He was a funny guy, always cracking jokes. He liked to hunt, my son did, and fish. He liked the Vikings and the Wild, two Minnesota sports teams. “In Memorium” is something a mother shouldn’t have to write about her child.
One day I came home and found my computer torn apart; It had stopped working and Tyler was trying to fix it. At the time he died, years later, he was building a computer from parts he bought on the internet.
It was four years ago, yesterday, that he died in a single car crash. At the funeral the pastor didn’t have a lot of information about Tyler so he kept repeating the stuff he did know, father, husband, sportsman. I wanted to get up and say something, but I was inconsolable. That is a regret I have, couldn’t I have pulled myself together enough to tell everyone about the real Tyler?
He loved to work on cars. He had a mustang in his garage that he was rebuilding. He worked at a junk yard, which he loved, and he was making a life for himself and his wife and kids.
Yesterday I had a bed day. Knowing my girls had chosen to stay busy with their friends made it easier for me to stay in bed. I slept most of the day. My husband stayed home from work to be with me. The goal was to get through the day-period.
When Tyler was little he was a wild child. I remember he almost bit off my thumb when I brought him to kindergarten. Authority had never been his thing. He wasn’t a bad kid, he just wanted to do things his way. He eventually got used to school and I met with his teachers regularly, so I could keep up on what he should be doing.
In first grade the kids got together and wrote down the answer to “What is a Mother?” The list of their answers came home for Mother’s Day. While most kids wrote endearing things like “She reads to me.” And “She gets me toys.” Tyler took a different route and got technical, “She has bones in her back to hold her head up.” I remember laughing so hard I cried! Always the technical thinker!
Once when he was grounded for sneaking out we took away his cable connection. Tyler found a way to go deep into the crawl space and splinter off our cord. Ta-da! Cable again. It must have been hard for him when I divorced his father and then again when I re-married. My first husband was a strict disciplinarian and Tyler had grown up under this mighty control. Suddenly, the control wasn’t there, and he tried to get away with a lot of stuff.
He had to figure out how to navigate in this new world, and it wasn’t easy for him. A short stint living with his father didn’t work out. How I wish I would have lived closer so I could help him find his way, we had moved to Ohio and Tyler stayed with his aunt. But he found his way, making a life for himself, having two children and marrying his wife. He had a house and all of his hobbies. He had a good job and provided well for them.
Tyler was good with his hands. At one point he helped build an addition onto my sister’s house, working side by side with his uncle.
His cousin Brody was one of his best friends. He would be happy to know that Brody is married with a family now. Once when he and Brody were little, they went across the road to a cemetery and decided to push down tombstones, which in itself is bad, but Brody got caught underneath one and my sister had to go rescue him.
These are the funny things I remember-and most of all I loved him so much! He went to church with me and we prayed for each other. Occasionally a song would tear my heart and I would cry. “Why are you crying, Mommy?” The little voice would ask with his hand on my arm.
Would he ask that now? Why I am crying? He knows how much I miss him and love him. I could barely move away from his body during the visitation. I wanted one last chance for him to know this.