Lou and I returned home from Dallas after an incredible fundraiser late last night. We had a wonderful weekend, we met some extraordinary people with bigger hearts than you can imagine, and we came home feeling inspired. Then today happened, and it feels like the high from the pleasant balloon ride we enjoyed over the weekend didn't just pop - it burst into flames. Everything is okay with the Campbell's but there has been a lot of bad news in general that leaves me in a funk tonight.
Months ago, soon after Ty passed away, I posted this now famous video of Zach Sobiech singing his original song, Clouds. I fell head over heels in love with him and his family, instantly. In his video you could watch his mom beam with pride as she whispers along and I felt like we were the same person. Living in parallel. Such love, pride, fear and sadness over the loss/pending loss of our sons. God, there is a spot on the video at 2:56 where his mom mouths the words "it won't be long now" and you can see, just for a millisecond, the most raw and gut-wrenching fear and acceptance in her eyes. I wish we could embrace in hysterics and just cry together for our boys. She has no idea who I am, but I am her and she is me.
It's almost impossible to bear and watching his video always brings tears to my eyes, yet his song also gives me a little bounce in my step and has me singing "up.. up... up... " all day long while thinking and smiling over memories of Ty. What he did was astounding, so very mature, and I am so glad that it is getting so much attention. A number of celebrities including Anna Farris, Jason Mraz, Phillip Phillips and more even posted a tribute video to him in March. You can read about it here on people.com and download the video. Finally, some beautiful, much needed attention for childhood cancer victims.
Zach died today. He was only 18 years old and fought osteosarcoma since 2009. They are calling it a "rare" cancer, but the majority of childhood cancers, when singled out, are rare. Cancer among children, however, is not rare. And there is no known reason or cause. And it can happen to any child at any time and there needs to be better treatment options. I want to scream!! When I first met Zach (virtually) I knew his disease was terminal, but I always held onto hope and I always will for all of these kids. So today is a day of defeat.
Today I also received news of my friend's mom who died of breast cancer in the morning. My dear friend's father died of brain cancer on Thursday. My phone just buzzed with a news flash that the death toll in Oklahoma is at 37 and expected to rise. Today is just not a happy day. I poured a big old glass of wine and I'm sitting here and drawing a complete blank. I am at a loss for words when usually this is my outlet.
So, instead, I will steal the words from another beautiful cancer mom - Mighty Mikey's mom. She just said, "Living through Sandy, seeing what it has done to our homes and neighborhood and how Rockaway has fought back and showed our hearts and strength.... that's what I'm wishing for Oklahoma... There is always something to be grateful for!" Praying so hard!
Only someone who has been to hell and back can see such sunshine through the clouds. To Chrissie and all cancer moms who truly know what the depths of hell feels like, you are all so brave, so beautiful, so strong and so inspirational. I am proud to be among you all.
So on this unhappy day, I did something that made me feel really good. With Gavin's help (sort-of) we grew morning glory seedlings - blue flowers in honor of Ty. When I returned from the weekend away I noticed that they had sprouted and were each more than 3 inches tall! I went outside on this sunny afternoon with Gavin and I lined our fence with Ty's flowers. I also planted some sunflower seeds where Ty's tulips are dying off. I need something sunny and bright in that same spot all summer long. The anticipation for those tulips was grueling because I had such memories of planting them with my Ty... they were beautiful... and now I will anxiously await the arrival of his sunflower substitutes. Because I know he would have loved them.
The foundation is going strong. I have so many ideas for September and so many upcoming announcements. I can't wait for our giant Muddy Puddles Mess Fest on August 10th! Our segment on The Doctor's is expected to run in June, and I will encourage everyone to participate in the project at that time (we are currently working through the final glitches on the website before our big roll-out).
I am still decompressing from all the excitement over our incredible Dallas fundraiser Friday night. I have photos to share and huge, huge thanks to our friends Kathleen and Rocky for making it all possible. I flew home with a photo album from the event (what a treat!) but I don't have the photos as digital files yet - I need to scan them - so I hope to post them over the next day or so. As I mentioned briefly, Lou and I feel so blessed for the opportunity to meet such kind and loving people, and to share Ty with them all. We absolutely love Texas and promise to be back soon!
In case you haven't seen on Twitter or FB - this photo of Ty is just too cute not to share again. Thanks to Emilio and his friends for his photoshop skills!! We love Captain America and pray that our friend Chris Evans will continue to advocate for all kids like Ty :) Cancer kids are the real super heroes.