Coming back.

I have been far from perfect over these last few years. I’ve been angry, bitter, and selfish. I have cursed God and life on Earth. I’ve struggled with mental distress again, and again. I’m human. I’m a mother missing one of her children. I’m a spouse that’s felt less than loved and appreciated. I’m a daughter who has failed to have the right words or wisdom when they were needed most. I’m an outsider who just never quite seems to fit in, no matter how hard I try.

Usually words come so easily to me, yet lately I’ve felt void of what to say. I feel as though I’ve been broken down and defeated. My heart is being pulled back, while the rest of me feels and sees so many reasons to smile. It’s as if the weight of the world sits on my shoulders at times. I’ve come to realize these last three years I haven’t been me. I’ve been mean, I’ve been ugly, depressed, and riddled with anxiety. Not anymore.

Starting today, I’m taking my life back. God speaks to us in the most random ways. We must simply listen. Today I felt the love of a boy who I haven’t seen or held in over two years. A ‘stranger’ from our second home away from home, reached out to me and reminded me that I am strong. She had no idea the impact her comment would have. I truly believe she found me under Gods will. I’ve been missing Tyler in a strange way lately and that was just what I needed to know he’s still around. I yearned to know he’s still thought of and loved. My answer came directly to me, with a notification and all.

I apologize to those I’ve wronged along the way. The people I’ve closed off and shut out. The friends I should have held in better contact with. I simply let the circumstances of life defeat me on a regular basis. This journey has taught me so much, it’s impossible to convey the depths of each emotion I go through day to day. I’m grateful for this life and for the wonderful blessings I’ve been awarded. I often worry that each day will be my last, so as I move forward, I plan to live as if it is. I want to soak in the sun, cherish the love that surrounds me, and give others hope. I want my daughter to know she is loved beyond measure and has changed my life in the best of ways.

As often as I’m told that “I’m strong”, I want to be able to feel it for myself. I want to stand up and acknowledge it. I want to give that strength to others when they’re feeling weak.

We all leave an imprint on this world, I hope mine is one of compassion. I never want to make another person feel less than exceptional. I want to help others find their way when they’re feeling lost or alone. I want to make a difference in the lives of others!

If you’ve ever felt broken down and defeated, know that I am here. I can listen, share, or give feedback. I’ve seen the depths of ‘ugly’ in this world through many forms and would love nothing more than to help you through your time of need.

Tyler, my son, is worth all of the stars in the sky. He has reminded me yet again, that this life is only temporary. What better way to spend my brief time here than by loving others. I’m following his lead, and his little push. I’m starting over as ME. The me I knew so long ago before the people and circumstances of this broken world brought me down. With God as my witness and T as my guide, I will not fail.

So, thank you. Thank you to those who have lifted me up, showed me unconditional love, and still speak his name. It’s an eye opener and so humbling to know Tyler is still working within you. Thank you to those who have pushed me down when what I needed was lifting up, to those who have walked away, and those who try to control my grief. Because of you, I found this strength and I’ve seen first hand exactly who I don’t want to become.

May new journeys, happiness, and self love be in my future!

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Death.

Two years ago death found us in the worst of ways. It took a life we valued over our own. It took innocence, light, hopes, dreams and aspirations. It took a lot of love out of this world and carried it over into the next.

I can still feel Tyler to this day. I remember looking at my son as they declared his time of death. I watched as they removed the tubes that were placed in a failed attempt to keep him here with us. I felt my heart shatter as he took his final breath in our arms.

Two whole years and my love still seems to grow. There isn’t a day I don’t whisper to him in my quiet moments in hope that he can hear me. Each time I see a butterfly, I imagine he’s there watching; guiding us through life’s little journeys.

The month of February is “heart month” and I plan to celebrate it with as much joy as I can muster. I want to share these brave boys and girls with those who are uneducated in the world of Congenital Heart Defects. Each story is unique and beautiful, so please help me to bring them comfort, healing, hope, or just gratitude, knowing that someone out there is listening.

