Friday, June 18: Update 2

Claire had an even day. Ours was the same until tonight. We took the big step of leaving Claire in the capable hands of my mom for the night. For the first time since May 29th, Tiffany and I are at home in our own bed. And Claire’s not here.

We managed to stay busy for most of the evening knowing that at some point we’d have to go to bed. We knew what was waiting for us. But we can’t help talking about Claire and being away from her throws open the paths to menacing thoughts.

How can we keep living our lives? Coming home to the remnants of our past life allows us to slip back into rote habits and mechanics. Tiffany drove home first. After parking and getting out of the car, habit took over. Before she could stop herself she’d opened the rear passenger door. But Claire wasn’t there. It’s these small things, the things to which we’ve grown accustomed as a family that hunt us  when we’re at home. We know we have to go on living. We just don’t want to without Claire in our arms.

We are thankful and hopeful she will rejoin us. That doesn’t ease the pain today. And as we dwell on how much we miss her, we start to ask more sinister questions. What could we have done differently? Why didn’t we pay more attention? How could this have happened? We don’t feel like this is our life. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be.

These are self indulgent thoughts. It happened. The tragic events are no longer grim because death doesn’t stalk Claire right now. But they are a source of guilt, pain and anguish. It’s these idle times that test us. While escaping to sleep may be advisable, wrestling with these thoughts feels like a form of penance: we seem to try and convince ourselves that Claire’s recovery will be directly proportionate to the pain we self inflict. In the back of our minds we believe that the closer we stay to our emotions, the closer we are to the raw wound, the closer we are to Claire. I feel myself doing it to keep from slipping back into a routine. I don’t want a routine absent of Claire. So the more I keep my emotions volatile, the more I can protect from deceiving myself that everything is OK. It’s my way of staying close to Claire when miles separate us.

My self indulgence can’t last long. For one, I don’t find it to be healthy. More importantly, my life has to continue: Autumn and Heidi deserve an engaged, positive father. They need that. Tomorrow is Autumn’s first basketball game. We’ve been working on defense and offense this week and she’s anxiously excited. Both Tiffany and I are going to watch her play. We are excited for her, will cheer loud and let ourselves enjoy watching our oldest play. We’ll just make sure and save a seat for Claire.

20 thoughts on “Friday, June 18: Update 2”

  1. Tyler and Tiffany,

    Yay for Autumn! Root for her with all your hearts! And leave that seat for Claire. And tell her about the game when you go back to see her.

    I’m glad you’re both at home tonight. It’s a healthy step, painful as it was to leave her. But I know your Mom and I know she’s as there for Claire as you are. You won’t read this until morning, but I pray you’ll have had as restful a night as possible

    You know without anyone telling you that blaming yourselves or anyone else for what happened doesn’t help. That has been part of my prayers all along. What happened happened. It’s awful. But now it’s part of “before.” Now you live with the present, hard as it is. And you create a new future for all five of you. Claire WILL come home. She will rejoin you. With God’s help you will build new routines that will include her.

    Love and prayers,

    1. Tyler~
      You and your family continue to be in my prayers, daily. Your second to last paragraph that you wrote spoke strongly to my heart. You articulated what I haven’t been able to over an incident with my little boy…thank you for showing your vulnerability. You are making a difference is people’s lives!
      May God hold you, Tiffany, Claire, Autumn and Heidi close.

  2. Constantly praying for you. Everyday my head is filled with thoughts of your sweet family. The calling on Claire’s life is no less today than it was a month ago or the day she was born. The Lord knows her beginning, middle and end. Praying for physical and mental rest for both of you.

  3. Very profound words. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your heart with us. It’s humbling and makes me reflect. Interesting how people that don’t personally know each other can affect each other’s lives. God can make good out of the bad. Though this experience is tragic, God is using it for the good, even though it may not seem that way to you right now. God has a plan for the new “routine” in your lives. It’s not the route you signed up for or planned for, but be comforted in knowing that God’s plans are always better than our own. I believe you go to IBC? You may enjoy listening to last Sunday’s sermon by Jay Utley . It’s about how we have our lives planned out, which is Plan A. God is Plan B. And there are times when God takes us through the desert to get us from A to B. You can listen to the sermon on the IBC website.

    My heart literally aches for what you, Tiffany, Autumn, Heidi and your extended family are having to endure. I trust in the Lord to keep you tight in His embrace, to provide you peace, comfort, strength, courage, patience and insight. God bless you abundantly.

  4. I’m so thankful for every post from you. You have let us into those very vaunerable places of your heart. I feel all my words of encouragement are futile in comparison to this mountain that stands before you. However, I will still endeavor to encourage you in this battle that you are fighting. I pray for peace as you sleep tonight, and for joy to come in the morning.
    I ,also, pray that you will not feel condemnation. So many of us are feeling so much compassion for you and Tiffany, for the heartbreak you are going through and for the strength it takes to endure. I know I wish I could relieve some of your burden, but, I know only Jesus can do that. So, I’ll continue to lift all of you up to Him and ask for Him to be your everything.
    You two are an amazing couple and I’m so proud of you!!
    Love you!

