Our first stop was to spend a night with my mom and dad on Long Island. Whenever I cross the bridge, I undoubtedly run into a world of traffic and it never fails that there are drivers on the road that believe if they haphazardly change lanes, they will get to where they are going faster. It is so frustrating. We are all on the same road, going the same speed, and the hyper-active lane changers only put everyone else at risk. One little bright blue Prius was that car yesterday, and I guess I slipped because Gavin said:
“Mom, that guy is a juice-bag, right?” (and with Gavin’s speech impediment, it sounded like “white” instead of “right.” So stinkin’ adorable. I guess we know what word I said under my breath that starts with a different letter! Then he went on to state:
“Is blueberry juice blue? Because that guy’s car is blue and we should call him a blueberry juice-bag.” All I can do with that is add a hashtag, once again. #juicebags.
The next day we piled into one car with Dawn and her twin girls before driving down to Virginia to see Kelly, Caryn and all of their kids. Gavin was so excited to have so many other kids to play with, he ran around like a wild-man all day! I love to watch him play. He doesn’t get the opportunity very often to let loose with a gaggle of kids because we are always on the go. It is so nice for him to jump around and have a good time with little people his age.
When it was time to say goodnight, I told him to give everyone a hug and a kiss. He went over to Allie, gave her a kiss, and in the most adorable reaction I’ve ever seen, he tipped his head back, acted dizzy, and started to swoon. Literally. He said:
“My eyes turned into hearts when I kissed her. It’s like she was my girlfriend!”
The lucky girl, little Miss Allie.
At night, when we were cuddling up to go to sleep, we said our prayers and as always said goodnight to Ty. Out of nowhere, Gavin said, “You love Ty more than me, right?” He didn’t sound sad, he just said it very matter-of-fact. This broke my heart. My greatest fear is that Gavin would feel like he lives in Ty’s shadow. I try so hard to make sure he knows how much he is loved while maintaining a healthy memory of his brother.
“Of course not! Why would you say that?”
Nothing. No response.
“Gavin, why did you say that?”
Silence. Then he whispered, “because Ty used to smile more than me. He was happy. But now I smile more than him.”
“Well, I think you both smile all the time, I love you both so much and exactly the same. You are both my boys and I love YOU just as much as I love TY. Okay?”
“Okay.” I followed up with a thousand hugs and kisses.
He seemed 100% unaffected by the entire conversation while a little piece of my heart was ripped open. I don’t know where it came from or why he made the reference to Ty seeming happier than him, but if there is something good to take away from that conversation it’s that Gavin remembers Ty being happy instead of being in pain. Whenever I hear someone remember Ty, it is almost always his smile that people talk about most. And that gives me a lump in my throat because it's so sweet and so sad.
Gavin and Ty will have a bond forever. Ty will always be watching over him. And, as we have all seen in this incredible, almost unbelievable photo... Ty is smiling down on him.
Gavin at the mess fest 2013. The orb just takes my breath away. My sister came across this on her phone just recently and it is almost too surreal to believe, but there it is. Undeniable. Ty is everywhere.