Saturday, May 11, 2013

Another "first" without you. (Cr)appy Mothers Day!

I was just walking by Gavin's room and I overheard him saying something about angels so I stopped at the doorway to listen.  He was in bed in the dark with Lou, and I heard him telling Lou:
"I wish he could have weeeeal wings like an Angel and then he could fwwy (fly) down to our house.  Not Angel from X-Men.  Not the superhero Angel.  I wish he could be a weeeal angel."  Obviously, we know who he was talking about.  He didnt sound sad.  He was just saying this in a very matter-of-fact manner.  He simply wishes his brother could fly down and visit him. 

For no real reason, we have all had some very emotional days lately.  Thursday, especially.  I was so sad while driving to Gavin’s school to pick him up.  I was coming from a meeting in Valhalla and I was traveling on the Bronx River Pwy through the same stretch that I used to drive home with Ty every day last summer when he was attending school at Blythedale.  It was the first time I ever drove that pretty route without him in the backseat and I was flooded with memories of our drives together.  We played I-SPY every day and TY always joked that a bear was chasing us.  Then he would yell (as loud as he could) AND A DINO-ROAR!.
My Angel Baby in the Backseat.  Blue lollipop in hand.

I will never know if Ty called dinosaurs “dino-ROARS” because he was being funny/clever, of if he just had too much trouble making the “s” sound.  Knowing him, it was both.  Regardless, it was the cutest thing ever.  Gavin just recently started taking over for Ty, joking about bears and dino-roars chasing us (and he’s expanded it to include superhero zombies, too).  He intentionally says dino-Roar, too, because I reminded him about how Ty used to say that.

So when I picked him up, I put on my happy face and was talking to him about school that day.  Out of the blue, he asked me “Mommy, how did Ty get the boo-boo on his head?”  I can’t remember exactly how the conversation evolved, but he was asking so many questions so I decided to just explain that Ty had cancer and we don’t know why.  My mommy senses told me that our talk was scaring Gavin a little so I told him “that will NOT happen to you, Gavin.  Okay?”  “Okay” he said. 

Then he said, “I want Ty to stay.  Because I like to play with Ty.”  Forget it, I couldn’t hold it in any longer.  I started to cry.  I was as quiet as I could possibly be, I didn’t even think it was enough for Gavin to notice, but he did.  And then he just lost it completely!  Never before have I seen such real, genuine hysterics from him over Ty.  He cried and cried and cried – huge real tears – and said over and over “I miss Ty.  But I want him to STAY!  I’m crying because I miss Ty.”  He was shaking because he was crying so hard and there was nothing I could say to help him feel better because I was feeling the exact same way.   I had to pull over.  I pulled down a dirt road, I walked around the car, pulled him out of his car seat and just stood in the light rain holding him so tight.   I feel like we stood there for an eternity, hugging and crying.  I told him that Ty was crying too and showed him all the raindrops.  I told him that Ty misses him, too.  Then I looked up the road and I knew what we had to do…  No surprise here :) 

For you, Ty.  Sometimes muddy puddles can make it better.
Last night I had another sad, sad cry with Gavin.  In my zombie cleaning mode, I dumped out a Dixie cup that had some dandelions in it.  Gavin picked them for me days ago and put them in water, but they were dead by now.  About 15 minutes later I heard him call for me from the kitchen.  He was so upset and confused and yelled, “where are my flowers?  Why was my cup in the garbage can?”  He actually threw himself down on the floor when I told them the flowers died so I had to get rid of them, and he screamed “are they in heaven!!???!!!”  Oh my God.  I couldn’t fix it!  I didn’t know what to say!  I tried so hard to calm him down, but obviously his emotions were based on much, much more than the flowers.  My poor Gavin.  He is just trying to figure all of this out now, and he can’t.  I wish I could help him.  There are so many wonderful books, and we talk about it all the time, but he is just so young he is obviously having a hard time lately.  I think he is just plain sad over losing his brother, and that's that.   

