Ty's fourth birthday is tomorrow. On this night just four years ago, I had no idea the love I was about to experience. I mean, how do you explain colors to a person who has never been able to see? There is a scene in the movie "Mask" where the main character uses a handful of fragrant moss to describe green, something cold to describe blue, cotton balls to describe white, billowy clouds. I don't think I can come up with a way to describe the pure explosion of love that was bestowed upon me the minute Ty was born, but I imagine anyone with children knows what I mean. Never before had I felt something so powerful.
Then there was also the gnawing fear that results from being buried under a mountain of new responsibility. Why did God think I would be able to take care of this baby?? I can't even find my glasses or my car keys?
Of course, I love Gavin just as much... but he wasn't my first experience at becoming a mom. I knew what I was going to feel, so it wasn't the same inexpicable sense of pure amazement over the miracle of life. He came with his own slew of first experiences and life lessons, though - like how to go food shopping with two under two :).
My children are my greatest blessings. I am the luckiest woman alive and I pray for Ty's continued improvement. I would be absolutely lost without him, and I know with every ounce of my being that I would never ever recover.
After Ty fell asleep tonight, I laid next to him while I was giving him his nightly dose of chemo and I just stared and stared at those lips of his. I do this all the time, but tonight I was flooded with thoughts of how those lips have always been my favorite feature since the day he was born. I kiss him on that soft, heart shaped pucker all the time when he is sleeping and of course tonight was no exception. I probably overdid it, but I am just so grateful that he is here. We have had such an incredible August and September that I have to engage in these kinds of tangible acts to remind myself that it's real! That he is really sleeping and inhaling/exhaling in a light, healthy rhythm. That his face is no longer swollen from steroids. That his hair is all grown in on top. That he was able to pull his own little hand up to his own little cheek. My baby is a four year old boy!!! Where did the time go? We were robbed of one year of his life, but I am honestly grateful for all we have been through. I can't say that I wouldn't change a thing (of course my Mama Bear instincts would take away all the pain he has been through if I could) but since what happened has happened, I can only embrace all of the good, wonderful things that have come to fruition as a result including my own enlightenment. And, of course, beg and plead and pray that my precious gift continues to improve until he is returned to his optimal health.
Happy birthday baby boy. I love you infinity.
Last year we celebrated Ty's third birthday just three days before his first round of high-dose chemotherapy began. It was our first time at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center since we decided to switch care (Ty's original tumor resection and resulting stay in the PICU was at Cohen's Children's Hospital in Long Island). We were blissfully unaware of just how much time we would be spending at MSKCC. How soon it was to become our home away from home. A big huge thank you for all of his incredible doctors and nurses who have given him the best care imaginable - despite all of the curveballs.
Today, Ty's physical therapist dropped off a walker for him, and what a nice birthday surprise that turned out to be! It's very cumbersome and he still has to get used to it before we will use it much outside of the house, but it allows him to chase his brother around the house and mobilize independently for the first time in months. It's so great to hear him laugh while he "runs" around the house. I will be sure to post a video soon.
Thank you all for your continued love and support - and all of your wonderful birthday wishes! This journey would be a very sad and lonely one without all of you cheering us on. We love you so much and we are grateful for all of your thoughts and prayers. We will be sure to share pictures of the birthday king tomorrow! He will be bringing in some brownies to preschool to share with his classmates. I can't wait :)