EDITION I

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I miss my cousin, my insomnia confidant Ashley Louise Collier December 4, 1979 – October 27, 2016

Well it’s been a year, and here is another difficult anniversary.  My cousin and I had the strangest relationship.  I was already 5 years old when she was born and until the last 7-8 years of her life we hadn’t been particularly close.  I don’t even know how it happened, but one day we realized we were alike, we liked the same things, we had the same views on things, we had the same sense of humor, we even had the same sleeping disorder.

I spoke at her funeral and I can’t remember the exact wording I used, but I had said it was like if you were watching a movie and the character took two different paths, we were the same in so many ways, but our lives were complete opposite of each other.  I also talked about how I didn’t think people even realized how close we were.  Ashley lived away from Utah a lot of the time, but we would stay up night after night messaging each other and laughing our asses off.  She was the younger one, but she taught me so much.

The last time I saw Ashley was at Madi and Tyler’s Balloon release, she had just moved home and could not make it to the funeral.

The odd thing is everyone at the balloon release kept asking who Ashley was, but I have to say that day she stuck out, it was like she had a light beam shining on her.  Ashley was always pretty, Always!  On that day she was wearing a blazer, a pencil skirt and heals. I think she had come straight from work , she always worked in law offices so her attire was definitely high quality, and that day she had her hair down.. If you knew Ashley you know about that hair, she had and always had the most gorgeous hair, I don’t even think there is anything to compare it to.  Think of the best hair you have ever seen…. Ashley’s hair was better I guarantee it.

I miss her, the months after Madi’s death Ashley would always check on me.  If it was the middle of the night and she saw me active on Facebook she would send me a ” Jocey are you ok?” message.  I miss those messages, I definitely struggle with the void losing her has left.  I still forget and go to message her when something funny happens.

I had read this at her funeral.  I had mentioned that it was cheesy and that I knew that, but when I had heard this on Grey’s Anatomy while writing what I would be saying at her funeral it reminded me of Ashley.

Ashley wherever it is that you are I hope everything is exactly how you dreamed things to be, I love you so much.

“You know how when you were a little kid and you believed in fairy tales? That fantasy of what your life would be. White dress, Prince Charming who’d carry you away to a castle on a hill… You’d lie in bed at night and close your eyes and you had complete and utter faith. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Prince Charming. They were so close you could taste them. But eventually you grow up. One day you open your eyes and the fairy tale disappears. Most people turn to the things and people they can trust. But the thing is, it’s hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely ’cause almost everyone still has that smallest bit of hope, of faith, that one day they’ll open their eyes and it will all come true. At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. It’s like one day you realize that the fairy tale might be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And it’s not so important that it’s happy ever after, just that it’s happy right now. See, once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you. And once in a while, people may even take your breath away. ”  

Sometimes the rules don’t apply….A tribute to Madi and Tyler… We love you

I guess technically this really isn’t a tribute to Madi and Tyler, technically it was justice, but I don’t know that Justice exists or if it ever has.

Our Justice system seems to be taking something that has been shattered and trying to make it as whole again as you can.  And sometimes you have all  the pieces and you can glue everything back, but it will always have those visible scars showing where the broken parts  were glued back in place.  Sometimes the missing pieces are under the fridge and you can’t reach them nor do you have the strength to move the fridge and of course you have no one to help to move it.  And sometimes all you have left is ceramic dust.   As part of Madi and Tyler’s family I believe what we have left is the  equivalent of ceramic dust…but we still do what we can.

That morning October 25th 2017 the sentencing for Marilee Gardner was to take place at 9:00 AM and of course I got there late.  While arriving I was told that I had missed the instructions, to which I replied  “I don’t listen to those anyways” , well that part is true but I would soon be seeing that I was not the only one, actually I kind of did listen this time around… well as far as the sentencing instructions and what I was aloud to say goes.  I followed the rules (address only the judge, don’t look at Marilee directly or say her name while talking, talk directly to the judge), but others knew instinctively what they needed to say for all of us, and what they needed to say did not fall in line with the rules.  I don’t want to say they broke the rules, because how dare they put rules on us, so I will say these family members felt so passionate about their thoughts and feelings that the rules didn’t apply.

