Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas and the Crazy Lady

I am a crazy lady.  I really am. One of the childhood cancer statistics that especially rings true is the one about the parents... 51% of moms and 40% of dads suffer acute stress disorder within the first two weeks of a cancer diagnosis.  Almost two and a half years later, my stress disorder and emotional instability is far from acute.  It is chronic.

So I have been calling myself "the crazy lady" for a long time now, and today I finally realized that I really, truly am nuts.  Sometimes all I want is to be alone, but every single time I am I go off the deep end.  I am almost embarrassed to retell my story of the day, but at this point why hold anything back?

We had an awesome morning.  Gavin slept late (which means we all slept late) and we played in our PJ's until after noon.  The only tears that escaped were over breakfast, when Gavin announced, completely unprompted, "I miss Ty."  I choked a bit when I answered, "me, too."  Overall, we were having fun and making the most of the lazy day.  Later, Lou decided to take Gavin to Jumpin' Jakes so he could have some fun with other kids.  I was happy to have some time alone so I could wrap the rest of the Christmas presents because there's nothing worse for a person with a stress disorder to have something like that hanging over her head.  My mental clock was already ticking louder and I could hear the birdie in my head saying "Cuckoo... Cuckoo... Cuckoooo".  They left, I got to work. 

I was doing really well for a while, but I started getting totally distracted by the quiet.  I needed to turn on some music and as soon as I hit the switch it was "Santa Clause is Coming to Town."  For a split second the sound of Christmas music put a bounce in my step, until I looked over to our empty couch and doubled over in tears.  I cried for an eternity.  I couldn't stop thinking about Ty and how much he loves Christmas.  How special it was last year and how certain I was that he would be with us for many, many more.  How he loved to sing, even though his speech was slurred and his timing was slow - that never stopped him from singing as loud as he could.  I was thinking about how much he would laugh whenever I did a goofy dance for him, which was all the time.  This is where the crazy comes in... during one especially cheery Christmas tune I got up off the floor and started dancing for Ty.  In front of the empty couch.  Trying to hear his laughter or catch a glimpse of his smiling face in the corner of my eye.  It didn't work and I felt like an idiot, but I bet he was watching and laughing at me even if I couldn't hear him or feel him.  How could he not, you should see how ridiculous I looked. 

This picture of Ty was taken for our Christmas card last year.  I didn't use it because Gavin jumped off the bench leaving Ty alone, but the photographer was kind enough to fill in some hair where he was still bald above the ears and it looks great.  His hair is thin, he is so skinny, he has a bruise on his arm from bloodwork that morning and he can't stand on his own, but there is no denying that he was a happy boy despite it all.  His smile is the most beautiful smile I have ever seen.  It moves mountains.



I can't sign off without sharing a sign from Ty, so here is one of many recent signs.  Mely and I went to the office the other day to get some work done for the foundation.  She walked into the room to catch the end of a Mumford and Sons song and she said, "this song always makes me think of Ty."  Of course, I was thinking the exact same thing.  The next song to play immediately after was Hey I just met you; and this is crazy; so here's my number; call me maybe... Mely and I couldn't believe it.  She taught Ty to sing that song over the summer and he used to think it was so, so funny.  I would make pretend it was driving me crazy, that I couldn't stand to hear them sing for another second, so he would only laugh and try to sing it even louder - of course.  They sang it duet style, where Mely sang most of it, and would pass the "mic" over to Ty for certain words.  It was so fitting that we heard it on Pandora at that moment when both of us were swimming in memories of Ty, because I don't think we heard that song once since he passed away.  He is so sweet to send us such a fun little sign. 

