Without a doubt, the MISS Foundation saved my life

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I just wish I wouldn’t have had to find them by sitting in my bed in the middle of the day, sobbing, and thinking to myself, “If I don’t find someone to help me, I will not survive this. I then turned on my computer and Googled, “What to do if your child has died in Arizona.” Somehow, that got me to the MISS Foundations page. I thank Ronan for Dr. Jo, every single day.

 

http://drjoanne.blogspot.com/2013/05/as-we-near-mothers-day.html

Rain, rain, don’t go away…and please don’t let Poppy be born dead.

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Ronan. It’s the middle of the night and I can hear the rain. It’s pouring down outside. I just went to check on your brothers and in doing so, I have to walk by your empty room. I peaked inside. Nobody was there. That reality never gets any easier for me. I think I ended up losing my shit yesterday. It was really triggered a couple of days ago when I came home in the middle of the day from somewhere and I walked into our quiet house. I had been working at our kitchen table and I had left a bunch of packages on top of it, right where you would normally be sitting. As I turned the corner to our kitchen, I thought there was somebody sitting in your spot. I thought it was you. I imagined it was and how I would react. I imagined scooping you up, kissing you all over, crying tears of joy, and saying over and over that I always knew you were really coming back. This image has haunted me for days now. I was out all day yesterday, being productive and came home after a long day of trying to be a part of this world. That’s when I lost my shit and could do nothing but pace our house, crawl in my bed, and cry for hours on end. Your daddy came home to see me in bed. I had gotten a text from my mom friend, Sarah, asking if I was going to support group tonight at Dr. Jo’s. I told her no, that sitting around listening to everyone talk about their dead kids, was not a good place for me. Especially as of now, due to the life that is growing inside of me. Support group is hard anyway but it’s even harder to go being pregnant. Sarah said she selfishly wished I was coming as she was wanting to see me. I wanted to see her as well and her partner, Rae Ann. Noah’s mom’s. I sent Jo a little text to ask if she was leading group. She said she was and she could see me before hand as well. I threw on some appropriate clothes (pants included) and hardly said 2 words to your daddy as I headed out the door with my tear-stained cheeks and blood-shot eyes. Our house was screaming at me and I could no longer take it.

I got to Jo’s a sobbing mess and told her what was going on. She sat, asked me some questions, gently reminded me of all the stress/crap/petty fucking stupid fucking shit/insane pretend problems that normal people have that I don’t understand anymore that I’ve been trying to deal with and understand/the fact that I’m about to have a baby/ and how your two years is approaching. No wonder I am freaking the fuck out. She knows these next few months are going to be hard. May is right around the corner, you know. I just sat and cried and talked when I could. Before I knew it, it was time for group to start. I had decided to stay mostly because I just wanted to be with Noah’s mom’s. It was a pretty full group. It went a little something like this. Stillbirth, me-cancer, stillbirth, stillbirth, stillbirth, 8-month old unknown cause of death, 3-year-old just stopped breathing, 8th month old-can’t remember, still birth, still birth, murdered child, 8 month old again. Of course you know why I think Poppy is going to be born dead. Because I live in the world of childhood cancer and still births. I talked a little but was mostly too upset to even tell your story. Support group never gets easier. The death of your child, never gets easier. It’s not something we will ever overcome. It’s not like AA, where we can recover from our disease, start over, and live a clean, healthy life. Our disease never goes away. I think about this a lot, especially when I am in a group setting like tonight. How the world is so accepting of people who are trying to recover from alcohol or drug abuse. How there is so much love and support out there for them over something that is a choice for most people. I understand that being an alcoholic or abusing drugs is an ugly, powerful disease in life, but most people, not all, make the choice to do these things. None of us parents, made the choice for our kids to get sick and die, yet there is so little love and support out there for us. Society doesn’t want to acknowledge us, Betty Ford doesn’t fit for us, the government doesn’t care about us. So where do we go and what are we left to do, to get through this?

