Remembering Ayden....

I've been meaning to post some pictures, but I knew that looking at the pictures meant that I would look at pictures of Ayden. I look at his picture every day, but those are the pictures around the house that stay out. However, there are other pictures that take an effort to look at; I have to actually pull them up on the computer or my camera. That's not as easy....

I've wanted to share some pictures of Ayden, though....the last pictures I took of him. He had discovered his feet, and I was so proud of him! He thought it was pretty cool, too.

These are the only four pictures I haven't posted onto facebook....the only pictures Ayden's grandparents haven't seen I was keeping for myself because they held one of my last memories of Ayden.

None of it makes all. When I look at pictures, I'm drawn to videos of him. Of course watching videos brings enormous amounts of grief with it. Even though they're hard to watch, they bring me comfort because for that brief amount of time, I have him "with me". While watching our last video of him, taken two days before he went to Heaven, I couldn't stop saying, "Nothing was wrong....nothing....there's no reason". He was perfect; healthy; happy. It just doesn't make sense....

I would post that video, but I'm not ready to, yet. It's too precious. However, if you've seen the video from Ayden's Celebration service, you've seen it. We included it with that.

Instead, here are some other pictures I've meant to post. Let me premise them, though. My students wanted to do something for me after they heard what happened. I teach at a fairly small, rural school. We have about 650 students. I love everything about the school at which I teach, especially the students. You'll see why in the pictures. A group of girls got together and made blue ribbons - 800 of them - in honor of Ayden. They pulled the entire student body together and asked them to wear white polo shirts and the blue ribbons. I decided I wanted to go to the school and see this in person. So many people commented on how they couldn't believe I could go to school that day, the day after we held Ayden's Celebration Service. I decided that since my students were going to honor us and Ayden in this way, I owed it to them to be there in person. I wanted to speak to them and share our story with them. I wanted them to hear it from me. Here is the beautiful sight I saw that day:

If this doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does.

Here are some more pictures of how Ayden has been honored:

The above pictures are from a school Jeremy taught and coached at last year. In honor of Ayden, they are painting his initials on the field each week. These pictures are from the first game they played featuring the initials. They also presented Jeremy with this portrait of Ayden. I was in awe and humbled by what they did....

My school's football team presented us with the game ball from the week we lost Ayden. Here is a picture of the ball:

When this was presented to me, the coach told me that they wanted us to have the game ball because they played with heavy hearts that week in honor of us and of Ayden.

Bracelets have been made in honor of Ayden and passed out amongst students and friends at our church. And two of my students organized the vigil in honor of Ayden and other babies who have been lost. You can see pictures from the vigil here, at Lauren's blog. Below is a picture of the bracelet as well as two newspaper articles that featured Ayden's story:

We have set up a scholarship fund at church in Ayden's name, and the church also allowed us to plant a garden in the playground in memory of Ayden. You can see the garden in the background of the the picture in the first newspaper article.

The outreach has been amazing. People contact me daily to tell me how Ayden has touched their lives and that they will never forget Ayden. Our story continues to be told; Ayden's name continues to be spoken. But none of it brings him back. And that's hard.

I can imagine that many parents who have lost their child don't receive the type of reception we have. We know how blessed we are to have had this type of reception and support. And while we are gracious for it all....just so his parents, none of it well ever be enough for us because to a grieving parent, until the entire world has heard the name of your child, you can not be satisfied. I realize that that isn't realistic - unless I got some sort of amazing book deal that ended up being translated into every language possible (I'm not discounting it at all!) - but as the grieving parent, I want to honor my child every, single day....speak his name....SEE the impact.

One day, Ayden will be able to tell me, and SHOW me, why he had to leave us so soon. I have a feeling he will introduce me to so many people who were changed by his story...people who otherwise would not have chosen to change. That is my hope.

Thank you for continuing to remember Ayden. Remembering Ayden means cherishing the sweet things in life while you have them because you never know how fleeting they may be.