So, of course, Christmas is just so hard. But we are doing it, we are enjoying bits and pieces of it while the other parts hurt more than anything else. We are honoring and remembering Ty in every way.  We have received beautiful ornaments that adorn our tree with his presence and his beauty (thank you).  We are missing him every second of every day. To add to our sadness, Mely will be leaving for home on Thursday after living with us for more than two years.  I keep promising her that even though we won't be with her physically, we will talk all the time and she is lucky because Ty can and will go with her everywhere :) 

55 comments:

  1. Well, I really think you deserve to be crazy. Most of us would not be doing half as well as you are. I think you are very brave and strong even when you think you 're not. I hate to hear Mely is leaving, she must feel like family, it will be like losing someone else. I hope you really will keep in contact!
    In spite of everything I hope you have a good Christmas, Gavin & Lou will keep you busy. Love and Prayers to you, Terri

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  2. I think of your family everyday, but will keep you especially close to my heart over these next few days. May you feel Ty with you and find peace among your family and friends.

    Ty, missing you so much little buddy. Merry Christmas... I hope you are surrounded by other little angels and eating tons of candy! XOXO.

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  3. Jennifer Russo, Lake Grove, NYDecember 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Don't know how you do it. Crazy or not, you are amazing!! :-)
    My Christmas wish is for you guys to just get through these next couple of days as well as you can. Merry Christmas Sweet Ty in heaven. Sleep in heavenly peace sweet boy.
    -Jennifer

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  4. Cindy, I don't think you are crazy at all! I bet Ty was laughing and dancing right beside you! I think of you, all the time and pray for you, Ty, Lou and Gavin. You ar the true definition if beautiful, a beautiful Mom, a beautiful wife, the most beautiful person inside and out! I wish nothing but peace and comfort for you, and your family. Ty and Gavin are 2 of the luckiest kids in the world, they have you as their Mom. Xoxo

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  5. I think you are amazing! I'm sure your dancing put a big smile on Ty's face :) I wish you and your family peace, love & happiness this holiday season and always!! You are an inspiration to all and the true definition of what a mother should be to her son!! Your family is always in my thoughts & prayers!!! Merry Christmas :))

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  6. Your not cazy. your human. That little angel was dancing right next to you. and laughing. have a merry christmas. remember ty is with you all

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  7. tout les jours je pense a vous, je lis vos nouveaux commentaire sur le blog, mais aujourdhui mes pensees seront encore plus de l'autre cote de l'atlantique en ce jour de noel. je vous souhaite de trouver la paix et la serenite, pour vous et votre famille et surtout pour votre adorable ange ty. je vous aime. que dieu vous benisse et vous protege. nathalie de france

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  8. You are right, Ty's smile is the most beautiful smile ever seen and definitely moves mountains, and will continue to move mountains. i just love him so much, every picture, every smile, shows how amazing he truly is. I'm sure he was loving the goofy dancing and there with you dancing & singing along!

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  9. I don't think your crazy. I think your grieving. I think you miss your baby and you should feel the way you do. Your an amazing mom and a beautiful person.. Truly. I hope the next few days aren't torture for all of you. Stay strong.

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  10. You are definitely crazy! Take pride, because only crazy people change the world and make a difference. You were not meant to coast, not you, you have to much of a difference to make. XO

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    Replies
    1. Amen!

      ~Merry Christmas Campbell Fam. <3 <3 <3 <3
      ~Michelle Hughes, North Ga.

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  11. Just wanted to say I'm still reading and thinking about your family all the time. Ty is destined to move mountains. I just know he will.

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  12. Merry Christmas Campbell family, sending you love and special prayers at this time. Honour Ty and enjoy the magic of the day through Gavins eyes. Ty is there, loving and sharing in the day with his beautiful family. We will be saying a toast to SUPERTY at our Christmas lunch and also to your health & happiness Cindy.
    Love from Liz - Western Australia

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  13. I love how you talk about Ty! And I'm happy that you see signs of him everywhere you go! I love your beautiful family! God bless you!
    Marcia, CA

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  14. Oh Cindy,There is absolutely nothing crazy about dancing for your son - whether he is in the room with you or watching you close by. It's about trying to stay connected and I can tell from all the signs, that you are. That Ty, he is a clever one and he loves his Momma so. I know the coming days will be hard. Stay strong. We think and pray for you every day. You are amazing and inspirational, even in your deepest grief.

