Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tats for Ty

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
 After spending the day in the city, we headed down to Long Beach.  The following day we had to meet with the artist to put some final touches on Ty's statue, so Gavin slept at Nana's while Lou and I spent the night in our old hometown.  It was late and dark by the time we got there, so of course the playground was closed.  We climbed the fence, regardless, because we needed to be with Ty.  We hugged his cold, bronze statue, kissed him on the lips, talked to him, brushed the sand off him, etc.  Thank you to whoever left the flowers with him.  There were two different arrangements, and it made me so happy to know he is being taken care of when we are not around. 

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.


  1. I love the Tattoos, I think the are incredible, and you guys are incredible. The video Lou made for you was amazing. . I cried my eyes out! (((((Hugs))))) next time I go see my mom in Smithtown, I will be visiting Ty in Long Beach!

    Joy Marielle
    Baltimore, MD

  2. It rips my heart out, and I just cant fathom the pain you go through every day. The only thing that comes close for me was losing my brothers. I just feel so much for you, just the thought of losing my child..i cant...I pray and meditate and send you love, light and strength. I know its not enough, but I hope it helps, somehow in some unseen way, even just a little.

  3. I love your tattoo ideas. So beautiful and so meaningful. My first tattoo was on my mom's birthday this past April. I lost my mom to cancer two days after Ty went to Heaven.

    I have been following your blog for years now. After I finally woke up after my mom's death, I was going through my bookmarked pages and decided to catch up on the life of Ty. I was heartbroken to read of his passing. Like you, I was with my mother until her last breath. It's something so bittersweet.

    I too look for her signs and wait for her to show up in my dreams. She made a promise before she left that she would visit. And thankfully she has. It's the moments of happiness that make me never want to wake up for fear of missing her again.

    It's been a long first year, as I am sure it has for you guys as well. But it's also a first year of pure strength and determination to keep living and live life to the fullest. The pain, the sadness, the tears, they will always be there, but at least I know now I can conquer anything.

    I wish your family a continuous life of happiness and the courage to keep going on.

    Always in my thoughts...
    Katie Brinager, 26
    Cleveland, Ohio

  4. Absolutely beautiful!!! I watched Ty's video with a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Ty and your family are always in my thoughts and I pray to the Lord to give you strength to keep on going.God bless you Ty you are one beautiful beautiful boy!!!!!

  5. Absolutely beautiful!!! I watched Ty's video with a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Ty and your family are always in my thoughts and I pray to the Lord to give you strength to keep on going.God bless you Ty you are one beautiful beautiful boy!!!!!

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  8. First, I am sorry for the deleted comments, I was trying to fix an autocorrect error.
    I just wanted to say that my heart breaks for Lou, Gavin, and you. But I am honestly so blown away by your incredible faith in God. I have no doubt that you will see Ty again. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing Ty with us. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. I can't imagine the constant hurt all of you feel, but the tattoos are a great tribute to Ty. He really was a beautiful and special little guy. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. I do believe that God sends very special little angels to live among us for a short time. They come with a very special purpose. They are the victim martyrs that God needs to help us all learn love and compassion for each other. You, as a family have brought his message to a whole new level. We can feel your pain, we can experience just a little of what you are going through. Perhaps that makes us all a little stronger. God Bless you Cindy and Lou and little Gavin too. You have answered God's call. Keep up the good fight. There will be a cure one day and it will be thanks to people like you.

  11. God Bless you all and God Bless Ty. I'm always here thinking of you guys. Haiden and I include Ty in our prayers every night, we ask God to say hi and give him a hug for us. I love your tats!
    Rita xoxo

  12. I love your tattoos and that ladybugs are coming your way. Beloved SuperTy will always be sending you signs from heaven above. God Bless all of you every single minute of every day. 🙏🐞🙏 hugs for adorable Gavin

  13. The tattoos are perfect! I continue to be inspired by your strength every day. I watched the video that Lou gave you for your Birthday ~ Simply AMAZING, and touching, and something to treasure. I am so glad Ty continues to visit with you and I pray for your healing to continue, yourself and all of your family that is still grieving the horrid loss of your precious, and SO brave baby boy <3

  14. Love the tattoos - beautiful like Ty, like you guys. Much love and ladybugs. Thinking of Ty always. Love

  15. Love the Tats incredible idea and true tribute! I have to say I giggled out loud through tears reading how you and Lou climbed the fence to the park ( I could just picture it)!! Nothing can keep you from your Best Good Boy!! I love that people left flowers for TY, he deserves everything beautiful! Always in my prayers!!

