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Julie, the NILMDTS photographer, gave me a sneak peek of the pictures she got of Tristan. I will be sharing them after Neil has had a chance to see, but they are spectacular. I stared at each image for ages today trying to recall his baby scent and the silkiness of his hair under my chin, and the feeling I had when Neil brought him to me around the surgical curtain and held his cheek to mine. I just kept begging, whispering to him, “Please stay- just as long as you can. Please, stay!” But how do you convince an angel to stay in this dreary world? Even so, he did.

Tristan Pro 9

Daddy's boy

So many memories in one day and they all keep fading, more each day. But those pictures have brought those memories back to me on a day I really needed it.

I think I am doing well in some ways. I get out of bed each morning, I go for days without crying and I think in general I am handling things well. But in a separate compartment of my life, my heart is broken. Shattered, actually. A new heart-angel friend said it so well; That out of the millions of pieces of her broken heart, she was being built a new and stronger one. But it’s such a painful process.

I am not worried about Tristan at all. I know he’s perfectly ok. He’s probably watching me with a “tsk, tsk, tsk… if only i could show you the whole picture,” on his face. But my heart aches for the moments I should be having with him now; the middle of the night feedings, the excitement to take him out to church and in public, waiting for the night he would finally sleep all the way through, the trip to Kiddie Kandids to get his first pictures done, reminding McKenna not to try and pick him up, and keeping Adele from poking him in the eyes!…Just holding him.

Tristan Pro 4

Welcome to our family, Tristan

I thought I would share a poem I wrote for Tristan shortly after we were given our options and asked to consider them. It’s very rough and flawed, but I don’t want to edit it because the way I feel now would change it because its different from how I felt then. And I want to keep that. So for Tristan,


The Choice

What would you pay

For one single day;

To feel the warmth of sunlight,

As it’s washed from your face

Tristan Pro 8

Mommy's angel

By late Autumn breeze laced with frosty bite?

What would you give,

For one moment to live;

To be held in a tearful embrace,

As your heart blazes warm, overflows with pure love,

As it reflects golden in my face?

How much is it worth,

Your foot on this Earth;

To run, to jump, to dance, to play,

Chasing fireflies o’er grassy hills

As pink skies retire Sun another day?

Is there pain too much, a price too high

Tristan Pro 7

"we said hello, and at the same time said goodbye"

For the chance to see tomorrow’s dawn sky;

When you  long to return Home above,

Leaving our loving hands

For the arms of Jesus’ love?

– By Arae Wyatt 2009

Happy One Month memories to Tristan today. We love and miss you dearly.

Our beautiful Angel

Tristan and the puppy McKenna picked for him -photos by Julie Williams, NILMDTS


Our Girl!

So every primary program has “that one kid”. And Neil and I are not surprised that in our primary program, it was McKenna. But the extent to which she played the part was quite impressive.l-October17.2009.DRG. 001

She was the first of the sunbeams to be taken out of Sacrament meeting to go potty- starting a trend for her class. Then of course, the fact that she knew the songs by heart led to a competition between she and her cousin. I think it’s safe to say that, decibel for decibel, McKenna won. In fact she pretty much over powered the whole primary!

During “Our Father Has a Family”,Neil was out at the other end of the hall with Adele, and could hear her. And she didn’t even have to overpower the rest of the children at one point because she jumped to the wrong verse and sang a solo of it through the piano interlude, which sent the congregation into fits of laughter. At this point I had tears running down my face, I was so embarrassed and laughing so hard!

McK2When it got back to the speaking parts, McKenna decided to start shouting at a little boy in her class- “HEY! YOU TOOK MYSEAT! THAT WASN’T VERY NICE! THAT’S MEAN!” Then they sang “Families Can Be Together Forever” and of course the shout-singing came back. This time she wasn’t quite up to tempo- but being every bit as loud as before, made it sound more like a round! Through the rest of the meeting, her teacher was wrestling to keep McKenna with her. Neil was ready to go drag her off the stand!l-October17.2009.DRG. 044

When the benediction was given, expressing gratitude for the spirit these “precious children” brought to the meeting, I was sent into giggle fits again.

A friend sitting behind us patted me on the back and mentioned that American Idol might be a good possibility in 15 years. I said that winning American Idol would be the only way she could ever make up for this.