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  15. I absolutely LOVE Tys smile!! No worries....you deserve to be crazy!!! Much love to you, Lou and Gavin....MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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  16. Well, if you are crazy then what am I? I am sitting at my desk reading your blog and just had to close my door because I'm sobbing. Crying for you and your family, people I have never met but have come to love. You are doing amazing, so much better than I would be in your circumstances. You are such an inspiration. So many people are reading Ty's story and praying for your family. Much peace and love to you all.

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  17. I GUARANTEE that he was laughing the same laugh in that picture while he was watching you dance.

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  18. Ty´s ladybug (posted it on facebook) flew right trugh mi BUS window, while it was moving, and stepped in my hand!! just as I was thinking of him... Hi from Argentina, Merry Christmas! Make it a happy one for Ty

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  19. and it´s golden for chilhood cancer!

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  20. Cindy, you and your loving family are extraordinary.
    Beloved SuperTy will be sending all of you an angelic message from heaven tonight in the form of snow.
    God Bless

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  21. Wishing you so much peace and gentleness.

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  22. Dance away!!! I am sure Ty joined you and giggled the whole time he danced with you!
    You always made his journey an adventure. Your creative twist on every daily activity gave him a the best childhood while fighting the battle.

    You are NOT a crazy lady! You are amazing and are entitled to your "moments" as you continue to learn to live here while Ty is in Heaven. I am glad to hear you are seeing and hearing signs from him. I know he will be with you today and tomorrow as you celebrate Christmas with Gavin. Just imagine the wonders Ty gets to experience his first Christmas in Heaven!

    Your post reminded me of a Irish Proverb...

    Dance as if no one's watching,
    Sing as if no one's listening,
    and live every day as if it were your last.

    That is the gift you always gave Ty. Allow yourself the same gift!

    May you, Lou, Gavin and Mely share a very blessed Christmas. You are all in my prayers always.

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  23. Good morning from California. I don't think you are crazy at all. Of course you are still mourning Ty but you are not alone because we all got attached to him and we are with you. You have been so strong through this and we are learning so much from you. You are doing so much for Ty's foundation and this is your therapy along with this blog. Always be strong and its okay to cry when you need to. I know Ty is so happy at everything his mommy is doing. Ty will always be with you, Lou and Gavin. I'm sending you a big hug. Have a blessed Christmas. Im always thinking and praying for you all.

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  24. Sometimes "crazy" isn't such a bad place to be, as long as it's a "sane" kind of crazy...crazy over a favorite song, crazy about life, crazy in love, whether it be a romantic love or the love a mother can have for her children. Sometimes we also need to indulge this type of craziness, especially when our hearts are breaking...in dancing, in singing, in laughter or in tears. Certainly, you are entitled to all of these emotions as you celebrate and mourn Ty's splendid and short life. Know in each moment, Cindy, that we're all here with you, dancing, singing, laughing and crying as we remember Ty and hold the many blessings that your sharing him with us has brought to our lives. Godspeed.

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  25. I have posted just once before, but faithfully read your blog. I went to high school with your husband. I just wanted to let you know, that I think about you and your family every single day. You have made my faith so much stronger and I truly believe that Ty is a miracle, but you are a miracle too. I wish your family nothing but happiness and please know that you have touched so many lives in a positive way. Celebrate Ty, but also Celebrate your amazing family.
    Warmly,
    Kerry Williamson

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  26. Today, more than ever, I'm thinking about Ty, Gavin, Lou, the beautiful crazy lady and Mely. I hope this Christmas is filled with signs from Ty. We love you always!

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  27. I LOVE CRAZY! Keep dancing...keep singing...i know he is watching and loving every move! Aren't we all a little crazy? MerryChristmas Campbells!

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  28. Keep dancing Cindy!!!! You are not crazy sounds like something many of us would do!! Merry Christmas. Prayers for all of you.

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  29. crazy??...no! Your full of pain and u have a right to do whatever it is u want to do. Ty was laughing at you, don't even think for 1 sec that he didn't see you dancing. I bet he was even dancing with you....laughing and enjoying himself. I do know that he see's you and don't doubt it..not for 1 sec. Thinking of you and your family this holiday and hoping its as good as it can get for all of you!
    Prayers and well wishes...Betty Warren from Beacon NY.

