Showing posts from 2013

Christmas Memories

It goes without saying that this time of year can be as uplifting as it is heartbreakingly difficult.  To me, it has always been a time when I reflect on all of my many Christmas's past, fondly remembering the magic that filled my house when I was a child myself and hoping I am doing a good job recreating that for my own children.  Christmas marks the time of year for memories old and new, getting together as a family, going "home" and making a conscious effort to do something kind for others. Naturally, it is also a time when absence is most obvious. A glaring reminder of our loved ones who are not coming home this time.  When memories only remind us of who is missing.  Every single person who has lost a loved one can relate to how the missing person in our lives becomes that much more absent - even when we least expect it, we may be knocked over the head with longing. There's just something about that Christmas tree, the smell of cookies, the gingerbread house


A night of cocktails, couples and casino tables to benefit the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation Where :  Hyatt Regency Greenwich.  Old Greenwich, Connecticut When : Saturday, February 15, 7:00 - 12:00 Midnight What : Open Bar, Cocktail-Style Dinner Party, Silent and Live Auction, Music and Dancing SAVE THE DATE - MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW  

Can I interest you in a cookie?

So, I had a very different beginning to this whole motherhood/parenting thing than most.   Ty was only 2 ½ (Gavin 16 months) when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.   For many reasons, we soon moved to Pawling, which was as suburban as I have ever lived.   The usual path might have led me to cupcakes and crayons, but Ty’s cancer didn’t allow for much of those activities.   I had a very different introduction to motherhood – and suburbia – but I so wanted to experience “normal” motherhood   (whatever that means) , even when I was in the trenches of his illness.   Ty at the time we moved,  I could wrap myself up in those eyelashes! At Christmas that first year, I was invited to a cookie swap.   I had no clue what that was, but I heard that wine and cookies were involved so naturally I was IN!   I was essentially alone in this town, and I was really looking forward to meeting some of my neighbors.   Couldn’t wait! Soon I realized that I was going to have to bake some cooki

I'm gonna love you forever

“I love you, Mommy.”   Gavin says that to me several times a day, out of the blue.  It is one of my most favorite things.  This morning he asked, “Do you know why I always say ‘I love you?’ ”  “No, why?” “Because I am gonna love you forever.”  And just like that, my broken bleeding heart burst with happiness.  Today was a snow day.  We got bundled up and headed outside so Gavin could play while I shoveled.  I watched him as he stood with his mouth open, hoping to catch some snowflakes.  I watched him lay on the snow and look up into the sky in undisturbed silence for several minutes.   Everything is so quiet under the peaceful insulation of the snow.  It is almost as if the beauty itself has more clarity – at least I think so – and I believe Gavin was feeling that very same phenomenon.  I tried to leave him alone to enjoy the illusion of solitude in the soft and peaceful surroundings of our yard (with the exception of my scraping shovel that he scolded me for a few times).

Christmas, Giving Tuesday, TLC Foundation Year-End Impact

"Crimpy" time is here That's what Ty called Christmas, "Crimpy."  Thanksgiving came and went with delicious food and an overall quiet, ho-hum day - just as I wanted.  Perfectly appropriate given the void in our lives this holiday season.  Christmas will have to be different though.  Christmas is magic and Gavin is four, so we need to go all out for him and make it as wonderful as possible despite my conflicting urge to skip it altogether this year. We went to our favorite tree farm and cut down the biggest tree we've ever had - as is our family tradition since moving to Pawling.  I looked for Ty everywhere but I didn't really feel him with me.  I could only feel the incredible weight of his absence.  I looked up at the sky several times, hoping for a hawk soaring overhead or clouds in the shape of his name.  One cloud kinda sort-of resembled a "T" but I know I was just forcing something that simply wasn't there.  I guess cutting down the

Less Than 12 Hours Left to VOTE

We were in the lead for days, and we dropped into third place overnight.  We don't have any tricks up our sleeves or mailing lists left to distribute to. We just have a loving and committed group of families who have been so wonderful and supportive every step of the way.  Even if we don't win, the response has been incredible and Ty would be so proud. That being said, let's still try to win!  If every person who reads this blog votes all four times in the next 12 hours, we would be back in first place in no time at all!  And we still might win that $10,000 for childhood cancer research! I know the website is rather dysfunctional and it isn't working properly for everyone (including me),.  I appreciate that you all keep trying, though, because every vote counts! Cindy

Giving Thanks for Ty and Missing Mely

It comes on so suddenly, these waves of tremendous sadness.  But like the tide, they come in and they go out.  The sadness comes on suddenly, and then it is gone again.  It might last minutes, hours, or days.  But it does pass eventually.  Until it comes back again.  And that’s okay.  Such is life.  I have finally learned to just relinquish the illusion of control and accept the fact that I have none.  That bad things happen to good people. Lou and I, we are doing so great.  Then, we are not great at all.  Thanksgiving certainly doesn’t help – nor does any holiday.  But this holiday?  Knowing what comes next ?  Trying to be thankful for all of my blessings !  I can’t even remember Thanksgiving last year.  Not one thing about it, I swear.  I’m not sure it ever even happened, because I guess I wasn’t mentally here to even witness it. When someone wishes me a “Happy Thanksgiving,” my mind screams “f*ck off – what’s there to be happy about it? What do I have to be thankful for?” But

Be KIND. Vote for the Muddy Puddles Project

I'm so excited to announce we have a chance to win a $10,000 grant from the KIND company - vote for the Muddy Puddles Project PLEASE! It will only take a moment of your time. Seconds, really. Please share with friends & family to vote too. CLICK HERE to vote.  We really need to get a lot of people on board so please share as much as you can. Thank you! In the meantime, we have been so busy preparing all of our end of year reports, filing our tax return, writing our holiday cards and preparing our end-of-the-year newsletter.  We have had one heck of a wildly successful year, and I am forever grateful to you all. 

