We may take it for granted, but text messaging really is one of the most significant technological advancements of the past several years. The ability to send short, instant messages helps us build and maintain strong relationships, even when we’re too busy to call.

When we aren’t able to get in touch with those people we text the most, it’s jarring. Why aren’t they available to us right now? we’ll wonder. But for one mother, it was an unexpected message that shook her to her core…

Electronic communication has made it easier than ever to communicate with anyone, not the least of which our loved ones. We could keep in touch through calls or emails, but many folks prefer the speed and simplicity of a text message.

Text messaging is practical and convenient, especially when it comes to making plans while you’re in a hurry and don’t have the luxury of committing to a phone call. Still, sometimes it’s just nice to check in with people you talk to all the time to show how much you care.

That was certainly the case with Carole Adler, who couldn’t have been closer to her son, Taylor Thyfault. The young man would frequently text his mother about all sorts of things to keep up with her.

Just about any mother would speak highly of her children, but there was something extra special about the way that Carole talked about Taylor. Their relationship was undoubtedly a close one, which was sometimes rare for young men. No one likes being labeled a “mama’s boy!”

Of course, the feeling was mutual for Taylor, who wasn’t shy about telling his mother about all sorts of important things. He’d often tell her about all of his life’s goals, many of which he was lucky and hard-working enough to achieve.

For example, Taylor told his mother about a list of various things that he wanted to accomplish in his life, including wrestling an alligator, coaching a lacrosse team, owning an English bull dog he would name Diesel, and never getting arrested.

Taylor seemed determined to achieve everything on his list. He joined the U.S. Army and he really took the motto of being “the best that [he] could be” to heart—despite his mother’s concerns about the dangers of his profession.

Another one of Taylor’s goals was to pursue a career, but he didn’t want just any old job. He became a state trooper, which allowed him to create plenty of opportunities to achieve another one of his goals: to save a life.

As proud and supportive as Carole was of her son, she also couldn’t help but be concerned about the dangers of his job. One day, at the scene of an accident, Taylor decided to text her updates on the situation…

It was May 23, 2015, and Taylor’s cadet training was almost complete. Very soon, he would be a fully fledged police officer, just like he had always dreamed. For the time being, though, he still had a job to do on this ride-along.

Carole’s memory of that fateful morning remained crystal clear. “Taylor texted me that day at 7:30 and said ‘I’m at an accident at Highway One and Highway 66,'” she recalled sadly.

Taylor, along with another trooper, were warned of a potentially dangerous high-speed chase that was heading in their direction. So they both set up stop sticks to try to slow down the oncoming encounter.

That’s when tragedy struck. When the car in question came rushing toward the two men, the driver didn’t stop—and he hit both of them. The other trooper was critically injured, and Taylor was killed instantly.

Yet the two men in uniform weren’t alone. There was also a tow truck driver at the scene of the original accident who came out of the tragedy almost completely unscathed—and it was all because the heroic Taylor had shouted at him to get out of the way before he lost his own life.

This was undeniably a tragedy, but there was at least one bittersweet aspect of the story. In his final moments, Taylor had managed to complete one last goal from the list that was so important to him: he saved a life.

Taylor had undeniably died a hero. He’d accomplished a great deal in his short life, but there were still so many things that he would never have the opportunity to experience. However, his legacy didn’t exactly end there…

Taylor didn’t tell anybody about the list but his mother; she was even the last person that he spoke to before he died. Clearly, they had a special bond. As she mourned the loss of her son, Carole continued to text him, knowing he couldn’t answer.

Carole thought that nobody else would know about her secret messages to her deceased son, but there was, in fact, a living person who was seeing every text that she sent. He happened to be another police officer…

After Taylor’s untimely death, Sergeant Kell Hulsey needed a phone with a new number. Incidentally, he received the young man’s old number, and he formed an unexpected connection with Carole.

Initially, the police sergeant ignored Carole’s mysterious messages, but once he figured out what was going on, he couldn’t let it go any longer. What happened next was an extraordinary human moment between two strangers…

What a bittersweet ending to such a sad story. The death of a child may never be overcome, but at least parents like Carole can find solace in the good people out there who still care!

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