Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy 2 Years Tyler James

Happy 2nd Birthday Tyler!
You came into our lives very unexpectedly on February 9, 2009, at only 36 weeks when I had to go in to the hospital with complications. I like to think the Lord was giving us four additional weeks with you;) I was so afraid, having you so early, having a c-section and everything happening so quickly, but you were healthy and happy from the get go, and weighed an impressive 5 pounds, 11 oz. Praise the Lord!

Your big brother loved you from the moment he saw you, except for the occasional pinches and scratches he was faithful to administer;)

Your chunky little legs allowed you to inherit the song "Chunky" from the movie Madagascar. We had many a family dance parties to that song:)

( Please excuse the fit that Cooper throws at the end, and the video makes it look like Jerrod is shaking Tyler's booty more than he really is;)

(Never a dull moment! Poor Tyler is like "get me away from these two:)

You loved sleeping on Daddy's chest. It was one of your favorite things to do:)

You had big brown eyes, just like your Mama. You were a little stingy with your smiles for a while, but Daddy could get you to laugh by tickling your belly!

(Video taken just the day before Tyler passed away)

Just as unexpectedly as you came into our arms, we lost you before we had a chance to say goodbye. June 24th is a day that will be forever engrained in my mind as the day you saw Jesus face to face. I put you down for an afternoon nap and you never woke up. When the Lord predetermined the number of days you had on this earth, He took you home in the most peaceful way possible.

(Swimming just two days before Tyler passed away)

We love you so very much and miss you like crazy. I am so thankful for the promise of LIFE we have in Christ and the hope we have in Him. It's because of Him that I will hold you again soon and know the fullness of joy that is yours.

***I have been putting off writing this post, in denial that Wednesday has come and gone and the world is still going on with it's business. Thank you for your patience. Wednesday was a very difficult day for us. I'm not sure why, but it was much harder this year than it was last year...go figure. We purposely kept Wednesday low key...Coop went to preschool for the morning, Jerrod stayed home from work and we were able to just sit in the day. We went to lunch with Rick and Judy, our mentors, friends, co-workers, and fellow travelers on their own journey of grief after losing their 5 year old son over 30 years ago. What a sweet time. To just sit with people who get it, who recognize that the day should look so different, yet it feels very empty because someone is missing.

In the afternoon, we went to Tyler's spot and took new flowers. Coop ran around a bit and we got to just sit and take a few pictures. Then we ended our evening with a small birthday party at the park with our Life Group, eating pizza and cupcakes. I could tell the emotions were running high for both Jerrod and I, both of us individually holding everything in, trying not to burst at a moments notice.

I felt very overwhelmed when it came to thinking through details of celebrating Tyler's birthday because nothing seemed like enough. It always feels like I'm missing something, which is something that will probably never go away since Tyler absence can never be replaced. Even as I write this, I think back to all the things I wish I would have done, but didn't because I was too overwhelmed and frankly just kind of shut down. While Cooper and Sawyer's presence bring us such joy, Tyler's absence will never go away.

The mood around our house has been a little more solemn this week. We are so thankful for every call, message, text, card, email, hug and presence of those who love us, checked on us and recognize our grief is still very real. Thank you. The Lord has been so faithful to supply us with amazing support and we are so grateful, because to walk this alone would feel next to impossible.


  1. You guys are in my prayers for sure. What a touching birthday tribute to your precious little Tyler.

  2. Jen... your sweet Tyler's life may have been short, but God has and continues to use his life to impact so many others. I can truly say there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him when I look at Elyse. I don't take a single second for granted. Thank you for sharing his life with so many! Your family is such a blessing to me! I admire you so much! Hugs!

  3. Thinking of you often.
    Jen Dote

  4. Sweet, sweet pictures and videos....and memories that you will have in your heart forever!!

  5. oh my goodness is he adorable. love all the pics and video, but the one of him sleeping on his daddy's tummy brought tears to my eyes...precious. praying for your sweet family...may the memories somehow bring a little peace to the ache in your heart. will continue to hold you extra close in prayer this week...

    :) linda

  6. Hi Jenn. I'm Katie's sisternlaw, and I believe I met you years ago as I was a dear friend of Allison Coates (we just don't ever see each other much anymore). Because of Katie, I've followed your journey the last year, and I've prayed for you almost daily as I've prayed for Katie and Jason. I'm sorry. I will continue to pray for the ache in your heart until the day you meet him again face to face when the Ultimate healer will bring Ultimate healing and never a tear will fall again. I love Katie to pieces and as I have watched her grieve it has changed my life to see the depth of heartache she has walked and is still walking. I see God through it because I see how He sustains his children. You have a beautiful family. Love in Christ, Meredith

  7. Jen, cute little Tyler! I can't wait to meet him one day! Love you and thinking of you. You've been on my heart this week.

  8. Praying for you faithfully as you travel this road. What precious gifts each of your little boys are!

  9. Thank you for allowing us to take a peak into such an intimate part of your lives. Tyler was such a precious little guy. I love watching the giggles he gives Jerrod. Lifting your entire family up today, Jen.

  10. Jen,
    I think of you often. Tyler is such a cutie! I look forward to the day you can hold him in your arms again. Until then, I will continue to pray for you and your sweet family.

  11. Happy Birthday sweet Tyler. My heart aches for you and your family. I can't imagine. My thoughts are with you often. You wrote a beautiful tribute to your son. God bless you and your family.

  12. I am so sorry to hear your story. I just stopped on your blog from Katie's... my son was also born on February 9th 2009. My heart goes out to you... I am saying a prayer for you right this minute.

  13. Praying for your family. Hoping that Tyler and Ryan (Jackson) have become good friends.

  14. What a sweet remembrance of Tyler! Praying for you and Jerrod and your family! So thankful for God's promises!!!! One day you will be with that precious boy again!

  15. I think and pray for you often. Thank you for sharing your feelings and pictures of your beautiful family.

  16. I just happened upon your blog tonight from Katie's Keepers- well I say happened but I know my sweet Lord brought me here for some reason. Though you may be a stranger - as a mom - I am here in tears as if you were my dear friend. I have a two year old and am pregnant with a another little boy. I can't imagine your pain but I stand with you on His sweet promises for I know He is a God who comforts - who is both powerful and yet so personal. At this moment - I'm praying He is strengthing you during this difficult time.