Ronan. This is what I get after 11 years of marriage. Him. He still opens my car door. He brings me my towel before I get out of the shower to make sure I stay warm. Kisses me goodnight, every night. Tells me he loves me 10 times a day. Never lets go of my hand. Respects my wishes when I ask him to let go. A husband that fights for me, believes in me, pushes me, challenges me, makes me laugh, puts up with my insanity, tries his hardest to fix my broken heart, wipes away my tears, and reminds me every single day that I am the strongest, most beautiful person on the planet. He takes care of your brothers, when I am too sad to do so. He does this without complaining or making me feel more guilty, than I already do. Everything he does is for us. He holds me up when I cannot stand, lets me fall when I need to, but is always there to help me up when I am ready. I am the luckiest girl on the planet to be married to your daddy. I know people say marriage is hard, but I never really felt this way until the death of you. I don’t even think it was even marriage that became hard, but it was more that everything became hard. Everything becomes hard when you just want to curl up and die. I know what the death of a child does to a marriage and I know how many marriages, don’t survive. I am thankful everyday that this is the one thing that I have never had to worry about. I know myself and I know your daddy. Cancer may have taken you away from us but it cannot have our marriage, too. That is something we both decided very early on into this whole thing. I am so thankful that we are a strong enough couple to come through this together and not apart. I am so very thankful for your daddy for not giving up on me when I gave up on everything in my life, including myself.
Last year, was an awful anniversary. I remember laying in bed, pushing away the gifts your daddy gave me as the tears poured down my cheeks. I made him return all the things he had bought for me. I remember barley being able to hold my head up and begging for death to take me away. This year was a little better. Your daddy and I went to Portland for the night. We stayed at a hotel and only had a few minutes of tears while I sat in a chair and stared at your daddy from across the room. He told me how sorry he was for the how awful the past 3 years had been. As if any of this has been his fault. I didn’t say anything. I just grabbed my coat instead, wiped away my tears, and we headed out the door to do a little shopping and grab some dinner. I made it through dinner, without crying. We sat and talked a lot about Poppy. We both tried our hardest to make it an o.k. night. It felt alright to be out, together, pretending to be the normal couple that we are not and never will be again. Sometimes it takes pretending at a dinner for your 11 years anniversary, with smiles instead of tears. I can pretend smile when I need to. It’s was the least I could do for your daddy on our one night of the year, that is just for us. 11 years later and we are still standing where most people would not be. I am so very proud of us, our marriage and the foundation we have. I cannot imagine how upset you would be if we would have let cancer take away not just you, but everything that we have worked so hard for, our family included. I promise you that will not happen, Ronan. I won’t make you any more sad than you already are. I know you are sad enough, not being with us. I know this no matter what the others in the world would say. I don’t care who is looking after you. It will never be good enough as having you here with us, where you belong.
Do you know what the theme of this trip has been? I have heard it no less than a dozen times. “Today would be perfect, if only Ronan were here.” This will be true about every beautiful experience we have in this life without you. Perfection will never exist again in our days, but we will come close. We have been doing a lot of fun things, as a family which is still so hard for me. Yesterday, we headed down to Long Beach to go Clam Digging. It was a great late afternoon spent together but I often find myself getting lost in my thoughts of, “If Ronan were here, he would be doing this or that, or he would have made me take him to the car already because I’m sure the first thing he would have done was run right into the ocean only to get soaking wet.” And I would have happily carried you all the way up to the truck, pregnant or not, to clean you up, warm you up and smother you with the million kisses that I used to love to give you. I miss having you to kiss so very much and I still will never understand why you had to be taken away.
As this year comes to an end I can say for as hard as it was, it has been beautiful in many ways as well. Somehow I find the strength to go on in this life. I have found strength in myself that I didn’t even know existed. I have a wonderful husband and your brothers, Ronan, make me so very proud each and every day. The friends I have are the most beautiful souls that exist and I am so very grateful to have them in my life. They have seen me through the darkest of the dark and although some have went away, the one’s who have stayed have proved that they are never going anywhere, ever. I feel very lucky and blessed in that regard. Your foundation has given me a purpose in meaning in my life that I didn’t think I would ever have again. On the days that I am hardest on myself, all I have to do is take a look at all the amazing things we have accomplished and I am reminded that the proof is in the pudding. We have done some really amazing, great things in such a short amount of time and it is always fueled by the love that exists in this world, because of you. Of course I have to say one of the most amazing things about 2012 was the generous heart of Taylor Swift. She has helped me move so many mountains in a way that I could have never imagined. She has restored my faith in so many things by the beautiful gift she has given us. One that will live on for eternity, just like the love between the two of us. I will forever be humbled and grateful for this sweet girl who fell in love with you and who has now taken on this world of childhood cancer with me. I cannot wait to see what 2013 brings. Of course my wish is for a cure, for babies to stop dying, and for childhood cancer to finally get the funding and awareness that it so desperately needs. I have a lot of work ahead of me but from everything that was accomplished in 2012, I know even more amazing things are going to come this next year. As always, I am thankful for all of you, who continue to read this blog, support this cause, and live each and every day knowing that there is more to life then the life we sometimes settle for. I am thankful for all of you who are able to see outside the box and outside of yourselves and who are not scared to take on something that is uncomfortable and scary, because you know this cause and these kids, deserve better. Thank you all so much for being a part of this war with me. Hopefully one day, it will be one with better outcomes or it will no longer even exist.
Last but not least, I am so excited for 2013 because it will be the year that your Poppy sister is born. She is going to bring such joy to our lives that we so very much need. Please continue to keep her safe, Ronan, but most of all please keep her healthy. I know you hear me at night when I do my little chant to you. I say it over and over in my head to you while I am trying to sleep. “Please don’t let her die, please don’t let her die, please don’t let her die…” It might be morbid but it’s the only way my brain works now. Please Ronan. Take good care of her. We could not handle anything else awful thrown our way. We have barley survived losing you.
I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. I am so sorry you are not here with us. I know I am going to fall asleep with tears on my pillow, but you in my heart as I always do. Sweet dreams, baby doll.
P.S. To all of you lovely little blog readers. Happiest New Year to you and your loved ones. I wish you nothing but blessings and health for not only 2013, but always. I love you all, so very much.