He's been asking me about going to heaven again.  When will he get to go?  When I explained that he won't go until he is very, very old and God calls for him, he asked me how old Ty was.  I tried explaining that Ty was only five, but in his case things were different, but I couldn't even convince myself.  Whatever I came up with sounded ridiculous.  Sometimes it's just impossible to try to make sense of something so senseless and unfair.  Regardless of my unwavering faith. 

Poor Lou never gets any signs from Ty.  The other day I was sharing a story with him about a Cardinal.  How I was sad while cleaning our room, and I went to the window to look outside when I heard the birds.  Two beautiful red birds flew and landed in the tree right outside the window.  They were right in front of me chatting away.  One flew away after a few seconds.  The other just stood on the branch looking right at me for as long as I needed.  I swear.  I was sad and I just felt compelled to keep looking at that bird.  We were making complete eye contact and every once in a while he would cock his head to the side and utter a mild “chirp”.  It’s funny because I was kneeling and my knees started to hurt a little but I didn’t want to walk away from the bird in case it was some kind of sign from Ty.  I randomly said “okay, I feel better now,” and at that instant the bird flew away.  I swear.  The second those words left my lips.  (Linda - I know you appreciate this one :)

I told Lou how little things like that really help me cope and he said “I wish I got signs like that.  I never get anything.” 

Then, he did!
Lou always puts Gavin to bed just as he always used to put Ty to bed.  In general, he has always gotten home later than me so it was his time with the boys.  Ever since Ty got sick, he’s been saying prayers with him.  The Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be is pretty much the routine.  Ty knew them all and they had a very special ritual together.  Ty struggled with speech on and off throughout his horrific treatments, but there were certain parts of prayers that he always whispered.  During the Hail Mary, for example, Lou always paused in the middle after saying the two words "Holy Mary" and he let Ty say “Mother of God…”  then he continued. 

Gavin never does this.  He listens to the prayers but he never participates.  He has his own rituals with Lou where he says goodnight to Ty and to God every night, but he prefers not to do the other parts.  He never even heard the proper Hail Mary from Lou, because Lou has continued to pause and leave out the phrase “mother of God” because he leaves that part for Ty.  He says he likes to imagine Ty’s voice saying that part, so he never says it out loud himself.  Last night, out of the blue, Gavin said it loud and clear while Lou paused in his usual silence.  Isn’t that just so sweet?  It was like Ty was using Gavin as a vehicle to get to Lou.  It made him feel so much better :)

As Melissa E. said today (Sweet Angel Tanner's Mommy), "Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who have half their hearts in heaven."  Or, as I said to Maya, "Crappy Mother's Day to US!"  It certainly will be a hard day for me.  My first mother's day without Ty.  So incredibly weird to imagine.  All I can think about tonight is how exciting it was when I celebrated my very first Mothers Day because Ty was born, and now - just six years later - its my very first one without him. 

I had this short video on a loop for about 15 minutes straight tonight.  Over and over and over again I listened to that sweet voice.  I brought my laptop up to my face so I could feel like I was looking into his real eyes.  It is so sad that my baby was so hurt by all he endured, yet look at how sweet and loving he is despite it all.  This was taken less then two months after his severe paralysis set-in (as a result of radiation induced necrosis).  I can't believe he is gone. 

Since its hard to understand him, he is saying "happy mothers day, mommy.  I love you."  I love you too, my baby.  I miss you so much and I cant wait to see you tomorrow. 


  1. My thoughts are with you today. I wish you all the best.

  2. My heart breaks for you! Praying you have a peaceful (CR)appy Mother's Day tomorrow. Love you, Campbell family!

  3. Cindy, know I will be thinking of you tomorrow on what will be a very difficult day I'm sure. I have no doubts that Ty will be smiling down on you though and sending you all of his love!!

