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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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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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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Thoughts.

As our move approaches later this year I think about the fact that baby Tyler’s room will have to come down. Im in no way ready for this. Although he didn’t spend hardly any time in his own little space, it’s still his, and it’s still so special to sit around all of his things. Used or not. It reminds me of the love he had from family and friends. I knew that eventually this was something that would have to be done, I’m just not sure I’ll be ready when the time comes and were forced to do it without question.

Last week my step father was taken into the ICU for chest pains and high blood pressure. He’s now facing a quadruple heart bypass later this week. I wish so badly I could wrap my arms around my family and rid everyone of all their pain. I feel like we’ve gone through enough suffering in the past year to last us a lifetime. I know he is frightened as well as the rest of us for his safety.

After hearing his diagnosis and treatment plan, I crumbled. Is this really happening again? Why does everyone around us seem to be having heart troubles? An even bigger question was, why if they have high hopes of correcting his problems could they not correct Tyler’s? My very raw and unhealed wound was ripped right back open for all the world to see. I dont understand why Tyler wasn’t given his 2nd chance as many other children, men and women have.

All I know at this point is that I have to continue to try and have faith. Christianity is a very blind faith and if I follow the path of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I must come to accept that I’ll never have answers to some of my infinite questions. For those I feel can be answered, I will search. I do not plan to turn a blind eye to what’s happened to us. I want to fight for my sons life, even if it means now, after he’s gone. I want to fight for children in the same shoes that our precious boy was in, and try to help save a life that doesn’t have to leave this world just yet. I want to fight for so many things in this world with God by my side helping me along the way. Showing me when to stand up and when to back down.

We live in a very broken world filled with hate and crime. I choose not to succumb to this evil. I want to love those who may not even like me, I want to give when I can and expect nothing in return. I want to live a life so pure so that when its my time to go, I can be proud of all I’ve done, my son can be proud of my accomplishments and God can smile as I enter into his kingdom of heaven.