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Monday, November 8, 2010

"Let children walk with Nature..."

"...let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life / their joyous inseparable unity / as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star / and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life." John Muir

NEW - there is a Facebook page to honor Choice Taylor as well, just follow this link:!/pages/RIP-Choice-Taylor/165765926778229

The entire Des Plaines community and plenty of hearts and minds far beyond our city are reeling from the tragic, accidental death of young Choice Taylor. We can't help but ask the age-old questions: "Why? Why now? Why in that way? Why so soon?" All human loss is painful but there is something particular to the grief of losing someone young and full of energy and hope for the future. It seemed no accident at all that with Friday's news the sky turned darker at an earlier hour, the air became bitterly cold, the leaves dried up and the flowers wilted.

The Taylor siblings -- Choice, his twin brother Chance and older sister Unique -- were regular visitors here at the Library. Veronica Schwartz DeFazio, our former Head of Youth Services, wrote to me over the weekend, dismayed at the news about Choice. She wrote on Facebook, "...incredibly sad to hear of the death of a sweet young man I watched grow up at the Des Plaines Public Library. Choice was the victim of a hit and run Friday night. Such a good, pure hearted soul. Such a horrible loss."  

Sara McLaughlin, one of our Youth Services librarians, spoke to me about her experiences with the Taylors: "Choice’s sister, Unique, stopped by the Youth Services Desk a few months ago to say hello. She was so proud of her brothers! When I began working here in 2001, Choice and Chance were somewhat mischievous fixtures in our department, but always – always courteous (well, most of the time!). What I remember most is that they would always say hello and make eye contact with us, even when going through the 'dreaded' junior high years. I’ll miss Choice, and ache for his family." 

 It was a bittersweet moment for all of us when Choice's mother, Loreene Taylor, was quoted saying, "I don't know how many people could call the library and say 'Is my son there?'". She could do that and, more than likely, this is where her son would be. Loreene Taylor's graceful compassion in the face of this tragedy is a profound example to all on how to be thankful for blessing and generous with our forgiveness - life is simply too short, too unpredictable, to live in anger and resentment. We are deeply saddened over the loss of Choice Taylor - we are grateful that for many years, we provided a place where he and his siblings felt comfortable and happy. Appropriately, we offer that comfort to all of you now - on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, from 4:30-7:30 PM, the community is invited to an open house here at the Library. More details:

The Des Plaines Police Department and The Joint Crisis Response and Recovery Team of Des Plaines/Park Ridge) (JCRRT) are hosting an Open House/Drop in Center from 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM, Tuesday, November 9, 2010, in Meeting Room A,  Des Plaines Library, 1501 Ellinwood Street. This event is being held in honor/memory of Choice Taylor, a 17 year old Maine West High School student, who was struck and killed in a hit and run accident on November 5, 2010.  Choice truly loved the Library and spent many hours of his free time there.

The purpose of this event is to give community members a place to gather to talk about the impact this tragedy is having on them individually as well as on the community as a whole.  Adult and children’s counselors will be available.  There will be an art station for people who wish to write their condolences to the family. Light snacks will be served. For more information, contact Linda Engeriser at the Des Plaines Police Department at 847-391-5445.


  1. What a tragedy for the family and our community! Choice was a very respectful young man with a bright future ahead of him. He will be missed.

  2. I commend your library for allowing tributes on your website to such a fine young man. May his family find solace from the community's condolances.


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