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Memory of Tyler Wilson

To the Memory of Tyler Thomas Wilson: 1998-2004

Tyler Wilson is the grandson of one of my dearest friends, Joyce Wilson.  Joyce and Tom Wilson have five sons. Their second son, Paul, and his wife, Tracy, are the parents of Tyler Wilson.

In March of 2000, Tyler was diagnosed with a Rhabtoid Tumor of the Kidney. Tyler relapsed to the lung in February of 2002.  Rhabtoid tumors are rarely, if ever, curable and not knowing what the future had in store for them, I had expressed to Joyce several times that we would like to do a Portrait  Session with Paul, Tracy, Tyler and his new little baby sister “Sweetie”.

The Friday before Mother’s day, 2003, I spoke to Joyce and, as usual, reminded her and myself that we must get Paul, Tracy, Tyler & Sweetie in for a portrait session.  Joyce said “Yes, you should”.  It was from that comment that  I realized that it was time to make it happen. We made an appointment for Sunday, Mother’s Day, 2003.

On Sunday, the Wilson’s arrived and  Tyler had decided  that he had no intention of participating in any photography session.  So Daddy and Sweetie went ahead and started the session.  Tracy gave Tyler a snack , a drink, and made an attempt to persuade the 4 year old that he “wanted to be photographed”.  We had  about given up when we suggested that Tracy go ahead with Daddy and Sweetie while we reassured Tyler that he didn’t have to have his picture taken.  “We’ll just take pictures of Mommy, Daddy and Sweetie”. There is only so much pride left in a little boy  when faced with the decision to  “Stand Your Ground” or “Be Left Out”.  Tyler gingerly went into the camera room, around the back of the lights, and with a little encouragement  to “go climb on Daddy’s back”… and, as they say, “The rest is History”.  For the next 15 minutes, Paul Staske  created  the images that captured this moment in time.

Tyler Wilson 


Memorial Gift

In January of 2004, Paul and I were out of town at a conference and we were discussing the possibility that Tyler might not make it through the current round.  We were thankful that we had the opportunity to create the portraits for the Wilson’s, and we both felt that we needed to provide the same for other people who are faced with the same crisis.  We also wanted to establish this in honor of Tyler since he had been our inspiration.

Paul and I arrived home late on January 27, 2004.  On the morning of January 28, 2004, God took Tyler into His arms.

With the blessings from Paul, Tracy and Sweetie Wilson, Paul and Roberta Staske are very honored to donate a Memorial Gift to the families who are faced with the challenges of a terminally ill child of a portrait session and wall portrait in the name of Tyler Thomas Wilson.

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