Wait… Poppy is one? How did that happen already??

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Ronan. I don’t live in a normal world anymore. I live in a world that I often feel very alone in, but I tend to do alright in this world. This world without you is so hard for me to live in, but I have done my best to make it bearable by living each day as fully as I am capable of because I know how precious each day truly is. You might say this new perspective has given me a clarity I never had before and I myself as a human being generally feel pretty fulfilled; minus the always absence of you in my life. I keep you tucked away as close to me as possible and carry you with me in everything I do which seems to get me through the toughest of times.

I was at lunch the other day and ending up sitting next to a table full of mom’s who were doing PTO stuff for their kids’ school. I knew a few of them so of course I waved, but I really wanted to just curl up and cry. I glanced their way every so often and could hear them talking so excitedly about the money they had raised and the upcoming fundraiser they were putting together. What it must be like to be able to live that life of a normal, no cancer has ever touched their kids, PTO mom. My mind wandered back and forth between “I wonder if this is what my life would have been like if cancer had not killed my baby” to “Please let Nela beat this cancer once again, Ronan, as her mom just told me she has relapsed.” You see, even when I try to do normal not cancer mom things, it’s almost impossible for my mind to just let go of the swirling thoughts I have about you, you getting cancer, you dying, all the other kids that I know are being diagnosed, the ones who are not doing well, etc… I have come to accept the fact that I cannot do it all and I’m just no longer cut out to be the PTO mom because that life as I maybe would have known it, flew out the window a long time ago and I don’t see it coming back anytime soon.

I have a 23-year-old best friend. A 37-year-old best friend. And a 68-year-old best friend. The three of them all entered my life because of you. My relationships with them are each so different, so unique and so special. Not only do we have one common denominator in our lives, which is you; but we also have another one which is this fucked up world of childhood cancer. My 23-year-old best friend sleeps in your bed a lot. She pretty much should just move in with us at this point and if I did indeed have a guest house, I would totally let her live in it. We do a lot of silly things together which mostly consists of drinking too many Kale drinks in one day and having ridiculous dance parties to really bad rap music with Poppy. We also do a lot of quiet things together, too. We hike a lot while we ponder stupid things like, “If you could come back as a boy or a girl in your next life, what would you be?” We do a lot of intense things like cry on the phone and kick and scream and cuss about things that are so fucked up but are not my things to talk about on here. She sends me poetry in the middle of the night or things she is reading out of books and I do the same for her if something really strikes me as so painfully beautiful, that only she would understand. I am watching her in the world as she walks through it and I swear sometimes I see you holding her hand. She is all things magic and beauty and makes my heart sometimes skip a beat. I thank you for her every night in my head. She is my little renege side kick in life and I am so lucky to have found her, because of you.

I also have your New York Miss Macy who you actually did know and love to pieces. She is my sounding board for everything in life and the one I probably cry the most to. She is also the one I laugh with the most. Without Macy, I’m not sure where I would be in this life without you, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be in the place I am now. She keeps me grounded and reminds me that it is o.k. to be sad with someone other then myself. She is flying in this weekend to celebrate your Poppy sister and also because I got us kick ass tickets to the Lana Del Rae concert who is my musical soul mate in life. I cannot wait to have her here and I know Poppy is so excited about seeing her other mom:)

Last but not least is your Sparkly who I can say without a doubt, saved my life. I could write a novel about him but I’ll just talk about yesterday instead. Yesterday was Poppy’s birthday. Her first birthday. Can you believe that, Ronan? I don’t know how she is one already. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be feeling yesterday, so I didn’t make any big plans. I woke up to the sweetest messages from so many people wishing her a Happy Birthday which was so nice, so thank you all. We had a quiet morning at the house just the two of us and ran down to see your Sparkly so he could see his god-daughter on her special day. We brought him a coffee, just like you used to always want to do for him. We sat and talked while your Poppy sister crawled around between the two of us while I opened up the little gift and card he got for her. I was trying my hardest not to cry and I know he could tell I was getting sad.

“Are you going to be o.k. today?” he asked me while I did my best to look him in the eyes as I answered his question.

“Yeah. I’ll be o.k. I just wish Ronan could be here.”

He responded with, “I know you do. I do, too. I’m sorry he’s not, but today is her day and I know he would want her to be celebrated the way she deserves to be, so please go and do that for her.”

Your Sparkly has such a way of being able to recognize my sadness, but can also put things into perspective for me in a way that doesn’t piss me off. He’s is pretty much the only one in my life that is capable of doing that.

I told him I would celebrate your sister and so of course I kept my word.  Of course Poppy should be celebrated, but I live in this world where the most beautiful things are also so very bittersweet.  I had to sing your sister Happy Birthday last night and you were not there to do something naughty like smash her cupcake all over the floor.  I just don’t think I’ll ever get used to that or I won’t ever be sad about that, but I could not let my sadness take away from her day at all.  That would not have been fair to her and I know it’s not what you would have wanted.

I ran and picked up Brianna from ASU. We took Poppy to Toys R Us to get her some gifts. I got home and wanted so badly to just throw in the towel and order a pizza instead of cooking the spaghetti dinner that Quinn had requested. I kept hearing your Sparkly’s words in my head. I cooked dinner and we spent the evening outside playing basketball and watching Poppy have a dance party because that is her favorite thing to do in life. Kassie and Brianna stayed the night and we gathered around to sing your sister while a purple star balloon floated behind her, just to remind us all that you are always here. Always. It was a very sweet and simple day as that is all I think any of us could handle.

Today is 35 months without you and today was not a good day at all. I cried a lot. Your daddy cried a lot. I felt extra lost without you today and I don’t know how next month is our hell month of May already and 3 years since you’ve been gone as well as your 7th birthday. God, what I would give to see you as the beautiful 7-year-old that I know you would be. We are going away for May because being in Arizona is never a place that I want to be on the day you died and your birthday. We all need a little time out together so we are going to the Hamptons for a bit where we will see some dear friends, but also be together as a family.

I have to say goodnight now, Ro baby. I’m tired and need to try to get some sleep as I am beyond ready for today to be over.

I miss you so much. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

 

 

Thank you for her.  She is such a gift to us all.  Happy 1st Birthday, Poppy Roo. We love you, Ronan.

Thank you for her. She is such a gift to us all. Happy 1st Birthday, Poppy Roo. We love you, Ronan.

 

 

A Happy Birthday to your most amazing brothers.

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Ronan. Our little, Rachel went back to NYC this morning and I hated to see her go. We had the best time with her here and she is another one of those big reasons that I am so thankful for this blog. Without it, I may have never known this amazing soul who I’m sure was my little sister in a past life or something. Somehow or somewhere, we have crossed paths before. There is just no other way to explain the bond and connection we have. Never in my life have I met a more centered and beautiful 21-year-old in my life. Rachel is everything I hope Poppy grows up to be. She is brilliant beyond measures, mature, wise, compassionate, polite, sassy, hard working, loving, funny, strong, independent, adventurous, and truly knows how to stand her ground in this crazy world. I can’t wait to watch all she does in this life as I know she is going to change the world.

