So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

How does a person prepare for something they have never experienced? I have planned and prepared for my oldest son’s graduation. I have been to many graduations, but I had never been to a graduation for my son who would not be there. You see, my son Tyler died on August 23, 2013, due to a car accident and wouldn’t be graduating. We wouldn’t be pinning a flower on his gown or waiting with the other families and taking pictures before the ceremony. He wouldn’t be walking down the aisle or celebrating his big accomplishments. I know he would be proud of us for our support and being there for his classmates as they struggle to put a smile on and enjoy their BIG DAY! Tyler was just that way. He was always looking out for others, especially the ones who had no one. He was not physically with us that day, but I know he was there in spirit.

We were blessed to have family and friends sit with us at graduation. There were tears, sadness, but also joy. We were prepared for what would happen. We knew when we walked in the gym everyone would be watching– where we sit, how we act and what we do. If I were in their place I would be thinking and doing the same thing. But my heart would be breaking from knowing they are not going home with their graduate to celebrate. As we sat and prepared, we knew there would be a slideshow of the graduates and Tyler will be on there. His class asked that he be placed in the order he would have been if he were here. The only difference was his picture had “In Memory of Tyler Hook Hillmer Aug. 20, 1998- Aug. 23, 2013.” The emotion of sitting in the darkness, hearing the music, knowing we would see his pictures on the same screen in the same gym we had his funeral was hard to wrap my mind around. With all of that being said, we were somewhat prepared for those tears.

But, the next set of tears took us by surprise. It was the rose ceremony when the graduates give their mom or special people in their life a rose. To our surprise a rush of orange and black gowns came our way first before heading to their parents or friends. We were surprised with flowers, hugs, love and tears from Tyler’s classmates. It was at this moment we knew Tyler was very real in everyone’s minds. It reminded me of a volcano preparing to erupt and at that point it did.

Wow, there were so many emotions running rampant that afternoon. I remember feeling like the whole ceremony was in slow motion. I felt numb almost to the point of thinking this was not real. I looked down to see what I needed to prepare for next. It’s the “Farwell” speech from one of Tyler’s good buddies. As he started to speak he was doing good– bringing laughter, memories of current situations and then there is the ending. He is thanking us for all we have done to support Tyler’s class these last four years. These were words of gratitude, appreciation, and love that brought buckets of tears to everyone’s eyes. Words he could barely get through and hard for me to believe he was even saying. Once again the realness hit, Tyler was really not here or graduating.

Quickly after the “Farwell” speech the graduates were awarded their scholarships, diplomas and the class was presented as the 2017 graduating class of Palmer High School. The kids flooded off the stage to the song, Don’t You Forget About Me, by Simple Minds

…Don’t you forget about me

Don’t don’t don’t don’t

Don’t you forget about me

 

Will you stand above me?

Look my way, never love me

Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling

Down, down, down

 

Will you recognize me?

Call my name or walk on by

Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling

Down, down, down, down

Hey, hey, hey, hey…

 

The song seemed to be a play on words in so many ways. Don’t forget about the graduating class of 2017 and for me, don’t forget about Tyler Hook Hillmer.

There are times like these that I know with all my being Tyler’s memories will live on in our hearts forever. His class has told us that so many times. I know after awhile things are forgotten, but I hope as Tyler’s class grows and moves on they can say because of this sad loss they have grown stronger. I hope they will go out there to make a difference in someone’s life for the better. I hope they remember him when they see a hook, a dragonfly, and the #22 or just hear the name Tyler.

Missy Hillmer

Missy Hillmer is a writer, photographer, wife, mother, creative lady whose mind is constantly on the go. She loves coffee, dark chocolate especially with nuts, music soothes her soul and being outside in the sun recharges her body. She has an angel in Heaven. Her faith is what gets her through each day. Since her son Tyler’s accident she is passionate about telling her story with the hope that it will help or inspire at least one person who has lost a child.

My Baby Was Stillborn, But Still Born

In: Child Loss, Grief
My Baby Was Stillborn, But Still Born www.herviewfromhome.com

My baby was stillborn, but still born. In a cool white hospital room where so many had been born before. My body trembled and shook as his body worked its way out of my womb and into the hands of a doctor. He was void of breath, of sound, of movement, but he was still born. My baby was stillborn, but still lived. In the darkness of my womb. The outline of his body was visible against the darkness of the screen, his presence undeniable. The sound of his heartbeat drowned out the sound of mine as I watched his...