At the very bottom of this post I placed what I said to the judge on Wednesday,  what I said was  from a blog post I had written at the beginning of the week it’s my What Madi Missed list.  There are so many stories to tell from this day, and I will get to them, but first I need to share what some of the family said that day to the judge and to Marilee herself.

Do what is right even if you stand alone.  This is how I would explain what Madi’s uncle Lee did on that day, with conviction he got up and said the raw unfiltered truth.  Here is what he told her.

” You are a murderer but not only a murderer you are a thief. You stole something from me and my family and Tyler’s family. Your selfish actions robbed us. Through out my life many people have judged me because of their own perceptions of who I am. This was never the case for my nieces and nephews. Maddison said one day how proud she was of me and that she looked up to me for things I’ve done- you’ve stolen that from me. You stole my niece, their cousins, their daughter, their granddaughter and friend. Our hearts are broken and I don’t even know if you care or feel what you’ve done. You are a thief and I don’t forgive you today and I won’t forgive you tomorrow but eventually I’ll have to if I expect to be forgiven by the Heavenly Father. We will be there in court when you turn 21 to make sure you remember those that you stole from and the lives you took. Your attorney said to the judge to take into consideration Of how Significantly detrimental this is to Miss Gardner but I don’t buy that. This is not about feeling bad for you it’s about those you killed.”

I will never give up fighting for you Madi and Tyler’s Grandpa’s both went for the jugular, as my friends put it “they were savage”.  They were both interrupted during what they were saying, but it was obvious to all that they were going to get their points across.

Tyler’s Grandpa talked about his relationship with his two grandsons, and I must say that when he talks about his grandsons I can tell they are his life.

He addressed the fact that from an outsider looking in it seems Marilee was maybe more privileged than our kids, but not more loved and that there may have been a lack of love from her parents.

He pointed out something I had also been told about which was a Facebook post from the 4th of July last year (4 days after the crash) from Marilee’s mother that said something about Marilee having a bad day, he also brought up Marilee’s father working for the Weber County Sheriff’s department and the disappointing way the case was handled.  He said Madi and Tyler deserved better, and they did.

Madi’s Grandpa was full of rage, he talked about how he didn’t write anything because he couldn’t get everything in writing.  He talked about how his life has stopped since Madi has been gone, he told Marilee that she robbed herself when she killed Madi because Madi would have been a friend to her, he called her a terrorist and told her that he hates terrorists.  He said he will never forgive her.

Madi’s Grandpa got to talk for a few minutes, but Marilee’s lawyer stopped him, they asked him for a copy of his letter , they said they needed that if he were to continue, since he had already stated there was no letter he obviously wouldn’t be able to continue and the microphone was taken from him.

You took my sister.  This one hurt me, not in a personal attack kind of way, but because I know and I see the reality of this, but what was said by Zoey was something I hadn’t had to hear prior to sentencing day.

My daughter Zoey had told me that she was not going to go to the sentencing, she had been saying it for months.  I really felt that she needed to be there, but I wouldn’t and didn’t pressure her about it.  I knew why she didn’t want to go, this is an incredibly hard thing to do.

Zoey and Madi were so ridiculously close and I feel that as far as day-to-day life goes Zoey’s life was the most affected by the loss of  Madi’s

Zoey got up and told Marilee ” I hate you! You took my sister and I will never forgive you.   My sister was my world and I don’t forgive you  now and I won’t forgive you ever”.

Those words were heartbreaking to hear, they were what I already knew, but to hear them being said out loud was like a punch to the stomach.

You took my brother.  Tyler”s brother did a really good job, it was pointed out to me that he was the only one who followed “the rules”,  he  sent a definite message. He let Marilee know that her selfish actions caused this, he also said the following which is exactly true.  It’s something you can’t explain in words, but he did.

