It goes without saying that the holidays are the hardest. Yesterday, my friend's daughter asked me "how many kids do you have?" and it was the first time I hesitated to answer... "two." I am mad that I hesitated. Ty is always mine no matter where he is. I just feared that she might follow up with some additional questions and I am so glad she didn't.
On this day, we are supposed to focus and reflect on the things we are thankful for. I think Lou and I are on the exact same page when we say that we are so thankful that we were given Ty regardless of how everything turned out. But I found it really hard to remain gracious today. Lou was much better at it. He had beautiful things to say about Ty all day today, and because of that I awarded him his very first guest blog entry :) That's right, Lou wrote a blog tonight. I pasted it below, and I think it is amazing. He really is the best Daddy in the world, and after a long day where I had to muster up a lot of strength to find a single thing to be thankful for, I was reminded that I am most grateful for him. My rock. My love. My best friend. I could never be without you.
BY LOUIS CAMPBELL:
Today is another first that we knew would be so hard. But I woke up this morning feeling more thankful than sad. Although the sadness is and will always be there, I have so many things to be thankful for. Last Thanksgiving I wrote a poem for Ty called "Thankful." that I pasted below.
Thankful - by Louis Campbell
I am thankful he is alive
I am thankful he can hold his head up
I am thankful he can breathe normally
I am thankful he can see straight
I am thankful he doesn’t have head pain
I am thankful he can wiggle his toes
I am thankful he can eat and drink
I am thankful he is home
I am thankful he is smiling
I will be thankful when he can walk
I will be thankful when he can go to school by himself
I will be thankful when he and his brother can wrestle
I will be thankful when he graduates
I will be thankful when he becomes a father
I was thankful yesterday
I am thankful today
I will be thankful tomorrow
On this day last year, I was thankful for all of the things that Ty could do despite what he had been through, and I was thankful for the milestones I wished to see him achieve. None of which came to fruition, however, tomorrow has come and I am still thankful.
First and foremost, I am thankful for ever having had Ty.
I am thankful that Ty smiled until the end.
I am thankful that Ty took his last breath in my arms.
I am thankful that although I miss him, I don't have to watch him wince in pain.
Some people might think, having experienced all that I have as a father, it would have been so much easier to have not had Ty at all. I feel differently. I feel so blessed to have experienced something that was so special. We experienced so many things together that fulfilled my life. I will never have to wonder if my son needed me or loved me. I'll never have to wonder if I needed him or loved him.
As a father, you want to know you will be a good parent. You try to teach your children right. How to live and love and enjoy life. How to be strong and responsible. You want to know that your child knows he is loved. You want to know that you did everything right for your child. It only took five years for Ty to let me be 100% sure of these things.
I don't think anyone reading this would ever question if Ty showed strength, courage and happiness. You also know that he showed love, but I wish you could feel the magnitude of the love we shared. Ty was loving to everyone, but there were only a handful of people with whom he truly felt secure enough to close his eyes and know that his life was safe in their hands. I am Ty's father. I was one of those people for him. For this, again, I am thankful. Happy Thanksgiving. Always remember Ty. Always be thankful.