They walked into the dark bedroom together.
Five-year-old Lauren positioned herself across from her mom on the other side of the dresser. It had been one month since her dad, Maj. Benjamin Recla, an instructor at West Point’s United States Military Academy, died by suicide.
Yet, she hadn’t cried. But now, with the assurance of her mom nearby, she sat under a cloak of darkness and wept.
Kami Recla-Taylor remembers that day like it was yesterday. Just a few weeks later, she loaded Lauren and her 6-year-old brother, Austin, into a car and headed for North Carolina after burying their father and her beloved husband of almost ten years.
“Lauren just didn’t know what to do with her emotions,” says Kami. And, it manifested into anger.
Once settled in Raleigh, Kami enrolled Lauren in kindergarten, which proved disastrous. At her family’s urging, she sought counseling. But after several appointments and a suggestion to medicate her daughter, she opted to homeschool Lauren and seek other services.
Then, she found Hope Reins. “I felt alone and empty of any ideas on how to help my daughter.”
But the minute she entered the gates at the ranch, Kami says she felt at peace. “It was life-transforming to meet others who were just like me. We were in pain, but we were in it together.”
Lauren thrived, too. “She took a thousand baby steps that led her to understand that it was okay to not be okay.”
Part of Hope Reins’ integrative services is to pair a volunteer Listener with the parent or caregiver while the child or teen is in session. Aside from providing prayer and encouragement, many times they become important confidantes. As did a woman named Sloan for Kami.
“She was instrumental in pointing me to the Lord and taught me to hand my burdens to Him. Sloan helped me rebuild my life.”
Kami also found her business acumen tapped by Hope Reins. “I knew she had her MBA and experience with nonprofits,” says Kim Tschirret, Founder & CEO, “but I wanted her on our board because of her heart for our families.”
Her heart also found its way into another meaningful relationship and recently married Jim Taylor, a divorced father of five kids.
And Lauren along with her brother, Austin, are both in healthy places. “We keep Ben’s memory alive but also cherish the remarkable journey God has laid before us.”
Founder & CEO