  4. I know this will not be a "Happy" day for you at all - I'm so sorry and wish every day that Ty was here with you. I'm so happy that Ty sent signs to you and Lou - he really is the best good boy. It breaks my heart how sad Gavin is - how hard it can be to explain stuff to someone so young - but you guys are doing such a good job considering how senseless this all is. Just keep showing each other love and be kind to yourselves. I pray for you guys all the time - hoping you can find some peace. Praying that Ty is safe and well in heaven - looking down on you and protecting you from any more pain. Every night we pray to God and ask him to take good care of Ty - we'll never forget him or your family. Although it won't be a happy day - I hope you have a nice one - that you, Gavin and Lou can have some nice family time.

  5. ps - that video of Ty wishing you a Happy Mother's Day is the most precious thing ever. Thank you for sharing your son with all of us - he is so impossibly cute and beautiful and sweet and precious in every way.

  6. Ty and your family are always in our thoughts, but especially tomorrow. Have you heard the song written by Zach Sobiech? He has osteosarcoma & is in the final stages. It is called 'clouds'. It is heartbreaking and bittersweet but feels hopeful at the same time. Much comfort & strength to you. I believe Ty will be walking alongside you tomorrow every step, helping you as you did for him when he could no longer walk.

  7. I love the video of Ty. He is so sweet and I love his little voice. He is saying those same words to you from heaven. I am so sorry that you will not have your sweet Ty with you tomorrow and my heart breaks for you. I hope you will make it through the day with some smiles too and that the memories of the best good boy in the whole wide world will get you through. Sending you hugs today and always. Thank you for posting that video. I will hear those sweet little words when I close my eyes tonight.

  8. I can't stop the tears. My heart aches for you. I hope Ty brings you a great sign tomorrow and makes your day as special as possible. God Bless you!! Oxox

  9. Precious, precious, precious. Much love and many hugs to you tomorrow, Cindy..and everyday. Your little boys are beautiful and so sweet.

  10. Sitting here sobbing for you Cindy. I am so so sorry you are dealing with missing your sweet sweet boy. You and Lou are so amazing, I am in awe of you every day. I am so sad for you today. Please know you have so many fans crying and praying for you. I hope that eases your pain in some small way. xoxoxo, we all love you and are so so sorry...

  11. Wishing you sunshine on your 1st Mother's Day without Ty in your arms. Hope Gavin lets you hug and kiss him as much as you want tomorrow!
    Jennifer, Illinois

  12. I wish that there was something that I could say or do to help you through the day tomorrow, but all that I can offer are my thoughts and prayers. Hold Gavin tight tomorrow and feel not only his love, but Ty's love for their wonderful mommy.

  13. I'd wish you a Happy Mothers Day but I know it's not., the year of firsts SUCK to put it mildly! I still think of you and keep you and the family in my prayers!

    Love Gabrielle

  14. My dad brings me birds during Christmas time. Always on a day that's lightly snowing and they flock to my house and sit on the crab tree branches outside my window. It's the most beautiful thing and they come to my house every year. Not the neighbors but MY house. Our loved ones never leave us.

  15. Praying for you always Cindy, most especially today. God Bless you, Lou and Gavin. I saw this poem I thought would be appropriate for today:

    Dandelions From Heaven

    Mothers Day is coming...and I wanted to send you a sign...
    Something you can tell others..."Is from an angel of mine".
    So I searched the Heavens high and low for that perfect thing.
    And low and behold I found it…and a smile I hope it will bring.

    So when you look to the Heavens...and see the yellow stars in the sky...
    Just think of me...your the Heavens way up high...
    And just imagine those stars...are dandelions up above...
    Yes! Dandelions are also in Heaven...which you know how much I love.

    So on this Mothers Day...when you awake and feel blue...
    You will notice those yellow stars...are no longer in view...
    So just look to the meadows and the dandelions you see....
    Are the ones I've tossed down this Mothers Day from me!