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  30. Merry Christmas Crazy lady;) thinking of you all during this holiday season. All you can do is try and keep the faith.
    Xoxo,
    From another crazy lady.

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  31. Every time I think of you guys having to deal with Christmas right now, my heart sinks.

    It's going to be a like a bad movie. The best part will be when its over. You will applaud for its ending! And then laugh about that (just maybe).

    Glad you are seeing the great signs from Ty. When they happen, you just know they are real. They really are!



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  32. I just wanted you to know I am thinking of you tonight. Praying for you later. And thanking God that you got 5 years with the sweetest angel from heaven...and he got 5 years with the most loving parents... what a gift he was to us all. Last night I was watching Polar Express w my son and the part where they go I believe...I believe..came on. And I thought of sweet Gavikn playing w the ornament repeating that phrase...that is how embedded you all are in my thoughts. You are not crazy...you are having much needed moments. Hang in there. Praying for all the parents in our area who have rcently lost their little ones. :( and thanking God for gifting the world w Ty...never to be forgotten. Impossible.

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  33. Cindy & Lou,

    I can picture you dancing and I am certain Ty was laughing with his friends saying my mom is the crazy lady! ;)

    I wondered a few weeks ago if Melly was still with you guys. Sorry that she has to go, I know that must be very difficult. I'm sure she has become part of the family. I know tomorrow will be especially difficult, but Cindy and Lou Campbell are the strongest people I have never met, so I know you guys will get through the day and Gavin will be spoiled rotten by Santa!

    I was hoping you got the power wheels together! We have to put together a train/lego table and Charles is napping! Time to get up, Santa is coming. Im sure Ty will be with you on Christmas because he is with you every second of the day!

    Merry Christmas Campbell Family and Merry Christmas Melly! Thank you for helping to take care of such a special family!

    Joy Marielle
    Baltimore, MD

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  34. Cindy, I am thinking of you and your family. I wrote to you a while ago about my research paper I did in memory of Ronan and Ty. Throughout all of my articles I had to read, there was one underlying theme: the loss will never go away. It will somehow be assimilated into your life, and into your family's life,and the pain might dull. But, the loss is always going to be felt.

    So what is the answer to that depressing news? I would be out of line trying to give you answers, since I have never walked (or danced:) in your shoes.

    If I had to guess, I would say you are doing everything as perfect as you possibly could. You give me inspiration - especially by your faith. You are a serious and inspiring mama.

    Hugs, Beckee

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  35. Cindy. Lou Ty Gavin, CAN'T GET Y OU GUYS OUT OF MY TOUGHTS.

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  36. Thinking of you Ty <3

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  37. Thinking about you and your family. Merry Christmas. You are amazing.

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  38. Thinking about you Ty!! Merry Christmas!

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  39. LeeAnn from MahopacDecember 25, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    You're definitely not crazy unless you mean crazy in love... in which case, all of us who follow your blog are crazy as well. You are a beautiful, strong, amazing woman who is an inspiration to countless others. Your beautiful Ty captured my heart and I think about/ pray for your family every day. I am a better mom for my two girls thanks to your precious boy.

    I graduated MHS with Lou, but never had the pleasure of meeting the rest of your family. That said, I feel like I know you all through this blog. My heart is breaking for you this Christmas. I pray that you are surrounded by signs from Ty this week and that he helps you get through the holidays. Sending love and hugs to you from Florida.

    LeeAnn (Kalebjian) Marano

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  40. Merry Christmas the Campbell Family!!! May God bless you always. I wish you lots of signs from Ty and that you feel his presence all the time. Your Angel will take care of you. You are beautiful. Lots of love. JOANNA

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  41. Merry Christmas Cambell family. Cindy I don't think anything you do is crazy, Ty was right besides you dancing and laughing. Your a great mom with a broken heart. I think if your son daily and see signs if him everywhere. God bless you, Gavin and lou

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  42. Merry Christmas Campbell Family :)

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  43. Today there was a ladybug on my six year old's stocking. I haven't seen one in ages...

