Tomorrow is Stand Up 2 Cancer World Cancer Day. I will be posting some pictures of Gavin, Lou and I standing up for Ty and all the kids. Please help us to support this social media campaign by printing out a placard and posting a picture on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Go to http://wcd2013.su2c.org/ to get your own placard, then post your photo EVERYWHERE to help spread the word! Just follow Gavin's lead! (Wow, I'm just realizing how badly he needs a haircut).
The foundation website launch got sidetracked a bit because Gavin came down with a terrible cold/fever. We are all a little under the weather and will have to stay home tomorrow, too. My cousin came over to spend the day with us today and when Gavin became quiet in the toy room, I peeked around the corner and found him fast asleep on top of his toybox. Poor baby! His has his tiny Captain America lego guy nice and close. So sweet.
This is the first time Lou and I had a very sick boy in bed between us since October. It was so hard to hear Gavin coughing and having trouble breathing for so many obvious reasons. It took us back to the countless nights of constant worry over Ty. We were up all night giving Gavin medicine, checking his temperature, snuggling him and saying soft "I love you's" in his ear. I'm so glad that he began sleeping with us shortly after losing Ty. Every night at some point, he makes his way from his bed into ours. Sometimes I wake up in the morning, unable to remember when or how he got up in our bed because it's become so routine. He has only slept through the night without making this migration once in three months, and when he woke me in the morning he was just as surprised as I was.
Yesterday, I was in the kitchen when I overheard Lou tell Gavin, "I want to do something today, what should we do?" Gavin answered, "I want to go to heaven and see Ty!" with excitement. Wow. Lucky for Lou and I, he jumped off the couch where Lou was sitting and went into his little toy room so he didn't see our silent tears start flowing. After a short while, I choked them back and I asked Gavin if her remembered what I told him about Ty... if he remembered that Ty was very sick so God decided to take Ty to heaven early? That we all will go there when we got old, but Ty got to go there sooner. Gavin said "am I gonna see Ty in heaven when I am old?" I do think he is beginning to understand, but I was surprised by all of the questions yesterday.
Later in the day, Gavin was getting speech therapy by the same lovely person who used to provide those services for Ty. He was excited and telling her all about Iron Man. He talked about how Santa Clause brought him a new Iron Man costume, and how Iron Man has repulsors, and how Iron Man has that thing that lights up in between his "ninnies". How cute. I told him, "that's his heart, Gavin. The light in his chest is his heart." He heard me and he told his teacher, "Yes, iron man has a light in his heart just like I have Ty in my heart." I guess it's not just Lou and I. Gavin must be thinking about and missing Ty a lot more than we realize. It took every ounce of my being to nod and acknowledge that yes, Ty is in his heart, without breaking down and crying a river. I totally held it together. I was very proud of myself for that.
Ever since we lost Ty, I have been seeing him out of the corner of my eye. When he first died, I kept hearing his toddler footsteps and seeing my curly haired baby. Over the past week or so, those visions have transitioned to one when he is older, but before he became paralyzed. I see him getting so healthy and scooting all around the house. I remember the bald spot at the bottom of his head after he completed radiation. How soft and warm his head always felt. I would examine and kiss the scars there all night long while he slept beside me. These were the best days of my life.
Today I was talking to him while driving, reaching behind me for his foot but hitting only the carseat. Telling him that I want to trade the pain of losing him for the pain of caring for him and watching him hurt, because I would also get to see his magnetic smile that could spread joy around the world. I wish my whole body was still hurting from being his arms and legs for so long. I wish I was filled with worry and anxiety that caused psoriasis and TMJ, because it's so much better than the pain of this void and this longing. I would embrace that pain and welcome it with open arms. It doesn't even compare with the pain I now carry in my heart.
I received an awesome gift in the mail. It included photos that were taken two summers ago, when Ty had just started improving. Pictures of Ty that I've never seen are the greatest gift anyone can give me.
Whoops! I can't seem to fix this. Sorry! You get the idea, though. He's adorable (not to mention his Papa and Daddy are very handsome, too). I miss him so much with every passing minute. But we are doing well and so many wonderful things are happening in his honor - as they should be. I feel him with me all the time, and I know he is happy.