Sunday, November 30, 2014

HELLO SUNDAY




Truth be known, my kids are "trying" to baby sit me. I know what they are doing. I know that they are trying to keep me busy. Today church was hard. I woke up and got my boys ready to go. As we left our empty house, it hit me that Ty would never be going to church with us again. I would sit alone with my boys. For many months, I was excited for the Sunday that Ty could finally go back to church with us. I went to church each week alone with the boys. As I walked in, I realized I was going to have to be strong. Everyone is so sweet and I sat alone as my sons blessed and passed the sacrament. Then they joined me. I thought what a blessing it is that they are at church with me. I have a HUGE responsibility to raise these boys alone now. They are in high school. This is such a important time in their life. Choices now will dictate the direction of their life.

I sat and immediately felt the strongest impression that someone was on my left side. No one was near me. I felt and knew it was Tyler. It was so strong... so intense that I sat still. I was scared to move and it was so intense that had it been a person sitting by me, I would have probably asked them to move and give me some space. However, I felt it was a blessing that I was feeling this. I sat and was afraid to move in fear it would go away.

Then my daughter Taylor, Travis and Jaxon came to spend the day with us. It was perfect. I even had a break down and they understood and loved me through it.  I left to go visit Ty's grave. I do this almost daily due to so many thoughts and emotions going on in my head. It is where I go to be alone and yes, I am that crazy girl on my knees praying and talking to Tyler. I came home to a great dinner that the kids made together.




I love that Taylor taught Zach how to make her "special" rolls. I think TIME together is just what is needed. TIME together and I wish the entire family was here. I realize more than ever that I am blessed to have Ty's family so close.
(lots of beautiful vases from the flowers sent)

I am going to work tomorrow. The kids will go back to school. I am nervous. I know that sounds silly. I am so blessed to have the most wonderful team. They have went above and beyond in taking care of everything.

I am just more than ever thinking about how precious enjoying life is. I am reminded that it's not ever WHAT you have but WHO you have that matters. It's LOVE and making memories and that is  why I choose the song- Don't Blink by Kenny Chesney in the video for Tyler. I am going to do everything I can to make LIFE special for my children and family. I want to FOCUS on what matters most and never forget how very blessed I am during my trials and during the happy times.

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NEVER GIVE UP...


I'm not sure why but nights are probably the hardest. Its probably because I have been thinking all day, every day. I know that my blog is just a way for me to share my honest feelings and hope that I can remember this journey. I hope that my story can help someone else who is having a difficult time. I know that I have to be strong and endure. In all honesty, it's a day to day battle, but I am determined to smile through the tears. 

I heard this quote today-

YOU CAN LISTEN TO YOUR MIND, 
BUT YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW YOUR HEART!

That is exactly why I blog and why I share from my heart. I don't want anyone to feel sad and lose hope. If anything I want others to appreciate WHAT they have. I was talking to a friend today. She has  spent a lot of time with Ty and I at our home. She witnessed how Ty LOVED to make fun of me. This was something he loved to do.  He loved to make fun of the fact that I'm not a cook. Well, I can but not like some women. I am great with basic dishes. PS- I am seriously thinking of taking cooking classes. 

My friend mentioned to me that I am so lucky to have had Tyler. That he adored me and just was always doing and taking care of me and we had a strong bond. She said she had a friend who had NEVER found that love and adoration in this life. It made me think. I have thought about what she said ALL night now. Yes,  I consider the blessing of having this HUGE. I smile because it happened. I do consider this a blessing. Too often, it's easy to not appreciate what you have. 



If you know me, I am not one to feel sorry for myself. I can't and I won't. I am always going to look at the positive and right now, I am just realizing more than ever...  how having Ty in my life enriched and helped me to become the person I am today. I can be sad, but I am thankful he is no longer suffering. I have to be thankful. I know life can change in an instant.  Ty and I were actually quite different and we each complimented and helped each other to look at things differently. I know in my heart that I brought out a tenderness in him and he taught me to be stronger.




Since I needed to figure out and do our bills, I got on Ty's computer to figure it all out. Imagine my surprise when I found countless photos and videos that I had sent him.  Ty had also "borrowed" others off of social media. I was so touched to watch my personal videos to him telling him to NEVER GIVE UP and how much I loved him. I had no idea he kept them. They were on his computer and he never mentioned them to me. I figured he hated all the photos and videos I would send him. Little did I know he was saving them. He had  so many photos of me and the kids on his computer that I can never doubt how much he loved all of us. 

This weekend, I had to face reality.  I needed to pay bills and go through so many papers. I want to tell each of you this- DON'T do what we did. I have never done any of our finances- ever! Ty never let me do ONE bill or take care of anything with our personal finances. This was doing as Ty's way to love and take care of me. I knew nothing really. I am now trying to figure it all out alone with Devan's help too. THANKFULLY, he was somewhat organized, but I am lost in many regards. I decided to use this as a lesson to myself that I can and will do this. I am determined to not only do these things, but I want to excel and keep my chin up along the way. 

I even went to the grocery store for the first time today. I had visited his grave and then realized I had no milk in the house. I needed food for the boys too. I walked in and forgot I had on house slippers (yes, gold sparkly air walks!). I got the basics and found myself crying in the frozen food section. I was in and out so fast because I  got emotional for NO REASON but that I was in the store. Yes, I have NO IDEA why I did this. Again, it's okay and I was actually proud of myself for going to the store in the first place.

My brother in law called me today and wanted to check on me. He had NO idea how much talking to him helped lift my spirit. I don't know what I would do without Ty's family close by. They are loving and encouraging me to be strong. It's really the little things that mean so much. Bret lost his girlfriend a few years ago. He loved her and he shared the profound loss that he had felt when she died  with me and that he understood. It was a instant "understanding" and I appreciated this reminder. 

