Monday, February 18, 2013

This isn't where it ends. There will never be an end to our love story

Ty is in every star in the sky.  Every setting sun. The embrace of every warm breeze.  But with all of the hope that I hold in my heart, it doesn't help me escape the fact that I miss everything about him, every second of the day.  Ty, baby, I miss your soft hair.  Your breath.  Your high-pitched baby voice.  Your smell and how your skin smelled different from your hair and your neck smelled different from your feet.  But most of all, your smile.  You went through hell.  More than I have even shared on this blog because yes, your pain over the past two years was that bad.  But you smiled all the time.  Regardless.  You loved it.  You yearned for it.  You truly wanted to be happy.  And you allowed yourself to be happy despite it all.

Remember that the next time you think "if only I could be happy!"  Look at how funny Ty thinks this is.  We took all of Gavin's toys and put them on the couch to watch Toy Story with the guys. Ty thought it was the funniest idea in the whole world.  So simple.  That's what makes him the most amazing boy that ever lived :)  Happiness should be this simple. 


 

Life is moving on without Ty, though, whether I like it or not.  I don't get to stop time. I had to move on or die myself because people depend on me and my family is everything.  I have wanted to quit many things in life, but I would never quit living.  Especially because I know this isn't the end of Ty and me.  I will see him again.  And I do still (in the clouds, the falling leaves, the rainbows and yes, the ladybugs).  I look for him constantly. 

Today was one of my worst days with Gavin in a long time.  Through no fault of his own, I found myself having so little patience for him.  I hate it, especially because it is the exact opposite of what I preach.  I was very aware of it, so I think I was able to hide it well from him, but it was so hard. There was no school today and he is usually so independent, but today he was yelling for "Maaa-Meee!" every three seconds.  I wanted to curse and scream each time!  I wanted so much to enjoy my Gavin, but today I just couldn't shake the funk.  We did have a very long story time (almost 45 minutes - he just LOVES books) and we did have a nice dinner tonight.  Other than that, I can only be honest to admit that I was happy for it to be dark out and ready for bed.  Through no fault of his own, I just couldn't do it today.  Sadly, I can't even say I did do it today, because I sought reprieve at my mother-in-law's where I dropped him off so I could go to the office and escape for a couple of hours. 

This is because, at least for me, grief comes in spurts.  Obviously, I've had a few particularly bad days in a row.  I know this is cyclical and I am already better today than yesterday, but it just exists, it comes and goes, and that's all there is to it. 

I just want my life back with Ty.  Even at his worst, at least he was with me. 

I think I have learned about how my grief seems to hit me.  It comes in like a tsunami.  Totally unexpected, while I am otherwise reading a magazine and almost even relaxing in the breezy sunshine on a lounge chair.  It is merciless.  It removes me from everyone around me and I am left to hold onto whatever might be in my reach just to keep my head above water.  Alone without any help.  Some offer to help.  They say "i am here for you" and I am so grateful for that, but they are simply out of reach.  When the water subsides and I am surrounded by death, destruction and devastation, I am left to feel nauseous over the petty troubles in the world of everyone else around me (i.e. if your son's teacher gave him a B minus when he deserved a B). 

I feel guilty when I laugh (because it is disrespectful to Ty) and I feel guilty if I cry (because it is going to ruin Gavin's chance at a normal future).  I look in the mirror and think in two years I've aged over a decade.  I remember exactly what Ty looked like after he died and replay the moment he died several times a day. 

The good news is that despite all of this, I am laughing more often.  I am trying to wear makeup almost every day.  I am also remembering what Ty looked like during his healthiest days and it makes me happy - for real happy.  I find so much joy in remembering his smile, and I love to watch his videos and thumb through his photos at night.  Where would I be without him?  Like I always say, despite it all, I am blessed and lucky.  Ty and me are the best it gets.  I miss him, I love him, and I think God for him. 

Thank you all for your love and support.  I hope to feel better tomorrow.  In closing, here are two delicious, never before seen photos of my boys.  Ty, no hair, chemo, still loving the carousel yet again (how does a kid with a brain tumor like this - it makes me want to throw up every time), And Gavin giving a big ole' smooch into the camera. 




