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This has always been one of my favorite pictures of Tyler. It was taken 13 years ago when we lived in Jacksonville, Florida. He had just “graduated” from pre-school. I’ll never forget that day or the preschool he attended. I thought it was a fun idea to have the kids dress in a cap and gown for their pictures. Little did I know then that this would be the only time I would see him in a cap and gown.

Tyler Hallsey

While every day is difficult without Tyler, milestones bring a little added sting, he would have graduated from High School this week. I can now only envision an 18-year-old Tyler full of optimism for the future with his sights set squarely on serving a mission for his church, something he always wanted to do. He would finish his mission, attend school, meet the girl of his dreams (if he hadn’t met her already), get married, have children, and live a wonderful life, but it only exists in my mind. I have a playlist I listen to at some point every day, it’s my “Tyler” playlist and one of the songs is by Kenny Chesney, it is called “Who You’d be Today.”

I feel you everywhere I go I see your smile, I see your face I hear you laughing in the rain I still can't believe you're gone

It ain't fair you died too young Like a story that had just begun But death tore the pages all away God knows how I miss you All the hell that I've been through Just knowing no one could take your place Sometimes I wonder who you'd be today

Would you see the world, would you chase your dreams Settle down with a family I wonder what would you name your babies Some days the sky's so blue I feel like I can talk to you

The world continues to spin and people move on, but for us with Tyler, the world has stopped and he stays the same. We continue to move forward - we owe it to Tyler to do “Whatever it takes” in our own lives without him, but he will forever be 15 years old and that part of our world will never spin again. I see pictures of him with his friends that I hardly recognize as they have grown and changed, but Tyler looks the same. Forever 15 years old.

We are so very proud of his friends as they move past high school and fulfill their dreams - we are truly happy for them! We love them with all we have, but these milestones don’t come without a tear and a little sting, but like Tyler taught us, we smile, look forward with hope and optimism, and find joy in every day.

Happy graduation little buddy. Your old man misses you.

I feel you everywhere I go I see your smile, I see your face I hear you laughing in the rain I still can't believe you're gone

Cherish every moment,

Tyler’s Dad Whatever It Takes

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