Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Insomnia. It's Ba-aaack

I had one of my worst nights of insomnia last night.  I watched the clock until it was light out again, rolled my tired soul out of bed and poured a cup of coffee.  I give up trying.  Hopefully tomorrow night will be better. I just couldn't stop thinking about the fact that almost one year has passed (IMPOSSIBLE), and I couldn't stop staring at sleeping Gavin next to me and replaying our conversations in my head.  The tears were endless.

Gavin had a playdate yesterday.  This is a very rare thing and I was so happy to watch him hugging and playing with his little friend.  It was simply adorable (until we came downstairs to find popcorn covering every inch of the room.  Popcorn fight when we weren't looking!!). 

He had a lot of fun.  At one point I heard his friend ask, "Do you have a sister?" 
Very easily, Gavin answered, "No.  I have a brother.  Just a brother.  But he died."
"He died!?!?!  MOM!  Did you know Gavin's brother DIED?!?!"

It was all a very sweet and innocent conversation.  My friend handled it perfectly.  I handled it... okay, I think.  Thank God for sunglasses.  It just reminded me, so intensely, that Gavin has lost so much, too.  It is painful to imagine what his little mind makes of all this. 

Gavin usually seems so very fine with all of this.  He's so happy, in general.  He is so little, even the few times where he is sad over losing his brother, his emotions are fleeting.  But what I need to remember is that they are sitting just beneath his very young and sensitive skin.  That he realizes much more than we may think and that he MISSES HIS BROTHER every single day.  Last night, that became even more obvious. 

I was laying with him at bedtime and he was scared for me to leave the room.  I was talking with him about how we can turn on his nightlight, and how I'll be right outside of his room.  I would never leave him alone and he can always come get me if he gets scared. 
"Did you ever leave me a long time ago?"
"What?!?  No!  I would never leave you!"
"Yes, but remember? A long time ago when you and Daddy left at night?"
"Oh, Gavin.  We didn't leave you alone?  We would never do that!  Sometimes we left you with Nana, or Mely, or Grandma - but that was only because we had to go with Ty to the hospital.  And we ALWAYS came back.  We would never leave you forever!"
"But why did Ty have to leave to heaven forever?"

With that statement, Gavin burst into beautiful, genuine tears.  He wailed out loud for an eternity.  His pain was so real and so incredibly sad, and finally, so obvious.  I tried to tell him that Ty is always with him.  That he is in his heart, and that he is watching Gavin every day.  I told him that Ty is so proud of him. 

"No!  He's not here.  I don't want him to be invisible anymore!"  More hysterical crying.  More loud sobs.  His poor contorted face showed such a raw sadness that I haven't seen in Gavin, maybe ever. 

All night long I relived our conversation as I tried to sleep.  Memories of Ty and Gavin rushed in.  Panic struck as I thought about Gavin getting older without being able to imagine Ty getting older.  I was sick over it and I simply couldn't sleep.  Today and every day, I envision Ty playing with his little brother.  I can vividly imagine my big, five-year-old boy with the coolest hair known to man, running around the yard with Gavin.  Building Legos with him.  Encouraging him to ride his bike or follow him down the big slide.  I know exactly what Ty looks like and it isn't hard to imagine that beautiful boy standing up on his own two feet - full of health - running, jumping and playing.  But I will never know what he looks like at six, or sixteen.  How will I imagine him running alongside Gavin as he grows?  These thoughts were making my head spin as I laid in the dark all night. 

All I ever wanted was to see these boys grow up together.  My babies.  I am the luckiest saddest mom in the whole world.  After my sleepless night, I was so happy when my Gavin walked down the stairs with his incredible bed head and gave me the biggest, most delicious good morning hugs.  Today I will hug him and kiss him waaaay too much, I will tickle him until he screams, and I will let him wear his costumes wherever we go.  Because these lazy days of summer are numbered and soon he will be back in preschool for another year.   Every parent knows how fast the time flies.  Bereaved parents know this even more.  But for us, there is also a strange phenomenon where an entire year can blow by without the precious love of our life, yet it feels like time was standing still the entire time.  How is it even possible that so much time has passed without Ty here with us?  It's actually so impossible that I am in disbelief. 
One day at a time, I guess.  I guess that is how it happened.  I wake up.  I get through each day.  Some are good, some are horrible.  Today is another day and today I vow to have fun with this guy :)  I think I may need to wear a super hero costume, too.  He always makes pretend that I'm old "Aunt May" from Spider-Man.  Never Mary Jane, never a super hero of my own.  Today I might have to insist on being someone cooler than Aunt May.  Like Wonder Woman ;)


