Sunday, March 31, 2013

This year, my basket is overflowing with emptiness and sorrow

Today sucked.  Wow, I mean it really sucked.  My in-laws, who spent the later part of the day with us, saved us on this terrible day and we are so glad they came to feed us and keep us company.  But there wasn't anything that could really fix today. I just wasn't ready for this.  I don't know why I didn't think it would be so hard?  I guess because we survived Christmas I thought nothing else could be that bad, but... oh yeah... a holiday where a bunny comes to deliver oodles of candy - Ty's favorite thing in the whole entire world - was not at all easy.  It was such a long, painful day, it feels like I've been awake for two days straight.  Trying to make pretend things are okay on Easter, when everything in our world is not okay was simply painful and exhausting. 

It started with the minute we all got out of bed.  Yay, the Easter Bunny came!  But there was nothing exciting about it for me and Lou.  We put on a good show for Gavin, but all we could do was think about last year, and look at Gavin's one lonely Easter Basket with nothing but void. The obvious absence weighed on us so heavily, we barely even spoke for hours other than to respond to Gavin in a fake, high-pitched, excitable voice. 

Last year, we escaped from the hospital for Easter.  We came home late the night before, but we were still H-O-M-E and that was all that mattered.  We weren't prepared for our new life with Ty being so disabled, it was the first time he was home after suffering full-body paralysis as a result of radiation necrosis, but we knew we would be checking into a rehab facility in a few days and we just had to take him home.  It was the only thing that would make him happy, and it really worked.  After over a month of suffering, and weeks in the hospital where he fell paralysed for reasons his little mind could never comprehend, here he is on Easter morning, rocking his awesome hair with smiles from ear to ear.  He was simply amazing. 


 

At the end of the day today, Lou and I watched all of our videos from last Easter, and Ty was genuinely excited about the egg hunt, the basket, everything.  He always had such an incredible spirit, and such a will to enjoy life no matter what.  Last year I set out four beautiful baskets for Lou, Mely, Ty and Gavin.  This year we had only one.  Our family felt so beat up and broken today. 

Last night we talked about how different Ty and Gavin are.  How Gavin is just so into his legos and imaginary play, we actually have to work at getting him excited for things like the Easter bunny, whereas this is the stuff Ty lived for.  He LOVED holidays.  We debated on whether we should leave a note or a treat for the Easter Bunny and joked about how Ty would have definitely left him a note, and some carrots, and some candy, and whatever else he could think of.  He would have been looking for bunny footprints and other signs the bunny paid us a visit before the sun was even up.  Gavin woke up today and didn't even remember it was Easter morning until we reminded him.  After he saw some miniature super heroes in his basket, he lost all interest in the egg hunt and just wanted to play with his toys.  He sat and played in his own little super hero world for HOURS while Lou and I moped in sadness. 

Lou and I both spent a lot of quiet time with Ty today.  Lou sat on the couch and looked at pictures for hours.  I went outside for a very long time and walked around the yard talking out loud to Ty in between my sobs.  I was saying the words to the book "We're going on a bear hunt" like I used to do as I carried him through the yard.  I spent time at his tree, talking to him about how it will soon be covered with beautiful red leaves.  I sat on his playset where we used to eat snacks every day when living in Long Beach and I imagined him there at two and a half years old, eating goldfish and climbing on everything.  I looked to see that the tulips we planted together were coming up (they are) and I sat on the bench where we last sat outside together.  When he whispered to me that he likes the red leaves.  Then I sat on the steps in our backyard and listened to all the birds as I cried with my head in my lap.  After what felt like hours, I heard a woodpecker and it made me smile.  I turned my attention to God and had a heart-to-heart for a long time.  Today is obviously a day to reflect on how his son suffered, so I had a lot to say about that.  Despite all I have seen Ty suffer through, I am eternally grateful.  I can't express this enough.  As I say all the time, Ty Campbell was my greatest gift.  I have only God to thank for him, and my gratitude is higher than the mountains, taller than the trees, swifter than the wind.  And Easter is a most special day because I know that I will be with Ty again in eternity. 