I want to thank everyone who is texting and emailing me. I am not really in a place to respond right now. I check my computer maybe once a day if I'm up to it.  I am doing a lot of "time out" for my soul. I am trying to be 100% present with my kids. They need me to be strong for them. I want the kids to be proud of their mom and to know that I will be okay. They keep asking me if I'm okay. I tell them that "I'm as okay as OKAY can be right now and it's all going to be okay." I have faith in God and this is what really keeps me going right now. I don't question his love or WHY... I just know that it's all somehow going to be okay. I have no doubt that Ty is going to be watching over us. 

I recount a talk that was given by Marvin J. Ashton- I think of it everyday as I face the days without Tyler... "IF THOU ENDURE IT WELL."

He said, "Our challenge is to endure. There will always be testing and trials along life's path. Heartaches and tragedies need not defeat us if we remember God's promise. A worthwhile attitude for all of us could well be, "HELP us, O Lord to remember thy love for us and help us to be fortified by thy strength when our eyes are blurred with tears of sorrow and our vision is limited."
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Friday, November 28, 2014

Where is the MANUAL?????


When I had my children I always said, WHY can't they come with an owners manual? You know as a parent it would be so handy. I would have one for EACH of my children. They are all special models and unique. 

Well, today I thought... wow, these feelings are SO foreign to me. WHAT am I doing? I don't know why I'm feeling so many things at one time. I realized that around 2 pm it was Thanksgiving dinner time and I had not gotten out of my husband pajamas. My kids asked me to go change and I never did. Finally, we went to the grave around 4:30pm and in my rush I left the house in the pi's and no coat. Is this normal? Who is to say what is normal right? I have to say that this is uncharted territory for me. Where is the manual? It is called LIFE and we learn as we go through the journey. I have committed to myself that tomorrow I will get dressed and stay out of bed.

 I was in denial to the very end. I did not want to think that Tyler was not going to make it. So now... I'm facing the reality of life going on in a different way. I guess you could say, I am still in disbelief. I am trying to be gentle on myself since I know that TIME is really going to help and that all of these emotions are normal. I did not expect to feel this way and have been dealing with so many feelings all at once.

 Today, I watched Taylor, Gentry and Devan prepare a beautiful meal for our family. My friend Bridget came to our home to join us. I was not the best of company and ended up in my bed crying. I am just being honest. I figure that someday my story will help someone know that we all grieve differently. Plus, it's the holiday season. Carol came by and she said something that hit me tenderly, "You have to go on living." I watched her and I realized that she is giving me wise words of advice. I was embarrassed that I was still undressed. My kids need me right now to be stronger. I had a little "awakening" today when she said this.

On a day of thanksgiving I did frequently give many thanks. I did a 100 THINGS I am thankful for list. This was a text from my friend Amy who said, "Sit in bed today and start writing the things that you are thankful for. Even if you are in a place where it has to start with something basic like oxygen in the room. Just start thinking and writing and thinking about that. I challenge you to get to 100 things by the end of the day. And you know you are at the very top of my list everyday!" 

So I did the challenge today and I had easily 100 things to be thankful for. They all centered back to family in some way. Our family, our children, our home, our beliefs, etc. I am thankful to announce that .....




My gorgeous pregnant daughter and her dashing husband Devan found out yesterday that their baby is going to be A   BOY!!!!!

Devan was thrilled and kept showing the ultrasound photos. "I'm gonna have a boy." He was thrilled and we all thought it was going to be a little girl. This is something that I have to look forward to. 

I want to share a few photos that I took on my camera before the viewing. I just was overwhelmed at the flowers and beautiful cards sent. These are just a few. They were everywhere and still be delivered when I took these photos.


So many of my partners and friends in business sent large gorgeous flowers- Canon, Craftwell, Cricut, American Crafts, Bella Blvd, Scrapbox, my Australia friends, MME, Patricia my distributor from Portugal, PSA Essentials, and more. I know that Tyler was so proud of me and would be so touched that they had thought to send flowers and beautiful sentiments.  We had flowers from Ty's patients and work colleagues at Family Foothill Clinic. 


My son Zach wanted a large photo of his dad by the casket. He want them to remember how he really looked. The cancer and treatments had made him very thin and he had lost his muscles and his hair. It was just starting to come back. My husband was one to take care of himself. He was athletic, active and watched what he ate and watched his weight. He was very handsome and did I mention I met him at the gym? Yes, the very first time I went to this gym. I always joked to my single girlfriends, "it pays to work out!"


The Murray High School Baseball team SHOWED up. They are like family to Zach. His coaches are huge role models to him. He told me that he has lost his "biggest fan" just hours after his dad died that Saturday night. I knew it was true. There was no competing. Ty went to every one of Zach's games. He would disobey doctors orders and go watch from the sidelines away from everyone. He wanted to watch his son play ball if it was the last thing he was doing. He said, "Keep your eye on the ball." I think this could be a great way to look at life and told Zach this. Keep your EYE and your FOCUS on what matters most. My husband was wise and I know I am who I am today because of his strong personality.


I put photos in frames to display. I wanted to share "his story." I wanted others to WISH if they did not know him that they did. He could be more quiet. Ty was the type of man who loved greatly and was very tender in his feelings. He just didn't show it too much.


This is our youngest son and child. Ty is fifteen years old- soon he will be sixteen. I worry most about him. He is being more quiet and I know that this is so hard to lose your father in high school. He is in 10th grade this year. Again, I am spending a lot of time praying for guidance.


We had a few tables with more photos and we had two TVs going with the video going.  I really wanted others to know how wonderful and special he was. 


This is my beautiful sister Shelley. She came at a moments notice. She flew from NC to be with me. I needed her and she got off from work and came. The poor girl is not emotional like me. She kept crying when she saw me crying. She ended up crying a lot. She hates funerals but she still came and was there for me. My kids love their aunt. I can't thank her enough for coming for five days to just help and listen. 