    And when you find a dandelion that has turned from yellow to white...
    You're supposed to make a wish...and then blow with all your might.
    For you will be blowing kisses... to me in Heaven above....
    And I will be catching them and blowing them back...sent with all my love.

    Please know that I am with you...on this Mothers Day...
    And also in the days ahead...God and I will never stray...
    We will be with you in the morning...when you wake and see the sun..
    We will be with you when you say your prayers...when the day is done.

    For God and I will never be...very far from your side...
    For I can now be everywhere…and God will be your guide...
    So...remember when you see dandelions…it’s your guarantee...
    That I am always close to you....
    For dandelions are free to just like me.

    I will always be with you MOM....
    Happy Mothers Day
    Love, Your Angel in Heaven.

  16. God love you all, my heart is so broken for Gavin, for all of you.

    Michelle Hughes, North Ga.

  17. I wish there was something I could say or do to make it hurt less. I know the only remedy would be to have your sweet Ty back in your arms. Wishing you a special day with Gavin...Sending hugs and prayers on this difficult first. I know Ty will be with you and helping you through today. Much love to the Campbells from SC <3

  18. My heart just breaks for all of you!! A family just shouldnt have to endure heartbreak like this!!! It just truly makes no sense!! And is so unfair!!! I hope that Ty sends the 3 of you, the most amazing sign ever today!! Happy Mothers Day Cindy!!! You deserve to have great one!!

  19. It is so unfair that any parent has to go through what you are going through. wishing for you all a less painful day today.

  20. I sat on the beach with my husband at the beginning of this week. It was a beautiful day, hot and sunny. We celebrated my new pregnancy and had wonderful food with us.

    Next to us sat a couple with their baby, 1.5 years old, 2 at most. They were absolutely horrible. They called him all the names under the sun (sly cunt, fucker, arsehole, everything). When the boy played with sand and accidentally hit his dad's back with it, he threw sand in the baby's face. Mother told him to go and drown, then they turned their back to him and the baby wandered off to the sea, then came back. This continued and we were in shock.

    I thought of Ty. How he loved the beach and how short, but full of love his little life was, how sweet and adored he felt. While thinking of Ty, out of the blue, two policemen came up and patrolled the beach, right were we are. We stood up and reported the parents immediately.

    One day later, the Social Services were heavily involved and phoned, came around and intervened for this little baby.

    I love to think that there was Ty, on the beach, protecting a little boy and sending those policemen, superheroes.

    1. That is appalling! It reminds me of the saying - All children deserve parents but not all parents deserve children...

      So happy you spoke to the policemen...

    2. I too believe that Ty was there. He sent the boy back, away from danger and sent in the police to help him. This made me cry. Still crying. I hate stories like this and those parents do not deserve a child. And the ones that do... I can't say, it breaks my heart. Thank you... Thank you, Ty..

  21. You have so much to be proud of. I send you a strong loveing hug on this day. Treasure that video it is beautiful, my thoughts are always with your family

  22. My thoughts are with you so much this weekend. We had a family celebration yesterday and as folks were leaving the restaurant, extending their thanks and wishing me a "Happy Mother's Day", I handed them their favor...a SuperTy button with a notecard explaining who Ty is and what his extraordinary example of joy and pure love has meant to us as a family. Expressions changed, with promises to help spread awareness. And then.....after no rain all day.....a clap of thunder and a downpour greeted our guests as they ran to their cars, through the most magnificently enormous puddles. I grabbed my boys and my flip flops and we went puddle jumping in our "formal" attire, all the while celebrating Ty. The perfect ending to a perfect day.

    1. Love it.
      Lou (Ty's daddy)

    2. Dear Lou,

      I am so happy that perhaps by sharing that story, your spirit received the tiniest lift, if only for a fleeting moment. Cindy writes so beautifully, so eloquently, and we all are so impacted when we hear from her. But please know that you are right there in our thoughts and prayers, we are thinking of your pain, we are mourning your sorrow, and we are inspired by your strength. Thank you for the most precious gift of sharing Ty with the world.

