This one year anniversary has sucked the life out of me today. Lou and I have been going, going, going until today, and as usual the slowdown brought on severe sadness. We have been talking about Ty nonstop today. Moping around the house. Wiping silent tears. It always seems to hit us hardest when things are quiet (I guess that's why we so rarely quiet down in this busy, crazy, beautiful life). I start cleaning and organizing and I come across so many of his things. Like today, when I found his "guy" in a box of art supplies. A silly little green alien that he once got as a prize after getting his blood work at the hospital. He called the little green thing "my guy" and carried him around for weeks. I am so fearful of the day when I clean out a closet or a toy chest and don't find his drawings, or stickers, or a toy he once loved. Because those instances are becoming less and less one year later and that reality is simply depressing.
The weather has been perfect and our great friends were in town from Virginia for the weekend. We spent a lot of time outside with the kids, and I kept my eye out for ladybugs with no luck. I didn't say anything, I don't like to expect a sign from Ty because I am so very scared of being let down. Today, when the sadness really set in, Ty lifted me up with a ladybug once again. This time I went out on my deck specifically to look for a sign. I broke my own silly rule and I asked Ty to please send me a ladybug today. The first thing I saw on the ground was a ladybug corpse :( I thought to myself, "well, maybe he did send this ladybug but I just didn't see the poor thing in time? And now she's dead, and so is he." Great. That certainly didn't make me feel better.
Gavin was looking for me and called me back inside so I could get him something to drink. I left the door open to the outside and after a few minutes I went to shut it. My ladybug was right there on the screen door, and she was huge! How amazing is Ty, right? I called Gavin over and he was so excited, too! We talked about how Ty was visiting, and how happy we were because we miss him so much. We played with the ladybug, let her crawl all over, before letting her outside to disappear on her own. Immediately after that, Gavin wanted to make a ladybug craft to hang on our refrigerator. He is so sweet, he keeps me putting one foot in front of the other on days like this (and every day, really).
On Thursday, Lou and I got our tattoos at Wooster Social Club in Manhattan. The same place where NY Ink is taped. We had a great artist, Eddie, and he was very understanding why these tattoos were so meaningful to Lou and I. I never thought I would love having a tattoo, even when I decided to get one for Ty I wasn't sure whether or not I would like it. Turns out, I love it. LOVE it. Every time it catches my eye I smile with satisfaction. A forever reminder of my beautiful Ty, my gratitude to him and to God for having the chance to be his Mommy. My gratitude for all the amazing people Ty brought into my life, too. And my gratitude for how he changed me and made me a better person.
Lou's tattoo is so cool. He decided to put the number of days that Ty lived right above his collar bone, but he had it written out in a mirror image so that he can read it always. After all, the tattoo is for him and for Ty above all, so it makes sense that he would be able to read it best. My handsome husband looks even more handsome with his new ink :)
|looking in the mirror|
There's no where else we wanted to be other than that park. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have such a special place to go and "see him." I truly feel like I'm visiting with Ty. It doesn't make it hurt any less, but the experience is as bittersweet as it is beautiful every time. Lou and I went out to dinner afterward, we drank too much, then we spent the wee hours of the night holding hands down by the ocean. Surprisingly, we didn't cry while we were on the beach. We smiled and looked out at the incredible ocean and thought "how can anyone question whether there is a God when we live with such beauty." I look out on that horizon with nothing but confidence that Ty is out there. Of course I have my dark moments, but I never doubt that I will see Ty again. The hardest part is imagining how long I'll have to wait. If I miss him this much after one year, how can I possibly wait decades upon decades? It just seems too impossible to imagine.
I received a message the other day that reminded me of the quote "the days are long but the years are short." It is such an appropriate statement when relating to how our children grow so fast, but it is also such an incredibly relevant statement to this entire grieving process. I can't help but nod in agreement with how very true it is.
One year down. One year closer to seeing my best good boy again. XOXO.