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It is with the deepest, inexpressible pain that Robin and I mourn the death of our son Tyler who ended his life a week ago. For over two decades Tyler battled the voices of paranoid schizophrenia. His whole family participated fully in his life with every available resource for body, mind, and soul. Tyler’s legacy is a love for family, farming, poetry, and letter writing. His gentle kindness was felt by any and all who had the benefit of his presence. His encouragement was a ballast, giving of himself to others. His dogs and cats experienced a love they could never have found elsewhere.
Tyler and I had constant conversations about all of life, he and I were resources for each other in our reading and writing. We spent hours and hours talking about great authors and the impact of their works on us. I was constantly learning from him. His editorial skills were second to none. He was an auditory editor, asking me to read aloud. And he would stop me when he heard a word out of place or he would offer a new approach to a sentence. He pushed me to be better in my teaching and writing in the best of ways. His poetry plumbed the depths of spirit I only saw at a distance. He saw and felt in ways that opened new vistas of expression for me.
I would always end my conversations with my son by saying, “You’re my hero.” He was a monument of perseverance and relentless courage in the face of a darkness I will never know. He fought and fought until he could fight no more.