Today may pull me down at the thought of what I’ve lost, but in the end, I’m still eternally grateful. Two years ago my world changed, my eyes opened, and my heart crumbled. Don’t let the devastation of it all fool you, for there is beauty in the ashes, and it’s brought me back to life.

The amount of change I’ve endured over the last 730 days will only continue. Two years from now I can’t wait to look back and see the progress Tyler has made through me in all aspects of life. He made me a momma and he’s showing me the way for Abby. His love is still here and present in all that we do and I’ll never stop sharing it with the world.

Today, everyday, and every moment, we think of you Tyler. You mean so much to so many and we are proud to call you ours. We are one day closer to you. Until forever my little love.

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Though life may go on, your memory is frozen in time. You will never be forgotten.

Two years.

I can’t believe this is my reality. I can’t believe that he’s not here and we have to celebrate without him. I can’t belive that I birthed the most perfect little boy, but only got to hold him for such a short time. My heart, my soul, my mind, and body; every fiber of my being, misses my son.

I can believe he made me a better person. I can belive he made me a mom. I can belive that no matter what this life brings me, I know that he’ll always be the one leading me down the path I’m supposed to take.

Today I want to celebrate through the tears. I want to smile, laugh, and not take a single second for granted. I want to reminisce on the memories he left me with. I want to give back, and spread his love. I want to make him proud by being the best me I know how.

Child loss is ugly. It’s gutwrenching in every sense of the word. It is a hurt that leaves a gaping wound that will never close. Many bereaved parents suffer silently for a lifetime, I will not. Not a moment of my life will ever pass where a perfectly shaped ‘T’ isn’t missing from my heart. I am constantly aware of his absense and I plan to use my hurt to better others. I want to turn my suffering into good, because of him. Tyler’s purpose gave me purpose and I refuse to let that go to waste.

Today I will go buy a cake. Our family will go to dinner in celebration of your life. I will love Abigail with no end and hold her just a little tighter. I will say your name proudly and pay it forward in your honor. Most importantly, I will love you now and always. My gift to you on your second birthday is life, through me. May your memory never be tarnished nor forgotten, Bubba.

Happy 2nd birthday T man!

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NYE.

A new year is upon us again, it’s a time to make new memories, have new ups and new downs, try new things, and leave new impressions. A new slate to make a difference in a mere 365 days. While some look at year as a lifetime, the harsh reality is that tomorrow is never promised.

Many will make resolutions at midnight that they may or may not see through the year. Some will be for personal gain, others for financial security or weight loss, take your pick, there’s countless options.

Tonight when the clock strikes twelve I’m going to promise my daughter that I’ll be the best “me” I possibly can. A mom she can depend on and look up to. I plan to be stronger, wiser, giving, independent, and more compassionate. I want to put God first and allow Him to show me the ways in which to raise Abigail. I want to trust Him to help my family through the trials that are sure to come. I plan to have Him give us the heart to see the good in all and to never take a moment for granted. I plan to introduce ‘more better and less bitter’ into my life, as my brother in law says.

My son Tyler taught me so many life lessons and I pray to never let go of a single one. I will keep reaching for his wisdom in the moments of silence where I find myself replaying the memories of his brief and beautiful life. I can and will continue to learn from him and his love.

We’re only given one shot at this life so why waste it. Vow to smile daily and allow others to share in your happiness. Love those who love you, and have grace for those who don’t. Value the things you view as negative and always search for the silver lining.

As we wrap 2017 up and embark on the new adventures 2018 has to offer, hold your loved ones tight. Bring in the new year with a kiss or a hug from family and friends. Remain forever grateful for the lessons this last year has taught you; open your eyes, heart, and mind to the future that awaits you!

May you all have a Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve, Eve.

