Letters & Poetry
"Tyler" by Rachel Woltz
The gold sixteen-inch chain that hangs around my neck rarely comes off. I had never worn a piece of gold jewelry a day in my life, until this was given to me by someone special. The little angel that dangles from the chain symbolizes him watching over me, his strength, his empowerment, his kind heart. I was more than thankful when this necklace was given to me, and I promised Tyler’s father Lindsay that I would cherish it with everything I have.
Kids in high school feel that they are invincible; that nothing can ever happen to them or to those around them. I too, felt that way; the thought of someone close to me dying was the furthest thing from my mind. On July 7, 2011, the summer of my junior year of high school a very close friend and classmate of mine suddenly passed away. This had a profound effect on me. Tyler was not just another kid in my class, he was the glue that kept our class together; he had a warm heart and always knew how to make someone smile. Tyler excelled in hockey and enjoyed all different kinds of sports. His dedication to his passions was so admirable. Tyler impacted my life in ways I did not see until now. I learned to never give up and keep trying until I reach my goals; I learned laughter is the medicine of life and I learned that I need to stay strong through the toughest of times. I was grateful enough to receive a gold necklace of Tyler’s that his father wanted me to have.
I wear his necklace around my neck every day and night because it is a symbol of strength, and a symbol of passion. The impact of this tragic event has made my class all that much stronger and made us realize how valuable life is. Our school has done numerous fundraisers to help support other families who have lost a child, and I have made sure that I was either helping out or involved in the fundraiser in some way. Additionally, my passion for being a teacher has grown immensely; I want to teach other young learners the value of life, how to be the best person they can be when they grow up, how to cherish their families, and do something nice for someone else. Having so much support and inspiration throughout my life has really made me want to strive to be a better person and make more differences in peoples lives. I wish that I would have recognized sooner how influential Tyler was in my life; luckily, I have my little golden angel to remind me.
From Tyler To His Father Lindsay
I feel so lucky that I’ve had you to teach me about life and sports.
You were always there for me for everything.
I would never have made it this far in life or hockey without you.
I always knew you were in my corner no matter what.
I always tried to do things the way you would’ve and that’s why I am able to be the man I am today, hopefully someone who is a lot like you.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DAD!
I LOVE YOU!
By Erin Bailey
Not just my best friend's brother
Those we love remain with us for love itself lives on, and cherished memories never fade because a loved ones gone….
Those we love can never be more than a thought apart, for as long as there is a memory, they’ll live on in the heart.
On July 7, 2011 I lost someone who I admired very much. More than my best friend’s brother, my brother. Tyler Putnam, just an all around incredible person. From sports to just making good choices, Tyler could just make you smile. Even though I had only known Tyler for 3 years he had always treated me like a sister. As his Dad once said “Tyler would knock your teeth out then offer to drive you to the Dentist” (For Hockey) Tyler, was always a hard worker and would always give 150%. Even though Tyler has left us here on earth, his memory will live on forever.
Making good choices aren’t always easy, but they do show the good or bad in you. Drinking and drugs weren’t in Tyler’s vocabulary. He had bigger and better things to worry about, like what major hockey team he would play for or even just watching over his little sister Shannon. Shannon, a freshman this year, always looked up to Tyler and she knew he had her back. He was a role model to everyone around him. Tyler always had a smile on his face and could make anyone laugh but when it came down to it, he wouldn’t let anyone hurt someone he cared about.
Earlier this year, a group appeared on Facebook and right away Tyler called that person and 12 hours later the group had been removed. This right here showed me that Tyler had my back as well. It takes a lot of courage to do the things that Tyler did in his lifetime. At 16 a lot goes on but Tyler could handle anything. As many people have said “Tyler was the rock in the family”. Always there for a shoulder to cry on or to give that extra push. Tyler didn’t always have an easy life. But those problems never stood in his path. He had always dreamt of making it big in hockey so in order to achieve his goal he had to give up things like his 8th grade dinner dance and all of his High School dances and functions. Hockey, Tyler’s way of life, hockey.