Keep Reading

I Am Not My Child’s Death

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Faith, Grief
I Am Not My Child's Death www.herviewfromhome.com

We are NOT what has happened to us or what this world says we are. That is not what defines us. While we are grieving parents, that is not what our whole story has to be about. Although, at times, we feel that our story is over. We ask, how do we go on and live full lives without our sweet Sophie with us? I’m still not 100 percent sure I know the answer to that. BUT the Lord says I am beloved. I am redeemed and accepted. I am holy and chosen. I am righteous and complete. I am...

Keep Reading

The Hardest Moments After Losing a Child

In: Child Loss, Grief, Motherhood
The Hardest Moments After Losing a Child www.herviewfromhome.com

Within the first three months following the death of my newborn daughter, I participated in one baby shower, attended two first birthday parties, had multiple infants in and around my home, and watched not one, not two, but five of my closest friends take happy, healthy babies home from the hospital. And in the midst of my own life-altering experience, I purchased, wrapped, and mailed a gift to every one of those new babies, because they deserved one. In the days and months after my daughter died, I didn’t run away or hide from babies at all. And this seemed...

Keep Reading

6 Commitments I Made to Myself After Child Loss

In: Child Loss, Grief, Kids, Motherhood
6 Commitments I Made to Myself After Child Loss www.herviewfromhome.com

Following the death of our infant daughter, I found myself facing an opportunity to activate the immense power of personal choice. Time and time again. Hour after hour, day after day. It felt as if every moment that passed provided me with a choice: to let the grief consume me, or not. In the midst of the most emotionally complex experience of my life, my ability to survive felt as simple as that. Will grief consume me, or not? Once I began believing that Olivia had lived out her life’s plan completely—that she had come, she had loved, she had...

Keep Reading

To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone

In: Child Loss, Grief, Infertility, Motherhood
To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone www.herviewfromhome.com

You are walking the hardest path anyone will ever walk—living this life without your children. Your losses have come in many shapes and sizes. You’ve lost tiny heartbeats early in the womb. You’ve screamed and sobbed through labor to deliver a silent but perfect little bundle. You’ve held a fragile infant for hours, days, weeks, or months, only to give him back to Heaven. You’ve watched your little one grow into a curious toddler and then held her a final time as disease or an accident took her away. You’ve lived a full childhood with your baby and even watched...

Keep Reading

A Letter to My Mama, From Your Baby in Heaven

In: Child Loss, Faith, Grief, Miscarriage
A Letter to My Mama, From Your Baby in Heaven www.herviewfromhome.com

Dear Mama, I know you miss me and wish you could watch me grow up. But instead, you sit in that rocking chair, tears streaming down your face, arms wrapped around the blanket that was supposed to be mine. I see you crying, Mama, wishing you could hold me. Wishing you could look into my eyes. Wishing you could hear me cry or call you “Mama”. I want you to know Jesus rocks me to sleep every night and while He does it, He tells me all about you. I know tulips are your favorite flower and that every spring...

Keep Reading

God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle

In: Child Loss, Faith, Grief
God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle www.herviewfromhome.com

I used to be someone who said, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” That was before I had faced any hardships in my life. I didn’t know who God truly is. When people are going through something hard and decide to share it, it makes people uncomfortable. It’s hard to watch others who are hurting, and it’s hard not knowing how to help when it’s someone you love. “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” is a very well-meaning encouragement that I know is meant in love. I’ve said it before! But it’s not really...

Keep Reading

Why I Got a Tattoo With My Teenage Daughters

In: Child Loss, Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Why I Got a Tattoo With My Teenage Daughters www.herviewfromhome.com

“We should get a tattoo, Mom.” I laughed. I knew it was just my younger daughter, Sarah’s way of getting herself a tattoo—to go along with her nose ring, and six ear piercings. She didn’t really want me to get one. Did she? “Truth!” My oldest, more conservative daughter, Elle, chimed in. “We should all go.” What? Home from college just five minutes, maybe she was bored. I heard tattoos really hurt and she hates pain, like I do. I glared at my two daughters, now 17 and 19. They can read my mind. I knew it! There was something...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading