Somehow, I am in my cozy bed at my house. I cannot get out of my bed. It feels like quicksand and even when I try to get up, it pulls me back down. My house and heart feel really empty. I hear people, but the biggest voice of all is missing. “Where is Ronan?” That is what I asked Woody. He just starts to cry. But really, where is he? Is he playing in his bedroom? Is he in the backyard? Is he causing trouble and running about the house? Is he playing Star Wars with his brothers? Then I remember. Ronan is gone.
Ronan really left a couple of days ago. His pain got really bad from his little liver failing and all we wanted was to keep him comfortable. The Ryan House was quiet but full of the people who are our family. Charisma spent the weekend, Susie came, Gay, Melissa, Stacy, Bethany, Tricia, Sarah, my mom, Mimi, Papa, Uncle Scottie, Auntie Karen, Aubrey, Marisa, Danielle…. I cannot remember who else. Mother’s Day was quiet and I stayed by Ronan’s side most of the day. I whispered a lot of things in his ear and although he was not responding much anymore, I know he could hear me. I told him all the things that filled my heart. How he was the best thing to ever happen to me, how he changed my life, how it was time to stop fighting, and just relax because I was going to take care of him forever. I sang to him, loved on him, and said our famous little thing we always said to each other, “Just you and me, baby.” As I sat next to him I prayed so hard. I asked for a few things. I asked him to please not leave me until Fernanda returned from her trip, I asked for him to please not leave me on Mother’s Day, I asked him to leave peacefully in the night, with me by his side. I begged the Heavens above to not be cruel in the way that they took him. He had enough and I wanted him to go in the most peaceful way possible. For the first time in his life, my little boy listened to everything I asked of him.
Quinn spent most of Mother’s Day curled up beside Ronan. I explained most of what was going on to him. He wanted to know why he couldn’t understand what Ronan was saying anymore and when he would start talking normally again. I told him that he was so sleepy, that he wasn’t going to be back to the way he was anymore. Quinn cried and slept most of the day away by Ronan’s side. He needed to have his time and his goodbye with him so I let him take all the time he needed. It was hard to watch my almost 8-year-old hurting so badly but it was a chapter that he needed to close in his life with Ronan. I wasn’t about to push him away. I talked to Liam about staying at The Ryan House with us or going home. He said he wanted to stay to be with Ronan and us. I told him how Ronan was not going to get better and that he needed to say his goodbyes. Little tears filled his eyes and he said he knew, but he still wanted to be with his brother. After 8 months of shipping my twins off I had decided that enough was enough and they would stay with us as long as they wanted. Fernanda had a firm talking to with me about this decision. I told her I would meet her halfway and only let Liam and Quinn see so much and how they would not be allowed to sleep in the room during the night with Ronan and myself anymore. They would have to sleep with Woody in the room across from us. She seemed happy with that outcome.
After a quiet Mother’s Day, night soon filled the air. I slipped out and let Mimi and Papa lay with Ronan and I tried to calm myself as much as possible. I was panicking, trying to come up with what I could do to save him and his little body that was failing. I asked for oxygen to be placed by him, to help with his breathing, I texted back and forth with my friend, Doriet, whom just lost her little girl. She was giving my ideas on ways to save him. I talked to my friend, Diane, who lost her little boy to this nasty disease years ago. I said things to her like what if he really didn’t want to go, but was fighting to stay alive and I was just pushing him down with all the pain medicine. She calmly talked me off the ledge and told me that the cancer had invaded his liver and there was nothing medically we could do to save him. I was still fighting for him, even though I knew he was ready to go.
I sat in the Sanctuary room with the girls for about an hour last night. Fernanda, my mom, Melissa, Sarah and Tricia. We had a lot of laughs and Sarah told us how she was getting a purple star tattoo this Thursday, on Ronan’s birthday. Before I knew it, everyone in the room had decided to go with her. This made my heart happy as the love of the people surrounding me is unbelievable. They truly are the most amazing girls alive. Around 10 p.m. it was time for me to get back to Ronan so everyone left except Fernanda who said she would stay and watch Ronan sleep so I could get some rest. I had the twins come in and kiss Ronan goodnight and I curled up beside him. I whispered little things in his ear and sang to him. I fell asleep as I could relax a little knowing Fernanda’s watchful eyes were on him. His breathing was becoming softer, his little feet were becoming so cold. Fernanda sang to him and rubbed him. I fell in and out of sleep. She left the room about 3 a.m. and the nurse taking care of Ronan patted me around 3:20 a.m. Ronan was ready to leave. I said to her, “Is he gone?” She replied, “Almost.” I grabbed on to my baby boy, whispered in his ear that I loved him, but it was time to go so he needed to come with me. I kept saying, “Come with me, Ronan. Let’s get out of here.” The nurse went to get Woody and when he got to the room, he kissed Ronan goodbye and that was that. His little heart just stopped.
Somebody came in asking if she could bathe Ronan with warm water and if we wanted his clothes changed. Woody left the room to make phone calls and I asked if I could please give him his bath. She said of course and brought me everything I needed. I stripped him down and washed his little body. I remember looking up at her and saying how no mother should have to do this. She replied, “You’re right. You are very brave.” I remember thinking to myself how I couldn’t believe I was giving my dead child a bath. It was so weird, yet so peaceful. I put on his favorite red Small Paul monkey pants, his Star Wars shirt and little Ralph Lauren socks. I kissed his cold little lips a dozen times and kept thinking I couldn’t believe I wasn’t ever going to be able to kiss them again. Woody came into the room and we sat I just stared at our son. We cried, held each other while looking down at his little body. I kept feeling him and kept telling Woody he was so stiff. It was all surreal to say the least; but I felt like Ronan was right there with me. Just because the shell of his body was gone, his spirit was still in the room. It has been with me the entire day which is maybe why I feel so at peace.