After I got home from taking her to the airport this morning I walked into your brothers room to find your daddy, Liam, Quinn, and Poppy. Your daddy goes, “Did you get Rachel off o.k?” I told him I did. He then goes, “That’s sad.” I said, “What’s sad?” He said, “I know you’re sad that she had to go. I wish she could have stayed longer, too. She was a great house guest.” I just smiled and said that it was o.k. Although in my mind I was wishing she could move in and stay with us forever. Your bed looked so much more happy with her in it. I’ll never forget the first time I met Rachel and I don’t really even remember how it came about except for she had been reading my blog and knew I was coming to New York City, alone to take a little time for myself. Somehow it turned into, “Want to meet up?” And of course I said yes because I just had a feeling about this girl. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and a chance and opened up my heart when it was so broken. My little, has helped me in ways she will never know. It’s people like Rachel that make living this life a little easier because she brings such beauty to it. Even though she may have tried to hide Poppy in her purse and take her to New York with her;) Don’t worry, little. We’ll come visit you soon. We are missing you so much already.

The 9th came and went. It was an o.k. day. We didn’t do anything dangerous. Instead Rach helped me get organized around the house. We cleaned out drawers, organized closets and dressers, we loved on Poppy and your brothers. We met up with Fernanda and Stacy for dinner where I got to sit and talk with my friends while Poppy slept away in their arms. It was a good way to spend the 9th. For once, I didn’t have the desire to jump out of an airplane without a parachute. Your brothers birthday was the next day. 10 years old, Ronan. I don’t even know how that happened. I woke up and made them a big breakfast before basketball camp. We opened up gifts and they were so excited, happy, and thankful. After camp we spent the rest of the day playing with Fernanda and her kids for the majority of the day. I broke down about halfway through the day as I had done all I could do. I tried my best to be the strong and happy mom for most of the day but there came a point when I couldn’t stomach the fact that you were not here with us to celebrate and the tears just started pouring. There was no controlling them so I just let them fall. I was back in Fernanda’s bedroom with one of her boys who is so in love with Poppy that he just wanted to hold her all day long. I was sitting quietly with him and we were whispering back and forth to each other about Poppy. There was something about seeing him holding her and the way he was looking at her that reminded me so much of you. I think it was the look in his eyes as they were filled with so much love, happiness, and peace. It’s the way I know you would have stared at her, too. Brando kills me anyway as I totally have such a soft spot for that kid. He is only a couple of years older than you. Right after you died, I remember being at Fernanda’s house and I was back in the boys’ room. Brando just looked at me and said, “I’m sorry about Ronan.” I was speechless as I think he was only about 6 when this happened and I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t care how little this boy is, he gets it.” I’ll never forget that moment with him and how much it meant to me. I’m a sucker for all of her kids, but Brando always seems to tug at my heart just a little more. While I was crying on the bed with Brando and Poppy, Brando looked at me and said, “Are you o.k.?” I just nodded my head that I was, even though I really was not. I tried to stop the tears, but it didn’t work and Rach and Fernanda came into the room to find me silently sobbing. My tears lasted a majority of the day. I just wanted  you with us, running about the way you should have been with your big brothers on their 10th birthday.

We ended the night with messy, messy, ice cream cake, singing Happy Birthday and lighting off fireworks that we acted like weren’t supposed to be lit off. As we were jumping and dancing about I heard our little Rachel yell to Quinn, “Rules were meant to be broken, Quinny!” I laughed out loud. Indeed they are, little which is another reason I love you so much. Ronan, you would have loved the boys’ birthday so much. I hope you were there watching us and cracking up at the things we did and you could see even through my tears, I can smile and laugh, too. The night ended by tucking our little in as I sat with her and talked about life, love, loss, and the people we choose to surround ourselves with. I told her how I’ve learned some lessons along the way about the people that have floated in and out of my life. How you, Ronan, are the root of all things good, beautiful, and pure and as long as I remember that I think I will be able to continue to do things that will make you proud. I’m not here to deal with drama. I’m not here to deal with BS. I’m going to live this life the way I want to live it, not the way other people think I should. At one point I was talking to Rach about Stacy and I was telling her how we met, how long we’ve known each other, how we lost touch after our husbands graduated law school together and how we had made plans to meet up after a few years had passed and how we were supposed to go to dinner on the night you were diagnosed. I tole Rach from that moment on, how Stace swooped in and her and Fernanda took charge of everything. How we may have had our bumps along the way, but at the end of the day I always know Stacy never forgets why it is she is here, doing what she is doing. She never forgets this is all for you and because of you. Screw me. I’ll say screw me all day long as I’m not the one who matters in all of this. It’s you. I get told a lot how strong I am, how inspirational, etc… You know what I say to all of that? I’m not any of those things, but you are Ronan. I am just simply here, trying to make you proud by doing the things I know you would want done. You were the strong one. You were the brave one. I was just simply lucky enough to be your mom.

After my pow wow with Rachel, I went to kiss your brothers good night. Quinn wanted to snuggle Poppy so we got into bed with him. We all said our goodnights. I told your brothers how lucky I am to have them and how I hope they know how much I love them and am proud of them. This is what Quinn said. “Goodnight mom, Goodnight Liam, Goodnight Poppy, Goodnight Ro. I love you. I wish you were here.”

Always, Ronan. We always wish you were here.

I love you, baby doll. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

P.S. Thank you to all of you who reached out to me about the cable for The Ronald McDonald House. We’ve got some amazing people helping us out and I am crossing my fingers that something can be done. I know it may seem like such a silly thing to some because we are lucky enough to have the basic things in this world like clean water, food, etc… But trust me, when your child is neutropenic and cannot do a thing except watch Mickey Mouse Club House and the parents are so beat down from all they are going through, a little thing like that can really help one get through the day. Again, thank you all. You truly are angels on this earth.

 

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A death day and an almost birthday

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Ronan. We made it through your death day the best we could. I didn’t sleep much the night before and I even had my alarm set to go off during the time that you passed away, just so I could be awake. I didn’t need the alarm because your Poppy sister woke me up almost exactly at the time you left this earth; because she wanted to eat. Of course she did, right Ro? Poppy knows what’s up. I did a lot of my crying the day before you passed away, a lot of it the night before, and still a lot of it on the awful day itself. I picked up the phone on your death day for the one person that promised to call and the one person that I would pick up for. Your Sparkly. I started crying as soon as I saw his name pop up on my screen. I let him do what he does best which is say a few things to help me get through the day. I didn’t say much, just quietly cried instead and told him I loved him. Not many words were needed by either of us.

We spent a quiet day in Sedona together by the river and in the woods. We had a little lunch and an early dinner. At one point, your Daddy and Liam ran into the store while Quinn, Poppy and I waited in the car. Quinn was changing the music in my car and a mixed C.D. that I had made, came on. The first song being, “Ronan.” He seemed so excited about it. “Oh! I haven’t heard this song in forever!” I just smiled at him and told myself to let it play while I sat in the back seat next to Poppy. It only took about 5 seconds of listening to that sweet voice and those oh so powerful lyrics before I lost it completely. Full on could not breathe, sobbing, as I wiped tear after tear away. I am still amazed at how Taylor did the most beautiful job at capturing my grief in such a way that it leaves me breathless every time I listen to your song. I love it so much, but it is so hard for me to get through. Quinn just watched as I cried, bent his head down, and held my hand. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get through that song without crying. I could see every single word play out in my head like a real life movie except it’s not a movie, it’s my life and it never gets any easier.

