Saturday, January 5, 2013

We survived the holidays


Lou at the mountain this week :)
Sorry it’s been a while since I posted an update.  We stayed at our friends’ house in Vermont through the end of the week and had very little internet connectivity.  It was nice.  We enjoy our time up there because everything just seems so quiet and simple. and the snow is just beautiful, but I was missing Ty so much (of course, I miss him always no matter what).  Gavin had a great time with his friends, though, and so did we.

Light sabers and moustaches
The last time we were in that house, Ty was scooting across the floor on his behind.  He loved to play with the magnets on the fridge and there were a couple of them that played music.  I remember watching him with a smile, but also feeling so sad because he was so different from the other boys.  He couldn’t run around and play.  The magnets he played with were baby toys and he was four.  Stuff like that used to make me worry about whether or not the treatment was going to cause learning and developmental delays.  I feared he wouldn’t catch up to the others and lead a “normal” life some day.  I wish those were my worries now.   Like I said so many times, I had so much hope and faith knowing that he would beat the cancer.  That he would continue to amaze and astonish.  Now I struggle to transfer that hope and faith in knowing that he will continue to do so, but in a very different way.  I am grateful for all of the signs he sends me.  I don't know how I would survive without them to reassure me that he is okay.

Ty in the car leaving Okemo one year ago
Going to the mountain triggered much of the same emotions.  The last time we were there we built a snowman with Ty.  He went snow tubing.  He went on the “snow coaster” roller coaster with me.  He had such a great time.  This year it was Gavin’s turn.  We put him in ski school and there is nothing cuter than a three-year old on a pair of tiny skis.  There really isn’t.  He spent the first lesson slipping, sliding and falling, but by Friday he was able to do the “wedge” and almost come to a complete stop on his own.  I am so proud of him.  It was five degrees below zero on Thursday, and he stuck it out like a champ out there :)

Look at him go!!
Each night this week, Lou would take Gavin in the hot-tub outside.  They would look up at the stars, pick out the brightest one, and talk to Ty.  “I miss you Ty.  I wish you could come and play with me.   But I know you can’t,” is what Gavin would say.  Hearing Lou tell me that made me cry beyond control.  I am so proud of Gavin, he really is such a great kid, but this is all just so unfair.  He loved his time at the mountain with his friends.  He plays so nice with the other kids and has so much fun.  I can only imagine how happy Ty and Gavin would both have been to play together.  They loved each other so much.  Gavin seems so lonely sometimes and it breaks my already broken heart even more.


After Ty died, Lou asked that every time we clink our glasses we toast to Ty.  “To Ty!” we say.  I am so glad he made this rule, because I imagine that over time we will encounter plenty of new people who don’t know our story.  When I’m 70 and toasting with strangers, I will be happy to explain why I insist on toasting “to Ty” in addition to whatever else on that occasion.  I want to talk about him always.  This will be a way that I can always do so, considering I will surely be drinking wine until my last days.

The holidays were very painful, but we survived.  I wasn’t sure we would, but here we are, January 2013.  Every Christmas decoration in our home triggers a memory of Ty.  New Year’s Eve feels like a joke because even though 2012 was the worst year of our lives, Ty was here in 2012.  I don’t want to put that “behind us.”  2013 is our first year without him, and there’s absolutely nothing happy about that.  So no, there is no “happy new year” for the Campbell’s, but we will survive.  We will keep smiling.  We will keep looking up for ladybugs, falling leaves and rainbows.  I hope I continue to see him everywhere.    

Some recent signs from Ty... While I was snowboarding yesterday, I was thinking of Ty the whole way down this beautiful wooded trail (and every trail).  It was just me and him and the beautiful snowy trail and a  huge, beautiful falling leaf cut right across my path.  The only one I saw all week, because all of the trees on the mountain are evergreens or bare by now.  Also, when Lou and I were at the top of the mountain at Whistler, we were greeted by some pretty amazing rainbows in the sky.  It's hard to see in the photo when it's this small, but there are a couple of them here.  I know these things happen on a very normal and frequent basis, but I also know that Ty is with us, and I love feeling his presence in the beautiful things I see every day.  It shouldn't be this way.  It should be his beautiful smile that I'm seeing every day instead, but my desperate, aching heart will take any bit of my Ty that I can get.

 
A couple of weeks ago, we received the most incredible package.  It was a project treasure box, and it is filled with notes from so many of Ty's supporters.  Lou and I were overwhelmed by all of the love, and so surprised by the gift.  It was wonderful and it truly is a treasure.  We put it on the table and haven't had the strength to read your letters, but tonight we decided to start reading them aloud to one another.  Just a few each night.  So we can go to sleep feeling warm and happy about how far Ty's story has gone, and how many lives he touched in such beautiful ways.  Thank you all so very much. 



