Only Eddie Vedder could drink wine on a stage and make it look badass.

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Ronan.  Do I usually have this hard of a time, every year, right before the holidays? I think so, but to know so, I’d have to go back and read my blogs from the past years.  I’ve been doing enough reading of my blogs due to this book writing and I don’t feel like going back to read about the holiday seasons and how hard they have been for me every year since you left.  Every day is hard without you, but this time of the year there seems to be a shift about me that I cannot control.  Everything feels extra heavy, hard, sad, and the slightest things take up every ounce of energy I have just to get through the day.  I have been getting through the days alright really; I suppose.  That is actually a big fat lie.  I’ve been a fucking mess, but hiding it pretty well.  I’ve learned to become the ultimate pain hider.  I have learned to be present, to smile when all I want to do is cry, to be productive when all I want to do is curl up in my bed for a week, and to throw myself into things that take a lot of work, but the work leaves me distracted.  Oh, I’ve also been taking the best care ever of your Poppy sister 24/7.

I may have lost it last week which left me doing my normal screams and crying to your Mr. Sparkly Eyes.  “I think I’m having a mid-life crisis.” “Why the fuck did this happen?” “I talked to George Clooney last night and I’m going to run off with him.” (inside joke, but I really did freaking talk to George Clooney thanks to one Fairy Bad Ass RoMo) And my all time favorite, “Where is Ronan and who is taking care of him?”  I got sat down and talked to in the harshest but kindest way.  I was told I was in fact not having a mid life crisis, that everything I am feeling is just due to losing you which I of course already knew, but it was nice to hear it from a rational person.  “Listen, I cannot even fathom what you have gone through and will go through for the rest of your life.  I hurt badly from this and I only get to feel this on a small scale compared to you.  You have to carry this around with you forever, while the ones who cared about Ronan, your family, your friends, get to go on with their lives.  You don’t.  I cannot imagine what that must feel like for you.  But you are doing such amazing things and even if you can’t see it now, you are changing the world because of him and because of your pain.” I sat, listened, and fought back my tears the entire time that I was with him.  I let his words soak in and lick my wounds for a while.  “Tell me what I can do for you. Please.” I looked down at the floor and thought for a bit.  My list came in my mind later as I named off a few things, but really just thanked him for being such a dear friend.  He said some more things to me that I won’t repeat, but left me saying, “How do you know that?  How do you know everything?  Nobody knows that.  Does Ronan talk to you and tell you these things?”  I honestly think you do, Ronan.  There is no other way to explain how that man knows the darkest parts of my soul and heart, yet he is not afraid.  You only left me with the best and for that, I will always be thankful.  I sat quietly and watched as he bounced your baby sister on his lap and kissed her up and down.  She is so lucky to have him as her Godfather, to love and look after her.  I know he will keep her safe.

I’m full fledged in the middle of writing this book.  I told your daddy if I had a month, uninterrupted, I could finish it, easily.  The problem I’m facing is I may have too much material, and too much to say.  Go figure.  I’ve been writing about your treatment, which has been hard.  Reliving the things you went through, has not been fun and it’s not what I want this book to be about, so I’ve been trying to make this section, as short as possible.  This book writing has left me not sleeping or eating well and may be part of the reason why I feel like I’m no the verge of a breakdown.  I just keep telling myself, I’ve got to just get though this part, but it’s not like I have anything to look forward to next as I will just be writing about your death.  Fucking cancer.

As far as an update goes, things here for the most part have been normal.  Your brothers are playing a slew of sports 24/7.  Basketball, Baseball, and Flag Football.  I, of course, look for you on every field and on every team.  It still blows my mind that you are never there.  I know for a fact that you would be playing all the sports that your brothers are and dominating in every way.  You were always are mini Pat Tillman who was going to rule the world.  Poppy is developing such a little personality and at 7 months, is already trying to walk.  She has been keeping me on my toes and the determination that I see in her eyes reminds me so much of you.  My days are mostly spent taking care of her while continuing to fight for you and all that was stolen from us.  I’ve been hiking like crazy, with Poppy in tow of course.  She loves it and usually just falls asleep the entire time.  It’s our peaceful time to spend with you and the small time out of my day that I try to take for myself to be with my grief/plot how I’m going to take over this fucked up world.  I went to the Pearl Jam concert a few nights ago with your daddy, Uncle Jay, and Char.  Sometimes all you need in life is a little Eddie Vedder to remind you of who you really are.  I love that man and the concert was unreal.  By far one of the best ones I’ve been to.  Eddie Vedder will forever be one of my idols in life as I appreciate so much how he just lives his life the way he wants, with no apologies.  He just is who he is.  Not to mention the fact that he is deliciously handsome, insanely talented, and I could just stop and melt right here.  It was a great night, to say the least.  Pearl Jam ended the concert with “Keep On Rocking In The Free World,” and of course I sang along as loudly as I could while I thought of you the entire time.  I miss you so much, Ro.

Time to go, little man.  It’s raining like crazy here today.  I miss you.  I love you.  I hope you are safe.

xoxo

P.S. For those of you who have been trying to order some things on our Big Cartel site, I SO apologize.  We have been dealing with some *cough cough* technical difficulties.  It is being worked on and will be re launched soon as we also have a new foundation logo to unveil.  Our seal needed a little make-over and update.  I’ll keep you posted on when things are ready.  Thanks as always for your love and support.

The days of hell are over, but never really end.

