Love Like Ty
Ty Marlin was 6 ft 5- a giant in more ways than one. When other people were hurting, he stood tall and strong for them. No matter a person’s height, everyone looked up to him.
He was good at just about everything. He loved music, especially the drums. He taught himself to play guitar, banjo, mandolin, and bass. He was also an athlete- a really great one. It seemed that everything he put his mind and his motives to, he excelled at. He always used his talents to reach others and point them toward Jesus.
He was a student at Urshan College in St. Louis, Missouri but a native to Texas. He left a little piece of himself everywhere he went.
After leaving St. Louis, he moved out on his own to Nashville where he attended school for sound and engineering. While he was there, he gave himself to ministry at a local church.
Ty loved being with people and people loved being with Ty. Being friendly and humble came so naturally to him. Just about everyone he came in contact with thought of him as their best friend. He knew no stranger.
“Ty lived his life in a simple way. He loved God, sports, music, and people, and he had no idea that he was changing the world all around him. With two funerals in two different states, and over 1500 people gathered to honor him after his passing, it was evident that Ty left a huge impact on our world in his short 23 years. Ty never neglected the simple acts of kindness. It didn’t matter who you were or what your story was, Ty was going to love and accept you. He loved God, and because of that, he loved you.”
I know we are not really supposed to, but if could name one negative thing about myself it would be that I look behind me too often and have unnecessary regrets. “Did I go to the right college? Should I have bought a different couch? Should we have done this or that differently?” It is mostly a losing battle. I cannot change most things and it wouldn’t really make a big difference in my life if I did. There are, however, times that I stop and have remorse over the people I didn’t love well enough. It is in these moments that my pauses turn into prayers and I think on the good that is left in the trails of such sorrows like losing a friend. I let go of regret and instead cling to the truth that Ty Marlin has reminded us of; to live and love to fullest. Going forward I pray we all reflect on what really matters and realize that what God allows to happen, or even not happen is all part of his plan.
Ty loved fiercely. I know those previously mentioned regrets never get us anywhere but I do wish I would have taken more time and let him know how much he was appreciated.
He slipped into eternity on August 12, 2018. That same week I was flipping through an old journal looking for something I had written years before. I stumbled upon a letter he wrote to me during chorale tour my senior year. The last few lines were simple but if I could have desperately shouted them and let them echo I would have. Today, I write his words right back to him because he deserved to know and so does anyone else reading this.
“I love that you are yourself all the time. You are a hard worker and you do what you need to even when it’s tough. You are humble and kind-hearted and I have really learned a lot and have been encouraged by the person you are. Thanks for being a friend and you always have a friend in me. Know that you have A LOT to offer and no matter who you are with or where you are, if you give your all, you make a difference in a big way only you can. You are loved! And I hope I will see you again in the future. Love, Ty Marlin”
I hope so too, Ty. We all do.
Because of his height, he could soar to lengths others could not. While he was in Nashville, he left his mark in a tangible way. In a far corner of a chalkboard wall, he etched a small rocketship, accompanied by the words “Ty was Here.” He is still reaching and still leaving marks on our hearts reminding us “he was here.”
In the wake of this tragedy, his memory lives on. Out of his death, a movement was born.
Love Like Ty came to fruition a few months after his passing. With God’s help, this movement strives to make a difference and change people’s lives for the better. It is a growing foundation that among other things, shares stories, gives gifts and time, and performs acts of kindness. It all started with the influx of goodness Ty’s family received after he went to be with Jesus. There was an outpouring of love- so much so, they knew they had to share it.
The foundation of Love Like Ty took off with rocket-like speed. They merged with Ty’s alma mater high school to give out multiple scholarships. The goal is to make this an annual reoccurrence. These awards do not go to the student with the highest grades or biggest achievements but people who were brave and accomplished in other areas- individuals who live and love authentically.
Love Like Ty also works with Union Gospel, a homeless shelter in Dallas, Texas. Along with these things, they seek to help the community and get involved in whatever way they can. These are just a few of the ways Love Like Ty has already made a difference as it continues to grow. Ty is still making a difference. This is only the beginning.
Join the movement. Spread the message. Get out there and Love Like Ty, a man who never stopped trying to love like Jesus.
For questions on how to get involved and to learn more, please visit the websites in the links below.
“The Bundle is one of the most effective ways we share the Love like Ty message. Talking to someone goes a long way, but how much more impactful would your interaction be if you had something to give them?”
Rachel Skirvin is a lover of travel, nachos and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She just recently married her best friend and together they are serving at The Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida.