As most of you know, we are waiting for a huge storm here in the Northeast. The threatening news began blasting out everywhere as early as Friday, but I think it is being over dramatized in the news. It seems when we are most prepared (Hurricane Irene) the results aren't so bad, but when we least expect it (Snow-tober 2011) we are buried in snow and without power for a week. Last Halloween we greeted trick-or-treaters by candlelight. I threw two gallons of milk and a slab of my favorite cheese in the snow outside our sliding doors and it kept us going all week (if I didn't save the cheese, how could I enjoy the obligatory bottle of wine that goes hand-in-hand with candlelight, a blanket and a fire). It was crazy. Look how much snow was on our barbecue out back on Oct. 30!
No snow is predicted, but the rain and winds are supposed to be substantial. To be honest, I'm not dreading it. A power outage doesn't seem that bad right now. I think I will embrace it for a day or two until I start really missing a shower. I will enjoy remembering what it was like living without TV and such for five days last year before we finally retreated to my mother's house on LI. We had so much quality time with Ty and Gavin. I can picture them right now, wrapped in blankets, all of us snuggling and reading books.
It was just before the snowstorm last year that we took Ty and Gavin on their first and only hike. It was my favorite kind of day - crisp fall air with tons of sunshine (just like the day Ty died) - and we were walking through a beautiful trail up to what is called "the dragon's cave". Ty was reciting from our favorite book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" and he carried the class pet with him (Spot - a stuffed dog). It was a special day.
|In front of the Dragon's Cave|
We were the only people for miles and I enjoyed our alone time so much. When we first started marching through the leaves, I was focused on watching Gavin ahead of me. A couple of times my eyes were diverted to falling leaves. They were so beautiful. It reminded me of the day after Ty died, when I sat in our yard wrapped in monster blankie and talked to Ty as tons of leaves fell all around me (cried, really, whatever I was saying out loud was incomprehensible). At that moment I said out loud, "I see you in every falling leaf, angel baby. I miss you so much." I felt okay - at peace and almost happy. I felt like Ty was with us on that beautiful day. I was enjoying the hike and my private time with Lou and Gavin. On our way back, we tossed some rocks into a stream and out of nowhere I started getting choked up when Gavin threw one stone for every member of the family - of course, including Ty. I hated that I was getting sad but I couldn't control it. I was imagining how if I was holding Ty I would be helping him lift his arm and "throw" his own rock into the stream. Then, as we were getting closer to the end of the trail I realized that I hadn't seen a leaf fall for a while. I started to panic. When we got to the car, still no leaves, I told Lou "wait, I just need a minute." I turned to look back on the trail with thousands of trees that were filled with leaves ready to drop. I waited a long time. Not one leaf fell. I was sad.
I decided that there is meaning in the entire hiking experience. I think Ty was there with us for a long time. When I felt at peace and when the leaves were falling. I think I became sad because Ty's visit ended after we tossed his rock into the stream. The leaves stopped because Ty stopped sending them. Looking back, I like to imagine that he was having a nice time with us, but ran off to enjoy his new friends on another exciting adventure before we finished our hike. I hope you don't think my ideas are desperate. I don't ever want to feel like I am stretching for a connection with my son. Maybe I am, but regardless it helps me cope. I know that Ty is all around us - everywhere. I can't explain why I'm so sure, but I am absolutely, positively certain of it.
Look at this picture that my niece took last night. She was sitting around a campfire and she snapped off a couple of pictures. She didn't see anything special in the fire at all, she was just goofing around. Two photos in a row showed the same exact image. When does an image of a fire stay still for two different photos? This is what she captured. That angel is magic from heaven above.
On a totally unrelated note, please don't worry about Gavin. I know any of your concerned comments about him are kind and sincere and I want to reassure you that he is a very happy little boy and we enjoy him immensely. Believe me, I love him as much as I love Ty, I always have, but this has always been a blog focused on Ty's cancer journey where I share my most honest feelings about fear and grief and the horrors of childhood cancer. Gavin was often sheltered from those intense experiences.
On an even more unrelated note, I want to mention an incident from this afternoon just because it's weighing on my mind and I use this forum as an outlet for just about anything...
I ran an errand in town, something I haven't done for days. Because of the impending storm, the stores, parking lots and roads were totally jam-packed. It was totally crazy and it was a mistake for me to think I could run a simple errand when the whole town is in panic mode. Anyway, I was pulling out from a parking lot where there is no traffic light, and I had to make a left across two lanes. Tons of cars were coming in both directions and after waiting for just 30 seconds the man in the car behind me began beeping and inching forward. He proceeded to beep at me four times in under 10 seconds. I can't tell you how nervous and upset that made me because it was so incredibly unnecessary. He wanted me to just pull out in front of the cars because they were moving slow enough, but I didn't feel comfortable doing that until there is an opening in the traffic coming in the other direction. I am not a bad driver, I swear! His behavior was an example of the sheer impatience that people show toward others when there is any sort of threat. I wanted to yell out the window about how dangerous it is to bully someone on the road like that. How my son just died and how insensitive his bad attitude was (which is totally irrelevant, but I just have this urge to tell everyone who is rude or angry that my son died last week just to give them some perspective). So we might get a lot of rain, calm down and don't cause a dangerous situation for others. Instead, all I could muster out my window was "asshole!" I hate that. I was never good at getting the right words out when I get upset.
I don't want to get in a discussion about road rage or anything. I was just sharing that story because it's still on my mind, which probably means I'm not ready to reintroduce myself to the realities of society just yet ;) I should just embrace the storm. Here's to a couple of quiet nights without power, snuggling on the couch with my family!! Goodnight all. XOXO.