Ty's Story

On October 4, 2007, Ty Louis Campbell came into this world, and our lives changed forever. We never knew love like that before. Then, on August 11, 2010, our lives changed forever again. A mass was found at the base of his skull and Ty was later diagnosed with an extra renal rhabdoid tumor; a very rare and aggressive cancer. Since the diagnosis, we have been flooded with an outpouring of love and prayers. We created this page to keep our friends and family up to date on his progress, and to share our experience with our loved ones. Ty passed away on October 17, 2012, but his legacy lives on. Thank you all for your tremendous support.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Carpe the Hell out of this Diem

This year, Easter falls just before Gavin's fifth birthday (which is tomorrow! So crazy!).  Knowing all too well how hard it was to watch Gavin hunt for eggs all by himself last year, we are so grateful to our friends Anthony and Yasmine for inviting us to stay with them in Long Beach so Gavin could wake up with his buddies, Eva and Theo, before going to my mom's house for a proper FEASTer.  It was truly a blessing.  It changed everything and last night I went to bed reflecting on a blessed Easter with great friends and family. These days I am trying so hard to embrace each day knowing my life is already fulfilled.  I have been given the greatest gift and learned so much from that little boy who left too soon, everything from this day forward is just a bonus.  I try to seize the day and I often fail miserably, but I will keep trying :)

For example - Gavin and Theo are both turning 5 and we later celebrated Gavin's birthday with my family on Easter, so I had to plan a birthday cake.  Gavin insists that he doesn't like cake, only cupcakes (I know, but you try explaining it to him...).  So, he picked strawberry cupcakes with pink, blue and purple icing. PERFECT!  I can totally do that and we can use the cupcakes on Saturday night with Theo, and again on Sunday with the rest of the family.

I was up hours before everyone else, just to get started on those cupcakes.  I was excited.  The finished product was perfection.  On a total whim, I even decided to cut up some marshmallows and found some random candy in my purse (Tic Tacs) to create bunny faces on some of the cupcakes.  This was no cookie swap disaster - this was a masterpiece!  Or so it was, until I stopped into Learning Express on Saturday to see how their mini-fundraiser was going and to meet up with one of our wonderful volunteers.  Five minutes baking in the sun in my car and my cupcakes looked like this...


My pride and joy :)  Once again, I won't be posting my crafty ways on Pinterest or selling these babies at the next PTA bake sale.  But the laugh that it gave me (after I almost cried) was worth it times ten.

Getting away from our house for Easter morning gave us such freedom!  It shed Lou and I from the otherwise unavoidable holiday trap.  The one that sucks you in as you walk down those familiar stairs first thing in the morning, heavily aware of how the holiday excitement is instead replaced with the holiday absence.  Yesterday we were able to wake up feeling fresh and new and excited.  We thoroughly enjoyed the egg hunt as much as Gavin and the kids did.  We visited Ty's statue and polished him up beautiful.  It was such a comfort and truly a blessed day.



Then we went off to my mother's house for a bonafide feast!  Being with my family made me happy and allowed me to get through another holiday, and for the first time I felt somewhat fulfilled.  I am a survivor.  Lou is a survivor.  We always have a plan and we get through each day knowing we are one day closer to being whole again so we try and enjoy that day however possible.  Sometimes it's impossible, and sometimes it's not.

Every year, my family has an Egg Fight at Easter breakfast, and we all bring our colored eggs to my mother's house so we can fight again with our remaining champion eggs at the dinner table.  Also known as "egg tapping" (who knew? thanks Wikipedia), we go end to end and hit the pointy side of the egg to the pointy side, fat side to the fat side, and we go around the table until there is a single Champion egg that didn't crack. As you can imagine, this has sparked a lot of rivalry among the children in our family over the years, and even some cheating back in the day when I was a kid (polyurethane coating and thumb tacks have been suspected).

My nephews are at the prime age for heightened excitability when it comes to winning the egg fight.  If it wasn't for the fact that my older brother showed me how he decorated his egg for Ty, I would have wished for one of my nephews to win. But when I saw the Ty egg, I immediately, secretly and selfishly hoped with all of my heart that Ty would win the egg fight this year.  The simplicity and thoughtfulness behind my brother's egg was the sweetest thing, and it made me cry.  I looked at Gavin and my nephews and thought - "They are going down! Ty's going to win the Egg Fight this year."  And sure as sh*t - he did!  Ty's spirit is so powerful.  It amazes and inspires me every day.  Behold, the champion egg, 2014.