Tristan's funeral

At the cemetary

Last Saturday was 2 weeks since the funeral so I thought I would write a bit about it for anyone who wasn’t there.

the displayWhen Neil and I got there before the viewing, we seemed to be handling everything really well. We went into the Relief Society room to dress Tristan and Neil and I both had a hard time with that. It took me a while to do more than just stand there and hand the clothes to Neil. I knew when I decided to touch Tristan that he would be cold and hard and it was difficult to break the illusion that Tristan was still “there”. We had a little more time with him that we both sat and held Tristan’s body. I just kept feeling his soft hair, hoping to ingrain the texture to my memory, since it was about the only part of him that seemed real anymore.

Tristan's funeral

the display

So we put him into his tiny casket and let everyone else come in for the viewing. As soon as the crowds came, my tears automatically dried up and I felt like I should be giving the “viewers” words of comfort and not the other way around, since most of them were the ones crying. There must be something wrong with me that I can hardly cry in front of anyone else. Neil is one of the rare few who gets to see me emotional!

Anyway, the service began and I was supposed to read the obituary- a miniscule task, considering that it consisted of 1 or 2 sentences. So I had decided to add a little to it with something I had been thinking about for a while. So it went something like this:

“Tristan Neil Wyatt was born to Neil and Amanda Wyatt October 12th, 2009 and returned home to his Heavenly Father later that evening. He is survived by his parents, sisters, McKenna 4 and Adele 1, and many extended family members.

“There is a story that circulates support groups and blogs of families and patients with heart defects. It tells of a beautiful day in Heaven when Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus “I don’t want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you”. He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that he is just going for a visit. He is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, “How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?” The angel smiles and says, “I guess that will work”. But the little angel is still a little scared. “Will I be okay with only half of my heart?” Jesus replies, “I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine.” Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says “When you are born, your mommy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. And when its time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves.” -Author Unknown

” I wanted to finish this story for Tristan.

“When he returned to Heaven, amid tears of joy and hugs in reunion, Jesus asked, “How was your turn on Earth?” The little angel replied, “It was beautiful- so many arms of warmth and love to hold me, smiles through teary eyes to greet me. A king couldn’t have asked for more!” Then tears appeared in Tristan’s eyes. “My sweet angel, what is wrong?” Jesus asked and pulled him close. ” I think when I  left, I broke their hearts, ” he whispered.

“Quietly, Jesus reached in His pocket and pulled out the other half of Tristan’s heart. Tied to it with fine silvery threads were the pieces of hearts, of all those the little angel had touched in his brief life. Even as he looked the chain grew and grew.

” My dear little one,” Jesus said, “You did not break their hearts. You brought a piece of them back with you. And one day, they, like you, will return to me for the other piece of their hearts.”

Tristan's funeral

beautiful flowers

Luke 12:34 -For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Tristan has become our families treasure and our hearts are truly with him.

A seminary teacher Neil knew from high school carpools with Neil to choir each week. Hal Is a wonderful friend of our family and gave a beautiful, comforting talk.  I am going to try and get it from him and I want Neil to make a post sometime soon to include his talk and chronicle his experience with Tristan.

There were 2 beautiful musical numbers. Jesu, The Very Thought is Sweet, and My Shepherd Will Supply My Need-  one with a 6 part group and the other with 8, as well as the full orchestrations. Antoinette headed up the coordination of the music and I could not have expected such a beautiful result. Amazing!

The graveside ceremony was in Heber and the drive was glorious; blue skies and sunshine with the peak of autumn’s colors through the mountains and down into Heber Valley. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day. It had to have been close to 75 degrees.


Tristan's funeral

Neil and Michelle

My dad dedicated the grave and then Neil and Michelle sang May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You.


At the gravesite

As a bonus blessing I was able to hold out through the whole day with little physical pain, (thank you to all who offered those prayers on my behalf!) and I don’t even look as drugged as I was in most of the pictures I have seen!

"There is no foot so small that it does not leave an imprint on this world"- We borrowed this quote for the epitaph from the MILMDTS website. We really felt after all the stories of ppl inspired by Tristan that this was appropriate.

"There is no foot too small that it does not leave an imprint on this world"

Anyway, it was a very peaceful day and a great way to “end” this chapter in our lives. I have had many hard days since, but the feeling of peace and assurance from October 17th will be a sweet memory.