“Celebrating” the second anniversary of Ty’s diagnosis has been very hard. It hasn’t been much of a celebration at all, rather, it is an exercise in coming to terms and accepting that two years later we are in a more difficult place than we were the same time last year, and we have a very, very long road ahead.
Being at the lake for our annual family trip has been a beautiful getaway, but we can’t escape the fact that Ty is unable to participate in 95% of the activities that his brother and cousins are enjoying. They run around the house like crazy. They go tubing and some of them tried waterskiing. Today they are at an amusement park with waterslides while Ty and Gavin are stuck indoors watching TV. Ty gets upset and doesn’t last very long if we bring him outside, and on the boat he usually cries and complains that it’s “too bumpy.”
Last year when we were here I remember thinking how hard it was because Ty was recovering from so much trauma (he had just put his radiation treatments behind him). But, he also had a couple of beautiful “firsts” during that vacation including sitting up at the kitchen table without any support, and taking his first few steps in almost a year. I imagined that one year later, Ty would be back on his feet and able to enjoy the vacation at the lake even more. That this year, maybe he could build sandcastles with his cousins and spend the days swimming in the lake. The reality of his condition is making this vacation one that is filled with highs and lows, but Lou and I are still enjoying it very much. Just being with my family without anything to do but talk, eat and drink has been therapeutic for all of us. Ty is having a good time, and that is most important.
Two nights ago, the sun was setting and my brother-in-law was getting all of the kids ready to go fishing on the boat. Ty was whining to my mother “I’m bored.” My mom called for me from the other room and said, “Cindy, is there something that Ty can do, too? He’s complaining that he’s bored.” When I caught a glance, she was hiding tears in her eyes. I didn’t know how it would turn out, but I asked him anyway… “do you want to go fishing with your cousins, Ty?” He answered with a giggling, resounding “YES.” Oh boy, what did I do? How are we gonna pull this off? Lou was great with him. My Dad got him a fishing pole, Lou got him into a life vest without much complaint, and we all took some pictures as we sort-of staged a fishing expedition off the boat for Ty.
While his pole was in the water, my niece said that she saw a fish nearby. She was telling Ty to just be patient, because he could catch it. I thought she was making it up, but within two minutes I heard Lou calling, “TY CAUGHT A FISH! TY CAUGHT A FISH!” I can’t make this stuff up. I swear, God really pulls in some amazing favors when I am feeling my most sad or anxious. No one else caught a fish that night. No one but Ty. Sure, it was a small one, small like Ty, and we threw it back with the biggest smile. Goodbye little fish, go live a great life, thank you for visiting with us and making Ty so happy.
If you’re wondering what Gavin has been up to, don’t worry. We would never leave him out. He was busy driving the boat :)
We don’t have an internet connection at the lakehouse, so I am very disconnected. I wanted to share this post with you all, though, so you know all is well. I will be sure to share more photos this weekend. Thank you for all of the encouraging posts you shared after I posted his two-year video. Thank you for loving Ty so much. We would all be lost without you.