Submitted by: Sherri Hole
My Tribute: Ty was a home-town Hudson kid who loved this town. He was born in River Falls and was a very welcome baby, our youngest son. Ty grew up with a loving family with two parents, two brothers, pets, stories at night, church on Sunday, dinner at the family table, and lots of friends. He had great friends that he hung out with in our neighborhood near E.P. Rock -many of them friends from early elementary years all the way through high school. He went to Sunday School and Bible Camp. He greatly enjoyed being a part of our church's youth group. He was confirmed. He enjoyed school- except for math classes- and loved all the social opportunities school and sports presented. Being the youngest of 3 boys, he grew up first watching & later playing booster baseball, football, & basketball. His picture has appeared in the Hudson Star Observer several times- when he dressed up as a "money tree" for the Rotary Club's Halloween parade, when he was on a float in the Homecoming Parade with the football team, when he was Prom Prince and now in his obituary.
Ty took incredible pleasure in being with people his own age. He had a comfortable, low-key personality and fit it well with almost anyone. He had great intuition and went out of his way to make people comfortable and entertained in social situations. He was a thoughtful son who did chores around the house. He made his own birthday cards and wrote in the last card he gave me ""Happy Birthday Mom! Mom, thank you so much for always being there for me when I need you, and for always believing in me even if I don't. You are the best mom anyone could ever ask for, we are all so lucky to have you in our lives. I hope you have an awesome birthday! Love, Ty." Ty was a "regular" Hudson kid with a bright future and lots of plans to finish school, meet and fall in love with his "beacon of hope" and have kids of his own.
After graduating from High School and a devastating break up with his first girlfriend, he was isolated from most of his friends and family. He'd made choices that took his life off track and was heart broken, ashamed and embarrassed.. He felt that he'd been left behind. At 18, he thought he needed to be independent and get through it on his own with minimal help from his family. Unknown to us, he began using Oxycotin. His life quickly spiraled downwards- he wanted to move ahead with his plans but something always happened that made his plans fail. One of his friends called us in late August and told us through many tears that he was worried about Ty. Ty and "lots of kids from Hudson" were "chasing the dragon"- smoking heroin. Ty denied it all when confronted. We watched, worried, continued to monitor and question him. Things began disappearing from our home. When confronted in November 2011, Ty shocked us by telling us he was injecting heroin and his using was out of control. He'd progressed from Oxycotin to smoking heroin to injecting it. He told us opiates are out of your system in four to five days and won't show up on a drug test after that. He immediately went intoa 28 day in-patient program. He looked progressively more calm, focused, comfortable with himself during our visits. He told us he had the tools to deal with his drug problem and that would never happen again. We were full of hope and were happy he'd addressed his problem.
After treatment, he moved into a sober house in St. Paul in order to attend intensive out-patient treatment He relapsed twice and was kicked out after 3 weeks. We talked frankly about the possibility of heroin killing him. He was kicked out of his sober house and his out patient program. It's ironic that we heard again and again that "relapse is part of recovery" but when someone relapses, they are kicked out of their treatment programs. Ty didn't want to return to in-patient treatment so soon. . He moved to a sober house/horse ranch based on faith. He reconnected with his faith & felt he had great success in working on his recovery there. He had a sense of community and purpose. He began to rebuild his sense of worth through helping kids with cognitive disabilities and other problems ride the horses. He stayed for four months. He thought he was strong enough to "get his life back on track" and wanted to enroll in college and get a job. We didn't realize that staying sober needed to be his full time job and focus for the next few years. We thought he had made it through a terrible "stage" and were glad he was ready to move on. Ty noted that when he made good choices, good things happened to him. He frequently talked with us about being sober. His connection and love for each member of our family was evident through all of his challenges. I understand now how hard Ty worked to protect us from what was really going on in his life and keep the ugly parts of his life separated from his family. We know Ty died knowing how much he was loved. We will love and miss you always