Once we were back to our hotel and the sun was setting, we all headed down to the creek with our 6 purple balloons and a Sharpie pen. We all took turns writing on our balloons. I’m sure it was quite the sight the 5 of us, all huddled together, writing our thoughts to you. At first Quinn only wrote a couple of things. It went a little something like this:

“I miss you, Ronan. I love you to the moon and back.”

But then he said, “Wait! I need to write more!” It ended up being a novel for as much of a novel that would fit on one purple balloon. He said some other things that I tried to read out loud, but I started choking on my tears as I read his words.

“I wish you were here. I was really looking forward to watching you grow up and play baseball and basketball. I miss you.”

Liam’s words went a little something like this:

“Ro Ro. I miss you. I am so proud of you. You are so strong. I love you.”

Your daddy wrote his words, I wrote mine, and Poppy wrote hers;). We went down to where there was a clearing in the sky from the trees and let our balloons go. Only Liam’s made it out of the trees. The rest of ours got caught up in the branches above. Liam was jumping up and down in excitement as if it were a competition. It made us all laugh through our tears. I’m sure you giggled, too.

We had to come back from Sedona on Friday because your brothers had a basketball tournament to play in on Saturday. It was the playoffs for the YMCA team that your Daddy has been coaching them on. If they ended up winning, they would play again that night for a chance to go to the finals and play next week at the Phoenix Suns arena. They won the first game. After it was over, we ended up taking your brothers and 3 of their friends/teammates out for pizza. It’s these happy moments that I see through your brothers eyes that keep me going. We all sat there together at a table full of boys and we gave them a pep talk about their upcoming game. There were a lot of laughs and the talking was non stop. I am blown away at your brothers and so thankful for what respectful boys they are. Not only them, Ronan but the little group of friends they have made as well. The table was full of please’s, thank you’s, Yes, Mr. Thompson, No, Mrs. Thompson, all coming from a group of 9 year olds. At one point your daddy looked at me and said, “How much would Ronan have loved all the boys’ friends?” So much, Ronan. They are the nicest boys, the hardest little workers, and just so respectful. I know you would have been in the middle of them, causing your little mischief and they would have eaten it up with a spoon.

Your brothers won both games today, Ronan. I looked at them before their last game and said, “Do this for Ro,” as I gave them both knuckles. They both smiled at me and said that they would. I sat back tonight and watched as your brothers played their hearts out and I know it was all for you. Liam had 19 of our 22 points. They were both on fire and so determined to play in the finals. I love watching them play this game so much. I love watching your Daddy coach them. He is amazing at he and is the reason they have become such good little players. He works so hard with them to make them the best players that they can be. It makes me so proud of all 3 of them. I remember how when you were so little and so freakishly coordinated at such a young age how your daddy would talk about how he couldn’t wait to coach your teams. You would have been such an amazing athlete. Our mini Pat Tillman as we used to say. I’m sorry buddy. So very sorry.

It’s late. As soon as your brothers game ended we headed home to get our things so we could head to Tucson. We didn’t want to spend your birthday tomorrow sitting around our house being sad. So, we are taking your brothers to a resort that has one of the biggest water slides in all of Arizona. We will let them run around and be crazy for you tomorrow. Tomorrow we will all do our best to celebrate you by doing something you would have loved. Your brothers are very excited about doing this for you. I will do my best to put on my bravest smile to get through the day. I have a feeling your little sister will help me out. She seems to have a knack for this already. She is already helping me so much just by being here and making me feel like I have a tiny piece of you back. Thank you so much for her, Ro.

Happy almost 6th birthday my spicy little monkey. I love you so much. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mum’s out there. I hope you have a beautiful day tomorrow and I know you all know how lucky you are. Please don’t ever forget that.

To all of my mom’s out there who are in my shoes…I know tomorrow will be rough and for that, I am so sorry. I wish you a day full of gentleness to just get through the day. Just getting through the day is something to be proud of. Here is a little lesson I have learned after going through something like this. Days like tomorrow will never get any easier. Ever. So on a day like Mother’s Day when it is supposed to be all about us, take this one day and stop trying to please other people. Take this one day and acknowledge your grief, don’t apologize for it, and do what it is that would make you the most happy on this day. For me, tomorrow isn’t about me and that makes me happy. I would much rather just spend the day celebrating my Ronan through the eyes of Liam, Quinn, and Poppy with my amazing husband. And you know what?? If tomorrow comes and I decide that I can’t get out of bed and do a thing, I know I am surrounded by the people who love me most in the world and they will be o.k. with that. I have learned that surrounding yourself with people who have no expectations of you, is the best way to get through these holidays that are so bloody hard now.

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All I want in life is a cure for childhood cancer and to be glitter bombed.

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Ronan. Hello May and hello constant stream of tears. Also, hello my little shadow, aka, Quinn who seems to be busting me whenever I am a bloody mess. It’s happened twice this week. Both times he caught me crying, in Poppy’s room.

“What’s wrong mom? Why are you sad?”

I wiped my face and just told him I had a hard day and was missing you a lot.

“It’s o.k. that I’m sad about Ronan, right Quinn? I’m allowed. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to be o.k., I’m just really sad today.”

Quinn shook his head. “I love you, Mom. Can I get you anything?”

I shook my head no.

“O.k. well, I love you so much.

“I love you more, buddy. Thank you for checking on me.”

That was a couple of days ago. Tonight, the same thing happened. Everyone was out except for me and your Poppy sister. I guess I kind of lost it, mid rocking her and some how I ended up on my computer, watching old videos of you. Hospital videos. “I love you, mama.” You told me this at least 5 times in a 4:32 minute segment. We went back and forth. “I love you, Ronan. I’m so proud of you.” “Mama, you my best friend.” On and on it went, your squeaky little voice over and over as we went through a book of animals. “What’s this mama?” “A dolphin, baby.” “Will it bite me, mama?” “No, monkey. Dolphins are nice.” “Dolphins are nice,” you repeated.

I slammed my computer shut after that as I held your sister and sobbed. I took her into your room and rocked her as I cried some more. Everyone came home soon after that. Quinn found me in your dark room, rocking Poppy. He saw my red blotchy face.

“What’s wrong, mom? Are you sad?”

“Yes, baby. Just a little sad tonight.”

“Do you need anything, mom? Can I take Poppy?”

“No thank you. I will be alright.”

“Please mom. I don’t mind taking Poppy. I really like holding her.”

“O.k. Quinn. Thanks for helping me. I love you so much.”

I handed Poppy to your brother and watched as he snuggled up on your bed with her and I begged in my head for you to please come back.

I went to wash my face and your daddy had no clue that I had been crying, until he saw my face.

“What’s wrong? Why won’t you look at me? Who upset you today?”

I told him, today, nobody. Tomorrow might be a different story as I swear to god I am dealing with a bunch of petty bullshit again.

“I’m just sad. For the same reason I’m always sad.”

Your daddy said he knew because he has been feeling the same way.

It’s that time of year again. It’s that very, very hard month where our emotions seem to be all over the place. Even the girls at my nail salon know it. My sweet Emily who used to paint your toes, Ronan, remembers what is coming up.

