So many things are beginning to change in our tiny little world. Billy is preparing for the next chapter in his career, I’m beginning to step back into work and our little man is up in the clouds watching it all. My grief is unforgiving and torturous at times but I feel it slowly getting better day, by day. I’ll catch myself staring at pictures of Tyler while I work from home at my desk, smiling, day dreaming about the adventures he’s on in the sky. I have always viewed his life as a complete blessing but I’ve begun to appreciate the time we were given more so now, than ever. I know that I was the lucky one to have had such a miraculous three weeks with the most precious child I have ever laid my eyes on. The hurt hasn’t gone away, nor will it ever. However, I have learned to deal with it a little better. I’ve managed to speak with a complete stranger and say, “YES! I do have a child. He’s not in my arms, but he’s all around me.” I’ve done and said these things without shedding a single tear, and have even gone on to share some stories about his brief time here with a smile on my face. It’s taken a lot of energy, time and mental anguish to see what my husband has been telling me all along, I need to live for Tyler. I need to appreciate each breath I’m given, each step I take and live my life in a way that honors my lost child.
I’ve always been ‘the nice guy’ and I have no intention of ever being anyone different. I take pride in my genuine concern for others, and I can empathize in ways that I would have never imagined possible. No one ever expects their life to go wrong, we all just walk around and assume that things will eventually fall into place or that problems will work themselves out. I’m here to say, that still holds true. My husband and I have experienced something that no parent should ever have to endure. We’ve lost the love of our lives and the little being that we created out of pure love for one another. We buried our child and pre-planned our own funerals to accommodate being next to him in the afterlife. We didn’t expect it, we had no warning, and yet here we are, falling back into place. Perhaps this is the problem we were destined to “fall into” so that we could learn to live and love on a much deeper level. Maybe we were given this heartache because God knew we could turn it into something great. We could appreciate the gift that Tyler was and always will be and share that with the people surrounding us.
I have received some of the most off the wall gifts since we lost our son. They come in the form of friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life, hardships that teach me to be a stronger person and allow me to say no – when enough, is enough. Jewlery to memorialize our angel, clothing to help keep the butterflies near, prayers, inspirational quotes … the list could go on and on. What I’m trying to say is, thank you. If you’re reading this and you’ve been by my side through this journey, thank you. Thank you for thinking of me, for praying for us, for just reaching out and letting us know that you care. It does not go unseen or unnoticed. I hold each of you so close to my heart and pray that one day I may give you the same feeling you’ve given me through any route necessary.
I encourage you all to step out of your comfort zone and say hello to a stranger this week, buy coffee for the individual behind you in line, take food to a homeless person or commit to any other random act of kindness. Open your heart to unfamiliar territory and allow yourself to feel appreciated and to know that you caused someone else to smile. I promise you, it’ll be a rush. Don’t let the negativity of this world, the hurt and the anger bring you down. Shove other’s opinions aside and just be YOU. Be the you that you want your child, your parent, your sibling or your spouse to be proud of.
I know that I plan on being the one who Tyler can be proud of, and in my eyes, that’s the best “me” that I can be. I will be one of Tyler’s Warriors.