I started cleaning up and setting the table after I came inside, still lost in a foggy cloud of longing, when Gavin came running into the kitchen. 
"Mommy!  I saw a little ladybug!"
"A real one?"
"Yeah!"
"Show me!" 

If I didn't have the pictures to prove it, I think some of you might start to think I make this stuff up, right?  Well, pictures don't lie, we really had yet another ladybug visit at just the right time.  Gavin - aka BatGavin - pulled me into the room and showed her to me.  There she was, our beautiful ladybug sent by Ty to tell us that he is okay.  I never, ever used to see ladybugs before we lost Ty, I swear.

She is on the windowsill behind him


I also want to tell you all that I don't think YOU are crazy, either, when you tell me that you see a ladybug from Ty. Even if you've never met him (or any of us for that matter). I promise you, when you carry him in your heart you will see him everywhere.  It helps me so much to know that he is all around you, because it is a pretty awesome feeling knowing we are all so closely connected through love if we allow it.   

45 comments:

  1. I am so sorry you are going through such pain...no parent should have to go through such a horrible tragedy!

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  2. May God bless you and your family! Ty is in everyone's hearts!

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  3. Sorry for your hard day! I love how it ended though! What an amazing woman you are!

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  4. I was washing my dishes the other day when I noticed my ladybug sponge holder. I have had it for years and never noticed it. Ty is all around us. I'll take a pic and post on your page.

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  5. I can't come up with anything to say that can express how my heart aches for you. God bless you and your family. God bless you for making sure Ty lives on. He was blessed, and continues to be blessed, in that he got to live his life surrounded by such overwhelming love.

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  6. Love and prayers always.... Xo

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  7. I pray for you all and keep you in my thoughts every day. . .
    Jennifer Negron

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  8. Broken hearted for your family today and everyday. Stay in faith and know he will always be with you. I will say a prayer for you and look for Ty in all that is beautiful, like the lady bug. Big hug from NJ.

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  9. Cindy, I'm sorry Easter was so hard for you and Lou to get thru and am glad Ty showed up in time to cheer you up before the day was over.I'm sure Ty had the bestest Easter ever in heaven.God Bless you all. <3
    .....Jean

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  10. Love and prayers always.... Xo

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  11. I was d driving the other week and a song came on that for some reason reminds me of Ty. Mumford & Sons song called I will wait,i will wait for you. So my mind drifted to sweet Ty and I thought where are you today? A hawk flew above the van and I smiled.Fly high little man. I wanted to share, but didn't want you to think i wascrazy. Ha! Sorry you only have 1 basket to fill.FU cancer Gavin should have his brother there physically and not signs of him being present!

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  12. I have seen two lady bugs from Ty on terrible days. Never see them otherwise.

    Praying you have some good days coming up.

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  13. You are in my heart.

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  14. Oh, Cindy, I really did think of you all day today. I actually commented last night after setting up my kids' Easter baskets knowing how hard it must have been for you setting up Gavin's. I knew today would suck for you guys. I'm glad you posted. And I'm glad you don't think we are all crazy. I swear I never see ladybugs but lately I have and only when I am thinking of or talking about you and/or Ty. That special boy of yours really has touched a world full of people. He is in all of our hearts and he sends us all signs :). Hugs mama, you and Lou have been to hell and back. I'm so so sorry. You guys are always in my heart <3

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  15. Forever in my heart and prayers. Sorry today was so rough. God be with you!

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  16. My heart aches for you. I know nothing I can say will make you feel better in your grief but I just wanted to tell you that you're a great Mom.

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  17. I was at my moms yesterday reading your last post on my phone. I got called away and when I came back to finish reading there was a ladybug on my phone!!! I wish I could have gotten a picture, it was great!

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  18. Praying for you. I miss my father too. We'll see our heroes one day. Thinking of you and your special Ty.

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  19. Beautiful post, Cindy.