“It almost 2 years, Maya.” she said to me in her very broken english tonight as she rubbed my arm.

“I remember. I think to myself, it almost 2 years. I sorry,” she said.

I said I couldn’t believe she remembered. I thanked her for remembering.

“I sorry I make you sad,” Emily said.

“Oh, Em. You can’t make me sad, I’m always sad.” I said as I somehow held back the tears. I couldn’t tell if they were tears from being sad over you or so touched by the fact that Emily remembered that your 2 years Deathiversary is coming up.

“Purple sparkles, right Maya? Always sparkles.” Emily said as she filed my nails.

“Yes. Purple sparkles for Ro. Always for Ro.”

Today was one of those good day foundation wise though. I got a very wonderful phone call in regards to some things we are going to be working on with one of our celebrity friends. For now, I’m going to keep things on the down low, until we are ready to announce what it is that we are going to be doing. I’ve been quietly working on things while adjusting to Poppy life. I’ve been trying to find that balance of, “Hey I can do it all! But hey, I also really can’t because I have a new baby!” Between Poppy, your brothers, foundation things, our book… well, it’s a lot. But nobody loves a challenge more than me so I’m happy to be wearing all the hats that I am. There are too many kids dying to slow down now, or ever.

Alright little man. This is all the update I can write for tonight. When Poppy sleeps, I must sleep. Or so they say.

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

xoxo

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“This is how dreams die.” -Woody Thompson

 

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I’m not going to go into why I titled this post this way tonight because not everything can be shared. Let’s just say Woody came home and said this to me tonight for a very good reason. All I am allowed to say is screw anybody that sets out to get rich off of kids with cancer. Fucking unreal.

 

Ronan. I cannot believe your baby sister has been here for 3 weeks today. It has went by so quickly. We still have been lying pretty low and I swear it feels like I have been doing nothing but nesting and breastfeeding her since she arrived. The quiet has been good for me. Or at least that is what I am telling myself for the time being. I do miss my crazy insane I’m losing my mind days. Those days got me through a lot of the darkness. I’m sure those days are not over yet… but for now I am just trying to soak in the peacefulness that you sister has brought into our lives. We’ve had a couple of out-of-town visitors. Your Nana came to help out with things and to meet Poppy. It was of course wonderful to have her here as it gave me a chance to do nothing but focus on your sister and let myself become somewhat human again. I was exhausted not from the lack of sleep I’ve been getting, but from the physical part of your sisters birth and the toll it took on my body. Now I am starting to feel somewhat normal again and I know a big part of it is due to the rest I was able to get with your Nana in town. She took a lot of the slack off and for one full week I didn’t have to touch the laundry or cook a thing. It was heaven and so very helpful.

Your Fairy RoMo popped into town just for a day to come and see her new god-daughter. That was a magical day indeed and so special that I can hardly put it into words what it was like to see the two of them finally meet. It was like for once, something in this world without you made sense for  a split second. If I can’t have you here to meet your Fairy RoMo, having Poppy here is the next best thing. We took Poppy all over with us for the day. We had a impromptu Poppy party that was thrown together by Stacy where we sat around at a cute little restaurant and had a nice lunch. It was pretty much her first time out in the world. After that, we took Poppy to your favorite restaurant, Chelsea’s Kitchen. We sat on the patio and went gagaga goo goo crazy eyes over your sister. As I was sitting there, I was taken back to the night of your funeral/celebration of life/one of the worst nights of my life. I was holding your sister and I remembered being there after we had your services. I thought to myself, how in the world could I have come here with a bunch of people the night of Ronan’s funeral? In my white dress looking like a zombie I’m sure. I hardly remember the night except I remember that somebody went and snapped my picture with Quinn on my lap and I remember smiling into the camera. How I even was able to form a smile is beyond me. I know I did it because Quinn was right there and I was trying to act somewhat normal like this is a fucking normal thing to do. Eating Tuna Tacos with a bunch of people after my child had just died and I sat in the front row listening to people talk about about you, holding your brothers hands, without tears streaming down my cheeks because I was too numb to feel anything. And now, here I am, sitting right back at that very same restaurant while holding your sister and kissing her sweet cheeks. How is this my reality again? I wanted to vomit right there on the spot but I just sat there quietly instead doing everything I could do in my power not to cry and hide underneath the table. I let the scene of that awful night play out in my head instead.

Every time I think about you and what has happened lately it’s like my mind is back to not being able to process it. My mind automatically goes to screaming, “FUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!!!” in my head and that’s about it. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I don’t. I always feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I took your brothers back to their therapist last week just to check in with them. Quinn did not understand why he had to go because as he told your Nana, “If I needed to talk about something, I would just talk to my mom.” That was sweet to hear and made me feel good, but I still wanted Quinn to check in with Dr. Rachel. I went to talk to her after she met with Quinn. She said that he is doing really well. That the worry brain he used to have, seems to totally be gone. He also told her that he hasn’t seen me this happy in a long time. That stung a little bit. Happy? How can that be? It almost felt like a betrayal to you, Ronan. Don’t get me wrong, I do want your brothers to see  me this way. This is the way they deserve their mom to be… but it still felt weird to hear that. I just wasn’t ready for that word quite yet. It was like swallowing a really big horse pill and doing everything I could, not to choke on it. Dr. Rachel told me she feels like she does not need to see Quinn anymore, even though she would love to because she thinks he is such an amazing little guy, it’s not necessary at this point. Liam on the other hand, still needs some time with her. He is still pretty emotional about all of this. He tends to keep things to himself more so than Quinn does. We talked about making sure she gets some time with him before the shit storm of May 9th and all the lovely dates after, follow.

Your brothers are of course so in love with your sister. It is so strange to watch them with her, thinking they were doing the exact same thing with you after you were born and how you are just gone now. They both fight over who gets to hold her, kiss on her, and love on her. They both say the funniest things about her. The other day I had an outfit on her that was too big because she is so tiny that much of the stuff I have for her is big. The little tank top she had on kept sliding down and Quinn goes, “Mom, why isn’t she wearing a bra? People are going to see her privates.” I almost peed my pants over that one. The innocence at 9 years old melts my heart like crazy. They both can’t get over the fact that she doesn’t have teeth and Liam sits there with her and tries to teach her to talk. He’ll go over and over, “My name is Liam. L-I-A-M. You’re name is Poppy. P-O-P-P-Y.” It is the cutest thing ever. I’m sure if you were here you would be doing things like coloring on her with markers while I had my back turned or taking her hair and putting tooth paste in it or cutting it with scissors. You were always causing trouble in the best way possible.

Your daddy has been doing things with Poppy like playing her guitar. The other night I was sitting in bed with your sister listening to your daddy play to her. I said, “You need to learn a Taylor song for her.” He asked me which one and said, “Not Ronan. I love it, but I don’t think I can get through that one just quite yet.” I agreed with him and immediately went to one of my absolute favorite song of hers. That one from The Hunger Games soundtrack, “Safe and Sound.” Fast forward a week later and your daddy has that song down to a tee. I remember where I was the first time I heard it on the radio. We were in Maine for the 1 year anniversary of your death. Your daddy and brothers ran into a restaurant to pick up pizza and I was sitting in the car alone. That song came on and I started bawling like a baby. I thought it was so beautiful and could not understand how I had not heard it before. I sat there thinking how much I would have loved to sing this song to you as the words resonated with me so much. Now here we are and your baby sister will grow up with your daddy singing this song to her. Once again, the next best thing to actually having you physically here with us.

