I’m sad, I’m sad, I’m sad.

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Ronan. I’m in route back to Phoenix on your 21 months since you left this earth. I’ve been having flashbacks of the end of your days, off and on today. Mostly it is still so painful that I find myself trying to block out the memories of that horrific time from flooding my mind. I’ve been telling myself all day things like your death, isn’t really real. I’ve been telling myself all day this is somebody’s else’s life and not my own. Sometimes I pretend like I am watching a movie or reading a book of a stranger who is living the life that I am living. Avoiding my reality once in a while helps me get through the days that I just can’t take living this life without you anymore. Eventually, reality always comes back and smacks me in the face though. Tonight a big dose of reality is waiting for me as I step off this plane. I know what I am coming home to. Your daddy and brothers will be waiting for me so excited at the airport. I know the tears that will fill my eyes that I will have to fight back. Of course I am happy to see them but it’s you I want to see the most and you are never there, waiting for me with the 3 of them like you should be. I will always look for you though.

New York was a good trip. A productive trip. I met with quite a few people and will have some decisions to make. I met with one editor from a certain publishing house, more than once. Once in a formal setting and once again, outside of her office. I felt a connection with her that I often don’t feel after just meeting someone for the first time. I know what part of our connection is. She has a Ronan. Plain and simple. She has a son that she is absolutely insanely in love with and she completely gets the bond that I have with you. We sat outside of her office and I told her some things that I don’t share with just anyone. We talked a lot about you, about her son and all the things you are making happen in this world. She knows that you are the force behind everything that comes my way. She talked about my natural talent as I writer. How some people try so hard to become a writer and they just don’t have the natural ability that I have. She told me that she knows that this is a gift from you. It’s one of the things are you driving me to do in this life. She told me I could have chosen to do anything after losing you, but this chose me and it’s what I will do for the rest of my life. “You are a writer, plain and simple. This is what you were meant to do and will do for the rest of your life.” Coming from her, I was beyond flattered. She’s a pretty big deal in the literary world and is a writer herself. Hearing those words from her meant a lot to me. I took everything she said to heart and appreciated her willingness to be so open and honest with me. She has given me a lot to think about. I love people like that. The one’s in life that make you think about things from every different angle and don’t want you just to take the easy way out.
With the little free time that I had in New York, I spent it with Rachel. Our Rachel that feels like a younger sister to me. We walked all over the city. So much so that at one point I told her I felt like my vagina was going to fall out due to the heaviness of carrying Poppy. Sorry if that was TMI, but if you’ve ever carried a baby, you know what I am talking about. I took her to your favorite pizza spot, Deliza’s, which is right by the Ronald McDonald House. I knew I wanted to go there during this trip but I imagined going all alone and crying into my favorite soup. Instead, I grabbed Rachel and took her with me. I was so glad I didn’t have to sit there alone. I ate your favorite pizza and soup. I wish I could tell you it tasted as amazing as I remembered it with you, but of course it didn’t. Nothing in the world will ever taste as good, smell as good, or feel as good as it did when you were here with me.
I’m not going to lie. I’ve noticed myself starting to have a really hard lately. As in really hard. Really hard in the way that I felt not long after losing you. I remember the 6 month mark being a really hard time for me. I feel like I am back there again. I feel disconnected from everything and everyone. I feel myself slipping into my alone place, not wanting to connect with anyone. I’ve noticed my heart racing a lot like I am having panic attacks again. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that you are dead and the world is just going on when mine seems to be standing still. The world seems so noisy and not in a good way. It seems to be filled with all the wrong things, the wrong people hurting others, the wrong everything. Everything seems to be suffocating me. I’m sure my feeling this way is due to a combination of things. I am about to have this baby girl and also your 2 years since you died is right around the corner. I find myself obsessing about you and why you are not here. I find myself obsessing about your safety, your happiness, your sadness and who is taking care of you when it should be clearly be me. I am angry and sad in a way that I haven’t been in a while and there is nothing that can make this pain go away or better. I day dream of leaving this fucking life behind because sometimes my sadness is just too heavy and too much. I am trying to get excited about Poppy, but all I can focus on is not having you physically here to be a part of her life. I know you will be a part of her, Ronan, but not in the way I want or you want. It’s not the same as having you here.
I sat today and tried to be productive. Mostly my day was filled with my tears that seemed never-ending. I went to see your Sparkly for a bit. I hate seeing him on days like today where I am so sad that I can tell it hurts him.
“I don’t know what’s going on. I’m so sad and I can’t stop crying. I just miss him so much.”
  I could see the way his eyes were starting to form tears as he said to me, “You just spent the past week talking all about Ronan in New York. Thinking all about Ronan in New York, not that you’re not always thinking about him but I know everything in New York was very intense for you. You aren’t sleeping at all. You have a baby on the way. You have to be mentally and physically exhausted, sweetheart. I don’t know why you continue to do things like this. The going to New York thing all alone. It’s too much, especially at this point in your life.”
Me: “But I always do these things alone. That’s how I like it.”
Him: “I know you insist on doing all these things alone, but it’s not the way it should be. You are back now so please just take these next few days to just stop. Slow down. You’re doing too much.”
I just let my eyes fall to the floor. I wanted to say I don’t know how to stop. How stopping will make me want to run up my mountain 8 months pregnant and not come back down. But I just promised him I would try instead.
We sat for a while longer and caught up. As I was walking off your Mr. Sparkly Eyes said, “Hey, please just give me a smile. Even if you don’t mean it or don’t feel like it. Come on, just try for me.”
Not even him begging for a smile could make one appear today. I was not about to put on a pretend one for him either. So I just turned around, walked back and wrapped my arms around him instead. I stood that way for a minute, while the tears fell down my face. I wiped my tears away and let him tell me it was going to be alright. I nodded my head and walked off repeating the words over and over again, “It’s going to be alright, it’s going to be alright.”
I don’t know if things will ever be alright, Ronan. All I know is this is the way it is.
I miss you so much. I love you so much. I will forever be sorry, sad, and brokenhearted. I hope you are safe. G’nite baby doll.
xoxo

I Love You to the Moon and Back

Ronan. This is what happens when I am in this city. I feel alive once again. It’s the only place that I really feel this way. Away from the blinding bright sun. From all those fake plastic shiny trees. It’s only here that I feel like I belong. Where I can walk the streets for hours on end, at anytime of the day or night and I feel so alive. Where I can go to dinners with strangers and have the most stimulating conversations. This city that is so full of substance that it leaves me feeling fulfilled in a way that I don’t feel back at home. Back at home, a lot is missing. The biggest thing being you. I am making a 5 year escape plan. Well, I am making an escape plan. I’m not sure what that looks like as of now, but I have some ideas. I won’t leave AZ permanently as of now, for a couple of reasons. But I know I need to start thinking of some other options, so I don’t constantly feel like I am suffocating. I am very thankful for these breaks every once in a while. I am very thankful for the friend that I have here, that just lets me stay in her apartment when she is not using it. I could not having the guilt of spending money on an expensive hotel when I know I should be using it elsewhere as in doing things for you and your foundation. These breaks help to rejuvenate my soul and help to give me a little mental break. When I come here, there is no T.V. blaring. There is not a lot of answering the phone. There is no computer time. I tend to unplug from everything. It’s the alone time that I very much need. I cry a lot. Alone. It’s an emotional release that feels o.k. I like that I don’t have to hide my tears here. I like that I can cry and not worry who is looking over my shoulder, worrying about me. Sometimes, I just need a break from everything. Including my very supportive, very loving husband who just wants to constantly make sure I am o.k. and fix everything. Who I am so lucky to have, but even I know I need a break from the, “Are you o.k.’s.” “What can I do, to help?” “I’m here for you’s.” Sometimes I just need my badass solo time where I know nothing will ever be o.k. and I am strong enough to take my alone time to deal with that. The way that I need to deal with that, even if that just means getting lost on the subway for a couple of hours. I always do my best thinking and planning in this city. As I said before, I feeds my soul. I also always feel super close to you when I am here, which you know I love.