In my dream of all dreams, after I get this care center built, I want to help Jo with one of her little dreams. That is creating a safe place, almost like a rehab for these parents to come to that have lost a child. A safe place for parents to come, with the proper counselors and proper kind of compassionate care that they so need. A place where bereaved parents can try to process their grief before being shoved out into the cruel, harsh, happy go fucking lucky world again where everyone has a living child, except for them. A Betty Ford for bereaved parents in a way. I would have went to a  place like that. I think it would have helped me a lot in the beginning. Oh, people wanted to send me away alright. But it was only to a mental ward where that shadow would have haunted me for the rest of my life because I’m sure I would have been given a permanent  diagnoses of bullshit that would have followed me around forever. This is a path of life that we as parents, will never get off of. There is no changing our course. There is no bringing our children back. We are stuck here, forever. It’s like the ultimate prison where we as parents have done nothing wrong except for love our kids with everything we have, yet we are serving a life sentence for a crime we didn’t commit. (well, unless you are someone like Casey Fucking Anthony, then you should rot in hell a.k.a. a real jail cell for the rest of your life)

There is no place for parents to go so we are all forced back out into a world that does not exist for us and we are expected to be o.k. Hey, our kid or kids just died but we’ll get over it, right? Life just goes on and we are expected to be strong because being strong is the only choice we have. It’s wrong. We all need a break from being this strong once in a while. Being this strong can be torture at times. Bereaved parents need a safe place to go where their children are remembered and they can take a break from being strong for a while. As much as I think support group is great, a tangible place where parents could go to for longer period of time than an hour a month, would be so much freaking better. Add it to my list of big dreams. It seems so obvious to me and I don’t understand why it doesn’t already exist. I guess it’s because Dr. Jo hasn’t done it yet and she is the only one fit for this job. Someday, I promise this is going to be a reality and I will do whatever I can to help her with this.

I have to run today, Ro baby. I have an interview in a few minutes. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Thanks for the rain last night.

xoxo

Thank you, Dr. Jo for this amazing blog post. My spicy monkey is so thankful for you.

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http://drjoanne.blogspot.com/2013/02/diagnosis-41107-privileged-dystopian.html

I am in love with your sister and her hicupps

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Ronan. I have no idea what I did this week. Not only do I have grief brain, I have pregnancy brain to go with it as well. It’s amazing that I can even drive a freaking car. I feel foggy, heavy, sad, tired… this is NOT depression, P.S.

It’s hormones, grief, and pregnancy. And no… I do not need medication. Nor will I ever need medication for my sadness which is just that. Sadness from losing you. My sadness will never go away and I am o.k. with that. It will forever be a part of who I am. I will deal with my sadness in ways that work for me and no pill will be required. I have been daydreaming a lot. About popping this Poppy out and being able to be free again. Free to go running. Free to go hiking. Free to blow off some of this crap that I have been holding in due to not being able to exercise the way I want to or need to. It’s the only thing that makes my head less foggy. I have been missing my running and hiking so very much. That is the time I feel closest to you. When I am connecting with nature and myself. It’s a good thing that this pregnancy is coming to an end because I am about to burst not having the outlet I am so desperately craving.

Most of my week was spent playing catch up with some things and taking care of your brothers while trying to rest up a bit. Your daddy has been the best helper, as always. I am slowly getting ready for your Poppy sister. It is still one day at a time with all of this as I am being very careful about trying to only buy the things we will need right away. I’ve been making Fernanda so nervous about everything that she just went ahead and ordered Poppy’s crib for me, and didn’t tell me until after! Leave it to her to just take things into her own hands. I couldn’t possibly love her more. I sat with Stacy yesterday and went over a list of things I do not have, but will need. Things such as diapers, burp cloths, bottles, a boppy. I ran to the mall today to exchange something and talked myself into going to Pottery Barn Kids to look at some bedding. Your baby sister needs some sheets. As soon as I got in there I was so overwhelmed. I snuck back to take a peek at what they had. I am so indecisive that I almost had a panic attack. I was walking past the counter and the sales lady goes, “Do you need help?” I just politely smiled and told her no. She then goes, “Have you registered?” I just laughed and said, “No, I have not.” I knew I was not getting off that easy and sure enough she goes, “You look like you’re about to pop and you have not registered?!” It was obvious that not only was not registering a sin, but that I had 3 heads as well. I just smiled and walked off. I was not about to explain our situation and how I had tried to register for baby things, but could not even get past the first few things that I was going to register for. I found myself back looking at the boy stuff and all the new Star Wars stuff they have gotten in. I was so sad as I ran my hands across the new Star Wars sheet set and thought how I would have totally bought those sheets for you. All I wanted to do was crawl into the Pottery Barn bed, pull the covers over my head and never come out again. I practically ran out of the store after that. Fuck that place.

I came home and finished cooking up the best meal ever for your daddy and brothers. My short ribs and mashed potatoes. It felt nice to do something nice for all of them. They have been taking such good care of me. Your brothers are the best little helpers around. I knew I wasn’t going to be home for dinner so I wanted to make sure they didn’t have to eat out, again. They were so grateful and thankful for the home cooked meal. I skipped out shortly after they left for basketball practice to go see Dr. Jo.