Our visitors have still been far and few. Your Sparkly came by last week for a bit just to check in. I showed him your room and how different it is now. I think it was hard for him to see, but he said it looked beautiful. It was hard for me to show him. After that, we mainly just sat on our couch and stared at your sister while catching up on some things. Sometimes a lot of words are not necessary. As we were sitting on our couch he asked where your Nana was. She had gone out to run some errands for me so she was not home and I told him how she has a hard time sitting still. He goes, “Now I know where you get it from.” I just smiled at that. He then goes, “Where is your mom sleeping? In Ronan’s room?” I paused for a minute and told him yes. You see this Ronan? This is why Sparkly gets it when not many other people do. Those 3 words, “in Ronan’s room,” meant so much to me. Sometimes the littlest things mean the most and that is a prime example. Sparkly quietly said how he can’t believe how much she looks like you. Cue tears here. End scene with them sloppily falling everywhere as I said I knew. That dimple. I still cannot get over it.

That’s my update for today. I’ve started hiking/running again. I know I’m supposed to wait 6 weeks postpartum, but they don’t call me a rebel for nothing, right little man? The exercise feels good. Today has been a little tough for a couple of different reasons, but mostly just because I seem to be missing you more than ever. Throw May on top of all of that and it’s a wonder I can even leave the house and function like a normal person at this point. I’m going to go for a run to blow off some of this never ending pain. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. F U Cancer.

xoxo

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2 years ago today, I went to Hell

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Ronan. 2 years ago today, April 23rd, I went to Hell. I’ve been to Hell a few times in my life and it’s not the place that people think you go after you die and you have lived a life of sin. Hell to me is right here on earth. Hell to me are the things I have experienced while living; half alive. April 23, 2011, I went to Hell. It was your last scan day at Sloan Kettering. Fernanda was with me. I remember every detail about that day as if it had just happened yesterday. The waiting in the waiting room for Dr. Kusher to come out and read us your results. Watching my friend, Doriet, howl like an animal in that same waiting room as she had just been given the news that there was nothing left to do for her daughter, Esther. Grabbing Doriet as she walked by and squeezing her so tightly as I whispered in her ear that we would find something or someone to help. Looking at Fernanda and saying to her, “They have to walk out of here having just being given the news that there is nothing left to do for their daughter. How are they going to leave here? How can that just be it?” I had no clue that 20 minutes later I would be in the exact same situation.

Fernanda and I sat and waited. Dr. Kushner came bursting through the doors, breezing right past us. Fernanda whispered to me, “There he is! Ask him!” I watched his body movements, the way he avoided eye contact with me and rushed right past me as if he didn’t see me waiting there. I knew he did. My stomach dropped to the floor. My name was called to come back and get you as you were waking up from your anesthesia. I couldn’t wait to scoop you back up into my arms, safe and sound. You were groggy, but so happy to see me. You were upset about the bone aspirations in both of your little hip bones asking me why I let them do that to you. I rocked you out back out in the waiting room to try to calm you down. Then the sign of all signs that everything was about to come crashing down. That damn necklace. My “lucky,” necklace that I had worn religiously on every single scan day, broke in two and went falling on the floor. I watched the necklace fall to the floor in slow motion. I swear time stopped. “Dr. Kushner will see you now!” we were told. I grabbed you, Fernanda followed me, and off we went. I felt like I was walking the plank of a pirate ship with a big sword in my back, waiting to be dumped into a sea of blood hungry sharks.

Dr. Kushner was waiting to see us alright, but not in the way that I wanted. He paced back and forth like a caged animal. He couldn’t or wouldn’t look me in the eyes. “The treatment. The treatment didn’t work.” I sat there, shaking, as you played on the floor with some cars or something. I don’t remember much after this except saying to him, “O.k. well, I know you have a plan, because you said you wouldn’t give up on my child, so I’m going to go back to Phoenix, until you figure out what is next.” He called your daddy too at some point. I don’t remember what was said. I remember feeling like my legs were cement and I couldn’t get up off of the chair. Somehow I managed. I also managed to give that Dr. Kusher a hug and say “Thank you. You are a good man.” I said this to a man who was too much of a coward to give me the decency of looking me in the eyes and just simply telling me he was sorry. I picked you up and off we went, somehow managing to make it back to the Ronald McDonald House to pack up our entire life that we had created in a matter of hours to hop on the soonest fight out of there. I did none of this. I threw Coconut Water at the wall and watched it explode everywhere and I told you we were having a Pop throwing party as I sat on the floor with you and Fernanda and we let all kinds of soda and water explode everywhere as we threw it against the wall and all over the floor. You thought this was funny. I did too as I lost a piece of my mind that day, never to get it back again and I honestly don’t miss it at all.

I sat a the basement somewhere while Fernanda stayed with you and let you chase her about. I screamed and cried into the phone to our Mr. Sparkly Eyes. He could barely talk as he know nothing was going to calm me down. I remember him just begging me to get it together, so I could get you home and he promised me we would go from there. I think I said the words, “No,no,no,no,no,no,” over and over again as I could not even form a sentence at this point. Valium somehow came into play I think. The next thing I knew our 10 suitcases that came out of thin air were packed and we somehow managed to get a late night flight out of New York home to Phoenix. Again, not me. That would be the magic of Fernanda. Only she could somehow manage to orchestrate something of that magnitude in the middle of the biggest shit storm of both of our lives. Somehow we survived scan day from Hell to be plopped back to Phoenix. I remember nothing after this. I don’t remember the reunion with your daddy and how the fuck that conversation went. I don’t remember getting home to our house and explaining to your brothers what was happening. It’s as if my memory of the next few days has been erased. I guess that happens when you suffer from something as traumatic as what had just happened in New York. Part of the PTSD I suppose.

Fast forward and here I am 2 years later having survived one of my many trips to Hell and back. Here I am having spent all day today, thinking about you and what I was doing 2 years ago as I was still fighting with everything I had, to save you. Today, I spent much of the day like I have been since your sister was born. Rocking her. Snuggling her. Feeding her. Taking care of her. Listening to my head as it screams for you, but the screaming is a little less now that she is here. Wondering if your sister is you, reincarnated. Is that a real thing? I don’t know, but it crosses my mind. What if it were. How would I feel about that, if it were? Would it make this pain, any less? I don’t know. It’s because of that dimple of hers that I can’t stop thinking of this. That secret dimple that you had on the right side of your face down by your chin. The tiny little dimple that only showed up when you smiled. I think that she has it too and it is freaking me out and making my mind think insane things like, “What if this is Ronan’s way of coming back to me because he saw how much pain I was in and he couldn’t take it anymore so he came back as a baby girl…” You know me and my imagination… wild and crazy. Then there is the other little voice in my head saying, “Don’t be crazy. This is Poppy not Ronan, but she is here to save you too, but in her very own way. Her magical, special, Poppy way.” Whatever the real answer is, Ronan, I’ll take it. Because either way is a gift from you. I know this.

