I was the first to fall asleep tonight, yet here I am, writing, trying to soothe me back to sleep by getting some thoughts on virtual paper instead of leaving them all swimming around up in this crazy head.
Lou always used to put Ty to bed. Even before he got sick, that was his alone time with Ty after work and it was great for me so I could do the dishes, straighten up and care for baby Ga-Ga. Since Ty passed away, he has been putting Gavin to bed and I love it. I'm glad they have that time, and I'm glad for the peace and quiet I have during that time, too. The only bad think is that Lou falls asleep in Gavin's bed almost every night. When I try to wake him he is so disoriented he often goes straight to bed. Tonight I had to put Gavin to bed while Lou was out dealing with all this snow, and I did the same thing. He found me snoozing in the bunk bed at 9:30PM and it was glorious. I told him I wanted to go straight to bed, but decided to wait for him for 30 minutes or so so he could join me.
Lou was looking at a photo book of Ty. He started crying before we even went up to bed. Then I started telling him about how much cleaning and organizing I accomplished today in order to collect items for the charity drive at Mizzentop Day school (proceeds benefit Ty's foundation, see www.facebook.com/thelittlefighter). I have nine contractor bags filled with clothes, toys and household items! Anyway, that resulted in both of us crying over how hard it is to go into Ty's "secret game closet" and get rid of some of his games... or his trunk... or his closet... and I did it all today. The hardest giveaway is the double stroller that we used in Long Beach. It's bleached by the sun and squeaky from the salt water but still works well. It represents the best times of our lives, but we don't need it anymore because the best times of our lives are behind us. How sad is that? Lou emptied out the compartments (wipes, diapers, extra shoes, old juice boxes, oh... and the ever-present puke bucket). Sadly, we are going to get rid of it.
We went up to bed, my eyes were so heavy, but laying there I just couldn't stop my mind from racing. This is what happens! I was thinking about all of the littlest cancer victims like Tanner and Ronan and Ty. I was thinking about how amazing Grace is, and how I wished she and Ty became friends like I imagined when we all first met (Grace is kicking butt, go Grace!). I was thinking about Mighty Mikey and his family - I hope Christmas in their new home was a happy one despite all that Hurricane Sandy took away from them. Most of all, I was thinking about Ty and how all I want to do is just talk to him. I want to hear his voice. I want him to hear me ask, "how are you?" and I want him to tell me that he is "Amazing! Having so much fun! So happy!"
"Do you see me, Ty?" I want him to answer me. "Are you okay without me? Who is with you, who are your friends?" I want to know all about everything. He is my son. If he were here I would know where he was every second, and it is so hard to come to terms with simply not knowing exactly what's going on or how it all works or where - exactly - is he. I have unwavering faith, but that can't stop me from wanting to hear his voice and have a conversation with him. I want to feel his warm body in my arms. So much so, that I went and carried Gavin back into my bed to see if that would help me sleep, but it didn't work. I remembered carrying Ty like that - but he was so much lighter! Gavin is a moose. I went and got him because he was sitting up and crying in his sleep. I asked him gently "what's wrong? why are you crying?" and he answered "because I love to dress up like...." and with that he went back down and was fast asleep. I'm pretty sure I could finish that sentence.... Spiderman. Wow. He even dreams about superheroes.
Thursday I dropped off our beloved Mely at the airport. I was gone all day. I wanted to be with her every step of the way and I'm so glad I was. I felt like I was saying goodbye to my younger sister, and that her whole life was about to change. I don't know where it's going, but she is at a point in her life, 23 years old, where big decisions will be made and her course in life will begin to take shape. I wish for her a life filled with the greatest love and the greatest fortune. She was a true blessing to our family, an angel from heaven, and I just know that Ty will make sure she is taken care of. She sacrificed so much for my family and she loved my children like I love them. I am happy and excited for her to grab hold of her life and move forward now. She will do great things.
But, of course, that leaves me, Lou and Gavin even more alone. My house is even more empty. When I was walking back to my car at the airport, tears in my eyes (of course) I couldn't shake this feeling like I forgot something. I kept checking and thinking that maybe Mely had taken one of my bags on accident or something. Then I realized that it was just that "empty arms" feeling that I have to get accustomed to. I miss my baggage. Carrying Ty around in my arms with Mely always over my shoulder. Now who will harass me and tease me and make me do silly things all the time? Gavin has two pairs of very big shoes to fill. One gift that she left me (among many) is a file full of new photos of Ty and Gavin. YAY!!!! Best present ever.
Here are a couple from the night we went on the "Polar Express" train ride out of Essex CT last year. Ty LOVED it. My happy boy, just look at those smiles. The holidays last year were truly the best.