Saturday, March 8, 2014

Juice Bags and First Love

Life has been absolutely out-of-control busy these past few months.  Busy is always good for me as a means to manage my grief, but eventually it catches up to me.  This weekend Lou went away on his annual snowboarding trip with his friends.  I was so sick of this cold, lonely winter, I decided to take Gavin on a road trip with my besties.  During which, I realized that I really need to watch what I say when I’m driving.  This is something that I imagine every mom can relate to on some level, right?

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.  


  1. Oh my goodness, you can even see Ty's face in the orb!

  2. Gavin is so cute!! I guess he said that about Ty in the same way I used to think my mother loved my baby brother more. I think it's a normal siblin thing. He knows you adore him. I too remeber Ty mostly for his AMAZING smile. ♡♡

  3. I cannot believe that picture!!! Whoa! That is amazing! I can see Ty's face too. Simply amazing.

  4. I looked at the picture, and thought how amazing it was. Then I read the comment from anonymous and I looked at the picture again. This is proof that Ty is still everywhere with you guys even though he is not physically there. This gives me hope that he is doing okay. I have been thinking of you guys alot lately!

  5. I'm speechless. I was at the Mess Fess and Ty was every where. That picture just proves it. :)

  6. Yes, there are a few juice bags on the road - that is so funny!!

    Ty is everywhere and always will be close to you, Cindy. So glad you get to see proof of that!!

  7. That is so beautiful it seems unreal, and I know it's not.Ty will always, always watch over you, Lou, and Gavin. Thank you for sharing this. It's undoubtedly your boy.

  8. Soo cute, Gavins comment about his eyes turning into cute. The comment about Gavin asking u if u love Ty more, would of broke my heart to if I were you. But its nice to know that he remembers Ty as smiling and happy. :) The pic is amazing. I love finding Orbs in pics...reassures us our loved ones are always with us.
    Betty from Beacon.

  9. "Juice bag." Love it...I will adopt that as my go-to word with stupid drivers.....And, oh what a lovely, moving photo of Gavin at the Messfest. Good to see your post....

  10. oh my gosh, i do see a little face in that orb

  11. I couldnt imagine how I would feel if my kids would ask who i love more. How could you love one more?! you love them differently but yet so strong. I am just llike Gavin, I remember only Ty's smiles, his smiles is what made me fall inlove with him. It is not possible to smile so much when you are in so much pain but he did. I remember one of your last posts of Ty before passing was that he was almost laughing when you were silly playing with Gavin being a Hulk. Isnt that what made Ty so special that he was able to enjy everything and laugh and smile his way thru all the way to Heaven. Kepp smiling baby boy and keep your family safe :))
    Miss you and always think of you baby boy.

  12. I see the face, too! The first thing I thought of was the orb looked like a superhero's cape! So fitting. Hilarious "juice-bag" story!

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  14. Cindy I want you to know that I have a picture Of Ty on my cubicle wall becauae September was Pediatric cancer awarness month. Its still up. I get asked fequently who the beautiful child is. I tell his story. I think about your family often and quite enjoyed the new post! So nice. Please continue to update all of us that care so deeply about you and your family.

    1. Emily in hoboken. Ps. That picture I have of him will never come down.

  15. Wow!!! That's amazing how much that looks like Ty's face smiling over his brother....hoping that,on some level, this brings you and Lou some comfort :-)

  16. That is such a beautiful photo! I can totally see Ty smiling down on his little brother. Gavin cracks me up. I need to start calling them juice-bags as well so my almost-five year old doesn't get any bad habits (although, I have heard s**t come out of his mouth a few times, and can't help but laugh) :)
    Thinking of your beautiful family always, Sarah

  17. Thanks for sharing your story. My nephew passed away last week from atrt.