So, this Easter I won.  I was able to fall asleep with a warm heart after a long day.  I missed my Ty, and I saw him all around me at the same time. I survived another holiday.

Chia Scooby, however, did not fare so well.  For those who were following my semi-daily updates on our chia pet via Facebook and Instagram, you know we were off to a slow start.  I tried everything.  A plastic bag, overwatering, lots of sun, less sun.... but the thing never sprouted.  When I showed it to Gavin the other day and explained:
"It's not growing, I'm going to have to throw it away."
He said "But it WILL Gwow (grow)!  Take P-WIDE (pride) in your WERK (work)!"
I couldn't throw it away after that adorableness, until last night when I noticed some mold.  Our first chia pet has officially disappeared to the depths of my garbage can.  Some friends have suggested I turn it into a planter.  Really?  Have you seen my cookies?  What about my cupcakes?  I think the garbage was my only reasonable option :)



I hope you all had a blessed Passover and/or Happy Easter.  Thank you so much for your continued love and support.  And thank you, Mely, for calling yesterday.  Hearing your voice made us all sooo happy!  LOVE YOU!!!! XOXOXOXOX!!!!!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

He is still here. Always.

Lou has been sick.  He came down with a fever a few nights ago and has since been sleeping in Ty's room to try and keep it from the rest of us.

It's sadly appropriate that Ty's room is the "sick" room.  Not at all because Ty was sick too, but because it is a comforting place to be.  When I was pulling down the covers for Lou and setting aside a drink and medication for him the other night, I was a little jealous.  I could barely resist the urge to climb between those SpiderMan sheets myself and sleep in peace for hours on end.  I wanted to feel closer to Ty.  I sat on the edge of the bed and remembered what it felt like to sleep on that tempur-pedic hospital mattress with Ty in between the two of us.  I looked out his window, thinking about how he has the best view in the whole house.  I looked around at all of his incredible things and remembered each and every one of them and why they are so special.  Even the little paper wallet on his nightstand that leans against the framed photo of Ty and Eva that Eva made for him.  It is filled with a little boys allowance money with birds drawn on the front and a big smiling sun.  Although they never met, this kid sent it all the way from California as a gift for Ty when he was on hospice care.  It doesn't get more special than that.  This time I didn't open Ty's closet, though.  I save that for when I need to just sit and cry among his blankets and clothes and the pillows on which he last rested.

Lou and I often talk about how, in some ways, it becomes even more difficult as time passes. I'm sure anyone who has lost a loved one can relate to the feeling of "permanent" that gets heavier and heavier as the reality of loss sets in.  It becomes validated, they are not on vacation or moved away, they are never ever coming back.  When Ty first passed away I cried all the time.  My pain was raw and fierce and vicious and cruel - but there was also a sense of almost tangible proximity.  It was so new it was almost as if I could reach back into my memory, reach back to the days before he died and touch him again.  As more and more time comes between those memories, he feels more and more distant.  That is an entirely different kind of painful truth - that life goes on - but it is just as impossible to bear.

The routine of being Ty's mommy has faded.  I sleep through the night without waking with the feeling that I've forgotten medication.  Without imagining him calling for me.  I walk into the living room without instinctively looking for him on his spot in the couch.   I never thought that would happen, but it did and that makes me angry and sad and I feel like I'm betraying him by allowing it.  I told Lou a few nights ago, "I swear I used to feel Ty's presence all the time.  It was powerful and real, I know it was.  Now I feel like with every passing day his spirit just drifts further and further away and I don't know how to stop it."  That feeling is not healing.  It is crushing.

So, I've been talking to Ty a lot this week.  I've been telling him my fears and of course, asking him to send me a ladybug.  I walked around the yard searching high and low since the weather has been so nice.  I look up at the ceiling expecting to be distracted by a little red dot crawling along, but no such luck.  Until tonight.