Yesterday, oh yesterday. Where do I begin? It was a busy day. It was a packed day. I had a lot crammed in to yesterday. I ran down to SoHo to meet someone for lunch. I had a couple of other meetings as well. I took the subway like that typical New Yorker girl that I have become. Someone even asked me for directions yesterday and I knew right where to tell them to go. That made me smile. I never know what the days are going to bring here which is one of the reasons I love it so much. I got a call from the Katie Couric show. They wanted me to come down to the studio around 4. Also, something had changed in regards to the show I was supposed to tape next Monday, October 22nd. I returned the phone call to Katie’s oh so lovely producer. “What can do to get you to stay in New York and tape your segment, this Monday?” I listened to her tell me what was going on, what had changed, how the show the I was originally scheduled to be on, had become so filled up with other things that Katie was not happy as she wanted our story to have enough air time. I tried to put all the pieces to the puzzle into place as far as what I needed to do, on my end. I know this is the way this insane world of television works. Everything can change in an instant. I called your daddy to ask him if he could please drop everything he had on Monday, to come out here with me. He had a packed day, but of course he made it work. So now, instead of taping the show next Monday, I will be taping it THIS Monday, October 15th.
I got to Katie’s studio around 4 p.m. I met with her producer and a few other people. I was not sure of what all I was to be prepared for. That’s one of the other things about this world… sometimes things just get thrown your way and you have to just roll with them. After chatting for a bit, I was feeling pretty comfortable. They told me they wanted to do a little interview but I had no idea of how intense it was going to be. I was taken into a small office with three twenty something year old boys. At least they looked to be about 20. They hooked me up to a mic, camera on, closed the door and I sat as they started setting everything up. At one point I think I said something like, “This is weird.” They all chuckled a little bit and said, “You’ve been interviewed before, though.” I said, “Yes, but not like this.” The next hour or what felt like 4 hours was an emotional roller coaster. I was not prepared for the questions. Questions that I think about all the time, but when I have to put my actual feelings into words, I sometimes have a hard time doing so. I did the best I could do. To break down in a room with three boys whom I have never met before in my life, left me feeling so vulnerable in the most vulnerable of situations. I, being the mom on the other end of the camera, sobbing over having lost something that can never be replaced. I did my best to talk about you, which is still so hard for me to do because my pain is still so raw and fresh. I had to stop a few times. They were asking about the dates of things and you know I cannot remember those things to save my life. My grief brain is still so very present that I often feel as if I have Alzheimer’s or something. After the interview I felt shaky but put on my best face to finish up what I had to do. The people that are working for the Katie Couric show could not be nicer or more accommodating. I got to see some of the behind the scenes stuff which was very fun and one of the boys, Josh, who was showing me around was absolutely delightful. It was a nice way to end a very hard interview. I left the Katie show and realized I was starving. I found myself in a little diner, all alone, drowning my sorrows in some french fucking toast. I sat texting your Mr. Sparkly Eyes like mad. I told him about my afternoon, he could tell how shaken up I was and simply sent me a text back saying, “Go easy.” I replied back with, “What does that mean? Go easy on the French Toast? I’m about to stab it to death. Or go easy on myself? You know I’m always my toughest critic.” He said, “Yourself, please.” Fine Sparkly. You win. I stopped stabbing the french toast and inhaled it instead. I went back to my little apartment and did my best to unwind. I fell asleep easily like I always do here.
Today, I met up with one of my little angels who floats around this city. We had the loviest of lovely lunches where I got to tell her thank you from the bottom of my heart for so many things. I have not spent much time with this angel on earth. We had a lunch full of so many, “Oh my gosh moments,” that I was so blown away once again, by all the people that you are placing in our lives. We talked a lot about life, death and souls. She is one of the few people who looked at me, bent down and kissed my belly and told me, “Maya, I cannot imagine how hard this pregnancy is for you. You are still a grieving mom, yet you have another life inside of you. That is so much to take on.” I was blown away. She doesn’t read this blog, yet she totally got it in a way that most people do not. That just shows me how connected she is to not only her own soul, but other people’s around her as well. It’s not often that I am truly surprised by people. Today, was one of those days. Our lunch was quick but so fulfilling. I left there once again, being inspired to do great things, just by the company that I was in. This person has made herself an incredible life and she has done it all with those two little secrets that I have mentioned before. Substance and passion. I’ve will say this for the rest of my life. If you have those two things in your life, the world can be your oyster. Once we parted ways, I was on a mission to find my outfit for the Katie show. It took me a few hours, but I think I found something that will look pretty cute. I’m at that really awkward stage of being pregnant where I either look pregnant or just really, really bloated. That should be fun on national television. I’m not too worried about it because it is what it is. Poppy is popping and I will just be thankful for this little one that seems to be growing by the day. I had somebody say to me the other night, “If this is a girl, how are you not going to name her Poppy?” I just said, “I don’t know. I’ve fallen in love with that name. It makes me smile.” I think Poppy Thompson is such a darling name. We will cross that bridge, when we come to it. I went to Bloomingdale’s for my little shopping adventure with also a side plan too. I did what I always do when I am in the city and go to Bloomie’s just to eat at 40 carrots where I always used to take you. I sat at the bar and ordered my food as I was starved. Some older lady came and sat right down next to me and proceeded to scream into her cell phone the entire time I was eating. Granted, the restaurant was loud but that was from all the patrons, enjoying themselves. Not from them RUDELY talking on their cell phones. The lady proceeded to scream into her phone and say things like, “You didn’t call me out of love. You called me to ask something of me! Did you watch the Debates? What kind of an idiot would vote for Obama again? He’s ruining our country! If you want to drive in my fancy car with me, then you do not just get to text on your cell phone the entire time! Learn some respect!” OHMYFUCKINGGOD. The lady went on the entire time I was eating. I so wanted to reach over, snatch the cell phone out of her and throw it across the room. I pictured myself saying, “EXCUSE ME! I’m trying to eat my Fr-Yo, with my dead son, and you are ruining EVERYTHING!” I didn’t though. I sat quietly and tried my best to tune her out. At one point I was doing my best to eat our frozen yogurt and the tears just started pouring. I quickly wiped them away, while trying my best to make sure my throat didn’t close up so I could swallow our favorite tasty treat. I was so sad, sitting there alone, without you. I finished my meal. Paid and got out of there not without looking for you around every corner. Not without remembering every spot we sat, stood and I took your picture. I remembered it all, so vividly.
I’m home now. Tucked away, safe and sound. Exhausted from the day, but thankful to be here, in this city. I love it like no other. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Goodnight my little spicy monkey boy. Sweet dreams. I love you to the moon and back.

Hello NYC

Ronan. This break from Arizona, could not have come at a better time. I am seriously about to go blind from all the sunny sunshine that just does not match the way my insides feel anymore. I spent the weekend at home. Pretty much in bed. I was trying to rest up for New York and was not feeling well. I also was seriously hiding from the sun. As in, I think I may have a sun phobia. I didn’t step outside Saturday or Sunday. It was only after the sun dipped down on Sunday, that I decided to go out to the grocery store to stock up on food before my departure. Monday came and went. I kept myself busy, getting ready to leave for my flight to New York. I tackled all the laundry that I have been ignoring, paid bills and packed my suitcase. I picked up your brothers, we did homework, I made them a snack, and I took them to a birthday. It was a NFL birthday theme hence the Monday night party. I came home, talked to your daddy for a bit and drew myself a bath. Your daddy came in to check on me.

