Friday, November 25, 2011


Our first holiday without Tyler is over. We went to my parent's house and we did make it through the day and even had a little fun, but there were a lot of mixed emotions. This all sucks. I can't go anywhere without reminders of him. Gabriel sat in Tyler's highchair at my parent's house, Dawson is using Tyler's carseat in the van since Dawson's is in the car. Tyler was my good eater, so while Dawson refused all the food, I couldn't help but think of how excited Tyler would've been to see it all. We went for a walk and played on the swings, two things Tyler loved doing. It's hard not going through daily life not thinking about things like this. Tyler loved everything we did and was always so excited about things.

Dawson loved going to Grandma's house and had a good time, but he seemed to be having some mixed emotions too. For a while he'd be happy, then he'd get aggressive or just look sad and need to cuddle. He was doing a lot of hitting, kicking and things he hasn't been doing at home anymore, so I think he was just missing Tyler too.

Gabriel loved all the attention. He had some pumpkin pie, a piece of stuffing and some turkey. He wasn't sure about the pie, but he loved the turkey and stuffing. I have a feeling he's going to have no problem wanting to transition to regular foods when the time comes! For now he's mostly doing baby food and some Gerber Puffs.

Today and yesterday was just harder on both of us. Things are settling down now, we're getting less mail, less phone calls. Dawson is back in school. We haven't been to the hospital or to appointments. The feeling that I should be going somewhere each morning is gone. I look at my appt calendar and it's so empty. We're starting to miss him more and realize he's actually gone. Today I went into the toy room to clean some things out that nobody has played with in a while to give to a friend. I haven't really gone in there yet and it was so hard to see all his toys. Stuff he played with everyday, the toys he'd just gotten as gifts in the hospital but was too tired to play with them for more than a few minutes. So we put them aside thinking he'll have fun with them later. Dawson doesn't want to go in there either. He wants nothing to do with most of our toys. Maybe he's having the same problem. He plays with a bunch of balls in a basket, or the computer. He has actually started to play with Gabriel a little bit here and there. I brought out some new toys that they were both interested in, so that helped.

Sorry for the lack of pictures on my blog these days, it's been one of my issues. It's hard for me to get out my camera knowing I won't get any more pictures of Tyler. I do want to get pics of the other 2 kids, but I just haven't been able to yet. I did get 1 picture of Gabriel sleeping in his Jumperoo, and the funeral flowers because I knew they wouldn't last. Otherwise I think of getting it out and I just don't. I bring it places sometimes but don't use it. When Tyler broke my camera in July, the thought of going without it for 2 weeks was just awful. Now it's been 3 and I've barely thought about it. So today I decided to get it out and get a few pics. It actually wasn't that bad. Hopefully I'll get back into it. The first several were from the day I took flower pics. These flowers are all dead now.

I love this picture of Dawson!

 He was being quite a ham that day

 I love the peaceful view out our big living room window! We can see the river through the trees a little bit too when the leaves are gone. Much better than looking at a parking lot like our old apartment.
 Gabriel being his usual cute self
 He looks so little, even 2 weeks ago!
 He looked so peaceful sleeping in there! These pictures really get to me though, because right before Tyler was diagnosed I got a picture just like this. Little did I know, he was falling asleep in his toys because his counts were low. So moments like this make me want to rush him to the clinic. According to other moms, it's very normal to freak out over little things like this. Dawson is looking at this picture and he says "Look Mommy, it's Tyler!" It took some convincing for him to realize it was Gabriel. They look so much alike! He looks at pictures of Tyler a lot on the computer.
Gabriel came over to the couch and was working on standing up. Then he saw the camera and decided to be cute for a picture instead.
 Dawson is sitting by the balcony door playing with his basket and balls. He usually plays with them in the basket, but sometimes he'll line them up like this too. I think he misses RMH's pool table!

 The living room is looking much better than before! The boxes were stacked out to where the jumperoo was, we just had a small path along the couch to walk. It's looking much better in here! That black box has a bunch of random little stuff in it though, so hopefully it's not too hard to sort through it all. We're hoping to put the tree up in front of the window in the next couple weeks.

I do still have many things to be Thankful for.
~I have 2 kids that give me a reason to get up in the morning. 
~They give me a reason to be excited for Christmas and other things
~I have the best, most content baby ever
~A sweet toddler who makes me laugh
~I have family and friends who are so supportive
~We have a place to call Home
~I have a faithful husband who loves and puts up with me, even on the worst days. When we agreed to "for better or for worse", we really didn't see all this crap coming, but we are stronger and closer because of it.

I'm also Thankful and it puts me more at peace knowing we gave Tyler as fun and good of a life as possible while he was here. For a 2 year old, he's really done a lot. He's been to 4 Zoo's in 3 states (MN, WI, IL), the Children's Museum in MN and Madison, WI, the State Fair and County Fair. He got to go on lots of rides and he discovered how much fun they are! He got to pet animals and play with other kids. He's been to every playground in town, and we have a lot of them! Even been to some that aren't in town. We walked through the flower gardens and watched the ducks on the river. We even went to the dam and watched the "waterfall". He got to go to "school" 2 times a week (evening preschool classes) and totally loved it. He got to ride a bus, even though it was just a shuttle bus. He got to see the Blue Angels plane show. Ride a pony. He got to splash in puddles until he was totally soaked, sled down hills and run through the grass. If we were driving and saw a train, we'd pull off in a parking lot and watch it go by. He'd be so excited. He went to Chicago, saw the big ships and watched fireworks over the lake. He went to the top of the Sears Tower and looked over everything. He went to the Science Museum and saw many cool things. He had a lot of toys and things at home too, he was a bit spoiled with his own ball pit, train table and many other things he loved. I'm glad he got to enjoy them all though.

Tyler only had 17 months at home after he was diagnosed and I think we packed a lot into them and made the most of it. He sure loved life and was so excited for each day, whether it was having fun at home or going somewhere fun. He taught me how to enjoy all those little things and we have so many good memories and for that I am Thankful.


Chalna said...

Steph, I love the pictures! Dawson is TOO handsome in that first shot!! I love your new apartment...I am a big fan of windows and I love that you have a whole wall of them. I thought about you a lot on Thanksgiving and continue to pray for you constantly!!

toni said...

May God Bless you and your family everyday. the pictures are a dorable. tyler is watching over you all and smiling big. he is enjoying himself so very much up in heaven with everything he enjoys, so keep your heads held high and smiles on your faces because I believe thats what your son would want.

Karen said...

Your boys will continue to need yo and give you the push to keep moving forward - and you will. You will do it for them and it will help you too.

I know you don't know me - but I have been praying for you and your family to be able to heal and work through the grief. Grieving is HARD WORK. It is exhausting, but necessary. Take a moment and sign up for They have daily devotionals and stories - some will help and some will be irrelevant. Take from them what you need. I know there was one that described EXACTLY how I felt. How could everyone be happy when I hurt so much? I felt like I was in this big bubble and the muffled sounds of the world all around me. It was hard to understand - but I read it and what I felt was normal.

Hold on to each other and reach for comfort from your friends and family. Some may be uncomfortable talking about Tyler, but the ones who let you are the ones to cherish. Everyone has to learn that you won't forget - that talking about him helps you.

So now Steph your job is to take a deep breath, put a smile on your face (even if you have to be silly and draw it on with bright red lipstick), and enjoy watching your boys grow, laugh and see Christmas and the world through the eyes of a child.

<< Hugs >> If you ever want to reach me email me

Karen said...
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