Later that day we met up with over a hundred people in Poughkeepsie for a candle lighting ceremony. I don't know how she pulled it off, but in less than a week's time Lou's cousin Renee arranged for the Mid-Hudson Bridge to be lit in gold lights to spread awareness for pediatric cancer in honor of Ty. It couldn't have been a more beautiful night, and I felt Ty everywhere. Thank you so much for all of you who came out to light a candle for Ty, and thank you so much to Julia who sang so beautifully - it was wonderful and my whole family was so touched by the tribute. Ty's amazing nurse from MSKCC, Sue, travelled so far to see us and she was my greatest surprise (thank you). A newsclip from the event is posted on YouTube here.
During the bath, I was lost in silence while Gavin played. For days the only memories of Ty that consumed my mind were his last breaths, his cold body in my bed and the vision of the door closing after his casket was rolled into the crematorium. I try to keep so busy with conversation and cleaning around the house just to avoid these thoughts. Nighttime is the worst. I mention this because I finally experienced a beautiful moment while Gavin was in the bath tonight. I snapped out of my haze when I imagined Ty's laughter. Then I saw him in the tub next to Gavin. I imagined him watching his brother and telling me that Gaga is a "woon-a-tick" (lunatic). He was sitting up independently, lifting his arms and enjoying a bath like a healthy, able-bodied five-year-old. When I pulled the plug to drain the tub, I heard Ty's voice cry "Ga-GAAAAA!" when Gavin tried to sneak and put it back in (he was always telling on his little brother). I hadn't been able to hear his voice for days and I was so afraid it wouldn't come back to me. Thank you so much, Ty, for coming back to me tonight. I loved seeing you at bathtime.
|Punk Rock Ty, October 13th, post-bath|
The first thing I did after we returned home without Ty on Thursday was open the sliding doors to my backyard because it was so beautiful outside. I was greeted by hundreds of ladybugs on the doors, the windows, even inside my house. This has happened before, and every time it has been when something significant with Ty happened (i.e. when we returned home from the hospital after his craniotomy and after he suffered paralysis overnight as a result of post-radiation effect). Ladybugs are said to symbolize good luck, and much more. I carried a "lucky lady bug" in my pocket that was gifted to Ty over a year ago and another one always sat on the shelf above his bed. I googled it to find that there are so many people who have posted about instances where ladybugs appear after a loved one dies.
When I was about seven, my cousin died suddenly. She was only eight or nine years old herself. My mother always comforted me with a story about when her mommy and daddy came home after her funeral, my little cousin's backyard was filled with ladybugs. They were all over the window screens in her kitchen and all over her play set. I realize that ladybugs have a short life cycle and that it is not uncommon to experience sudden infestations, but I believe that the timing of these occurrences are of a very spiritual nature. Some of the things I've read that made me smile include:
- Because the life of the adult ladybug is short, it teaches us how to release worries and enjoy our lives to the fullest. When a ladybug appears in our life it is telling us to "let go and let God."
- The name lady bug finds its origins in the middle ages when this beetle was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and called the "beetle of our lady" and the insect is said to hold a link to mothers.
- Ladybugs are very visible, unlike most insects that are camouflaged from predators. In spite of the ladybug's size, it appears to be fearless.
- Seen often as a messenger of promise, the ladybug reconnects us with the joy of living.
- Ladybugs teach us how to restore our trust and faith in the eternal life of one's spirit.
The sky has been filled with messages from Ty as well. On the night he died, I was sent the following two photos from neighbors who were on their way to a prayer vigil in his honor. I have also had a number of photos and people writing to tell me they are seeing angel wings in the sky.
|This cloud was over our house just after Ty passed away and reminds us of a hawk, flying free|
|Over the church, a rainbow appeared through a hole in the clouds that same evening|
The greatest message in the sky will be taking place tomorrow. Ty's "Aunt Mary" from the Guardian Brain Foundation has arranged for an airsign in the sky over Pawling at 2PM. This will be such an incredible gift. The plane will be flying right over our house tomorrow and all over town in his honor. Mary, you have never stopped giving our family beautiful memories. Thank you. I can't wait to share pictures!