Friday, June 17, 2011

Tyson Lane Larson 1982-2010

I should have written this a lot earlier, before I was so exhausted from crying that I had the resources to say what I want to say.  But I will try anyway, because this day should not be wasted.  This opportunity to reflect, mourn, rejoice, remember, celebrate, needs to be taken advantage of. 

My nephew, Tyson Lane Larson, was killed in an accident in his lab one year ago today.  He was only 28 years old.  We are a close-knit family, with so many of our kids in the same local school that they were known to most of the student body as "the cousins."  He was my oldest sister's youngest son, who grew up alongside my oldest son.  They went to junior high and high school together, and eventually roomed together while they attended UCLA.  We were close. 

 Where do I begin to talk about Tyson?  Actually, it's not very difficult to know where to begin.  The adjectives are easy to list off.  Kind, compassionate, humble, selfless, brilliant, supportive, good natured, nonjudgmental, devoted, tender, positive, thoughtful, generous, disciplined, friendly, loving, caring, industrious, intelligent. 

He was a follower of Christ who lived what he believed.  And he really did.  I used to think he just had an easygoing personality and that's why he was so nice.  But if you ever saw him on the football, baseball, or soccer field and basketball court and witnessed the drive and determination and competitiveness he displayed, you knew he had passion.  He just worked to keep it under control and to never let it affect his relationships with people and his testimony for God.  After this past year of being without him, and hearing all the stories of the lives he quietly blessed and influenced, I realize that he lived purposefully.  You couldn't make that kind of impact if you didn't.

There were probably close to between 700 and 1,000 people at his funeral.  We were amazed at the people that came in a steady stream to give their sympathy and share their stories of Tyson's kindness.  It doesn't seem like that long ago and yet it seems like we've been missing him for so, so long.  I've watched his sweet, devoted wife continue to live without the love of her life by her side, all the while keeping her faith in the face of such a devastating loss.  I've watched my sister's and my brother-in-law's hearts break and yet be more concerned that God be glorified in this than they be pitied.  I've watched Ty's brother and sister be tender and faithful in the journey through their grief, still trusting God though the questions are unanswered.

Tyson is still inspiring us, me, even after he's gone because he invested in the things that mattered -- people, relationships.  He preached the truth with his life.  We all listened to his sermon.  Now I want to be not only a hearer of the word but a doer.  I'm so thankful that the hope of living a life like Ty did is not out of reach for someone like me.  It's available for anyone who is willing to allow the Spirit to fill and control them, lead and direct them, give them the proper perspective.  I'm inspired once again, and so thankful to my Lord Jesus Christ for the hope I have because of what He did for me.  And I thank Him for the gift of Tyson.  He made our lives so much better by being in them.

Love you and miss you, Ty.