Christmas sucks. I'm sorry. It's just so unbelievably hard. I love my tree, though. It's so breathtaking. Every time I look at it I am reminded that Ty wouldn't allow us to forget about Christmas. He picked this tree for us when we reluctantly visited the tree farm and half-heartedly cut down any old tree. It is simply magical how perfect it is. It's the biggest and best tree I have ever had in my entire life and as much as I wish Ty was here to see it, I also know with every ounce of my being that it is him who saw it first and chose it for us. "Chrimpy" (that's how he said "Christmas") was Ty's favorite thing of all. Here is a really, really short video from last Christmas eve when Papa dressed up like Santa. Please look at Ty's initial reaction when he saw Santa. It is amazing. Priceless. Beautiful. I want it back. This tiny video clip leaves me wanting so much more. I want to jump right into it and be holding Ty again. I could rewind that 1.5 seconds and watch it over and over and over again.
The hardest ornament to hang on the tree this year was the one of Goofy that we bought at Disney during Ty's Make A Wish trip in 2010. We were told he had six weeks to live, it was December and I asked him to pick out a special ornament for the tree so I could remember that moment always. Then we hung it together again in 2011! It was a real miracle that he was with us again last Christmas. When I packed it up last year I put it in the box with the utmost certainty that he would be with us to hang that ornament every year after, too. I never had any doubt. When I pulled that ornament out this year I practically fell to the floor with grief. I cry and I wish with all my heart and soul that his miracle could have been 100%. Why couldn't he continue to teach everything all of the beautiful things he is teaching us and still be alive! Still bring us all a "smile of the day" every day? I'll never understand but I do try to remind myself of the bigger "life" that waits for me beyond this one, and it helps me to cope.
I also know this. Losing Ty is the greatest test of faith imaginable. It would certainly be easy to believe in God and believe in miracles if Ty did jump off that couch and land on two feet. If he survived cancer and debilitating brainstem trauma and went on to play college football. It would have been downright impossible to doubt God's existence after witnessing something that big. So maybe Ty's story is instead intended to help us find faith in the darkest of times and rely on that invisible truth to show us that there is so much more than the skin we live in. Our Christmas card last year read "Believe in Miracles" and I still do. Even more now. Because I believe that Ty is with still with me and that the time I had with him will always be my greatest gift, my miracle. PS - I won't be sending Christmas cards this year, but I hope you all know that I wish you happiness.
|Gavin's reindeer in the background is funny|
Slowly but surely, Childhood Cancer Awareness is getting bigger and bigger. Thanks to all of YOU! The town of Pawling has allowed for a Gold Christmas tree to be put on display in the heart of town to honor two of our children who battled cancer. Ty and Ryan McElroy. Ryan was just days shy of his fifth birthday when he journeyed on from this life in 1998. There is a statue of Ryan in town that we walked by just the other day and for the first time Gavin stopped to ask me who that boy was. I told him "that's a little boy named Ryan and he is just like Ty. He had cancer, too, and now he plays with Ty in heaven. I bet they have a lot of fun together, don't you?" "Yes," answered Gavin, "but Ty is my best friend because he is my brother." Breaks my heart.
Here is a picture of the beautiful tree! Thank you, Melissa Divitto, for making this happen. It is such an honor. We were in town tonight for the lighting of the big tree and our beautiful gold tree for childhood cancer awareness was SHINING BRIGHT!!
Tomorrow, the kind and beautiful Anthony Family will be opening the doors to their restaurant in Mahopac (151 Grill) for a TLC Foundation fundraiser. If you are local, information about the event is posted here on Facebook. We hope to see you there! Then, next Saturday there will be a Zumba fundraiser event at the VFW in Carmel. Information about the Zumba event is also posted to Facebook.
Today I had another radio interview - this time with Bloomberg radio. It will air in a couple of weeks and I will be sure to share a link.
We had a tremendous response to the Muddy Puddles Project. THANK YOU! For all those who emailed with interest in volunteering - you WILL be hearing from me soon :) Thank you for sending me all of your muddy puddle stories! Please keep them coming and tell your friends to do so, too. Anything you can share about your children celebrating their childhood in honor of Ty would be wonderful. And don't forget pictures! Thank you all so much. Your love and support is just incredible. This is going to be BIG!! All of these amazing things happening, this is what keeps me going. Thank you all so much.
Before signing off for the weekend - a fun photo of Gavin. He goes everywhere like this - as some of you witnessed in town tonight! Goodnight. XOXO.