I am a mom who gets up just like you. I take time for God every morning, some more than others. I drink my coffee to get me ready for the day. I plan my day with the hope to uncover the best in it. I am a passionate mom with a desire to grow and learn to be a better person. I always have and I always will be. I am constantly reading, exercising or trying to change me. The only thing that makes me different,than you is that I have lost a child. I am now in the club of “bereaved moms.” It’s a club you do not want to be in. I did not choose it, but I have decided since it chose me, I will make the best of it.

I lost my son Tyler almost 4 years ago on August 23, 2013. He lost his life in a car accident a very short distance from our house on a country road. He had just turned 15 years old, 3 short days before that terrible night. He didn’t get a chance to play his first freshman football game, or even hug me goodbye. He was only going to be gone for 30 minutes.

He is the reason I do what I do! He gives me hope to help others.

Tyler was just a one-of-a-kind, kind of guy. But what mom wouldn’t say that about their kid? Tyler was my second child and he was the most calm, easy going, happy, positive person I know. He could calm me when I got upset or frustrated. I remember a time I was mad. He would just say,” Mom everything is going to be alright.” in that calm peaceful voice and then he’d smile. I will never forget that and still think of that moment when I need calming. He had the prettiest blue eyes that melted your heart and a laugh that made you laugh with him. I hope I never stop hearing that sound! He was the type of kid that was always looking out for everyone, especially kids that were not in the popular group. I can remember me judging a person he was hanging out with I’m sure for that reason. Tyler said,” He’s fun and he likes basketball. Why won’t I like to hang out?” Boy did that leave an imprint in my mind. I had no reason to judge that boy, I didn’t even know him. He would also sit at a table during lunch with anyone who wanted to hang out and eat. He didn’t have to be in a special group.

Tyler loved sports! His favorite was basketball and track. He played football because he knew it would get him in shape for the others and he was a team player. He was always willing to change positions, and get beat up by the seniors because no one else would go up against them. I can remember him telling me if they played as a team they can go far! He was always encouraging others. He is the reason I do what I do.

There are days I sit at the table for supper and we are short one plate, one person. Other days I walk by his room and he is not there. I no longer wash his clothes or pick up after him. I don’t write his name on cards. This was the hardest thing to do. Why can’t I write his name? He is still in our family? The only reason I know is he is not here physically and it makes people confused. To make me feel better I just write “The Hillmer Family” then I don’t feel like I have abandoned him. Tyler is as real to me now as he was when he was alive. He is still my son, I gave birth to him, I still celebrate his birthday, but I also will never forget the day he left this world. This is my life. It is very real and so is Tyler.

So I ask you, please don’t judge others who have lost loved ones when you think it’s time for them to “get over it” or “move on.” Until you have been in the club I am in, you have no idea what it does to a person. I know for a fact a parent would do anything to have their child come back or change places! It is that HEART BREAKING and PAINFUL! It is a club you don’t wish on your worst enemy.

This is the reason I do what I do! I believe I have been lead to help others get through their loss. I am able to get up each day because I know God will lead me to someone via the internet, in person, from my article or at work. My passion is to help others heal from the loss of a loved one. So for the last three years we have had a memorial walk/run in memory of Tyler. We did this to help support others during the anniversary of a “bad time” and try to find the good. The first year we were surprised to raise extra money. We were able to donate $1000 to the Palmer EMT’s & Fire Department. Last year we had a big goal of raising enough money to provide 19 scholarships to Tyler’s graduating classmates. We were blessed by raising $5745 to give 16 of his classmate’s scholarships who were going to college in the fall. Our goal is to keep Tyler’s memory alive by giving scholarships to graduating Palmer seniors for as long as we can. The money raised from the walk/run will go to the Tyler Hook Hillmer Memorial Scholarship Fund. This year the Tyler Hook Hillmer Sunset Trail Walk/Run & Balloon Release will be held on Sat. August 19th. We do not do this for sympathy or recognition, but we do it to help others heal from a loss of a loved one or friend no matter if it was Tyler or someone else. We come together to support each other as a family.

I encourage you to check out our facebook page Tyler Hook Hillmer Sunset Trail Walk/Run & Balloon Release.

Or you can sign up at www.Active.com to walk, run or just to buy a t-shirt to help support a great cause. I promise you won’t want to miss this fun event with lots of surprises that day!

My hope is to look out over the trail & see an over-abundance of bright colored run shirts enjoying the sun setting. But most of all, seeing families coming together to remember Tyler or a loved one, laughing and having fun, knowing they are supporting each other and changing a bad day and into a good one.

And this is why I do what I do.

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.