  1. You are a true Wonder Woman, Cindy! Gavin is such a cutie, and he will keep Ty alive in his heart, no doubt.

  2. I agree -- you are Wonder Woman.
    Your posts hit so hard because I too have two boys...and I can't imagine one without the other. It was never supposed to be only one...and it's cruel that it is. I'm so very sorry for that.
    Yet...when I look at Ty's smile and remember all he taught me...and all he's taught you and Gavin...well, he never is completely gone and never forgotten. I'm glad you have G to hug onto -- I know I'll be hugging on my boys tonight too!

  3. So much love. He needed to grieve and you allowed it. He is so blessed!! God bless you all.

  4. I'm just so sorry. This is all wrong.
    Nothing but love to you tonight.

  5. You are a super hero to all of us without a costume! I hope after your terrible night that you had a fun day with Gavin and with Ty in your heart.

  6. Hi Cindy... I too am Cindy. I wanted to share my joy of reading and Being a part of your long distance family, via your BLOG.. I am in Arizoan, I have followed you from when you first started posting along with Mya Thompson(Ronan's mom).I cant help but think of where your power, your strength and your will comes from. But I really don't have far to look it comes from Jesus and your faith... You have more gumpshion than I could ever imagine. Your family will continue to struggle , will continue to find new strength, and will continue to always remember the sweet lil boy that Jesus needed and had other plans for "TY"... I look so forward to reading and continuing to have my faith renewed from you (inadvertedly). Thank you and your husband and of course GAVIN.. who is a lil boy who misses his BIG Brother TY so much. I thank you for allowing him to be sad, and allowing him to grieve and to miss Ty as much as all of us do. Life is not fair in so many ways. I appreciate how you NEVER lose sight of the pain and the needs of Gavin as he too is trying to understand the meaning of Ty's passing. Children are so vulnerable and don't understand going to Heaven, to being invisible, to not seeing his brother, not having Ty here to play with and all the rest. Please dont ever stop cooresponding to all of us as your posts remind what I need to do as a parent and grandparent and that is to focus on what is most important to me ... my kids and their kids. Thanks Cindy for allowing me and others to share your life ... You are appreciated, loved, and needed by so many...BE STRONG AND KEEP YOUR FAITH... GOD DOESN'T MAKE MISTAKES!!!

  7. I will say an extra prayer for Gavin tonight that somehow the horror of this past year leaves him with the peace of knowing his brother didnt want to leave, he was just too sick to stay. Try to sleep tonight Cindy. God bless you and your family.

  8. Cindy I don't know if this will help you sleep but it did for me. When my husband was in the hospital and I couldn't sleep, I would lay in bed in the dark and say my rosary. I found that most nights I would fall asleep before I finished. I would often get side tracked and start talking to God about things on my mind but would redirect myself to get back on task and it really did help. I hope you can find a way to get some sleep. You are for sure a Wonder Woman but even she needs her rest. Please give Gavin an extra hug for me, I pray for him too. God bless you all. Love, Jean

  9. Hi Cindy...I found your blog through Facebook and have been following your writing ever since. I cannot read them without crying..ever! Your writing is such raw, true emotion and brings me perspective on my own children constantly. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Cindy, you and your family are forever in my thoughts, even when I don't comment. I was at the Long Beach film festival last weekend and thought of you. Gavin will get through is grief, because he has an incredible Mom. Ty will never, ever be forgotten, and his spirit will always be with you, Gavin and Lou. And me. I love that special little boy, as do so many others. God picked the perfect Mom for such a magnificent soul.

