Every other day of the year, I am usually doing well. I put one foot in front of the other, because I push the painful thoughts out of my head. When my memories float in, I allow them to stay until I feel the tears in my eyes. Then I push them aside, like a fly on my nose.
How can I do that? How can I shoo him away like that? It's because if I don't, I can't function. I can't be the wife I need to be for Lou, the mom I need to be for Gavin, or the person I need to be to keep working at the foundation in his memory. Keep Calm and Carry On - that's what the t-shirt says, right? Well, not today. Not yesterday and not tomorrow, either. Tomorrow he will be gone for 2 years, and I will spend every second remembering him. In fact, the ladybugs came and infested my house yesterday. I have been waiting for them to come. They carry a message of peace and everlasting youth on their wings.
Yesterday I went through hundreds of photographs and cried until I couldn't physically do it anymore. Today I stepped out the door and breathed in the same Fall air that hung in my lungs the day he died. I allowed myself to cry during the entire drive to the office, talking to him out loud asking him where he was, and cursing over and over again about what he went through. "I want to know!" I yelled. "I want to know where you are, and what it's like, and how you are doing!"
Tomorrow I will watch his videos while eating blue Sour Patch Kids and pink Starburst. I will listen to his little voice, watch him smile and I will allow myself the photographs that break my heart the most. The photos of him lying still, his skin matching the porcelain white of his 3-piece suit. And the hospital photos where he is just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Like this one.
His eyes are pleading with me. His sadness is palpable. And me... I'm just so useless. He was physically and emotionally abused for half of his life. And I allowed it. I stood by his side and I held him down and I reassured him that everything was going to be okay time and time again. Through all of his immeasurable pain and suffering, all I could do was stand by and watch. To hold his hand and allow it, and in the end he died anyway. There is no "supposed to be like this." God doesn't hand-pick children to suffer like this, and he certainly doesn't pick and choose over which ones he will allow life, and which ones he takes with him depending on who fights with vigor, who prays harder, or who loves more. It is NOT a contest. If love and prayer was enough, I know hundreds of children who would still be here. My God would never do such a thing to children.
The falling leaves are impeccably fitting. A true depiction of death and dying. One last graceful decent through the air before returning to dust. It was always my favorite season, but I will forever look at it differently. I see Ty in every falling leaf and the beautifully tragic ending it represents. So natural, free and organic. Temporary. We are all temporary, and one day each and every one of us will fall from the branch. For so many, however, it is simply too soon.
Today was the first time I realized how glad I am that we waited to host his memorial until April. The start of Spring. A celebration of rebirth and new life. Hurricane Sandy (that B*tch) made the timing unintentional, but when I look back now it was a symbolic blessing. Gone from this Earth in the Fall and returned to Heaven to begin his new life in the Spring.
A Message to Ty:
Your final resting place is finally complete, my baby boy. Your Daddy made every effort to make it so. When we decided to erect a statue in Long Beach in your memory, and in tribute to all children afflicted with cancer, the original mini clay models were ours to keep. We had searched for so long to find an appropriate urn for you for so long, but nothing ever seemed right. Your incredible Dad found the perfect place for you, so you could continue to be with us every night when we say "goodnight' and every morning when we rise. He presented it to me on your birthday just 13 days ago, and I cried so unexpectedly and so severely, I couldn't breathe. Never could I have imagined something more perfect for me to whisper "goodnight" to every night. I love you always and forever. Big huge giant much. I hate living this life without you, but I know we'll join you soon. And I will hold your hands as you show me how to soar across the skies - my little Peter Pan. How I love you so. I could never have imagined a more perfect child, and I am still in awe that I was chosen to care for you. How lucky I am always and forever. I hope you can feel my kisses in heaven and I hope beyond hope that you will visit me in my dreams. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO.
|In our bedroom, where you belong. the perfect place for you to rest|