I'm so so so so sorry I couldn't save him. My baby. I can't believe my love, faith and devotion wasn't enough to protect him. That all of our thousands of prayers wasn't enough. That his fighting spirit and unbreakable smile wasn't enough. Even after the most difficult surgeries, this boy came out smiling. How can he fight so hard and not get through this? The only solace I find is knowing that he is finally free from a future of monthly MRIs, weekly needles, surgeries, headaches, countless therapies and potential relapse. No more! HE IS FREE!
|Do you remember this? This was taken the minute after he woke from his second major craniotomy. See that smile? He's outrageous. Stronger than anyone I know.|
I never, ever went anywhere without Ty. I would never expect anyone else, other than Lou, to understand how to hold him without hurting him so I did it all. Mely was great with him, so great, but still it was me who insisted on carrying him everywhere. It was my back that burned every minute of every day due to the unnatural strain of carrying Ty's extra weight on my hip. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Certainly not for the broken heart that pains me now, instead. Or these pathetic, empty arms. I feel so lost and so useless. I know I have Gavin, I do, but I am emerging from a world of cancer where my time was so consumed by Ty and I'm finding that Gavin is a very independent big boy now. He goes to school every day until 2PM. What am I going to do with myself when he is off at school? Or when he plays with his puzzles and super heroes for hours on end all by himself (he has transitioned from Toy Story to Super Heroes after Ty passed away, which makes me happy because I feel he is trying to fill Ty's shoes and remember him by embracing Ty's favorite things).
Well, I promise you this. I'm not going to sleep all day. I tried, and I am simply incapable. I'm not going to look through pictures and cry all day every day (although I can't say that doesn't happen late night). I'm not going to clean my house on a rampage and get rid of all the reminders of our previous life. I promise. I am going to take it one day at a time, and I am going to fill my time by throwing myself into the cause. You will see a lot happening with his foundation in the weeks to come, and I am excited to give that gift to Ty. To make sure that his story lives on so that the little boy with the infectious smile can continue to impact the lives of thousands. He fought so hard, he deserves to be honored in a big way. A way that represents everything that Ty was all about. A way that celebrates the beauty of childhood and leverages that message to rally for better treatment options for our kids.
And we're going to have to buy him an urn! It's such a difficult decision, but I can't stand looking at the can on my dresser anymore with a label that reads "temporary receptacle." Doesn't that sound so insensitive considering my precious baby is inside there? Still, I run my fingers across it and I smile when I pass by the lonely blue lollipop that sits on top. I'm happy he is here in my bedroom with me. I light a candle by his picture every night, too, and it helps me feel closer to him. I saved this picture to post a while ago and just came across it. It was taken on October 11 and he looks very heavenly to me. In fact, all of his photos since we were sent home on September 17 have a very different beauty about them. It's hard to explain, but it's like Ty was starting to move in between worlds and he knew more than we can understand right now. That FACE! I miss it so much. I want to slide my hand across his cheek more than you can imagine. Kiss those lips. But most of all, I want to talk to him. I wish I had a more memorable conversation with him before he fell unconscious and then passed away.
I wrote his obituary yesterday, but I keep getting sidetracked and I haven't had it published. I expected it would be much harder to do, but it really wasn't. In a nutshell, I think it is the right way to present the news of his passing. It feels good to have this task behind me. Reading it makes me so proud of him. Here is an abridged version below, I hope you like it too. Goodnight and have a great weekend.
Ty Louis Campbell
10.4.2007 – 10.17.2012
We call him SuperTy because he was our little fighter. Ty Louis Campbell, the “best good boy in the whole wide world,” graced this earth for five beautiful years, and before he left he made it a better place to live. He made an astounding impact on all who heard his story. He inspired a community of thousands to make the most of their lives and to rally against the evils of childhood cancer by raising awareness.
Ty was astoundingly beautiful and always quick to smile. His sheer magnetism developed not because of the cancer that controlled him, but rather his love for life that defined him.
Ty is the son of Louis and Cindy Campbell, and older brother to Gavin. He is grandson to James and Carol Campbell of Mahopac, NY and John and Christina Zimba of Wantagh, NY. He is loved by many cousins and countless friends. During his two-year battle with brain cancer, his bravery and perseverance in the face of countless setbacks taught the world to celebrate kids being kids in honor of those that can’t.