I spent a couple of hours with her. I’ve been trying to spend more time with her, talking about everything now that I have slowed down a bit and have more time. It feels good. As we were sitting there tonight, Poppy kept thumping me in the same spot over and over again. I said to Jo, “Feel this. What is she doing?!” Jo came over and felt my stomach. After a minute she goes, “She has the hiccups!” OMG. Cutest thing ever. I don’t remember ever feeling you boys have the hiccups in my tummy. The thought of this little baby girl, hiccupping in my stomach, pretty much made my night. I spent the rest of my time with Dr. Jo going over a lot of things and now I am so beat I think I have no choice but to end this and pass out now. I cannot possibly form another thought. Our sessions are always a lot of work and always exhaust me. Your brothers are in my room with me and I am going to snuggle up to them. We all miss you so much.

I love you, Ro. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little man.

xoxo

“Why? Because I’m scared.”

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Ronan. It’s official. For as much as I don’t want to slow down, I have to slow down. My body is screaming at me with everything it has to just stop. I have never been more bloody exhausted in my life. Your sister is so heavy that even just walking around trying to do normal things leaves me breathless and feeling like I want to fall over. Not cool. This is not how I roll. I am glad I crammed in every last thing I could before this hit me such as my little New York trip, foundation things, appointment things, etc… There is no way I could have gone to New York now. I can hardly get out of bed to tackle our laundry situation over here or keep up with the cooking/taking care of your brothers. All my body wants to do is rest/sleep. Otherwise known as my personal hell.

I spent the weekend taking it easy. I’ve had a bad cold to go along with this pregnancy that has wiped me out even more. I know this is just another way my body is telling me enough is enough. Your Papa Jim has been in town since Friday. He’s been sleeping in your room which you know always brings me comfort. Just the thought of knowing somebody is in your little room, brings me a sense of peace. I love it even more when I catch your brothers playing in there, with all of your Star Wars toys. They are still young enough to enjoy them every once in a while. I spent all day Saturday at my happy place, otherwise known as your brothers basketball games. They had games starting at 8 a.m. back to back to back. I felt like crap but there was no way I was going to miss their games. One of my favorite things in life now is watching those two play basketball. You would be so proud of them and how well they are doing, Ronan. Your two brothers constantly leave me amazed. They are such good sweet souls, even after all of this. I am so lucky to have them.

One of the things I did with Dr. Jo on Friday was go over our timeline that we sat together and wrote out about a year ago. It started from your diagnoses and ended the morning you died. You know I don’t have much of a memory of anything and one of the things I really struggle with is regret. She asked me to change anything I wanted to in regards to things I would have done differently with you and your treatment. Of course I changed things. A lot of things. I would actually like to change almost everything because what if by changing one little thing, your outcome would have been different? We will never know this. Your daddy still swears to me that your disease was so aggressive that it wouldn’t have mattered. It matters to me and I don’t know that I will ever be able to forgive myself, Ronan. I don’t care if at the end of the day, you would have died no matter what we did. I will forever hold on to you were my child and I should have been able to protect you and save you from anything and everything. Even stupid fucking cancer.