Our conversation went a little like this.
Me: I think we need to move out of this house. I can’t stay here. It’s suffocating me. It’s too sad.
Him: O.k. we can talk about this. Just hear me out. You want to leave this house? You say that all the time, but that’s not going to make you less sad. You really want to pack up Ronan’s room? Then what? Start over? I think you would end up regretting that, but if that’s what you want to do, we will do that. To me, that seems like we’ve moved on. And I never want to move on from him.
Me: I think this house caused his cancer. And now this new baby is going to have cancer. (I know I’m not being rational)
Him: This house did not give Ronan cancer. This new baby is not going to have cancer. That won’t happen. Nobody has that much bad luck.
Me: I wasn’t aware there was a cap on how much bad luck a person has. I don’t think it works that way.
Him: I don’t know what to say. This fucking sucks. You are the worlds best mom. He was the most amazing boy. How the fuck something like this happens, is beyond me. It just goes to show you, how fucked up this world is.
I stop talking. I think about the moving thing. I am torn. I leave it at that. I get out of the bath and get ready for my red-eye to New York.
My eyes burn from crying. There is a little boy, who is seated next to me. He’s flying alone. He’s only 6. I strike up a conversation. I ask him what he’s going to New York for. He says to see his daddy, because he misses him. My heart breaks. He’s holding onto a little lego guy. I ask to see it. He shows it to me and pulls off the head. Just like you used to do. His hair is bald under his stocking cap. Somebody is clearly messing with me. He won’t put on his seatbelt. I coax him in to doing it. I tell him the airplane won’t be able to take off, until he does. He can’t do it himself. I help him. He’s out like a light now. He was out before we even took off. I turn my head towards the window to pretend like I give a shit about what’s going on outside as we take off. I do not. I turn my head so I can sob into your blanket. I sob as quietly as possible for a good 15 minutes. I can’t seem to stop. I miss you so much. I can’t breathe.
For as much as I love New York and am so thankful to be going, I hate all of this. I hate that we all are apart. You, wherever you are. Me, going to New York. Your daddy and brothers, at home. It would not be this way, if you were still here. I wouldn’t be doing any of this. All I ever wanted was simple. That was one of the biggest reasons I married your Daddy. Because everything was so simple. Our life revolved around each other and the three of you. It was so easy. No drama. No fighting. No cheating. No lying. Just a life that was so good and wholesome. Apparently that pissed somebody off, because we were then dealt the fucking worst hand. It was like, “Oh hello. You all love each other too much, so here’s some cancer for you. And not only cancer, but cancer in the form of your 3 year old and he’s going to die from it too.” What in the hell is that? Now I’m watching these other families that have gone through this or are going through this and it’s the same thing for them as well. The nicest families. It makes no sense at all. You can’t make sense out of nonsense, right Ro. I know this but I will never quit trying. I will always be searching for the answers that do not exist.
I am in New York now. Stacy is with me. As soon as we arrived, it started raining. You know that made me smile. We spent the day trying to catch up on a little sleep, grabbed a bite to eat, then I came back and tried to nap again. Poppy is still making me tired. I tried to nap but I really just went through some of the 500 email messages that had popped up in my inbox from just this morning. We met up with our Fairy RoMo for dinner and a little secret guest. It was a good dinner full of lots of secret plans that will be revealed when the time is right. I asked Stacy and your Fairy RoMo to come with me, knowing that you don’t get any better than those two when it comes to needing an open-minded opinion/some gut trusting intuition. We all left there with the same feelings of this totally feels right. I was so happy we were on the same page. It means the world to me that I was able to have the both of them there. I truly do have the most amazing friends.
That was last night, this is tomorrow night. Holy amazeballs. This city. I honestly come here, without many plans and the most amazing things come my way. It is pure Romagic. Today, we got up and walked the streets, making our way to see Fairy RoMo. We spent the day with her. The days with her always feel like I’ve been transported into another world, another time, where I actually feel happy. She has that infectious way about her that just makes me feel good. A feeling that doesn’t happen very often to me anymore. We saw some sights. Met up with one of her dear friends, who I have been dying to meet. Had a cocktail, (a virgin spicy bloody mary for me), and walked some more. It was one of those days where Stacy and I just kept looking at each other and saying, “Is this all really happening?” We parted ways as we had a dinner to run off to. We had plans to meet up with Scott Kennedy from Solving Kids’ Cancer. Stacy has been dying to meet him and I was so excited to see him as well. I got a little surprise at dinner. Scott had brought a lady with him, who he introduced as Catheryn. I thought she was just somebody he worked with. We said hello and I started asking her how she got involved in the foundation as she said she had just started working there. She then told me she was John London’s wife. John London is the other dad who started up Solving Kids’ Cancer with Scott. “Oh my god. You’re Penelope’s mom.” I said tearing up. I grabbed her for a hug. I know their story. It like ours, does not have a happy ending. Penelople’s parents fought with everything and more to save their precious little girl. Oh, how I wish that mama still had her baby girl. I should have known there was a reason when the second I saw the woman standing before me, that I was so drawn to her. It was because her eyes, looked exactly like mine. They burned with pain and beauty right into my soul. We had a great dinner. Which now I’m thinking, really, a great dinner? How can that be? It’s the kind of dinner that is always sad. So fucking sad. The fact that 3 of us, were sitting there with dead children is about as sick of a joke as you can get. It will never be a dinner where we carelessly drink our “hectic” day away without a care in the world, like everyone around us seemed to be doing. It will never be a dinner full of so much laugher and joy. It will always be a dinner full of sorrow, pain, love and survival. We don’t get to have normal dinners ever again. And I would never want to because normal to me will never exist. I have accepted that. I am making my own new fucking normal. I was thankful for not having to sit through a dinner and fake it. I don’t do those dinners ever anyway, because I just cannot. I am careful about the company I surround myself with. I was glad to be in the company that I was, even under our circumstances. We left that dinner and I looked at Stacy and said, “That man. (meaning Scott Kennedy) makes me want to move to New York and raise a billion dollars for childhood cancer.” In other words, he is incredible. I am so thankful to have him as a mentor and a friend.
Stacy left today. I was sad to see her go. I need to end this here. I’m beyond wiped. I love you baby. I miss you. Please, I hope you are safe.
xxoo

Grief, Pregnancy and Pies

 

Ronan. I think I told you that I tried to “prep,” with Dr. JoRo about this whole getting pregnant thing. We spent hours upon hours talking about it. Nothing could have prepared me for what it is like to be pregnant, after losing you. I am a natural born mother. I am a good mother. The fact that I still don’t really feel all giddy and excited about this baby, scares me a little bit. I still think this baby is going to die, so therefore I am trying not to get too attached to it yet. I guess I wrote a lot about having another baby when you were still here. I know we talked about it, but I don’t remember all the things you told me. A lot of my blog readers have been posting that you said you wanted a baby sister. I don’t remember that, but apparently I wrote it so it must be true. My foggy grief brain still makes a lot of my memories of you, hard to remember. Whatever this baby is, it will be loved. I know I love it, but I also know it will never take the place of you. It will never fill the empty space in my heart that feels like a gaping hole. I can’t even begin to think about a nursery. All I know is we have 3 bedrooms in our house and yours will not be turned into a nursery. I’m not sure what we will do. There is no way I can even fathom the thought of taking down your things and packing them away. I told your daddy he needs to build a new room for this baby because it’s not having yours. I cannot part with your toys, clothes, stuffed animals, books, blankets, pictures on the walls. I cannot take the things down from your room, only to fill them with something new. I cannot get rid of your bed and the Master Yoda that hangs above it. I won’t do it.

I am still pretty sick. The thought of any type of food, makes me nauseous, except pies. What in the hell is that all about? That’s all I want to eat. Peach Pie, Apple Pie, Cherry Pie… yes please. Any type of meat makes me throw up. Any type of cooking smell, makes my stomach turn. I’ve been living off of pie. So weird, but I’ll take it. You know in my obsessive exercising eating nothing world before I was pregnant, I would have never touched a pie. Bring on the pies now. I’ll enjoy them while I can:) I was productive yesterday. Of course this left me wiped out so I had to come home and take a bloody nap. I was going through some emails. I had been going back and forth with your Sparkly on some things. He had read my last blog post about how barbaric the cancer world is. He told me he thought I was being a little harsh. This led to me sending him an email back saying in no way, shape or form, was I too harsh. This led to him calling my phone. We had a little debate that  I took a stance on and refused to back down. You know how he loves to play devils advocate with me. Not because he thinks I am wrong, but I think he likes to provoke me into thinking long and hard about things from every angle, before I take such a strong stance. This is one of the things that I love most about him. The way he makes me exam everything that comes my way, with a magnifying glass. This led to me bawling on the phone. “You didn’t see everything he went through, but you saw more than most people. I won’t tell you everything they did to him, because I feel like I have to protect you. I know how much your heart is broken. Why would I want to break it anymore? Yes, it was barbaric. Yes, it is wrong. These are kids. They deserve more compassionate treatments. I lived in this world. I saw things that you don’t even know about. Someday, I will tell you.” I sobbed into the phone. “Darling. It’s o.k. You are right. You are so right. You don’t have anything to prove to me, o.k. He deserved better. You know you have my utmost respect, always. Come on, settle down. When do you leave for New York? Tell me about your trip.” I wiped away my tears and appreciated the way he tried to change the subject. We talked about New York for a bit. He always knows how to cheer me up, but I was still left a little shaken. I still feel like I have post traumatic stress syndrome over the things we went through. I will not ever forget the way you were treated like a lab rat by supposedly one of the best doctors in the world. What a fucking joke.

I have tried to be as productive as possible. I had a long board meeting last night. As always, it was good. I love our little unconventional board. I love the way we gather around our kitchen table, somebody always brings food, and we get down to business. There is a lot of business to attend to, but that never gets in the way of the love and laughter that fills our house while those girls are here. That means everything to me. We have so much going on which we are all so thankful for. We also know some changes are going to have to come, in order to start raising the serious about of money, that we want to raise. Let the strategizing, begin…

Sooooooo… New York!!! I leave soon. I have some serious business to attend to! I’m so excited. Stacy is coming with me. She needs a break and this trip is just what the doctor ordered. She will be great to have along with me to help with the business things that we are dealing with. We are also going to meet up with my friend, Scott Kennedy, from Solving Kids’ Cancer, another really great organization that is based out of New York. We will spend some time with our Fairy RoMo which is the thing I am most excited about. NYC with our Fairy RoMo is my paradise. It will be a trip packed with a lot of business, but a lot of fun as well. All fueled by everything Ronan. My favorite kind of trip. The only one’s I feel comfortable taking. As long as you are the reason I am going, to keep things moving forward with your foundation, your memory, and your spirit… I know great things will come from this trip.

