Sunday, May 11, 2014

"Happy Mother's Day" will never sound right as long as he's not here

The weather in New York has been beautiful this weekend.  Lou and his Dad spent a lot of time outside yesterday getting our yard ready for the summer, and I decided I wanted to BBQ for dinner.  I stopped into the supermarket while Gavin was at Karate practice and I walked the aisles remembering Ty and how much he loved going to the supermarket.  I took a quick spin down the candy aisle just for him, and I felt very, very heavy with sadness and longing.  My trip to the supermarket left me feeling very mopey for the rest of the day knowing Mother's Day was just hours away.

At checkout I was taken by surprise when the woman said "Happy Mother's Day," as I was leaving.  "Thanks, you too," I replied, but I couldn't help but think it was an odd assumption.  I was alone, I wasn't buying anything that indicated I have children at home, and I was carrying the weight of my loss on the surface of my skin, making Mother's Day a difficult day to say the least.

There are so many women like me who have lost children, or those who lost their mother; there are women who may desperately wish for motherhood but have yet to be granted such a gift, and others who have respectfully opted out of motherhood.  Although the intentions are nothing but kind, "Happy Mother's Day" wishes can be hurtful.  Those words are delivered with an invisible sting in the tail.  I recognize only the best wishes behind the statement, and while I have every intention to take time to myself today and to enjoy Lou and Gavin on this beautiful day, it is impossible for me to have a truly "Happy" Mother's Day.  I will have a content Mother's Day.  I will enjoy my family; I will remember I am blessed to have my incredible Mom; I will stare at Gavin a little too much because I love him so; and I will survive this day with a broken smile on my face.

I spent a lot of time going back to May 2011, May 2012, May 2013 to read about my previous Mother's Day experiences.  God, we have been through so much.  Ty, especially, had such a difficult life in the short time he was here.  I also looked back at all of the pictures, which has a magical way of bringing me right back to that place where Ty once was.  I swear, his beautiful face can bring tears to the eyes of any stranger! He was just too good to stay.

This was the last photo I took of us together while he was awake.  He let me take him for a walk around the house and outside in our yard.  I recited "We're going on a Bear Hunt" from one of his favorite books, and we took a break to sit on the wooden bench in front of our house.  I remember every minute of that walk, specifically how his beautiful green eyes looked in the sunlight, and where he had one tiny brown speck in the green of his left eye.  I recently planted some Spring flowers in the planters next to that bench.  I needed to add some color and some happiness to that space after the snow finally melted so I filled them with yellow and purple pansies.  When I was finished, I sat on the bench to talk to Ty and get lost in my memories of him. I was suddenly compelled to document our time together on that bench and started instinctively carving the words "Ty was here" right into the wood using a garden clipper.  My tears were falling onto the wood as I carved, and I was very satisfied with my work after I finished.  Anyone who stops to sit on that bench will know that Ty was here and he was important.

My first Mother's Day was such an incredible honor.  I held my baby boy in my arms, and I finally understood what motherhood meant.  It is so much more than I ever could have possibly imagined, and I was so happy to celebrate the day!  Lou surprised me with this most adorable framed photo of Ty, that adorned my desk at work ever since.  He has always been so thoughtful.  Best husband ever.  Cutest baby ever, too.

Even cuter was his first attempt at taking the picture.  In true baby fashion, Ty ate the sign.

There's something about writing that immediately helps clear my mind.  I guess I don't write as often because I don't need it as much as I used to, which is a good thing, but on days like this it remains such a release for me.  I feel better already and am inspired to get off the couch, take a shower, and enjoy this beautiful day outside with Lou and Gavin.  No more moping, I am going to try and make this Mother's Day a semi-happy one.  Thank you all for caring so much, and for continuing to support our family..  XOXO.


  1. Ty for sharing. My mom died when I was 11 and Mothers Day has always been bittersweet for me. I can not imagine how hard it is for you. Maybe he will send a lady bug soon. Xoxox

  2. Today I wish for you what Iwish every day, peace, love, the certainty that Ty is with you and that he visits in your dreams. There are no words to describe Ty...beyond perfect.

  3. You are an inspiration to people everywhere. Ty will forever be in my thoughts based on you telling his story. I love that picture of You and Ty. He is a beautiful boy and so lucky to have you as his mom. Thanks for all you do to find a cure.

  4. I am so very sorry. The picture of you and Ty breaks my heart. What Ty went through physically is just too much. I hope you have a great day with Lou and Gavin and tonight Ty visits you again in your dreams. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Ty. He is one special little boy to be able to touch the heart of complete strangers.

  5. Thinking of you a lot! I send you a big hug, courage and force in those hard days. Olga

  6. As I read this my heart was very heavy with sadness and pain..I can't imagine what your going through :( brought tears to my eyes...stay strong and try to enjoy this day reserved for amazing mothers like you... :)

  7. Thinking of you on this day.

  8. Ty was here indeed, and Ty will always be here <3

  9. Thinking of you today. Enjoy yourself.

  10. I remember that picture of you and Ty; he whispered to you that he wanted to go outside and you went walking around the yard, admiring all the red leaves on the trees. I must admit that I cannot go back through the posts in Ty's final days, Cindy. They are just too painful to look at again. I cannot imagine how you re-live those days over and over in your mind. You are way stronger that I could ever be.

