Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Meet Batman Ty

Mother's Day was a very difficult day for me.  I spent a lot of time outside, alone with Ty.  It was terribly sad and I never welcomed a Monday more.  I'm glad it's behind me and I managed to get through it without doing anything crazy.  I love the bleeding hearts that Debi bought for me as a gift.  I planted them under Ty's tree and it is so very appropriate (all the red leaves came in and it looks so beautiful - thank you friend).

Meet Batman Ty
Maybe it is time to seek some kind of sibling therapy for Gavin.  He hasn’t had any crying fits lately, he hasn’t been sad or emotional whatsoever, but some of his behavior has Lou and I getting very sad and emotional for him.

It started two nights ago.  About an hour before bedtime, he started carrying around his giant Batman toy.  It is his only toy that is probably most like a real little person.  Now he calls him Batman Ty.  This was a gift to Ty when we first moved to Pawling and he has been a staple in the playroom ever since – you can see why.  It’s a very cool toy. 

“Batman Ty is my b-wuh-ver.  He can’t walk because he has pain in his head.  So I can help him and take care of him because I CAN walk and I DON’T have pain in my head.”
“Oh Gavin, you are such a wonderful brother.  You are taking such good care of Batman.”
“His name is Batman Ty.”

This went on and on into the night.  He took Batman Ty everywhere with him and he talked a lot about the pain in his head.  He helped Batman Ty wash his hands and brush his teeth before bedtime and he tucked him into the top bunk in his room.  I thought/hoped it was a one-time thing until he started doing it again the next day.  Batman Ty had snack at the kids table with Gavin.  Batman Ty sat at the table and watched his brother Gavin build with Legos.  Batman Ty sat on my lap along with Gavin while I read them both stories (one superhero book for Gavin, and one of Ty's old standbys for Batman).  Gavin was so cute the way he would sneak around the table to eat some of Batman’s snacks and then yell “look, Mommy, he’s eating his too!”  He isn’t sad, I promise he is happy, but this whole scenario just breaks our already broken hearts like you can’t imagine.  His teachers say he’s doing well at school.  I don’t want to discourage this behavior in case it helps him process all he has been through, but I don’t want it to become a habit, either. 

Because the idea of my youngest son carrying around a doll and pretending he is his dead brother is simply unbearable. 

Today, thank God, he didn’t play with Batman Ty much at all.  We only had one conversation about him, and it was when I had to move him out of a chair so I could sit and play instead. We talked about the real Ty for a while, and how he used to scoot around.  All of these talks have been prompted by Gavin.  He has been asking a lot of questions lately. We will see.  Hopefully it was just a short-lived game that he isn’t interested in playing anymore because it is just too painful to watch. 

HUGE THANKS to Jake and the entire staff at Jumpin' Jakes in Fishkill, and to the amazing members of our local 501st Legion for hosting such a successful fundraiser two weeks ago.  The kids had so much fun participating in Jedi Knight workshops and more.  A special thanks to our volunteers as well.  It was a sold-out event, and you can see why!  Very cool.  We look forward to doing this again and again!

Thank you to Michelle, Wendy and all those that participated in the "Ride for Ty" at Putnam Park on May 5th!  We hope to make it an annual event, and next year maybe you'll even get me on a horse :)  I hope to post photos soon. 

The B-You Signature Series benefiting the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation are still on-sale.  Please share on FB, Tweet, Instagram, etc.  CLICK HERE to see our feature in Macaroni Kid, and visit to check out the merchandise. 

If you signed up to run the Miles for Hope 5K with me on July 27th in Flushing/Queens, you probably got an exciting email about the Katie Couric show!  The first 1,200 registrants will be granted two VIP audience tickets to attend the Katie show (various dates available).  I am so excited about this fun opportunity!  What a wonderful reward for running our butts off in honor of Ty and all the children battling brain cancer.  The Children’s Brain Tumor Project at Weill Cornell is such a worthy recipient of our fundraising efforts.  To register, please follow these instructions:
- CLICK HERE to access the registration site.
- Click on the "register here" button to the left.
- Select the option to "join a team"
- Find "team superty" in the dropdown menu, and it's pretty easy to navigate from there :)

For those of you who are local to Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, stay tuned. The first annual TY-athlon is scheduled for the third weekend in September.  It will be held in Mahopac and will include a 5K for those who prefer not to bike/swim.  I will post the registration link in upcoming weeks.  We are very excited about this! 