    Thinking of you today.

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  44. I will stand w u, crazy ladies side by side. I'm sure many would follow. I thought of you guys nonstop, so much I had to come here. I thought of that magnificent smile all day. Thank u so much for posting it. Made me cry vicious ,hot tears. I miss him too, I can't begin to imagine the pain you feel. I keep thinking about the day in your car, the duo over moment. I beg God for the same for you. I'm sorry. I can say it over and over and over, but it will never be enough.

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  45. DO what ever crazy dance you can for Ty, you know he sees and he is laughing like crazy at silly Mommy. I just had to tell you tonight that I got the best Christmas gift today from my niece. We do secret Santa at my Mom's on Christmas and we all picked names earlier to buy for. Well I told my family that whoever got my husband and myself ,that all we wanted was for a donation to be made to Ty Campbell Foundation. Well we got a beautiful Elvis( my neices is a super fan as am I) Christmas card telling me that she had done just what we asked in our name. Well, I cried and everyone laughed at me for being so emotional. It meant so much to me to receive this gift, more then anything they could have bought us.I explained to my family that I fell in love with Ty over a year ago and although he has passed, he is still a very big part of my soul now and I won't forget him. Thank you again for bringing him into our lives and sharing him with us. I wish you the best today and everyday.God be with you and your family always....Jean <3

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  46. Merry Christmas to you and your family! We know this was not how you pictured it would be and because of that I pray for you all. Hoping there were some smiles, some laughter and lots of love!
    Jennifer, Illinois

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  47. Ummm If THATS crazy, then I am downright insane, and I haven't lost a child!! I say not crazy at all, because you are right, Ty was dancing with you!!! I hope you had an OK day for Gavin, Ty is ALWAYS with you!!!! Lots of love and hugs from Florida. Wish I could bring Him back, or at least carry some of your pain! <3, Michelle, Tampa

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  48. Merry Christmas Campbell family.... Ty should be with you physically not just emotionally. I don't understand any if this. Thinking of you guys always.

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  49. Cindy...you are not any crazier than any mother is. We all go to insane lengths with the love we have for our children. Ty was watching, laughing, proud as always of his mommy. Don't think differently for one second. I know it must seem like forever until you will see him again, but always remember that time passes quickly, and that you WILL be with him again one day. You aren't seperated forever, and Ty knows that better than anyone now. You're always in my thoughts and prayers. Merry Christmas to you all, including Ty.

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  50. Merry Christmas to all of you!

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  51. Cindy you sure made me laugh this time, I thank you for that!!! I was afraid to read your story because I was sure Christmas was very hard for you. I could not stop thinking of you and I was hoping you were doing well. It is amazing how little things like the song can bring you joy and those are the things it will make you smile.... I'm glad he is making you smile and I'm sure he is enjoying it everytime.
    Send my love to all and I hope more smiles are more to come.....thanks for sharing your story and don't worry you are not crazy :)
    With love,
    Maria Savlick

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  52. Thinking of you...

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  53. I am sad beyond words because I feel the transition of Melly leaving willbe so hard on Gavin who already had so much to deal with. She was his best friend also. What I want to wish is for Gavin to handle it with smile and without any sadness. I hope his Christmas was lovely. I know that Ty will be there for him always. I miss you Ty.

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  54. Cindy it's been a while since I have made a comment on here, I don't think a day goes by that I don't think about you all. I can't imagine how hard the holidays are I know you both are going through the motions for Gavin. Your story has impacted my life so much, I always donate what I can for childhood cancer, when I fill out the little paper or card they give us I always put Ty's name and love from the Tasli's..Ty's story will go on forever in all of you all of us and through his foundation. I hope and pray that your dreams are filled with good memories of Ty, and big smiles..I hope that Melly leaving is not to hard on Gavin she was a big part of your family..hoping this New Year brings you peace and Joy...love n prayers from Long Island

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