Gavin and I had a great day together.  After I picked him up from school we went shopping for his birthday supplies (he will be 5 on April 22) and then out on a dinner date before heading over to Marist - my Alma-mater - to present to a room full of students on childhood cancer and the TLC Foundation.  As always, I was so impressed with the event the TLC interns pulled together, and I was so proud of how many students filled the room to listen to me talk about Ty and childhood cancer.  It was such a gift and left my heart full.  It reminded me that Ty is ALWAYS with me, so much so that I have dedicated my life to the cause all to honor him and not a day goes by that I don't find happiness and comfort working at the Foundation.

We got home late so I let Gavin stay up while I got the house in order before bed.  He saw a spider at one point and had me carry him downstairs because he was afraid (i know, i know, this is the same fearless super hero I talk about all the time).  In between his whining he asked me to stop on the stairs but I kind-of ignored him.  I had dishes to do.  When I put him down to put on my rubber gloves, he said "Mommy, you aren't listening to me.  I think it was a ladybug."
"Oh yeah?  Where?"

He took me back to the steps, and there she was.  Our little golden ladybug telling us that Ty was here.  Immediately I feel better.  I feel relieved.  He is not distant, he is always right here.







Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gavin doesn't get it and that's okay

HAPPY HAIR

Gavin doesn’t understand

Gavin tries so hard to understand, but his little mind just can’t comprehend the idea of heaven or spirits and I don’t know how to help him with it.  It’s okay, he isn’t hurting or suffering over the confusion at all, but I wish there was a way to teach him what is so grossly intangible.  He believes that Ty went on a rocket-ship up to heaven and that it is located in outer space.  We never told him any such thing, but ever since he saw the hyperbaric oxygen chamber that one time (we called it “the rocket ship” in an attempt to make it exciting for Ty) that is just what he came up with.  I think it’s because we always say “Hi Ty” whenever we spot the brightest star in the sky, too. Truth is, he also believes there are other places in the universe where Super Heroes are real and where they live.  He’s four/almost five and this is just how his mind works.  Our conversation at the kitchen table today:

“Why did Ty have to go to heaven?”
“Because his body was too sick for him to continue living in his body, so his spirit had to leave and go to heaven.”
“I KNOW THAT!” he said shaking his hand and looking annoyed with me (because Gavin knows everything, by the way), “but why can’t he come back?”
“His spirit is free and he can’t come back because he can’t live in his body anymore like we can.” (I was winging it, this was an unexpected conversation.
“Why did he get sick?”
“I don’t know.” By this time, my insides begin unfolding but outside I keep it together.  There is a tidal wave of tears building inside me while on the outside I try to gently tip my head to the side, smile softly and think of what else I can say to explain this to a four/almost five year old.
“Look at this chair I made!” Gavin shows me in excitement!  He bit into his slice of apple and it looked like a chair.  Then he ran off to see if his Lego guy could sit in it.

The wave inside me began to subside.  The difficult conversation was over.  I wanted it to be over because it was sad and unpredictable and I was afraid it would end with me crying and upsetting Gavin.  And I didn’t want it to be over because I want Gavin to always be interested in talking about Ty.  I hope he always asks questions.  I hope everyone does.

Ty was different when it came to understanding heaven and spirituality.  I truly believe that was his gift.  I feel he saw angels for a long time before he passed away.  I like to believe they comforted him and helped him feel more comfortable about dying.  When I had this conversation with him last September, he just looked into my eyes intently, nodded his head, and whispered a slight “yeah” as I spoke.

"I know that Daddy has told you that you are getting better now.  That you are going to walk, and run, and jump in muddy puddles.  Do you know what else you're gonna be able to do?  Fly.  Do you know what heaven is, Ty?  Heaven is where God lives, and you know how much he loves you.  In fact, heaven is filled with people who love you more than you can imagine because heaven is made of love.  There are so many children just like you there.  And they want to play with you.   A lot of them even had cancer like you, and they just want to hold your hand and have fun all day long!  Heaven is filled with rainbows, and at the end of every rainbow is a giant pot filled with candy and chocolate coins.  And you know what else?  There are muddy puddles everywhere.  You can take the hand of your new friends, run super duper fast, jump as high as the sky and then SPLASH!!"

It still seems surreal that I had this conversation with my son just days before his fifth birthday.  That I knew he was going to die, and I think he did, too.  It still doesn’t seem real.