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  20. Cindy,
    My heart breaks for you. I am so sorry for the constant pain you have to endure. Ty, your family, and his story has touched my heart so deeply. I am so glad that Ty was able to send you a ladybug on such a difficult day. We, too, have ladybugs. NEVER before Ty passed away. It was during an especially difficult time in Carson's treatment when we were struggling with decisions that needed to be made that we started noticing the random ladybugs. I feel that was God's way of connecting us to you, and it also provided us comfort. Ty is a special, amazing little boy, and we are so blessed to "know" you. I know we have never met, but I truly love you and your family. Ty has touched my life and so have you. What an amazing example of strength you are! I am in awe of the amazing job you are doing at raising awareness and all of your hard work, despite dealing with the unbearable, unrelenting pain. I pray for you and your family every day and will never stop. I pray that God will help provide you peace, comfort, and strength each day, and that you will continue to be sent ladybugs and special signs from Ty to reassure you he is always there. Praying tomorrow is a better day than today. Hang in there.

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  21. The Campbell Familly, this is so hard and there aren't words. I did want to mention that, and, this is not a criticism, you mention Gavin doesn't seem as interested in things besides his Legos and action figures. I think it's because he is most definitely grieving in his own way. But, you already knew that. Best wishes to all of you. I will continue to send prayers for some kind of healing. No, you will never be healed but maybe some sort of peace will be yours one day.

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  22. Cindy & Lou......Gavin too... Your words are always so touching and your heart so big and filled with sorrow and missing your beautiful Ty...He is with you always and sends those little red ladybugs when you need them most. Signs are all around, I get dragonfly's...ladybugs too. I never met Ty but often think of if all of you and your courage and faith and happy times that you all shared. Those will never leave your heart and will help you through all the sadness.

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  23. Cindy & Lou......Gavin too... Your words are always so touching and your heart so big and filled with sorrow and missing your beautiful Ty...He is with you always and sends those little red ladybugs when you need them most. Signs are all around, I get dragonfly's...ladybugs too. I never met Ty but often think of if all of you and your courage and faith and happy times that you all shared. Those will never leave your heart and will help you through all the sadness.

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  24. Your words bring me to tears again as you talk about Easter. Another hard day to get through with the false joy behind all you do. But at the same time it is such a blessing to have someone to make us do these things otherwise we would probably fall to pieces on days like this. You do such a remarkable job at putting Gavin's needs first and everyone can see why he is such a beautiful boy. I think he handles everything very well for his age. He shows a lot of love towards his brother which just melts my heart away. What he said about the stars was absolutely beautiful, something I would expect from someone much older. You are certainly blessed to be gifted with two very beautiful souls as they are blessed to have you and Lou as their parents.

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  25. Oh my sweet dear. I love your blog but I also want to cry when I read it. I can feel your pain and my heart aches for you and your family. You are such an inspiration. You have never met me. And I never had the HONOR to meet your sweet Ty but I promise you I carry him with me and I think about him a lot. I have a three year old nephew and the thought of him going through what your sweet boy did is just too much to handle. I pray for your family. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. You are very brave. I hope in time you will find some comfort even though you will always miss Ty. Give Gavin lots of hugs and kisses from a lady he has never met but prays a lot for him. Take care!! And God Bless!!

    Lindsey

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  26. I am glad you had your ladybug!
    The problem with holidays is you can have one that is good and one that is not. Years can go by and you can have a bad one. My mom died from cancer 21 years ago.. I have bad ones now... You just have to be kind to yourself...

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  27. Cindy - I never knew Ty but I think of him every day. I'm a mom, and I think when you're a mom you think about other moms, like you. Dont think I'm crazy, but I check the blog to see how you AND Ty are doing. Crazy, right? But I think when you see a ladybug that he is telling you he is just fine. It's funny, I smile when I hear a ladybug flying into the blinds at my office window. And I heard "You'll be in my heart" twice right in a row on the radio station this morning. I assure you, thousands are thinking of your family and Ty every day. Ty and your family "will be in our hearts"...always.