  23. Happy Mother's Day!!!
    Much Love,

  24. I lost my only child to brain cancer then I lost my mother. You are fortunate there are sincere people for support. When I was fragile people that I call preditors took advantage. My 86 year old father and I are alone. There is a younger and poorer woman that is putting on a show today for personal gains. I find this very disrespectful toward my mother and daughter.

  25. Dear Cindy. I have followed your story since the day I randomly came upon your site. I have been inspired by your entire family and my heart aches for you all. Ty is a beautiful, magical little boy and he will never be forgotten. Each Mother's Day I write a poem for my Mother as one of her gifts. This year is no different, but I was urged by some spirit to put a few words to paper for you, based on some of your posts. I pray you can receive it with all the love and support it is being written with. I pray for your family every day and am grateful for all you are doing for awareness. You are amazing.

    My Heart

    There is a place within my heart
    Where only you can go
    It is a space of treasured memories
    Where only you would know

    Of all the moments tucked inside
    And the feelings they impart
    It is here they'll rest forever
    As they have right from the start

    You came into my life one day
    And I will never be the same
    I'll hold precious every part of you
    Your smile, your voice, your name

    You are an angel, pure and sweet
    The best friend I'll ever know
    I'm grateful to be your Mommy
    I love and miss you so

    I think about you every day
    And remember your favorite things
    Blue lollipops, muddy puddles
    And red bugs with big black rings

    I know you're now a healthy boy
    That's in a wonderful place
    And I'm grateful that it's your heart in mine
    That will forever fill that space.

    Debby Scott
    Paris, IL

    1. Beautiful poem, thanks for sharing with Cindy and all of us!

  26. i rarely ever cry, but reading this whole thing made me very emotional. That video is so sweet <3

  27. My heart is with you today. Crappy Mother's Day. Love love love

  28. Will be thinking of you all on this crappy day! We just finished ours here Australia. I held it together reading this post right up until Ty's video then I lost it. He is so adorable and I understood him totally saying those words. I am so sorry he is not here with you physically but after reading Lou's sign I am even more positive he is here spiritually as is all our angel babies...Bless you all and hope you find some peace in your heart today.

  29. Happy mothers day Cindy..... Ty will guide you through today. I'm sure there will be a brand new star sparkling for you this evening.... Courtesy of your perfect little boy.

  30. I cant imagine how hard the day is for you..In my eyes you are one of the best mothers i know..You are a super mom, to 2 beautiful boys, who are they way they are because of you. I know when half your heart is in heaven how hard it has to be to be able to find any joy on this day..I know Ty would want you to have joy on your day...I know its next to impossible because he is not here..I hope that you do find signs that Ty is with you on this day, and he wants you to find some happiness today. I believe he is with all of you everyday i know he know wants to see you smile, and Gavin to jump in those muddle puddles..I hope that you can find a bit of happiness and a smile on this day..You are a super mom...Happy mothers day

  31. You are in my heart today. I hope everyone's prayers help get you through this day. I cannot imagine how hard today is for you.

  32. Happy FU cancer mothers day! I thought of you today. Out of the blue my 10 year old son told me to turn around because a ladybug landed on his fingers. My first thought was Ty and then I grabbed my phone. It flew off before I could capture it. Ty must of been helping him today find sea glass. My son is on the autism spectrum and gets very frustrated that he never finds sea glass. His first 2 steps on the sand he found one! His first piece of see glass. He found 3 pieces of sea glass one of his was the largest find.

