Our Emy

Remembering Our Emily

Remembering Our Emily

Em and StevenEmily Taylor Vaughan  1995 ~ 2014
~By Grace~
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For remembering and sharing Emily’s life, we offer this humble forum.
‘OurEmy’ is in a standard WebLog/Discussion format, where articles are posted and may be commented on.
The Home page provides access to the latest posts from all categories. Posts are sorted with most recent at the top, with a limited number displayed by default. Click the ‘Older Posts’ button below the last post to see more.
The Memory category of posts is a working story that we hope that you will contribute to, either via the Your Thoughts page or by Email.

Thank You!  Latest Comments on Your Thoughts page:  Oct. 29, 2015

To see all of your comments in one place: on posts, pictures, and on the Your Thoughts page, go here~> http://feeds.feedburner.com/CommentsOnOurEmy

We have also compiled an archive, from various places, of the wonderful comments from family and friends in the following categories:
Notes from Facebook     Notes from the Memorial Guest Book    Notes from Other .

~Please make a memorial contribution in Emily’s name to: ~
Make-A-Wish Foundation   or   NC Children’s Promise  .

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Reflections and Memories of Emily from Steven R

The following contributed via email by Steven Rogers:

I’ll never forget the day that I first met Emily. She walked, practically skipping, into OfficeMax. She had that bright infectious smile and asked for a job. We talked for a bit and after she left I told my store manager that we needed to hire her. She had so much pride and passion in her work, which can be hard to find in the youth of today. Emily really loved learning new things and I really liked teaching, so we got along really well.

After a few months we started to build a friendship on top of our working relationship. We would talk about what was going on outside of work and offer some advice or encouragement if needed. We learned that our Birthdays were only one day apart and we both thought that was really neat. In 2013 we decided to go and see Oz the Great and Powerful in theaters for our birthday. It was the first time that we hungout outside of work.

It wasn’t until after she left OfficeMax that our true friendship began to develop. At first glance people might wonder how we could be such compatible friends. I often playfully teased her about being to young to remember any of my 90’s kid references. I think it really just comes down that the simple fact that we both enjoyed the simple things in life. We didn’t need to be doing anything to have fun. We enjoyed playing card and board games, cooking, just talking on the phone for hours about nothing, or sometimes just sitting on a hill enjoying the peaceful bliss of good weather on a beautiful day.

I never told her, though she probably wouldn’t believe me anyway, but I never let her win at anything. If it seemed like she won too easily she would just smile and accuse me of letting her win so she didn’t feel bad about losing. When we weren’t at home playing games and cooking, we would usually be out shopping or going out to eat. Emily loved to go shopping. We would often go to Knightdale just to walk around and shop and talk for hours.

The whole time we were friends Emily always made it seem as if I was teaching her. She seemed to think that I was some life guru that always had the answers, but the truth is that Emily was teaching me more about life that I could ever hope to teach her. Emily never let anything stop her. If she wanted to accomplish something she did. One time while trying to convince me that I could do the same, she said very proudly “I wanted to move out and I did!”. I will always be grateful for the time that we spent together and the memories we created. I only knew Emily for a couple of years, but it felt like we had been friends forever.


And now I’ll share a couple of stories. I’m sorry that they are probably not the funniest in the world, but the truth is we didn’t need to do anything to be laughing or having a good time. Just hanging out together, literally doing absolutely nothing, would often create random and intense laughter. I don’t know. I can’t explain it.

1. After hours gas pump: 
One night we were going to hangout at my house after work. She didn’t really know how to get there yet so she had to follow me there, but she needed to stop for gas. I pulled into a gas station and parked so that she could put gas in her car. She gets out of her car and yells “What are you doing? They are closed!”. I said “yes of course they are, but you can still get gas”. She persisted and said “NO! they turn the pumps off when they close”. To which I replied “No they leave them on so that you can use your debit card if they are closed” I told her to try it. She was so amazed. She had no idea that you could go to a gas station after hours. Again not terribly funny, but if you’ve ever seen Emily’s reaction as she learns something new about something that seems so simple…well…its quite amusing.