Please continue to share Ty’s story.  We hope to have a website up and running for the foundation this month, and I can’t wait to share it with you all.  Please keep sending us your stories about how Ty has inspired you, and pictures of your kids being kids in honor of Ty.  Send to muddypuddleproject@gmail.com.

41 comments:

  1. God bless you Cindy, as well as all of your family. I think about Ty daily. I will never forget him. SuperTy forever <3

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  2. Love to the three of you. Ty's smile always makes my day better.

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  3. God bless and keep you all. I am praying for your family.

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  4. God Bless. Cant wait to see the website :)

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  5. I will toast "To Ty" from now on as well. I will surely be drinking wine for as long as i am able and whether it be out loud or in my mind, it will be "To Ty" for sure - always! you continue to amaze me. Your strength and Ty's courage has been unwavering, and i admire you more than anyone I have ever met. Ty has touched my heart & that of many many many others - clearly from the project treasure. That is incredible and not many people can inspire something like that - Ty of course can - hands down. 2012, to 2013, was bittersweet for me too, especially with coming to know to Ty in 2012 and as you said 2013 physically he is not here, but I'm hopeful too and will spread his message this year, and every year moving forward. I had named a star on Ty's behalf, sent to your foundation just before the holidays, hope you received it and i hope when Lou & Gavin are looking at the biggest & brightest they are looking at the "Ty Louis Campbell" star. Thinking of you all always!

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  6. The rainbows are beautiful. My boys were glad to see the moustaches and l.sabers. Lets hope 2013 will bring more treatments and knowledge to pediatric cancer! peace and love to you all.
    lora

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  7. I will toast "To Ty" as well. And will never stop sharing his story. Someday I hope I am lucky enough to meet your sweet boy. Thank you for sharing his journey...

    Ty, missing you every day little buddy! XOXO

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  8. Cindy. I have been following your story and I will say it has made me a better mother. Tonight we decided on a last minute whim to go see the tree in Rockerfeller Center. (I'm on Long Island). At 8:30 instead of going to bed we packed my 2 1/2 year old and 6 month old in the car and drove in. I felt like a guilty mother. Asking my husband "who would drag their kids in this late. I must be insane, what about bedtime.". In my heart I was like who cares, "we need to live life, make memories." (something your puddle jumping statement has taught me) When we got there we were having such a good time. My son was saying Woah to everything, running around and being silly. People were smiling at the baby and it was very pleasant. I will never forget my husband running down the street with my 2 1/2 year old, his laughter echoing in the city streets.. So precious. Walking back to the car a minivan opened with a kid about Ty's age. He had a spiderman hat on (like Ty's). I swear the whole city stopped in my head. No more honking, cars driving, or people walking everything was still Your story flooding back. It was like I wanted to run to him and say OMG I found you. Let's go back to mommy ad daddy. I know he is gone but my heart skipped a beat. It all became clear. It was a sign saying YES this was the right choice. With that I smiled, said "thanks Ty" and started running after my husband and son With the stroller making him laugh even louder. When I caught up to him I gave him a huge hug. Who cares about bedtimes and always being in a routine.. Sometimes you need to live in the moment and just make memories Its because of you and your family that I am a better mother and I thank you. Xoxo. Always thinking of you and your amazing family.

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    1. I'm so glad you took them - what an incredible memory for all of you!!!!

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    2. @Meghan I was looking for the "like" button to press for this story! LOL! Another great reminder to go for the fun, joyful moments that become favorite memories! I see ladybugs and super hero hats on little boys everywhere and think of Ty too!

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    3. Great post - thanks for sharing. Ty was/is an inspiration to all of us Moms. I love all the signs that he sends!

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    4. I'm a bedtime freak, too. Kids are 17, 14 and 9 and I still think like that. I have gotten a little better at letting things "flow" and every time I do, it's pretty awesome. Sometimes unforgettable, sometimes not, but I know I'm doing the right thing. Always remember that - if you're doing it for your family, it's never wrong. They can always catch up on sleep! A good mom doesn't miss "those" times.

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    5. Amazing. Simply amazing. ♡♡♡♡

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    6. Amazing. Simply amazing. ♡♡♡♡

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    7. Amazing. Simply amazing. ♡♡♡♡

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  9. Amazing picture in the mountains with the rainbow, Ty is surely with you always. Love the pic of Ty and the one of Gavin and friends. To say Gavin is a character is an understatement, I look at him and smile everytime, just as I do when I see my lil Ty's face. Peace, love and strength to you all, Gos bless!