“There isn’t one specific thing you miss about a person that you have lost, you miss the person as a whole, who they were to you, in your eyes, Tyler was my brother. I miss Tyler, I miss my brother everyday, and I will everyday until the day I die.”

 

If you only knew how much those little moments meant to me.  This is Marnie’s letter to the judge, Marnie did not read this out loud on Wednesday, but she does want everyone to know what Tyler meant to her.  Marnie truly loved Tyler and he was hers.  She will always fight for him and has been at every court hearing…. every single one…and I am so grateful for that.

Your honor, my name is Marnie. Tyler Christianson became my step son when he was around six months old. He came into my life with red hair and adorable chubby cheeks. Tyler called me Mom #2, a title I will always cherish. Tyler had a quiet demeanor about him and a great sense of humor, famous for his practical jokes. He loved working on cars, skate boarding and hanging with his friends.

He has a younger brother by three years Hunter who looked up to his older brother. They always looked forward to their boys trips with their grandpa and the all nighters they would have playing Xbox or PlayStation. Telling hunter his brother had been killed, watching the pain my son has gone through, has been the hardest thing as a parent I’ve had to endure. On June 30, 2016 our life’s changed because of one persons selfish choice.

I’m not sure what has been more difficult. For Tyler’s funeral trying to find the words to share with people, to put on paper words that could describe the love and emotions I have for Tyler. Choosing the right memories to share, so everyone could see how much he means to me. Or sitting here now trying to express the raw emotions of the constant pain of missing Tyler, knowing I will never see him again. To explain the loss, the hole that his death has left in my heart. The impact his murder has had on my life and my sons life. It would be like trying to describe a color to someone, it’s impossible to do, you can’t use words to describe this pain.

Having someone you love taken from you, in such a horrific, careless, selfish way. Seeing no remorse from Marilee Gardner for her actions, that have devastated our lives is heartbreaking and disturbing. She has robbed Tyler of his life. Losing a child is a different kind of grief. Hearing people talk about their children growing up, about their children’s experiences, knowing Tyler will never experience these. Collage, dating, marriage, children of his own, grandkids, holidays, growing old, birthdays. Tyler’s last birthday he celebrated was May 22, 2016 he turned 19. Tyler has no future, that was taken from him and our future with Tyler was also taken from us.

For the rest of my life I will have to visit my sons grave, on his birthday and holidays. I can only look at old pictures and watch old home movies from when he was little and the few recordings and videos his friends have sent, I will always cherish. It’s the only way I’ll hear his laugh or voice again. I only have the past and memories. There will be no more Silly texts, or those great big hugs he would give me. No more I love you’s. When we have family gatherings, vacations, Tyler should be with us. In pictures I can see where he should be standing. I feel like I have to put a mask of lies on, to get through those days. They are so emotional, it feels like a great weight sitting on my chest and I can’t breathe. But I have to smile and get through them for my other children and make everyone feel ok around me. But inside the sadness is over whelming. It’s sad, life does move on in the world, but my emotional mind is stuck on June 30 the the day he was taken from us.

Your honor, two irreplaceable lives were taken carelessly, selfishly on June 30, 2016. No remorse has been shown or heard, I hope justice is served and Marilee Gardner serves the full extent of punishment of her two sentences.
Sincerely,
Marnie

What Madi Missed

Family statement released 6/30/2016

Today our family lost our beautiful blue eyed girl with a heart of gold. She had big ambitions, loved music, enjoyed going to Bear Lake with her grandparents, and was a kind and loving soul.  She accomplished a lot in her 20 years but now the world will never know the good she could have accomplished because she was taken from us too soon.  We are grateful for the 20 years we had with her and thankful for the outpour of love and prayers for our families as we process this new reality for us, a world without her.
As we mourn for Madi we also see and feel many people mourning with us.  We also mourn the loss of her friend who lost his life in the accident and for his family and their loss. We are sorry for your loss.  In our sorrow, in time, we will find forgiveness for the driver that caused this senseless act that forever changed many lives.  Our hearts also go out to her family.
Written by Uncle Lee

I started with the statement from that day 6/30/2016,  I saw this yesterday for the first time since that day and started to reflect on it a bit.  I still have not written my victim impact statement for Wednesday, I am really struggling, not because of the words, but because I am so disappointed in so many people and I do not know how to make my statement not be full of rage.  Every time I start it goes immediately to my most angry place and I don’t honestly at this point think it is the time to share that, I feel off guard and that I am not ready.  But one thing I can say that I have learned from this is that life doesn’t care if you are ready and some people seem to care even less than life does.

