Tyler was not a bad kid but neither did he live the angelic life I had wanted for both my children. I held my first darling daughter in my arms and vowed I was going to be the world’s best mother. My children would never be saucy, would never sneak out to parties drinking, smoking doing drugs or commit any of the debauchery known to some teens of my day. They wouldn’t lie, steal or disobey. I planned on raising little biblical ten commandment people. By the time I was through the terrible two’s, the independent five’s, the rebellious teens, I was just praying; “please keep them both alive and out of jail”. And my kids were good, relatively speaking, in many ways but parenting is hard. Especially by the time Ty was 15, we had already lived though the heartache and upheaval (to say the least) of divorce. Ty, like his sister before him, attended some of the local parties. I remember several times Ty called me at 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning to come get him, which was okay by me. Once I remember him being out later than I expected. When I asked why; he reluctantly told me a young girl he knew was drinking and he didn’t trust leaving her there alone. So he waited until her and her friends left. Often times Ty was the driver. One time he borrowed my car and the next day the drivers side door was a mess. Someone had opened the window and tried to be sick outside; he didn’t quite make it. I asked who it was but Ty would not tell me. I admire he didn’t want to tarnish a friend in my eyes now, at the time I was only concerned with the mess. Neither of my children were really interested in the downtown bar scene. Actually fishing, camping, walking in the woods and the beach held as much interest. When Ty turned 24, he seemed far less interested in parties. He was training in a new job that he really loved, while working at two other jobs, one landscaping, one renovating houses. Although sometimes hard, tiring and dirty work he enjoyed all three and cared about the people he was working for and with. He explored sky diving classes and scuba diving. He was trying to restore his Plymouth valiant that he brought from out west, while fixing the car he was driving at the time. He walked across the ice from the old lobster pound to the island. Life seem to have more meaning for him. After one of the parties, he came home very frustrated. I can still remember that day. He had a white T-shirt on and he was pacing the floor, which he did when he was extremely agitated and frustrated. I can’t remember the exact words but he had seen what he called kids doing drugs and it upset him. He would not tell me who ‘the kids’ were and I don’t know what the drug was but it bothered him. I realized it must’ve been pretty serious because he said this to his mother whom he thought was very naïve. He also knew I was an extreme worrywart. At the end of his rant he declared he was going to “clean up” the area. I felt a renewed sense of hope my son was growing into manhood. He obviously cared about other people, saw the pitfalls of the party scene and wanted to help kids in his home town. Unbeknownst to me, Ty attempted to follow through on this declaration. He was trying to get people involved in things other than parties. He carried Adam (Adam who was suffered a spinal cord injury and walking was difficult at best) on his back through the woods to enjoy one of Adam’s favorite pastimes of fishing in a brook. He coaxed friends to jump out of an airplane with him. He came home late the weekend of August 6 and even after the 1 hour drive from Waterville Nova Scotia he was esctatic with his first free fall jump. I didn’t go that day and I was so sorry to have missed it. He was still excited and he said to me I’m going to take everybody I know sky diving. Its a natural high….I think I understood what he meant and didn’t say. Ty had purchased a white Oldsmobile from his father but it was in constant need of repairs. He decided to fix it, but then sell it and go back to driving his 1970 valiant that he was restoring. I found out weeks after Tyler was taken from us, that he had promised his car to a friend. He was not going to sell it to him, he was going to give it to him on one condition. The stipulation was no drinking nor drugs for 30 days and then he could have the car, no charge and Ty was even going to fix it first. That friend succeeded in turning his own life around. He has a wonderful job, wife, children and is free from addiction. I like to think Tyler started him on the right path and then helped see him through from afar. Although the fund is a relatively small charity dependent mainly on donations, we were able to make a small difference in a couple of lives. Two young men we sponsored through teen challenge have succeeded in graduating from the program and were, at last correspondence enrolled in higher education. We would like to grow as a fund and support activities to divert youth from addicting behaviors before they have a problem.
We want to help ‘clean up’ as Tyler wanted….