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With Christmas two days away and Tyler’s second birthday just fifteen short days later, my heart and mind has never felt so torn. I am completely overjoyed to spend the first of many holidays with our sweet Abby Grace! She has in so many ways brought total happiness into our lives, she’s truly my little sunshine. I can’t wait to teach her so many things about life and watch her grow into a strong, independent, God fearing woman. More importantly, I yearn for the day I’m able to share more about her older brother with her and know she’s able to comprehend the stories of his life. You see, Tyler may not have lived on this Earth for long, but he left a lifelong impression on those he left behind. My child is a true blessing and changed my life in ways that I’ll be forever grateful for. I know one day I’ll see his angelic face beaming at me as I enter into God’s kingdom, it will be in that moment when I forget all of the hurts this world placed on my heart.

The holidays are never easy when you’re missing someone you love. All of the ‘what if’s’ begin to reappear and cloud your mind as if your grief never subsided to begin with. I’ve said it a thousand times, but I’m saying it again, this year was filled with so much change and so many new things for us. I would have given my own heart to have had Tyler’s heal so he could be here to experience it all in my place. I would do and give anything to see his precious little smile while holding him in my arms. Hear his giggle, watch him walk, talk, and play. Having Abigail has reminded me of the need our children have for us. We as parents, are their lifeline and their safe place; we are their voice when they cannot speak. Make your voice count for them!

Well folks, here I am! I’m here to tell you I birthed an angel who continues to spread his love all around the world through myself, his father and the little sister he sent us just three months ago.

Just a couple of weeks ago Billy and I took a huge step. We went through all of T’s unused clothes, sheets, miscellaneous blankets and rattles. I had every intention of keeping all of Tyler’s things until maybe one day we had another son of our own who could use them. If that wasn’t in the cards for us, we discussed holding onto it all until little Abby had some rug-rats of her own; just in case she wanted to keep her big brothers memory alive through her own babies.

However, Billy and I both felt it heavy on our hearts to give his things to a family who is truly deserving. We felt Tyler was speaking to us, and through us. They, much like us, lost their first born. A little girl named Naomi, who changed her parent’s course of life the second she came into the world. They struggled for years with grief and infertility until this past year when they found out they were expecting! Their family of three, recently grew to four, much like ours. Two little feet in heaven and a sweet little man named Connor here for them to love. Rainbow babies are more than special. They are ways to watch the child you lost, continue to live.

Our Abigail is a real life Christmas miracle. She’s our second born being raised, loved, and spoiled as a first born. She was wrapped in love from above and sent here to us for a specific purpose, just as her brother was. She helps me in ways I pray she’ll never know, nor understand. On my darkest of days, one look from her keeps my world turning. Her coy smile and soft coos can rock me back into reality when my mind begins to wander back into the dark depths of grief. Each time I look into her blue eyes my blessings are reaffirmed and the goodness of life flashes before me. I’m reminded of all that I have to be thankful for, even if for a period of time it hurt more than any words could ever begin to explain.

By having Abby I’ve gotten a piece of my son back. I can only imagine that many people find that strange or even impossible. Honestly though, I can see and feel Tyler when I interact with her. I know he played a role in forming the sweet child that sits before me. He knew I needed her to find myself again, and watched over her as she grew in my womb.

Abigail Grace Newton will never replace her brother. She is not my only child, she will never be the one that made me a mother, and she was not the first baby who was placed into my arms. She is however my second born, the little girl who taught me just how rewarding being a mother is, despite the constant challenges that go along with that role. She is my little goose-a-moose whose smile can melt my heart. All the while, Tyler Matthew is tucked into our hearts. He is and always be my baby. Something I haven’t shared with many people is that during my time with him, we still managed to create wonderful memories out of the brief moments we were given. I can remember sitting on the side of his hospital bed and reading him ‘Noah and the Mighty Ark’ over and over again until I could recite the book without ever looking down at the pages. I like to believe that because of those moments with him, I’m able to love Abby deeper than I could have ever imagined. We’re able to share a bond that means so much more because of the times I shared with T. It never fails when I read that book to Abigail I always cry, and she always looks back up at me in awe. It’s as if she knows I need that moment, and that the time I’m spending with her right then and there is more for my own pleasure than it is for hers.