I picked out the black casket with the silver trim. I felt it suited my husband. My sweet mother in law got the most gorgeous casket spray for Tyler.  This was the night of the viewing. So many people came. It was a very long line and I was so thankful to see so many people there that loved him and our family so much. It gave me  comfort and peace.




I am taking it day by day and honestly just feeling so THANKFUL for our unbelievable life together. I look at our children and smile bigger. I know that now that I am alone, I will face some tough things on this new journey. I know that this is not what I would have wanted or asked for. However, I accept God's will and know that slowly I will figure it all out. As our family is coping with the loss together,  it's hard. It is ultimately a deeply personal experience for each of us. I've told my kids to simply allow each of us to feel the grief and know it's completely normal and necessary to mourn in our own way and time. 




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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TEAR SOUP- dealing with mine

It's almost Thanksgiving. This time last year, my husband was admitted to the hospital for his first Auto Stem Cell Transplant. I just "knew" that it was going to work. I did not think for one second that it wasn't going to. I guess it's a good think I'm optimistic. Right? I don't regret this one second either. I remember how strongly Ty and I felt that it would work and that the cancer would be GONE. We did not find out until April that it had not worked. I have to say that the battle with his cancer was one that only made us even closer. 

When you are married or watch on TV you hear often people say, "in sickness and in health." Well, let me tell you... I meant it when I promised Ty that forever I was with him. In moments of sweet tenderness, he would "hate" the way he looked.  I still adored him. He would not let me take photos (or rarely) and he wanted them all to be private. I understood, but often wanted others to know what a WARRIOR I was married to. I just wanted to take care of him. I didn't want him to worry about anything but getting better. I worked harder to ease his burden so I could take care of our family. We often talked about what a blessing God had given us with my company and the successfulness it had given us. It was indeed peace of mind for Tyler. I knew and know God is mindful of his children's needs. We saw remarkable blessings unfold and I knew that I was going to have to RISE to the challenges. I had a journey ahead and I was not allowing death in the picture. I was not accepting that one day that I was going to have to say goodbye.




The final week in the hospital was so filled with tender mercies. Imagine having to face the truth. Dr. Sweetenham came into our room and Ty was busy having a test done. He said he would come back again a little later. Ty mentioned that he never comes back normally. This time, he did and we both knew that it was time to face reality. Ty and I knew it was not going to be good news. With so much love and sadness, Dr. Sweetenham told us that they were out of options. They could not control the cancer. It was now spreading and there was no treatment options at this point. 

Ty's left leg was massive in size and swollen from his toes to the groin area. He had a blood clot in this leg that was cutting off blood flow. They put him on heparin. The lymph nodes across his abdomen were growing and getting so large. You could feel the enlarged nodes. Ty's neck was so enlarged with nodes and some in his shoulders too. The cancer, being a blood cancer was spreading and Dr. Sweetenham was so sad to tell us it was time to accept that treatment options were done. I sat there and cried with Tyler. We held hands and I just wanted to fall into the floor. He told us that Ty would leave the hospital and need hospice care. Looking back, I was still in denial. Was this really happening? Ty truly just wanted to get to come home that following Monday with me. He was worried about getting new tires for Zach's car for the Winter. He did not want me to have to do it. He was willing to endure more treatments just to have more days.

This was when reality set it. We talked about life and what he wanted. We cried and cried and then he needed me to stop. I prayed so hard to be strong. If you know me, I'm so sensitive, but somehow I tried to be brave and kept telling him how much I loved him and it was going to be okay. I knew it was the time to help him know that no matter what I would be okay... and I wanted him to not worry about me. I needed him to not worry. I have no doubts he lived for seventeen months for us. His body was ready way before his spirit was to go and he fought it. We spent hours going over our trust and will. I am sharing this with you because you have NO IDEA how many people are not prepared. We had done this years before and we discussed each of our children and their future. He shared tender feelings for each of them. We were preparing to say goodbye but I can honestly say that I was not ever ready to do this.

I stayed at the hospital but could not sleep. He was determined to go to the bathroom and get up at any time. I was so worried he would fall so I was exhausted. He was also not wanting to take pain medication at the end because he wanted to be "coherent" and not sleep. He wanted to talk and share. I marveled at his strong will when he was in so much pain. I simply knew he needed my positive outlook and just to be there with him. I held his hand and told him it was all going to be okay.

Once in the middle of the night, he was in intense pain. We somehow made it to the bathroom and I was holding him up. I was scared. The noises and sounds he was making were so hard to hear. I thought he was not going to make it out of the bathroom. They had brought us pain medication and I tried so hard to get him to swallow it. I was in the bathroom and I begged God to please take away his pain and help him. He was in a state of so much agony that I could barely get him back to the bed. I was accepting that Tyler's cancer must be getting much worse. Finally, we managed to get him back into the bed and I begged him to please take the medication to help relieve the intense pain. Within minutes he became really calm and said "I did and the pain is going away". I told him that he had not and he told me to look in the trash that he had. I checked it twice. I was literally in shock and amazed. I "knew" there was no way he had. I was with him the entire time. However, he was now in "no pain" and was laying in bed and going to sleep. I went to the trash and found nothing again. I found the two tubes of pain medication on the counter and they were untouched. He had not taken anything and yet he "had" and was now out of pain and going to sleep. He even slept for a few hours. It was a true miracle to me. I could not sleep after this and I was just so grateful for this experience. 

He did not want me to leave him his side and I held his hand and told him countless times that I loved him. He told me LOVE YOU so many times. I could not be close enough to him. I crawled in his bed the day before he passed away and he loved this. We spoke and shared our "love." Ty and Zach did not go to school and came to see their dad. Taylor and Gentry came to Huntsmen, as well as his sweet mother Carol and sister Leann and Bret his brother. We were saying our goodbyes and I wanted our entire family to be with him. I knew his family meant the world to him and I needed them close too. I was still not prepared to think it was so close. I remember telling him countless times that he was my everything and that I loved him. He needed to hear this and I knew he was relying on me to help him go.