A lot of you little blog readers have asked why I am calling this baby Poppy for now. It’s because when I first found out I was pregnant, it was the size of a poppy seed. I thought that name sounded cute, so that is why. It won’t be the real name for the baby. We have had those picked out for a long time. Our girl name was picked out even before Liam and Quinn were born. We think we have our boy name too. Ronan will be a part of both of their names, regardless of the sex of the baby. That is important to our family. We have all agreed on that. Anything else I need to address tonight?? Your questions are sweet. I love reading all of your comments. Thanks for writing them.

I think this is all for tonight, Ronan. I miss you so much. I watched your daddy come home from work today. I was laying in bed.(still sick and maybe a little depressed) He put his keys on our dresser, just like he always does, right in front of your urn. Watching him do this, I felt like I was sucker punched. His keys, our son, on our dresser. It is just all so wrong. You should not be sitting there. You should have been causing trouble somewhere like I know you would be doing, if you were here. I’m sorry for everything. I miss you, I love you, I hope you are safe.

xoxo

All good things are wild and free, right Ro???

Dear Grief/Pregancy, You will NOT kill my soul.

 

 

Ronan. This staying in bed and waiting to die, because I’m pregnant and tired, is bullshit. Hello, who the fuck does this life/grief/pregnancy/death fuckwad, think they are dealing with? This is the girl who went skydiving, just because. This is the girl, who ran a marathon, without training for it, just because. This is the girl, who is fighting with every single thing that I have, because I don’t have a choice, unless I want to curl up and die, while letting cancer take EVERYTHING away from me.  I am tired of being tired and I’m going to fight through this as hard as I can. Staying in bed, in NOT good for my mental well being. I decide to start today with, enough is enough. Just because I am tired and sick does not mean I have to roll over and totally give into that, right?? I am allowing myself to have about an hour a day in bed, not the entire freaking day. I can’t do that to myself, no matter how awful I am feeling. Am I pushing things a bit? Maybe, but it’s the only way I feel like I can survive. Hopefully in the next month or so, I’ll have some of my energy back, but until then, I WILL power through this.

I spent the day with a friend of mine. We were invited to a lunch that at a house that lasted much of the day. I went, not knowing what to expect and it was a total adventure. It felt good to be out and about, doing something a little out of my comfort zone. Actually a lot out of my comfort zone. I was in a world that I normally don’t live in anymore. A world of shiny, happy people. I don’t fit well into that world anymore, but I love our hostess so for her, I was totally game. Plus she says the word, “Fuck,” a lot which you know I appreciate. I also got to see a good friend of mine, Kristi, and it is always fun to spend some time with her. It felt good just to be out with my friend. Our conversations area always easy and honest. No need for bullshit or pretending. I don’t function well in a bullshit and pretending world. I never have and never will. We left our lunch feeling as if we had just come off of another planet, but were both so thankful for the adventure. I needed a break from MY reality today which is exactly what I got. Thanks, J- for the break, amazing lunch and your dazzling smile. It was nice to be among the living for a few hours.

Last night, Ronan, I had the most vivid dream. I was in the hospital and I had this baby of ours. It was a boy. He was so tiny and frail. I was holding him and our Mr. Sparkly Eyes came into the room. This is such a pattern, him in my dreams, always when I am dreaming about you in whatever way that I am. He came in beaming and so happy. I handed him the baby to hold and I was begging him to help me name this baby boy, as I could not think of a name. The next thing I knew, this baby started talking and saying, “Ronan, Ronan, Ronan,” over and over again. I remember being really sad because this I so wanted this baby to be you, but it was not. I woke up soon after that, totally freaked out by the baby in my dream, talking. I was aching to see your little face so badly that I wanted to throw up. I almost felt mad at the baby boy, in my dream, for not being you. I don’t know what this dream meant. If we do have a boy, we have already decided his middle name will be Ronan, of course. We have about one idea for a first name. I am kind of all out of ideas for boy first names, but we know it of course has to be Irish.

I had a nice thing happen to me today. A nice email that once again, came again at the most perfect timing. Just when I have been struggling on a little side project the past few days. It’s almost as if you are still around so much that you know when I am struggling, and you send someone into help me out or give me a big fucking sign that everything will work out. I have a lot of dreams. This one has been in the works for a while but it is nothing I have been pursuing seriously. You know how I am about just letting things, happen when they are supposed to. I am such a true believer in this, especially in the world I live in now. I might just fall asleep with a smile on my face tonight and I might just be going out to New York City in a few weeks. Our Fairy RoMo said to pack our umbrella. Gladly. Happily. Best news ever. I am sick and tired of this blinding sun. Stay tuned:) I miss our city, so very much and now I might just have a great excuse to get my pregnant ass back out there, puking and all. I am dying to see our Fairy RoMo, as well.

This is all for tonight my most beautiful boy. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

Training is for suckers! 26.2 Easy breezy, baby!

Ronan. I might be awesome. I woke up this morning at 4 a.m. and thought to myself, “I’m running this marathon today. It’s going to be easy.” I showered, dressed, tucked a baggie full of your ashes, inside my little carrying belt and woke up your daddy and brothers, to drop me off. I had your daddy take a sharpie and write your name all over me as well as Ava’s and our little dragon friend, too. Because you are all worth fighting for. They dropped me off at Balboa Park and off I went, alone, to wait for my race to start. While I was waiting, I sat in the grass, took my sharpie and wrote some more things on my legs like, “Fuck Cancer.” I had some girl come over to ask if I would write on her too, so I did. I put her friend, Christy’s name on her arm, her mom’s and then I asked her if she wanted your name on there as well. She said she would love that so I wrote “RONAN,” in huge letters on her arm. She told me she was only doing the half marathon and thought it was awesome that I was doing the full. She asked how long I had trained for and I told her I hadn’t trained at all. She looked at me like I had 3 heads and said, “What?! That’s crazy!” I just smiled and told her I knew. The funny thing was, I wasn’t nervous at all. I hadn’t set any expectations for myself except for I just wanted to finish, and have fun. I secretly in my head had thought to myself that I would like to finish in 5 hours, but I didn’t put a ton of pressure on myself about it.

I got to my corral and before I knew it, we were off and running. I was running, running, running. My pace felt good and I felt relaxed and almost as this was a little too easy which did not make any sense because I really have not been running at all. I kept my mind focused on you most of the time with bursts here and there of everyone who I knew, that was rooting for me. That made me smile and pushed me to run harder. Heather and Sam were waiting for me around mile 9 which I loved. Heather was all dressed up in some crazy purple outfit and they had about 20 purple star balloons for me. I carried those balloons for about 3 miles. People kept yelling at me that the balloons were slowing down my pace and to let them go. I didn’t care. They made me smile. I kept holding on to them until I found a little kid on the side of the road, to give them to. He was so excited and it made my day, to make his.

I think the first half of the marathon, I totally kicked butt. I do remember thinking around mile 10, “Shit, how am I really going to run this whole thing?” I quickly pushed that thought out of my mind which wasn’t hard when I remembered the reason that I was running. For you and all the other kids out there dying from or fighting this disease. I thought about you and all that you put up with. The surgeries, the chemo, the broviac dressing changes, the bone aspirations, the radiation, the traveling back and forth, and being torn out of your perfect little 3-year-old world and transformed into hell, in the blink of an eye. That was the only reminder I needed to shut the “oh my god this hurts,” voices off in my head. I knew that nothing was going to stop me. I hit the halfway mark and started to have a lot of fun. There are P.F. Changs photographers everywhere, I ran past one of them, flipped him off and he yelled out back to me, “HAHA, hey fuck you!” He was cracking up, which made me crack up. I yelled back at him, “That was to cancer!” He yelled back, “I like your style, Rockstar Ronan!” This got me to mile 16 and by this time, my left toes were numb and hurting. I looked down and the entire front of my left shoe was covered in blood. I pulled over, took off my shoe to reveal bloody toes galore. Ouch. I quickly decided there was nothing I could do about this, so I just put my sock and shoe back on to continue on running. I was in a lot of pain so I walked when I needed to. I had a dance party in someones front lawn. I drank a beer around mile 19. Some kids had a table set up outside their house, with cups of beer in it. Why the heck not, I thought and I chugged it. It made me laugh and think of you and how you used to love to sip on your daddy’s beers. Somebody else was passing out Otter Pops. This may have saved my life! Never has an Otter Pop tasted so good! I think I had about 3 of them, also while thinking about you as this was one of the last things that I fed you. I maybe got a little emotional at one point, but I pushed my tears aside because my sadness turned to anger which pushed me to keep running. I saw Heather and Sam again and they covered me in silly string. I stopped to talk to them for about 5 minutes. I wasn’t really concerned with my time as the fun of it all, made me care less. Around mile 20 Becca and Holly were screaming for me. I stopped to talk to them for a while, too. They asked how I was, I yelled, “This is easy! Fuck cancer!” They both looked like their eyes were going to pop out of their heads. They told me they were expecting me to be hurting and hardly walking. They were expecting to see a whole different Maya then the one who was smiling back at them. After I finished chatting with them, I ran off to finish my last 6 miles. The last six, were the hardest. I walked a lot. My left foot, was throbbing and I was limping. I had no clue of my time but I was thinking I was well past the 5 hour mark. I walked for about 2 miles, then once I knew I only had a couple more miles to do, I started to run again, but my running only lasted for bits here and there. The last mile I powered through and ran as fast as I could with my bloody and blistered toes, telling me to stop. I didn’t listen. There was no way I was walking through that finish line.

