The 2nd marked 3 months since Tyler died. I woke up that morning in the hospital after getting almost no sleep at all, knowing that today was the day my child would die. I was relieved, at the time. With no sign of brain activity, my feelings about him and the situation had changed. My child wasn't in that body anymore, it was an empty shell that didn't really even look like him anymore with all the swelling, yellow skin, limbs turning gray from not getting blood flow and dead skin flaking off all over. Air was being forced into his lungs, his blood was being forced to flow. Everything else wasn't working anymore. It was time to end his misery and let him join the world of no more suffering, no pain and freedom beyond imagine.
Once we were back home and out of that situation, the numbness wore off and we really realized what just happened. Tyler is free of pain, but he also is gone from our lives. Taking a step back from the hospital and seeing other kids recovering is tough. We're so happy for them, but it's hard not to wonder why Tyler didn't get to recover. Even though I try to think of it as his mission being done, it's also just not fair that kids have to die. The reality of it all is often too much to think about. 7 kids die every single day from cancer. That's just cancer, not heart problems, SIDS, stillbirth, accidents or other illness that takes so many lives too. To think of all those parents going through this too, I walk through the store and wonder who else is suffering. I wonder what their story is. So next time you see someone in a crabby mood, don't judge and criticise them for being in a mad mood, but maybe just say a little prayer for whatever they may be going through. This world is a tough place, everyone has their battles and you just never know what has happened to them.
Tyler's mission is over. He brought joy into this world beyond what most people could ever accomplish. He changed the way people held their children, gave them a deeper appreciation for what they had. He changed my views on many things. Brought awareness, donations to research, and knowledge to scientists since he was in research studies. His job is done, but will continue to make a difference. Because of him I created a group for grieving parents who lost a child to cancer and so far we have 50 people who are being helped through this horrible journey. Donations have been made to RMH, Childhood Cancer research and even the Women's Shelter. Dawson looks for coins on the ground and saves them up to put in the Children's donation bin at Walmart. He has learned compassion and empathy because of Tyler. Something that Autistic kids have a hard time with. It's always wonderful hearing about the things people do and the way they have changed because of him. Big or small, we'd love to hear about it!
I got Dawson this last night, only $5 at Walmart! I was looking for something calming and he loves water. He really loves it.
Here's some pics of Tyler. I don't have any 10 month pics on this computer, but these are around 12 months. So cute and little! When I look at older pics of Tyler, I don't see a lot of Gabriel resemblance. Then I look back on these old pics and I see more of Gabriel and some of Dawson too.
This one is Gabriel
As I thought about Tyler's journey I was also thinking of all the people who made our journey easier. There are some people I will never forget, people I admire and look up to. Some that have offered physical help, or advice. Some who just lend an ear when I needed to talk. Without all these people in my life, I would not be doing so good. In helping me, you have helped my entire family. I wanted to acknowledge these people, in no particular order. :)
Today I've been thinking about my friend Jen. She's an amazing person who I honestly have no clue what I would've done without! She took Dawson into her home shortly after Tyler was diagnosed and gave him a loving home to be at. She and my mom had a schedule worked out and it was such a huge relief knowing he had such good places to stay at. Dawson also got some child interaction with her 6 kids, so that was good for him too. July and August were tough months for Tyler and Dawson wouldn't have been able to be with us while we were in the ICU and while Tyler was so needy. Dawson was able to come be with us just at the right time. Thinking about how Dawson was doing was often as stressful as worrying about Tyler, but knowing he was in a good place really put our mind at ease. They even hosted his 2nd birthday party, since it was only 3 weeks after Tyler was diagnosed. She's continued to be a person to look up to, a great support and friend. Thanks to her (and a few others) I didn't have to go grocery shopping after Tyler died, which was great because going to a store was very hard. She is one of those people that I will never forget.
I found this quote, it's a good thought for not only people who have been through big things like this, but for everyone. Your friends might not have helped in huge ways, but often those small things or even those people who you know will always be there when you need to talk or need a place to visit. Those people are so valuable. Make sure they know it!
"Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life and you'll find that you have more of it." Ralph Marston