I'd like to end this post by congratulating my Uncle Joseph and his wife, Lorna, on their newest addition - Matthew Joseph Tyson. He is absolutely beautiful with strawberry-blonde hair and his mother's beautiful face. My uncle is in the army, so they are in Korea at the moment, but they will be home next summer. Looking forward to reuniting with them and my two little cousins. We love you guys.



  1. Those are very precious pictures of him playing with his feet. What a cutie pie. So many beautiful things have been done is his honor.
    Your community has really shown their love for Ayden and their deep respect for you and your loss.
    His initials on the football field along with the kids all in white flooded me with tears. Praying for your comfort.

  2. i have no idea how i found this blog but i am praying for your family. i want to share this with you~ actually 2 things~ 1st go to youtube and search sky angel cowboy~ that was passed on to me from the family I am getting ready to tell you about. 2nd~ a few weeks ago a friend of mine lost her 2 year old son to cancer. At his funeral she got up and spoke. I do not know where she found the courage to do this, but the strength was heaven sent. She told a story about a little soul talking to God about why there was pain & suffering in the world & why God called some souls home sooner than others. God answered, to help people get their priorities straight. The little soul said to God, 'oh please let me be THAT soul" God replied, when I find the perfect parents for you, I will send you, but I will call you home before you or your loved ones may be ready, but you WILL see them again, they will always LOVE you & you will look over them even though they cannot see you~ the little soul said he still wanted to be THAT soul. "So God sent him to us. HE was THAT soul" his mother said. His mother continued with a letter she wrote him about if she could have gone to heaven & chose any soul to be her son she would have still chosen him, "If I would have known you were going to test my faith, I would have chosen you, If I would have known you would be taken before I was ready, I would have still chosen you, (the list went on) she ended by saying~ "I still choose you" I will pray for your peace and comfort.

  3. This is amazing! I wish I could be there with you and be a part of all of the amazing things that are taking place back home. I miss you all so much. I was touched by all of the many ways Ayden has been honored. Its just amazing to me. I love you so much and I hope things continue to get better. If you ever need me...let me know.

  4. Lindsay,
    I have been following your blog for a little while and I've only commented words of comfort and encouragement once or twice. This post brought me to tears. My heart aches for you guys. I have a 14 month old and I worried soooo much about SIDS with her, heck, I still worry. She is just now sleeping with a blanket in her crib. I still don't have the bumper pads in her crib, I just can't bring myself to put them in the crib. I don't understand what SIDS is and why it happens. I will never, ever understand as I know you feel the same way. I can't bring Ayden back but I can tell you that I pray for you all of the time. I pray that you find peace in all of this, peace in knowing that one day you will be reunited with Ayden. I pray for you to have the strength to make it through each day. I am so sorry this happened. It is not fair and I will never understand. My heart is with you and your husband.

  5. What those students did is amazing. Which confirms the fact that you and Jeremy must be pretty amazing people to get High School students to give you their hearts! My husband is a High School PE teacher and a Football and Track coach. I know how these high schoolers can be sometimes. This is amazing to see.


  6. That last comment brought tears. Our lives really are His. For His purposes. Unknown to us. Treasuring our health, our spouses, our loved ones, our sweet little ones. Surrendering ALL to His will. SO hard when you realize the reality of what surrendering EVERYTHING means. Terrifying. The human side of us wants to avoid the pain and suffering of loss. Walking past and giving "the look". Easier? Yes. Like Jesus? No. Give us courage Father, to serve others enduring pain and loss by using the spiritual gifts you have blessed us with. Bless us with courage to do what is uncomfortable and trust you to give us the words to say when we have no words. Make us more like you, Father.

  7. I have been reading your blog and praying for you and your husband for a while now. I don't even remember now how I came across it. I read about a place where parents who have lost children can go on a retreat. You may know about it, but thought I would send you the link.

    Christina Burton
    North Carolina

  8. Praying and thinking about you and your family this Halloween weekend.

    Your Friend,