Tuesday, December 11, 2012

There will never be enough

Every day it's more and more real.  Ty is gone. 

Before this happened, Lou and I tried so hard to make sure we captured our memories.  We took so many pictures and so many videos.  I saved everything he ever drew, and when he couldn't draw I saved the stickers we did, or the other arts and crafts Ty helped me with as I pulled his arm over to the paper, or the beads, or whatever it was he wanted to make.  I saved his clothes, his toys, his favorite things and I look at them every day.  I keep the door open to Ty's bedroom and I am drawn to it every single time I walk down the hall.  I need to step inside and look around and just remember him and whisper to him and let him know I am thinking of him every single second.  But it's never enough.  We don't have enough pictures, enough videos, or enough anything because we simply don't have him anymore.  We are so sad all the time.  Just looking at this perfect hair - I want to bury my nose in it, run my finger down his soft cheek and kiss those lips over and over again. 

So sick and completely paralyzed, but Pop the Pirate is funny

We are still living though, Ty, and I think you would be proud of us.  Did you see Daddy and I in the city this weekend?  At the party with Gavin?  Christmas shopping?  We are trying so hard.  I hope you didn't see my crying every ten minutes on Sunday, that was my worst day in a long time. 

This weekend started out great.  One of the best in a long time, with the exception of my sad Sunday.  Friday night Lou and I prepared for our upcoming "vacation."  It sounds stupid to call it a vacation, but we are planning to get away for five days this week, and it is something we have been talking about since Ty was sent home on hospice.  A healing getaway, although I don't think there's anything that can heal us from this.  We are going to Vancouver/Whistler to go snowboarding.  I know, I know, it doesn't sound very relaxing.  But, we were both afraid that if we chose more of a serene, relaxing retreat that we would drown in cocktails by the water and fix our hangovers with a Bloody Mary.  Not that there's anything wrong with that when you're having fun and happy, but for us, that could be dangerous.  Instead we will be active the whole time and I think that will be very good for us.  That is how we have been surviving these almost two months anyway, by keeping very busy.  We will be getting home on Ty's two-month anniversary.  I can't even believe it. 

You asked to see him, here he is :)
Here is the doll we snuggle up to every night and morning.  Now that I'm looking at this picture on the screen, it is making me smile really big.  It's funny that we love this doll so much, but we really do.  We talk to him and kiss him and tuck him in nicely under the covers.  Oh boy.  We are crazy, but who cares.  Aren't we all?  A little bit at least?

Saturday was an incredible fundraiser for Ty hosted by Anthony's 151 Grill in Mahopac.  They had more than 100 prizes donated for the raffle and raised a ton of money.  There was a lot of adorable activities for the kids like face painting, gold hair extensions for pediatric cancer awareness, cartoon drawing from a true comic book artist and more.  There were so many kind and generous people there, some who traveled really long distances just to be there for us.  I met so many caring people and we were so humbled and so honored.  Thank you so much to all of the incredible volunteers, and to the Anthony family, for donating so much time and energy and pulling off such a wonderful event.  It is an awesome restaurant, too.  Everything was delicious!

After that, Lou and I were off to the city to have dinner with our friends Rocky and Kathleen from Dallas who were in NYC for a few days.  Kathleen and I have been talking for two years, she loves Ty so much, and I love her and her boys like family.  This was our first chance to get together in person and we were so excited we were practically talking over each other all night.  We laughed, we shared stories, we talked about Ty and our families and indulged in good wine and delicious food.  My favorite kind of night.  I barely even shed a tear and that alone is a gift from them :)  Thank you guys, we love you.  I really enjoyed myself.  We stayed overnight in the city because Lou and I had more meetings in the city on Sunday to discuss the foundation and some projects we hope for on the horizon.  We have so many big ideas, I get excited just thinking about it. 

It wasn't until the car ride home that I started to unravel.  I guess after such a good couple of days I was bound to fall apart sooner or later.  We had to go toy shopping for Gavin while he was still at Nana's house.  Christmas shopping was pure torture.  It can be painful on a Sunday in December for any normal person, but for someone who is doing it with a hangover for the first time since losing his or her child - forget about it.  Every toy was heartbreaking.  Every single thing I looked at was something that Ty would have loved.  There was candy packaged in such exciting ways I wanted to buy it for his stocking.  I heard his voice around every corner.  I watched the other children in shopping carts with such envy it was almost scary.  My head was throbbing.  I cried so much in the car every two minutes and all I wanted to do was go home.  But we didn't.  We put one foot in front of the other for Gavin and for Ty.  We bought the most beautiful wrapping paper and bows and gift bags so everything will look extra special under the tree this year.  That is what Ty would want.  I know that with all of my heart.  Even just two months ago, I talked about Christmas with Ty and he reminded me that Santa left footprints by the fireplace.  He ALWAYS talks about that.  It was so magical that morning when he saw that.  It wasn't the presents that he remembers most, it was Santa's footprints.  That is why Christmas is so awesome. 

