Written and Submitted by Anna Davis
I first got to know the Campolmi family while helping their son, Caden, with his college search. I did have a chance to meet Jackson once but I mostly got to know him through family stories of his love of travel and how he didn't let his challenges get in the way of living a full life. At one of my appointments with Caden, Adrienne brought me a puffer fish and I was determined to find the right place to leave him / right person to leave him with.
Fast forward over a year. My sister and I traveled to Cancun, Mexico to celebrate her 50th birthday in November 2022. While packing for the trip, I made sure to take the puffer fish and the note explaining his significance. I had held onto the puffer fish for a long time and just never found the right person to give it to. My sister and I are close (like Jackson and Caden) and it was such a treat to spend time together; most of our vacations include our parents, our husbands and our kids. We love them all but rarely get time for just the two of us. We spent four days relaxing, eating delicious food, and enjoying being together - all with the puffer fish tucked safely in my beach bag. On our last day at the resort, we hung out with some new friends from Little Rock, Arkansas at the pool. They were so easy to talk to and we discussed raising kids, book recommendations, and travel, among other things. It was a fun way to end our trip. One of the women we met, Karen, has a niece with Down Syndrome - just like my sister's son and we knew she was meant to have the puffer fish. I gave her the puffer fish with the note explaining his significance. It was puffer fish's first trip to Mexico and he had a great time. I know he's looking forward to his next adventure and to spreading more joy.