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  10. You are an amazing family. I wish you peace and happiness in 2013. Because of your journey and your sweet Ty, you will do amazing things with childhood cancer research. Always thinking of you guys and your Super Ty.

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  11. It was so good to hear from you lastnight. I too will toast to "Ty" from here on out. God Bless You Cindy, Lou and Gavin.



    Michelle, North Ga.

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  12. Looking at that picture of the mountains the rainbow and the snow, its like your so close to heaven and Ty..I know he is with you everyday right by your side.I am sure he is having so much fun and is so happy and healthy...I am sure what makes Ty really happy is seeing all of you finding a little happiness in each day..God Bless you all..Lisa from Long Island

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  13. Just wanted to share a story from yesterday...my 3 yr. old son was showing me his construction paper teddy bear that he made at daycare which he decorated with hearts all over it. And I told him I thought it was the best teddy bear I'd ever seen. With that he said "Ty likes it too - it makes him happy - I made it for him" And I asked him what he said again as I thought I'd heard him wrong. And he said "It makes Ty happy when he's up in heaven". I had to blink back my tears and say "Yes, honey, it does make Ty very happy in heaven". Just know that we will carry your story and his spirit in our hearts and that even a 3 year old is remembering and honoring him. Always thinking and praying for you.

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  14. To Ty *clink* God bless you and your amazing family.

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  15. I don't have much to say than I've said many times before, but I enjoyed this beautiful post. Gavin is absolutely adorable! I be.ieve in the signs from Ty and I think of all of you at some point every day. As always, you're in my prayers.

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  16. I check every day for your post and there it was today. I am not a wine drinker but Diet soda will work for me. Cheers little buddy!!!

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  17. I love Lou's ski helmet - I wanna see superty.org on everything!! And I love the toast - what a beautiful idea - and yes a great way to keep Ty ever present always.

    Every night when we say prayers at bedtime - we always say one for Ty. Well the other night I threw in an extra message and we said "we love you Ty.". Tonite after we said our two prayers and i gave him a kiss good nite - my son asked that we say the extra prayer for Ty - I asked which one was that, and my son said "we love you Ty.". We'll never forget him and I know my son will be a better person for having known about him.....I will continue to do all I can to help further his legacy. SuperTy always and forever. Good night Campbell's - hope Ty visits in your dreams.

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  18. God bless you and your family .

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  19. I can see the rainbows in the mtn pic...so beautiful and peaceful! I know Ty was with you soaring along. Prayers and thoughts always with you! Betty from Beacon.

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  20. Thought of you guys today when I saw on the news that they tore down the boardwalk in Long Beach. Wishing you a new year that may not be happy, but gives you feelings of peace and determination.

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  21. I will always think of your precious boy when I clink my glass! Ty is such an amazing little guy who left such a big legacy!! I know he will be toasted to always :) Your family is such an inspiration of love, strength, faith & hope...I wish all of you more happiness, smiles & cheers this new year and always ❤

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    1. My thoughts exactly.

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  22. What a wonderful idea. I will be toasting to the boys from now on and I can bet my other grandson will be too. He has always loved to clink his glass and say "cheers", now it will be "To the boys", the boys who have touched our lives incredibly. Thank you for sharing that wonderful idea.

    I love the signs you have been getting. Here in Australia dragonflies and butterflies have a special meaning... I have been seeing a lot lately, especially yesterday when I went for a lovely walk in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. There were so many dragonflies everywhere and I couldn't believe it when I saw a pure red one. Bright red. I had my camera with me luckily and took a photo as I don't think my daughter would have believed me otherwise. Red was Jacob's favourite colour, red and then blue. Yep Spider-Man's colours! He loved his Super hero's as well. We also saw butterflies. White ones have the special meaning of a close loved ones spirit visiting us and there were several... When I see so many dragonflies or butterflies like this I always think it is a part of all our beautiful children fluttering around having the fun they deserve. I know they are common here but yesterday I really felt Jacob's presence so strongly. It is hard to explain but I even felt like he was physically touching my heart as I got this strange feeling in my chest a couple of times. It was such a beautiful feeling.

    I feel for Gavin the same as I feel for my other grandson. The loneliness you see written all over them when they are sitting there quietly, just thinking. It just breaks your heart that little bit more. They lost their best buddies... I always said my two were partners in crime as they were always very mischievous. Now there are these lonely moments where there used to be loud fits of laughter and joy and yes the odd brotherly spats. It is so very hard to watch.