Your Nana is here and it has been wonderful. She is so helpful to me and I love watching her bond with your sister. She is such a good Nana. It is all bittersweet, but I know you would want it this way. You would want us to be happy as much as we are able to, without you here. Tomorrow, your Fairy RoMo is popping into town, just to take a peek at your sister and meet her god-daughter. I am so beyond excited to see her and introduce the two of them. I know it will be love at first sight. I only wished she could have met you as well. Tomorrow, I feel like she will be meeting a piece of you and it is going to be such a beautiful thing to see. Your little sister is one lucky girl to have a Godmother like her as she truly is one in a million.

Alright little man. I’m sorry I haven’t been writing, but things have been busy, yet calm. We are all truly just soaking in this little window of time with your sister as I know how fast the newborn stage goes by. She is a dream and is such a good baby. We are all amazed at how she doesn’t cry. Ever. She is the most peaceful little thing. I guess somebody must have told her how badly we were all needing a little peace in our lives. Thanks, baby doll. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams

xoxo

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That Poppy girl has saved my life

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Ronan. I forget to write about 23 months without you. I was in the hospital with your Poppy sister. It was the day after I had her. I told your Mr. Sparkly Eyes how I thought that you and your sister had planned that I went into labor on the 8th, so that when the 9th came around, I wouldn’t be so sad because I would be holding your baby sister safe and sound in my arms. I do think this is true. It was the first time that the 9th wasn’t completely gut wrenching for me. How could it be with your sweet sister snuggled up to me? She helped me get through the day. You know what comes next though. Next month. 2 years without you and I’m sitting here scratching my head saying how can that be? How can it already be 2 years since you left this earth? It doesn’t seem possible. And guess what else this year is. Your birthday is the same day as Mother’s Day. How am I supposed to get through that one? Mother’s Day is hard enough now, but the fact that it falls on what should have been your 6th birthday is just beyond anything I am capable of handling. I am trying not to panic about it all, but I said to your daddy tonight, “We need to come up with a last minute May plan, because I can’t be here.” He promised me he would, so I am trying to relax a bit about it but it has still been keeping me awake at night. I hate the month of May.

May-

Your death day

Your birthday which also happens to be the day you were cremated

Mother’s Day without you

Your funeral Day

I won’t ever love the month of May again.

I will get through it the best I can, just like I did last year. It’s all I can do just to survive it.
Everything around here is really calm and peaceful. I feel calmer and more peaceful than I have in a very long time. It’s because of Poppy. She makes me be still and quiet in a way that is not forced. In a way that I haven’t been able to do since you died. She has given me such a gift already and she is only a week old. It’s amazing the way she seems to be working her little magic on all of us. I have been doing nothing but spending my days with her, being quiet and still. Having your Poppy sister has saved me. I know to make a statement like that is a bold thing to say, but I can say without a doubt, she has saved my life. We talk about you a lot. All day long when I am rocking her in your bedroom and she is looking all around. I tell her stories about you, I tell her how much you love her and are watching over her, I tell her how lucky she is to have you as a big brother and Liam and Quinn as well. Having her in your room was a good decision on our part. Your room no longer seems so sad, empty and cold. I was rocking her yesterday and your daddy came in to check on us. He asked if it was hard for me to be in there with her. I nodded my head that it was, because it is; but there is also something comforting about it too. We still haven’t seen too many people as we are still just trying to take our time and get used to this new little life. Quinn made a comment about how weird it felt to have another person living in our house again with us. To me that just screamed how much your little life is missed by us all. How much your absence is always felt. I still get mad a lot but I find that I am not as reactive with my anger. I find myself sitting and trying to process all of this on a deeper level but I mostly just sit in disbelief that this world has to be without you. How dull and empty I know this world is without you presence. This makes me mad and sad and I want to scream from the rooftops how unfair this all is because I know you would have grown up to do such amazing things in this world. I wonder how come the whole wide world doesn’t feel this way, too. About you and all of these other kids who are dying left and right from childhood cancer.I am so thankful for the people who are now paying attention and fighting the good fight, but I just don’t understand why the whole world isn’t in an uproar over this. I guess if it doesn’t touch your life personally, it is easier just to look the other way and go about your business. That makes me sad. Nobody deserves to get cancer, but especially not children. And if they do get cancer, there should really be better treatments and options. You deserved better, Ronan and I will forever be so sorry that after everything that we tried and did for you that it death was still the final outcome. I will never stop apologizing for this.

I’ve been spending most of my days in your room. Your daddy hung a big beautiful picture of you over your bed last night. I swear I stare at it all day long. Sometimes it makes me cry, sometimes it makes me smile, it always makes me miss you with everything that I am. That will never change.

Alright little man. This is all for now. Not a lot has been going on so I don’t have a ton to write about. Please keep your Poppy sister safe. I worry about her so much already. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

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That beautiful day your sister was born

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Ronan. I know I’m supposed to sleep when your Poppy sister sleeps, but even early in these morning hours, I just can’t seem to do so. It doesn’t matter the lack of sleep I’m getting due to breast-feeding her, holding her, or obsessively watching her sleep because I’m scared she’s just going to up and stop breathing. I think at this point I’m just running off adrenalin and that’s o.k. Sleep stopped being my friend a long time ago.

So, do you want to hear the story about the day your sister was born? I know you already know it, but I’ll recap it for those who don’t. The last few weeks of my pregnancy I was miserable. Miserable in a way that I found myself begging day after day for your sister to finally get here. You know I’m not a good pregnant person at all and those last few weeks, I was beyond done both mentally and physically. Dr. Schwartz was well aware of this too which is why I got her to agree to strip my membranes to try to jump start my labor the same way she did with me for you. I went into her office on a Tuesday and she did this for me to try to get things rolling. It didn’t work. I went back to her on Thursday and once again she stripped away and I left her office hoping that your baby sister would make her entrance into the world soon; just like the way you did after I had this done. I ended up going to the hospital due to having some bleeding and pretty bad contractions had started up as well. I thought it was going to be go time, but as the night went on, the contractions stopped. I had to stay the night at the hospital so they could monitor me, but I was released the very next day. As you can imagine, I was out of my mind upset. I may be a patient person about most things in life, but the end of a pregnancy is not one of them. I also had myself convinced that Poppy was for sure going to be born dead or was never going to come out at all because clearly I had made her up in my deranged head. Once home I pretty much stayed in bed the entire weekend, not wanting to talk to or see anyone. If there was ever a time that I was “depressed,” in my life, you could say the last few week of pregnancy were it for me.

On Sunday night around 10 p.m. just as your daddy came to bed to go to sleep, I was huffing and puffing about how miserable I was and how I hated the world so I got up to do my late night laundry that I have become accustomed to. Just as I was cursing the pregnancy gods from above, I noticed a little drip, drip, drip running down my legs. I walked down the hallway and the puddle continued to slowly trickle out of me. I went in to our bedroom and said to your daddy, “I think my water just broke.” He jumped out of bed all panicked and told me to grab my stuff so we could rush to the hospital. I told him, “No way. I have to shower first. This could take forever and I’m not bringing Poppy into this world until I shower and shave my legs.” I calmly got showered, dressed, and off to the hospital we went. We were admitted right away and Dr. Schwartz was called. She ordered the hospital to start pitocin for me to get things to progress and little faster as I was still only about 4 cm dilated. By this time it was about midnight and I geared up for the night while your daddy quietly slept away on the couch. My contractions started to get pretty bad and the epidural could not have come soon enough. I could not get a hold of Dr. JoRo who was back up in Sedona as she had been with me in the hospital all of Thursday night but went home after I was released. My doula, your daddy, was just not cutting it as I screamed at him about the pain/having to feed myself ice chips because he was so tired that he could not stay up. Luckily, I had a really great nurse who helped me through everything while your daddy got his beauty sleep to prepare for the big day. Apparently labor is hard work when you are a dude ;) I was really proud of the self control I contained as it took everything I had not to throw ice chips at your Daddy’s head while he slept away and I sat there cursing away from the pain of the contractions that were getting stronger and closer together.