  5. It’s 2:38AM and all is well. Just listened to the song He Loves Us, sung by Jeremy Camp and was lifted to worship my God, my King. The God Who saves and Who saved our precious little Claire. Thank you God. Thank you that You truly love us and You will never stop. God is here with Claire and I tonight, and has been here all along and will continue to be with us , encourage us and strengthen us. I thank you Jesus, with all my heart.

  6. My heart is breaking for you. You have spoken such profound sentiments. I know there are no words that I can say to relieve your pain but please just know that I am still praying for Claire and you every single day. You are not alone.

  7. I read your update and just wept for you and Tiffany. Your strength in this situation is unfathomable to me. I don’t have any other words other than to tell you my prayers are constant for you and your precious family. I’m praying that God’s grace will allow you to get through this. I know God will hold you in his hand. Sending you love from New Jersey, from a family you don’t know. You have touched us.

  8. T&T, We are leaving for Denver this morning, so just wanted to say that we are thinking of you and praying for you all. Please let me know if I can help with anything in the coming weeks. Hayden was excited to hear that Autumn is playing bball – we wish her great luck and great fun! I’m sure he’d love to shoot some hoops with her when he comes back to town. You guys are on our minds and in our hearts. Much love, H&H

  9. Go Autumn!! It will be a blessing to let loose and have a little fun watching precious Autumn play. I know you are longng for past routines and such, but soon Tiffany will open up the car door and Claire will be there. It will just take time. Soon you will be able to go to the park and play with all three and you won’t be able to contain the joy it brings you. God has a way of balancing out great pain with great joy. Hang in there- Claire will be with you again soon.

  10. My prayers and the prayers of our entire family are for you guys. Through your pain and the way you share it with us shows the strength you both possess. Your love for each other, family and the Lord can be felt in every word. Know that He is in control. Claire IS coming home and His plan for her is beyond our understanding, but know He has a plan. Work through your feelings, but know this, when Claire does come home God has given her a home filled with love, a home filled with His Spirit and a pair of incredible parents to love and nurture her throughout her life. For a time such as this, God has equipped and prepared you to be the Mother and Father she needs. Never doubt yourselves. Our continued prayers always go with you. He is in control.

  11. I am so sad for all that you are going through….I want to assure you that unfortunately no matter how attentive we are as parents terrible tragic events happen. Sure you can look back and see what you could have done differently but it was in no way your fault…only looking back had you known the outcome could you have done anythign differently. It is so evident how much you love all three of your children and I am in awww of your love for your family. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful CLaire with the world. She will get better, you will all be under one roof again soon. Take good care….Thank you so much for sharing.

  12. Dear Tyler and Tiffany,
    You and your family have been in our prayers since we heard about your sweet Claire from Pearl Prins, with whom we attend church. I have cried tears of joy for Claire’s steps toward recovery and tears of sadness for the pain you are feeling as parents. Amy Grant’s new song, “Better than an Hallelujah Sometimes” has touched my heart as it captures the psalmists’ portrayal of prayer, not as fancy words edited by our minds, but as the honest cries of our hearts; raw emotions – fear, grief, even anger – seeking answers from a Father who loves us more than we can imagine and longs for us to run to him in our pain. I hope you find this song, as well as those psalms, a comfort and a ray of hope for your days and your nights as you cast your cares on God. As tomorrow is Father’s Day, Tyler, you will especially be in our prayers. Through these posts, we have caught a glimpse of what an amazing father you are; your girls are so blessed. As you reflect on the father that you are, also reflect on the knowledge that God is YOUR Father. All you want to be for your girls, He wants to be for you. I hope this eases your way in the days ahead. God’s love and blessings to you all. We will hold you all in prayer again today. Special thoughts of Autumn and Heidi. The Andreas Family

  13. So insightful of you to recognize the tendency to think that the more pain we are in, the more we are linked to our suffering loved one and that somehow we are “helping” – I am glad you see this and can free yourself up to feel the peace that God so much wants you to experience. I have seen people feel guilty during crises for laughing at a joke or just enjoying some distraction. It is all God’s power at work to heal Claire AND to heal your emotional stresses! Life WITH the others in your family does not equal life without Claire. You understand yourself so well, I hope you can embrace that insight as well as you expressed it!! I will remember it for a long time to come.

  14. I can’t begin to know or understand or comprehend your pain and suffering but my thoughts and prayers are with your entire familly.

  15. Tyler, Tiffany and Family,
    Thank you so much for sharing your hearts with us! Although our hearts break by the words you share, we can’t even fully imagine what it must be like to be in your shoes. Your Family and Claire are constantly in our prayers! Thank you so much for the updates.

  16. i know you guys had a hard time leaving the claires side but you also have a beautiful family to keep going.they are so beautiful and seem full of life.when something like this tragedy happens you really appreciate what you have.
    god bless all your family.

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