A new year means new beginnings. I have been trying to do that since the day you left me.

Hey buddy,

It’s your mom, you probably already know that, but this year is going to be a great year. It’s 2022. Yes, it has your number “22.” That is the number you wore on all of your sports jerseys. I see it all the time. I tell myself it’s a good sign. It’s a sign of you and how can that not be good?

I have a hard time believing it will be the ninth year without you physically here. I really feel like I am growing, changing for the better. I have stopped running away from the fact you are not coming home and I can’t run to you. No matter how far I run or what I tell myself, it is not going to bring you back.

RELATED: The Impossible Grief of Child Loss Hurts Forever

I have been working hard on me. Yes, me I said. I am eating healthy, taking care of myself, praying, talking to God a lot, smiling not only on the outside to make it look good, but on the inside. I am actually feeling some emotions.

It has been a long time since I have felt anything.

I would say my guards have been up to protect my heart. I thought if I let them down my heart would break into a million pieces after the day I lost you.

I do think God is teaching me and guiding me on this journey. Trust me it has not been easy. Somedays I feel like I have it all figured out and then others not so much. Those are the days I take two, sometimes three, steps backward. But I am learning to not stay there. I pick myself up, brush myself off, and put one foot in front of the other. I may be taking small steps forward but my goal is to move forward.

You would be so proud of your mama. The one thing that keeps me going are your comforting words in the back of my mind. I will never forget how you would tell me every time I would get worked up, “Mom, every little thing is gonna be OK.” It was your smile and calm voice as you said those words that would settle me down and calm my heart. It would make me smile and usually laugh about the situation.

Oh, what I would give to see you again and hear your voice.

But I know God has a different plan. We still do not know what that plan is, but I know it is for the good. Buddy, I think the big guy upstairs is telling me to get going and stop dragging my feet. I think he is telling me to not be scared but to trust Him. He has it all figured out.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t hear about the loss of a child. It breaks my heart that another mom has to go through what I did. This journey I am on reminds me of what you would always do, help others. You would help other kids just because it was the right thing to do. Your kindness would radiate through your smile. Oh, how I miss that.

RELATED: Grief is a Constant Companion for the Mother Who’s Lost a Child

I just want you to know I am not letting the fear hold me back. I am going to follow God’s plan. I know you have probably been wondering when the light bulb moment would come on. I know I’m a little slow. I’ve been in such a fog for so long I couldn’t see the whole picture he has for me. To be honest, I was scared I was not hearing him, and I would fail.

This year is going to be the year of big changes.

It’s going to be the year of moving forward. I know now that moving forward does not mean I am forgetting you, but taking you along with me. It is with God that I will tell your story to help others who have lost a child. This will be the year2022 to celebrate YOU! I need to get to work. I miss you, buddy, and love you so much!


Yes, this is going to be the year I set my fears free and follow God’s plan for me. I hope you can do the same and we can journey together moving forward.

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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.

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