Cream Cheese on Crackers for Dinner

Cream cheese on crackers for dinner.  That just happened.  Now I'm watching Gavin eat in front of the TV, eyes wide with satisfaction over winning tonight's dinner battle with barely a fight.  I rattled off a number of options for dinner tonight, he told me "crackers with cream cheese," I said "no," he said "yes," I said, "ok."  Then he said "in front of the TV!"  I said, "no," he said, "yes," I said, "ok."  And that was that. As I put the tub of cream cheese back in the fridge, I took a giant scoop and licked it off my finger.  I poured a big glass of wine and here we are.  Gavin and I truly had a good day today, and I really needed it.  Lou went down to Long Island to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of our friends' son while I was supposed to be at a baby shower, but I just didn't have it in me.  I haven't been feeling very social, so I opted to stay home with Gavin instead.  First thing i

Happy Birthday Daddy and THE MEDIUM

Yesterday was Lou's birthday.  I put together a tribute video for him to try and recreate the happiness he and Donna gave to me on my birthday.  Although it doesn't compare, it was still a great representation of the true love between Daddy and Ty.  I couldn't have asked for a better man to go through this with.  He is my rock, and Ty loved his Daddy so very much.  I tried to find video clips of home movies that Lou hasn't seen in ages, and pictures that we don't look at as often.  He loved it. It happened to me today.  Something that hasn't happened in a really, really long time, if ever.  I was on Facebook or something meaningless like that, thinking of Ty, and for a moment I forgot he was gone.  When it hit me that he died, it was like I felt it for the first time all over again.  It only lasted seconds, that feeling of shock, but it was so powerful.  Does that happen to people after losing a loved one?  Even one year later? 

Quiet day with the whole family

I say “whole” family because Ty was with me all day today.   From the second I woke up I was thinking of him.  I snuck out of my bed without waking the other boys, and quietly enjoyed a cup of coffee while thinking about Ty and looking at the beautiful picture of him in front of me on the counter.  I felt so at peace.  Sad, but at the same time his presence was very warm in my heart.  We had a group meeting with a medium at my mom's house on Friday night, it was incredible, so I was reflecting on all of that and feeling good.  There was a lot about Friday night that I will have to save for another post, but for now I can say it was a beautiful experience at just the right time, because I was coming undone just before that.  Later this morning when I got dressed, I pulled out an old pair of jeans and put them on in an effort to decide whether or not it’s time for goodwill.  In the back pocket I found one of Ty’s Spiderman stickers from the hospital.  It crushed me and took me a whi

One year later and I don't feel better

My head is just reeling.  I am not even sure what I want to say tonight.  Obviously, I am so sad about Halloween tomorrow.  Every time Gavin's eyes light up over the prospect of putting on his Ironman costume tomorrow (Iron Patriot, to be exact) I am reminded of Ty in his Iron Man suit.  My plastic pumpkin is sitting by the door filled with all sorts of gross, spooky Halloween candy that Ty would have loved (like gummy organs and chocolate ears and bags of "blood") but it doesn't bring me any joy because Ty wasn't here to look at the catalog and pick them out for me.  I promised him I will always have great candy on Halloween, and I hope he knows that I am keeping that promise.  He enjoyed opening to door for trick-or-treaters and giving out candy more than he enjoyed trick-or-treating himself.  Tomorrow I will reluctantly carry on the tradition for Ty - and of course, for Gavin. There has been so much about this one-year anniversary that has been making every d

You know what I love?...

You know what I love?  I love that I see the world with my eyes open.  I love that I imagine, and truly believe, that every falling leaf is channeling Ty's free spirit as it softly dances in the wind.  I love that when a sunbeam lays across my face unexpectedly, I feel like it is a warm kiss from heaven.  I love that when the gentle wind blows, I turn to face it and accept my hugs.  I love that Ty gave Daddy a ladybug this morning, when he was already having a very bad day.  I love that Lou doesn't look at me like I'm crazy anymore,* because it is too magical not to believe.  *just to clarify, Lou knows I'm all sorts of crazy, just not when it comes to Ty's ladybugs. It goes without saying that I wish I was living my life with the blinders on, as long as Ty was with me, but I had no choice in that matter and I am at least grateful for how he has changed me.  He has changed a lot of people in so many ways.  Today I spent a lot of time working on promotional mat

Tats for Ty

This one year anniversary has sucked the life out of me today.  Lou and I have been going, going, going until today, and as usual the slowdown brought on severe sadness.  We have been talking about Ty nonstop today.  Moping around the house.  Wiping silent tears.  It always seems to hit us hardest when things are quiet (I guess that's why we so rarely quiet down in this busy, crazy, beautiful life).  I start cleaning and organizing and I come across so many of his things.  Like today, when I found his "guy" in a box of art supplies.  A silly little green alien that he once got as a prize after getting his blood work at the hospital.  He called the little green thing "my guy" and carried him around for weeks.  I am so fearful of the day when I clean out a closet or a toy chest and don't find his drawings, or stickers, or a toy he once loved.  Because those instances are becoming less and less one year later and that reality is simply depressing.  The wea