I think about my sister Tyler every single day. She is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep at night. I think about her smile, her laugh, and all of the amazing memories that we had together. My last memory that I have with Tyler was her jumping on my bed at 7 in the morning in Nags Head to tell me goodbye before she hopped on her flight back to Jackson Hole. She hugged me tight, kissed me on the check, and said “I love you so much Jo”. I miss her more and more everyday. Even though she is not physically with me, I feel her with me every single day.
I always knew how special Tyler was but I never truly realized how many peoples lives Tyler touched. After visiting Jackson Hole this past October, seeing C Bar V Ranch for the first time, and spending time with all of Tyler’s closest friends, I actually was able to see first hand how many people were so connected with Tyler and the affect the she had on their lives. It not only made me feel happy but made me feel so proud to be able to call her my sister.
Every day my Mom, Dad, Blair and I talk about the different signs that we get from our Tyler and how we know she is always with us. Last night is just another example of Tyler reaching out to us to tell us that she is right here. As my mom and I were sitting around last night, we were starting to discuss our families plans to travel back out to Jackson Hole for Labor Day Weekend. We were talking about flights, travel dates, and where we would stay in town. Just as I pulled out my phone to look up flight possibilities and options for where we could stay, my phone lit up with an unfamiliar message.
Back in September, some of Tyler’s closet friends in Jackson sent us photos from the peak of the Teewinot mountain, where someone had left a memorial in Tyler’s and Catherine’s honor. There was a plaque with Tyler and Cath’s names along with photos from the Outer Banks and Raleigh, a container of sand from Nags Head, and a North Carolina flag nailed into the rocks of the peak. They were all stunned, just as we were, as to who left the memorial. We truly had no idea who had left this amazing memorial and had no idea if we would ever find out. As my phone rang last night, I opened up my Instagram to find a personal message with these exact same pictures of the memorial that we got back in September, as well as pictures with maps of Rocky Mount and North Carolina in front of the mountain range.
After my mom and I fought through the tears of reading this post, we were both at a loss of words with the timing of getting this message and the mysterious ways that God works. We didn’t quite know what to say or how to believe that we had just actually come in contact with the person who had made this incredible memorial for Tyler and Cath. We exchanged numbers with Dylan and talked on the phone with him about the memorial and his connections with Nags Head and Rocky Mount. The insane amount of generosity and thoughtfulness for someone that he and his brother had not ever even met was so overwhelmingly powerful to me that it was almost hard for me to process and take in. After talking to Dylan we realized that he has an amazing love for the outdoors and nature just like Tyler did, which is what led him up to the peak of his favorite mountain of Teewinot with his brother a week after Tyler and Cath’s accident. The crazy amount of unexplainable circumstances that led to our connection with Dylan is a direct gift and sign from God and from Tyler that she is still, right here with us every day. Tyler has once again found a way to connect me with so many different people that I may have never had the opportunity of meeting, all because of the way she lived her life and the way she touched other people.
On August 30, 2015 Dylan posted: “I’m climbing Teewinot this week and I can assure her family back home that a memorial with North Carolina flags will be placed on top of Teewinot, I’ll make it happen. #keeptrekkingforward #neverstopexploring”.
These are all pictures that Dylan took from the Summit of Teewinot and the summit of the Grand Teton
Dylan at the peak of Teewinot
Thank you so much Dylan and Tyler Melander, we cannot thank you enough.