For those who missed the segment on Katie Couric yesterday, you can watch it via the link below. It was an incredible segment and Katie is a special person.  So grateful.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Finally, I dreamed of you



I was tired all day yesterday.  I haven't been sleeping well and I guess a number of things caught up with me. Lou had a meeting after work so I put Gavin to bed and ended up falling asleep there for the rest of the night. Maybe that is why Ty finally came to me in my dreams, because I slept so long, or because I was in his little brother's room.

I don't know why last night of all nights, but it was wonderful and I have been thinking about it all day.  I want to jump back in and remember every little detail because dreams slip away so quickly.  I want to feel that feeling again as if we are really together, in the flesh.

In my dream he was as beautiful as ever.  He was a big boy, and so angelic, just like he looked the weeks leading up to his passing.

Dreams are strange and I can't recall everything.  All I know is suddenly, there you were.  I held you. I changed you.  Changing you was so symbolic of the intimate acts of motherhood I engaged in every day because even in my dream you were lying down and unable to move.  You spoke to me, but only when responding to something I said or answering my questions.  It was very slow moving, like time was standing still, and  I can still hear that little whisper in my ear.
"How do you feel?"
"Good"
"I love you so much"
"I wub you"
"Can you stay?"

He didn't answer.  The dream went on and I can't recall exactly what else happened or what else we talked about, I just know that every time I asked him the same thing... "Can you stay?" he didn't answer.  It's the last thing I can remember before Gavin woke me.

There is so much more I want to ask him.  I wish I could go back.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blue Lollipops

The great thing about having a child with a "belly tube" (or a gastrostomy tube) is that we had complete control over Ty's diet.  I was able to make him shakes that were jam-packed with vegetables, proteins, oils and amino acids.  Ty had oral mobility issues, not to mention the outrageous effect chemotherapy had on his taste and his appetite, so most of the time he ate very, very little by mouth.  I don't know what we would have done for his nutrition, not to mention administering his meds, if he didn't have this miraculous device.

That being said, he did eat by mouth on his terms.  For example, Ty went through a phase where he loved bacon - I literally kept a box of pre-cooked Oscar Meyer bacon strips in my PURSE for three or four weeks so I could pass him back a strip during our long car rides.  After a month of bacon overload, he never ate it again.  Then there was the "toast" phase where we went through almost a loaf of sliced bread DAILY because he was ravenous for buttered toast (this was during a spell on Dexamethasone - an evil little steroid from hell).  And strawberries.  One of the only things he would eat straight into his last days.  There was only one ever-present "favorite food" that followed Ty throughout his entire journey. The BLUE LOLLIPOP :)


I don't think it was so much the taste of blue raspberry that had him so hooked, but it was the incredible fun he had showing everyone his blue tongue, and lips.  Sometimes even his teeth turned blue!  In fact, once or twice his blue lips alarmed nurses to "Call Respiratory" because they feared he was having trouble breathing. Lou and I found that amusing, but we could understand their concern when he was otherwise resting so peacefully in his hospital bed.  When you're stuck in a situation like we were, we chose to laugh instead of cry as much as we possibly could, and Ty's blue lollipops certainly inspired hundreds of smiles during our most difficult days.  

I was recently surprised by a letter from a young girl that I received in February.  Riley seemed to understand this better than most, and we hadn't even met yet.  She has decided to honor Ty and the TLC Foundation as part of her Mitzvah project, and when I read her letter, I had tears in my eyes.  It was one of my proudest moments.

Hi, my name is Riley. I'm 12 years old and my Bat Mitzvah is this October. Recently I donated my Hanukkah money to The TLC Foundation. I have followed your family's story for over 3 years.

When a girl is Bat Mitzvahed she has to complete a mitzvah project which is a form of community service. For my Mitzvah project I would like to help raise awareness about pediatric cancer. These are the goals I have for my mitzvah project:
- Tell 1,000 people about Ty’s story by October 12, 2014
- Raise $1,000 for the TLC Foundation by hosting events to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer.
- Participate in at least 4 events to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer.
To learn more about The TLC Foundation and how to get kids involved

If possible I would like to discuss my goals with you or someone from the foundation. Thank you in advance for your time.