I saw a quote the other day that sat well with my soul.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

How true that statement is. Death is inevitable, we all know that. With Christmas just days away, please remember to love your loved ones. I often share about Tyler when I’m hurting a little more than usual. I’m slowly but surely learning to embrace that hurt for the love that it is. I wouldn’t have it, had I never held that boy in my arms. And let me tell you friend, I’d suffer through every agonizing second all over again if it meant that he was mine even for just another minute.

The true meaning of Christmas falls back to Christ and the love he had for us. I know for some, that’s something too big to comprehend given this fallen world. I myself have doubts more often than I care to admit. BUT, I can say with all honesty that I believe. I believe in the magic of Christmas, I believe in the love from our Lord and Savior. I believe we’re all put on this Earth for a specific purpose. We’re given the gifts and the heartaches, for a reason. We must seek the silver lining in all that we do in order to achieve total happiness. So smile, forgive, laugh, pray, and most importantly, love, this holiday season. You never know who may need grace; we all face battles on the inside others may never see.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, y’all.

Life after loss.

Here I sit staring into the face of the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen with tear filled eyes. She’s my rainbow, and gave me something I had absolutely no idea I even needed until she entered my world. Even with all the joy she’s brought me there’s a huge gaping hole in my heart that will never be filled.

I used to hate the term “rainbow baby” because I don’t picture Tyler as a storm of any sort. If anything, he was a ray of light that filled my life in the most unexpected of ways. However that’s what Abigail is, a rainbow. She put color back into my life after everything went dark for what felt like eternity. Tyler’s life was not a storm, however, life after his loss was total devistaton.

Today our sweet Abby is 27 days old. The same age my handsome little man was at the time we lost him. To top it off, it’s October 9th which means T would have been 21 months old at 12:15 on the dot. So many emotions and mental confusion have boggled my mind throughout the day.

Caring for her new little life after such a loss is the second hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my lifetime. I don’t sleep out of fear that when I wake she won’t be here. I watch her breathing when I set her down in her crib or her car seat. Anxiety takes over anytime she sneezes or has a small cough. I fear taking her into public places or around people who only want to touch her. I can’t even fathom losing such a precious gift again and fear that I’m not giving her everything she needs.

She is so small and perfect just like her brother. My heart has never been so full! I never in a million years thought I’d ever mutter those words again. Yet here I sit, happy, sad, blessed, and wonderfully tired.

Being a grief mom looks like what you’d expect; a woman who’s world has been swept from under her. Her life is filled with endless tears, and very long, lonely nights. It’s days that don’t seem so bad, making you think you’ve gotten a grip over your own emotions. Yet when you get a whiff of a familiar scent, hear the first few chords of a song that sits in your soul, or see a photo of your precious baby; life as you know it is again turned upside down. Grief is ugly, it is raw, it has no boundaries, no predestined time line, it’s a life filled with guilt and despair and is far from prejudice. Being a grief parent is simply hard and I wish those daily struggles upon no one.

Many seem to believe life after loss somehow replaces the life that was taken. My friend, I can tell you wholeheartedly that it doesn’t even come close. Abby is truly a gift, a gift from God in her big brothers timing, no doubt. She brings so much joy to my world but with it an abundance of fear. I often worry that I’m not doing this parent thing right. That I’m somehow failing her in the ways I feel I failed Tyler. I want to keep her from the outside world and hoard her away until I know others can safely touch her and enjoy the personality I already see developing day by day. Essentially, life after loss is high functioning anxiety, it’s that ongoing grief from baby T, it’s joy in its purest form but still has that little dark cloud that eats at your heart.