I reminded him that what families are forever. I think he was going "home"  at times and he was going to the spirit world and then back with me. He asked me where he was. He thought he was in San Francisco Medical school at times. Then he would ask "who is that?" He was seeing people in the room. One time someone told him a joke and he laughed and told me to say it again. I told him I had not told a joke and he said, "yes, you did silly." He talked about walking up flights of stairs and having to keep going up. He mentioned "who are all those people?" He then said, "you want me to go up more?, who is that? you want me to now go left?" Then he would be back with me. I simply listened and knew I was witnessing something sacred and real. I believe that he was seeing where he was going when he passed away. I felt the most beautiful spirit in the room. It was so peaceful and I knew Ty was getting closer to leaving this world. He loved me to lightly scratch his back. 

He was never scared. Ty was steadfast in his faith in Heavenly Father until the very end. He was only sad to leave us. He made the boys promise to take care of me, honor me, not talk back and appreciate me. He told them that I worked harder than any woman he ever knew and I would do anything for them and not to take advantage of my kindness. He gave them hours of "advice" the day before he left us. He told them to work hard their entire life. Ty believed that kids should work hard and not just be given things. Working hard makes you a better person and more grateful. I wish I had taped it. Thankfully, I listened to the prompting to have them come to the hospital that Friday and not go to school. This was a "gift" to the boys and I. 

There is so much more that I could share. I wanted to share in hopes that you each know that this life is not the end. If I thought it was I would not be able to endure this pain. I sat in our closet floor today and cried. I got down on my knees and prayed for comfort. I keep thinking he is with his dad and grandfather and my mother watching over us. I miss him. This is unlike any pain I have ever felt. My poor family is dealing with me talking nonstop. I got the best book today from Ty's sister. it's called TEAR SOUP. Of course, I read it and cried. It was me!!!! It is you... it is all of us when we are grieving. I realize that we are all different. I have simply shut down and am allowing myself to be really sad, cry, reminisce, laugh at memories, and keep going through the emotions over and over.  I know that it's okay and I will somehow keep working on my own "tear soup" until I am stronger. 





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Monday, November 24, 2014

FOREVER CONTINUES, the STORY CONTINUES...


I have to say that although I have been blessed with many children, I feel so alone. I don't think you can ever prepare yourself to lose your spouse, your best friend. Last Tuesday, we went to the cemetery to pick out plots for Tyler and I. There was this massive big tree that I had noticed when we arrived. When it was time to find the burial spot, I immediately knew the perfect spot. It is right by this beautiful strong tree. I knew instantly that this was the place and marveled that there was spaces available right by the tree. We had not spoke of the "details" of any of this until the last week. Our denial was because we simply did not want to say goodbye. Finally, Ty let his mother and I know he wanted us to be buried in our hometown. He wanted to be close so our children and I could visit him. He was always thinking of others.

It was like I was in a movie and I was just going through the scenes. I kept thinking, is this really happening? I stood at the ground of where my husband would be buried. I knew eventually... ONE DAY... I would be with him. I thought at that moment, that I just wanted to join him to be buried with him now. I don't want to do this without him. I can't describe how much my soul aches for him. 

I have felt literally that half of me is gone now. I feel incomplete. I feel completely alone even with a house of children. I had to explain to my children why I don't want to get out of bed, get dressed and why I can't concentrate or think right now. The pain is so painful. Tyler is my everything. I was his everything. In many ways, it is harder when our closeness and our desire to be with each other trumped going out with other couples or doing things without each other.  As our boys have gotten older, we joked and said... it's just US and we were loving "our" time. Through years and our trials we became stronger and closer. I've mentioned before, we had both been married. Tyler had told me, "Divorce is not a option." This is how we lived our marriage. We blended our children and then had two more handsome sons together. We grew more in love over the years. We knew each other better than any one else knew us. I understood him and he understood me. I am thankful for our trails and for the times where we disagreed. I know we grew from having to work harder to understand each other. 

For seventeen months, we both could not accept that we would be apart. He often told me, "You can't do this without me. you need me." Ty fought so hard to stay. On Friday, the night before he passed he spent hours trying to convince his doctor via text and nurse that he would want another round of chemo just to give him "more time." He was not giving up. He just knew it would give him more time. I watched him and knew in my heart his time was very limited. He fought like a warrior for TIME with us. It was a testament to me of his massive love for me and our children, his family. 

To the outside world, Ty could be more quiet. He could be opinionated at times. He was much smarter than I am (yes, I loved telling him this and he never disagreed). Ty was the man who would tape "our favorite shows" and not watch them if I was not with him. He would watch Hallmark movies with me to be with me. He would go to every single baseball game or event because he wanted to. Ty wrote love notes and left them on the counter when he went to work. They were always signed TnT. I will miss the love notes. He loved taking care of us. He probably took care of me too much. I've never mowed our lawn, paid a bill, got gas in my car until he was sick or he was away... he just wanted to do this for me. Ty would go to Costco and buy groceries. He often made dinner and wanted to lighten my burden. I had many friends who knew that Ty just adored and wanted to take care of me. I would try to do these things myself and he would not let me. I have thought over and over how often he told me that I need him. I soooo need him. I love him. I don't want to be apart from him... yet as my heart is tender, I find moments of peace that I feel are coming from him. 