Regards,
Riley

This incredible introductory letter has since evolved into an amazing campaign called The Blue Lollipop Project.  Riley purchased thousands of blue lollipops and she is using them as a vehicle to spread awareness for childhood cancer while sharing the sponsored lollipops with children at various local hospitals.  In fact, she will be heading down to Memorial Sloan Kettering this week and contributing to the very same Friday Night Candy Cart that Ty so adored.  It was one of the few hospital activities that was guaranteed to make him happy.  The Candy Cart every Friday night, and Bingo every Tuesday.  It didn't take much to make Ty smile despite everything.

http://www.youcaring.com/thebluelollipopproject

Princess Warrior Brynlee was one of the first recipients to enjoy the treats, and we couldn't be happier to see her showing off her blue tongue with pride :)  Thank you, Riley.  Kids amaze me every day.


Monday, March 17, 2014

17 months gone and today was a hard, hard day


So many realities hit me in the face today.  Ty has been gone 17 months today.  I relived him dying in my arms several times today.  Watching his last breaths in my mind as I tried to concentrate on the road between the office and Gavin's preschool.

Gavin will be five in just a few short months.  Just after he turns five, he will soon be older than Ty ever was.  He needs all new clothes.  He has grown out of the last pairs of Ty's pants that still fit him.  He can't wear his big brother's clothes much longer.  We need to register him for Kindergarten and even though he has an older brother, this will be the first time Lou and I will ever experience putting our child on a school bus.  Moving on to "big boy" school.  Our youngest, our baby, will soon be our oldest.  He is our "only" child (or, better said, our only child left).  Everything feels so final and all of a sudden it feels like it's all happening at lighting speed.  I couldn't catch my breath all day.

I hate the idea of stepping into new territory of "firsts" with Gavin leading the way instead of Ty.  This is a very new, very foreign feeling and it just seems so wrong and unnatural.  Because it is wrong and unnatural.  I wish I could have stopped this.  Even today.  Even 17 months later.  I found myself in hysterics at the drive-in for a dunkin donuts coffee, just begging God to let me have him back.  Making all sorts of promises how it wouldn't change the course of the world, I promise, no one even has to know, please just let me have him back.  Our family will happily disappear into the woods if that's what we have to do, as long as we can be a family again.  These silly bargains always seem to go in one ear and out the other.  Sometimes I feel as though God himself is trying to calm me and tell me to talk to him again when I'm feeling better.  Isn't that sad?  It shouldn't feel that way.  I shouldn't be so aware of how foolish it sounds.  Truth is, it's a fair request from the almighty God who can do whatever he wants, isn't it?  If there's one thing I learned in life, it never hurts to ask, right? So that's what I did today. I asked and begged for something totally unrealistic and I'm sure I will do it again in moments of weakness.

Today has been a tough day for Lou and I both.  I heard Pharrel come on the radio and wanted to punch him in the face.  Sorry.  I can't help it.  "I'm so (not) Happeeeey!!!"  We are just missing Ty.  I look at how tall Gavin has gotten.  How short his pants are getting.  And it immediately brings me back to the vision of me holding Ty's body in front of the long mirror in my bedroom for the last time.  He had died just an hour or so beforehand and I held him while I sobbed uncontrollably, looking at how long he was. Almost mesmerized by how tall he had gotten and what an oxymoron it was.  All I remember thinking at that moment was what a triumph it was supposed to be that he had grown so much.  All through his previous treatment he never grew an inch.  I had plans to visit with an endocrinologist post treatment to try and get him up to speed once he was cancer free.  Now here he was, this tall growing little boy (finally) whose poor little body just couldn't stop that vile, disgusting beast from winning.

When is cancer going to go away and leave these kids alone?????  My son suffered.  Some of my memories are beautiful, and some are unimaginable because of what I witnessed happening to him.  His pain was grotesque and evil.  He was a tiny baby boy and he suffered like you can't imagine.  But he smiled and he laughed and he hugged me so tight that I knew he was my true love always and forever, wherever he goes.  My everything.  He needed me and all I ever wanted in life was to be the one that he needed.  Because I needed to take care of him more than I ever needed anything in the whole world.


How I wish I could have you in my arms again.  I love you so much.

Tonight I had a full-on breakdown in front of Gavin after his bath.  This doesn't happen often at all.  But today, I guess it was just going to be one of those days from start to finish.  Gavin was tickling my ear and he totally achieved the full-blown tickle spell on me.  You know the one.  Where you have the chills all over and you tighten your neck as much as possible in fear of a little finger creeping its way in for a tickle!  He was loving how it tortured me, and my laughter hasn't been so genuine in God knows how long.  Then he said this...