29 comments:

  1. I'm sorry. This is so unfair. Just so unfair.

    In all your free time (if that exists :)), I highly recommend reading this blogpost. You may have had a chronos moment with Gavin today, but you have many kairos ones, too. You love him, he loves you. He knows it. Even on days like today.

    http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/04/2011-lesson-2-dont-carpe-diem/

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  2. Cindy I have 4 kids and there are days I just can't do it and I haven't even gone thru what you have! Don't beat yourself up over it, tomorrow is another day. I get what you say about the smell of Ty, just tonight I said to my husband "I can't get enough of their smell, nothing like it in the world" Just remember you've been through hell and back, allow yourself bad days and never fell guilty about having tough days! You, Ty, Lou and Gavin are my heroes! Love to The Campbell's xoxo

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  3. Cindy, your description of your grief is so raw. It left me crying. I think all of your supporters just got even more supportive by being able to read your narrative and understand just how treacherous this is for you. Sending prayers. Always looking for ways to honor Ty. I hope you, Lou and Gavin have some sunnier days soon

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  4. I cry every day over what happened to Ty...you are AMAZING and HUMAN and should feel no shame in admitting your human qualities. You are forever in my thoughts and Ty is forever in my heart. Xoxo

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  5. Cindy: I am a mom who travels for her job. There are days I get on a plane and I cry because the day with the loves of my life was crazy and they seemed to make effort to fuel it. Then I leave yelling and I hate myself. The reality is we are all human and I learn each time and one thing I can credit to you and Ty, I learned to more than ever appreciate every breath they take. Not that I did not before, but, you and Ty made me do more than appreciate. Today we flew from Atlanta to Seattle (5 hours on a plane with a just new 4 year old and 5 year old). Patience was tested. Just when 5 hours was really getting to little boys not liking to sit, we say clouds and we were going through them. I told them to look for angels and as if they could read my mind my 5 year old said lets look for Ty. Needless to say, tears filled my eyes and we looked for Ty playing in the clouds. I believe he was there as the sun streaming through those clouds was stunning and breath taking yet an unbelievable peace. Ty is there, he is with you. Do not feel guilty to laugh. Relish the laughter and know it is him tickling you from the inside out.

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  6. My heart breaks for you. I cannot pretend for a second to know what you or your family is going through. But I can promise you that it will get easier, if you can allow it to. My sister and father passed suddenly, and within weeks of each other. I was the child who watched my mother age ten years in just a few months. And then, I finally saw her smile. We tiptoed around each other- no one wanted to shake the others' temporary stillness with their own storms. Until, finally, we all broke together and began to mend. And realize that living wasn't disrespectful to the dead. It has been 18 years now. And I still occasionally get hit with the wave of pain. The shock, that tears the very breath and thought from you, as only grief can do. But it passes. More quickly now-it only lasts a moment. And I hope that you find that place. The love that can exist away from the pain. I am so, so sorry for the loss of your baby. He is, was, and always will be a beautiful little miracle. Thank you for sharing him with us. I never knew him, but I miss him, too.

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  7. While your laughter and smiles are wide apart, they will grow closer together. You are strong, you are inspiring. I can't say enough. I am so grateful to you. In my days I feel like this, (there are many), I think of you & I think of Ty and all the families facing this horrific thing called childhood cancer. While it doen't make me get rid of the guilt, for the yelling and ranting, I am able to take a step back and revisit my mistakes and hope to make it better the next time. In grief, we have no idea how we are going to react. How "normal" is not the "norm. You are a grieving family. A loving family that has faced something NO family should ever have to.

    I was looking at the picture of Gavin and couldn't help but notice the streak of bright gold through his har. And how you have never seen these photos. Is that yet, just another sign from Ty, he is with you. He is wrapping you all up, loving you!!

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    1. Oh my gosh! I didn't see it the first time I looked because I was looking at his lips, Ty is right there, wow! Thanks for pointing that out! It is so GOLD!

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  8. Hi Cindy - I was thinking the other day that we should all write to People Magazine and ask that they do a story on Ty and maybe Ronan, and some other families that will bring this story attention. Since this often takes time, maybe everyone can start now so it can get some attention prior to pediatric cancer awareness month. I've already started. Here is the email address: Editor@people.com.

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  9. My heart breaks for you when you have days like this. I can't imagine what you are going through but with your words I can only imagine your pain. I always think about you and your family and ask God to embrace you when you feel down. You still have the strength to get up every morning and I praise you for that. You are a very strong woman Cindy and I look up to you for that. You have showed what unconditional love is and I try to be a better mommy with my own kids. Cherish every moment with them. I will continue to pray for you and your family. God Bless you always.

