Ronan. It’s nights like last night when I really wonder if you can see us. You know how much I struggle with the whole heaven, white fluffy clouds thing and where exactly you are. Late at night when I’m writing, I often have your urn sitting in front of me and sometimes I take a picture of it and through my writing tears, send some random message to your Mr. Sparkly Eyes about how wrong this is, how much I miss you, etc… This always leads to the next time I see him, him bringing up the picture as looks at me so intensely and says, “I promise you, those ashes are just ashes, he is always with you, always surrounding you. I know he never leaves your side.” He says it in such a way that I without a doubt, believe him and truly do think that I am never without you; spiritually that is. Still, it doesn’t make my pain any less. So, on nights like last night, if you truly are around me I think to myself, This must be so hard for you to see. We were just having a normal, family night in our kitchen and your daddy and Quinn had just returned from playing basketball at The Village. Poppy was sound asleep and we were chatting away. Liam came walking into the kitchen, visibly upset. I asked him what was wrong. He just stood there, fighting back his tears, trying to be so brave and strong but he couldn’t continue to hold anymore of his emotions in. Your daddy grabbed him as he choked out the words, “I miss Ronan.” This led me to stop what I was doing, which was busily cleaning up the kitchen as I watched your daddy hold Liam as he buried his head into his chest. I surveyed the room and we all looked so… helpless. Quinn was sitting at the kitchen table, and he kept looking down as if he didn’t know what to do. Your daddy was holding in all the screams and cries that I knew he wanted so badly to let out. Liam was sobbing. I grabbed something and threw it as hard as I fucking could at the wall. I then went over and grabbed Quinn and held him. I told Liam that he needed to get his feelings out, how that it is all too much to keep in. I asked him to elaborate on the “I miss Ronan.” He told us how he misses playing with you and just wants to see you again. I could say nothing except for I was so sorry and I would give anything to bring you back. We talked about the importance of sharing our pain and our feelings. Your daddy told Liam how sometimes he parks his car before going into a court appearance and just screams at the top of his lungs. I told your brothers how I pretty much cry everyday still and that it’s o.k. to still be so sad that you got sick and cancer stole you away. Your daddy reassured your brothers that we as a family are safe and will always be together. I took Liam and we went and snuggled on top of his bunk bed where he cried some more. It was a rough night for everyone and Liam asked to see Dr. Rachel again so I made him an appointment. I am so proud of him for knowing when to ask to see her and not being ashamed or afraid of it. I started this post a while back, Ro. We are doing alright and some really wonderful things have been happening, all because of you of course.
I really don’t even know what to say about all the beautiful things that keep happening except for I continue to be blown away by people’s beautiful hearts and the way they just want to do good things in the world, while expecting nothing in return. Last week was one of those really, really amazing days. The kind of amazing day that after it is all over, I can do nothing but bury myself in my bed and sob like a grieving mother who just lost her child, all over again. It all started with a normal, “let’s collect toys for Ronan’s Candy Cart to take to the kids at PCH on the oncology floor.” And you all were amazing to donate so many awesome things. My friends, Katie and E, started collecting toys as well at their stores. I was all set to go to PCH on Wednesday, but then my friend sent me a little text message. Her text said that her friend, Adrian Wilson, who is an NFL player, wanted to help with the candy/toy cart and was wondering if he could go to PCH with us on Thursday to deliver some things. I was of course over the moon about this so I sent an email over to PCH to ask if the day could be changed to accommodate Adrian’s schedule. They were more than happy to do so for us.