Being a parent in general is rough, I’m sure of it. We all just want to do what’s best for our children and most are willing to do whatever it takes to see that they’re happy and healthy at all times. If you’re reading this, and you have little tots of your own, know that I’m praying for you. I’m praying you find patience on the days when it feels like too much to bear. (Trust me, they’re worth every bit!) I’m praying you get to watch them grow and hit every milestone you once did. I’m praying that you never take a single day for granted and that their small and fragile lives bless each day of yours! Know how fortunate you are to have been given the best gift of all. I know I sure am.

Abby is protected now and always by her brother Tyler. They are both the reasons for my existence, I know it in my heart. T made me a momma and helped prepare me for this journey with Abigail. I’m all in for both my babies. I’ll never stop speaking Tyler’s name and I’ll be sure that Abby knows and loves him just as we do.

What a glorious day in heaven it’ll be when we’re all reunited together again.

A fragile heart.

Death. So final. So unexpected. So incredibly devastating.

Although death may not always seem unexpected, there’s never a way to truly prepare your heart for the ache that’s to come with the space left of a missing loved one.

I find myself struggling through oceans of grief at the most unexpected times. I yearn for the memories that I wasn’t able to make with my son. I would give the world to hold him in my arms just one more time and memorize every feature of his perfect little life. I would tell him with every breath left in me about how deeply my love runs for him.

It’s been months since I’ve written; and for reasons I can’t quite explain. I always knew my life would be different after having a child, just not in this way. Here I sit on the edge of such wonderful new changes in my life. We’re about to become parents for a second time, we just closed on our first home, deployment is coming to an end in the months ahead … and yet, I still face this monster “grief”. It morphs into guilt and tears, I have days it presents itself as strength and determination, quite frankly, the only thing that seems to be constant about it is the way it always seems to change.

August 9th used to hold no real value for me – it was just another day that would eventually lead into the next. Now I sit and wonder on this ‘insignificant day’ what Tyler would be doing. What mile stone he would be hitting aside from turning another month older. Would he be talking, walking, and becoming his own little man? It’s a constant reminder of what I no longer have, what could have been, and what I feel as though should have been.

I’m excited about the fact that our daughter will know him. She’ll be raised around his photographs, his things, and always hear the stories we hold in our hearts that we were lucky enough to experience during his short time on this Earth. Deep down inside me, I know that she’ll have the best guardian angel always on her side to help her through all of life’s battles. So why am I so sad?

I have these awful moments where I feel so distant from Tyler. It’s as if no matter how hard I try I keep being pushed farther and farther away from his memory. My other loss mommas say it’s normal, yet it feels so unnatural in every way. It’s on days like today that my heart seems to break all over again. The days I yearn to feel him in some way, the days I visit him at the cemetery and am left only looking at a patch of grass instead of into his deep blue eyes, the days I question all over again why this had to happen to us, to HIM.

I fight for CHD awareness in all the ways I know how. However, some days I feel like I’m a nuisance to those around me, and on others I feel like I just simply don’t do enough. There are times when I feel drawn to becoming a mentor for other mommas walking the path we took roughly 18 months ago, to help them get through the ‘hard part’ that never quite seems to end. The truth of the matter is I’m scared. I’m afraid I won’t help but will continue living in this nightmare day in and day out for the remainder of my time here. I’m afraid that by allowing my sad days to consume me I won’t be the mom Abby will need me to be, the wife Billy wants, and the person who is even remotely capable of helping others.

I thought the person I became after losing Tyler was this strong woman capable of accomplishing anything. Lately, I just feel worn down and tired. I want my boy back, I want to show him his little sister when they lay her in my arms, I want to hold my little family so close and never let go. I want so many things that I’ll never have.

19 months ago a little heart came into this word, one that was oh so fragile. It changed so much and left a huge impact on those who knew of it. Tyler’s heart. Tyler’s Will. Tyler’s Love. Those are all things I pray that one day my own fragile heart is able to find again. I want to shine for my little man and be the momma he wants and needs of me – not only for him, but for his baby sister and our family. Please be patient with me in the coming months as there will be times I just simply don’t know what to say, or I may not know how to act. I’m nervous, I’m scared, I’m excited, I’m anxious, and I’m worried all wrapped into one.