There are days that go by where I don't cry all day long and it's not until I lay down at night, in all the quiet, that my memories come trickling in.  I most often remember his last breaths.  Over and over again I watch the love of my life die in my arms.  My face contorts and my eyes well up just writing that sentence because it is so painfully true.  My love for Ty is so big, I just can't believe he had to leave.  I am surrounded by his pictures and his beauty is just undeniable.  What a gorgeous gift he was.  He was so perfect in every way.  I wish I could see him running and laughing and playing.  Look at him here, after a long day at the beach.  I want him back.  Cancer just swept in and stole him from me while robbing this innocent baby boy of his childhood.  He was just the coolest kid.

Everyone asks me how Gavin is doing.  I think he's doing really, really well, but I also think the loss of his brother is taking more of a toll on him than we realize sometimes.  All day long he is happy.  He has fun.  He wants to play and play and play.  But I watch him by himself and it just feels so wrong.  He should be with his brother.  He needs his best friend to play with him and I am so mad that he doesn't have Ty anymore.  Even when Ty was so disabled, they played with one another. They teased each other.  They were very much a part of each other's lives, of course.  Gavin asked me the other day if Ty was an angel and when will he come back (along with a thousand other questions about Heaven and angels and God).  After I tried to answer him the best I could while trying to mask the quiver in my voice and hide the tears in my eyes he said, "But I want him to come back because I want him to be a person again.  He is my brother!"  All I could muster was "me too."  Then he shot me with an imaginary web and yelled "YOU BE LIZARD, I AM SPIDERMAN!"

CHALLENGE - where is Gavin in this picture?
See his little Spiderman face peeking out from behind the wall :)  I am grateful that he is so young.  For the rest of his life, I hope I can do a good job honoring and including Ty without making Gavin feel like it is too much, or like Ty was more loved.  It seems like it will be a tough balance, but Gavin is so young and so grounded that I think he will adjust well and continue to love his brother while enjoying the beauty of his own life and what's in store for him.  Here he is playing with a friend.  I can't believe he shared the Spiderman costume!  He is so much fun.  I am thankful for him every day.

I will be sure to bring my computer with me on our mini-getaway.  There is a lot of work to do for the foundation so I hope to use some of the time on the plane to finish up our new website and I'll be sure to let you all know how we're doing.  The foundation is going to be amazing.  Please keep those muddy puddles coming, too.  For everyone who volunteered, we will be assigning tasks after the holidays.  All hands on deck!  Thank you so much. 


  1. I always shed tears reading your blogs, but this one really has me choked up! I find myself thinking about Ty and you and Lou and Gavin so often throughout the day! I don't even know you, but your entire family just draws so many of us in, but I'm grateful for that! You and your little boy and the dynamics of your family always tend to teach me something new. I am such a better mom, a better person in fact!! Even when I am most exhausted, when my little guys ask me to play I get a flash of you and Ty and it gives me the energy to dive in and play! Last night we had a pillow fight! My husband was getting angry at us for getting wild, but I didn't care! LOL... How often can we just be kids... my oldest son is five and even though I probably normally would have agreed with my husband, I said to myself why not? Ty would have loved to have had a pillow fight! I get angry for you too Cindy! Why did Ty have to leave, he was a beautiful little boy with so much spirit!! I hope you and your husband can enjoy the next 5 days the best that you can! I am confident Ty will be excited to see you guys having fun snowboarding!

    1. My thoughts exactly! Always for SuperTy.

  2. I think each day you get out of bed and move about your Ty is proud. Somewhere perhaps he is wispering, "go, mom, go". I wake often in the night now and kiss the heads of my boys who are 14 and 16. I think lots of kids are jumping in puddles because of your Ty. People are being changed. A little boy has done a wonderful thing......a visiting angel perhaps.

  3. I have never even met you but I love you to pieces. You and your entire family. The strength you have is inspiring and your ability to focus on the beauty of life is humbling. You make me a better mom. I am sorry the price you've had to pay to teach the rest of us such amazing things. But I am grateful every second of every day that I came across you and Ty and Lou and Gavin. Because of you, I laugh when my one year olds try to frustrate me. Because of you I don't deny my tears at the sadness of not having my mom to be the awesome Grandma she would have been. Because of you I embrace the challenges of having multiples and the insanity of having all boys. Because of you I want to be more.