I believe that when we die that it's not really DEATH as we think of a ending. I believe he is still very much with us. I feel that his spirit is close and that we are going to be watched over. I will always remember that WHAT matters MOST is WHAT matters MOST! Often, we just forget. We let the world consume us and forget why we are here. To be honest, I have been in Ty's pajamas for two days. I visited the his grave yesterday. I simply put on jacket over them. I am reading some books that some dear friends gave us. They are on death and comfort me. The one part that spoke to me is this... We live to die. We actually should think each day about this. We should focus on what matters and live each day with this purpose. I think to myself... am I living the life that I should be? Am I forgiving others? Am I lightening the burden for others? I know that I have a huge responsibility alone. I have children to raise, get through high school, missions, college, marriage, etc. I have a business to run. When the time is right, I will know what to do. Right now, I'm just focusing on being grateful IT HAPPENED. I am so fortunate to have found this special man that I adored. I loved him more than he ever realized. 


The beautiful casket spray. Ty's mom wanted to buy this for her son. It was beautiful. It was very special. 



The viewing on Friday night. Pam Taylor came and took
photos. I knew my children needed to have photos since two of them are on missions. It was Tyler would who wanted our kids to stay on their missions. It was his wish that they complete their missions. He was so proud of them. He told everyone that he had a son and a daughter on a mission.


Flowers were everywhere. They were gorgeous. This was a one that I had made from our kids. Little Ty picked it out. Since Ty loved the outdoors, he did some burlap and it was stunning.  


Ty's brother Bret and his mother Carol.
Carol helped me so much with the funeral. She was indeed inspired and prompted to help me.
 


This is my son Ty looking over at his dad. He is only fifteen. I know that he will forever be influenced by his dads wisdom and love. My husband hated his photo taken. I took them anyway, and I'm so thankful that I did. You can never go back and get a second chance at capturing those memories. His legacy will live on. Our forever family continues, the story continues, and I am
so outrageously blessed that it happened.


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

TYLER LEWIS COLLINS






Our family wants to thank each of you who have helped our family at this tender time in our family. We wanted to share our beautiful memories with you of a man who will forever live in our hearts. We  are most grateful for the food, the flowers, the memories shared and the kindness to us as we deal with the loss. 

(this beautiful tribute video was done by Jami Morrell and edited by Gentry Bartholomew. They spent hours doing this and truly captured his life and what he loved most)


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

FUNERAL DETAILS- DESERT NEWS


This is my best friend.
TYLER LEWIS COLLINS

My heart is so sad that I am struggling to accept that 
he is gone. I just want to stay in these leopard pjs
and stay in bed. I know I can't do this, but right now my world is filled with losing him. I have
to go on alone. I know I have my kids but anyone who has had a beautiful loving marriage knows what I am saying. I have to accept God's will just
like he did. We had many beautiful conversations
over the past 17 months regarding his diagnosis. This past week, Ty kept telling me
that he did not want to leave me. He said so many times-
"The hardest part is leaving you and, but once I'm gone, it will be YOU
and the kids that will have it hard. YOU will miss me.  You will have to 
deal with the loss and having to live life without my help. I feel bad that I am causing this pain. I'm so sorry!"

He always was more concerned about his family and me. He worried about his mother. He knew she was now going to bury a child. I encouraged her to come to the hospital and she did. I knew this was so important and needed for both of them.

He worried about family relations. It was so important to him that our family stay close to his mother and sister and brother/families. He was

to the end wanting everyone to be united and be together. He wanted our youngest boys to have family close to help me. I have been so comforted by his family. Leann has been such a blessing to come help me write the obituaries and make food and more. I am still not thinking or speaking clearly. His mother has been arranging for so many things as I am struggling to get in a shower. It's times like this that families need to come together with love and grieve together. I have had so many people come and bless me with stories that Tyler had shared with them about how he felt about me. THIS has been the sweetest blessing and reminder to me right now.

 I am most grateful of the five days in the hospital with him. It was full of miracles and blessings. Most of you do not know him. He often told me that I was his only friend. (This was silly of course) He had friends. He just always wanted to be with me or the kids. He said family is more important than anything. He lived it and he meant it. He hated contention and fighting. He would never want to hurt anyone's feelings. When he did, he felt horrible. Tyler was always thinking of ways

to make life easier for me and the children. Yes, I've never mowed our lawn, filled my gas tank (unless he was out of town or when he got sick), etc. He wanted to take care of my needs. This is how he showed his love. I love that he told ever one of our children that they were his "best friend." I know he meant it. He told all of us this...
ILYMTAYCTSOF

I love you more than anything you can think say or feel!!!!!!!!!!
I loved watching him with the kids. He loved when the grand babies lived closer. It was sad when they moved and he rarely saw them and then he got sick. He would watch social media to see them. He loved seeing the photos. He would often ask me, "did you see the photo posted today on Instagram?"
I have had a rough time. I wish I could say otherwise. It would be a huge lie if I said otherwise. You are never prepared to lose you best friend, your eternal companion and the person who just is your everything. I don't know how this goes. I don't know how to even understand these crazy sad feelings I have right now. My heart is so tender and I have cried so much that my lips are severely chapped and hurt. When I purchased our grave plots, I felt at that moment that I wished I was with him. I had never thought this before. I just miss him and want him near me.

If you knew the real T-n-T. That is us.... you would know that
Tyler treated me like a queen. He actually used to call me princess until I said... okay, that is crazy and don't call me that. Then we would laugh. We were a team... we were crazy in love and yes, we had fights like everyone else.
Our disagreements made us stronger and more in love.
He would tell me that I'm feisty and I would say... and so are you. I told him always that when I saw him I thought he was the most handsome man in the world and I still get butterflies after all of these years. 

My sister flew in last night. I am typing this in the middle of the night. Everyone is asleep but me. I can't sleep. I'm exhausted,  but just have so much on my mind. Ty's obituary will be in the newspaper today here. You can read it below for the details.

http://www.utahvalleyfuneral.com/obituaries/Tyler-Collins/#!/Obituary

I wanted to share a book that is VERY comforting to me right now, it was a gift from the Barton family this week. It is called-
What's on the OTHER SIDE? BY BRENT L. TOP

I have been sent so many flowers.  It has been huge love from family, friends, neighbors  and business friends. I can't thank everyone enough. I am touched and lifted from your prayers.






