Saturday, July 17: Update

My mom left this morning, picked up at 7:15 AM and on the plane home by 9:00 AM. We made it a late night last night finally getting to bed at 2:00 AM. We said our goodbyes, made tentative plans for her return and turned in. I woke up to a tearful Autumn. Aside from the emotional trauma of the past seven weeks, Autumn is always crushed when her Nana leaves. She was morose all day and frequently commented that she misses her Nana.

So do we. My mom and my sister Emily were the first responder family members down here, 19 hours after I pulled Claire out of the pool. Just thinking back on when they arrived is surreal. I’ve tried to explain what it felt like when I came around the corner and saw them both walking down the Medical City hall, luggage in tow. I can’t. I was overwhelmed. All I could do was hug my mom and cry.

My mom hasn’t stopped hugging me since she got here. She’s taken care of Autumn and Heidi, making sure they were distracted, entertained, fed and loved. She’s stayed with Claire, battling insomnia, sometimes due to Claire, other times because her body and mind wouldn’t let her sleep. She talked with both Tiffany and me into the wee hours of many mornings. She’s cried with us. She been strong for us. She’s broken down for us and with us (which has been frequent).

While I never wanted to put it to the test, I always knew that should tragedy strike, my family would be champions for us: my mom has been our family’s heartbeat, present and strong when others could not be here. What little joy we can take from this situation comes from how quickly our family rallied around us and with such fervor. And the rally came with their own sacrifices. I was exposed to the joy that comes from being married to your best friend from my parents. They’ve fought for each other for the last 30 years. The elapsed time since May 31 has marked the longest time they’ve been apart. Tiffany and I can’t imagine being separated for long because we crave being together so much. I know it was the same for my parents. They gave us an incredible gift amidst our grief. It was one big sacrifice for their broken children.

This is far from over. But my mom was here to help get us started. She picked us up so we could walk again. We just hope and pray that the next time we see her, we’ll have done the same for Claire, and we’ll be able to walk her into Nana’s arms.

See you soon Nana. We love you.

31 thoughts on “Saturday, July 17: Update”

  1. Oh What a touching post. I dont even know any of you and I miss your mother so much already! 😦 Mothers truly are the best and nobody can do what they are capable of. Prayers for the journey down the road. May God give you all the strength, patience, and love you need to get thru this all. We all continue to think about you all as well as pray….

  2. Tyler,
    What a wonderful tribute to your mom, and to your dad, and to their marriage, and to you and Tiffany and yours. God bless you all. God has given you to each other, and given you through the Holy Spirit what it takes to carry on for Claire’s sake. I’m proud of how far you’ve come emotionally and spiritually as well as of how far you’ve all helped Claire come. Carry on in that spirit and you are all going to make it–even Autumn, who misses her Nana so much.

  3. I agree with Seema! I don’t even know you guys (even though I feel like I do from reading the posts since day one) but I really LOVE your family! You guys amaze me! Even when were all grown up we still need our mommies and daddies!

  4. Beautiful. Simply, beautiful. Thank you for sharing that with us, that was such a blessing to read. (I love your mom now too, and I’ve never even met her…!!)

  5. Amazing words! It is such a blessing that she was able to be with you! I hope you get your wish and Claire will walk to her Nana! I continue to hold hold your family in my thoughts and prayers!

  6. Mom’s are the best !!!! they are the backbone of every family…I do not now your family but I pray for you guys every day and pray for your beautiful Claire, I have been following your post’s since the beginning and looked forward to reading them daily to see the GREAT progress Claire has made.. GOD BLESS her… Stay Strong and know that you have many many people praying for you..


  7. That Is LOVE!!!!
    Sacrafical LOVE!!!
    God’s LOVE!!!
    Tyler you have been given the example of what a famiy unit needs to be like. You have been given the foundation by some amazing parents. Now you in turn will follow in their footsteps for Tiffany and the girls. You are all so PRECIOUS!!! We love you all…..

  8. That was a very emotional post for me to read. I think it has been the most touching for me. My son that was born with special needs and we didn’t know if he would live after he was born was when my parents became so very important to me. They were always there for me but it was a emotional time and since then they are also the “heart” of our lives to this day. Tanner is now 13 and we have a 3 year old. One thing I must share is with this being an unexpected event in everyone’s life the people that Claire will have in her life through all of this will change your life. We have meet some of the most amazing folks because of Tanner. He has friends every where we go. I want you to know that kids that has special needs touch your life in ways that you may not understand until that moment happens. My parents just had a conversation with a lady in our local sandwich shop and she wanted to know where Tanner was. She shared she had a son with special needs and that Tanner was the sweetest boy. My dad said,”God knew what he was doing when he made Tanner and gave him to our family.”
    That one statement that just was said yesterday made me realize who is in control and sometimes we all forget. Claire is HERE for a reason and you all are her family for a reason.
    You are doing a great job!! Pat yourself on the back and keeping pushing forward. God has Blessed you! Prayers and Hugs from our entire family!

  9. You are truly blessed to have the parents you have. You were able to grow up in a Godly home with Godly parents. They are a fantastic couple who have helped numerous other couples with their teachings and bible studies. They modeled the importance of family. They lead by example and it payed off. From the words you write, your wife and kids are the most impotant things to you. What a huge thing in the world we live in today.

    In out thoughts and prayers continually.

  10. Tyler,
    Moms are awesome! I´ll pray for a safe flight home for your mom, and for you to keep strong !
    Have a bless sunday.
    GABY and Family

  11. Thank you for honoring me with this blog Tyler. You have also honored me by allowing me to be so involved in every aspect of what we are going through. You are each, so extremely dear to my heart but even more so to the heart of God. I praise Him and thank Him because of Who He is.. And for what He has done for us, for sweet Claire.. And for what is coming!! The work that God has begun.. He will see to completion! And we will have Joy!!! Yes! Woo hoo ! Thank you Tyler and Tiffany. I thank God for how He is ministering to Claire in the deepest places , every second of every day and night.