It was around 5:15 a.m. that I started to push your sister out. I had your blanket on my chest and did my best to remain calm as I said your name over and over in my head. 3 pushes was all it took and your baby sister was plopped in my arms immediately. I was overcome with so many emotions that is was almost as if I couldn’t feel a thing. I just remember staring at her and whispering, “Thank you, Ronan,” in her little ear. She looked up at me with her big wide eyes that I can tell are already full of so much wisdom. Your sister was born at 5:35 a.m., 6 lbs 11 oz, tons of dark hair and oh so perfect in every way. She had one little cry as she entered this world but that is pretty much the only peep she has made. I’ve never seen a more calm or peaceful baby in my life. I spent the next few hours staring at her and in disbelief of how much she looks like you. Your daddy and I cannot get over it. I think I went 48 hours without any sleep at all. My adrenaline was through the roof all I could seem to do was stare at your little sister as I slowly let myself fall in love with her. I needed some time to process everything and needed some time to bond with this new baby girl as you know how bittersweet this is for all of us.

Dr. JoRo arrived at the hospital around 10 a.m. and stayed for much of the day. She left once your brothers arrived to let us have some private time together as a family. It hurt to see your brothers walk through that door without you but it was also such a beautiful moment, too. They were so excited and proud to meet their new baby sister. I think they were also both relieved to see that she was finally here, safe and sound. We kept visitors to a minimum just the way I said we would. I needed everything to be calm and quiet not only for me, but for Poppy as well. As the day went on, I sat and watched out our window as an unexpected rain storm took over the entire valley. It was one that was not predicted but rather it came out of nowhere. I know you are always with me, Ro but this storm on the day your Poppy sister was born just proves it to me even more. It was such an amazing thing to witness like it was our own little secret. You are such a little spicy monkey boy and I spent much of the day smiling as I watched the rain pour down out of nowhere.

Our Mr. Sparkly Eyes came by both days that I was at the hospital. The first day he just popped in to take a peek at his new goddaughter and the second day he came for a little longer to sit with me and check in with me to see how I was doing/handling all of this. He told me how I was such a natural at being a mom. I smiled and told him I knew, that this was the easy part for me. I told him how proud you would be to have him as the godfather of your baby sister and how I knew that you would have picked him and only him for this as he is the only one special enough to do so. He will be the best at watching over your baby sister for me just like the way he helped to watch over you whenever he could do so. I know you would be so happy about this. I am so honored to have him play this role in your sister’s life. It makes all of this that much more special.

We were released from the hospital 24 hours later and it took us this long to decide on your sister’s name. We had originally planned on naming her Ireland Ronan, which I am still so in love with but for some reason, it just didn’t feel right anymore. Your daddy and I went back and fourth about her name, forever. I just could not part with Poppy. I didn’t want it to be a nickname or an afterthought. It had come to mean too much to me to just let it go. Your daddy threw in a few curveballs and suggested some names like Sophia and Alexandria, both of which I love, but this baby has been Poppy since she was 5 weeks in the womb. Nothing else felt right. Your daddy and I sealed the deal with Poppy Ronan with a kiss on the lips and a smile in our hearts. I know her name would be Ronan approved. I think you would have loved it so very much. It makes me smile and it makes me happy. Poppy Ronan Thompson sounds like the sweetest thing ever and it just seems to fit her little face.

We have been home now and are all doing just fine. I didn’t spiral into that postpartum depression like everybody was freaking out about and worrying that I would. I have been a little quiet and have not seen too many people but that is not due to depression. It’s just due to the four of us trying to enjoy our quiet time with your sister and soak this all in. I’ve been staying at home with her and just trying to let myself bond with her the way that I need to. I wondered how this was all going to feel… having a new little life around to take care of. I wondered if that hole in my heart would disappear due to your Poppy sister being born. I have come to find out this is not the case and will never be the case. I feel like my heart has grown and gotten bigger, but the hole there will always remain. Nobody can fill it as it’s not meant to be filled. It is there to remind me every single day of how much I love you, how much I will always love you, and how much this will forever hurt as your absence in this world is the most painful thing that I have ever felt. This hole in my heart will remain there for the rest of my life. The birth of your sister has proven this. If she can’t fix this, it was not meant to be fixed no matter how much love I feel in this life without you here. I will live with this hole in my heart for the rest of my life and I can be o.k. with this. I am learning to be o.k. living like this. It makes me stronger and makes me work harder at everything I do. I will let my pain do great things in this life to make you proud.

Alright my little man. I am going to go. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful sister. Thank you for getting her here safe and sound. I promise to be the best mama in the world to her and teach her all about you. I can’t wait to learn from her the things I know you have already taught her. You are the best big brother in the world. We all love and miss you so much. I’m so sorry that you are not here with us. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

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Baseball, Brisket and Marriage Equality for all!

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Ronan. I think time is standing still. At least that’s how it feels to me. Maybe it’s because I’m having to take things easy now that your Poppy sister is almost here. Maybe it’s grief. Or a combination of both. I remember things feeling this way right after you passed away for the first 6 months or so. It feels like this once again. I wake up, do the things I need to do, but life feels really empty right now. Nothing feels good. I’m exhausted. I can hardly make it through the day and normal things like keeping up on the laundry, dishes, and feeding your sweet brothers, feels really, really hard. I’m sure this mostly has to do with my pregnancy coming to an end but still, it’s mentally wearing me down. Then there is still the issue with your bedroom. Fucking fuck fuck fuck. I can’t believe it really happened and all of your things are out of there, being cleaned, refinished, your clothes are in bins, your stuffed animals in bags. I still am in shock over it all. I never thought I would let that day happen. Your daddy asked what I wanted to do with the clothes in your closet. I made him leave them there. I still like to touch them and smell them, even though they smell nothing like your sweet little scent. I still take whiffs of them whenever I can, hoping to be reminded of a sweet memory of when they were last worn by you.

