Friday, December 19, 2014

BIG MOMENTS... celebrating LIFE

On Thursday, my son Tyler turned 16 years old. I can't believe how fast time goes. It goes by so fast. My son in law Devan also had a birthday. I truly love both of these young men with all my heart. They are special buddies too. The truth is my son Ty was so close to his dad. I know he is hurting from the loss. He never says a word about it though. This is just him. As the "baby" of the family, our family is really having an adjustment. I can see it prominently with Ty. His birthday was very hard, in that his dad was not here. It just felt different. No matter what I did, it was obvious that it's different now. I tried so hard to make it a happy day. Ty does not read my blog, but the truth is... he has really pulled away from me. Our family really changed as you can expect and the loss of Tyler. They are in high school. They were both so dependent on their dad and his role in their life.

I never once thought how much it would change the "role" I have as a parent. I would have to adjust with Tyler gone. Remember, denial was with me for 17 long months. Ty was such a strong parent in that he was very hands on in our family with our children. Yesterday, I was trying so hard to just connect with Ty and let him see how much I love him. I have moments of just feeling helpless and then I remind myself that I can't give up. 

We went to City Creek for the night. We waited for almost 1 1/2 hours to get into Cheesecake Factory. We walked and laughed together. I was having a really hard day and it was sad for me to see Tyler not enjoying our time together. I wanted to just connect with him. I fought back tears the entire night. I tried to "pretend" that I did not see his mood. I guess, I hoped it would go away. After dinner, we all walked to Temple Square to see the lights. It is absolutely stunning and the cold air was refreshing. 

I so enjoyed being with the kids. I kept thinking of how important it is to me that we are a forever family. It was truly so much fun and the kids made me laugh more than I have since Ty passed. They love being together and it shows.  They were acting silly and goofy. This is exactly what they are like. The waiter at dinner said our family was the BEST family that evening because we had him laughing so much. I enjoy their fun and crazy personalities and their support right now.

I never let an opportunity pass to not take photos with my kids. It's so important.  

They are silly kids. We had to pass the time waiting for our dinner reservation. I had to take photos. 

Zach likes to make fun of the way girls pose for photos... hence his leg pose. Seriously, Zach is a fun kid to hang around with. He loves his sisters so much. Ty and Zach both love it when the girls are at the house. 

The kids love to "pick"on me. I think it's really funny and don't mind it one bit. I am thankful they want to spend time together and with me. It helps me so much to have their influence on the boys and that they care for one another. 

Cheesecake Factory was delicious. I always get the SAME thing.
I love the lettuce wraps. My favorite!!!!!!

DEVAN is such a sweetie. I adore this boy. He is going above and beyond in helping me get things in order. He has fixed things and it helps that he is getting ready to graduate with his Masters in Accounting- he is helping me with all types of financial business. He adores Gentry and can't wait to be a daddy in early May. 

I love having McKay home. She is full of light and happiness. If we could find her a place to live at BYU, we would be set. Yes, we can't find her housing. It's in high demand for girls. 

This is the SLC Temple at night in downtown. 

I love my kids and hope that they enjoy all the photos that we take together.  

This is the NEW 16 year old.
He is in 10th grade now.

This is my favorite photo from the entire night. It is FAMILY.
It is worth the tears,worry and pain. It is the unit that God has given us to love and support each other. We cannot buy or replace this type of love. It is everything to me. I hope my kids know this and understand this.

I will keep trying hard to somehow, someway make this boy know and feel my great love for him. I am trying to show it and realize that I have to try harder than ever to be a great mother. 

Tonight, I am feeling so much gratitude.
It is truly through hard times that we find out
HOW strong we are. I am not a quitter. I will not give up.
I told Ty that I would not give up.
I get out of bed and face the new challenges ahead with
knowing that somehow it will work out. The setbacks are making me even more determined to work harder and FACE things I would rather not. It's definitely day by day and sometimes hour by hour. I have cried more tears in the past weeks/months and years than I ever thought humanly possible. I have witnessed tender mercies along with sad gut wrenching moments of despair. I know that it's a journey to find inner strength for not only me, but my children. I cherish
moments of strength and answers to prayers.
I know for certain, I am not alone.
God is here with us. This is so evident as we go on. I am thankful.

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At December 20, 2014 at 2:56 AM , Blogger Wilma said...

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family. Teresa be yourself , just be there for your sons. They have to deal on their own way with the loss. You can't force them to share their sadness about it.I know for sure that they know that you love them and take care of them. I know it breaks your heart seeing your youngest this way, but with the love of his family around him he will survive. Let him do it his own way. Hope you understand what I'm trying to see, English is not my native language, I'm Dutch. In my life I had to deal with several losses, it's different for every person how to deal with this. What I learned is respect the way people are dealing with the situation. You are in my thoughts!

At December 20, 2014 at 9:49 AM , Blogger Kathy Jo said...

Just be kind, gentle and loving - you got this! You can do it! Peace and comfort to you and all your family.

At December 21, 2014 at 1:02 AM , Blogger sunflowerlori said...

He's grieving..he knows you adore him. Everyone grieves differently. Christmas blessings to your family during this holiday season...

At December 21, 2014 at 3:52 AM , Blogger hotpotato said...

Beautiful photos. You just need to give Tyler time and space to grieve for his dad. He knows he's loved by all his family especially you, just be there for him. xx

At December 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM , Blogger SkyPixie17 said...