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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Where to turn for PEACE... THE PIANO GUYS





I am humbled and thankful that God is giving me peace through beautiful music right now. This is THE PIANO GUYS. True story- they are amazing! I need peace. I need to feel Ty with me still. I am thankful for the feelings that these songs and others are bringing to my broken heart. McKay is on her mission. She gets home in less than a month. One of the guys from THE PIANO GUYS- AL was someone that McKay knew and loved. He was always the MC at all her drill team competitions and loved it when she helped him. McKay was the MHS drill captain. So she loved Al and I thought how crazy that I've met him several times and did not know "who" or what he did. Small world!


On the day that Tyler was in the hospital nearing the last hours of his life we played this song over and over. It is Zach's favorite and it's speaks to my heart. Devan and his friends are playing this at the funeral. I love verse 4 & 5. It just means so much to me. There is NO END....

  1. 5. There is no end to glory;
    There is no end to love;
    There is no end to being;
    There is no death above.
    There is no end to glory;
    There is no end to love;
    There is no end to being;
    There is no death above.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

HERE WITHOUT YOU



I remember a night in a hotel in Chicago for business. My husband texted me to let me know that he wanted me to listen to this song. I was overwhelmed with love and feeling the SAME way that he was. This song is EXACTLY how I am feeling right now. 

 I was getting ready for bed that night at the hotel and I watched this video over and over. I love that he always wanted to be with me.  "I am here without you baby but your still on my lonely mind. I think about you baby, but you are still with me in my dreams. And tonight, it's only you and me. Everything know and anywhere I go, it gets hard but  it won't take away my love. And when the last one falls when it's all said and done it gets hard but it won't take away my love."

I miss him so much that the pain is hard to articulate and feel. I am planning his funeral. This is what is keeping me going. I want it to be a tribute to him and his life. I am going through photographs. I got up at 4am with Zach. It's hard to sleep and to focus. I don't fight it and know that everyone mourns in their own way. Right now, I am listening to songs that comfort me. I am pouring through photos. I never thought I would be in my forties and lose the love of my life. I never imagined having to go to the cemetery yesterday and picking the grave and my grave. Can this be a horrible bad dream? I am not angry one ounce. I am so thankful it happened. I am so thankful we found each other. I just miss him. I am more determined to honor, love and make him proud that I am his wife. 

Thank you Susie for sending this photo to me yesterday. It was  taken several years ago, I was visiting a store in So. Cal. I love that Ty would want to go with me. He loved watching and helping me teach. I often told him- "you don't need to help me, honey." Ty always said
"THAT'S MY JOB."

So with little sleep I am taking it moment to moment and accepting that my broken heart is missing him. Death
will not take away my love.  


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Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm carrying your love with me





At this really difficult time, I keep thinking of my best friend and how much I love him. LOVE is what is bringing me some type of peace. This love is carrying with me forever. I cry because I am so sad to have lost my best friend and I miss him terribly. 



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Sunday, November 16, 2014

SAD NEWS TO SHARE

It is with the saddest of hearts that I write this. Last night, November 15th at 8:34 pm my best friend, my husband peacefully passed away after a valiant seventeen month battle with cancer. He fought to the end and did not want to leave me and our kids. He awoke yesterday morning and told me that he was dying today. I knew that he was going home. We were alone and I knew he had accepted God's will.  Our family surrounded him all day and as many of us that could were there to send him HOME. Right now, my heart is broken to say goodbye. I found this photo that truly told a story-


This photo was about 5 years ago. I don't even know who took it and sent it to me. This is very familiar sight on how we were together. He was the one I counted on, the one who listened to me and supported me. He was the BEST father you could have.
I would never had been prepared for this loss.
 



It is now the time to make arrangements and to honor this wonderful man. He was loved and will be loved my many. Right now, my sadness is unbearable and my soul is hurting. My children are hurting and we focus on knowing he is out of pain. Tyler will never be forgotten and I pray I can make him proud as I raise my family alone. We are planning now for a viewing on Friday evening and the funeral on Saturday morning here by our home in Murray Utah. With many tears and a broken heart I share the news that another angel has went to heaven.


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

This is not the end...

I have typed this so many times. I keep deleting. I am still at the hospital with my husband. It is in the middle of the night. I am not sleeping... very little if at all. I just have to keep watching him. He asks me to "not leave him." I wouldn't even if he wanted me too. There are many tender words expressed. We always have called ourselves "besties" and "best friends." Sometimes it's a word... bestie or best friend. Right now, I tell him, "It's going to okay. I love you." When you don't know what to say, simply say... I love you. I have learned this. My mind is racing a thousand directions and emotions are tender.

 As many of you know, our family is having a hard time watching this happen. There are no more treatments. They let Ty and I know this week that nothing has worked and the disease has progressed to a point that we are facing the end of his life journey. We wanted to make sure our children knew what is happening prior to sharing. 

How do you ever prepare for this? It's 3 am in the morning and I can tell you that my heart is so sad. I try so hard not to cry around Tyler. All I can do is be strong in front of him. I can't leave his side. I have been at the hospital this entire week and cherish every moment. I wish I could sleep, but watching the person you love MORE than anything in this journey has shut me down. I am hoping that my friends who read this... my neighbors will take care of my children right now. My heart is heavy knowing they don't have me at home to love and care for them. I just realized in the middle of the night that they may need milk and food and life has to go on for them. I am thankful for many people helping and watch over my kids. With the most thankfulness my church ward has been bringing in dinners each night to my children. My two son in laws Devan and Travis are helping them. Devan is staying with my boys. I knew my youngest son needed a "male figure" because he is always best around strong men. I don't know if this makes sense. I just listened to God and knew that I had to ask Devan and Gentry to come to the home this past week. Ty reminded my boys here yesterday. The most important decision you make if life will be who you marry and have a family with. This is wise words. 

