Mother texts her son after he died and receives beautiful unexpected responses
Three years ago, Carole Adler received the news that no parent ever wants to hear: her son had died. He was just 21 years of age, an army veteran, and a state trooper in training. Tragically, he was killed by a speeding car while on patrol with a fellow officer.
His name was Taylor Thyfault.
"At that time, I just screamed, 'no, not him,'" Adler recalls. "'Please, not him.'"
Thyfault died at the scene of the accident, and never got a chance to say goodbye to his mother - nor anyone else who loved him.
However, without intending it, Adler was the last person that Thyfault ever contacted.
"Looking through his phone, I was the one that he inadvertently spoke to last," she said. And, realizing this, she tried to keep the conversation going. She never expected a reply, of course, but it was the last channel of communication she'd ever had with her child, and she didn't want to let it go.
"Every day, it hits me like a ton of bricks, when I can't text him," Adler said. "We're just that close. Everything that happened in his life was in my life."
She'd send him short messages every now and then in the weeks following his death. "I miss you". "I love you". Just little notes to keep him close to her.
But then, one day, she got a response.
After Thyfault passed away, his number was recycled and given to a new phone, the owner of which was Sergeant Kell Hulsey of the Greeley Police Department. And, when Hulsey began receiving short messages from someone who never seemed to expect a reply, he was confused at first.
He ignored them for a while, hoping that the person at the other end of the line would realize they had the wrong number. However, one night, he received a particularly sentimental message, and felt the need to respond.
"So I sent a text back and identified myself, and said 'I'm with the Greeley Police Department, and I don't think your texts are going where you think they are,'" the sergeant said.
Adler then replied, explaining she was the mother of a deceased police officer. Hulsey immediately felt guilty, and offered to get a new number if she wanted. But she declined, saying that it felt good to be in touch with someone who was in the profession that her son had always dreamed of entering.
Adler and Hulsey began conversing more often, with Adler telling the sergeant more about her late son. Learning about Thyfault made the sergeant feel closer to him, and reignited the passion he had while he was a young officer in training.
"He never got to experience all of the great things that come with this job," Hulsey said. "I have gotten to do that and I think it’s good for me to remember all the wonderful things he was looking forward to."
The sergeant also expressed his gratitude at having someone to talk to, and someone whom he knew was thinking of him and hoping for his safety from afar. "It’s like I always have a little angel in my pocket now," he said.
For Adler, nothing will ever replace her son. However, at least with Hulsey, she has gained a friend. More than that, though, she has attained a glimpse at what her son's life might have been - and that, to her, is more comforting than anything else.