April 5, 1997

Eighteen years since the dreaded phone call to the University of Minnesota to check in on my littlest brother -- the moment the nurse picked up the phone I knew what happened. There was no reason for the nurse to answer if my parents and brother were in the room. She could have told me they won the lottery or the sky was purple, I wouldn't have heard it. The phone call ended, I turned to look at our nanny and said "they went home." 

Silence as the rain poured down on the dark and dreary day. Fifteen minute drive home felt torturous. I recall walking into a home filled with people, bypassing all my family and locking myself in my room. How can it be possible? How can someone so young, with so much left to do, be gone? None of it made sense. 

Cancer. Sucks. 

Eighteen years later, cancer still sucks.

Although Tyler was only here for 8 years, he made an impact on the lives of so many people. Eighteen years since he left this world, his story lives on. I love seeing his friends --  who are now getting married, having babies and living the life he would have been -- they share Tyler stories from back in the day and it lights up my life. To know my brother, who had the biggest heart and contagious laugh, continues to live on after eighteen years is all our family ever asked for. 

Thank you to every person who has ever asked about Tyler - you may think it's hard for us to talk about him, some days it is, but talking about him keeps his story alive. 

Ashley CohnComment