What Madi Missed

Looking at the statement that Madi’s uncle Lee wrote that day I got stuck on Bear Lake of all things.  It just stood out, I started thinking about how my parents took my other two children to Bear Lake the week after Madi’s funeral.  And I remembered how it felt when I met them there a few days later, it felt empty, it felt sad, it felt forced and unnatural because we were missing someone who should have been there and who would have been there so I decided to make a list of what Madi missed.

Madi missed a balloon release in hers and Tyler’s honor

Madi missed my birthday, and only by two days, yes Madi was killed two days before my birthday

Madi missed the family dinner at my cousin Jessie’s and Nikki’s house the Sunday after she was killed and she missed seeing their dog Norman the Newfie who is always a favorite with my kids

Madi missed her funeral and the Cage the Elephant concert that she had bought tickets for that happened to be on that same night

Madi missed the 4th of July

Madi missed the trip to Bear Lake the week after her funeral and several trips since then

Madi missed her cousin Jamie’s wedding, which I also missed because I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other that soon after her death

Madi missed her cousin Talia’s wedding

Madi missed her first day at Weber State University

Madi missed her Grandpa’s birthday

Madi missed Halloween which is always our families favorite

Madi missed Thanksgiving

Madi missed mine and Zoey’s Christmas trip to Vegas, although we wouldn’t have been there if we had still had Madi.  We literally went and hid away because neither of us were ready to face a Christmas without her

Madi missed New Years

Madi missed her brother Diego’s 15th Birthday dinner

Madi missed her sister Zoey’s 18th Birthday  and our trip to the Natural History museum of Utah and the Spaghetti factory

Madi missed her Grandma’s Birthday

Madi missed our family paint night

Madi missed Bark in the Park, this was  a shared honor for her, but she still missed it

Madi missed her 21st Birthday, the one she had talked about so much in the four weeks between her birthday and when she was killed

Madi missed the horrible anniversary date of when she was killed, but we did not and I do not have or want a picture of this

Madi missed my birthday again and I spent some of it at her headstone because the two days prior was the anniversary date of her death and an overwhelming amount of flowers and gifts had been left to adorn her grave

Madi missed when her brother Diego bought his first car

Madi missed her cousin Taylor’s wedding

Madi missed her Uncle Jason’s Wedding and our big family trip  to New England that we had been planning for the two years prior to her death.

Madi missed the sleepover at Uncle Lee’s new house with Zoey and her cousin Audrie

Madi missed getting our new puppy Leo, something she would have been so happy about and she missed all of the picture taking she would have done with Leo, Moo-Shoo and Flash, no one takes doggy pictures quite like Madi did

Madi missed shopping trips, going out to eat, going to see movies, looking for a new apartment with Zoey and me.  She missed school, friends, concerts, tattoos, holidays.  She missed the trips to Mesquite with her Grandparents and Zoey and Diego.  She missed a lot, she missed too much.

This is a long list, but this is only a portion of what Madi missed.  What we missed is Madi.  She should have been  with us through all of these things and more.  When I look at the pictures we have taken since she has been gone it is plain to see what we missed and what we will always miss…. we miss Madi and she can’t be in our pictures anymore.  Our pictures will always be without Madi and I think that says it all.

