Ramblings.

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.

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Afterlife.

As I was walking out of the store today on the way back to my car, I felt the warmth of the sun light on my skin and couldn’t help but think about how small we as humans, really are. I find myself questioning God and my beliefs since Tyler was taken from us, but when it all comes down to it — how else can you explain this life? How else can you describe living things with a soul as anything other than eternal? I can’t and won’t accept that when my time here is done my soul will just cease to exist. There is so much of our minds that we don’t use, who’s to say that what we experience here isn’t preparing us for our next life? We’re put here to make decisions for ourselves and to choose the people we feel we’re meant to spend the rest of our lives with, God included. With Christianity, if you don’t choose Him, you choose to throw away a never-ending life with all of those who have passed on before us.

A friend once told me that if I believe and He is real, I’ve rewarded myself with eternity, but if he’s not, I’ve essentially lost nothing. Being a Christian teaches you to be kindhearted and to love everyone, even if you may not agree with their life’s choices. I pride myself on being the “nice guy” and always reach out to those in need when and where I can.

Today marks Billy’s first Father’s Day. He unfortunately wasn’t able to be at home but I hope and pray that he knows how much he is loved. My husband was such a delight to watch with Tyler. One of my absolute favorite pictures of them together is of little man curled up in his daddy’s lap asleep, while Billy was playing video games on his computer. It was such a perfect glimpse of what life could have been, what I feel life should have been. My husband is nothing less than amazing. He never fails to amaze me with his dedication to our little family. He IS our rock.

I’ve watched Billy transform from a 22 year old boy, to a 30 year old man over the last 8 years and can’t help but love him more and more with each passing day. I know many people feared that Tyler’s passing would push us away from one another but our little boy has done nothing but draw us closer, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Billy has shown me what true faith really is. He has opened my eyes to what the world has to offer and shown me real, deep, true love. He was and still is completely devoted as a father to our son and faced each doctors appointment and rough night with grace. I often find myself wishing I had even an ounce of his strength. Making Tyler proud is his goal, and I know without a doubt he achieves that on a daily basis.

I love you Mr. Newton. In my eyes, you have roped the moon! If you find yourself reading this, know that you are an amazing Father to our most precious gift, Tyler. Always & Forever my dear.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Broken.

I wake up everyday and wonder when the constant pain will stop. People seem to think that just because I pull myself together and face the world that my heart has healed. I’m always at a loss when I see someone and they excitedly ask how I am. How do I respond to such a question? Tell them how I really feel? My heart has been ripped into shreds, I’m forced to face a reality that no one ever dreams of, and I miss my baby more than you’ll ever be able to comprehend. I can’t put people in such an awkward position, it’s not in my nature and it’s not who I am. I normally just smile and say “as best as can be expected”. What is expected though? What is it that people think I SHOULD be doing or thinking at this point in my grief?

If I could, I would just curl up with Tyler’s things and never leave the house. I would put up walls and build a little safe haven in our home with everything that matters to me; where I can keep it safe and protected. I have friends. In fact, I have some fantastic friends. Friends that I’ve found in the most unlikely of places and oddly enough have never met face to face. I have a supportive family and a husband who would do anything for me. So why? Why am I still unable to pull myself together and move forward? Everyone tells me it’s what Tyler would want. If that’s so, shouldn’t I be running full force ahead with all of my might?

This year has shoved the word loss into my face. It’s shown me that no matter what we seem to think, tomorrow is NEVER promised. I learned that sometimes people’s ‘dark places’ grab hold of them and pull them so far down that they’re unable to bring themselves back to the light. I’ve learned that if you love someone you should remind them daily. Never make anyone feel like they are useless or unappreciated. I think most importantly I’ve learned that no matter what someone looks like on the outside you never truly know the pain they may be facing on the inside. Essentially what we’ve been taught since grade school, never judge a book by its cover.

I miss my baby boy more than he knows. I pray that God helps to ease this suffering and tells Tyler all about his mom and dad, daily. Rest easy little one, we’ll be there soon.

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June 1st.

Another month begins with the painful reminder that you’re not here to experience it with us. My life has completely crumbled around me over the last week. Just as I take two steps forward I’m pushed back with such a force that it would knock an elephant to the ground without hesitation.

I woke up to news on Memorial Day that yet another family has been forced to face this awful pain within our community. I want nothing more than to reach for her, hug her so tight that she can’t breath and let her know she is not alone. I want to introduce her to the wonderful people that have graciously welcomed me and my grief into their lives. The ones who will always allow me to speak about Tyler’s life, even if it’s through tear filled eyes. I want her to know there are people who understand, although it doesn’t seem like it right now.

Facing our move at the end of this year frightens me. Having to explain myself to others who haven’t been around to know what’s happening. Meeting new families who will likely ask if we have any children out of habit and natural curiosity when meeting someone new. How am I to respond in these situations? If I cry, I frighten people and make them uncomfortable. I don’t aim to make others antsy when talking about our baby boy. He made such a huge impact on our lives that it comes naturally. So much love and adoration for such a tiny little man.

As a bereaved mother for almost four months now, all I know about myself is that I’m afraid. I’m so terrified of living my life without Tyler, I’m afraid of what’s to come when we are placed in a new surrounding with new people. I’m afraid that I’ll never see my baby again. I’m afraid to go back to work and face those who knew me through my entire pregnancy.

I feel like at this point in my life the world around me has resumed normal activity. People have moved on with their lives. I don’t know how to do this, and I’m not sure I ever will. I feel like so many people have forgotten the life changing loss that we have suffered and look down on me for having not picked myself back up yet. I know that Tyler will never be forgotten but I fear that the pain of his loss will. It’s impossible to express the agony you feel on a daily basis after losing such a vital part of your life. A life that you and your spouse/significant other have created. It’s a pain that I do not wish upon anyone, but pray that “outsiders” understand it will not ever leave those of us who have suffered through the death of their child.

I ask that you please be patient with us, open your heart to understandstanding and pray. Even now, approaching that four month milestone… Nothing fills my heart more than to know that we’re thought about and prayed for. That others hold enough love for us and baby Tyler to remember us during their quiet time with the Lord.