The Early Years
Tyler, Cindy and Grandmother Ash at Bayers Road Baptist Church. Newspaper clipping from the Chronicle Herald-Mail Star, Halifax NS. 1984
Tyler was extremely shy and quiet. The exact opposite of his sister. His big sister loved the concerts and plays and Christmas was a time when she would shine. It was a different story for Tyler. His first concert was at Bayer’s Road Baptist Church when he was 3 or 4. He practised and sang his song with the other children but on the night of the concert he was terrified. He walked on stage with all the other pre-schoolers and being tall for his age was in the back row. The group did their recitations and then sang a song. Ty looked out at the crowd of parents and family and the colour drained from his normally rosy cheeks. I kept looking at him and smiling, hoping to reassure him. He did not smile back. It was not until the music ended and the front rows started to moved off the stage in the orderly fashion that the colour started to come back in his face. The look he gave was sheer relief as he followed his line to safety. When the first row stepped down you could see Tyler relax, he blew out a breath he had been holding. He still did not smile. Until it came his turn to walk across the stage and down the steps he flashed that little trade mark grin of his. What he didn’t see was the last girl in the row and the only one left on stage, was still back there playing with her skirts basking in the glow of fame and the attention. Suddenly he looked back and noticed her. He looked out at us, he looked back at her, he looked at the short distance between him and the steps down to safety and then looked back at the farther distance to her. He took an audible deep breath, looked at us again and whipped around within seconds, back to her side. He very gently tapped her on the shoulder but she kept dancing. He tapped again and looked out at the audience once more then left her to follow. The church was laughing collectively as she finally watched him leave, saw she was alone and followed him across the stage and down to their seats. Caring about other people was the way he would live his life.
Sick from school
When day I was home baking for Christmas and Ty he decided he had a headache. He was in grade 4 or 5 by this time and sometimes his headaches were real sometimes he had what I called schoolitis. This day I wasn’t sure, so I let him stay home. At lunch he got out of bed, ate and said he felt better and wanted to go for a walk. He seemed a bit sad so instead of insisting he stay in I figured the fresh air and exercise would boost his spirits and maybe lessen his headache. About 30 minutes later he came running in the door, beaming, with an occasional giggle and a big smile on his face. I can remember him laughing out loud, as he told the story: ‘I was sitting at the rink and I was lonely. I just sat there and told God I was lonely. I asked him to please send me someone to talk to, an Angel or anyone.’ He said that’s when he heard someone or something coming towards him; he could hear breathing and the bushes moving. He said he turned around to see. I could imagine him trying to be brave yet a little apprehensive as he slowly turned around. Suddenly the family dog came in sight. (She went to the door about 10 -15 minutes after he left. I let her out and she apparently went looking for him.)
The dog’s name: Angel. Ty thought it was great that God had a wonderful sense of humour. I was thankful too. Not only did God send an ‘Angel’ and show Ty He was listening but He also made Ty laugh was he was sad.