2.The Starbucks Queen
Emily loved Starbucks, but there were a couple times that showed that she wasn’t quite at the Starbucks Barista level. One of our favorite drinks was the Very Berry Hibiscus. They have a few different fruit flavored drinks, but only one Hibiscus. On one trip to Starbucks I simply said “I’ll have a venti Hibiscus”. To which Emily very confidently responded “You have to say ‘Very Berry’ so they know what kind it is”. We went back and for a little bit as I tried to explain that there was only one Hibiscus even though there were a few similar drinks. When the barista finally corrected her she was a little embarrassed.
Another time we were at Starbucks and I ordered a peppermint mocha. It is mostly promoted during the holidays, similar to pumpkin spice, but is actually available year round. Of course I ordered my coffee and she had to correct my “mistake”. She never waited for the barista to say anything, she wanted to flex her Starbucks knowledge. And without a seconds hesitation after Emily said “you can only get that during the holidays”, the barista corrected her and explained that you could get a peppermint mocha all year.

3.The shrinking jacket
On one of our shopping trips, we were in Ross in Knightdale. Emily was looking at a nice leather jacket. She tried it on and it fit nice and she really liked it. We left that day without buying it. We came back a few days later on another shopping trip. I decided that I wanted to surprise her and buy the jacket for her. We went over to the rack and she picked the jacket up and was telling Hanna about how much she liked it, but she made the mistake of not trying it on again. So we walk around some more and I am able to get away from them, purchase the jacket, and take it out to the car all without them knowing. Once we get down the road and are on the way home I give it to her. She was so happy. This was not the same jacket from before though. I made sure to ask her if it was before I purchased it, but I guess she wasn’t really able to tell it wasn’t the same. She tried it on and it fit, but I was a little bit tighter because it was a smaller size. She was so upset. She started crying and acting like she was fat because a smaller size was a tighter fit. We returned the jacket, but it was too late her night was ruined. It was very frustrating at the time, but as I think back on it, I think it was kind of funny. She was so upset over something irrelevant as a jacket that was too small.

Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas from Mom

Merry Christmas, baby girl! Today sure wasn’t the same without you,

but it’s ok because you have the best gifts of all!

I still wonder what it must be like where you are…I think I “hear” your answer, and it makes me so happy for you, honey!

So, even though I miss you so much, I’m happy for all the gifts you left with us and all the gifts you have!

Merry Christmas, Emy! I love you so much!


Maddie G


We have countless memories of hysterical laughter, crying, and anger, but mostly laughter. We grew up together. We watched our childhood carelessness turn into very strange and uncomfortable teenage issues. We had each other; providing a safety net, in your presence I felt normal/understood, comfortable, worry-free, open, happy even omits the others. We did EVERYTHING together, (literally everything) liked the same boys, hated the same girls, had the same strange sense of humor, fought about who’s music was better, all making us closer, and stronger human beings. You taught me a lot about myself, and the world. Emily showed me what love really means; and her strength never ceased to amaze me. She was without a doubt, the only person I could call in the middle of the night crying and expect an answer with open ears to my stupid problems. She had nothing but love and the purest urge to help others.

We developed our own language, and when other people tried to use it we got mad because nobody could do it right, it was only funny to us. You are my sister and my true best friend. You knew me like the back of your hand and we could finish each other’s sentences. We could always tell when the other person was lying, and you could even tell me what my own problem was before I knew. I have never had so many good, stomach aching laughs than the ones shared with you.

One of our favorite hysterical laughing attacks… the bee, Sitting on my roof, having one of our amazing deep conversations, when a bee buzzes by and I spit and got him right on the butt, he plunged down and we lost it, and you peed all over my roof. This is the last story I remember telling someone together.

We have countless breakthrough moments, resulting in so much trouble, but we always found ourselves coming back to each other, no matter how bad the issue.

Your house was my house, and my house was your house. Every time I would knock on her door, she would get so mad and tell to just come in. So many binge-sleepovers, I felt so safe and comfortable at your house, (which is where I was throughout most of high school), staying up late with Hanna, playing board games, being weird, talking and making each other laugh, hiding from tornadoes in your mom’s room behind the door, your dad trying to calm us down. Staying up so many days at a time we got stupid, making such weird videos and posting them to YouTube. Listening to your beautiful poems was one of my favorite things about coming over.

The smallest things made us crack-up, so we ended up with a book of inside jokes. Constantly had each others’ backs, through the ups and downs, through the thick and thin, I love you more than I could ever put into words, and I’m staying strong for you because you always did for me, and I know in my heart that’s what you would want me to do. Rest easy and I’ll see you soon.