"I'm going to do this to Daddy, too, when he gets home.  Because he will think it is SOO funny.  And I want to do it to Ty, too.  You have to remind me when I am a grown up that I want to do this to Ty when I first see him in heaven.  He is going to love it!"

Yep.  Tears.  Big, ugly sobs.  Face buried in the towel.  Not a proud moment, but what can I do?  It just wasn't supposed to be like this.  My sweet Gavin.  May he always be happy.  Here he is with his leprechaun trap.  He knows how to have fun despite everything, and that will always keep Lou and me smiling :)  See what a big boy he is?  It's crazy.  PS - he put corned beef inside the trap.  So cute.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Juice Bags and First Love

Life has been absolutely out-of-control busy these past few months.  Busy is always good for me as a means to manage my grief, but eventually it catches up to me.  This weekend Lou went away on his annual snowboarding trip with his friends.  I was so sick of this cold, lonely winter, I decided to take Gavin on a road trip with my besties.  During which, I realized that I really need to watch what I say when I’m driving.  This is something that I imagine every mom can relate to on some level, right?

Our first stop was to spend a night with my mom and dad on Long Island.  Whenever I cross the bridge, I undoubtedly run into a world of traffic and it never fails that there are drivers on the road that believe if they haphazardly change lanes, they will get to where they are going faster.  It is so frustrating.  We are all on the same road, going the same speed, and the hyper-active lane changers only put everyone else at risk.  One little bright blue Prius was that car yesterday, and I guess I slipped because Gavin said:

“Mom, that guy is a juice-bag, right?” (and with Gavin’s speech impediment, it sounded like “white” instead of “right.”  So stinkin’ adorable.  I guess we know what word I said under my breath that starts with a different letter!  Then he went on to state:

“Is blueberry juice blue?  Because that guy’s car is blue and we should call him a blueberry juice-bag.” All I can do with that is add a hashtag, once again.  #juicebags.

The next day we piled into one car with Dawn and her twin girls before driving down to Virginia to see Kelly, Caryn and all of their kids.  Gavin was so excited to have so many other kids to play with, he ran around like a wild-man all day!  I love to watch him play.  He doesn’t get the opportunity very often to let loose with a gaggle of kids because we are always on the go.  It is so nice for him to jump around and have a good time with little people his age.


When it was time to say goodnight, I told him to give everyone a hug and a kiss.  He went over to Allie, gave her a kiss, and in the most adorable reaction I’ve ever seen, he tipped his head back, acted dizzy, and started to swoon.  Literally.  He said:

“My eyes turned into hearts when I kissed her.  It’s like she was my girlfriend!”

The lucky girl, little Miss Allie.


At night, when we were cuddling up to go to sleep, we said our prayers and as always said goodnight to Ty.  Out of nowhere, Gavin said, “You love Ty more than me, right?”  He didn’t sound sad, he just said it very matter-of-fact.  This broke my heart.  My greatest fear is that Gavin would feel like he lives in Ty’s shadow.  I try so hard to make sure he knows how much he is loved while maintaining a healthy memory of his brother.

“Of course not!  Why would you say that?”
Nothing.  No response.
“Gavin, why did you say that?”
Silence.  Then he whispered, “because Ty used to smile more than me.  He was happy.  But now I smile more than him.”
“Well, I think you both smile all the time, I love you both so much and exactly the same.  You are both my boys and I love YOU just as much as I love TY.  Okay?”
“Okay.”  I followed up with a thousand hugs and kisses.

He seemed 100% unaffected by the entire conversation while a little piece of my heart was ripped open.  I don’t know where it came from or why he made the reference to Ty seeming happier than him, but if there is something good to take away from that conversation it’s that Gavin remembers Ty being happy instead of being in pain.  Whenever I hear someone remember Ty, it is almost always his smile that people talk about most.   And that gives me a lump in my throat because it's so sweet and so sad.

Gavin and Ty will have a bond forever.  Ty will always be watching over him.  And, as we have all seen in this incredible, almost unbelievable photo... Ty is smiling down on him.  

Gavin at the mess fest 2013.  The orb just takes my breath away.  My sister came across this on her phone just recently and it is almost too surreal to believe, but there it is.  Undeniable.  Ty is everywhere.