Gavin will be five in just a few short months. Just after he turns five, he will soon be older than Ty ever was. He needs all new clothes. He has grown out of the last pairs of Ty's pants that still fit him. He can't wear his big brother's clothes much longer. We need to register him for Kindergarten and even though he has an older brother, this will be the first time Lou and I will ever experience putting our child on a school bus. Moving on to "big boy" school. Our youngest, our baby, will soon be our oldest. He is our "only" child (or, better said, our only child left). Everything feels so final and all of a sudden it feels like it's all happening at lighting speed. I couldn't catch my breath all day.
I hate the idea of stepping into new territory of "firsts" with Gavin leading the way instead of Ty. This is a very new, very foreign feeling and it just seems so wrong and unnatural. Because it is wrong and unnatural. I wish I could have stopped this. Even today. Even 17 months later. I found myself in hysterics at the drive-in for a dunkin donuts coffee, just begging God to let me have him back. Making all sorts of promises how it wouldn't change the course of the world, I promise, no one even has to know, please just let me have him back. Our family will happily disappear into the woods if that's what we have to do, as long as we can be a family again. These silly bargains always seem to go in one ear and out the other. Sometimes I feel as though God himself is trying to calm me and tell me to talk to him again when I'm feeling better. Isn't that sad? It shouldn't feel that way. I shouldn't be so aware of how foolish it sounds. Truth is, it's a fair request from the almighty God who can do whatever he wants, isn't it? If there's one thing I learned in life, it never hurts to ask, right? So that's what I did today. I asked and begged for something totally unrealistic and I'm sure I will do it again in moments of weakness.
Today has been a tough day for Lou and I both. I heard Pharrel come on the radio and wanted to punch him in the face. Sorry. I can't help it. "I'm so (not) Happeeeey!!!" We are just missing Ty. I look at how tall Gavin has gotten. How short his pants are getting. And it immediately brings me back to the vision of me holding Ty's body in front of the long mirror in my bedroom for the last time. He had died just an hour or so beforehand and I held him while I sobbed uncontrollably, looking at how long he was. Almost mesmerized by how tall he had gotten and what an oxymoron it was. All I remember thinking at that moment was what a triumph it was supposed to be that he had grown so much. All through his previous treatment he never grew an inch. I had plans to visit with an endocrinologist post treatment to try and get him up to speed once he was cancer free. Now here he was, this tall growing little boy (finally) whose poor little body just couldn't stop that vile, disgusting beast from winning.
When is cancer going to go away and leave these kids alone????? My son suffered. Some of my memories are beautiful, and some are unimaginable because of what I witnessed happening to him. His pain was grotesque and evil. He was a tiny baby boy and he suffered like you can't imagine. But he smiled and he laughed and he hugged me so tight that I knew he was my true love always and forever, wherever he goes. My everything. He needed me and all I ever wanted in life was to be the one that he needed. Because I needed to take care of him more than I ever needed anything in the whole world.
How I wish I could have you in my arms again. I love you so much.
Tonight I had a full-on breakdown in front of Gavin after his bath. This doesn't happen often at all. But today, I guess it was just going to be one of those days from start to finish. Gavin was tickling my ear and he totally achieved the full-blown tickle spell on me. You know the one. Where you have the chills all over and you tighten your neck as much as possible in fear of a little finger creeping its way in for a tickle! He was loving how it tortured me, and my laughter hasn't been so genuine in God knows how long. Then he said this...
"I'm going to do this to Daddy, too, when he gets home. Because he will think it is SOO funny. And I want to do it to Ty, too. You have to remind me when I am a grown up that I want to do this to Ty when I first see him in heaven. He is going to love it!"
Yep. Tears. Big, ugly sobs. Face buried in the towel. Not a proud moment, but what can I do? It just wasn't supposed to be like this. My sweet Gavin. May he always be happy. Here he is with his leprechaun trap. He knows how to have fun despite everything, and that will always keep Lou and me smiling :) See what a big boy he is? It's crazy. PS - he put corned beef inside the trap. So cute.