I'm sorry if I'm rambling. I am sure I am. I had lost my mother suddenly and now I am losing my husband. My best friend in a totally different way. He wants to live so bad. He has not lost his HOPE. He has spent time with the children. He is struggling in the last stages of cancer. Yesterday, he told me that I can share that they let us know that he is dying and when he goes home from the hospital, he will have hospice care.  The doctors have been so kind, so wonderful and we "knew" what they were going to tell us. I have wanted to keep things very private at my husbands request. 

So this morning, I am in total darkness and sharing my soul. I want to let you know that the last few days have been so beautiful. We are saying our goodbyes. I have laid by him in the bed and wept with him. This GIANT of a man, still has hopes of a miracle. He wants to live so bad. He doesn't want to leave me and the kids. He is most worried about our two teenage boys. He knows this is a hard age for boys. This is breaking his heart. Ty talks about his strong faith and accepts that when he dies this has been God's will. He has never been angry. I wish you could all know him. I wish you could see his dedication to me and our children.  We have two beautiful children on missions. McKay and Seth only give him comfort. He is so proud of them. They are aware that their dad will be going HOME to God sooner than we expected. I would give anything to hug them both right now and comfort them. I am most worried about our younger sons right now since there was no way to prepare them for this loss and change. Ty is the best dad. There is no replacing him and his greatness and wisdom. He told them that he will be with them. Ty reminded the boys that he will watch Zach play college baseball. He will watch Ty snowboard, and see them both graduate high school, go on missions, go to college, eventually marry and have their own children. If they are doing something wrong, he is gonna give them a little pinch. (yes, my husband is so funny too!)

I have to say that because of our faith, we believe we are an eternal family. We believe that this life is a small pinpoint in our journey. We all die and will go back to live with our Father in heaven and Jesus Christ. THIS life does not end our marriage, our love, our sealing to be together forever. I know that families are forever. THIS is what comforts me right now. I don't know what I would do if I thought death was the end. I believe that death is hardest for those left behind. Tyler keeps telling me that he is sorry. He keeps saying this. He tells me, "I am sorry, I am leaving you. I don't want to and I know where I'm going and will be fine." He told me that it will be hardest on me and our children. I know this is true. I know saying good bye is not what I want to do, even now I think... please God don't take him. I don't want him to go, but I am asking God to now let him suffer anymore.  I believe that death is a glorious reunion in heaven with God and those that have past on before us. I know his dad and grandparents are there waiting for him. I am sharing WHAT gives me comfort and peace. It doesn't and won't take away my immense broken heart. I will miss him and don't know how I will face this but I know it's part of life's plan. 

I once read a book on grieving by Russell M Nelson. It was right after my mom died and I was struggling. I needed to know it was natural to feel all the feelings I was feeling.  He spoke about it here and you can watch it: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1992/04/doors-of-death?lang=eng 

He said "Irrespective of age, we MOURN for those love and lost. MOURNING is the one of the DEEPEST expressions of pure love."

I wanted to share the latest on what my husband is enduring and our family. He expressed his wishes yesterday that it was time to share what is going on. The plan is for him to leave the hospital this Monday. Then he will be having hospice care at our home. We now know that this is God's plan and will and we are praying as a family for him to be out of pain.

When the doctors told us that this disease is winning, they mentioned Ty would need hospice care. After many tears, Ty called his sister who is a hospice nurse and asked Leann if she would and could be his nurse. As you can imagine, this is a tender mercy. I sat by Tyler as he called his sister. He had tears flowing as he told her that he was dying and would she be his hospice nurse. I can't imagine how hard this is for his "big sister" to do this for him and for us. 

Many tender tears are flowing as I see what she is doing for her "little brother." I am sure she never thought that she would be caring for her brother as he died. I know God is mindful of us in this time of need. As my heart is breaking, I can't help but think of my mother in law Carol. She moved in with us, and did everything she could to help us. I know she is grieving and this is her "son". I want her here now and join me as we take care of Tyler. I am so grateful she has been here. A mother losing a child is never easy and my heart is heavy for her and our children. In my darkest hours I remind myself to be grateful for Tyler. I must be grateful that God blessed me with him for 19 amazing years. I must be grateful for our family. I love each of you. I thank you for supporting me and our family right now. I hope I can share my story in hopes that you will see "your own story and life" and cherish every moment of it. I never thought I would be facing this. I never thought when I married Ty that he would be dying of cancer. I realize and am so grateful for the best husband and father. I am fortunate that I have taken photos and made memories that I hope will help me and the family in this sad journey. 





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Thursday, November 13, 2014

SMILE... because it happened


As you may know my husband has been fighting a very aggressive horrible cancer. In the bad times, there is always GOOD things that can make you smile. This sweet photo was sent to me yesterday of my husband Tyler and my son (Tyler). My two favorite Ty's. I was so GRATEFUL for this photo. This was taken on Matt and Kayla's wedding day.  I am in the hospital with my husband and when I showed him this photo he smiled. I am thankful that photos can truly take you back to such special moments. I feel LOVE and see love in this photo. These two are best buddies and have a special bond. I don't have words to express how grateful that I am doing everything I can to preserve memories. I challenge YOU to take FIVE photos today with people you love. PLEASE take the time to TAKE photos. Keep a camera in your purse. USE it....
 


This was sent from my friend Meeghan from Australia. I adore this quote. I kneeled down on my knees here in the hospital room and prayed that I can be strong. I prayed for my handsome husband and poured out my tender emotions to Heavenly Father. Even now, he is most concerned about me and the our children. 


