We all know Ty loved presents. Who doesn't? Even in my saddest state, when I open the mailbox to find a package I immediately feel at least some excitement. Like the other day, I opened a gift of awesome new nail polish. When do I ever treat myself to something like that? Or the Stella and Dot earrings that were sent as a random act of kindness. Absolutely made my day!! And, made me so happy to think that people really do dedicate themselves to fulfilling random acts of kindness like that.
Gavin and I were both touched by kindness yesterday, and what a bad day I was having. I came home to tulips in my mailbox (thank you, Marilyn!!). Later that night when I was taking out the garbage I found a completely anonymous and unmarked package. Can you imagine Gavin's reaction when he saw this guy? I can best describe it as a loud gasp of surprise mixed with pure joy. We always told Ty he was just like Iron Man because of his built-in hardware :) I'm so happy that Gavin loves Super heroes just as much - if not more. I believe it is his way of honoring his brother.
Last November, before the first frost, we had a particularly warm day and I went out with Ty and Gavin to plant some tulips. They were so sweet about it, and so helpful in their own way. Ty was still getting stronger at the time. He was sitting up well so he helped me dig while Gavin, who was such a baby then compared to now, enjoyed bringing me various garden tools and grunting words that I could barely understand. He has changed so much! Looks like Mely tried her best to capture the moment, but we all look a little crazy in this one :) Makes me smile. Cheese!
When the flowers bloomed in the Spring, poor Ty was inpatient for several months post-radiation necrosis, he was paralyzed again, and I was afraid he would never get to see the reward of his labor. Finally we got to come home just as they were beginning to die off so I'm pretty sure he did see his flowers in bloom (but I don't remember for sure - sucks). I hope he did. Of course, I was too involved in caring for Ty to properly care for my garden after that, but I do hope they will come back in the Spring again this year. It will mean a lot to see those tulips in bloom.
I have two really great pictures/stories to share with you all. Tonight I opened a drawer in my kitchen that I don't use often and noticed the can of "Magic Beans" that Ty bought for Gavin over the summer. We had gone on a road trip to a small zoo in Connecticut but we didn't know it was closed on Mondays. The best kind of mistakes sometimes. It turned out to be serendipitous because we enjoyed a short afternoon in Kent Connecticut on a beautiful day. We got the boys ice cream and went shopping for a while after a nice lunch. That was when Ty wanted to buy a present for Ga-Ga who had fallen asleep in the car. I suggested the beans because of how much Ty loved the "Max and the Beanstalk" episode of Max and Ruby. When he saw that his eyes lit up in agreement. The beans need to be planted in the Spring, so I told Ty and Gavin we would have to wait until this year to plant them. Of course, I never imagined Gavin and I would be planting them solo.
Anyway, I have spotted the tin in the drawer so many times and never took it out. Tonight, I did. I don't really know why. Maybe I wanted to read up on the best time to plant them, and when I opened the lid it read: "And without hesitation, he began to climb the beanstalk. He climbed and climbed and climbed until he couldn't see the ground below."
I just thought that was so appropriate. I imagined Ty climbing that beanstalk up into the clouds and it warmed my heart so much. Keep climbing Ty, and don't look back.
Yesterday I dropped Gavin off at school and came home instead of going to the office because I had a lunch meeting for the foundation. After being home alone like that for the first time in ages, I soon found myself lying on the hard floor in my den, drowning in a pool of tears. I begged Ty, I said, "Please send me a ladybug today. I need to see you. I need to know you are okay. That I'm not crazy. Please send me a ladybug today." After who knows how long, I remember that I switched gears and started yelling for my grandmother who passed away a few months before Ty at 94 years old. I was upset and said something along these lines: "And where are you, Grandma? Don't you see me? Where are you? You should be taking care of me, not Ty. He's only five. I don't want him to see me like this. He should have the responsibility of worrying about me. You need to help me."
Maybe venting just feels good but I swear to you, I got up off the floor within one minute of yelling to my grandma, I brushed off my hands, and I started doing the dishes. I instantly felt better. I was done crying and almost normal again. I like to think she picked me up right then and there and helped me, just as I asked her to do.
It was so warm outside, I decided to take a walk in the yard to find my ladybug (I should have known that they always find me instead...). I retraced the paths around the yard I would take with Ty in my arms. I recited his favorite book "we're going on a bear hunt" like I always used to do. I went to his little playset and sat at the picnic table where we shared countless lunches and goldfish snacks together in Long Beach (before he got sick). I looked for him everywhere but I didn't see a single falling leaf, I didn't feel any warm breeze, I didn't see his hawk in the sky and I certainly didn't find any ladybugs. I tried so hard not to be disappointed.
The fact is, Ty did send me a ladybug yesterday. I just didn't get it until today when I opened a present from our cousin in the mail. She sent this most thoughtful gift to hang on my rearview mirror. As soon as I opened it, I messaged Renee to ask her when she put it in the mail. Her answer... yesterday. Thank you, Ty. For sending me a ladybug on a day that I most certainly needed it. BELIEVE :) Always Believe.