Burleson, TX–A small city came together to remember one girl with a big heart.
“It’s overwhelming. She had a heart of gold,” said her friend Bailey Sims.
“You met her, you’d fall in love with her automatically. That’s what everyone did,” friend Aubrey Sims said.
Tylar Michelle Batchelor was going to be a soccer-playing senior at Centennial High, when her bright future dimmed in just moments. She was 17.
“She was always just a happy, smiling girl,” said her boyfriend’s grandmother, Wanda Reynolds, between tears.
She was spending the night with her brother in their Colleyville home in late June, when flames engulfed the house. Her brother, his wife and their baby got out with minor injuries, but Tylar was trapped upstairs. She wasn’t alone though. Her bulldog Roxy never left her.
“Roxy, her dog,” recalled Bailey. “That dog was always by her side.”
Now, her family, friends, and soccer teammates are giving her legacy new life.
“I remember walking in the hall, and she saying, ‘God you’re really pretty, and I want to look like you one day’ and that just made my whole day,” Aubrey said.
“As the season went on, we talked more, and she was one of the most spiritual, happiest people I’ve ever met,” her fellow teammate Ashley Hernandez said.
“Tylar dated my grandson Cody steadily for the past two and a half years. She was part of the family,” Reynolds said.
The happy times shine through the tears.
“I remember she was injured, and she’d always sneak off on the playing field to practice, and then coach would get on to her,” Hernandez said. [She was] always trying to get that goal.
“When I met her, she was like, I like your dress, i like your prom stuff, can we be best friends?? And I said yes, Tylar. We can be best friends,” laughed Bailey.
“I will never forget Tylar. I will never forget her warm heart. I know she’s flying high in paradise, it’s going to be one hard year, but I know I can do it with her beside me,” Bailey added.
The fire might have claimed everything, but it could never put out her spirit.