Your daddy and brothers were waiting for me. I started to tear up for a few reasons. One being because I was so happy to see them, but I was so sad that you were not waiting at the finish line for me, like you should have been. A mix of emotions, filled me. Happiness, sadness, excitement, disappointment, anger, and relief. I also felt pretty proud of myself. I looked at your daddy and said, “Worst time ever, right? That had to be well over 5 hours.” He goes, “No way. You finished at 4:51. That is a great time, for not having trained at all.” I smiled. “Really?! No way!” I could not believe my time was under 5 hours. I totally winged this marathon, stopped a bunch of times to just hang out/take it easy/drink a beer/eat some oranges/pound some Gatorades/have a dance party in some random persons yard. I didn’t take anything about this marathon seriously except for the reason I was doing it and the reason I was going to finish it. I had a BLAST. When I trained for the New York one, my time was 4:27. If I wouldn’t have spent all that time, goofing off for this one, I would have beaten my old time! But I think that would have taken the fun out of it for me. I think I will always do marathons this way, for the rest of my life. No training. Just enjoying the experience of it without any expectations or build up. After I ran the NYC one, I said I would never do another one again because I was so burnt out. After running this marathon, I am so ready to do another one! What a difference a good attitude and a little perspective can make in one’s life. This right here is proof that it really just is mind over matter. If you want something badly enough, and you have a big enough reason to go after it with all that you’ve got, anything is achievable. ANYTHING.

So today, I am sore. But not as sore as I thought I would be. Today, I am filled with a proudness within myself, that I have not felt for a while. I know you were there, with me yesterday, pushing me when I needed to be pushed, but also reminding me to have fun. I felt your spirit filling me throughout the day, whenever I would laugh, giggle, or do something a little naughty like flip off the photogs. I ran that marathon for you and all the other kids who won’t ever be able to run a marathon because they were cheated by cancer and death. I’m so sorry for that. The only thing that would have made this better, would have been you waiting at the finish line, for me. Your brothers and daddy looked so proud. I know you are proud too. That’s all I want in life, besides a cure for that asshole called Neuroblastoma; is for you to be proud. I think you were yesterday. I think this is why I know I am going to do amazing things for you in life. Just to make you proud. I promise you this.

I miss you, I love you, I hope you are safe. Thank you to everyone who helped support me with this little crazy idea of mine that turned out to be something amazing where our goal was achieved. I will be talking to Scott from Solving Kids’ Cancer tomorrow or Wednesday and we are going to get the show on the road to fund Dr. Mosse’s trial as enough money was raised. This was also for her. For her dignity, grace, braveness, and compassion that she fights for every single day in doing the work that she is does. I am thrilled to be able to support her. Love you, all. Thank you, again. None of this would have been possible, without you.

xoxo

 

A city where the happy is too loud so let’s go away to the cold beach

Ronan. What is today? Sunday I think. The days are lost for me. The day you left me is almost here. May 9th. Your day of death. Not the day you “flew away to the heavens above,” not the day you “went to be with Jesus,” not the day you “went to a better place where you are an angel now,” not the day that you became “free,” not the day that “you went home.” I am not about to soften this blow with any of that bullshit. It’s fluff and fluff does not work for me. May 9th. Your day of death. The bloody hell worst day of my life. Period. I would actually like to take May 9th and make it a National holiday. I would like May 9th to be National F U Cancer day. I think that is appropriate since it is the day that cancer stole you. I am not taking your day and turning it into something fucking pretty, happy, light, and filled with angels from above. FUCK THAT SHIT. I am going to take the day that you left me and rename it and make it the name that it deserves. I think I will wear black all day long. I think I will try not to die from the pain of physically feeling, with every cell in my body, that you are not here. I remember our last moments together. They are a part of my soul now. They fill me with things like anger that I never knew existed. They fill me with things like a fire and a drive that I never knew I had. They make me want to take on the world because I know I can change this. I know we can change this. I know the power of our love can take the worst thing possible, and help others. But I am not doing this the nice way. I am not playing by the fluffy rules. There is nothing sweet and fluffy about having to dig your babies ashes out of his urn to place them in a plastic baggie, so you can take him on a trip with you. Anybody that says otherwise, can fuck off. Because it is simply not true. It’s bullshit and something no parent should ever have to experience. Especially not in this day and age when kids die from cancer, due to lack of funding alone. I don’t understand this. I will never understand this. I will never understand why this is acceptable. I will never understand why all of these kids are swept under the rug. I will never understand so I will spend the rest of my life, trying to fix this. This is what I am here to do, Ronan. I am not doing anything else.

I may have had a mini freak out last night in our hotel room. We landed in a big city. A big city is not where we need to be right now. I knew that planning this trip. I can do a city, all alone, and badass, any other month, but not this month. We went to dinner in this big city last night. It was all I could do to stay in the restaurant and not flip the fuck out. There were sooooo many happy people, everywhere. Happy and fancy. All dressed up. All happy and carefree. Nobody in that restaurant, had a dead almost 4-year-old. That I am sure of. “Their happy, is too loud.” I know what that feels like. I feel like that, all the time. It makes me sad and stings my eyes. Please bring him back. Please. I beg over and over in my head. I WILL DO ANYTHING. This never works, but I will continue to try for the rest of my life. I left the restaurant with Liam. We had a little foundation business to attend to. We had to get a picture of my fake training, for Palmer Cash, as they were my sponsor for the day. Thanks Palmer Cash. Everyone needs to check them out. They make the raddest tee shirts out there. Liam happily snapped my pics and laughed at my goofy posing/fake running. You see, I am not only doing this to make some money for your foundation, but I am also doing this to help us get through May. My life kind of depends on it. This was my idea as I knew we were going to need a way to get a laugh and some smiles on this trip. A light-hearted but heavy-hearted way to make some money to get Dr. Mosse’s trial funded, seemed like the way to go. So far, so good. I have had a blast and it is a healthy, good distraction.

We were all tired from our long day of traveling. We fell asleep pretty early. I ended up waking up, and having a mini freak out session/panic attack which caused me to slam two Ambien and send some insane text messages to your Mr. Sparkly Eyes. Well, not insane, but intense. I am always the most intense when I am the saddest/on the verge of jumping out of our 7 story hotel room. It was the Ambien that knocked me into a black coma of oblivion, not the soothing words of everything is going to be alright that I needed to hear. No words last night could have saved me. I know myself well enough to know when I am not capable of handling things on my own. Last night, when I woke up in that hotel room, only to find your daddy and brothers, and you were nowhere to be found.. well, what can I say? Nothing. What do you say to that? How can words comfort that? They can’t. They didn’t. I chose to escape instead. I am not perfect. You know how I hate our little frienemy. But on nights like last night, I don’t have a choice. The 7th floor jumping out of our hotel window, to splatter on the streets below, did not seem like a better option. Ambien won. Again, but not always. Not always is good enough for me, as of now.

I woke up this morning, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. No trace of black oblivion coma, existed. Up, showered, packed, Starbucks, hit the road, let’s get outta this big city. We met up with some friends. Good friends. Forever friends because of the unthinkable bond that we share. The one of a dead child, due to cancer. It was good to see them. So good. It actually felt good. It felt like home. I am so glad we are here. Getting out of Phoenix was the right thing to do. We watched their little boys’ Lacrosse game. God, you would have loved that game. It is so a sport you would have kicked ass at. Since you cannot be here, to kick ass at this sport, I now feel like I should do this for you. I am dreaming of a woman’s Lacrosse team as we speak. How awesome would that be? Your brothers want to play as well. The thought of that, put a smile on my face. I told them I would look into it once we returned home from our trip. They are both so excited. I am excited too. They are such good little boys. Almost too good. I need to rough them up a bit. I think Lacrosse is a good start.

