Forever Friends

3 June 2012

Forever Friends

I am both so saddened and relieved to announce the passing of Tyler’s and our family’s sweet friend Brandon Winger.  Brandon and Tyler met in the hospital last July while they were both in the hospital having chemotherapy.  They didn’t get to talk in personal as often as they would message each other on Facebook.  I remember laughing one night when Brandon sent Tyler a FB message when he was in the room next door and asked Tyler if he wanted to have a wheelchair race!  They both had nasty, rare cancers that baffled the doctors on the most effective way to treat them.  Brandon had a cancer called Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor (MPNST), one that strikes 40+ year old men, not 12 year old boys.  He fought valiantly alongside Tyler and I am so, so grateful that they had each other through this cancer journey.

Brandon has suffered terrible pain, and the past month has lived through misery, enduring it with complete bravery!  Two days before Tyler passed away, Brandon’s parents brought him over to the house to say goodbye.  It was sad but comforting to listen to the boys talk about meeting each other on the other side and what they would do.  We have another friend who is close to leaving this world as well, and she came over to say goodbye to Tyler while Brandon was here.  She has always loved and cared for Tyler.  She promised me and Brandon’s parents she would take care of these two boys while they waited for their parents.  Her and Tyler talked about their adventures toilet papering last summer (unbeknownst to me!) and how they would continue that “TP-ing” on the other side!  They also talked about going cow-tipping (this boy did things I had no clue about!), but the smile on Brandon’s face was priceless when she told him she would take him cow-tipping if there was any way possible!  She had a way of talking about death like it was just the natural, next step, and I think her candid conversations helped both these boys with some of their apprehensions.

The day Tyler died, Brandon sent him a sweet text and told him he loved him and to wait for him – he wouldn’t be long…Well, my heart feels a bit of joy thinking of Tyler waiting and these boys finally seeing each other healthy and happy.  Such a relief to know neither one of them is in pain anymore. They have a great work to do, these two boys.  I am sure of that.  I can’t wait to hear all about their adventures and their time away from us.  Brandon, thank you for making Tyler’s cancer journey a little more bearable.  We love you and your family!

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