacing with the world. I think I would have done so more sooner if I hadn’t got slammed by two serious illnesses a couple years ago that took me out hard. I am SO much better, fully recovered physically now. Someday, I’ll post about all of that. I hope you and yours are doing well. I think of you, too! And it always make me think that I need to read more novels. 🙂 Best and hugs, Heather

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    1. Faith, so great to see your name here. Thanks for taking time to say hi! I embedded the song of Taylor’s into the post now so it’s easy to listen to if you want. Hope you are doing well. We need to catch up!

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      1. Heather, the song is as you know and stated is amazing and so healing. That line about “tell mother she did all she could do”–heartbreaking and healing. I think we moms of kids who struggle so easily blame ourselves.

        I wrote a post for mental health advocate Pete Earley’s blog last year. The post was called “got guilt?” Pete said it was one of his most read blogs ever. https://www.peteearley.com/2019/06/13/show-me-a-kid-with-a-mental-illness-and-ill-show-you-a-mother-who-blames-herself-how-to-stop-blame/

        I know you did all you could do! I’m so glad for this healing song to remind you of that. I have seen the effect of one kids mental health struggles on siblings and this song speaks with such maturity and health in that situation. Love and prayers for you and your family!

        On another note, are you in a writing group? I’m working on a novel and just last year found a writers workshop that I loved that was held on an island just off the coast of Connecticut. This year, of course, they aren’t having it 😦

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  9. So great to get this! I found Taylor on Apple Music. You’re right, he’s awesome. I hope I see lots more from you in my inbox! God bless!

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  10. I was thrilled to see your email in my inbox. The lyrics of Taylor’s song brought tears to my eyes. I’ll be sure to listen to his whole album on Spotify. And I can’t wait to ‘hear’ from you again soon. God bless you!

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    1. Maria, thanks for this wonderful note. Tears to the eyes… Yes, you can just picture my eyes when I first heard it. I still find it hard to hear without crying. He captured something in this song, in the music, not just the lyrics…

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  11. Welcome back—you have been missed and definitely not forgotten. I think about, re-read and often share some favorite blog posts of yours that have helped me so much. I am heading over to listen to Taylor now. Thank you. ~Deb

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    1. Thanks, Robin! There are you. Long lost but not forgotten at all. I hope you are well, friend. Some of us, one of us, kind of fell off the face of the earth… Sorry about that. Sending hugs and love.

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  12. Thank you so much Heather. Praying that you will begin to really flourish again with you pen! I have shared your book with several people who were blessed through reading it. Thank you.

    Every blessing in Jesus,

    Esther Dexter

    ________________________________

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    1. Deb, so great to see you hear! Oh YES.. Long. Lost. Forever. Friend. Thank you especially for the Forever part. Backatcha. Thanks for loving me through all the silences. Sending hugs and so much love. H

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  13. OMGOSH – I was so happy to see you in my email. Heather, I have prayed for you and your family. Your post is happy and hopeful – I’m glad for you. Thank you for your sweet words – you are a light that God is going to use and is using brilliantly. Many hugs (if I knew you – probably could be weird because I don’t!) I’m really, really glad to see you back.

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  14. Praying for you. Please use this music to cause you to start posting regularly. We have missed you and whether you realize it or not…you are a blessing to the body of Christ. Don’t stay hidden 🙂

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    1. Karen, I love this thought. I hope it does inspire me in exactly that way. I have been writing a lot, just not for the public. But the day will come, I promise. 🙂

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  15. It was so good to see your email pop up in my inbox! Thank you so much for the update on Taylor’s music. I’ll be sure to check it out.!
    Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

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