Hi Teresa, I've been mulling over what you said about your son and I'm thinking, that yes, he's grieving. He's also 16, and probably has testosterone raging, and he's probably angry and if he's a good person, (which it sounds like he is), then he might feel guilty over how angry he feels. Add to that the season where everything shows family, sweetness and light, and he could be miserable. Could one or more of the older males in your family maybe take him out regularly someplace where he can honestly get out some of his aggression? I'm thinking an all out paintball war, or a shooting range where he can destroy full cans of beans and corn, or even a boxing gym where he can hit something over and over. I'm so sorry your family is suffering. Wishing you all peace and blessings.

At December 21, 2014 at 10:36 AM , Blogger Emma Sacchetti said...

Grief is different for everyone. We all go through stages, but we each reach them at different times.
1. Denial and isolation
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance
You and I understand that. It doesn't mean we don't do it.
I feel so sad for him. It's really hard for kids his age especially boys to put words with their feelings.
It is true that time heals. I think that alls you can do is remind him constantly that you love him and that he can talk to you. I found with my boys sometimes it was easier for them to write me a letter to say what they want to say. That way they can pour out their feelings without breaking their "candy coated shell" and having to let me SEE what they're feeling. Just remember to allow yourself time to grieve it's easy for us moms to put ourselves on the back burner because we think we can't take the time to heal. We continue to pray for you and your family!

At December 21, 2014 at 11:38 AM , Blogger Elaine said...

Teresa, the one thing I learnt from my children when their Dad died last year, was they were scared stiff that something was also going to happen to me, and they'd lose us both ! (My daughter was just 14, and the boys 15 & 17 (9 days before his Dad died), I also had 2 at uni, and 3 that have left home.
Everybody is different when we have to deal with the death of a spouse, I think I took your road and tried to carry on as best I could....however I did give the children the option of school, as I was in pieces & didn't want to face the world, I felt unable to force them to go when they obviously were grief stricken too.
I read one of your blog posts where you found it so hard to send one of your boys to school as he didn't want to face everybody.....I felt if one of my children had a bad cold and felt rough I wouldn't send them to school, you snuggle up on the sofa and make them feel better....I thought that as the death of their father was so, so, so much worse than a cold, a couple of weeks off would not hurt..when my daughter burst into tears at the thought of going to school, there was no way I was going to make her....I think the boys felt like that too, but didn't want to show it. My kids now say that was the best thing I could have done for them.....Having to put on a brave face & pretending to be happy, sending them to school, carrying on as normal made them think I didn't care & it didn't happen.
I think having them all at home together over the coming holidays will settle them too, they don't have to pretend in front of strangers, you can all just be themselves. My kids get a lot of comfort from my husbands brother, he reminds them of him, they don't see him that often but he has played a big part in helping them....18 months down the line we're facing Xmas again, life is different, I wouldn't say it was good, but its not bad either. We had no life insurance so money is tight, we do have a roof over our head and some food on the table, one of my boys is coming home after 16 months of travelling, so we have something to look forward to.
Don't be too hard on yourself, you can't fix this overnight, its only been a few weeks but do embrace your family...
Thinking of you and your family often Elaine xxx

At December 22, 2014 at 7:45 PM , Anonymous Nancy Nally said...

You are beating yourself up trying to do the matter how much you love Tyler, you can't fill the hole that has been left by the loss of his dad. He's going to have to learn to live with that hole, just like you are. Knowing you are there for him can give him the support to walk that journey a little easier...but ultimately, he has to walk it.

You've all suffered a horrible loss. It's ok to not be ok. Make sure he knows that he's not letting you down if he's not ok.

At December 24, 2014 at 4:52 PM , Blogger Teresa said...

Praying for all of you. Know you are not alone. Everyone grieves differently. Tyler maybe experiencing the fear of losing you too. After all his dad was a strong man. He may withdraw as a defense mechanism. Be patient, be loving but be firm. . This has been the hardest road I have ever traveled. Know you are being uplifted, Merry Christmas

At December 24, 2014 at 7:01 PM , Blogger Melissa said...

Thinking of you! May your family feel the warmth of Ty's spirit this holiday season and always. God bless.

At January 4, 2015 at 12:18 AM , Blogger Marcie said...

I am so very proud of you! I don't know how you keep it together but i admire so much that you do! You probably don't remember me but your donated to mothers of Angels...a scrapbook group I brought together for grieving moms. That was 11 years ago! Losing my son took a piece of my heart but he didn't take it all! We are still a forever family! I love that you have son that passed is also named Zach and he was 15 when he passed away. there can never be enough hugs and pictures!!!

At January 4, 2015 at 12:29 AM , Blogger Marcie said...

P.S...I also have a son Tyler's age. And a son that is 21. He was 9 when Zachary died. He didn't open up for many years and when he did, woosh! It came out!!! But it was all good! He got through all his emotions but it took time. My 16 year old was 4 at the time. He still remember Zachary clearly. I know that Zach was meant to go home. But that's their presence that you miss...the little things. it took me a long time to accept it even though i always thought I had. Nope. When I finally really did, it was like I was like a whole new me evolved. I was alive again. I thought I was living but no. You are an amazing woman and I'm so grateful that you are independent and strong! Your kids need you but you need you too! always remember that!!!


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