Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pure Class

Sometimes things just don't happen as we plan, and sometimes we have
to make sure we follow through with the plan regardless of circumstance.
Tyler was a huge fan of our local MLS club, Real Salt Lake. Our fam
had planned on attending last nights match, and knew we needed to be
there--even without Ty. Always a class act, the team presented us with
an autographed jersey in Ty's memory. The game was a great W for the
team and they even saved all four of the goals for the second half,
right in front of our seats. Inspired play for an inspired person. We
miss you Ty, but thank you RSL for honoring such a great individual.
(Thanks for the pic, Megh!)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Somebody to Lean On.

Yesterday afternoon was a horrible day. Not just a plain bad horrible day. It was the worst of horrible days. A day that started with the promise of a great and wonderful day, and one that ended with the loss of my dear brother Tyler. This is the -third- fourth time I've tried to write down my thoughts and experiences today--I get the feeling that I'm not to share these thoughts--but I know that I need to put this out there.

For those who haven't already heard the news, Tyler was killed in a cycling accident Thursday afternoon. I had the privilege of being with him until emergency crews arrived. I've gotten a lot of questions regarding the details of the accident. Ty once said that anyone should be able to ask the question "why?" and expect a legitimate answer. I can't answer that, but I can answer the question "how?". I know Ty wouldn't have been satisfied with the lack of detail found in the news reports in the Trib and the Standard, so here it goes, slightly edited, but reader discretion still advised:
Those who know me, know of my love for cycling. Lance was wrong, it's ALL about the bike. Apparently, this love is infectious, and Ty somehow got stung with the bug. For the last year or so, we've talked about him getting a bike, Ty meticulously researched, test rode, and finally had decided it was time for a bike. Our youngest brother, Curtis, returned home from his mission a week ago Wednesday, the reunion of the family offered the perfect timing to finally purchase the bike. Ty, Curtis, myself, and our brother-in-law Brady, spent nearly 5 hours at the shop with Ty while he finalized his decision--just in time for our family getaway to the Ogden Valley and a condo at Wolf Creek. 
Thursday morning, the boys took a wonderful ride around Pine View. Ty was a natural (no big surprise there), you'd be hard pressed to tell who was the novice in the group. Following lunch, Curtis and my sister Shawnee shuttled, Brady, Ty and myself to the top of Powder Mountain Road for a quick downhill excursion. I led the way, with Brady and Ty behind me. About two miles down, I caught up to the Shawnee and Curtis and stopped as there was no way to safely pass them, yet the bikes couldn't maintain the slower pace. Brady soon joined me, and we waited for Ty--whom Brady had seen right behind him on the turn just above where we stopped. We both feared for the worst, and climbed as fast as we could back up the hill. I saw the bike first, lying to the side of the road in a ditch. Sprinting to the scene, my brother was on his side, in the fetal position. The bike frame had broke in three pieces, and I hoped that it had taken all the impact. Tyler was breathing. Breathing, but unconscious. No sooner had we arrived, then a UPS truck passed heading down. He quickly called 911 after traveling about 100 yards down the road to get cell service. Brady ran back and forth numerous times as we tried to relay information to and from emergency services. Help was on the way. 10 minutes. 10 long, wonderful minutes. Ty floated between levels of unconsciousness, often crying out in pain as he tried to move as I held him in a vain hope of minimizing his injuries. I removed his helmet--thinking somehow it would help his labored breathing. Upon inspection, the helmet looked perfect--except a spot just above his right ear. Between several of his attempted moves, I began to realize the extent of his injuries--road rash over his right hips and torso, for sure a broken clavicle, and possibly a dislocated shoulder. Holding my brother, trying to comfort him in his last moments, was perhaps the most bittersweet events of my life. When the paramedics finally arrived, I assisted them as they placed the C-collar on him, trying to convince him that they were here to help as he fought both the collar and the straps as we tried to secure him to the board. My family had been notified by another unknown group of angels--having seen us on the side of the road, and being ready and willing to help. I don't know if it was harder for them, the helpless onlookers, or for me, who got to actively participate in the presumed rescue, but either was once we had him in the ambulance, I felt a sense of relief. It was fully out of my control. Only two things came to mind as I watched the ambulance pull away. He was going to get a helicopter ride without me, and he has to tell me how it happened, because the pieces just didn't fit together (and still don't, completely).
LifeFlight was waiting at the resort, but shortly after arriving at the top, Ty went into cardiac arrest. Unable to perform CPR in the helicopter, the medics were forced to drive. On the way to the ER, he flat lined three times. The damage that wasn't obvious to me, was that in his head. It's believed the head trauma caused significant swelling, and the subsequent pressure wasn't treatable. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
My parents and Curtis had taken a police escort to the ER, while the rest of us returned to the condo to gather our things. The following scene was one you've seen before in countless film. I'll never forget the look on my sister's face as the phone rang and the news reached her. She immediately dropped the phone and dropped to her knees. She couldn't pass the word along, but everyone knew. Shawnee and I left our spouses as we quietly made the trip to join our family at the hospital. It simply did not--and does not--feel real. 
I had the opportunity to talk to the paramedics who so valiantly tried to save our brother. The only question I had was what more could I have done. I've never been told that I had done everything right, but still left with the feeling that somehow I had failed and knowing it was out of my hands. 
It's been a very emotional day and a half. I only wish that everyone could've had the chance to know my brother, Tyler. (If you didn't, you sure missed out). The out-pour of love and support to our family has been tremendous. Words can't begin to express the feeling of my heart for the thought and support of friends, family, and neighbors. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down!

And The Livin' Is Easy

Oh yeah, summertime. Nothing like a long day in the Sun, a little bit
of running through the sprinklers, and falling asleep before your head
hits the pillow. Mmm...summertime.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rain, I Don't Mind

It finally decided to rain for a few seconds (minutes?) tonight, so we
rushed L outside to enjoy. It's been super dry this year so even a few
drops were enough reason for her to break out in a dance!