Father’s Day Hurts Like Hell

Poor Lou.  As anyone can imagine, today was a very hard day for him.  He spent his first Father’s Day without Ty in bed for the majority of the day. 

Last night we celebrated Father’s Day by going out to dinner with my sister and brother-in-law while my mom and dad babysat all the boys (Gavin and my nephews).  Gavin was so happy all day to be with his cousin, and we all had a great day at the beach.   Dinner was delicious, and we had a lot of fun into the very late hours of the night.  Escaping like that was good for us, but I think it only made the reality of today hit Lou even harder.   Every time I went into the bedroom to check on him he was either sleeping, crying, or looking through the pictures and watching all of his videos of Ty.  I watched some with him, we cried together a bit, and we talked about how it is so hard to look back at all the pain and suffering Ty experienced.  We both agreed that we were blind to how bad Ty was at times, and only now when we look back at the videos and photos do we see what everyone else must have seen.  Only now do we realize how hurt and sick he was, and only now do we see what his doctors and nurses must have seen.  Were we the last to know that he was going to die?  If so, I’m glad.  Because maintaining hope and just loving on Ty and dreaming about his future in spite of it all only allowed us to give Ty the security that he needed on the toughest days.  I looked at the pictures and I told Lou how he was and is the best dad in the whole world.  He gave Ty every little piece of him and he just loves his boys so very much.  I wish I could trade places and give Ty back to Lou.  All day I just felt so helpless.

Lou and Gavin, wishing Ty was holding the other hand

Then Lou came out of the room around 5PM and said, “Can you do me a favor and get some frames and some pictures of Ty so we can put them all over the house for the rest of the time we are here?”  Yes, of course!  I was so happy to have something to do for him!  Something that would make him feel better.   I hopped on my bike, I pedaled to CVS, and I came back with some beautiful photos of Ty.  We put them in every room and they have changed Lou’s mood entirely.  It helps both of us feel better.  Now I see his face when I walk in the door, while I’m wiping crumbs off the counters in the kitchen, and his beautiful face is next to our bed where it belongs.  We both feel so much better and we are enjoying a quiet night watching a movie.  Lou had some nice time with Gavin at the end of the day, and we enjoyed sushi delivery in our PJs.  Now we can put this day behind us. 

Ever since living in Long Beach, we always kept a beach bag packed with sunblock, a Frisbee, our giant blanket, stuff like that.  Yesterday we took it down to the beach for the first time since last summer, and Lou found a couple of Ty’s diapers in the pockets.  It’s just so hard!  Yet, I dread the day that these surprise reminders of Ty become less and less.  I don’t ever want to lose these little pieces of him because it’s all we have left. 

Lou and I were feeling okay, it was a beautiful day and the kids were having such a great time, but we did have our sad moments.  At one point we were standing talking with one another for a while, I looked down and I said “LOU!  DO YOU SEE THAT?”  Right in between us, in perfect condition, was one of Ty’s flowers.  When we held his memorial we had everyone place flowers on his name written in the sand.  Two months and countless trips in and out of the waves, this flower found us about 200 feet down the shore from the spot where it was originally placed.  Not only did it find us, but it was right in between us, in perfect shape.  We took it home and we can’t stop talking about how amazing it is.  My friend told me yesterday that I am blessed with signs, and she is so right about that.  If I didn’t have these signs from Ty I would be lost in my grief.  I would be completely swallowed up by the darkness.  How can I allow that when my beautiful boy sends me such beautiful things all the time?  I believe, so very much, that he is with me always. 

Again this morning, when my sister and I took the boys down to the shore in search of sea glass while we let the Daddy’s rest, Gavin was climbing the rocks on a jetty and a ladybug crawled onto his hand, then landed on my sweater and stayed with us for a long time until I placed her back on the rock.  My sister said “I think Ty is worried about you.  He is always checking up on you.”  I said, “that or he knows that I’m really worried about him and he wants me to know that he’s okay.”

My nephew witnessed the whole thing and he said to Gavin, “See, Gavin? Ty is always with you.”  In response to that, Gavin said “Ty is with all of us.  He is in our hearts.”  He is quite possibly the sweetest little boy on the planet. 

We are here for two weeks.  Still working on the Foundation remotely, but trying to get as much time in with our family and friends as possible.  Gavin has been having a great time, but every once in a while he misses his toys.  I didn’t bring any dress-up stuff, only some legos, because I didn’t want it to get out of hand.  My genius child was so mad at me, until he found a way to fix the problem on his own by wearing his superhero pajamas and using his undies as a mask.  He really knows how to keep the laughter in our lives, even when it’s the last thing we feel like doing. 

For Lou, on Father’s Day, I am reposting a video of him and Ty that I made two years ago while sitting in a hospital room with our angel baby. 


I would be remiss if I didn’t include photos of our Dad’s, too.  Ty’s Papa and Pop-Pop.  The two greatest most loving Dads we could ever ask for.  Lou and I are always so grateful for having the most loving, kind and giving parents in the world.  We look up to our Dads every day and we always will.  We are all so lucky to have you, and Ty loved you both so very much.  Big, huge, giant much. 


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