Today I’d like to share something with you that is personal. It’s the reason why I’m here today. Growing up with divorced parents has always been normal for me. I was four when It happened and wasn’t really aware at that time what was really going on. My brother, Eric, was 11 and remembers much more about it than I do. I never doubted my parents love for us. I witnessed the sacrfices they had to take so that Eric and I were always taken care of. Both my parents sacrificed so I could go to Art School. My mom let me move 2 hours away from Vancouver to Tacoma, WA my sophmore year so I could attend a School of the Arts. And my dad moved his whole business and life so I could live with him and go to school there. It certainly was a crazy transition and I loved every minute of it. That was a huge part of my life that lead me to where I am today. I also could sense as I got older that both my parents had a part missing from them and didn’t fully understand why until I grew up. But I want to share a more personal aspect of my life. And it takes place before I was born.
On March 20, 1979, my mom gave birth to my oldest brother Tyler. And then on July 20, 1985, Tyler (Age 6) died suddely when a tree fell on him. My grandfather was cutting down trees and Tyler wasn’t paying attention and ran right as the tree was falling and killed him instantly. I know Tyler’s death has affected my family in a drastic way. My brother Eric was 4 years old when it happened and has never been the same.
If Tyler wouldn’t have died that day, I would not be here today. So it’s bitter sweet today for my parents.
This is because my mother had her tubes tied after Eric was born. This procedure back then wasn’t easy to perform, let alone reverse. So a few years after Tyler’s death my mom got the procedure reversed and had her tubes untied to have another child so Eric didn’t grow up alone. After having a few miscarriages, on January 3, 1989, I was born. They named me with the same initials as my brother Tyler. It wasn’t until recently that I got this revelation from God one day that, in this weird way – to help see and understand God’s love, He showed me that Tyler died so that I may have life…just as Jesus died so that I may have life. How crazy is that? When God showed me that I began to weep. I understood salvation in a new way and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again.
I’m not sure if you have noticed but I have this obsession with trees. They have so much depth and meaning behind them. I desire to be the tree planted by streams of water that does not wither. The kind of tree the Bible takes about when bearing good fruit. And after having this strange connection with trees, I realized that Tyler died by a tree and Jesus died on a tree. Again, crazy! I don’t think all of this is a coincidence but I believe it has helped me in my faith – to know that there is a God that loves and cares and that he CAN take a situation that he could have stopped but allowed so that in the end He could be more glorified. Because at the end of the day it’s all about how He LOVES us, even though we’re not worthy of love.
It’s weird to think about who he would be today if he was still alive. What would he look like? What kind of person would he be? And I just sit and cry as I write this because I know God is real and He loves me. He is able to help me see His love in a way that I can relate to. I needed that. And I pray that He does the same for you. He gives you and shows you things to help better your understanding of Him. We will never fully understand Him and why He does or doesn’t do things.
Thank you for reading this. This is the real me. I am who I am and I know God has made me in His image and I KNOW I am here for a reason and it’s taken me a while to really believe that. So I hope you know that YOU also are here for a reason.
My mom finished her Bachelor’s degree in 2000 and wrote this paper in honor of Tyler. Check that at www.tylercockhill.com