We made it through the first year of this very reluctant path we were thrown into 1 year and 1 day ago today. The tremendous loving support of the many family, friends, strangers and a few certain canines, have brought us to this point in one piece, and have surrounded us throughout the year offering a shoulder, hand, or paw to cry on.
There were many firsts for our family to experience without Tyler's physical presence here with us this year, but he certainly did not leave us without the support of extended family and loved ones. Since the very successful golf tournament (thank you participants) we held his birthday-week in August (see previous blog post), Tyler kept us busy and found ways for us
to still experience joy despite his absence.
On September 18th, we were honored as honorary captains at Bloomsburg University's first home football game and first home game under new head Coach Frank Sheptock. Although Tyler never got to play on the field for Coach Sheptock due to the cancellation of games during the Covid-19 pandemic, he had a year to bond with him and appreciated his family-first coaching perspective and utilized him as a confidant. Our family was on the field when Ben took charge of the coin toss and heads won! We knew we were off to a good start! Fast forward to the final 4 seconds of the game and Bloomsburg threw a freshman to freshman"Hail Horst" touchdown pass, and won the game! We knew Tyler wouldn't let them lose "his" game. Go Huskies! We also got to check out the beginnings of the Tyler Horst Nutritional Center, that we help support.
In December, we were honored once again when John Wetzel, former Secretary of Corrections for the state of Pennsylvania, donated a gift of five thousand dollars along with the support of Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg Football, ELCO Football, Lebanon County Correction Facilities, PA DOC Leadership Team and Phronema Justice Strategies. John, also an ELCO, Bloomsburg football player and alum, felt a connection with Tyler and the Tyler J. Horst Memorial mission. He blessed us with this generous and unique opportunity to boost the notoriety of the foundation.
We faced the final days of our year without Tyler not unlike all the other days. With family and friends, we hosted Tyler's Honorary Workout, also known as #noeasyday2022. Sixty-three competitors, both virtual and in-person, accepted the challenge of completing "Tyler's work-out". I did not do the work-out myself, but have been told it would challenge the most prepared and inclined fitness guru. The fundraiser was a success because of the awesome community that came out to support it including many former ELCO students, Bloomsburg football and the ELCO football team (Annville-Cleona football team has also accepted the challenge and will be completing it next week!). Many TJH supporters also donated throughout the day to our $1 per push-up challenge raising an additional thirteen hundred dollars for the foundation! We look forward to seeing many of you again on June 24, 2022 for the second annual Tyler J. Horst golf tournament at Iron Valley Golf Course with morning and afternoon shot-gun starts!
What I've learned from this year? Stay busy (another bereaved parent advised this to me early on), always say the extra I love you's, bless your loved ones and say your prayers. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, that's part of the journey, but you will never regret sharing your love to those you hold close. I know I'm glad I always did.
We have such extreme gratitude for YOU; those who made this staggering one year and one day bearable for us and admirable for Tyler's legacy. Thank you.