The Dance.

My world stops turning on a daily basis. I wake up each morning to be reminded of the fact that my precious son is no longer here with us. Today is different. Today my world didn’t continue on after I came to terms with the hell that we’ve endured this year. Today is simply just, one of those days. My body aches in the absence of Tyler. I wonder what he’d be doing at this point in his new, little life. I feel mentally defeated when I think about the things Billy and I will never get to experience with him.

October has always been my favorite time of the year. The weather’s starting to cool off; the leaves are changing colors and filling the sidewalks with such natural beauty. This year October will hold a harsh new meaning with the reminder that my family and many others are mourning the children they were never given the opportunity to know, to watch grow, or to raise in our arms. I’m trying to prepare myself for the events of the coming months as best I know how. October is known as ‘Infant and Pregnancy Loss’ awareness month. This is a time when bereaved families ask that you remember and honor the children that have left us all too soon, alongside us in our daily struggle with grief.

With November brings another ‘first’ we’ll again miss out on with our Bubba. From birth to the 12 month mark seems to be a constant struggle. On top of the absence of baby T, Billy and I will be apart for the first time in 5 years. It’ll be my first year as a pre-diabetic, where I have to watch every little thing that I put in my mouth. It’s going to be our first Thanksgiving without a huge piece of our world.

December. Oh, December. Christmas will be hard. There’s no other way to put it. Last year we picked out an outfit for Tyler to wear on Christmas Eve. We were already so excited about our first year as ‘Santa’. We couldn’t wait to show him off to family, and move him back home to Texas where we would raise him around all of his loved ones.

After the holidays it seems as though this vicious cycle will only start again. Beginning with what would be Tyler’s 1st birthday. Unlike many families, three short weeks after his celebration we’ll be faced with the year anniversary of his death.

Where do I go? What do I do? Is there anything that makes this pain just a little more bearable? Grief is a funny thing. I went from clinically depressed, to feeling strong and worthy of love. At this point I feel like I’m slowly circling back around to the rut I found myself in just six months ago. Grief is ALL consuming, there’s no doubt about that.

I listened to a song the other day that I had always wanted played at my funeral, ironically. As I sat and took in each and every word, I cried. I realized that the lyrics struck home to me more than I would ever have realized all those years ago. I realized just what I’m experiencing with my grief. It’s a dance. Our lives are truly a dance.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, none of us ever do. I do know that by going through this God awful loss we’ve experienced, we’re going to become better parents, spouses, siblings, friends and overall people because of it. We will always love deeper and appreciate all that we’ve been given.

In the midst of my sadness, I ask for your continued patience with us. I don’t know when this struggle will stop, or if it ever will. I do know that I have some special individuals who tell me just what I need to hear on days when I don’t know how to pull myself together. They remind me of the love that Tyler spread all around this world, even to those who never knew us, or him. They remind me that he will always be loved by those who really and truly love us.

I miss my baby with each and every ounce of my being. I love him so deeply, always and forever, without any doubt. Billy and I are some of the luckiest people on this Earth to have felt the presence of such a little angel. All that we do is for you, Bubba. XO.

October 15th is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss remembrance day.

“When a child loses his parent, they are called and orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” – Ronald Reagan

For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Listen to “The Dance”.

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Texas.

I’m at a point in my life where I feel as though I have nowhere left to turn, except for home. I feel as though my life has come crashing down on me for not the first, but the second time in a year. I hurt with every ounce of my being, my faith has been tested to no end and my sadness occasionally consumes me.

We always wonder why things happen or question how we got to where we are in life. I can honestly say I’m beyond perplexed at this next step fate has pushed me into. As I walk blindly in my faith yet again, I’m reminded of just how fragile life can be. I cry for my son, I cry for myself and I cry for my husband and our family. I cry for what was, for right now and for what is yet to come.

After leaving my home of the last four years, the place where my little one was born and the shell of a home he was in for such a short, but sweet time. The place where we made friends we’ll be bonded to for a life time, where the community picked us up each time we fell – I feel like I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Leaving Fort Irwin has felt like a weight that’s been lifted off my shoulders.

With that relief still comes a sense of sadness, as well as the pressures of a new area. An area full of people asking questions they really don’t need the answers to. It’s as if society as a whole just wants to write your life out for you and make your “story” much more interesting than it really is. I promise there is no hidden agenda as to why I’m here, I just needed a break. I needed to come to grips with myself again.

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Tomorrow is my 28th birthday. All I can think about is how I don’t want the day to come. I’m not prepared to spend my first ‘milestone’ or family gathering without Tyler. I would give anything to have him here. To hear his little cry when he’s hungry or feel the rise and fall of his breathing against my chest. My life has drastically changed so many times within the last year. From a normal married couple, to soon to be parents, to BEING those parents and now as bereaved parents. I hate that. I hate to think of myself as a bereaved parent. I didn’t get the chance to parent. I didn’t get the chance to watch my child grow into the beautiful person I know in my heart he would have been. I didn’t get to watch him play little league football or dig in the dirt like most other little boys. Every ounce of my being yearns for him.

I’ve been doing better lately, if that’s even possible. I don’t cry 24/7 anymore, I don’t constantly mope around – I’ve stepped back into the human race in a sense. Its amazing what a smile can hide. How strangers on the street have no idea of the hurt inside your heart and only see you as another person that’s just simply passing by.

That being said, tomorrow is going to be hard. VERY hard. If you think of me, please think of Tyler. He’s the best gift I’ve ever been given and I just pray people always remember him and think of his sweet little soul when they think of our family. No matter where we all may be at any given time.

 

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.

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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