I saw Dr. Schwartz today. Everything is progressing well, but I seriously feel like this pregnancy is never going to come to an end. I have it in my head that Poppy is just going to stay inside of me forever as I sometimes still do not think she is real. I honestly don’t think I will fully be able to truly absorb what is happening until I have her in my arms. We talked about everything from Cord Blood Banking, postpartum depression to the whooping-cough vaccine she made your daddy get today. She told us that she doesn’t want anybody around Poppy who has not had the T-dap vaccine as she has been seeing babies die from being exposed. Great. Add that to my list of things to worry about. Liam and Quinn had it with their regular immunizations so they are fine. I had to call your Nana to tell her she needed to get hers before she comes out here. Dr. Schwartz is just being extra careful which is good, but it still makes me nervous. Then there is the whole postpartum depression thing. We sat and had a conversation for a good 20 minutes about this. I told her I honestly wasn’t worried about it. I’ve never had it with my other kids and if I am depressed at all, it’s during this pregnancy -the here and now as being pregnant is keeping me from being able to do everything that helps me not to be depressed/consumed by my grief (which is not depression it’s just grief!) Mainly my exercising. Once your Poppy sister is here, I will be able to start to have my outlets again and they won’t consist of me resting in bed, which I fucking HATE, but instead will consist of going out and doing my hikes/runs/anything to get the adrenaline flowing. She talked about anti depressants. I told her how that’s not happening as I had taken them before and I swear they made me suicidal. How they just seemed to pile on more grief because I wasn’t dealing with anything and I was just numb. I agreed to let your daddy watch out for me though but still, I think I know myself pretty well. We’ll see if I’m eating my words in a few weeks and if so, I’ll deal with it my way. I sent Dr. Jo a text about this later today. We had a very long conversation which left me laughing at the way she got so riled up over the mention of medication/and postpartum depression vs just plain grief. I love her passion so much.We talked about our plan because we do have one. It’s the same one we’ve always followed. When things get more heavy for me, I see Dr. Jo on a more frequent basis and I’m always honest with her about everything I am feeling. We work through it the way it works for me. No fucking meds required. We talked about my sadness though all of this and how I will face it head on. She knows that Poppy is not just going to appear and BAM! all my sadness will be gone. She expects me to feel waves of happiness and waves of sadness with all of this. That’s just the way my life is always now. Poppy won’t fix it all. As Dr. Jo said, “You are not having Poppy to replace Ronan. You are having Poppy because you wanted another baby. But you need to be prepared for the people that are going to come out and act like this she is the answer to all of your sadness. People want her to fix everything and to take this all away from you but that’s not the reality of this. You need to let people know that the birth of this baby girl, does not diminish your pain or your grief. That she does not take Ronan’s place in your family. Ronan’s place is Ronan’s place and he will always be there.” That is our reality. That will always be our reality and nothing will change that. Not even your beautiful baby sister. I know she is going to help with our sadness, Ronan. But our sadness won’t disappear and I am o.k. with that. I am learning every day to just live with it.

Your daddy has been the one working in your room. I can’t bring myself to do a thing. Thank you for him. I honestly don’t know what I would do without that amazing daddy of yours. I always knew I was so lucky to have him, but going through something like this really makes me realize it that much more. He truly is unlike any other man on this planet. He has taken such good care of all of us in every way since losing you. I know it’s a big reason our family seems to be doing o.k. To have such a strong loving man to hold us all up, makes all the difference in the world. I can’t imagine where our family would be without your daddy. Every single night he talks to you out loud before he goes to bed. It mostly breaks my heart to listen to his words and I often times pretend like I am sleeping because what he says, usually makes me cry. Sometimes I don’t want to listen to what he is saying, because him telling you good night and how much he misses you, leaves me with a pit in my stomach that I will never get used to. I always appreciate this though even though it is so hard for me to hear. He went to a concert tonight. He’s been going to a lot of these things lately. I always encourage it. I will always be the wife that says, “Please, go. Have fun.” I will never be the wife that bitches or complains that he does these things. He deserves the break. He deserves to blow off some steam. He works so hard and takes such good care of us that I am always supportive of your daddy going out and having some fun. It makes me happy to see him doing these things. He is so ridiculously excited for your sister to be here. I cannot wait to see what it’s like for him to have a baby girl. I know it is just going to melt my heart. What a lucky little girl to have a daddy like him. It will be such a beautiful thing for our family.

I made your brothers dinner tonight. I cooked a really great brisket for Passover and talked to your brothers all about this holiday and what it means. It’s is important to me that they know about all religions, not just one or none. I want to teach them about EVERYTHING. I want them to have an open mind and be educated about it all. It was a fun little bonding time tonight where we talked about everything from sports to religion to marriage equality for all. Yes. I talk to my twins about this. I am proud to say that I do as I cannot believe this is even an issue in this day and age. Don’t we have bigger fish to fry? Why in the world do I care if my neighbor Bob marries Joe down the street? I don’t. People should be allowed to love who they love, end of story. My boys will grow up knowing this. It’s not our job to judge others or tell others what is right or wrong. It’s not hurting my family, affecting my marriage so GEEZ! Can we please just stop all this madness?! KIDS ARE DYING PEOPLE! Left and right kids are dying from a little thing called cancer yet nobody seems up in arms over this. That to me is pure insanity. People need to get a life and focus on what is really important in the world and it is not over who your neighbor, loves and wants to marry. The ignorance around this is shameful and embarrassing and enough is enough. I have 2 things I am really passionate about in life. 1) Childhood Cancer and 2) Equal rights for all. I won’t ever shut up or shy away from those two things. I was lucky enough in life to have parents who taught me to have an open mind at such an early age and who welcomed a very gay, black man into our world who we loved like our family and whom I was taught was no different from us. I will forever be grateful for my parents for this lesson in life. I will forever be grateful for my parents who let a little girl love a man for who he was, not who society defined him as being. I am a better person for this and my twins will be, too. I would have given ANYTHING for Ronan to grow up and be gay. Or straight. Who cares. At least he would have freaking had the chance to grow up and not die from cancer! Seriously. Where are our priorities?

Alright little man. I’m going to get off my soap box for tonight. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Please keep your Poppy sister safe. It won’t be much longer now. I love you.

xoxo

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That hair, that hair, that hair…

 

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Phoebe is on the left in this picture. Is her hair to die for or what? Big thank you to my little Rachel for making her day yesterday. Love you, Rach. You are the sweetest soul. Thank you all who have left such sweet comments on Phoebe’s page. Truly made my day.

Next up for Phoebe is a bone marrow transplant. Please keep her in your thoughts.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/phoebe26

 

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  • Instagram is my BFF

    Weekend ballers. #ronan #fucancer #littleballers She is going to distract them all with her ding dong button. #poppy #ronan #tinyflasher #fucancer Team mascot. #poppy #ronan #fucancer #futureballer #basketballislife @kimmieag17 Dribble dribble. #poppy #ronan #fucancer #futureballer I'm gonna show those boys how it's done. #poppy #ronan #fucancer #littleballer #basketballislife Church with a view. #ronan #fucancer #camelbackmountain #echocanyon #badassesonly Poppy! I promise I'll be right back! #poppy #ronan #nana #fucancer #mommyneedsahikingbreak I continue to be inspired by the youth of today. #ronan #lorde #fucancer #musicislife @quinnthompson24 Lorde with my little royal. @quinnthompson24 #ronan #fucancer #lorde #imthecoolestmomever #hessocute Miss you already, lover. #poppy #ronan #fucancer #rideordie #mommynumbertwo @macymwood Dedicated to my @macymwood. Ride or die for life. #ronan #fucancer #iwillloveyoutilltheendoftime #lanadelrey #iwouldmakeoutwithlana Hipsters. #ronan #fucancer #middleagedhipsters #youngforever #forgotourflowerheadbands #lanadelrae
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