    Thank you. Just thank you with all of my heart.

    My heart reaches out to you more than you will ever know. I wish there was one little thing I could do or say to relieve even the slightest of pains that you feel these days. I know, though, that right now, what I can do is reach out to you through your blog. And I can work towards meeting you someday in the future.

    I know Ty is watching you. And supporting you and loving you. And laughing and smirking. I know Ty thinks you are amazing. I know Ty is proud of you. And I know Ty will be waiting for you when you join him in the future - but Ty wants that to be a long ways off because he is watching out for Gavin and Lou, too. You make this world a better place and Ty is happy to help you do that.

    Thank you with all of my heart and soul.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. Ty was such a beautiful little boy and I can't imagine the pain you must be feeling. Ty's story has made me hug my son tighter and cherish all the silly things that used to make me crazy! Thank you for sharing him with us.

    Someone posted this poem on facebook and I immediately thought of you and your family when I read it. I hope it brings you some peace.

    "As I sit in Heaven and watch you everyday,
    I try to let you know with signs,
    I never went away.
    I hear you when you're laughing,
    and watch you as you sleep.
    I even place my arms around you to calm
    you as you weep.
    I see you wish the days away begging to
    have me home.
    So I try to send you signs,
    so you know you're not alone.
    Don't feel guilty that you have life,
    that was denied to me.
    Heaven is truly beautiful,
    just you wait and see.
    So live your life, laugh again,
    enjoy yourself, be free.
    Then I'll know with every breath you take,
    you'll be taking one for me".

    God Bless you and your family!

    Kim House
    Norristown, PA

    1. Beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing.

    2. Yes, a beautiful, touching poem. Tears are flowing now.....

  5. I love you all with so much of my heart, I feel a part of you and your sadness. I cry each time I read your blogs. I think about Ty EVERYday. I think about you and Lou and Gavin and wonder how you are. I wonder how you have the strength, and then, I read it in your words. So strong, your family. So much love. So much undeserved heartache. I can't wait to help you in your foundation and awareness. I started Tweeting just for Ty and I don't have many followers, but once I get this "tweet" thing down, watch out!!!

    Ty is so proud of you. Gavin is so proud of you, though he can't show it, he is. He sees your strenght and your sorrow and he "understands" in his own way.

    Just want you to know I am thinking of you and loving your family and praying for your strength to carry you through these hardest of days, the holidays. God bless you, each and every day.

    Millbrook, NY

  6. "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." -- it's a line that Truvy says (Dolly Parton's character) in the movie Steel Magnolias. One of my favorite quotes and emotions as well. That picture of Gavin peeking around the wall just made me laugh out loud through my tears.

    On Sunday, my 5yo son said - Mommy, can we do science experiments and make that colorful volcano again? And at first I said, No, it makes such a big mess and I have other things to do. He went away unhappy. 2 seconds later Ty popped into my head...I smiled and quickly went and got the science kit and we made a big ole mess and had fun, too. Thank you Ty (you are an amazing kid)!

    I'm not sure how you do it. Ty being gone is just so wrong and unfair. I want him back for you. You are such a strong woman even on your weakest, saddest days. I hope your trip to Whistler is rejuvenating -- that the change of scenery, the cool fresh air and the wind in your hair are good for your heart and soul and help you breathe. I'm sure Ty is looking forward to swishing down the slopes with you and Lou. And I'm excited to see the new website!
    Brenda, Brewster, NY

  7. I love you Ty.. You are a beautiful Angel Baby!! Rest in peace

  8. Cindy, I think of you every day. My sister lost her first grandchild, a beautiful little boy (much like your Ty) when he was just six. The pain, loss, sadness and even anger is beyond comprehension. I truly hope and pray your foundation will bring awareness to this disease. You are living through every parent's worse nightmare. Please God, no one, especially a child should have to endure this pain. Cindy, your baby will forever be in your heart. Please be kind to yourself. You did everything right. Life is unfair often. I believe Ty was sent to you because out of all the women on earth, you were his perfect Mommy! No one could have ever loved that precious little boy more. Take care...

