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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Ronan’s Second Annual Day of Love

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I don’t need words. I just miss you.

Ronan. Yesterday went a little something like this: May 8th, the eve before you passed away. We went into town. It was raining cats and dogs. We all decided it was a good idea to see a movie so into the dark theatre we went. I was fidgety. I was anxious. I kept squirming in my seat. I ate a little popcorn. I had a huge wave of guilt wash over me, sitting in that movie theater, watching “The Avengers,” which is a movie you would have loved. Your daddy looked at me and said, “You can go. Go get a pedicure or something.” He didn’t have to say it twice. I up and bolted before we were even 10 minutes into the movie. I could not have run out of that theatre, fast enough. Out into the pouring down rain of the streets of Portland, Maine, was where I needed to be. Alone. I didn’t have an umbrella. I didn’t care. I just started walking, not knowing where I was, or what I was doing. I walked for a good 15 minutes before I finally found some random salon where I could soak my troubles away. I ran in the doors. “Do you do mani/pedis?” asking like my life depended on it. “We do.” the glossy girl behind the counter said to me. I was so thankful that they had an appointment open.

As I was sitting and waiting, a nice girl was waiting next to me. The conversation started because she was dying over the rain boots I was wearing. You know the ones. Those badass Hunter Wedge heel Rain Boots/my obsession that I never get to wear. I wore them yesterday and whenever I do, I have women stopping to ask me about them. She wanted to know where I got them. I told her. I also told her how excited I was to wear them, because I never get to. She asked where I was from and I told her. Then came the next question. “What are you doing here?” My eyes fell to the floor and the tears starting welling up. “Ummmm…. I stumbled over my words. Somehow I found them, but not without sobbing and apologizing everywhere. I barely got the words out of my mouth and this stranger started bawling too. She got up to give me a hug and told me how sorry she was. We ended up going back to the pedicure area together where we talked all about you. The poor girl that was doing my pedi was quiet as she listened and when I looked down, she too had tears pouring down her cheeks. She didn’t say much for a while. I not only noticed her tears, but the pretty purple shirt she was wearing. Of course it was purple. She finally looked up at me and told me all about her best friend, who had bone cancer. How she watched her struggle through it and how she was leaving for San Diego tomorrow, to go and visit her. I started crying harder. What is it about pedi/mani places, that I always end up crying the hardest? I guess I really miss you when I am there. I really miss you and how I would take you to get your toes painted sparkly and you were always so exited to show everyone at PCH. Sparkly toes for the most sparkly boy.

After my pedi of tears, I met back up with your Daddy and brothers. We went to grab some dinner at this place the girls in the salon told me about called, “Silly’s.” And silly it was. In the best way possible. You would have gone crazy over it. Quinn went crazy over the purple kool-aid that they just happened to be serving that day. Liam went crazy over the deck of cards they had in the special lunchbox on the table. Your daddy went crazy over the chocolate milkshake. I went crazy over the fried pickles. Fried pickles, Ro. Can you believe that one? You would have went crazy over them, with me. Your daddy pointed to a table of two girls that looked to be in high school. They were sitting at a table together, playing cards, drinking cokes. Your daddy kept saying, “This is totally a place you and Salina would have come and hung out. You two are such Jacksons.” (his word for silly) I smiled. I watched the two girls at their table. They reminded me of my youth. With my childhood bestie, Salina, and the world of complete and utter silliness that we created and always lived in. The two girls didn’t look silly though. They looked serious. Like the two of them lived in a world, where they were fighting for everything they had; but they were doing it together. It made me ache for my youth when everything was so uncomplicated and easy. Well, compared to now. I know the world of teenaged drama all too well. I remember the “problems,” I had back then. I look back now and know that they actually weren’t problems at all. They were lessons learned and part of growing up. I am thankful for all of them. As we finished up our food, your daddy took Quinn across the street to get some snacks. The waitress brought out check. I told her I would like to pay for the girls’ sitting across from us, as well, so to please put whatever they had, on our tab. She looked at me, wide-eyed. “Do you know them?” I just quietly told her I did not. I told her to give them 2 of your F U Cancer bracelets for me as well. She smiled and said she was sure they would be grateful. What I really hope is that they will just remember this small act of kindness and do something else nice, for somebody else someday, just because.