I’m keeping my heart and my mind focused on what our bubba would have wanted, and giving it my all to pull through each day with a smile, for him. Until we meet again my little love. We’re always missing you. XO.

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Bereaved Mother’s Day.

Today I found myself sitting at the cemetery for no reason other than wanting to feel closer to my baby. As I sat and chatted with him, read a little of my book, and scanned through Facebook, it was brought to my attention that today is bereaved Mother’s Day.

Let that sink in, bereaved Mother’s Day. I’m in shock and awe that such a thing even exists. It tugs at my heart to know there are countless other women who walk in my shoes daily. We get up and keep going in the wake of such darkness. We continue living and still celebrate the milestones. We yearn to hold, speak to, or simply see our children again with each moment that passes. We’re told regularly that we are strong, when in reality it’s all we can do to just keep ourselves together.

These last few weeks I’ve circled around that ugly cycle of grief for the umpteenth time over the last year. I find that I constantly get stuck between guilt and utter disbelief, that’s almost always followed up by a total breakdown before getting back up, plastering a smile on my face, and forcing myself to enjoy the time I’m given as much as possible.

I am humbled by the kindness of strangers. Sometimes a brief smile or a kind gesture just to show compassion for the rest of the human race goes such a long way. Patience is truly a virtue that I wish more people possessed. We’re all in a hurry for no apparent reason; to get to places that aren’t going anywhere fast. I wish we could all remember to slow down sometimes, take in the people around us, create memories that’ll last a life time, and love like we’re not promised tomorrow.

I’m often asked why I don’t write more often. I’m praised for the voice I’ve been given and the ability to occasionally get it out on paper. The truth of it is, I love to write. I find it therapeutic in a sense. However, I want it to matter. I need to know that my thoughts and feelings being poured out into the world make a difference in at least one persons life. Opening up and sharing such raw emotions can be a difficult task. I know many bereaved mothers who feel they must defend their journey through grief as others sit by and wonder why and how they’re “still hurting”.

My friends, this hurt will never cease, it’s woven into every fiber of our being. With this pain comes the deepest love known to man, the love of a parent and a child. One of the best quotes I’ve ever read stated:

“I’m sorry if my grief temporarily makes you uncomfortable, for myself it lasts a lifetime”.

I often feel like I was extremely guilty of living life in fast forward before we held Tyler in our arms. My eyes were not open to the world of hurt that strangers can bury deep down inside and hide from the rest of the world. I was naive in thinking when I had children they’d be perfect and healthy in every way, that nothing ‘bad’ would ever happen to us. I thought that my health would never fail, and I’d live to be old and just as in-love with my husband when I’m 80, as I was when I was 18.

Life twists, and it turns. Sometimes not in the easiest of ways. My one wish for you all today, on bereaved Mother’s Day, is to soak it all in. Kiss your children more and show them the love you feel in your heart. TRY and never let those precious moments pass you by. Let others know it’s ok to be human, after all, none of us are perfect. Take the hardships that come with life in stride. Hold your head high and don’t let this world ever bring you down. Just because others may not understand your current situation doesn’t mean your any less justified in your feelings.

You are always tougher than you know. Believe in you, and make the most out of today.

For all of my hurting mommas: I see you, I hear your cries, and I feel your pain. You are never alone! Myself and your sweet child, or possibly children, are always by your side and more importantly, within your heart. They walk along side us day by day and patiently wait for the tears to stop falling and a smile to appear at the thought of their lives here with us. Happy Mother’s Day!

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One day closer.

IMG_1256.JPGThere are moments I sit here in total silence and wonder where the time has gone since you left us. How has it been one year, one month, one week, and one day since I last held you. The memories from that day are burned into my mind, I can replay them on a loop as if they happened just moments ago.