  12. What great love that flows so freely amoung you and your family. Your parents, being such dear friends of ours, are a shining example of faith, hope and love. I am glad they have loved you well and am glad you are loving your children well. Thank you so much for sharing so much of this journey and your heart!

  13. Every time I read one of your posts, I cry. Sometimes the tears are a result of reading about the pain and struggles you all are going through. I wish I could make it all better but I can’t. Sometimes, like today, the tears are a result of reading about the abiding joy and beauty within your family. You give us glimpses of the Father and are an inspiration. Thank you for continuing to honestly share everything with all of us. I continue to pray for Claire and for you during this time. Please tell Heidi I said, “Hi!’ and am sending her hugs from afar.
    ~ Miss Beth (Wednesday MOPS)

  14. What a gift your parents have given you in their example. I pray this very difficult time will grow you and Tiffany closer as a couple and an extended family. Amen to the hopes that next time you’ll get to walk Claire into her Nana’s arms. We’re cheering you on and are here for you as extended family too.
    My girls have been praying for Autumn, Claire, and all of you. We’ll continue!
    Steve & Anna, Kelby, Zoe (8), Lauren (8)

  15. God bless your momma! I’m so glad you have someone like her to help you through this. It makes me want to hug my mom right now. Still praying for all of you!!!!

  16. This is so beautiful, and so is your mom. The whole time I sat across the table from her, I kept thinking, “She looks so young–not old enough to be Tyler’s mom.” But I never said it, because it seemed like such a superficial comment at the time. Now I’m not so sure. I think love keeps us young. Love and faith and sense of humor; belonging, acceptance, and deep joy. Your parents modeled all this. What a gift to you and your children after you.

    This post brought tears to my eyes, Tyler. Thank you once again for pouring your heart into words. I know you’d give just about anything to escape this unwanted adventure, but oh how I pray you’ll see the ripples God is setting in motion through all of you. He will redeem every bit of your brokenness. Not one tear will go unnoticed.

    Praying special prayers for Autumn today.

    Much love,

  17. Let me stop crying sweet tears before I start typning Orr it’ll come out jibberish. See?
    Beautiful entry. Beautiful description of Nana. Wish you could arrange to live next door to each other.
    Prayers up!

  18. Tyler, Reading this post I can’t help but think of the scripture in Proverbs(31:10-31) of the Description of a Worthy Woman–what a true Woman of Valor your mom is. Your dad is so blessed to have her as a wife. And your Tiffany, no doubt is of the same stature. You are so blessed to have these two women in your life, caring for your whole family and Claire, for “their worth is far above jewels!” …”Stength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also…”(Pr 31:25-31)
    So thankful for Moms! Praise God for every step Claire continues to make!!!!!

  19. I am so glad you have wonderful parents and support system. As so many of us know, families are invaluable. Prayers for all of you.

  20. An incredible tribute to your mother. Very honoring, very moving.

    Praying and believing for the day that Claire walks into her Nana’s arms.

  21. This was such a sweet post. I got teary eyed reading it. I am sure it was hard for your mom to leave. Still praying and really appreciate your daily posts so we can all keep up with Claire’s progress and pray for you specifically…

    Also…I am bringing your dinner Monday night. I can bring it earlier in the afternoon ready for you to warm in oven…or bring it hot and ready at dinner time. Let me know what your day looks like and what works best for you and your family.
    Looking forward to seeing you again!

    you can text or call me at 214-212-2419 regarding dinner delivery:)

  22. I’ve been following you all along and you have all been in my prayers but reading your tribute to your mother got me crying. How lucky you are and how lucky she is. Keep those lines always open. I can imagine how hard it was for her to get on that plane and leave you all behind. Her days ahead will be filled with thnking and worrying about you all.

    Your love and devotion to Claire is like your love for your mother and likewise. We all need each other to hold us up.

    I pray progress will continue and soon you can take Claire home to her family. That will be much easier for all of you.

    May God be with you all and fill you with His love and healing

    Dottie Winkelmann
    NRH, Tx.

  23. Tyler, what a blessing it has been for me to read your posts every day and get to know you better through them. Your posts have ministered to me. You are a gifted writer and your vulnerability and transparancy are so encouraging to me. Thank you for that!

    Two verses that I feel led to pass on to you right now in hopes of reminding you how great God’s love is for you, and to encourage you to persevere –

    The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 4:28-29


    The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you Psalm 9:9-10

    I continue to lift Claire and your family up to our Lord.


  24. this brought tears to my eyes… as a mother of barely grown children, i know i would drop everything and run to their sides. how heartbreaking to have a child hurting… knowing there is precious little you can do to make it better… really better.
    but loving, praying, weeping, talking, caring… these are mother traits. (not exclusively, mind you, to mothers… but it is our core)
    so thankful that you have a mother(s) that stands on a ROCK. and what a beautiful tribute to you father as well.
    what a treasure to have both sets of parents available.

  25. Tyler, What an awesome tribute to your Mom/Nana…the ways you express yourself warm my heart…a sweet affirmation for your sis, Emily, too!
    So elated that your little darling will soon be able to come home…You’ll all so appreciate being in the same space… at home at last…The smallest things can bring the sweetest joy…
    Be strong & courageous, as you continue clinging to Awesome Jesus… Praying on,

  26. Susie is beautiful and I love her. What a blessing that my little sister married into such a wonderful family.

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