The first thing I told Dr. Jo I would change was I wouldn’t have had you die at all. Obviously. If only it were that easy, right? We then moved on and went over the doctors, hospitals, treatments and ended all things at the Ryan House. I sat there and sobbed while talking about this and told her I wish I would have never taken you there. Looking back now, I understand it was what we needed to do, to get your pain under control because feeding you morphine every hour on the hour was just not cutting it. But that little voice in my head will always go to the very painful place of at the end of the day, after everything you went through, you just wanted to be at home, in your house and I should have listened to you and not everyone else. It’s the least I could have done as your mama. I know a big part of not having you die at home was to protect Liam and Quinn, but I really don’t think having you here, would have hurt them as much as we thought it would have. They were with us when you died, it just happened to be at some strange place that it all happened. They will always have that memory of you there and I don’t think having you away, out of our house, will make that memory any better for them. How could anything possibly make the memory of their little brother, the most precious thing on earth to them dying, any better? I told Dr. Jo how I vaguely remember hospice meeting us at the airport after we had returned back from Philadelphia when we were told there was nothing else that could be done for you. How I had a stranger riding in our car with us and I remember being so angry because I felt like I had no control over anything and now there was a stranger riding in my car with us whom I had never even seen let alone talked to in my life. I remember hospice coming to our house and I told your daddy to get them out. End of story. I didn’t care who they were or why they were here, all I knew was that nobody really explained anything to me at all but I was just expected to understand everything that was happening. I told Dr. Jo I wish it had been her with me at this time. Because I know Dr. Jo. I know she knows better than anyone how to handle this very delicate situation. She would have done things in such a way that I would have been open to her. She would have had the decency to gently first of all, ASK me if it would be alright for her to be with us, to help us with anything that we might need or not understand. She would have ASKED to meet you and not just pretended like you were a baby who was already dead. She would have cried with me and understood my pain in only a way that a mother whom has also lost a child, can do so. Her expertise on all of this would not just come from a book or a class she took. It comes from so much more than that and I know I would have been able to feel all of that. I wished it would have been her, sitting with me, helping me, explaining to me everything that was happening/ going to happen. I wish it would have been her that would have told me I could have spent as much time with you as I wanted to after you died. That there was no rush to have your little body placed in a bag and wheeled away, never to be seen again. I wish it would have been her to have sat and wept with me, held me and helped me find my way back out into this bright, bright world in her oh so gentle way. It certainly would not have been her saying, “See you later, have a great summer,” never to really be checked on again. I wish I would have found Dr. Jo before you died. It did not happen this way, Ronan and because of this, I know one thing for sure. Dr. Jo could not be with me for your death but she will be with me for the birth of your baby sister. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I’ve talked to your daddy about it. Our conversation was brief and simple. I was laying in bed, crying I think.

Me: “Woody. I need to ask you something.”

Him: “What?”

Me: “I want Jo in the room with us when Poppy is born.”

Him: “Why? You are always so calm and you always do great.”

Me: (trying not to get frustrated because I don’t think your daddy understands the depth of this for me, having another child after having a dead child and how mentally hard this is) “I have always done great when I didn’t have a dead child. This is completely different now.”

And then I just said it, plain as can be.

“Because I’m scared.”

Him: “O.k. whatever you want.”

Me: “Thank you.”

I called Dr. Jo today. I asked her. She started crying on the phone. She said she would be honored. I told her thank you. That I don’t know if I can do this without her. She went on and on about how if I change my mind at any point, she will totally understand. I said I knew that. As of now, this is my plan. Did I also mention that Dr. Jo is a doula? Kick ass, Dr. Jo. I see this as a win/win. Not only is she here to help me with death, but also with life. She has been my lifeline through all of this, Ronan. I only wish there were 500 more of her to go around to help all the parents out there, dealing with the loss of a child. Nobody gets this the way she does. She has such a gift that is beyond this world.

It takes a lot for me to feel scared in this world anymore. I am scared for the birth of your sister. The range of emotions I am feeling come with such an overwhelming feeling of sadness and happiness and I know I need her to help me through this. I know when I need to ask for help and I need help with this from both you and her. I know with the two of you things will be a little less scary. In my heart of hearts, I know you are going to make sure Poppy gets here safe and sound. I will always trust in you and the way you are guiding me. I think you want Dr. Jo in the room with me just as much as I do. She should have known you, but since she didn’t she will know about you through the eyes of your brothers, the tears in my eyes, and the birth of your baby sister. Such a beautiful gift she is going to be, Ronan. Thank you for her.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little man.

xoxo

 

Please take a minute and read this article. This is so important to me, and to the MISS Foundation. Grief is not a psychiatric illness, and should not be treated like one.

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http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201301/last-plea-dsm-5-save-grief-the-drug-companies

I love this article. Medicine is not always the answer. And my Dr. JoRo is mentioned!

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http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-isnt-golden/201212/the-hurry-heal-therapists-cannot-explain-everything

As always, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore knows best. My mentor, friend, sister, mother, and Rolover.

We should have never had to know life, without you. You made us all so happy.

We should have never had to know life, without you. You made us all so happy.

http://www.missfoundation.org/professionals/articles/effective

2 weeks is absurd. Guess I should have been checked into the looney bin, long ago.

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This is from my Dr. Jo. How absolutely cruel. What is wrong with these so called, “doctors?” I wonder if any of them, have ever lost a child. Medication is NOT the answer to any of this. There is no pill for grief.

 

http://drjoanne.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-death-of-sadness-birth-of-mental.html

Live brave, not safe. Thanks, Dr. JoRo. I love you.