  33. Aw Cindy you broke my heart again.Gavin is so sweet and just starting to realize that Ty really is gone and not coming back. i think it may be time for him to see someone to help him understand what happened and help him to learn to deal with it. it's kind of good that he is finally crying about losing his brother,he needs do mourn is just so sad to hear that he is hurting like this,please let him know it's ok to cry for missing his big brother, maybe he needed to see you let it out so he could too.I am glad Lou got a sign from Ty and I hope he gets plenty more. I am sorry you have to have a crappy mothers day.My love and prayers to you today and always. God Bless you all..Jean <3

  34. I heard Ty plain as day in that sweet video! May Gavin shower you with lots of love this Mother's Day....

  35. ThinKing of you. Happy mother's day!

  36. Hugs to you cindy......wishing Ty visits you in ur dreams always❤

  37. Oh Cindy! I usually don't leave comments, mostly because I can never find the words to say. But this story of you and Gavin just crumbled my heart. In a way, I am so glad you two had that time to connect your emotions over missing Ty, but I always try to wish away the pain for your family. Ty is with you every day...all of you. I know you know that, and I bleieve it with all of my heart. You have a magical love story with your three boys and a love like that transcends time, distance and even death. I'm just a stranger to yur family, but I hold you all close to my heart every day and hope for peaceful days ahead. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  38. Wonderful sign from Ty.

  39. Gavin is going through a growth spurt.........and at different times throughout his childhood, when he is going through a developmental milestone (growth spurts) he will need to reprocess all that has happened. Just answer his questions simply and honestly.

  40. my heart is breaking today especially for Gavin just because he cant understand why he cant play with his brother. i was mad at myself for not having a usual mother day where everyone celebrates you because my husband works on sundays and i was home with two kids and they drove me nuts. but at the end of the day after i lost it and screamed at them i fell so guitly and i thouht of you and ty. how dare i? i went back to them and lay with them and it felt like heaven. i am sorry that you were robbed of this but i am more sorry that ty was in so much pain and he wa too young to understand why he cant have everything normal. and thats why his smile makes it so much more amazing because he is smiling thru everything he is going thru. he is my forever hero. i love and miss you. happy crappy mothers day to you Cindy. I hope Lou will get more signs from Ty.

  41. I have to say I am sorry. I just couldn't bring myself to read your blog on Mother's Day. I thought of you so much. I woke up thinking about you and the day we honor Mothers. How you were handling it, how your day was going. I am so sorry. Not only that you lost Ty, but, that I couldn't bear to be sad that day. That I am sad a lot and it would send me over. But that is not fair. It is not fair to you, to Ty. To only read it when I want to read it or to not want to be sad. I have been struggling with all aspects of motherhood and everything that comes with it. I have been feeling sorry for myself, feeling unappreciated, lonely. Then, I hate myself and feel so guilty when I think of you and Lou and Gavin. I have so much love for all of you. As much as I have for my whole family, I have for yours. Many hugs... Much love. I will go and hug my 3 year old right now and tell him how much I love him. And when Eddie (6) comes home, I will do the same. I am sending hugs to you too Campbell Family. Always.

  42. beautiful video of Ty. Prayers always sent to you. Betty from beacon.

  43. I woke up this morning to find sweet Ty! Some how the beautiful memorial card made its way out of my bag and onto my feet! I think I grabbed a few when I was there. I have thought about him EVERY day since, but I guess he wanted to make sure i didnt forget him. Never EVER sweet baby ;) Haa!!
    Lov, Emily

  44. OkayTy you spoke and I listened. I put your beautiful face on the door of Fiores in Hoboken. People love that place, I put a note about pediatriac cancer.

  45. yesterday I brought my six year old to st denis in hopewell to show him my uncles grave who passed away In november. It was the first time since his headstone was placed so we picked rocks and placed them on the head stone, stayed for a few minutes and went to leave. I put aiden in the car and walked around to my door and what do I see right on MY door but a ladybug, which is the first I've seen this year. All I could do was think of ty sending his sign saying all is ok for both of them. Pure sweetness. I had to share with you.

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