  16. I have never in my life read a more amazing statement about getting closer to death than this:

    "One year down. One year closer to seeing my best good boy again."
    I bring a real meaning to looking at everyhting in a positive light. How is it possible that a grieving mom is lifting my spirits when I am loosing hope and am so angry that Ty is no longer here?! I am ashamed. But at the same time I am so happy to know that you are OKAY. Because I worry every single day about you Lou and Gavin. I worry about your love in the coffee, about Gavin being lonely, about Lou going to work but not able to concentrate because trully only Ty could be on his mind. I worry about your lonely drives in a beautiful crispy weather. Every thing I do I try to imagine how horrible would it be to do all that with a heavy heart of having a dead baby.. But then you write something like that statement how closer you become to seeing your boy, and it just melts my heart. Thank you for being such a strong positive role model for all of us.
    Love, love, love your tatoos. They are so thought thru with such deep meanings.
    In Hebrew Ty name is spelled with letters Tet and Yud and Cindy, when I researched it today it gave me chills.
    Letter Tet meaning: "its good is hidden within it.
    Also letter Tet has a numerical number 9, so 9 month of pregnancy: "Thus, the full teaching of the tet is that, through the service of the soul, all of reality becomes "pregnant" with God’s Infinite goodness and beauty, thereby bringing harmony and peace to "heavens and earth." Ty was G-D's beauty to you and all of us, and his life brought happiness and peace and goodness to so many.
    The secret of the tet (numerically equivalent to nine, the nine months of pregnancy) is the power of the mother to carry her inner, concealed good - the fetus - throughout the period of pregnancy.

    Letter Yud, is the smallest looking letter of Hebrew alphabet. Ten, the numerical value of the yud, is also the number of commandments (literally "statements") revealed by G-d to His People Israel at Sinai. All the commandments, and in fact every letter of Torah, possess the power of the "little that holds much"; each is a channel for the revelation of G-d's Infinite Light in finite reality.
    Ty was small but he help so much power and so much goodness.
    Perfect name given to such a perfect powerful boy. He trully is a piece of G-D on Earth.
    Miss you baby boy.



  17. perfection - just like your sweet boy (s)

  18. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful little boy!! I lost my husband, Joe, on July 21, 2011 after a 9 month battle with the evil cancer. During his cancer journey he frequently said "This Too Shall Pass". My family and I had never heard him say this verse until he got sick. On the second anniversary of Joe's passing...July 21, 2013... I got a tattoo in memory of the love of my life.....the verse "This too shall pass" surrounded by angel wings which form a heart in the center around the words. I'm not really a tattoo person either but in the few months that I've had my tattoo I feel so much closer to Joe. Every time I look at my tattoo in the mirror...its just above my heart...I smile and know that he is always here with me. Losing my husband was so devastating but I can not even begin to imagine the pain of losing one of my children to this horrific disease. I have been following Ty's journey for about a year and a half. When he passed I was devastated. Ty has impacted my life in so many ways. His courage and strength were amazing. His ever present smile that could light up the world just melted my heart. I can't look at a blue lollipop and not think of Ty. My granddaughter,Kendall was also born on Oct 4, 2007. I find myself looking at her and thinking of how your beautiful Ty should also be enjoying his childhood with his amazing mommy and daddy and brother Gavin. Cancer may have stolen your beautiful little man Ty, but it can never steal the beautiful memories you have of him during his short life here on earth. Hold tight to the loving signs that Ty sends you from heaven. Remember there is just a thin veil between us and our loved ones in heaven. They may be out of sight but they are not gone. They are with us always. In time you will be reunited with Ty for eternity in God's beautiful kingdom. Holding you and your family close to my heart and in my continuing prayers.

    Jackie Fuller Lattanzio

  19. Your tattoos are perfect! I have no tats and don't know if I will ever get one but I can see doing what you did ,I love them both, so appropriate.I am glad to hear Ty is still coming to see you when you need him most, he is such a good big boy. God bless you all forever and always.....Jean

  20. Love the tatts! Your posts always touch my can they not. Ever think of writing a book? Your words the love for Ty will always. ;)
    P.S. Have u ever looked into a memory blanket? I mentioned it in one of my older posts. You can wrap yourself around the clothes he once wore. Just a thought. Betty Warren, Beacon, Ny

  21. The tattoos are great, and such meaning behind them. As it has been said before, "it will all make sense when you see Ty again in Heaven."

    Glad you made it through this incredibly difficult year. I hope the pain will lessen with each year, and you will smile more and cry less when you think of your best good boy in the whole world. :)

  22. Love the ink. What a great way to honor and remember Ty.

    The three year anniversary of my father in law's death to osteosarcoma is quickly approaching. Halloween is the last time we ever saw him alive, as he died a few days later in the hospital. He was about 60 years of age. Even though three years have passed, sometimes it's still just shocking that he's not here. I'm not sure that feeling ever goes away.

    Thinking of you during these difficult days.


  24. Cindy i love the tattoos and what they symbolize. A beautiful memory to visualize what's in your hearts.

  25. speaking of ladybugs, I don't know if I already commented but the day I mailed a donation to your foundation a lady bug landed on my arm. It has been years and years since I've seen one. It's such a rare occurrence. However, it brought a smile to my face and I wanted to let you know. Ty is around. You mentioned that you regret not coming down stairs for his last waking moments. I felt like that with my dad when he died. It crushed me for years. I was frozen in time for years until God said "Nope there's work that you need to do" and gave me what I needed to move on. My dad visited me in a dream- healthy no sickness and a glow of peace surrounding him- and I asked if he knew I was there when he died and heard all of the things I said. He confirmed and we hugged and I cried. He told me I had to do what I was meant to do on this earth and to never give up. I woke up and haven't looked back. It brought so much peace to my heart. I know my dad is watching over me, just like your Ty. You'll see him in your dreams. It will be at God's perfect timing. Bless you always ~JP