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  28. Ty,if there ever was something that I wanted to tell you it would be that you have changed my life in millions of different ways that I never knew were possible. You made it belive even when I was angry you went away. It made me respect others, it made me love my kids even more if possible and allow them even more fun and freedom. It makes my day when they say a night prayer still wishing that you and Gavin be healthy. You are the reson that I know they will grow compassionate and caring. You are the reson that the cure will finally be found. I know you were not just a regular boy when I first saw your beautiful face on my computer screen. It is sad to know that you were sent here for a reason and at the same time its so powerful and touching that you choose this life to teach us something to unite us to show us what real life really is. I will be looking for you all my life, thru ladybugs, sunshines, stars, kids laughter, pictures of Gavin, stories from your mom. I am so very sorry that your family had a sad day during Easter. I wish I could have made it better.

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  29. I knew that Easter would be a tough time for you and Lou, but so glad Ty sent you a ladybug to let you know he was there in spirit. My thoughts and prayers are with you all!

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    1. P.S. - The pictures were great, although I can't look at them without a lump forming in my throat and tears in my eyes....we feel your pain, Cindy, if only a fraction of it.

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  30. Cindy, you're pain breaks my heart. I have a present here for you, something my daughter brought home and I'd like to send to you? Where should we send in? It's not much very reminded me of your baby. Hope today is better for you all.

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    1. The office address is on the foundation site at SuperTy.org.

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  31. I saw a lady bug just the other night I looked at the wall behind me for no reason, I just decided to look and the first thing I saw was a lady bug. I instantly thought Ty was sending his love. He's always with you guys and I'm happy he sent you a ladybug on Easter :)

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  32. I saw a ladybug last night in my living room - I have NEVER seen one in my house - it was right after reading your posts and feeling sadness all over. Xo

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  33. Gorgeous ladybug❤ awesome hair, beautiful boy❤ And what a SMILE!
    Suzanne b.
    Westchester, NY

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  34. The other day I saw a lady bug on the roof of my car and the first thing out of my mouth was hi Ty. If anyone would have saw me they would have thought I was crazy. Ty's reach is everywhere, even in Nebraska! God bless you, Lou and Gavin.

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  35. It is absolutely amazing how many ladybugs visit you. This is not the climate yet for them...I haven't seen a ladybuy in ages!!! Yet look at how magical it is that so many have visited you! What a truly remarkable and obvious sign from your precious angel!!!

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  36. I saw a lady bug on the roof of my car the other day and the first thing out of my mouth was hi Ty. If any one would have heard me they would have thought I was nuts. Ty's reach is big and reaches all the way to Nebraska. God bless you, Lou and Gavin.

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  37. Cindy, I just want to hug you. Your words touch me so deeply. I feel so much love for Ty, for you, Lou and Gavin. My heart aches for you and I pray every night that you are ok. I know you are going to do such amazing things, that Ty is going to inspire incredible things. He inspires me every day. You do too. Thank you.

    All my love ALWAYS,

    Elaine Hinkle

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  38. Cindy- My sons and nephews came over to our house for Easter this year. They ate so much candy and played outside for hours. At one point my 3 1/2 year old squirted water all over him along with the Easter basket grass. I had to laugh, and I admit that I thought of Ty and how much he should be doing those things. His story helps me gain perspective and revel in the silliness and joy that is my life with my boys. My heart breaks for you and your family. Please know how much Ty's life has touched and changed even people who never met him. Big hugs, Tia

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  39. Ive been noticing ladybugs all over the place also...when i see them i think of your precious ty also. Peace be with you my friend

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  40. I've seen 2 ladybugs in the past 2 days! Every time I see one I almost yet "Ty!" It's a reflex almost...they make me so happy! Praying for ya'll.

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  41. Rotten Easter egg baskets :(

    The remedy for this is to laugh hysterically at creepy easter bunny pics:

    http://www.happyplace.com/15235/the-creepiest-easter-bunny-photos-ever-taken

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    1. THANK YOU! That was so funny. I needed that :)

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    2. May you have a long happy and healthy life. God willing you will see your grandchildren and this tragedy will be the only setback in your life.

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