GALIVANTS FERRY, SC (WMBF) – In the early morning hours, only one light shone from the window of a warm family home snuggled off the beaten path. The light came from a young teenager's room preparing for a long day ahead.
Between hums and giggles, Taylor Pipkin got ready while sharing jokes with a few family members up early enough to see her get ready. Even with her recently dyed red hair, she shared a striking resemblance to her mom, Angie.
Their resemblance wasn't the only thing they shared.
"I've been singing since I was little, my mom got me into it. I guess….I guess this is one of the reasons I'm doing this….to honor my mom in some way," Taylor shared, as she reminisced on how growing up, the mother and daughter would sing together.
She was preparing to share their talent on a larger stage, except her mom wasn't there to warm up with her, to see her get ready, to wish her luck.
Earlier this year, Angie Pipkin vanished. The family searched and searched…both for Angie and for answers surrounding her disappearance.
A few answers came, but offered little comfort to the family as police determined Angie had been murdered.
"She always told me to follow my heart…so following my heart is what I'm doing," shrugged Taylor.
While she finished getting ready, her smiling face reflected in the photograph of her mom. There in spirit, as she couldn't be there in person.
With family members hugging Taylor, sharing 'I love you' and 'good luck' the teen got behind the wheel with her aunt sitting shotgun, as they headed off to a new adventure.
Taylor, dealt a hard hand of so much tragedy, is determined to make the rest of this year a positive one. So, today she joined thousands of others lining up in Myrtle Beach to audition for American Idol, a way to share a passion she shared with her mom.
"I think she's looking down at me saying 'Man, this is awesome.' Otherwise, I don't think I could do this," said Taylor.
As the sun rose and the day started heating up, Taylor's nerves stayed cool.
"Feeling good…just anxious. Win or lose, I still tried out so let's just see what happens!" Taylor expressed right before hitting the registration table and heading over to the judges.
Earlier in the day, Taylor said she kept reminding herself that "You're a winner in all things if you think positive about it."
After hours of preparing, of standing in the sun, and of practicing over and over, Taylor was able to sing about 15 to 30 seconds in front of a producer for American Idol. The song was the same she sang during her mom's funeral just a few weeks ago.
She was immediately called back to the table, and told that while she has a very good voice the judge believes she has to get a little stronger.
As the teen walked away from the judge's table, she smiled and said she would try again next year.
"It was a great opportunity, great pointers on how to get stronger," she said.
While Taylor Pipkin didn't get a golden ticket to try-out during the next round, she still has the memory of her mom.
"That song will always mean a lot to me," she said before heading off to find her aunt to head home for the day.