Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Each morning when I brush my teeth I see that Tyler's toothbrush is still in the holder right along side of mine.  Its a silly little thing I know, but it gives me some comfort to see it there. Sam sometimes uses a cup with Tyler's name on it because she likes to think of him when she uses it.  

I have other small family mementos as well.  There is a Christmas ornament that is nearly 25 years old now which has a recorded message from my Grandmother just months before she passed away.  It still works great and our favorite tradition is to play it and then have it be the first ornament on the tree.  I have my Grandpa's dog tag from his time in the service. 

With this in mind I certainly don't think having a few of Tyler's everyday things is strange or unusual.  To me it is way to say to him "you may not live here anymore, but you are a part of our home and always will be".  

We have come to understand that it is not likely Tyler will come back home for visits any time soon.  We would love to have a situation where bringing him home for an evening or a weekend is something to consider.  But that is not the reality that we live in.  Tyler can become very easily upset when he mixes his new "normal" with his old one.  All of us are fairly sure that a visit back home would be extremely confusing for him.  Any benefit would be overwhelmed by emotions he cannot process properly.

In our hearts we know that wherever we call home, Tyler is with us.  His laugh and his love still fill every room.  We no longer talk about the stressful times, but rather focus on the funny things he would do.  

Loss is a universal thing.  Every one of us experiences losses in various forms whether it is through a loved one passing away, or when a living situation changes.  Children move away to college or marry, Grandparents move to nursing homes and pass away, and our special needs individuals are often accepted into more specialized care.  

Its important to try to find a balance somewhere between holding on too tightly, and letting go.  Our lives must continue to go on despite the loss.  I think it is perfectly normal to have some items around to remind us of those relationships.  It's wonderful to carry those memories with us as we move forward through our own lives, so long as we continue to indeed live our own lives too.  We cannot live in the past but we can carry those wonderful memories with us today, and tomorrow, and so on.

So for now I start every morning seeing that toothbrush and it makes my heart smile.  He is living his life in a new way, but a piece of him remains in my heart as well.

Be well and God bless.   Tom

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