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Everything's Lovely

06/27/2023 - Happy 10th Birthday, Austin!

- Austin's 6th Birthday -

- Written by Lindsey Terling (Mother of Austin Terling)

Something people may not know about me; is I’ve always had a weird thing with numbers.

I can remember or visualize random strings of numbers. Most of the time being completely irrelevant to my life. Which is fascinating seeing I suck at math. That does not stop my brain from continuing to challenge me.

When going through the grieving process, you can choose to dwell on the sad loss of your loved one or you can choose to try and find the positive.

After Austin passed away, I kept telling myself to find one positive thing in my day. It doesn’t mean I found my one positive thing every day. I have said this before

- It is ok to not be ok.

But you do have to find a way to be ok more days than you are not.

Sometimes you have the positive things you need right in front of you, but you keep yourself from seeing and accepting them.

There is a reason I started this out explaining my ‘relationship’ with numbers.

My Dad was born on July 13th and passed away on Oct 13th.

I delivered Austin at 27 years old on the 27th of June in 2013.

I followed up with delivering Sullivan on April 27th.

We celebrated Austin’s last earthly birthday June 27th, 2022.

- Austin's 5th Birthday -

Austin would go on to pass away on July 16th, 3 days after my Dad’s birthday and 3 days before my Mom’s birthday.

My Father-In-Law would then pass away 3 months later, to the day from Austin’s birthday.

Anthony’s oldest niece, Kelsey, told the following story at Austin’s funeral:

“Sometimes we do not see the meaning of things until after the fact and this was the case for me last week. And for those of you that do not know, I play college soccer for Greensboro College.

A couple of hours went by since my mom called and told me the news. While I was by myself this weekend and I knew that Austin’s birthday had just passed, so I looked down at my phone for the date.

And I stared at the number 16 for a couple of minutes.

That is when I felt even closer to him because my jersey number in soccer is 16.

That made me think back to last year picking out my number and thinking, you know, 16 has no reason. I’m starting fresh and Austin made it full circle for me. And there was a reason I chose this number, and it was for him.

So, I’ll forever do everything for him. And play a sport he could not, just for him.”

At trying to grasp some sense of normalcy, for not only Anthony and I but for Sullivan too, who had never experienced what a ‘normal’ life looked like. At the beginning of 2023, he started his first t-ball season with Anthony helping coach.

They would both receive their Marlin jerseys at the first practice. Anthony got #14 and Sullivan #10.

Anthony ended up needing to switch his jersey size, now being given #13 (Which also happens to be the number Anthony’s dad, Curt, wore while he was coaching Anthony growing up).

Like Kelsey, Sullivan wearing #10 did not have any type of meaning to me…or at least I thought. Throughout the short season I began to help out on the field. By the time the season had wrapped up we had become close to the other coach and his family. Walking out from the last game the other coach’s wife made a joke in passing about me being able to wear youth sizes if I happened to want a jersey. That is a given.

As she goes through the extra jersey’s and pulls out the only size that could possibly fit me, I turn it over to see #16 on the back.

In that moment, as I looked as crazy as a person could…I began to tear up, smile, get it back together and explain to the poor woman standing in front of me why I just lost my noodle over a jersey number. It was not solely the fact that I ended up with #16…it was because Sullivan’s jersey number became clearly relevant to me.

June 27th (today) - Austin would’ve turned 10 years old.

Sullivan kicked off his first ever sports season displaying #10 on his back. I would like to think this is a simple gesture of Sullivan being able to play for Austin, in a way Austin would have never been able to.

Approaching his birthday, I have been flooded with every human emotion possible. It is a different pain. It is a different happiness. But there is happiness.

Some people will see all the numbers as sheer chance. And that is fair…because they mean nothing to you.

But something does. All it takes is being willing to open your eyes and accept the small pieces of joy you have right in front of you.

For days that you just cannot find the light in your day, think of Austin’s smile and repeat in your head.....

‘Everything’s lovely.’

- Wishing I could control life's memories. Rewinding to Austin's good days, Skipping past the bad ones, putting the good days on Repeat. -

Austin 1st Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) Public Charity - See the impact we make and support our mission to be Champions for Rare Disease by raising awareness and research dollars for families in Alabama & beyond.


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