    I still love/hate reading your blog as it also helps me deal with my grief that little bit better. I am definitely stronger because of it. Can't wait to see your website up and running. You just bring so much good to this world especially the world of childhood cancer. God bless you all.xx

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  23. Just a quick note to say thank you for being such an amazing person and family. Yours is the only bog I read faithfully (only one other occasionally). I feel so close to you; weird I guess. My kids are older, healthy, blah, blah, blah, but I am so inspired by you. You have inspired me to be more patient, understanding, and accepting. I still don't hold a candle to you. I've said this before, but I so wish I was close to your foundation so I could volunteer. AZ is too far away, so I just think of you all often and tell people about childhood cancer instead. They think I'm crazy, my kids tell me not to read your posts - whatever. Thy will understand when they have kids. Thank you, again, for sharing your story with us!

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  24. HI Cindy, On this one you made me cried. I can't imagine how hard this past few months have been for you. I still cry when I see your posts, pictures, his videos..... and I'm a stranger. We all his followers will never forget Ty and neither the Cambells.I wish we can do much more for you. I 'm happy you got to get away even though the thouhgts are always there, but all of that is okay :)I pray for you and your family every night to make sure you guys are ok. God bless you guys and have a good night....Maria Savlick

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  25. You don't need to edit yourself regarding your signs from Ty. None of us here think you're crazy or "reaching for signs"... the fact that rainbows, butterflies, and falling leaves have always exists is just further proof that our loved ones in Heaven have ALWAYS been sending us their love. Ty has just now jumped in the club. His friends in Heaven taught him some beautiful ways of sprinkling his love and attention on you. My boys have found a lot of comfort in finding money on ground. They have, unfortunately, lost many older family mambers early in their lives.. So anytime we see a penny or any other coin on the ground, we say "pennies from Heaven!!!" and then we try to think about which one of our relatives sent that one... I don't think that it is any less real just because we have designated a meaning. Our souls are connected.. so if our family wants us to know that it is a sign for us, we will "get" the sign. we just will.
    Love you to and yours <3

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  26. I hope you find comfort in this, though I suspect nothing truly comforts you right now. Our son, Gage, is only a few days older than Ty. On Gage's 5th Birthday (Oct 1st) I had to walk away for a few because I was about to burst into tears thinking of you! I couldn't help thinking that you deserved to watch your son and his friends hoist water balloons at angry bird pig boxes, run, play, etc. Then it hit me, to me Ty and You have been a teacher and mentor on life. How to look at life through rose colored glasses instead of taking them off. Let your house be dirty if it means 30 more minutes of Mario Kart with Gage (even though I have yet to see a pic of your house in anything less than spotless in your pics... lol). Do more laundry because Kylee (our 3 yr old) wants to jump in the puddles. Skip church for a family fun day with picnic in tow. Ty is with all of us now and thank you for sharing your wonderful boy with the world. I have had a hard few weeks, nothing in comparison to yours, but hard to me. I had forgotten about the ladybug reference in regards to Ty (I stopped reading your posts after Ty went to heaven because I could not bear to read them). Though I have had 4 instances in the last two weeks with ladybugs infiltrating my house. At first I thought, ahhh cute ladybug. Then, how are they getting in? Then, its winter, where are they coming from. Each time I found one the kids immediately saw it too, each time I had to stop what I was "busy" doing and the kids and I would safely scoop it up and place outside. Usually I would end up not returning to my "chores" and get caught up playing with my children. When I read your post today I realized, this is Ty; his energy, his motivation... for everyone to be happy and playful. He was trying his best to remind me... live and let live! Our time is so short here, even for those who live to 100. Make the most of that time, and that means giving up time to the non important stuff. What you ask is not important??? A perfectly clean house is not important, playing trains with your children is. Keeping white shirts white is not important, the smile on your child's face while jumping in the mud puddle is. Reading that new book is not important, reading to your kids is. I say this in thanks to you. Thank you for guiding his soul beautifully through his short life so his amazing energy could embrace the world. Reminding them to take time for the little things, because they matter the most anyways!!!

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  27. Lol ... sorry I cannot figure out how to change my "name" and it came through as "Opinionated"??? My Name is Meredeth Greene. I know friends of yours, The Kohrmans (we go to church together).

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  28. Baby Ty how unfair it is that you are not here to play with Gavin how heartbreaking it is for your mom to look at other boys and wish you were there as well. So sorry that cancer took you away. I love you baby boy. I still can't believe you are not here.

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  29. I can't imagine your pain.....I was trying so hard not to go on this site having 3 children my youngest a boy, Connor. I just couldn't bring myself to enter but my friends brother recently posted a remodeling job he just finished for you on fb and the pic of Ty caught my eye...beautiful and then the Campbell name my god mothers (aunt mar, my moms best friend). I wish you peaceful days and nights.

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