  1. Poor Gavin...Im sure it's still very confusing for him..

  2. Gavin and Ty are amazing kids :)
    With love,
    Hal <3

  3. I think it is amazing how children find a way to work things out. I can imagine how painful it is to watch, but think about how you learn something new. You practice, and then if you can teach it, you have mastered it. it sounds like Gavin is in the mastering phase of processing. Gavin is talking out loud, so you can correct him if he says anything that isn't true, about Ty. and maybe, if it gets to out of hand for you, you can replace the huge batman with a small pocket size one, so he can bring him with him out of the house (if that's what he requests) without it making you guys uncomfortable. I think it is amazing how vocal you all are with your pain, if you keep talking, keep it out in the open, the only thing you can teach Gavin is reality, surrounded by love and understanding.

  4. So glad the tree grew the red leaves Ty wished for. We hope that it continues to be a peaceful place where you can go to be with your Ty. Our little superheroes pray for yours every night at dinner and, as a mommy, I think about you throughout every day.
    With love,

  5. Often I think kids are wiser and better at dealing with things than we are...if his heart heals a little bit with pretend play I think it's great. I'm sure it's hard for you all too. I know that your pain is awful but then adding to that pain knowing your kid is in pain over the same thing -- simply horrible. All I can think is that you are amazing parents...and I admire you all for keeping going...making changes...despite the awful pain that you feel daily. Gavin is going to be an amazing man someday because of the love you all show him.

  6. Cindy, I just wanted to let you know that I am a therapist and what Gavin is doing is absolutely normal and healthy (although difficult for you and Lou to watch). He is processing this all through pretend and play, and that is what he needs to do. You are doing great, don't discourage it and let him be the guide. Follow your gut, you are a great momma and he will be fine because of you and Lou. Hugs :)

  7. Gavin is a smart child Cindy. He will process through this fine, in part because you and Lou are allowing him the time to do whatever he needs to. Even though it is hard to watch, maybe in a strange way it can help you in the end too. Hang in there...keep smiling as much as you can and remember...many hearts are keeping your family close.

  8. Oh no, this is so hard to read. I couldnt imagine, his pain is coming out in the most childlike and its so painful to watch. I guess he did understand more than we adults want to believe. I think he could use his love and care and maybe initially you could consider getting him a pet. Please dont understand that I mean in any way that this could ever replace Ty. Nothing, noone will ever fill this void, this loss. But I think that is something maybe that can help him "care" for something thats more real than the toy. How fucked up is that.
    I am so angry. I am done listening about "hero" Angelina Jolie. I rather hace hero Ty. Removing boobs is not something that makes one a hero, but caring more and spreading the word about pediatric cancer and kids like Ty suffering and getting a cure for them, the best treatment for them is what we need. Ty, in my eyes you are my one and only hero. You are the purest most beautiful soul. I miss you.

  9. What Gavin Is DoinG Is Expressing His EmotionS Through Play. A lot of therapists use play therapy ..he is showing you on his own. even though it hurts you it shows that he is starting to understand and express his understanding. i am sorry that you have all this going on...kerry

  10. What Gavin Is DoinG Is Expressing His EmotionS Through Play. A lot of therapists use play therapy ..he is showing you on his own. even though it hurts you it shows that he is starting to understand and express his understanding. i am sorry that you have all this going on...kerry

  11. I have not commented in months. Still think of your beautiful boys and family often. Prayed for all moms who have lost children in Mother's Day. I can't imagine how difficult that was. The beautiful spirit we all have seen through your words about Ty are now being seen in Gavin. What a testimony of you two as parents to have such beautiful loving children. God bless you both. I still let my boys splash in those puddles because of your beautiful Ty.
    Knoxville TN