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  10. Cindy

    "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow"
    Cindy you are human, we are all human and we all feel with you. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't think of you,or feel with you, Lou, Ty & Gavin. You are an amazing family with an immeasurable love for one another.
    Always in our hearts,
    Love to the Campbell's

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  11. I think that is an amazing idea, you should post this to Ty's facebook page where it might be seen by a wider audience and also send it to Ronan's mother where maybe she can put it in her blog also.

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  12. Yes, happiness should be that simple...that is what makes children so unique and special, that they can be happy despite all the suffering they endure. Love the pictures, as always! My 2-1/2 year old son has the same Toy Story PJ's that Gavin is wearing. Hoping for more smiles and happy moments, Cindy, I know Ty would want that for you.

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  13. Yes - Ty was able to smile and be happy in times when he had every right to be sad and miserable. That smile is what has captured so many hearts and made so many fall in love with this beautiful little boy. He inspires me daily. And when my little one is driving me crazy - I think of Ty and how I need take a breath, figure out how to re-direct Christopher's maddening behavior and get us both back on track, usually a tickle or pick up and twirl around the room is enough to do the trick. I bet Gavin would benefit too! And goodness knows it does wonders for me.

    I hope and pray you see a grief counselor to help you through this time - I'm sure everything you are feeling is normal, but having someone to help you sort it all out, well I hope it will provide you some relief.

    Thank you for sharing those beautiful pics of the boys - they are really most handsome and cute and sweet.

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  14. wow. i dont think i ever read a more real description of pain. i felt it. it was a tough read. this is the part of the death that i always think about "do you have a right to ever be happy when you baby is dea?" and everytime i answer no even though i know its not realistic. i also asy that if a parent losses the only child its an obvious choice to just jumpt of the bridge because whats the point of life, but then when there are other kids, you must live, you must smile and laugh because they dont deserve to suffer all their lives. its maybe a horribly thinking but its my opinion, and in your case, you must not only go on and not just die, you must be happy and smile and laugh and be the best mommy to Gavin, who is only 3 yo. I would probably feel guilty laughing as well, but how cold you not laugh when you are raising the most adorable funny child in the world. I am so very sorry that Ty is dead, and I cant imagine how you felt when he died in your arms and how he looked like. Noone should know that. I miss you baby boy so very much. Fly high.
    PS i do feel horrible for worrying about petty bullshit, and i still do, i was worrying about my 5yo report card which wasnt good enough for me. Its horrible, couldnt agree more. :)

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  15. I dont have facebook so if anyone is insterested in posting this please do. Lets get this story out!
    We should all write to People Magazine and ask that they do a story on Ty and maybe Ronan, and some other families that will bring this story attention. Since this often takes time, maybe everyone can start now so it can get some attention prior to pediatric cancer awareness month. I've already started. Here is the email address: Editor@people.com.

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  16. Cindy you are an incredible mother. I don't even know you but I hope you don't mind me saying, I truly believe that if Ty was alive and had survived into remission that you would have days when even he overwhelmed you as well. I am insanely in love with my kids but sometimes we feel this way with our children regardless of the circumstances. It's my thought entirely but I would assume you might feel an extra heaping help of guilt because you are trying so very hard to be sensitive to Gavin's feelings as well in his grief process. Which goes back to my first point...you are an incredible mother. Because you hurt that much more for reacting to Gavin in a way that on any other average day might be perceived as perfectly normal. Your love for both of your sons is so big that their feelings first and foremost occupy your every sense.

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  17. I hurt for you Cindy. I just wish more happy, laughing days for you.I pray you learn to feel Ty with you in everything you do and embrace life for him.Enjoy Gavin and try to feel how Ty would feel doing things with him.You are doing such a great job but it's hard to be up all the time,it's ok to have off days.I still pray for you all every night.Gavin is a very lucky little boy to have such wonderful, caring parents. Stay well....Jean <3

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  18. If I could have one wish for you today it would be let go of any guilt (I know this is a huge task). When you laugh, I hope you feel Ty's smile rather than guilt... when you cry, I hope you allow your self the space to grieve as you are most certainly allowed that. You are an incredible mama, you can see it in Ty and Gavin's faces. <3 -Daniella, Seattle, WA