  9. Whistler is one of my favorite places on earth! I'm so happy you are going there. It is magic. xoxo Marianne from California

  10. Whistler is one of my favorite places on earth! I'm so happy you are going there. It is magic. xoxo Marianne from California

  11. My heart aches for you so much... So many of the things you say resonates with me so many times. The pictures... the videos... the not having enough... the touching of his skin... hearing his voice...The Christmas shopping... The other children... His brothers questions... His brother playing solo... Just about everything... I cry many times and I smile many times... I cry for my own lost as well as yours... Ty has touched my life in so many ways... You have touched my life in so many ways... I look at Ty's photos and find myself wanting to touch him just as much as I do with my own Grandson... To feel his soft skin... I cannot explain just how much his eyes draw me in. At times I feel like he is telling me something as I tend to get lost in them. I feel he definitely is an old soul. He knows so much more than we will ever know.

    I always look forward to reading your post. It helps me in so many ways, more than any other book I have read. Probably because it is a day to day thing. This is not to say that I wouldn't buy any book you write because I would. I think you would be able to write an amazing book of your journey and feel it is something you should one day look at doing. I think it will happen when the timing is right!

    You never cease to amaze me with your strength. Your ability to busy yourself by throwing yourself into such a good cause so soon. I admire your strength so much. I hope you have a wonderful 5 days away. It sounds perfect!

    Love always...xxx

  12. Cindy,

    Each post leaves me in a sea of tears. A friend of mine lost his niece to cancer on Sunday - she was 31, recently married....a beautiful soul. Life is so grossly unfair. I find myself talking about Ty and your blog....you have all touched my heart and I'm forever changed. I pray that you find peace ith each passing day and I always hope that Ty visits you! Much love.

  13. Dear Cindy,
    Every time I read your posts it makes me look forward to heaven, to a time where there will be no more suffering and death... You are such a strong person and God is definitely helping you go through this as I don't know how it's humanly possible... This post of yours made me cry and feel so sorry for your pain... I wish I could help so much!
    And I can definitely emphasize with many other comments... You do encourage me to be a better and more sacrificial mum even when I feel exhausted. Thank you for sharing with us about Ty!
    God bless you!

  14. Whistler is beautiful and I will pray you get to have some fun. You are amazing.

  15. Cindy,
    I can barely see the screen through my tears! I think about u in the car with that damn music! Aghhh gets me everytime. All I hope is you are reminded daily From ty, I think a few times when my son the other day heard max and ruby on tv screamed, "mom max and ruby!!" he has never showed interest! I thought Ty loved that show! Little things! Have a great trip, can't wait to hear about what my task will be for muddy puddles! I almost jumped in a few with all this damn rain! Take care
    Kristi conroy-Garcia
    Westhampton NY

    1. I think of Ty every time Max and Ruby comes on our TV. My 2-1/2 year old has taken an interest in the show, too - maybe a sign from Ty??

  16. Hello,

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful & heartfelt journey - and Ty's courageous & heartbreaking journey.

    I wish that I lived closer - if I did, I would offer to volunteer at / for the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation. I am thrilled that the Foundation is doing so well - and that " SuperTy's " legacy will continue on forever.

    The Ty Louis Campbell Foundation will be on my " charities list " - will be making donations in Ty's honor & memory on a regular basis starting in January 2013.

    My continued thoughts & prayers are with you & all of your family - including my hero, " SuperTy."

    God Bless.

    - Rob Swan

  17. Oh Cindy. You are so strong. Keep on doing what you do. Even though you make me cry every time I open to your blog, I look forward to your posts and am forever grateful to you and your best good boy ever for making me a better mom. There's no question about this fact. I lose my patience, and I scream and do all the typical things a mother of little boys do.. but then I step back and think of you Ty. I think of you. And I reel it in. And I excuse the nonsense. I let them watch a movie in bed on school nights. I let them have cookies in the morning, and YES, of course, I let them jump in puddles. And it's all because of Ty. You and Ty. My boys and thousands, maybe millions of other kids around the world are having more fun, awesome, giggly, dirty childhoods. All because of you. Keep up the good work! And cry whenever you want. You earned the tears, and they're good for the soul.

  18. *for the record, they dont watch movies every night, or eat cookies every morning... but more now than they used to. Thanks to Ty. lol

  19. I don't have anything to really say except that I feel so bad. I can't imagine what you are going through and how you are doing it but you seem to be moving forward which is all you can do. I just wanted to let you know that even though I don't post a lot I check your blog every day. Praying for some comfort for all you

  20. As I read ur blog. Which has become a part of my life everyday. I was listening to daughtry sing " fine to soon". It's a song about his daughter who died. I sat here thinking of sweet Ty. Ur in my heart Kim mccambley