After the Lacrosse game, we all went to lunch. I sat back with our friends and watched the way the 4 of our boys became fast friends, laughing and giggling together. 4 boys but there should have been 6. 6 would have been much better. 6 would have been absolutely perfect in this so-called imperfect world that does not exist if you have all of your kids, healthy and living. Healthy and living and there should be nothing to complain about, ever. Not the spilled milk, not the ” I don’t have enough time for myself because my kids keep me too busy,” not the messes made, not the arguments that are had, not the strong-willed child that throws a fit over everything, not the “I am too tired because my “sick,” child kept me up all night.” Please. I would give both of my arms for those problems. I would give my life for those problems. Those are not problems. Those are “you are so fucking lucky.” So shut up, suck it up, and be grateful. Stop making everything so much more complicated than it really is. Because at the end of the day, it’s not complicated at all. If it is, fix it. Are you laying with your child, as he takes his last breaths? If you are not and you are still complaining about this shit I would really like to punch you in the face. I cannot tolerate a life of complaining of nothingness. I don’t tolerate it. Which is why I may have such a big problem with being out in the real world now. Complainers are everywhere. I don’t do well with them.

If good days existed in my life anymore, today would have been one of them. We left our friends and headed off to our new destination. As we drove to our hotel, I spent the majority of the car ride, quite, with tears streaming down my face. Everything in our lives has changed. Even a 45 minute car ride. I hid my tears from everyone, as not to upset your brothers. I was so thankful to get out of the city. A cold, beachy destination seems to be much more fitting. A sleepy little town, where it seems as problems do not exist. I know this is not true. But due to the fucked up things that go on in my head, I have convinced myself that if we had live here, you would not have gotten cancer and died. Case in point, conversation with your daddy in the car.

Me: “I’ll bet nothing bad ever happens here.”

Your daddy: “That is not true. Bad things happen everywhere.”

Me: “Well, I’ll bet kids don’t get cancer and die here. I’ll bet if we would have lived here, Ronan would not have gotten cancer and died. It’s just too perfect.”

Your daddy a.k.a. the voice of reason and also the voice of you are clearly insane: “People get cancer everywhere, living here would not have changed Ronan getting cancer.”

I huffed and puffed. A small part of me thinks that if we had indeed lived in this small little sleepy town, that you would still be here. It’s my pretend world and I can live in it if I want to. I choose to live in it. Most of the time alone. Sometimes not. Either way, I don’t see myself leaving it anytime soon. It is the pieces of pretend that give me a break from our reality.

I chose to see you today. Running on the beach. Diving into the freezing ocean like I know you would have. Carrying your little red sand bucket. Giggling everywhere. Yelling, “Quinny! Mama! Quinn just threw sand at me!” Then throwing the sand back. I would have chased you like the wind today. I would have loved every second of cleaning you off. Throwing you into a warm bath where I would make sure you felt safe, clean, loved and warm. I would have put on your sweet little pajamas and tucked you into bed with me, where you belong. Nowhere else. Certainly not this nowhere that is here now. Certainly not this nowhere of crying myself to sleep because I am so sad I got to do none of those things with you today. I know you want to be here doing them, just as badly. I can feel it. I am sorry. Forever sorry.

I might have to end this now. I think it’s really long and I’m too sad, to continue on. Today was as good of a day, as it could have been. Your brothers happiness is proof of that. There happiness is how I judge good days now. I very rarely know happiness of my own. I’m o.k. with this. As long as I get to see it through them. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. G’night baby doll.

xoxo

I feel, therefore I am

 

Ronan. This is just how things work now. When things come to me, they just come. For almost a month now, I’ve been hiking my butt off. Worrying about your birthday and what it is I wanted to do. Pressuring myself to figure things out. Some days, ideas came. Other days nothing came at all. I tried not to get too frustrated with myself. Nothing felt good enough. Nothing felt right. Nothing could hold a candle to making this day as beautiful as it should be. As beautiful as you are. I stopped thinking so much. I felt instead. The Phoenix Children’s Hospital plan came together slowly. But I knew there had to be something else. I knew your birthday had to be something that everyone could share. Your love can do so much good. Your love will do so much good. Your love will change this broken world. I know this.

I sat at Dr. JoRo’s office for most of the day. She was not there but let me use her office so I could work without having to be at home. I cannot work from home. It is too painfully quiet. I sat in her office and worked away. It felt cozy and safe. I turned on my computer screen and my hands starting writing away. The words for your Ronan’s Day of Love flyer flew of nowhere. I texted your little LoRo. I asked her if I gave her the verbiage, if she could put together something for me to help spread the word about the day I was wanting to create. She said of course. She was so happy to do it. I was so thankful to have her to ask. It was done within minutes. It is darling. It is sweet. It is pure and came from my heart. It came of a place of feelings not thoughts. I didn’t have to think when I wrote out my words. I often don’t. I don’t usually think when I write on here. I feel. Your day of love came the exact same way. By feeling and that’s it. I felt alright. I felt so much that I spent much of the day sobbing on the floor of Dr. JoRo’s office. I spent much of the day, sobbing over emails, text messages, and writing in my journal. I sobbed over thinking about how wrong everything is, but how right so many things are becoming. It seems everyday I am flooded by words from people about how you have changed them for the better. It seems as if everyday, someone is out in the world, doing good because of you. It is bittersweet to see all the wonderful ways you are still here. I only want you here but as we said before, that simply cannot happen. I will take you in the only way I can now. By feeling you when I do. By watching you change things for the better. By trying harder at everything I do when I really don’t want to do anything at all. By trying very hard, to fix myself because I know that is what you would want. I know you want me to be happy. I know you don’t want me to hurt this badly. I remember your last words to me. You yelled at me. I was crying. You said, “Don’t be sad!!!!!!” I hear your squeaky little voice telling me this. It is so hard, not to be sad, without you. Do you know, every time I laugh, I feel you. Every time I smile, I feel you. My laughs and my smiles are not my own anymore. They belong to you. They will always belong to you.

I’m tired tonight. But I wanted to stay up until midnight because it is someone’s birthday. This someone’s birthday that has been one of the most unexpected gifts to come out of all of this. This someone that I often sit back and think to myself, “If Ronan had not gotten sick, I may have never met this person. I cannot imagine my life without her. I am so lucky.” I call myself lucky when thinking of her. I call myself lucky because I know it was you, that put her in my life just at a time when I thought I was drowning the most. You threw me a life raft and it was her. She likes to be undercover. She likes to be behind the scenes. So all I am saying is a big HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY, to you know who you are. Margaritas to come later over mucho chips and salsa. I heart you. And your little dragon too.

G’nite. Sweet dreams. I miss you so very much. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

 

 

A painfully gracefully clumsily beautiful existence

Ronan. I had a rough sleep last night. I think there was a lot of tossing/turning/punching pillows involved. It was 1:45 a.m. when I pretty much said FUCKTHISSHIT and popped an Ambien. Hate it. But sometimes the silence of nothingness is needed. More so than not lately. Nights have been more brutal than they normally are lately. Nights are when the cries from you to me and me to you, scream the loudest. Nights are never quiet.

I got up today, running on the little sleep I had gotten, but I had a lot to do. Too much to do so I went into tunnel vision to get everything done. Foundation things. I had a meeting at Phoenix Children’s Hospital that I needed to prep for too. Prepping came with basically giving myself a pep talk and telling myself how I would be brave today and talk about you, without sobbing like a baby. Prepping for today came with a lot of,”You can do this. For him. He would love this.” Rita met me down at PCH. I was waiting in the lobby for her, busying myself with doing things like cleaning out my purse. Busying myself with a lot of things to distract myself from crying. I don’t have a problem with being at PCH. I’m down there a lot still. I had a problem with the reason I was down there today. I didn’t want to be there, without you, asking for permission to do something for your birthday, and you are not even here to celebrate it. I wanted to be down there, with you holding my hand, doing something for your birthday and celebrating the fact that you were here and we together, wanting to do something nice at PCH because we were so lucky to still have you. I fought back my tears today and bravely did this without you. I sat in a conference room with Rita and clumsily/gracefully talked about your upcoming birthday and what it is, we would like to do, to honor you. I am used to hearing the word no a lot now. I am used to getting met by skeptical glances and it usually involves a… “Well if you want to do this, you have to check off this box and this box and this box, to have it done.” I am used to having to work/fight for everything in life. Today, none of that existed. I was met with a big fat, “We love this idea! We love everything about it. We will do whatever it is, you like. How can we help/what can we do/how would you like to see this idea, happen all the time in Ronan’s honor!” I was quite simply shocked. I think Rita almost fell over in her chair. This was not what either of us, was expecting. We left there stunned but smiling. We went for tacos afterwords and talked where we talked about your birthday and how we are going to execute the ideas that we have. We are going to make it a very special day for a lot of kids. I know it would make you smile and so happy.