~Love, Your Best Friend.

Madelyn Grainger

Em n Maddie beach2 - losin it

Em n Maddie beach1

Em red n Maddie beanie - selfie

2006-08-04 Maddie n Emy 2012-12 Emily and Madelyn

Little Reminder

Photographed this bit of peace on the way to the hospital to be with Emily some months ago.

No matter how much bug juice is on the windshield of our lives, we can still see through it, to little reminders of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is ever on the road ahead, and forever on the horizon.


No matter how much bug juice is on the windshield of our lives, we can still see through it, to little reminders of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is ever on the road ahead. and forever on the horizon.

No matter how much bug juice is on the windshield of our lives, we can still see through it, to little reminders of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is ever on the road ahead. and forever on the horizon.

Grandma V

Betty Vaughan:

As the Christmas season approaches I find myself thinking about the bright light that shown in the sky the night our savior was born. Then I always think of Emily. She was sent to us so she could shine her light on so many. Her life was a struggle, but her life also brought much happiness to so many including herself. This granddaughter of mine will never be forgotten. She is with the angels in heaven and will never suffer anymore. Love and miss you Em.

Grandma V - Baby Emily

Aunt Suey – Tigger

Susan Hammond:

I was not able to speak at Em’s wake and just wanted to say what an honor it was to be Em’s Aunt Suey. Em colored a pic. of Tigger for me 2 yrs. ago as I would tell her to try to be a Tigger! Little did I know how much the picture would mean to me and will cherish it forever. Em was our drama queen and when my tears start rolling down my cheeks I think of Em calling me being Miss drama and when conversation ended I would usually say I need a root touch up and the laughter comes and the tears subside. God is taking care of Em and also Em’s family and for that I am forever grateful! Love my Em til we meet again.

 By Emily, For Suey

By Emily, For Suey

Smelly Goods and Notebooks

Emily was obsessed with smelly goods, like body spray, lotions, bath stuff, candles and the like. Em couldn’t go to the mall without checking out Bath & Body Works. It didn’t matter where she went to shop or for what, she’d always visit the smelly goods section, and want to carry some of it home with her. It’s in her room, in her car… heck, it’s even in my car.

Similarly, Emy had this weird connection to notebooks, investigating the supply in every store that had them. Stacks and stacks of notebooks she has… with few of them ever written in, much less filled with writing. She asked for them at Christmas and birthdays. Funny her first job was at Office Max. I kidded her that they would pay her in notebooks, or that she would spend all of her pay there… on notebooks.  :]

Same thing with Target. She just loved to shop there, and likewise it was funny that she wound up working her second job there, and again, spending her pay at the place she worked.

2010 xmas notebook

Rebel ‘G’

Em recently went on for a couple of days saying, “Just call me ‘G’.” You know, all coooool like. When asked what that meant, she finally said “Graffiti.” See, she had planned to go to the Clifton Pond bridge and add to the graffiti there, and other places. And with that, taking on this imagined persona as ‘G’, you know.

It’s funny because Emily confessedly could never really break fully from her ‘goodie-goodie’ interior, and be a ‘bad kid’. Ha ha. Another funny thing, even funnier still, is that Em couldn’t even draw.

A Power of Will

Potty training for ‘number two’ was a battle. Number one, no problem, wearing regular clothes all day. But Em would insist that we give her a pull-up for her to do her second business in. She would stubbornly ‘hold it’ until we complied. Once outfitted, she would go and hide, sometimes in her room, sometimes in a corner, behind the recliner, even in the bathroom, right next to where she was supposed to be in the first place. This an example of her innate power of will, to the point of absolute discomfort even, but a will that she employed selectively, and intelligently (though not necessarily in this case).

Love you, Em.  :]

Predestined to Grace

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Romans 8:30 (ESV)

Curt S

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Emily was one of the most courageous people I know. I was very honored to be a pallbearer at the service which was perhaps the most heartwarming service I have ever witnessed and is a testimony to the tremendous love everyone had for Em. Patty and I are so sorry and are keeping you all in our prayers.Curt and Patty

Alice S

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dear Carol, Ted and Hanna, so sad to hear of Emily’s passing. My heartfelt condolences, you’re in my thoughts and prayers..
~Alice Stefanisko..Salisbury, Ct.
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