We all came home, tired from the days events. I tried to lay down but it was early. I don’t remember what happened next. The time you passed away, was getting closer and closer. You want to know something, Ro. I don’t know the exact time you died. I’ve been too scared to look at your death certificate. That makes this all too real. I think it was around 3:25 a.m. I know what time it was, that I sent my one and only text message, after you left to your Mr. Sparkly Eyes. It was 3:32 a.m. It simply said two words. “He’s gone.” 2 words, but so earth shattering. Two words, but how could there have been more? 2 words were all I needed because any other words I had, would not touch the fact that you had left this world. You leaving this world was enough to dim every single star in the sky for that night. I know the sky was covered in a blanket of black.

Your daddy lit a candle for you last night. Everyone fell asleep. I did not. I watched the candle flicker. I went in and out of sleep. 1 a.m. 2:30 a.m. 3:00 a.m. and I was wide awake.  3:32 a.m. came. I sent my only text message, once again, to our Mr. Sparkly Eyes.

Except exactly one year later. This time it read:

Fuc. (fuck you cancer)

I love you.
He loves you.

Always.

I cried. I fell asleep for a couple of hours. I had the most vivid dream about being back at PCH. You were dead. Dr. Adams was there with me. She was dressed in all purple and looked so stunning. She held me like a child and I just told her over and over how I wished I had not taken you to Dr. K. The rest of my dream just consisted of the both of us sobbing and I remember her purple dress being so bright and pretty. I woke up to my phone chirping like a bird alerting me of a text message from your lovie at around 5 a.m. I read it, cried again and fell back asleep until my phone rang around 8 a.m. I threw on my Uggs, warm sweater and ran outside to pick up the phone for the only person I knew I would be talking to, today. Your Sparkly. I ran out into the cold, fog, and drizzly rain. Of course the weather is this way, today. Of course it is.

“Hi.” I was already crying

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” the talking stopped and I just listened to your Sparkly cry.

I went quiet on my end and we sat there this way, on the phone for what felt like an eternity. Crying. Sobbing. What else could be said? No words were even necessary.

I babbled out a lot of “I don’t understand,” over and over. I babbled out a lot of why’s. Why him? “I’ll never understand this.”

I asked him, “How am I supposed to do, today?” in between my tears.

He said, “Don’t. Don’t do today. Spend the day in bed. Have a fuck it all day because this is fucking bullshit and there is no explanation.”

I told him I couldn’t. I couldn’t do that to Liam and Quinn.

“O.k. then. Go play in the sand. Do something that Ro would have loved to do. Who cares if it is raining. It should be raining. It should be raining, everywhere.”

“Alright. I will do my best.”

” I will check in on you later, o.k.?

“O.k.” I said.

“My heart is broken for you. I’m sorry.”

I crawled back into bed for a couple of hours. I knew I had a long day ahead of me and I had already felt like I had run a marathon.

I’m ending this right here, Ro. I’m tired. I don’t know if I can write much more about all the went on today. I will try, later.

I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. I am so sorry, baby doll.

xoxo

Happy Birthday, baby boy. I love you to the moon and back.

 

 

I feel, therefore I am

 

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

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

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

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

xoxo

 

 

  • Instagram is my BFF

    Grief. It's what's for dinner. #ronan #fucancer #noshame #nopretending #everythinghurts #mytruth #cancerisanasshole Found Teddy cuddling with Ronan's Gigi today. Heart broken/heart melted. Best dog ever. #ronan #fucancer #teddygrahamthompson #missyouro #goldendoodle RG @ronanbracelets: Have you purchased your tickets for The Third Annual Gold Party?! If not, make sure to buy them soon because they are going fast! We can't wait to see you all there as you join The Ronan Thompson Foundation in fighting childhood cancer for kids. 💜💛 @ronanfoundation @mamamaya #kidsgetcancertoo #rockstarronan #beboldgogold #ronanthompsonfoundation #staygold #RTFgoldparty2014 #regramapp
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