After I left Rita, I drove to your brothers baseball game. I was feeling alright. I arrived to the game and just as I was sitting there, thinking about an email I was supposed to send today, in regards to an event I am trying to pull off for you in September, a little text message popped up on my phone. A little text message from the person I was going to email, but did not. I read it, sat with it, and the tears started pouring. I don’t want to go into details about what the text message said as it’s not important. I’ll sum it up with a little Taylor Swift lyric instead…one of my favorites. “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine.” I was crying for about 10 different reasons during that moment. 1) Because baseball games are hard in general. 2) Because I miss you. 3) Because this little text messaging person, blows my mind 4) Because I am so thankful that truly good people in the world, like her, exist 5) Because the stars are aligning, right before my very eyes 6) Because just when I start to doubt myself, this person always seems to know it and reminds me that she believes in me and you 7) Because I am so about letting things just come about/not push them and this was a huge reminder/sign to me to continue to do things, this way. There are a few more reasons for my tears, but I don’t want to go into them. Mostly it was just a huge fat thank you, Ronan. For reminding me that you are still here, working away during the times when I feel the most defeated. Or tired. I told your Sparkly eyes that I was just freaking tired of everything. I was quickly met with a, “So what? That’s bullshit. You’re tired? That means nothing.” He is one of the few people who I allow to slap me in the face and I don’t become defensive or feel offended. I am able to step back, assess the situation and say, “You are right. I am acting like an asshole and I need to knock this shit off.” I am learning to let myself take little breaks here and there, but I will never give up on you. I will work as hard as I can, to make some things in this mad world, right.

You know what else you are doing for me? Or should I say, this grief is doing for me? It’s making my heart bigger than ever. I did not know that was even possible, but it is. There are things now that I just cannot look away from. I want to save/help everybody. It’s helping others, that is saving me. Dr. JoRo told me this after a few times of seeing her. She talked about how my heart, would eventually start to turn outward again. I remember being in a fog, listening to her words, but not really understanding what she was saying. My heart would turn outward and grow bigger? Not possible. It is black, broken and shattered into a million pieces. I am starting to understand what she has told me, from the beginning. I’ve always believed her, but I think until now, I wasn’t truly ready to hear what it is, she was telling me. She is so freaking humble. I talked to her today. She is still on her trip and just found out she is getting some huge/really big deal award for being what I think should be called, “The Most Amazing Woman Alive on the Planet Award.” I listened to her talk about it like it was not really a big deal, even though it is. She would never come out and say that because that is just how she rolls. I tried to tell her it was a big deal, that she deserves this for everything she is doing. I was met with a, “Maya. That’s the thing. I’m not really doing anything except just being with you. Just holding your hand as you do this. All I am doing is sitting with you while you feel this, while you go through this, while you find your way.” I wiped the tears off of my cheeks. I told her that what she was doing, was walking through this with me in a way that nobody had done before. By truly listening. By speaking for me when I cannot, even if it’s not saying anything at all. By NEVER judging. By NEVER pushing. By NEVER expecting. By NEVER telling me I am doing this wrong. By NEVER lessening my pain. By never trying to numb my pain by shoving 10 different pills down my throat. By never saying, “Oh, I lost a child too, so I TOTALLY get it. By never telling me it’s time to get over this/move on. By never comparing her pain to mine. By NEVER using the words, “Well at least you have these things/people to get you through this. By never using the words, “You should be grateful for the things you do have.” By never telling me this gets easier. By never giving me false hope. By being brutally honest about how fucking awful this all is and she cannot fix it. She cannot fix it, but she will forever be here to watch me as I do, as I am the only one that can. And finally, by believing and me and trusting me, even when I do not believe or trust in myself. She always does. I know she always will too. She is one of my biggest reasons for continuing to fight as hard as I do. When I grow up, I want to be just like her;) She is beyond inspiring, Ronan. She reminds me a lot of you. She reminds me a lot of me, too. So much some days that I can see my pain, in her eyes. But the thing with her is it never hurts to look at her eyes, full of all of my pain. When I look into her eyes, I see a quiet strength that makes me feel the most at ease. It’s like I can breathe for a bit.

Guess what I did tonight? I did not get to hike today due to my busy day of getting shit done. I was quietly panicking in my head about it. I took Liam out tonight to grab a bag of ice for your daddy. It was dark. It was late. I drove the two of us, to our mountain. “Liam. I didn’t get to hike today, buddy. You want to go with me really fast?” I was met with an, “Ok mom. But I don’t have shoes.” I quickly told him no problem, that we could just go barefoot. He was so excited. “Good thing I have tough feet, mom.” Tears sprung to my eyes. “Yeah buddy. Good thing. I do too, so we will be alright.” We hiked, barefoot, in the dark together. He talked the entire time. We didn’t go to the top but that was not the point. We went as far as we could with bare feet/no flashlight like we didn’t have a care in the world. We bonded. We laughed. We missed you. It was a very sweet hike with a very sweet boy. I bawled like a baby over it and the fact that we were simply doing that crazy thing, because you are dead. If you were here, I would have never been on a mountain, holding Liam’s hand with bare feet and a broken heart. But I was. And I am. And I will continue to be for the rest of my life. This is just the way it is now. This is just the way it will always be. This grief/pain will never leave. I can’t have you anymore so this is what I am left with. A beautifully, painful life. I am noticing that the amount of beauty that I see in the world is endless but so is the amount of pain. They both seem to go hand in hand, everywhere I look. They are never without each other. It is as if they are best friends/worst enemies. You cannot have one, without the other. I wonder if other people notice this or if it is just a bereaved parent thing. I think my friend Rita sees it all the time, as well. Maybe this is one of the reasons I like her so much. That and she is funny as a mo fo. I cannot contain laugher/her snarky ways when I am around her, kill me. Like in an I almost pee my pants kind of way. Laughter truly is the best medicine. I need a lot of it. She is good at providing it. Plus, sometimes she makes me feel like I am being funny and making her laugh, too. So sometimes I feel like it’s just not a one way street;) YAY ME! I can still be kind of funny, when it comes out naturally. I only do this with the people I feel most comfortable around. It’s a weird introvert characteristic of mine.

Alright babydoll. Turing in for the night. Ambien I hate you but I have to sleep is here. G’nite baby doll. G’nite sweet friends. I miss you, Ro. I hope you are safe. I love you.

xoxo

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10 months and The underdog

Ronan. I am wondering if I will go to sleep now. It’s 12:10 a.m. on March 9th. In just a few hours, you will have been gone from this earth for 10 months. It seems that I am having a hard time with this 10 month date. It seems as this 10 months is harder than a lot of your past months have been. I am thinking it may be due to all the chitter chatter surrounding your upcoming 1 year date of being gone, along with your 5th birthday that we were supposed to be celebrating. It seems as if everywhere I go, people are talking about it. I’m hearing a lot of, “You guys need a plan. What are you going to do for Ro’s one year? You need to go on a trip. I’m worried for you. Let’s plan something special. Just plan something please. Do not let it sneak up on you. May will be here, before you know it.” I am like a little kid who is choosing to cover her ears and hold her breath. If I don’t listen or breathe, maybe this whole one year thing, won’t happen. Maybe it won’t come true and maybe you won’t really be gone. I am covering my ears, eyes, holding my breath, kicking, screaming and crying to protest your death. I will do everything I can to not make it real. I have tried in my mind, so many times to make a plan as far as what we will do. I just cannot wrap my head around it. My mind won’t do it.

Today was a hard day. I spent the morning crying/trying to work/entertain your brothers. After our board meeting on Wednesday night, I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done. I sat down at our kitchen table with every intention of getting some things checked off my list. Total fail. I sat and cried and could not focus on a thing. Your papa Jim is here visiting. I left him with your brothers so I could run out to grab a coffee and hit up Sprouts to grab a couple of things. On my drive home, I was mentally trying to plan out what I had going on next week. I remembered I had an event to go to in March for the Beth and Friends show. A few people had nominated me for Beth McDonald 99.9 KEZ Woman of the Year. I texted Margarita on the drive home and asked her if she could look up the date of the event for me because I couldn’t remember when it was. She called me back. “Girlfriend. It’s tonight.” she said. “Shit! Tonight?” I exclaimed. “What am I going to do? I’m a wreck today! I don’t think I can go!” I tried to talk Rita into saying it was o.k. not to go. She did not. She told me in no way, shape or form was it acceptable not to show up. I knew it was not o.k. either, but I had literally been crying for hours upon hours and I was mentally beat. I took a second to logically play out the scene in my head and all I could think of were the women who nominated me. The women who took the time out of their day, to write in about me and how passionate they were about us. Badass mother fucking boots on. Suck it up, Maya. Make them proud and stop your crying for the day. You are going. You are going and you are so thankful for these strangers who love and believe in you so much. You are doing this for them and for Ro. That’s the bottom line. That’s the only thing that matters.