Ronan. Miss Macy is gone. We had a busy, busy day yesterday. We left the house around 8:30 a.m. and didn’t get home until about 8:30 p.m. We had a little breakfast out, some errands to run, and I had an ultrasound appointment as well. I was so excited to take Macy with me as she has never been to one before. I asked Fernanda and Stacy if they wanted to come as well. They both jumped at the chance to see your little Poppy sister on the big screen. I was so nervous before the ultrasound. I think I made your Macy nervous too. About 10 minutes before we got there, I started chanting, “Please still be a girl, please still be a girl…” over and over again. You know it doesn’t really matter to me, because of course a healthy baby is the most important thing… but it kind of does matter to me. Only really because of how badly you wanted a little sister. And I question myself a lot about having another boy and I wonder if I would compare him to you. I know it’s not fair, but I worry about doing that if I were indeed having another boy.  I found out super early that this Poppy was a girl. At 13 weeks. So you know, there is always that chance that the early ultrasound could be wrong. We arrived at the ultrasound place and were soon taken back into the room. The technician started going over everything from head to toe. She asked if I knew what I was having and I told her I was told very early on it was a girl. We all waited for her to check Poppy’s parts out again to confirm she really is a baby girl. The technician showed us on the screen in between her little legs. No penis in sight! Confirmation that this is indeed a baby girl. You should have heard the way all of my friends were cheering and clapping. I felt like we were at a sporting event! It made me laugh and I let out a big sigh of relief. Next came the question I knew I had to ask. “If she had a mass in her stomach, you would be able to see it, right?” I almost got those words out, without becoming hysterical. Almost. The tech asked me why I was asking that question. I told her a little about you. I could tell she was trying to best to stay composed after I told her what had happened. She reached over and got me the worlds biggest kleenex to wipe my face which was covered in tears. She told me that she would be able to see a mass and if she saw something, she wouldn’t let me walk out the door without talking to someone. She asked who my OBGYN was and told me that because of what we had gone through, that she was sure she would let me come back to get another in-depth ultrasound later on in my pregnancy just to make sure nothing was there. I wonder about that all the time, with you. If you had this since birth and if I would have known to ask on an ultrasound, would somebody have caught it? Do they catch these things, early on, without people asking about it? I don’t know the answer to that. All I know is I know to take every fucking precaution possible which now means asking about a mass on an ultrasound while Poppy is still in the womb. The tech assured me that everything with your Poppy sister looked perfect. I can’t get over how much I think she already looks like you.

After the Poppy party ultrasound, we all went to grab some chips and salsa. I was quiet and exhausted during our little lunch. It’s amazing how much things like getting a routine ultrasound wipe me out due to all the emotions that now come with it. I listened to my girls chatter about and floated in and out of their conversation, but I was mostly lost in thinking about you and missing you to the core of my very soul. I was also trying to process that this is all really real, baby girl included. Sometimes everything still feels like a dream/nightmare that I cannot wake up from. I had promised your brothers a bike ride after school. That idea was squashed when all of my mother hens stepped in and told me that I indeed should not be riding a bike at this point. “What if you fall, Maya?” No, no, no bike ride!” Fernanda put her foot down. “Come to my house for a play date with the boys instead!” I knew this would get me out of the dog house with your brothers and the lack of fun I am these days. I agreed to stay off of the bike. I let myself have a pity party about it for a few minutes and heard my inner self saying the words, “Loser Mom.” I just want to be the fun mom who can go on bike rides and not cry all the time! I just want to be the fun mom who is not exhausted with grief and pregnancy all the time! I just want my old life back where you were here and everything was so happy and wonderful. I know I can stomp my feet all I want, but that will not happen. I have to deal with these shitty cards that I was dealt, the best I can. A play date instead of a bike ride would have to make due for the day.