    I hope that you had a "content" Mother's Day, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and the other blessings in your life - Gavin and Lou.

  11. He ate the sign! LOL! God bless. :-)

  12. Love the baby pictures of Ty...what a cutie. Hope your day was happy...thinking of you all always.

  13. Prayers for you this weekend.... Thought I would share this woman's story with you... They don't know how much time they have left

  14. I am sure Ty was with you on Mothers Day! Like I've said before, he's always with you...always..........
    Betty from Beacon

  15. You have no idea Cindy how many times I remeber that last day you took Ty outside and sat on the bench. for some reason this was one of the most memorable posts although I pretty much memeorize almost every one that you wrote. I recall how you taught him that you are going on a date and he asked you what a date was and you explained that it it between a girl and a boy. I remember it was sunny. I remember you clearly said you were so happy he let you take him outside. My heart is so heavy as I write this, my throat hurts. I am so sorry. From the bottom of my heart I really am sorry that you were chosen to witness your baby suffer and pass away. I am sorry that you have to write Ty was here on a bench. Please know that maybe I can't promise much but the one thing I promise that I will never forget is that Ty was here. I am wishing you to have as happy as possible mother day. I still can't believe he is not here. :((

  16. I'm late reading this post, but I just have to say how incredibly adorable that photo is of Ty eating the Mother's Day sign. What a gem!. Hope your day got a little sweeter and less sad. Take care

  17. Dear Cindy'
    I am a long time reader, a mother of 10. I am outraged. My 13 year old daughter has to write a persuasive essay and she chose the topic of lack of funding and research for Childhood Cancer. We talk about this topic a lot in our house and she thought it was important to write about.
    Her teacher first asked her why she wanted to write about it. When she said that- compared to breast cancer, kid's cancer is grossly underfunded and under researched- her teacher said: " I had breast cancer" .
    The next day she told my daughter that she can't write her essay on this topic stating that it is "too broad" . Assigned her with " adolescents and eating disorders".
    I am OUTRAGED. What?! A teacher does that?
    I am about to write her an email, I might link to your blog, to other cancer kids' blogs too.
    Most importantly, I wanted to ask you if the shoe laces are still available. I wanted to buy them for her cheerleading team- they start cheer in September. We want to bring this topic out of it's taboo level and spread the word now. Obviously some people still live in the dark.
    Sincerely, Asha from Michigan.

  18. Trying to write again. Thinking about Ty and your family today and always.

  19. Asha... lets donate! That will help :)

  20. I read your blog throughout Ty's fight with that disgusting monster and ever since. I love you, Lou, Gavin and Ty as if you were my blood relation. TY WAS HERE AND ALWAYS WILL BE HERE IN THE HEARTS OF EVERYONE H

  21. Cindy & Lou,

    I couldn't sleep tonight. I don't know why, but I went to bed a few hours ago -exhausted, only to sleep for an hour. Perhaps it is stress, I am aggravated. . .I just had a glass of wine to relax, caught up on your blog and the Facebook page, and had my much needed reality check.

    I no longer have anything to be aggravated about, nor do I have any reason to complain. My two boys are upstairs in their beds and they do not have Cancer. They are healthy. . . There are so many parents out there who would give their own life to have my "problems".

    I read the story about the little boy Ben that you posted on your Facebook page. . .another little boy who will forever be 5 years old. Too many children are suffering.

    When Ty was alive I would check this blog 24/7. When Ty took a turn for the worse, I would keep it up and constantly refresh the page. I read your posts over and over again and cried my eyes out. I still read your posts but not every single day. Why don't I do that? It bothers me at times. It bothers me when I see a child that has cancer on my Facebook news feeds and then I come visit your blog. Although I don't stop here daily, I think of your son all the time. I cannot look at Spider Man, Max and Ruby or lollipops, ladybugs, ginger bread houses, etc without thinking of Ty. The other day I had a lady bug inside my house and I ever so gently placed it on the deck and thought of you.

    When I was reading your blog tonight and when you said you went to the grocery store -I knew you were going to go down the candy aisle before I read it, and reminisce about all the times you had Ty with you at the store. I also remember vaguely the talk you had with Ty on the bench. . .I remember reading about Ty and the bench outside. I am woman who can't remember what I did yesterday, but I remember almost everything you wrote, everything about Ty. I remember looking at the tbt photo you had of Ty on Facebook with Lou on the Merry Go Round and I was like wow, I never saw that photo before! ;) Like who am I to see everyone of that beautiful boy's photos! It was a treat!

    It is now 3:30 in the morning and I realize that instead of sneaking Oreo cookies, I am reading about Ty. Instead of watching what they are selling on QVC, I am reading about Ty. That made me feel better, Ty makes me feel better. Writing this (although I am rambling, it is late and I am now on my second glass of wine -big glass of wine) made me feel better, letting you know I will NEVER forget your son and I think about you guys so much -makes me feel better. Your family makes me feel better. I feel honored to have this special family share their story with me.

    I may not be here all the time, but I am always thinking about you!

    Joy Marielle

    Baltimore, MD