I’m going to be honest here. I do not love the limelight. That may be shocking to some, due to how vocal I am on here, but it’s just not me. I would rather be the one, behind the scenes just quietly doing things in the spiciest way I know how. That mainly means by working quietly with people who I am closest to. Blabbing about ideas. Watching them play out, but I’d rather watch them play out while at home, in my pajamas. Being honored feels weird to me for many reasons, but the biggest one of all is mainly because I am so sad. I don’t want to be inspiring due to your death and the way I have chosen to go on. In my mind, I haven’t chosen anything. You have chosen it for me. Why are people saying I am inspiring when it’s really not me? It’s all you, Ronan. All you. I would very much like it if the next time I am honored for something, it is not Maya Thompson who is being honored. It is Ronan Thompson. That might make my smile a little easier. How do you get up in front of an entire room full of people and smile that fake smile when all you want to do is curl up on the floor and drown in your puddle of tears? I’m really, really bad at the fake smiles, Ro. But it is actually something that secretly makes me a little proud. An unauthentic smile is one of the worst things in the world. It feels bad and everyone can see right through them.

I didn’t have a date to the event due to my grief brain completely forgetting about it. I swear if I don’t have things written with a Sharpie on my arm, I won’t remember them. Your daddy had plans to take your papa Jim and brothers to the Suns basketball game. I was not going to have him miss that. I had a vision of going all by myself, solo…totally badass, right? I am so glad I did not. I grabbed Stacy and she was kind enough to put up with my last-minute shit, act like it was no big deal and she could totally make it happen. This coming from a mom who works full-time and has two little ones at home. UGH. I knew she was frantically doing whatever she had to do, to step in and be by my side to support me. I know Stacy. She is my organized task master who is always prepared. I was not. I often am not. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants while she tends to keep her seatbelt on at all times. I love her for this.

Stacy picked me up and we headed out for the banquet. “Where are we going, what is this for and are you o.k.??” she asked. “I don’t really know what is going on at this event. I think I am nominated for women of the year. No. No I am not o.k.” I said with tears rolling down my cheeks. “Tomorrow is 10 months. 10 months. I don’t like 10 months.” The rest of the car ride we talked softly as Stacy did her best to keep my mind off the 10 months since I last kissed your lips date that was approaching. We arrived just in time to slide into our chairs around a table full of people. There was my name on the table, just in case I made it. I did by the skin of my teeth.

Crap. I am so unprepared for this. I looked around at the room full of amazingness. Stacy gave me the look of I am going to mother fucking kill you. One of the girls who I was supposed to RSVP to was sitting right next to us. She could not have been sweeter. She kept saying how glad they were that I had made it, how they didn’t think I was coming, etc… I had RSVP’d yes… I just didn’t call them back to give them the name of the 3 people I was bringing with me. Ugh. Grief brain/your memory sucks so you HAVE to write everything down. This is all new to me peeps. I used to have the memory of an elephant. I never had to write anything down. Now, I have to write down the 2 items I need at freaking Walgreens or I will forget them. It is so frustrating. Beth said a little something about each of the women there, and how Maya Thompson was not able to be there. SHIT! I looked at Stacy again. She once again gave me the I am seriously going to kill you look. A woman got up to speak named Nicole Stanton. I couldn’t place why the name sounded familiar, but I knew it did. She started talking about how honored she was to have been invited to speak among such an amazing group of women. I heard something about her being the Mayor’s wife. That’s how I knew her name. I grabbed my program to read up about her. Just as I did that I heard her say, “I was really looking forward to meeting Maya Thompson tonight and was sad to hear she was not able to come.” Um, what? I thought to myself. Did she just say my name? I shot Stacy a, what in the world is going on glance. This woman did not stop there. She went on for a good 4 minutes about me, about you, our story, how she’s an attorney but my writing is some of the most powerful writing that she has ever read. How everyone needed to read Rockstar Ronan… I don’t know what else she said because I literally left my body. She singled me out, made it a point to talk about me, even while thinking that I was not even in the room.

I thought Stacy’s eyes were going to pop out of her head. It was so unprompted. It was so organic and real. This woman is inspired by me? This woman reads this blog? I swear Ro, I honestly really think that other people don’t really read this. I honestly think I am writing to you and that’s really it. I often forget that I do indeed have a very big audience. Maybe that’s why I am able to be so real on here. Because it just feels like this is for you and only you. I often forget that other people are listening. I like to forget and just let things come out as they do. I looked over and Stacy was wiping tears from her eyes. I was still in shock. It was so surreal and I felt as if I were dead, attending my own funeral and watching it from above. I could not believe all the kind things this lady was saying about me. I felt so proud and honored and I could not wait to meet her to tell her thank you. She made my entire night and she took my awful day and made me smile. A real, genuine, true smile. A smile just for you.

I did not win. I was so thankful for that. I like to be the underdog. It just shows me I have to work harder to prove myself. It was just as good to be nominated. It was just as good to be sitting in a room full of such beautiful women in the community who really are doing wonderful things. I am baby at all of this. I don’t know what in the hell I am doing. But I am doing it and that is all that matters. I am doing it and I am doing it in a big way. I may not have all the answers to this, Ronan but you are showing me the way by gently holding my hand and guiding me. You know I am the most patient person on the planet. Most days, I feel like I do a good job. Most days, I know you are proud. I know you were proud of me last night. I was proud but sad. I really missed you last night. You would have told me in your squeaky little voice how cute I looked. Or you would have told me, “Mama. You pretty. You so pretty, mama.” I miss your squeaky little voice so much. I tried to listen for it last night but I think all of my tears got in the way.

After the banquet, I got a chance to meet this lovely Nicole Stanton. We sat and talked for a good hour. Wow, Ronan. I can tell you that not many people surprise me in my life. This lady blew my socks off. What a classy, lovely soul. We talked about everything from you to my visions and dreams. We talked about her anti- bullying initiative that she has worked furiously on as it is very personal to her. Her brother was gay and died of AIDS in 1991. He was bullied and beaten up in high school. Hearing this brought tears to my eyes. I know the issue of childhood cancer is something that I will stand up for, for the rest of my life, for obvious reasons. But you know what? I have other things that I am completely passionate about too. Being bullied for being “different,” when all you are doing is being yourself if fucking infuriating. It is infuriating and wrong. What is wrong with this world, that people choose to hurt others, for just being themselves? I’ll never understand this. I’ll never be o.k. with this. I am so grateful for someone like Nicole, who I know will make a difference in this very wrong world. She will fight to make it right. That is such a beautiful thing to see. How lucky are her little ones to have such an strong mom. They will grow up with such an amazing perspective on the world due to her passion and voice. I love that so much.

When Nicole was telling me about her brother, so many things rushed through my mind. I felt her pain. I felt her parents pain. I hurt for all of them. I thought about Leo and how he passed away from AIDS and how he was also gay. But in our family, those two things never defined him. He was just this amazing, carefree soul who was sadly taken away from this world, too soon. Just like you and just like Nicole’s brother. I had a moment when I paused and thought to myself, this was the reason you came tonight. For this moment, right here. Seeing the fire behind Nicole’s eyes made the sadness of the day, a little less sad. It inspired me and reminded me that there are bigger reasons why moments in time don’t just happen. There is always someone or something behind it. I smiled to myself thinking last night that you and Nicole’s brother, were the reason that the stars above, aligned.

Your 10 months, came and went. I am too tired to talk about todays events. I drove a race car for you. I hit a few baseballs over a fence. I laughed with your brothers and Papa Jim, so hard my stomach hurt. I cried tears over missing you. I missed a call late tonight from Charisma. I called her back after hearing her message. I called her back before it turned March 10th and now I know why. You wanted to tuck me in tonight. You are so unbelievably magical. I cried at the story she had for me. We sobbed in the phone together for the amazing things you did for her today. We sobbed in the phone over missing you so much and the pain that she knows I feel.

The script that she just got a job for, today, was all you. Right down to the child that has cancer. I talked to my friend today who is so worried about me. I talked to my friend whom I miss so much. I hope I made her worry less. I think she understands now why I continue to write this even though to many it seems so painful and hard. I talked to Charisma outside while looking up at the full moon. I told her the thing I have been wanting to tell her for so long, but it never felt like the right time. I told her about how being at the Ryan House was so blurry to me during your last few days but the one memory, the one GOOD memory that always sticks out in my mind is watching her bend down to kiss you and the way I watched her whisper something into your ear. I remember the way a peaceful feeling washed over me and I thought to myself, he is going to take care of her, for the rest of her life, too. You are doing just that. She knows it. She is so thankful. She thinks you are safe and in a much better place, than we all are, but she knows your soul is still here and with us. I really needed to hear those words from my friend tonight. I think I will be able to sleep a little better after hearing her voice and words.

This has turned into a novel tonight. I’m so tired. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you so much and I am so sorry. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, babydoll. G’nite.

xoxo

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