It was a crisp, cold, December day after church that I sat in my vehicle and read the card a friend left me. She told me how much I had helped her this past year with struggles. She was thanking me and said I was a blessing to her. I gave her strength and courage to work through some life things.

The tears ran down my face uncontrollably.

I never thought I could ever say anything to help someone work through life stuff. I’m just ME, no one special. I don’t have a special title, education, or anything – just me.

At that moment it made me realize that my story does make a difference. I can help others. People must read what I write or watch what I do. I have never been anyone but myself. What I go by is my gut feelings and my faith. However, as I’m helping others they are helping me.

You see the tears that ran down my face were tears of sadness for the loss of my son. Sadness that Tyler’s accident had to happen in order for me to be able to help someone else. If we had told him he could not leave that night to go hang out with friends, then my story that has touched so many lives would not have happened. Their lives may have not have been changed. They may not have received hope or courage to keep going.

So when I think I can’t go on and the tears flow, I remember what a friend once told me. She said the only way she got through her loss was to wake up each day and in the shower she would wash the tears away. She said many mornings she would cry, talk to God, yell or just sit until the tears would all wash down the drain. She told me it helped her feel better so that she could start her day as a loving mom to 3 little kids that had just lost their Dad.

I remember the first few days after Tyler’s accident I did cry in the shower. I guess it was the only place I could be without anyone seeing or hearing me. It felt cleansing, healing, and peaceful. It was there that I would talk to God and just be still to listen and soothe my tired body. There are still days I get hit – blindsided by my grief. But that is always how it’s been for me.

I still use my friend’s advice and wash my tears down the drain. Now as I am encouraged to help others, I know it’s helping me take one step forward also. I’m reminded daily to keep telling my story with the hope that it will help someone. I encourage each of you to reach out to a friend that has helped you and tell them how much it meant. Because you just never know, you may be helping them heal just as much as you.

Missy Hillmer

I am Ma to the four Shorties. I am married to Craig, fellow educator and college football fanatic. Jesus and a good cup of coffee make me a happy girl. Teaching middle school science and front porch rockin’ are two of my many daily adventures.