The day of Madi’s and Tyler’s bark in the park

[ooyala code=”Zhc2FhYjE6G5vLs-GNUmAXOVBrDd2jcN” player_id=”3ce6404476914e86994d87aac3e4391b” auto=”true” width=”1920″ height=”1080″ pcode=”x1b3E6uSQFrERylr1X1PdViOr0tE”] ROY, Utah — Two friends killed in a car accident last summer were remembered through a special fundraiser Saturday. From cheering on dogs as they strut the runway, to checking out engines under the hoods of antique cars: The inaugural Bark in the Park was more than just […]

via ‘Bark in the Park’ raises funds for animals in honor of two young Utahns killed in crash — fox13now.com

What Madi missed and the many pictures she is missing from

 

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Family statement released 6/30/2016

Today our family lost our beautiful blue eyed girl with a heart of gold. She had big ambitions, loved music, enjoyed going to Bear Lake with her grandparents, and was a kind and loving soul.  She accomplished a lot in her 20 years but now the world will never know the good she could have accomplished because she was taken from us too soon.  We are grateful for the 20 years we had with her and thankful for the outpour of love and prayers for our families as we process this new reality for us, a world without her.
As we mourn for Madi we also see and feel many people mourning with us.  We also mourn the loss of her friend who lost his life in the accident and for his family and their loss. We are sorry for your loss.  In our sorrow, in time, we will find forgiveness for the driver that caused this senseless act that forever changed many lives.  Our hearts also go out to her family.
Written by Uncle Lee

I started with the statement from that day 6/30/2016,  I saw this yesterday for the first time since that day and started to reflect on it a bit.  I still have not written my victim impact statement for Wednesday, I am really struggling, not because of the words, but because I am so disappointed in so many people and I do not know how to make my statement not be full of rage.  Every time I start it goes immediately to my most angry place and I don’t honestly at this point think it is the time to share that, I feel off guard and that I am not ready.  But one thing I can say that I have learned from this is that life doesn’t care if you are ready and some people seem to care even less than life does.

Looking at the statement that Madi’s uncle Lee wrote that day I got stuck on Bear Lake of all things.  It just stood out, I started thinking about how my parents took my other two children to Bear Lake the week after Madi’s funeral.  And I remembered how it felt when I met them there a few days later, it felt empty, it felt sad, it felt forced and unnatural because we were missing someone who should have been there and who would have been there so I decided to make a list of what Madi missed.

Madi missed a balloon release in hers and Tyler’s honor

Madi missed my birthday, and only by two days, yes Madi was killed two days before my birthday

Madi missed the family dinner at my cousin Jessie’s and Nikki’s house the Sunday after she was killed and she missed seeing their dog Norman the Newfie who is always a favorite with my kids

Madi missed her funeral and the Cage the Elephant concert that she had bought tickets for that happened to be on that same night

Madi missed the 4th of July

Madi missed the trip to Bear Lake the week after her funeral and several trips since then

Madi missed her cousin Jamie’s wedding, which I also missed because I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other that soon after her death

Madi missed her cousin Talia’s wedding

Madi missed her first day at Weber State University

Madi missed her Grandpa’s birthday

Madi missed Halloween which is always our families favorite

Madi missed Thanksgiving

Madi missed mine and Zoey’s Christmas trip to Vegas, although we wouldn’t have been there if we had still had Madi.  We literally went and hid away because neither of us were ready to face a Christmas without her

Madi missed New Years

Madi missed her brother Diego’s 15th Birthday dinner

Madi missed her sister Zoey’s 18th Birthday  and our trip to the Natural History museum of Utah and the Spaghetti factory

Madi missed her Grandma’s Birthday

Madi missed our family paint night

Madi missed Bark in the Park, this was  a shared honor for her, but she still missed it

Madi missed her 21st Birthday, the one she had talked about so much in the four weeks between her birthday and when she was killed

Madi missed the horrible anniversary date of when she was killed, but we did not and I do not have or want a picture of this

Madi missed my birthday again and I spent some of it at her headstone because the two days prior was the anniversary date of her death and an overwhelming amount of flowers and gifts had been left to adorn her grave

Madi missed when her brother Diego bought his first car

Madi missed her cousin Taylor’s wedding

Madi missed her Uncle Jason’s Wedding and our big family trip  to New England that we had been planning for the two years prior to her death.