  21. The song is gone to soon. Daughtry. Sorry for my spellcheck Kim m

  22. Your posts always leave me in tears. I know I told you in email but I wanted to share here to maybe comfort readers on here. My four year old who has no interest in candy, (he is a cookie and cake lover) and he does love chocolate but never had any interest in candy, he's never even tasted it..anyway yesterday he walked up to me out of the blue and said mommy can you give me some blue candy?? I had chills! I made him repeat it. Blue no less?? I get a lot of signs from Ty...I worry that people would think I'm crazy or making them up cause I am no one to Ty, I never met him, why am I so lucky to have gotten like 4 amazing signs from him already? The only answer I can think of is that it's just that he knows I care for him and his family and I hurt for all of you and maybe Heaven makes it easy for him to be at a million places at once and it's not hard at all for him to send messages to anyone that cares about him at the same time if he wants to :) I don't know why I've been so lucky but I'm so greatful and if anything i hope it brings other comfort, especially you Cindy and Lou.

    Thanks for sharing all the pics, I love looking at them all, loved the Ty doll! So cute!! Just think of all the good energy you're putting in to that little doll!

    Rita xoxo

  23. This post is beautiful.. You touched on so many things that I'd be rambling if I mentioned all the thoughts it conjured.
    So I'll just mention that I spent a week snowboarding in Whistler 3 years ago, and it is wonderful. The whole area is beautiful and serene while at the same time, fun and vibrant.

    The mountains are stunning. Majestic and glorious, and you truly feel closer to God - and I'm sure you'll feel Ty's presence. I've said for years that the energy out West is just different. I feel it as soon as I step off the plane. I hope you have a great time, and that some of your soul is healed out there.

  24. I had just opened pop the pirate for the first time and played it with my 4 1/2 year old when I then opened your blog and saw the picture. I showed my son the picture, and he studied it carefully and quietly. I feel like the earlier blogger who feels "connected" to Ty through you, even though we don't know you or Ty. Many of us, myself included, are
    feeling your pain and wishing our own heavy hearts would somehow ease your grief. Of course they cannot, but please know, really feel, that we want to shoulder this loss with you. Gavin is adorable and hilarious, and I will keep reading your blog as for as long as you post and try to connect with us.

  25. Ty seeing your smile makes my done. I hope you know that. It makes my life better. You are one of a kind super special. I am excited to hopefully be somehow part of your foundation although I feel super guilty for not emailing anything yet to you Cindy as my crazy work schedule and sick kids prevented me from doing that. I'm amazed excited sad happy pissed and many more emotions combined because my love for Ty is overwhelming and I need to our that energy out for something positive. I was talking to my 5yo who is also very sensitive and I was telling him about your project and he told me that he will get the most co for table chair for Ty because Ty can't walk but he must be part of the project and parties that will happen and I kept telling him that won't need a chair anymore but he doesn't grasp the concept. But I was so proud of him for being so considerate and I have to thank you Cindy for helping me raise my boys right to be sensitive and respectful. It breaks my heart that Gavin doesn't have his best buddy in the world to play with. Its so painful the idea that your baby is not here to be a big brother to Gavin and a big boy to you and Lou. I wish I wish I wish million times over and over that I could change it. I miss you Ty and always think of you.

  26. That picture of Gavin peeking around the corner is hilarious - thank you for the chuckle. Love that he shared Spiderman - seeing little kids sharing and playing together is definitely good for the soul. And although Gavin doesn't have his best big brother to play with - you have your memories and pictures and I'm sure some great videos to help you all remember those special times!!!

    The fundraiser was great - Tonya did a wonderful job organizing it and Anthony's restaurant was fantastic. The clown was the best and her face painting skills amazing. The Captain America cupcakes were definitely a hit with my little one as was the trays of candy lying around - pretty sure he ate about 4 lollipops so sorry if anyone else missed out because he was hoarding them :)

    So happy that you were able to have a nice nite out afterwards - you and Lou deserve some nice adult couple time and spending it with new friends is wonderful. Thank you for the reminder about the santa footprints - my family used to do that for my little sisters and I remember seeing the looks on their faces when they realized the big guy had been there, I'll have to re-instate that tradition for my son. He's at the age now where it will definitely add to the mystique of the holiday.

    I hope you guys are able to enjoy yourselves on your mini trip. :) SuperTy always and forever....

  27. We Love You Baby Ty Always & Forever

  28. Your words are so beautiful. You are a gifted writer. You describe Ty, Gavin and all your emotions so well, I feel like I know your family and have been there with you. Your memories are wonderful blessings. I think of your family often and pray for a joyful Christmas. I know Ty must be watching you so proud, he will be with you everyday. Enjoy your trip! Blessings to your family.