I met E at Toys-R-Us this morning and a shopping we went. I let E tackle the girl things as she has 3 of them and I took on the boy things as I don’t know a lot about the girl world of toys, just quite yet. Poppy is slowly teaching me but as of now, she is most interested in my car keys and anything else she an chew on like the teething little babe that she is. We loaded up cart after cart after cart… about 20 of them, packed full of the most amazing toys possible. I made sure to grab a ton of Star Wars stuff and just about fell over when I found the Clone Trooper that stood about 3 feet tall. Hot tears splashed down my cheeks as I grabbed him and told Poppy to move over for her new friend. Ronan would have loved him was all I could think in my head. As it came time to checkout, I helped to bag up the toys while E stood over the cash register with the biggest smile on her face. I swear I saw freaking rainbows, fairies, and mother fucking unicorns flying over her head as it was that magical of a moment. Adrian had offered to pay for EVERYTHING. I was doing such a great job at keeping my shit together but then some random lady stopped me and said, “Are you the one doing this amazing thing for the hospital?” I told her I wasn’t, that it was NFL player Adrian Wilson and I was just lucky enough to be a part of his generosity. Well, I almost got all of those words out before the tears started splashing all over the Toys-R-Us floor. There was no keeping my composure over this act of kindness at all- it was just too bittersweet and beautiful. On my way to PCH, I called your Nana, sobbing. I told her what I was doing, who it was that was this amazing thing and how sad I was that you were not here to see any of it or be a part of it. We talked for a few minutes before I hung up and officially had to pull it together before stepping foot on the hospital floor. We loaded all the toys into wagons, went and met Adrian at the front of the hospital and off we went to the 7th floor of PCH. We were there for about 2 hours and everyone was so excited to see us and even more excited that Adrian had taken the time to come and do such a kind thing. We got to go into most of the rooms and Adrian was so sweet and kind, offering pictures and autographs to all the kids and even their parents. There were a lot of older kids on the floor who were sweet about all the dolls and toys that we brought, but were not really that in toys as many of them were older teens. Adrian took care of that problem by getting their shoe sizes and told them the next day, we would deliver Jordan’s and Van’s to them from his sneaker store, High Point. How crazy generous was that? He stayed true to his word and the next day I met E at his store and we pimped those kids out with not only new shoes, but hoodies, stocking hats, socks, and watches, etc… Poppy and I dropped everything off and got the nicest phone call a few hours later about how excited the kids all were. It felt so nice to be able to know that we were a part of making those kids smile for at least a few hours. Adrian Wilson will forever go down as a hero in my book and I will forever be grateful that I was able to be a part of it.
I had a really hard time on Christmas Eve. I picked your daddy up at the airport and was a total mess. We ended up going into town to finish up some last minute things and all I could really do was sob in the car while he tried to have some what of a conversation with me. ”Who is coming up to your parent’s tonight?” he asked me at one point. I named out, “X, Y, and Z… and not Ronan!!!” I was sobbing, panicking, and not really breathing very well. At some point while he was in a store that I could not go into because of my grieving mother of madness appearance, I got on my phone and started distracting myself with my Instagram feed. The first thing that popped up was Taylor’s account as I guess she had just posted a new picture. Through my red, swollen eyes I looked at the picture of her and her brother, in their matching Christmas pajama’s. Talk about adorable. Upon closer inspection I saw she was wearing something on her head. It wasn’t just something, it was your Spicy Monkey Spirit Hood that I sent her. I smiled though my tears and as your daddy got in the car I showed him the picture. ”Look, Taylor is wearing Ro’s hood.” He squeezed my hand and said something about how that had to make me feel a little bit better. I told him it did and the timing of seeing that picture could not have been better. It came just when I needed it most. To me such a simple thing served as a little reminder that there is so much good in this world, even during the hardest of times. It also gave me that little extra push I needed to get through the rest of the day and night because Liam, Quinn and Poppy deserved to have a beautiful Christmas, Ronan, despite the always empty chair at the dinner table that will never be filled. Thank you, sweet Taylor. You make the most beautiful little spicy monkey and you have no idea how much seeing that smile on your face meant to me. I hope you and your family had the most beautiful Christmas. I love you so much.
Christmas is over and we all survived. I went out in the early morning before everyone got up to have some time to myself. I talked to your Sparkly before I had to face the reality of you were not coming downstairs to unwrap the gifts we had bought for you. He was working on Christmas of course and I gave him my best, “Are you busy saving the world today,” before I decided to sit on the phone and let him talk me through my tears. I pulled over and listened as he did his best little pep talk which mostly consisted of “I’m so sorry and you know there is no good reason for this… Ro should be here with you.” I told him I knew, I loved him and thanked him for calling me as I knew his words would help carry me through the rest of the day like they always seem to do. They did and I let myself get as lost as I could in your brothers and that Poppy girl. Watching them and seeing the smiles on their faces made Christmas some what bearable this year. Poppy’s energy seems to be infectious to us all in such a good, positive way. Thank you so much for her, Ronan.
It is good that we are away in Washington State for Christmas. I was really needing a break from the never-ending sunshiny state that sometimes drains my soul. I don’t think I can ever spend a Christmas in Arizona again. I mean, of course I would if Liam and Quinn wanted it that way, but they are always so excited to come here. Here it is dark, damp, dreary, and I can run for miles while getting lost the thickness of the fog that forever feels like home. Here, I can breathe and I don’t have to constantly be wearing sunglasses to hide my tear soaked eyes. Here, it just looks like my face is covered in the raindrops that are spilling down from the sky but we both know the truth, right Ro? And here that truth feels o.k. I’ve missed this place so much.
Sorry for the massively long update of everything and nothing. So much more to say, so sad I haven’t been writing, but I promise to get back to this once my book is finished. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little man.
P.S. A HUGE thank you to Adrian Wilson again for the beautiful thing you did. You are the definition of a beautiful soul. Now, if only we could get that NFL to go GOLD for all the kids during the month of September…
P.P.S- Tyler Knott, you are the bees knees. Now please marry Ally. Thanks so much.