June has been a tough month for us. We spent a lot of time thinking, hurting, and getting through the daily tasks. We got word at the end of May our friend, Tyler, was coming home on hospice. TY has battled cancer for the last nine years. Cullen and Tyler had been friends since elementary school. I met Tyler through my friend Roxie one summer in college. One of the best parts of loving Cullen is getting to know and love his friends. They are a tight knit group and have been for years. I have six close friends from high school that stay pretty close, but these boys make us look like passers by. They have never wavered, grown apart, or moved on. Their friendship is what I pray for Jett to have some day.
Reading the text that Tyler sent the boys and knowing we would go visit him one last time weighed heavy on both of us. We made a flying trip to Huntsville the Sunday following his return from MD Anderson. We arrived and were met with hugs and smiles from his family. We gathered in their bedroom with several of his State friends and their wives and just made small talk. Tyler met us with his big blue eyes and gorgeous smile, but it was stretched over his frail frame. He made us feel welcome with hugs and while he spoke you just hung on every word and kinda forgot for a few seconds that he was attached to a pain pump. In true Tyler style he had ESPN on, and he managed to talk everyone in the room in to trying LeBron's mix, his latest favorite flavor on his all liquid diet.
We moved from room to room as new people would come in, we would chat with one friend then the next and then his mom, then dad. We traded duties of watching kids and holding babies. We made small talk, we talked about memories and times well spent, and then we stopped to cry at the realization of why we were all gathered together.
Just as we could tell he was worn out from the conversations Cullen and I made our way to give hugs before we left him. We talked of returning the coming weekend, and Tyler told us, if we didn't to know he loved us. With the four of us together, Mollie, Tyler, Cullen and Me, he talked to us very seriously. He apologized for not getting to be at the fun times he knew we would have, the big moments, and the family vacation plans we had made. We cried. And as we cried and were at a loss for words he filled the silence with reassurance for us. He said, "Guys, it isn't that I don't have something to live for here, but I'm so ready to see Jesus." He went on to tell us as we wiped tears that he was so excited to see Heaven and how in the blink of an eye to him we would all be there. He told us he actually felt really bad for us and for the eternity it would feel like to us before we got there, but he was ready. He gave us hugs and loved on us and made us feel better as we stood in disbelief this great 32 year old guy was in his final days. As we left their house and began to drive home, we ugly cried. We rode in silence a long while, and we cried some more.
June 4th, Tyler left this world. Leaving his wife, unborn baby girl, and two and half year old son to miss him. My heart was heavy and hurting and now we watch as life goes on without that big smile and those bright eyes.
In a local store the other day we found this hooded towel. I am a sucker for anything that makes bath time more fun for Jett and he loved this. In fact he wore it home, wore it on our walk that night and at various times the following week he wore it around the house.
Yes, it is June and yes he sweated like crazy, but he didn't care, he loved it.
In an effort to make sure Jett has plenty of time outside to run himself in to a sleepy state...I started letting him walk with me to the hospital in our town and back. From our house to the hospital and back it is just about one mile. He is full of energy and loves to be outside so its a win, win.
One night D.D. and Papaw joined us and they made tunnels for Jett to travel through as he pushed Thomas.
On the eve of our eighth anniversary we gathered with friends to attend the visitation for our friend, Tyler. No it really wasn't a time to take pictures, but at a time when we are all gathered it seemed right to document the togetherness.
It was a hard thought, when I realized that eight years before we gathered at a church to celebrate our I do, and eight years later we gathered in a church to celebrate the life of our friend. We are heartbroken and sad, mad, and many other emotions, but that night we were together and that is what we needed.
I'll sleep until noon or maybe just eight,
Ill try to stay fit, but I know I'll gain weight.
I'll sip morning coffee until afternoon's gone,
I'll chat with my husband until the stars turn to dawn.
I will eat cake for breakfast and make a meal off of cheese,
My house will host friends any day that I please.
I will walk miles a day- my health is a gift,
Until my bones are tired an in need of a lift.
I'll visit my friends' graves who've gone on to glory,
and share with them the latest and greatest Payton Place story.
My daughter in law will despise all of my clutter,
an roll her eyes at my choices and uses of butter.
But she'll hug my neck when she leaves and she'll love me for life,
Because I raised the man that's made her love being a wife.
I'll have talks with God about his choices and mine
and eagerly await our face to face down the line.
I look forward to age and getting better with time.
Life is a journey to enjoy, not an uphill climb.
Yesterday as we walking out the door for church Jett was so excited, and then as we stepped into the street he cried, "No, let's got to Walmart!" I made up a lie about after his nap and maybe and proceeded to Sunday School. Just as I was closing the door to keep him from escape I heard him very plainly tell his teacher, "My Daddy will come get me!" She, like me, said of course he would get him later after he stayed and put the train down...
Cullen has usher duty for June and July and has to attend Sunday night church. I thought it would be the perfect time to teach Jett how to sit in church. Just before leaving to go across the street he threw a big fit that required a swift spat to the leg and left him sniffing when we walked across.
I told him we would have to dry it up and be quiet when we walked in and he replied, "okay."
We saw Cullen greeting and Jett told him to "be quiet" and exclaimed, "need to potty." Off we went to the restroom. Once inside Jett announced, "I not want to be quiet, anymore." I let him know that was too bad and in we went to the sanctuary.
We sat at the back and made sure to warn those around us it was a time for teaching.
At the greeting song he made his way to the older ladies and told them he wanted to "go home."
He sat perfectly still and quiet and only had to be bribed with candy a few times.