He's right there. On our bench. Waiting for me to notice.


God, was it a beautiful day on Sunday. After snow on Halloween, I wasn’t expecting it. After the stress of the election and the weekend that followed, I simply wasn’t expecting a day like this and it really made my heart heal. I made a point to get outside alone to smell the leaves and remember the days in November 2012 when I used to sit outside with Ty’s fleece blanket around me, numb, watching the leaves fall all around. And yes, looking for signs from my love.

I broke my foot recently. It was just a clumsy maneuver, not a big deal (or so I thought). But I have to stay put for the most part and that’s hard for me. Sunday, Lou took the kids hiking and I stayed behind and to be honest - it was lovely. Hearing the birds outside and listening to the rustling leaves I had to get out there. All the cushions were already packed away for the winter in our yard, so I hobbled my way over to our date bench across the street from our house. Years ago I used to sit there with Ty. I used to tell him we were going on a date. It glides, it’s in a pretty little spot in front of our house, and Lou and I like to keep the planters filled with colorful flowers each season.

I used to sit on this bench more often. Especially in the days following Ty’s death. It’s also my ritual to sit here on every first day of school, sobbing loud with unashamed tears for the child I didn’t put on the bus with his brother that day.

So, I went out there on Sunday simply because it was a beautiful day and I had nowhere else to sit outside. It’s been a while and I almost forgot that every single time I come and sit on this bench, I remember exactly how I felt the day I cradled Ty in my arms on this bench during our very last walk outside. He stared up at the sky, barely blinking or saying a word, and I stared into his eyes studying every tiny facet with the fear of forgetting. His pupils were so small, it was a bright sunny day, and I saw every speck of brown in the green and tried to record it in my mind. He had one rather significant brown speckle on the bottom left corner of his right eye. He quietly pointed out that there were no red leaves surrounding our date bench and I continue to try to fix that. I’m grateful for this memory.

Ty sends me a lot of signs. This is ladybug season, and of course October brought his birthday, my birthday, Bodhi‘s birthday and the day he died, so we’ve had a whole lot of ladybugs around here. Even today in my kitchen and another in my bedroom, and one on the door at the TLC office that hasn’t left for two days. But on Sunday I noticed something so significant I’m actually dumbfounded at how impossible it is. I can’t even tell you how much I LOVE when this happens. I am downright giddy over it. Can’t wait to show you!!

PREFACE: After he died, I used to write, “Ty was here,” when I had a memory of him. When I went to places I had been with him. On the sand at the beach, in the dirt in the yard, I even carved it into our date bench one day. There was always such a tremendous need to share my memory with strangers and a fear that he wouldn’t be remembered if I didn’t. My grief has evolved since then and I don’t feel it necessary as I used to, just once in a blue moon. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think of him any less, of course.

Anyway, here it is…the carving I made on the bench in October 2014 (pictured above), six years later, now looks like this. Worn, weathered, and faded, but OMG! Forgive my novice editing skills attempting to circle the words...

Do you see what I see? Am I nuts? The word "was" is completely gone. Those letters, and only those letters, have completely disappeared without a trace. I can still read the words “Ty” and “here” quite easily. He is here! You guys, that's just it... he is here. He is always trying to tell me this. This holds true for your loved ones, too. I hope you can believe that.

I am beside myself with warmth and comfort and doubt and sadness and happiness and peace and discomfort and... I don't know what!

Ty ____ here. Ty is here.


  1. So glad Ty let you know once again that he is ALWAYS there.

  2. OMG Cindy, that is so incredible!!! I have never doubted Ty's presence but to have confirmation is so nice! You were meant for him as he was meant for you... Together Forever <3

  3. Love this sign. I hope it brings you such comfort. Truly incredible.

  4. Wow, that took my breath away. I know those signs are real. Our family gets them from our 28 year old nephew that died. But about Ty... I talk about him to people. He made an impression on my heart and I bring him up sometimes to my family and friends. I have followed your blog from almost day 1 that you started writing. I love how your family is healing....how Ty is still part of conversations. I'm proud of you for keeping the strength to get up on bad days and keep on keeping on.....but with joy in your heart. Joy for you family, including Ty. You make a beautiful family.

  5. This is wonderful. I always believe Ty is with you. I remember when the tricylce fell in the garage. . . He is always with you, putting a little "wub" in your coffee, and sitting with you on the bench. Forever watching over you, Lou, Gavin and Bodhi.

  6. You made me cry and broke my heart with happiness
    Your dates outside especially the last time he let you take him out is still so fresh in my memory. Ty is here always here

  7. Beautiful experience, and beautiful to hear your warmth and comfort in knowing his presence. An amazing angel to have with you. Ty here, love here.

  8. Love Love Love this! Thank you for sharing Ty with us!


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