When Gavin was born, I didn't think I had room in my heart to love him as much, but instead of squeezing him in, my heart simply doubled in size. And it continued to grow with every interaction between them. I was so in love with them both, and so happy they had each other. Gavin and Ty completed me, and they completed each other. Goofballs. Best friends forever.
I feel like Gavin is so alone now. He needs someone to dress up and run around the house with him besides me. I try, but I don't last that long and I'm not as fun as his brother would be. I mean, just look at him. It's adorable, but he needs more distraction or I'm afraid he will obsess over Spiderman forever :)
I went out last night and left Lou with Gavin for a "boy's night." It was the cutest watching how excited Gavin was before I left! He couldn't wait to put the train together under the Christmas tree and watch movies with Daddy. I was happy they were going to have that time together. It was also good for me to escape for a little while. I am proud of us for giving Gavin Christmas even though Lou and I would rather just skip it this year. He is the age when the switch turns on and the magic of Christmas lights up his eyes. We need to give that to him, no matter how much this holiday is hurting us. We just put on a happy face and go through the motions and find joy and comfort in our perfect tree that Ty picked for us.
Whenever Gavin sees a baby on TV or out somewhere, he loves to show me and tell me how much he loves them. He said something similar to Lou last night that prompted him to ask, "would you like a baby brother or sister?" to which Gavin answered. "Yes. But. I already have a brother." Lou said, "I know, but Ty is in heaven now and we won't get to see him for a really, really long time." Gavin thought about it for a second and said, "Okay. Then I want a little brother named Ty." Makes me cry. Lou and I are aching. We are grieving. We aren't planning any babies - just want to answer that question before you ask. We do talk about it, though (we always have) and that's why he mentioned it to Gavin. Just to see his reaction.
I was looking through the camera tonight, and saw this picture of Gavin looking at a ladybug on the ceiling. I asked Mely about it, and she said the ladybug appeared one day while we were away so she snapped a photo for us. Today I was thinking of Ty as I was carrying packages into the Post Office. I was specifically thinking how if this was 3 months ago, I wouldn't have been able to carry Ty and these packages at the same time. Reflecting on the physical struggle we both endured made me feel SO GUILTY that I was just zipping around town now, getting things done without him. Of course, right as I opened the door I saw a very random printed photo of a ladybug posted to the window of the post office. Never noticed it before and I felt better immediately. Thank you, Ty. You really are with me everywhere I go.
|I know. It's almost impossible to see, but I promise it's there :)|
My cousin recently sent me a picture of me and Ty in the pool together from back in August. Just three weeks or so before hospice. I was so happy because we don't have any other pictures of him in the pool since 2010 and I think he is looking at some angels in this picture, don't you? He's not looking at me, he sees something in the distance. I can't flip this photo for some reason, so you'll have to tilt your head. Sorry :)
I had a complete and total breakdown on my way home last night. As always, I save my crying for the car. I instinctively looked for Ty in the back seat and caught a glimpse of his puke bucket that I've left in there just in case I wake up to find this is all just a nightmare. I lost it completely. I was crying and talking to Ty, telling him how much I miss him and love him. Then I started talking to God and just begging, begging, begging and hitting my steering wheel. Begging turned into screaming. "Please give me a do-over? I want it back! I want my life back! I want him back! I know you won't, I know he's not coming back, and I know he is safe and he is okay but I still want him back!" Over and over again I asked God to just take back the last two years and put me in my perfect, simple life in July 2010. Then we could move forward from there again, and Ty will never get cancer. Or we could just live in July 2010 forever - I would be happy for time to stand still. I just wished over and over again for something I know I can't have. I was upset (understatement). I told God how hard I was trying. How much I let go and trust in Him but that it is really, really hard to maintain nowadays. I told God that I trust in Him still, that I was sorry and ashamed for begging, but I'm human and I just love Ty so much, and I can't stop myself from wanting him back. It's simply impossible not to want. Not to wish things turned out differently. He understands. I'm allowed to have these breakdowns. These outbursts are my therapy. I don't walk away with any answers, but I do feel calm and more at peace afterward. I believe my God "gets me" and takes no offence.
I think about Ty every second of every day. My crying is usually triggered by the memories of all his pain and suffering. Every time I think back to any time while he was in treatement, there was always some sort of tragedy tacked onto every good memory. The vacation at the beach interrupted by emergency shunt surgery. Christmas last year, interrupted by a brain bleed that took out the left side of his body. Our Make a Wish trip to Disney included morphine every four hours and emergency trips to the pharmacy for additional pain medicine. Poor Ty just couldn't catch a break, but boy did he beat the odds despite getting knocked down every step of the way. Like I always say... we call him SuperTy for a reason.
I threw away Ty's puke bucket from the car tonight. I was feeling stong, it was a big step, and it turned out fine. In the bucket, which also served as back seat storage, I found a thermometer, three boxes of tissues, a belly tube, a syringe, an unopened can of Ty's daily shake, a little superhero toy and two extra diapers for Ty (even though he was a big boy and totally trained, he wore them to feel safe just in case). I actually hesitated to throw out the syringe because I thought "oh, this is a good one and these are hard to come by," until I realized I will never need to use it again. Big exhale. No tears. I did it and that's that.
SuperTy was featured next to SuperMax in a recent newsletter for St. Baldrick's - a tremendous foundation also dedicated to childhood cancer research. The largest of its kind and we are big supporters. To quote the newsletter, they "both love rockin' crazy hair styles and super heroes who take down the bad guys. They were both diagnosed with childhood brain tumors before the age of 5, and couldn’t walk, talk, or sit up without support." The difference is that Ty lost his life and Max is still fighting for his. I can never stress how important research funding is and will continue to be until these kids can be 100% saved. We raced against the clock with Ty for two years, but research wasn't fast enough and the therapies weren't good enough. There are amazing things on the horizon but there is also so much work to be done. I just want to thank you all for supporting the cause and being such wonderful believers in the difference that all of us cancer moms are making. Max's Mom is one of the Baldrick's team "46 Mommas Shave for the Brave" and she sells amazing hats through the MaxLove project. I just received one in the mail today and I love it (thank you Donna!). We are banding together, us Moms, and just wait until you see what we can do! PS - yes, that is a cheesy lo-fi instagram filter to make me look blurry. It was a long day and I otherwise felt haggard :)