We went and played. Your brothers seems to be content with the playing over the bike ride. Thank god for Fernanda. We only were able to stay for a while. I had to get your brothers home and their homework done before Macy and I went to see Dr. Jo. We had some things to do at the MISS Foundation. Macy was beat as she ended up not feeling well due to catching the little cold that your Quinn has had for a few days, but she really wanted to go with me to see Jo. We got to Jo’s office. I had thrown on my glasses to cover up my eyes that were bloodshot and so tired from crying a lot of the day. I didn’t know what the night was going to consist of, but I knew the gist of what was going on. I had been asked last week to do an interview for NPR on grief and how one copes with this with or without the religion aspect of it playing a role. I spoke with someone from NPR last week who flew in this week to meet Jo, see the MISS Foundation, etc. Before I knew it, Jo’s room was filled with about 10 people, Macy included who was really just there, to hold my hand. Everyone went around and talked a little about where they stood on the whole God thing. You had some who were atheists, some who used to be christians, but due to losing the most important thing in the world, had lost their faith as well. Some who are struggling to get back their faith back and but are still looking for it. Some are making progress and others are not. You had others, like me… who just are not sure… who believe in nothing AND everything. Who have their own beliefs and those beliefs seem to be stronger than anything in a book, could tell them. Last night in that room, I didn’t see any labels on the people sitting before me. I saw pain, sadness, fighters, survivors, beauty and strength. I could have cared less if the person in the room, across from me believed their god, was an alien. Who am I to judge that? As long as they are not trying to push it down my throat, to each their own. Whatever works for the individual and gets them through the day…. I respect it ALL. No matter how different it may be from what I think or believe. Barbara from NPR asked to meet with me to do a further story on you, us, and all of this. I, of course agreed. You know me and how much I love to say the yes word to anything that comes my way. I often say yes to things not having a clue as to what it is that I am actually getting myself into. That is the people pleaser in me I guess. Or the opportunist. I don’t like to turn down things because you never know what you are going to miss out on. I would rather just say yes, and hope that something amazing comes of it. This is how my day/evening with Barbara Hagerty from NPR went.

Barbara came over to our house. I instantly felt at ease with her which is always super nice. We dove right into things. We picked up from where we left off, last night. I talked about you, our family, a little about my faith, the whole Taylor Swift amazingness, the fucking fuckwad cancer that murdered you, and your foundation. At one point she looked at me and had to turn off her microphone. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I have to stop. I never cry while doing interviews and I’ve been doing this for a very long time.” I watched as she took off her glasses and wiped her eyes. I told her it was o.k. That I was used to it. We started back up again. My interview was long. It consisted of me crying a lot as well. She asked me if I could go back and read a couple of blog posts. Errrrr…. I have never reread the things I have written. Something told me in my mind told me that it was o.k. to do so for this amazing soul sitting in front of me. I picked one that I had written right before you passed away. I also read the one that I wrote from you, to Taylor after I went to her concert. Both of my entries had my bawling as I read them. I tried my best to keep my voice from shaking. I tried my best to focus on my breathing while letting myself go off into another place, while I read my painful, painful entires. Fuck me. I don’t know how you all read what I write. My blog posts are really, really hard to read. That is something I never realized, until yesterday. I just write what is in my head. I don’t actually think about it or go back and ever re read what I have written. Now I know why.

My day with Barb soon turned into evening. She went with us to your brother’s basketball game. She talked to your daddy for a bit. I had such an enjoyable day with her that I was truly sad when our time together ended. She told me that she was going to see if her editor would agree to letting her do a separate story about us instead of tying our story into the piece she was working on about grief and religion. I just smiled and told her thank you for believing in our story so much that she would even ask such a thing. I got an email from Barb today. She got the green light. NPR, here we come! I am of course, thrilled beyond belief. NPR has such a huge audience and will just help even more on spreading the word about this murderer called childhood cancer. It is more of an audience that we have not reached yet. I need the biggest army possible, behind us. Slowly but surely, we are getting closer and closer to our dreams. I will get this research/care center built, one way or another. Failure is not an option. I have too many kiddos to help.

I’m going to end this now by leaving you with a text that I got from my mom or and your Nana. You all wonder why it is that I am such a good mom? Because I was taught by the best. My mom is the best mom on the planet. She has this thing for me called unconditional love. She has never judged me or hurt me through all of this. She not only lost her precious grandson, but her daughter as well. I hate the pain I know I’ve caused her, but I know that has never changed the love she has for me. I am slowly finding my way back to my mom, which has been really hard because the pain that she feels, hurts me so badly that it is hard for me to see so I’d rather just shut down or be closed off. I don’t think there is anybody in my life, that loves me as much as she does… well, besides my husband. I am so lucky and so thankful for her. She loves you so much, Ronan.

Her text was about Christmas. It simply said: I just bought some new Star Wars stuff for the Christmas Tree. Is there anything special you want me to get Ronan for Christmas?

I just cried. I don’t think I even responded. She is the most selfless woman I’ve ever known. The thoughtfulness of that text message meant the world to me. And I know she wasn’t even trying to be thoughtful. She was just being your Nana and the beauty of it all is it’s as simple as that. It means everything to me that she includes you in everything we do. Including wrapping a couple of presents for you to go under the Christmas Tree.

This is a novel. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Bye bye, baby.

xoxo

She is real, she is real, she is real. She has your lips. Please keep her safe.

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