Five Years. I type those two words…and then I sit here. Speechless. Overwhelmed. And heartbroken. Can it truly be five entire years since our sweet Tyler breathed his last breath here on earth? Yes, he awoke to breathe new air (“and found it celestial” as the beautiful song goes) but he left us behind…and, oh my, how we have missed him.
Today my heart is full of a myriad of emotions. My brain races with so many memories – almost too many memories. And, yet…God has given me peace. And little glimpses of Heaven and sweet reminders of His continued presence, comfort and care for each of us missing Tyler.
I’m not sure I can correctly express my thoughts today (actually I’m rather positive that I cannot); however, I am using this post to “think aloud”…..and if you choose to skip it from here, that will not offend me. But God is so good and has been so patient – and I am beginning to see it as I think back over the past five years.
There was a time – in those first months…or longer – that Tyler was my motivation for living. The deepest and darkest pit of despair jeered and called my name and with ever fiber of my being I wanted to crawl inside, cover myself in a thick blanket of despondency and simply lie there. But I told myself every morning, that would not honor Tyler’s life. (Of course, there were other reasons this was a totally bad idea but the idea of Tyler being so disappointed with me truly was my reason.) Each morning, I pressed on.
Then I found myself seeking out and connecting with other grieving moms. Having someone “understand” me was enormous. Having someone who would listen to me talk about Tyler – and even wanted to do so! – was a true gift. Believing I could do the same for them in return, if just in a small way, was a tremendous gift. Some of these women were in my life for just a season and others remain good friends, but ALL of them are precious to me and continue to be inspirations.
And, for the majority of the past five years, I have been propelled by the idea of making Tyler’s life “count”…..trying to ensure not only that his precious life was remembered but the significance of that life would be recognized. It truly is a grieving mother’s greatest fear – that her child will somehow be forgotten. On even the darkest days (and there are still very sad days), this preserving Tyler’s memory has been my motivation to truly keep pressing on.
And here is where I’m not sure if I can express my heart. However, as I reflect on these stages, while none of them are wrong, I notice they are linked to “the past.” And God has been gently shaping (or reshaping) my spirit, molding my heart and giving me a new longing – with a new purpose – that turns towards the future. To be sure, my memories are a treasure. The impact of Tyler’s life on so many has been a gift. And while they continue to serve a purpose, these things do not have to be my motivation for living. Indeed, they cannot be for these things pass away. Heaven is my goal. Honoring my savior with my life is my motivation. Allowing Him to use my experiences to minister to others is cause to keep pressing on.
The beautiful thing is Tyler is also a part of my future!! I know – as sure as I know Tyler is my son – that Tyler was God’s child and he is now in Heaven waiting for that grand reunion by and by…..one day (maybe soon!) he will take me by the hand to meet Jesus face to face. What a day that will be! Truly there is no better reason for living than that!