Leaving the room was the hardest part. Woody said his friend that he went to high school with was waiting outside as they were ready to take Ronan away. I told him that I wasn’t leaving him and he grabbed on to my arms and tried to pull me away. I cried that I promised I’d never leave him and it took awhile for Woody to convince me that he was already gone. I went and kissed his toes, lips, and pinky fingers one last time. I walked out of that room and went straight into the arms of Woody’s friend, Ardra, who runs the mortuary. I held onto her and told her to take good care of my baby boy and not to leave him. She cried with me and promised she would. I walked away before I saw them carry out his little body. I went into a room where my mom, Kay, Charlie, Scottie, and Auntie Karen waited for Woody and I. We sat for a while and no words were said as they were not needed. Woody and his family went to pack up our rooms and I sat with my mom and Karen. We talked quietly about what had just happened. We talked about Ronan and his life and how he had inspired so many people. That little boy taught me more in his almost 4 years of his life than anybody I have ever known. He was the proudest, most beautiful child that has ever touched this earth.
After Ronan’s body left The Ryan House, we had to go and wake up the twins. I quietly tapped Liam and told him it was time to go home. He was confused and I did my best to explain things to him. Woody picked him up and carried him out of the house. I snuggled with Quinn a bit and woke him up and said the same thing. He wanted to know if Ronan was coming with us. I explained to him that Ronan would not be with us anymore. He cried and it took awhile to get him out of the bed. He said he needed more time and I gave it to him. I had Ronan’s “Gigi,” in my arms and I gave it to Quinn and told him he could have it now. He wrapped it around his shoulders and I told him he could go into the room where Ronan had been and kiss his pillow. He did so and also laid down on the bed where Ronan had been hours earlier. I let him take his time and Woody then came and carried Quinn out into the car. The four of us drove home together as the sun rose. Ronan’s car seat was no longer in my car and I sat with Quinn on my lap and watched as Liam sat in the back as the tears poured down his little cheeks. We talked a little bit on the way home about Ronan and how he was no longer hurting and how peacefully he went to sleep. We all stumbled in our house and I insisted that we all lay down together and get some sleep. Liam tried to go to his room, to be alone but I told him that was not happening as we all needed to be together because we were all hurting. He listened and snuggled up between Quinn and Woody. I took some sleeping medicine and passed out for most of the day.
I sent my Mr. Sparkly Eyes a text and told him how I could not get out of bed. I asked him how I was ever supposed to face the world again as I never went anywhere without Ro, my little partner in crime. I don’t know the answer to this but I know Ronan will help me in everything that I do. He will guide me for the rest of his life just like he did his entire existence. Nothing I do will be without Ronan’s help and the love that we have for each other. It is eternal.
I know I don’t want to end this story. I want it to go on forever. I want Ronan to never stop inspiring you all just because he is gone. I want his name and our love story to live on forever. I want to keep writing to all of you. I hope that is o.k. I’m not sure what I will write about as that child was my life. But just because he is not here, does not mean our story has to end. He is with me and will continue to fill me with his love everyday. His love alone will keep me going and strong. I will not crumble up and die because he is not here. I will not let him down and I promise to make him so proud of me as I know he is watching everything that I do. Those eyes will forever be burned into my soul, the smell of his sweet skin, the touch of his perfectly plump lips and his little giggle will never be forgotten. My twins will be better boys because of him, my marriage will be stronger, and I will never take a second of my life for granted again. I would give anything to have him back and I don’t know if it has even hit me that he is really gone. I find peace in knowing that he is no longer hurting but cannot deny that my heart is broken beyond repair. All I want is my child back. My healthy child back before all of this.
I feel very angry and let down by a lot of people; but mainly by medicine and the doctors of the world who have not figured out this nasty disease. Mostly life in general as I have learned the hardest way how cruel it can be. Watching my child die from Neuroblastoma t was the most horrific experience of my life and nobody should have to go through that; especially in this day and age. I made a promise at the beginning of all of this to help find a cure and now I am more determined than ever. A cure begins with awareness and funding so I am going to work for the rest of my life on that part of all of this. All in the name and honor of my Ronan Sean Thompson. The brightest star in the sky.
I cannot thank all of my friends and family enough for their love and support through all of this. I would not be in such a peaceful place without them. I have no doubt that Ronan’s journey is not over… it will just come in a different form now. I cannot thank all of you who have been following me this blog and spreading the word about Ronan. We love you all so much. If you see me, please don’t be afraid to come up and tell me hello and hug me. Please don’t be afraid to tell me how sorry you are because of the pain you know we are all in. But please, don’t tell me things like God has a bigger plan for Ronan, how he belongs in heaven, how he is happy with God now…… because all of those things just piss me off. And I will punch you. I will never come to peace with any of those fucking saying and unless you have just walked through my exact shoes, you have no right to say those things. I understand if it is how you will make sense of all of this but to me, you can’t make sense out of nonsense and that is exactly what all of this is. Complete and total nonsense. This will never make sense to me as I know our family did not deserve any of this pain; especially not Ronan.
That is all for tonight my loves. Goodnight to my sweetest baby boy; Ronan Sean. My little seal, my little monkey, my little everything. I love you to the moon and back a million times over.