Saturday, October 5, 2013

Celebrating Ty

Yesterday was an incredibly long day, and we tried to find ways to celebrate Ty in every way.

There is a park in Long Beach at the end of Magnolia Street.  It is right next to the boardwalk, and I took Ty and Gavin to play there almost every day when they were little.  Just before Ty passed away, we asked our friends in Long Beach to seek approval for us to place a statue of Ty in the park, and they did!  Just as we were beginning to plan this incredible tribute to Ty, Sandy rolled in and took the entire park with her.  It was devastating.

Thanks to the incredible Long Beach community, they rallied together to win a grant for a new playground at Magnolia.  It was amazing to watch how the families and neighbors came together to rebuild this very special place.  Lou and I were able to begin planning again.  The new park was completed earlier this summer, and it is adorable.  The last of the construction, the ramp up to the boardwalk, will be completed this week.

The statue was sculpted over the course of several months.  Lou and I would "visit" with Ty throughout the process, and share our thoughts with the artist over what should be altered and such.  There were many discussions around what, exactly, we wanted to do.  Did we want a statue of Ty as he was before he got sick?  After?  Lou and I decided that we wanted to see Ty as a big boy, standing on his own two feet, strong and healthy.  We wanted to see him at the beach, standing on the jetty rocks. What the artist achieved couldn't be more beautiful.  Ty looks as though he's taking in the beauty around him, deciding whether he wants to jump or fly.




The plaque reads:
Ty Louis Campbell
10.4.2007–10.17.2012

Ty was a magnetic little boy who loved the beach and played in this park. On behalf of the Ty Louis Campbell (TLC)  Foundation for pediatric cancer research, this statue is a tribute to all children stricken with cancer around the world. It was placed here as a reminder to celebrate the beauty of childhood and to see the wonder of the world through the eyes of a child.

www.SuperTy.org

After the unveiling of the statue we took a walk along the ocean and threw some shells out for Ty.  We traveled back up to Pawling with our friends who were in town for Ty's birthday.  We went out to eat, and before leaving Lou made sure to buy a cupcake for Ty.  When we came home we lit Ty's birthday candle, we brought his picture over to the table and we sang happy birthday to Ty.  We shared the cupcake between our tears, and we headed upstairs to sit in Ty's room.  We went through, his "bag of stuff," we looked through his pictures and artwork from school, we talked about him for a long, long time before we just couldn't keep our eyes open anymore. 

These days have been emotionally exhausting.  Sometimes I am so consumed with memories and thoughts of Ty that I can barely survive.  Then, at other times, I feel like a giant blob of nothingness.  Just numb, nothing there, I don't even know what to say to Ty when I lay down at the end of the day other than "I miss you so much, I miss you, I miss you, I love you, I miss you, I love you."

I am overwhelmed by the messages we have received, and the countless pictures of children and families honoring Ty on his birthday.  Thank you so very much for all the love.  It's been a busy, emotional week and I look forward to sharing more exciting foundation news on Monday.

Ty on his first and second birthdays.  Happy birthday, Baby.

 


   

21 comments:

  1. Michelle D'AlessandroOctober 5, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    What an incredible, amazing way to honor Ty & share his story. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement. Ty is probably so happy & proud of his parents. Glad you enjoyed the day. Much love

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  2. The statue brought me to tears, messy tears. What a gorgeous tribute. We hope to visit this park. Thank you and the Long Beach community to provide a way to extend Ty's joy to other kids and also a place for us all to visit, to spend time with your sweet angel in a very special way. We love you all so much. Max and Mae asked yesterday morning when they can go back to New York to get a frog with Lou. That's the memory they chose yesterday.

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  3. What a beautiful tribute to the best little boy in the world. My family is walking in a brain tumor walk tomorrow for Ty. We let a birthday balloon for Ty yesterday. My four year old told everyone it was Ty in the sky's birthday party. It was such a beautiful day. I think Ty had something to do with that.

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  4. Happy b'day to Ty! He was there with you both when you sang and when you sat in his room. My heart breaks for you. I just don't know what else to say, but my heart just breaks.............my heart breaks........etc.....

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  5. Heartwrenchingly fabulous. Happy Birthday Ty. Bless you all.

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  6. Absolutely fitting tribute/honor for such a beautiful boy!! I think of you often and keep you in my prayers!!
    Love Gabrielle

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  7. A beautiful tribute, to a beautiful boy, from his beautiful parents and brother. Amazing! Happy Birthday to a sweet boy who will never be forgotten.

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  8. What an amazing tribute in every way. Crying big salty tears with you Campbells.

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  9. A wonderful statue and a fitting tribute for a boy who loved life so much. Happy Birthday to the best good boy in the whole, wide world!
    I was thinking all day of what to do for Ty's birthday and last night it came to me in a wonderful way. I was at the store and some young people approached me and my son. We started talking and they asked it there was anything I wanted them to pray about, and I said yes, for all the children who died from cancer or are fighting it at this moment. I shared with them about your blog and gave them the web address. I was just about to share it was Ty's 6th birthday, but I felt the tears coming, so I stopped at that. I hope they read your blog to learn more about your sweet boy and raise awareness for the other Ty's out there fighting for their lives.

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  10. We celebrated Ty's birthday with balloons and wearing our shirts as a family sharing his story. We gave back by purchasing lunch for two older woman next to us in a restaurant. I explained this was for Ty and proceeded to tell his story. They were so greatful and I wss sure they would share Ty's story and give back to another. So happy to see all the statue planning come to fruition. He looks beautiful! Love to you and your family...
    Love the Anthony family....

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  11. I loved celebrating Ty's birthday with donation to tlc as well as blue donuts baloons and candies. My kids enjoyed it so much. It's just feels so right to have Ty as one of mine. I cried and watched as ballons went up in the sky hoping that Ty had the best heavenly birthday. I loved seeing your family photos with the sculpture. So handsome. I miss you very much Ty. Everyone loves you and thinks about you and your beautiful family.

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  12. That is an amazingly beautiful tribute. Happy Birthday Ty!

    Jennifer Negron

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  13. Absolutely beautiful tribute in every way! Thinking of you always.

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  14. Happy Birthday Best Good Boy in the World! What a beautiful way to celebrate his life Cindy...
    xo

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  15. Very Nice Tribute

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  16. Absolutely amazing... incredible! Also thinking of you always...

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  17. I tried to have a Super Ty kind of weekend at work. I work twelve hours shifts as a charge nurse in an emergency room. The hours get long, patients can be sassy, but I tried to bring smile and compassion to people. Even the ones that were not nice to me. It felt like the thing to do to honor Ty. I am pleased to report that I have four hours to go and have not felt my usual fatigue after my 36 hour work weekend. I think he is helping me through. Thanks Ty (fist bump)!

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  18. Beautiful, precious child. Wonderful remembrance of your son. Blessings to you and your family.

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  19. Stunning!

    I wish I lived closer so I could see it's beauty up close. Amazing.

    Always thinking of you and your family.

    Katie from Tennessee.

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  20. <3 This is a BEAUTIFUL tribute! I hope to visit there one day. I have grown up in NY and have never been to Long Island, never. Now, I have a reason ;)

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  21. Beautiful tribute. Love the pictures of Ty - such a beautiful boy!

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