This morning, I received a phone call from my younger son, Max (on the reader’s left in the above photo) letting me know that his friend, Tyler (on the reader’s right in the above photo), died last night in an auto accident.
Tyler spent enough time with Max in high school that I knew him as well as any parent knows his son’s friends (i.e., not much). And, more than a decade ago, Tyler accompanied us on our annual Hilton Head vacation that the Showalters and two other families had taken together since before Max was born.
The photo atop this post was taken during that Hilton Head trip. And, no, I don’t have a clue why Max and Tyler decided to construct that driftwood sculpture on the beach. But, we all knew it was somehow a marvelous thing.
I hadn’t seen Tyler in person since his high school days, and the other folks on that Hilton Head vacation hadn’t been in contact with him since those halcyon days, but we all remember him vividly as an incredibly upbeat, joyful, and altogether delightful individual who was devoted to enriching the lives of those around him – even if they were stodgy grownups with whom he was marooned for a week on an island off the coast of South Carolina.
We miss you, Tyler.