The guidelines that you have as a child create the person you become. Tyler had a career in the making, due to the fact that the rink had known Tyler Putnam for 16 years. Fast, strong and incredible, Tyler ruled the rink. Tyler’s father Lindsay Putnam always pushed Tyler to do the best he could. By the look in Tyler’s eye, you knew he admired his father more than anyone in the world. Tyler and his Dad had a special bond because of hockey and having to overcome some family issues. Mr. Putnam always had Tyler’s back and vice versa. No matter what happened, Tyler loved his dad! For Tyler, he really only had one philosophy in life, don’t mess with someone I care about and is important to me. He had a hard core but he also had a big heart. Tyler didn’t always have it easy; the hardest thing he ever went through was his parent’s divorce. Strong and intelligent, Tyler would stand with his father and sister and overcome this obstacle as well. Even though I can’t personally ask Tyler questions I can interpret what I believe he would say. If Tyler was to have an award it would to be something about Strength and courage to overcome anything. No matter what, I never saw Tyler back down, whether it was a 300 pound hockey player or a simple test at school, Tyler would give it his all.
A brother, a person that will never be replaced. Unfortunately, Tyler couldn’t be my brother by blood but that didn’t stop him from treating me just like Shannon. Living without him, is more difficult than anyone can ever imagine and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, but because I know, Tyler will always be with me that does make it a little easier. Even though he has moved on to Heaven, the memories he made will live on forever. The choices that Tyler had to make made him who he was. His lifestyle, young, happy and healthy would be a lifestyle that anyone would want. So do as Tyler did, don’t sit down and watch, stand up and make the right choices. No matter what happens in my life I know that Tyler will always have a guiding hand over me and I know how lucky I had been to have Tyler in my life for those three great years.
I love you “Big Brother”
By Benjamin Brooks
To a great friend
The loved and missed.
The memories of Tyler Putnam we reminisce
The tears dropped along with my heart.
You were blessed with a father who played such a big part.
Your family and friends came together, not to say goodbye but to find an understanding that you’ll live forever.
The memories will never fade nor burn out, the shock of such a rare and wonderful human being will keep people’s heads in a roundabout.
To see the tears shed I know that’s not what you want at all but when we saw you it left us standing small.
But looking back on your life makes us stand up straight again.
Such a wonderful grandchild, son, brother and extraordinary friend.
Only the good die young, but leave us with so much misunderstanding.
But the bond of brotherhood will keep our feet under us while we are landing.
Till we meet again, I’ll know where to look. The biggest hockey stadium up there.
I love you T-Put.
By Samantha Condello
My name is Samantha Condello, I’m 16 years old and I work here at Cam’s with the most inspirational girl I know, Shannon Putnam. Recently our lives were tragically impacted. On July 7th of last year my best friend and her big brother was taken from us due to meningitis.
A best friend. An all-star hockey player. A yard away. An inspiration. A teacher. This is who Tyler was to me. When I first moved to Irondequoit in 2003 Tyler was my first friend. Tyler, his little sister Shannon and I were always together, going to hockey games, swimming, walking around the block, growing up and learning with each other. I never thought I would cherish the scars he left on me from fighting, falling and dragging each other across the trampoline. These are memories I and many of his friends have learned to love. Last year on July 5th was the last time I talked to my best friend and there’s not one thing I wouldn’t do to go back and have the same conversation with him 100 times over. Waking up the morning of July 7th to receive the most devastating phone call of my life, I realized the truth in the statement everyone says, “You never know what you got till it’s gone”. The days were long, the nights were longer and his little sister pulled through. Shannon never ceases to amaze me, always has a smile on her beautiful face even though she is missing something. She’s the strongest and most beautiful girl I and many others know.
Tyler’s father, Lindsay Putnam was and is Tyler’s rock. Every hockey game, practice and tournament Lindsay was right there. Tyler was going places in hockey, he was truly phenomenal and 100% dedicated to the sport. Never were those two separated, they lived for each other and Lindsay continues to do so. Although his son has been taken from him, he still lives. Not just alive, he still lives, he lives for himself for Shannon and for Tyler. Because Tyler would want him too. Tyler, just like Lindsay, cared so much for other people. Which is why it’s the least we can do, as a community, to aid in the support of the foundation Lindsay created named “The Tyler Putnam Foundation”.
On July 24th at Cam’s Pizzeria in Irondequoit we will be having the first fundraiser for this foundation. The foundation is set up to help other families effected by a tragic event and needing financial help to support their child’s hockey career. 15% percent of all purchases made (food, drink, etc) will automatically go to the foundation and if in the course of the night over $1,000.00 is made the percentage will increase to 20% We need your help to make this night a success, for Tyler and for all other kids with the same determination and dream as Tyler.
Thank you for your support,