My Dear Friend Tyler

Content Warning: suicide

During my time in the bakery, I made one of my best friends ever, Tyler Baumgartner. He was a goofy guy, and had such golden retriever energy. There certainly were times where he could be grating with his silliness, but he never meant to upset anyone. In many ways, I thought of him as a little brother. He was an amazing man, and had so much potential. One summer he packed up his things to go out west and volunteer as a fire fighter to help contain the raging forest fires. At the same time, he was learning several languages as he was training to be a linguist. And still, on top of those things, he was also learning to cook. He made an amazing banana bread that was so good we were selling it in the bakery. And his banana creme brulee was phenomenal. He had this beat up, early 00’s, red sedan he lovingly referred to as “Ruby”.

In 2019, though, he took his own life. I know it’s unfair to wish I could have done things differently, and unfair to think anything I could’ve said or done would’ve changed anything, but still. No more than 24 hours before I got the news of his passing, my partner at the time and I were talking to each other about how proud we were of him. Over such a short time we had seen him transform from a dorky, goofy guy to a dorky, goofy, respectable, adventurous, honorable young man. I wish I had told him more how proud of him we all were.

In honor of his memory, I’d like to share here one of my favorite memories of him.

Fun At The Mop Sink

One night, Tyler and I were assigned to a closing shift together. Our close was going smoothly, and we were having a good time joking around and taking things at a leisurely pace.

So, we’re back at the mop sink, and I’m kneeling down getting a bucket ready to mop the backroom, and Tyler’s standing behind me. I can’t say what prompted it, probably him making some ridiculous pun as he was known to do, but I go to fake him out by lunging towards him with the water hose. Except, the hose was already as far as it was going to go, so instead of faking him out, I accidentally full force shoot him with the hose!

After a second for the shock to set in, he starts cackling! Meanwhile, I’m frantically apologizing through my own laughter. Once he caught his breath from laughing, he told me he was impressed I actually did it!

I miss you, Tyler. I hope you’re at peace. I hope to catch you again the next time around.

Untitled Webring

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