Ive notcied my life changing in so many ways. I no longer cry like I used to, it’s as if a numbness has taken over and forces me to keep going. Or maybe what I’m mistaking for numbness is really you, giving me the strength I need to live out the rest of my days here in this life. I speak your name now more than ever, and I’m not afraid to tell strangers about you and the great love you shared with us for such a brief time. One thing hasn’t changed, I miss you more and more with each passing day, each memory that’s made without you here, and every stepping stone we conquer without you in our lives to share it with us.

I have a lot of bitterness in my heart. I have people who claim to understand when in reality, they have no idea. None of us do. Even from one grieving parent to the next. We can all relate to the loss, but the matter in which it happens varies from person to person. I do my best to keep my head up, and show you my smile as often as possible, but lately I’ve felt defeated.

Life is funny and it’s full of unexpected twists and turns. Just a few weeks ago another little angel was buried directly across from where we laid you to rest, a little girl. Her parents met her and said their goodbyes all in the same day. I know you must have welcomed her into heavens gates with open arms as she fearlessly left her mother and father behind to dwell in happiness for the rest of eternity.

I question why we’re given this task of carrying such a heavy burden. Why are we the chosen ones who seem to be strong enough to keep pushing, and keep living day to day without a piece of our hearts. We’re expected to function like any other individual in society and still carry on a normal and healthy social life, a good job, and perform the tasks of caregiver to friends and family during their times of need.

I have so many questions that will never be answered in this life. I just hope and pray that wherever you are, you can see the effect you left on my life. You can feel the overwhelming love I have for you in my broken heart, and you know that I’ll do everything in my power to return to you one day.

Watch over us, little one. You can see our struggles, and you know when we need a small reminder that we’re made for so much more. You are the greatest gift we’ve ever been given, Tyler Matthew. Today is one more day closer to you.

One year.

How can it be that exactly one year ago you were looking into my soul with your big blue eyes telling me that all would be ok – just to breathe, momma.

How can it be that exactly one year ago we were anxiously awaiting the Texas Children’s Team to arrive at Darnell hospital so they could whisk you off to Houston for better care.

HOW can it be that on that exact same day, exactly one year ago, you left this world and took my heart with you. 365 days since I’ve heard that sweet cry, touched your face, rubbed your back, kissed your head, and held you in my arms.

Not a day goes by that I don’t tell you I love you, that I miss you, or that you are so deeply missed. Most days I’m honestly unsure how I’ve survived up until now. It’s in these deep moments of doubt and darkness that I’m reminded of the light you once were, and still are. You, Tyler, are the reason I’m still here. You, are the reason I keep going. You, are my main purpose in this life. It is because of you I can ‘thank my lucky stars’ and ‘count my blessings’. God had a plan and a purpose for your life, and the best part of it all is that it included me and your Father. You opened our eyes to an entirely new world. Without you son, we’d still be wandering this Earth more lost than we’ve ever been.

This last year has molded and shaped us into people we hope that you’d want us to be. We’ve hit many bumps along the way but always seem to find a way back to you, together. Without you I don’t feel as if we could have done it.

As I sit and stare at a patch of grass I can’t help but wonder why I was deprived of looking at your angelic face. Watching you crawl, walk, and talk. What’s the overall lesson we are to take away from your life, and oh so unfortunate death?

My heart hurts a little deeper today thinking back to where we were in this exact moment one year ago. My sweet Tyler, if we had known, things would have been so incredibly different. We would have said no to all of the needles, the tests, and just loved you unconditionally without end.

Many don’t understand what it’s like to be the parent of a child who is no longer walking among us. Just because they aren’t in our arms, or by our sides, the love and parenting doesn’t stop. I will fight until my dying day to spread my little boys legacy just as he deserves. I will continue to allow him to work in the lives of others through myself and Billy’s actions.

At the end of the day, I know that nothing will bring you back. I just hope and pray that you know one day, we will return to you. February 4, 2016 will forever be burned into my mind, and not a moment will pass that I won’t wish we couldn’t freeze frame time in those hours, days, and weeks before you left us. We love you Tyler, with every ounce of our being.

XO – until we meet again, my love.

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