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  19. When I look at all the pics you post of Ty and every single one of them has a smile, it just amazes me!! A precious little boy that went through sooooo much pain every single day for over 2 years of his life, yet the pictures just spread pure cheer to everyone that sees them. He simply just enjoyed every second of life! Like he knew a secret that none of us knows and just loved every breath he took! I can't imagine the loss and pain you feel Cindy, your words go right to my heart though and it aches for you! You were truly blessed with an Angel and I wish everyday that he didn't have to go! He was special in so many ways! His smile and precious face have inspired so many and he's given a gift to all of us that read your blog! To embrace the ones we love, enjoy every second we breath and to shake off the little things that just don't matter because there is so much for to life than what we realize. Don't feel bad about not being in it for Gavin today. We all have those moments and it doesn't make you anything less than a great mom! Especially you! You have been extraordinary to Gavin and there are days I wonder just how you do it. You are amazing and you are allowed to have days that you lack the patience you need. One day you will be able to wrap your arms around Ty again and smell his hair and feel his hand in yours and then you will feel joy again without feeling the pain in your soul.

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  20. Cindy, please give yourself a break. All of us have days where patience it lacking for our children and we can't wait for bedtime. Do not let guilt enter your heart. You really do have a reason to find it difficult to concentrate and deal with the everyday stuff. You are still moving forward in your greiving process so take heart. You make sure Gavin knows he is loved by you and Lou. I pray one day you find yourself enjoying Gavin more and more. Keep moving forward. Remember...prayers and love are constantly being sent to you. God will hold you up!

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  21. Cindy...the feelings you have all seem so normal. I have the same feelings with my sons even though I work all day and I want to relish each second with them...sometimes we just need a break or time alone...and I haven't been through the horrors of what you went through. Be kind to yourself.
    Life is so full of greatness and sadness...the extremes are what take our breath away. Each person deals with it all differently...some simply stop dealing with any of it...some people need to go to counseling...there are tons of ways to deal with things...I really don't know if we can judge what is better or worse. The honest to God truth is that your boys both know you love them and in the end I think that is what matters.
    And for me...on the days I just need some time alone and I drop them at Grandmas...I think that the love they get from Grandma is also so special. It really does take a village to raise a child...and that isn't a bad thing.
    Hugs to you.
    I also love the Ty and Gavin pictures...such beautiful boys inside and out.

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  22. Thank you so much for sharing your grief with us. It makes me feel that I can carry a tiny piece of your broken heart for a teeny tiny moment. Because of Ty I was given a gift to help me be a better mom, partner, co- worker. I asked for God's help and he gave me this phrase "Does it really matter??". All day long I ask myself that question. I think of it as a grown-up version of muddy puddles.

    Thank you

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  23. Cindy, you are so incredibly amazing to put all those raw feelings into words. My heart breaks each time I read your blog and I cry helplessly. You are a gift, just like Ty. You are entitled to bad days...as a matter of fact, I commend you on your strength to even have any "ok" days...that you find the strength that helps you laugh (even if not often enough), go to the office, play with Gavin, take care of your family and still spill your soul into this blog and the foundation, amongst so many other accomplishments. You are a Super Woman...the mother of Super Ty. God Bless you and your family Cindy. I think of you ALWAYS!!!!! xoxoxo
    Monica

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  24. Sunday morning in Church there was a family sitting in front of us, with two small boys...they reminded me of your family. I said a little prayer about you at that time and I looked to my left because I like to say my prayers while looking out at the sunshine...and there it was, a ladybug! I felt this was so cool because I havent seen one myself since last October! It was like he knew someone was praying for his Mom :)

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  25. Beautiful Cindy,

    Please do not ever apologize for your feelings or for anything else after all you, Lou and sweet Gavin have endured. Daily thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless all of you, beloved SuperTy lives in all 3 of you. God Bless

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  26. And this too shall pass. That was the best thing my mom ever told me in 35 yrs. and it applies to all bad situations bc nothing ever stays the same. And the hurt will go. Not today or tomorrow but when you are together again... As far off as that may seem. Hang in there for Ty!

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  27. Cindy you are just so real in so many ways. I wish I could articulate my emotions the way you do. Keep doing what your doing. You are truly a Super Mom for your two Super Boys! xoxo

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  28. Thank you so much for sharing your grief with us. It makes me feel that I can carry a tiny piece of your broken heart for a teeny tiny moment. Because of Ty I was given a gift to help me be a better mom, partner, co- worke
    san jose therapy.

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