I don't believe that life ends here. I know that no matter what happens that Ty and I are going to be together forever. My faith is carrying me. My love for Tyler and his love for me, makes me strong. Life is so precious. 
In a couple of days the Teresa Collins Caribbean Cruise is happening. As you may expect or have heard,  I will not be attending. I am sending my beautiful daughters to take my place. I would never leave my husbands side. I am so fortunate that everyone attending the cruise has loved me enough to understand. Their love and understand has lifted me and I have felt so much love.
 I always try to listen to the spirit and prompting that God gives me and I knew over a week ago that I was needed to be HERE with my
husband. I would have never thought this would be what was happening when I planned this event. Ty was going to be with me. It would be a celebration of his recovery and us together with
my beautiful creative friends. This was not meant to be. Yet, as with life, the TC event will go on. I know that those attending
will feel my love and caring through my projects, details and messages conveyed from my daughters. 

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Being GRATEFUL

I would be the biggest liar if I did not say that my heart is hurting right now. My best friend was admitted to the hospital today. They actually wanted to admit him yesterday, but he refused. In the last few days Tyler has not been able to eat or drink. His pain has been overwhelming and out of control. The lymphoma has spread. I don't want to share or focus on the details. Today we had another appointment. He was barely walking. For the first time ever, I had to get the wheelchair to get him out of the car. I pushed him down the hallway. I thought, this is the man that I love more than words. This is the man that I built a family with. This is the man that I adore and want a miracle to happen to save him. I tried to hold back the tears as I pushed him down the hall at Huntsmen. I had tears in my eyes and saw that people were staring. I am so thankful that he choose me. That we made a covenant to each other for all time and eternity as husband and wife. We promised to always be there for each other. I feel God is blessing me to be able to help Ty. I know that God is mindful of each of us and our needs. I am so grateful that I have had his love and companionship. I will be grateful for each day (the good and the bad). Yes, Ty has made me a better me. 

What I want to share is this...

DON'T TAKE ONE SINGLE DAY FOR GRANTED. DON'T LET A DAY GO BY WITHOUT TELLING YOUR LOVED ONES HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM.  All I can do now is tell Ty how much I love him. THIS is all that matters. 



I have prayed for Tyler to no longer suffer and hurt. This type of cancer is so intensely painful and yet he doesn't complain. He wants to live. He keeps telling me that he can't go because "I can't do it without him." I don't want to. I want to beg him to stay with me. I know that no matter what happens it is God's will. I reassure my husband that I am strong and I will be okay. I don't tell him that my heart is breaking and I don't know how I will ever get over losing him. I don't want to worry about that. I know that TODAY I will focus on just being so GRATEFUL for what we have and being so thankful. I know he will be with me forever. I love him with my all my being and soul. I used to take it day by day...
Now it is moment by moment.
I cherish every I love you.
I cherish holding his hand.


Right now, I am truly just focusing all my attention and time to my husband and children. I hated leaving him at the hospital tonight. They reassured me that he would be sleeping and they will get him hydrated and the pain levels under control.


I know so many of you are praying for us and our family. THANK YOU. I truly
feel them. My thoughts are always with my children. I know that each of them are struggling but trying to be strong for me. We spend a lot of time laughing and crying because it HAPPENED. We are GRATEFUL.





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Sunday, November 9, 2014

How will YOU remember it??????? - My CRAFT CHANNEL


Please look at this photo carefully. What do you see???? I am now home from Australia. I was so thankful for THIS photo. It is a little "message" I feel I need to share with you. *more about Australia soon too. 

I have a camera in my hand along with my cell phone. I was at the Australian Reptile Park and was petting the kangaroo that kept following us around. Andrea took this photo of me. When she shared it with me. I chuckled... I noticed right away that I had my Canon S110 in my hand with my cell phone. WHY??????

I believe so strongly in documenting our life. Photos are the way to remember. I tell others in my seminars to "take photos... REAL photos" and stop using your cell phone to document your life. Now of course, we all use our "easy" and "handy" cell phone at times. These photos are only digital imprints. They are not archival quality and we are going to be the lost generation if we are not taking out and using our "REAL" camera. We need to keep a camera (this is one of my favorite travel ones and I keep in my purse 24/7). I pull out my camera first. I use my actual camera to capture the moments. I don't want to trust on social media sights and photos to be preserved from my phone. Who has not had their phone stolen, broken, not backed up, and images LOST forever. 

This is WHY I take photos with a camera. More importantly, I print out the photos. I am doing that TODAY. My heart is so heavy right now. I look at all the photos I have been printing. I am thankful for them. They bring me tears of joy and remind me of so many wonderful and meaningful times. I believe in being authentic. I will never endorse or promote something that I don't personally use or believe in. That is truly why I am working with Canon cameras. I do this because I hope to change the way people look at documenting life through their photos and printing them out. So many people asked WHAT camera do you use? What printer? I am not paid based on the sales of these items. I am sharing with you because I love and use them.

Canon Powershot S110- White- Image Stabilizer- lightweight Zoom lens 5xIS

Canon G16- I absolutely LOVE this camera. Zach is using it for his high school photography course. He loves it and won't give it back to me. It's like a professional camera in a little lightweight package. I love it so much and I use this to travel with too. 

Canon 5D- Tyler bought this for me when it first came out. I love it and use this for my photography shots and when I am home. I do take it with me and use at my office. * I am going to get another camera for my office for doing videos soon. I am researching for the perfect one for our needs. 

PRINTER- I use the

Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer 

It is a budget friendly printer for moderately serious to serious photo enthusiasts. Prints at up to 13 by 19 inches. It can print on printable optical discs. I am all about Wi-Fi printing that is wireless with PictBridge.

Hands down... my favorite. I have this at my home. I also, have the SELPHY. I have the Selphy both at my office and home. Yes, I love it too!!!!! I hope this helps to answer the questions.


You can watch my video today on MY CRAFT CHANNEL showing the printers and the cameras. http://www.mycraftchannel.com/Shows/Teresa-Collins-Designs-Show/Teresa-Collins-Click-and-Print-with-Canon/
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