  11. Wishing you a night of peace so you can rest - I know how much you are doing and want to continue to do in Ty's name and you definitely can't do it with no rest!! You are a true life superhero to so many of us - inspired by your love, strength, courage and devotion - all of us better parents because of you and how you've shared your beautiful Ty and Gavin with us. Forever sad and thinking of Ty. Sending you, Lou and Gavin love and strength. XOXOXO Donna

  12. Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. You are all amazing! Gavin is a precious boy. Ty must be so proud!

    We continue to keep all of you in our prayers and I hope you feel that around you, especially over the next couple of months. God Bless all of you.

    Praying in Nebraska-
    The Stewart Family

  13. Definitely, Wonder Woman. Sending love and light every day.

  14. God bless your heart and soul Cindy. You are truly a Wonder Woman. Gavin is so precious. I cry when reading these posts and think of my own daughter every time.

  15. God bless your heart and soul Cindy. You are truly a Wonder Woman. Gavin is so precious. I cry when reading these posts and think of my own daughter every time.

  16. God Bless you and your family. I just watched the replay of The Doctors where you were talking about Ty and the Muddle Puddles Project. You are definitely Wonder Woman and an inspiration to many. Stay strong for Gavin. Out thoughts and prayers are with you always.

  17. I am so sorry that you and so many other moms and dads have to go through this heartache, it is so not fair. It is good though for Gavin to cry, not nice, not fun, but good that he is not keeping it inside. You are an amazing mom, your boys both know that. You and Lou gave Ty more love and fun in his short life than many experience in a long lifetime. There are no words, just know that you are in so many hearts and you are doing an admirable job at surviving and dealing. You are the superhero of superheros!

  18. I just saw your story on The Doctors and I was struck by the simplicity and beauty of your plan. It makes me want to redouble my efforts to make as much time as possible for my grandbabies. They are so precious to me and I want to give them as much joy as they can have! Thank you for reminding me what's really important in this life. Love and prayers to and your family.

  19. Hello: I've been following your blog for a while now, but life kept me from reading lately. Ty must have wanted to keep his message going however, because this morning a ladybug landed with a decisive "hey, look at me" thump on the lampshade next to the computer. Peace.

  20. Hi Cindy, I think about You Ty, Gavin and Lou all of the time. I agree that one year makes absolutely no sense. I am so sorry and I think that you are Wonder Woman for your boys. You did and continue to do everything possible for Ty. You and Ty are truly such a beautiful love story. Love endures forever I believe Love Emily

  21. Ty is your beautiful angel in heaven. Life is for the living. Enjoy Gavin for who he is.

  22. Cindy I trully am so sad so devastated over the loss of your baby boy. It's not something I will accept or be able to understand. Especially because you we're a beautiful loving family of 4. You were mom of two beautiful boys you had plans for them and you and how in a single moment with one horrible diagnosis everything changes forever. I looked at pictures of Ty as a young boy and read comments from your previous life and how it was all so innocent and so much was ahead of you guys. Everyone said how beautiful your baby boy was and your friends were suggesting that he is a perfect material for a model. Little did everyone know that he became a model but of a different kind. Model for a face of every innocent child suffering from cancer. Looking at him and you simply can't take your eyes off. And it's just shows that it can happen to anyone and all of us parents especially should take this research to another level. We should shop only in stores that support pediatric cancer for the month of September. We should keep pushing and the world should take us seriously because us mama bears are the strongest force of earth. There is nothing stronger than our love for our babies and we are willing to move mountains. And on the personal note I simply want to say that as one mom of two boys to another mom of two boys who like me happens to like cure gap pjs and shirts with skulls :)) that I feel your pain I can't imagine what you go thru every day. I wish that I could have changed any outcomes for your baby. I wish that it was all one bad dream. I miss your baby boy! Sometimes just like you I watch over his videos and fall inline with him more and more and ache more and more Everytime. And I feel sad for Gavin for loosing his role model but he wil, never be able to forget Ty. It's not possible! Strangers who never met him can't forget your baby so certainly it won't happen to you. I hope he visits you in your dream and visits Ty and Lou very very soon.

  23. Dear Cindy - Maybe you've heard this already, but in case you haven't, here it goes.

    Pink goes gold to raise awarness for childhood cancer. Here's the link: