So, I thought the hardships in my past were God’s way of making me strong enough to get sober. Now, in my 8th year of Recovery, I realize that my Recovery is God’s way of making me strong enough for #TeamTyler. Everyone says, “don’t get sober for other people. Do it for yourself.” I say, “it is My Recovery. I’ll do it for whomever I want and for whatever keeps me Sober.” I will choose my own Touchstones, thank you very much.
I feel like I am strong in my sobriety, but Addiction is a sneaky and deceitful beast not to be trusted. She will trick you and lie to you and pounce on you when you are the weakest and most vulnerable. She is patient, too. She will wait years, if she has to, to find a way back into your life. She feeds on weakness and self-doubt and heartache, but all her deceitful strength has got nothin’ on my Faith.
My Touchstones are my Faith in God, my promise to Tyler, and the fact that if Schuyler ever needed a Sober Mama, he needs Her now. God is my Strength. He will not allow any of the Pain to be in vain. He will Light my way and guide each step.
Michelle and Emily and I realized yesterday how much “one day at a time” applies to Recovery from a tragedy as it does to Recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Just hang in there for a minute, an hour, a day… You will get through. Hold each other up and lean on Him.
The past two weeks have been the longest split-seconds of all time. How can it be that just 14 days ago I was happily fixing breakfast for this crew?!? That very day that ended so painfully…
We had such an amazing day! Tyler, Schuyler, Ava Jane, my daddy, Cade, Prince Charming and I all held hands to say a blessing over breakfast. After sausage and biscuits, we piled on the golf carts and headed to the pool...
Schuyler, Tyler and Cade made friends with some other boys at the pool and had a blast with a crazy version of hoops that they made up to include the younger kids.
Ava Jane and I focused on more important things like adding to our endless collection of Auntie-Niece Selfies.
We had lunch by the pool and mom and I convinced the kids to play one of our favorite games where we take turns asking eachother interesting questions and each one of us answers. Schuyler, Cade and Ava, who have been playing their whole lives, were less excited to play than Tyler. But Tyler played eagerly til we ran out of questions, excited for each one. We learned a lot and laughed a lot. After lunch, Daddy, Schuyler and Tyler set out for the East Beach of Bald Head Island, where the waves are perfect for bodysurfing…
Now, two weeks later, Tyler is still unconcious in the ICU at the hospital in Wilmington, NC. How can it be? He is the most wonderful boy who belongs to the most wonderful family, so why? How? How can such a good person who does so much for others with no expectations of anything in return be suddenly fighting for his life? Someone who did so much for others for the pure Joy of the doing. And finally, what does one do when she is totally helpless, but feels painfully responsible? How do you get out from under the weight of it all? There must be Light amongst these darkest of dark shadows…
Ten days ago, my son’s best friend nearly drowned while swimming with my father and son in the ocean on a family vacation with us on Bald Head Island, NC. He is on life support in the ICU in Wilmington, NC and has not been conscious since the accident. There are so many things I could say about our precious Tyler and the events surrounding this accident, but one thing is weighing on me particularly today. The weight is incredible particularly because I KNOW better, but cannot reason with My Heart.
Within the first few hours at the hospital, the doctors explained to us that Tyler’s Recovery would be a roller-coaster. We would have forward progress and setbacks, but we musn’t be discouraged. Ok. I get it. We all get it, IN THEORY. In actuality, we have clung to every morsel of Promise and Hope we can find. We are positive and prayerful and hopeful and encouraged. However, even the slightest setbacks have been devastating. We have to be disciplened to not get unraveled by the “bumps” in the road of Recovery.
So, it should not be a surprise to me that my emotional journey would be any different. But, I am moving backwards! I am becoming MORE of a mess, not stronger! Why am I not on a straight upward trajectory?!? I don’t want to lose ground. I can’t bare to think that tomorrow might be harder than today. I can’t believe that I would be feeling even MORE heartache after 10 days than after 2. Is it because the shock has worn off, now? Is the reality setting in now? Is it because I miss Tyler? He is such a wonderful boy and a joy. Could it be that school is starting and he should be here in Richmond buying school supplies and practicing with the football team? Could I just be exhausted from it all?
My son, Schuyler, says that Tyler’s mama, Michelle and I are so much a like! I never knew how much til we faced Tyler’s accident. She has been a rock and an inspiration to everyone around her. She also has a wonderful sense of humor, even in this tough situation. However, she has been struggling more the last few days, too. Do I just feel her pain?
When I look back at all of my questions, I realize that each should be answered with a “yes”. Recovery is NOT a straight road. Yes. The shock is beginning to wear off a bit. Yes. The painful reality is slowly setting in. Yes. I miss that sweet boy and his big heart and kind spirit. Yes. It makes my heart hurt that he missed the first football game last night and that his junior year will start without him. Yes. I’m exhausted from it all. And, yes, perhaps most of all, my heart is broken for Tyler’s wonderful family. I do feel my precious friend’s pain. Accident or not, Trey and Michelle trusted us with their most precious baby boy. We did not bring him home safely as promised and my heart is broken and the pain and guilt come in waves.
Even still, God is good. I know God has a Plan for Tyler and for all of us. I am amazed by the Miracles and acts of Grace, from the terrifying moments on the beach until this very afternoon. We continue to pray and travel together on this road to Recovery, no matter the hills and valleys, with our eyes on Him.