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Ronan. Your 6th birthday came and went. I kept wondering to myself, what kind of party we would have had? I asked your brothers, “Do you think Ronan would still like Star Wars if he were here?” They assured me that you would have so in my mind, for the 2nd year in a row, I threw you a Star Wars party. I clung to my imaginary party in my mind to get me through the birthday from hell that I had to have without you in real life that fell on Mother’s Day this year. Your brothers and daddy did their best at spoiling me so by telling me how much they loved me, what a great mom I am, how lucky they are to have me, etc… They tried to make the day about me as much as they could but I ended up saying, “This day isn’t about me, it’s Ronan’s day so let’s do everything Ronan would have wanted to do.” So we did. We went to a brunch where I ignored all the 6 year olds running about and focused only on your brothers and Poppy. We went swimming and I watched as your daddy and brothers went crazy going on the water slide that was at our hotel. I sat quietly in the shade and let my smiles, come from them. They played football in the grass and participated in a water balloon fight. After a few hours of that we went back to the room to rest and get ready for dinner. We ate at a really good mexican restaurant and we had plans to go and see Iron Man 3 (which you would have totally wanted to do) but your sister’s breastfeeding got in the way of our making the movie on time so we ended up just coming back to our room. We all snuggled up together and watched a movie from the hotel instead. Your brothers let me pick it which was very sweet of them to do so we ended the night by watching “Oz, the Great and Powerful.” Quinn gave it 5 stars. Liam gave it 4. I was just happy they both enjoyed it and it made a quiet ending to a day that I just wanted to get through without jumping off the side of a cliff.

Now I sit here on the 15th of May, reflecting on what this day was like 2 years ago. It was the day we had your funeral or a.k.a. your celebration of life which is really just a nice way of saying this is fucking bullshit that I had to cremate my kid so let’s try to cover it up by calling it something beautiful. Having my baby cremated is not the way I ever envisioned celebrating your life. Today, I pulled out the white dress I wore on your death day. The white dress that hung on my shell of a body and now hangs in my closet like a keepsake or a wedding dress because I know I will never wear it again. It haunts me hanging there and I often find myself running my hands over it, waiting for the ghost of who I was during that time, to appear. That shell-shocked of a girl who really had no idea of the magnitude of what had just happened because I was in such shock and a deep place of denial. I remember your services, barely. I remember how I was so numb, that I didn’t even cry. I remember making everyone wear white and how after everything was over how Liam went over to a fountain to throw a penny into it. I remember saying, “Make a wish!” and how he looked up at me and said, “Why? Wishes don’t come true.” I remember at that point, it took everything I had to not fall over from the pain of his words. His innocent yet not so innocent words that right then and there, shattered everything I had ever known. Wishes don’t come true, rocked my world in the most fucked up way possible. Wishes don’t come true out of the mouth of an almost 8-year-old that should not be so wise in the way that he is.

I spent a lot of today crying and staring at that white dress while I found the comfort I so desperately needed, in your Poppy sister. I can’t seem to put her down which explains the loads of clean laundry that I need put away. Laundry can wait. I’ll take the snuggles of your sister over clean laundry any day. Your brothers are getting ready for their big basketball game on Friday. So a lot of practicing has been going on over here. Tonight I left Poppy with your Daddy for a bit so I could sneak out for a run. A little 3 mile run that I nearly winced in pain with the entire time. I forgot how bad it sucks to try to get back into running after having a baby. OUCH. Everything hurt tonight but you know nothing can ever hurt as much as the pain I feel from being without you everyday. I ignored the pain from my body and pushed through my 3 miles, slowly, but I was determined not to give up or give in even though every part of my body was screaming at me to do so. I came home just in time to see your daddy through your bedroom window, sitting in on your bed in Poppy’s room. I watched as he stared down at Poppy with such a look of mixed emotions on his face as he played with her little feet. I felt like an outsider, looking in on two strangers. This can’t possibly be my house, my husband, my new baby sitting in my dead child’s room, right? A year ago I would have saw this sight and wanted to run away from it all. Seeing this sight would have been too much for me to handle. Tonight, I had no desire to run away at all and instead I walked inside our house to where your Daddy was walking Poppy all about, carrying her like a little football. I went up to her, let her focus on who I was and said, “Hi Poppy!” I watched as a big smile splashed across her face. “She smiled!” I exclaimed to your daddy. It was a smile that told me that we are all doing alright and that Poppy is the best thing that could have ever happened to us since losing you. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her. She is still the most peaceful little thing. No crying, no fussing, just lots of eating, sleeping, and love. We all cannot get enough of her.

I keep telling myself if I can just get through these tough, tough days, that I have so much to look forward to these coming months. Dr. Sholler is coming into town on Sunday, so I will get to spend a few days with her and pick her brain in regards to my master plan. We have made some plans for dinner and some hikes. I am so excited to have her here and she is so excited to meet your baby sister. I’ve got Macy coming in to stay with us for about 5 days and you know everyone in our house is so excited about that. Bri Bri is also coming out and so is our little, Rachel. It will be nice to see my favorite girls and spend some time with them. As Dr. JoRo says, “Did you ever know that so much sadness and so much happiness could coexist?” I never would have believed her if she had told me this a year ago, but now I find it to be so true.

Alright little man. I must go. Poppy wants the boob. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.

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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  • Instagram is my BFF

    My little campers had another boy/girl dance last night at camp. I'm guessing there was a lot of standing around and ignoring the girls. I'll keep them that way for as long as possible! #ronan #fucancer #littlestuds #justsaynotogirls #nokissingallowed #thisisthefreakingcutestthingever #boysrule #missthemsomuch Wise words Wednesday. #ronan #fucancer #wisewordswednesday #truth #fsu @brimelone Pearl is really regretting last nights decisions and the fact that she is grounded from the car. #pearl #ronan #fucancer #regretful #walkofshame #pearlishungover #pearlisgrounded #blacksheep #getyourshittogetherpearl
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