Madi missed the sleepover at Uncle Lee’s new house with Zoey and her cousin Audrie

Madi missed getting our new puppy Leo, something she would have been so happy about and she missed all of the picture taking she would have done with Leo, Moo-Shoo and Flash, no one takes doggy pictures quite like Madi did

Madi missed shopping trips, going out to eat, going to see movies, looking for a new apartment with Zoey and me.  She missed school, friends, concerts, tattoos, holidays.  She missed the trips to Mesquite with her Grandparents and Zoey and Diego.  She missed a lot, she missed too much.

This is a long list, but this is only a portion of what Madi missed.  What we missed is Madi.  She should have been  with us through all of these things and more.  When I look at the pictures we have taken since she has been gone it is plain to see what we missed and what we will always miss…. we miss Madi and she can’t be in our pictures anymore.  Our pictures will always be without Madi and I think that says it all.

 

 

 

 

So sometimes I’m a sensitive jerkface…

Well actually I’m always a sensitive jerkface, I have been sensitive my entire life, but eventually you hit your threshold and there is no going back.

I will probably be making cry baby posts this week, I don’t want to, but its just the reality of the sucky a** week ahead of me.

This picture popped into my head a few minutes ago, this is a picture Madi had taken a few weeks before she was killed, I had barely seen it in June right before the anniversary date of Madi and Tyler’s deaths and it caught me off guard and made me feel assured that there is something beyond here.

My friend Dana made this meme for her Facebook page Numbers 2 Success, I have the picture minus the words, but right now I need the words.

And then there was this boy named Tyler…

This has been a challenging thing to write…I cannot exactly put into words what Tyler means to me, it is definitely more of a feeling …..an inexpressible feeling.  Tyler means so much to me and because of that I need to share as best I can what that means.

Tyler was killed with Madi on 6/30/2016 by Marilee Gardner who will be sentenced next week on 10/25/2017 for the 1st of two attempted murder charges that are included in her plea agreement.  I had never met Tyler in this realm, but I honestly love him so much.  I am sure other family members from both Madi’s and Tyler’s families understand what I mean, but this is a very strange thing…   Marnie and I have talked about this phenomenon and it really is like we knew each others kids even though we did not,  I guess we know them now would be a better way of explaining it.

I just have to say again that this is hard, and this is the first time I have written about that night and it is not easy.

That day 6/29/2016, or I guess technically the day before they were killed was a very odd day, it had actually been a very odd week and a half, it was like I knew something was going to happen, and I even have witnesses to that.

I had gone to the cemetery 3 times during that week and a half,  I would go visit my Grandma Rhea’s grave and I don’t know what I was expecting from her, but I sincerely thought that was where I needed to be, I would sob for hours and had no idea why.

The Monday prior to this I cried all day at work, a coworker actually went and bought doughnuts in an attempt to cheer me up.   That same night I went to my friend Gena’s and again could not quit crying.  She asked me what was wrong and my answer was ” I feel like something bad is coming, something worse than what I have ever been through” I said “I feel like it is something that I am not going to be able to get through and I am going to be alone”.  I am getting off subject here and I apologize for that but prior to Madi being killed I had lost a sister-in-law, she had been killed by my ex brother-in-law on 6/09/2014 and it had shaken me bad, I was still struggling with what had happened when Madi was killed.

Madi worked A LOT anyone who knew her could attest to that, but that day she had off.  This may not seem very meaningful, but thankfully she had seen almost all of us that day.  Around 9:00 pm I had heard my front door open and close, Madi and I were the only ones home at the time.  She was not one to leave without saying where she was going, she would run to the gas station or store to get a drink and come right back , but nothing longer than that without saying anything.   When she was going out for the night she would always come and tell me  she was leaving and who she was going to be with, so when I heard that door I didn’t think much of it.

At 9:30 PM my other daughter came home, I heard the door and thought it was Madi getting back, but it was Zoey and she said “Mom where is Madi?” I told her I didn’t know, and then she said “well her car is here but she’s gone”, that was so odd and unlike her so I called her and again I look back and I am so extremely happy for this last conversation….  She answered and I could hear the wind rustling like when you are driving with the windows down, and she sounded happy.  I asked her where she was and she answered West Haven, I said who are you with?  She replied “a friend” I said jokingly does this friend have a name?  “She said “I don’t know” and giggled, I told her to be careful and have fun with her friend with no name and she said “ok” and giggled again and that was that.  I am not sure how, when or why the switch out of cars occurred, but at some point they came back and got Madi’s car.

At this point I can’t bring myself to write about the rest of that night, I will one day, but it’s hard to put those words down even though they are probably my most repeated thoughts.

Needless to say after the crash we were told there had been a boy with her, we were not given a name right away, but we had been told that he was still alive.

When something like this happens you are 100% running on an instinct/ adrenaline combo so those who know me keep that in mind,  and those of you who do not  I would just like to say that I am not really the praying type.  For some instictual reason I prayed, and I mean I prayed my a** off .   I just kept saying please, please, please let him be ok and in that honest space I needed him to be ok.  This boy whose name I didn’t know, I needed him to be ok.

It was probably an hour later when we found out that Tyler hadn’t made it and as bipolar as this sounds it was like someone snapped their fingers and I switched brains or something…I was suddenly thankful and relieved that Madi was not alone, Like I said previously it is all instinct during times like that and maybe you just find comfort in whatever you can.

The day after this which was July 1st there was a balloon release for our two kids and right away while meeting each others families it was apparent that Madi and Tyler both came from similar families,  they both had extremely close relationships with grandparents, they both had half brothers/sisters, they were both the oldest in their families.   There were other similarities, but you get my drift.

I met Marnie that day and also learned that Tyler had three moms, Mom3 had messaged me on the first day that this had happened,  I learned that Tyler was her sons best friend and that they had grown up together.

I didn’t actually get to meet Mom3 face to face until months later,  I believe it was April.  Meeting her was an emotional comfort.  I had told her my story of that night and we talked about our own beliefs spiritually speaking  and when each of us had thought that they had went .  She let me know that she felt they went together.  It’s a hard thing to talk about because it is such a personal thing and something people really believe in,  but I  agreed and I had honestly felt like that was how it happened, I think they went together.

I am so peaceful when I think of that, no matter what and no matter how riled up I get, when I think about how these two left this world together it brings me peace knowing they were not alone.  Mom3 told me that she just knows that Tyler grabbed Madi and hugged her tight, she said so tight that she knew that she was ok because that was how he was.

I wish I could explain more, but I don’t think anyone would be able to make sense out of my words.  I will however say this…. How could I not have an extraordinary amount of love for Tyler when he was with Madi during a time so monumental for the both of them?  I really want to be able to explain more, because it is much much much more than this.  I think the reason it is difficult to verbalize is that it is a spiritual connection, I feel it’s ok to not to be able to explain spiritual things, they are bigger than us and even when the words do come out they still won’t explain what it really means, I guess there are no words.  So Tyler I want to say there are no words to explain the love that I have for you..

Madi and Tyler neither of you had it easy, you were not spoiled or privileged in the slightest, you were good hard-working kids who are very loved and missed by many.

This is just somethting cool that I wanted to share.

When we  first started putting together the Madi’s and Tyler’s 1st Annual Bark in the Park event I had been racking my brain trying to think of what to put on the shirts.  One morning I had remembered how when I had seen Tyler’s obituary I had noticed that they were both Gemini’s.  Gemini is the sign of the twins, the symbol for Gemini is the Roman numeral two (picture the light bulb above my head) Marnie added the idea of the infinity  sign and a friend and debate teammate of Madi’s from high school reminded me of  one of Madi’s tattoo’s”  Je Me Souviens (I remember in French).

 

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