Boot camp baby steps

Ronan. 5 a.m. The alarm on my phone goes off. I grab it, although I have only fallen asleep a few hours ago. I look at my phone as it sings, “Fix You,” by Coldplay. It speaks to me. The words on the screen flash, “Please get up. Ronan would want you to.” I stumble out of bed, throw on my workout clothes, brush my teeth and run out the door. It is still dark outside as I drive down the familiar route to my destination. I think back to the last time I had been there. You were sick. I was so beaten down, out of shape and I remember feeling for the first time in my life, that the physical exercise that I was trying to do,was just too much. More mentally than physically. I pulled into the parking lot of Boot Camp today just as the sun was starting to rise. I carried my yoga mat and weights to the oh so familiar place. My heaven. There stood Tammy, just like always. I set down my things as she greeted me with a smile and a much overdue, long hug. I don’t remember the words that were exchanged, as it doesn’t matter. Words were not even needed, as it just felt right. I took off for our warm up laps and my feet felt light as feathers beneath me. I spent the next 45 minutes drenched in sweat and determination. At one point, we were all in our groups doing something on our mats. I cannot even remember what exercise it was…. the plank maybe. We were all yelling out our standard, “One havalina, two havilana, three havalina……. something Tammy makes us scream out during exercises…. Instead of havalina, I said Ronan instead. “One, Ronan, Two, Ronan, Three, Ronan……….. I pushed myself to the point of almost throwing up. I pushed myself and I didn’t care as the pain didn’t matter. All that mattered is that I there, and was doing the very best I could do with you pushing me to work harder. Boot Camp should be called Soak Camp because you leave there totally drenched. The combo of hard work and heat was enough to make anyone pass out. It felt so good to be there today. I am so sore already.

As I was leaving and telling Tammy thank you, she cornered me and told me she wanted me to commit to coming to her boot camp tomorrow too. I told her about my sleep and how messed up it is but she didn’t seem to care. She made me promise, if I’m up, I’ll be there. She pushes me and that is exactly what I need now. I’ll be there. If I want to start trying to heal a bit from the loss of you, Ro. I have to start doing some healthy things that will open me up. Living the life I am living has been awful as it is not a life at all. Baby step 1) Committing to Boot Camp. That is all I can commit to as of now. But it least it is a start. And it is such a huge release to me as I tend to keep everything inside. Getting it out while sweating my butt off, in nature, is so therapeutic. And Tammy is so gifted with her ability to motivate everyone, no matter what their situation is. She has such a feisty, pure, sassy soul that I adore. Even when she is yelling at us, I catch myself smiling.

After Boot Camp ended, I drove home and hopped in the shower. I got ready for the day, packed lunches, got the boys up, showered, dressed, and fed them breakfast. We were out the door right on time. Liam was so excited, Quinn was so nervous. I dropped Quinn off first, kissed him goodbye, told him I loved him and would see him at 3:15. I walked Liam down to his class, and he practically skipped into his classroom without even a kiss goodbye. I grabbed him, told him I loved him, and kissed him on the cheek.

I walked out of that school today, a wreck. I talked to you a lot, Ro. I looked for you in the backseat of my car. You weren’t there. I’m sorry. I drove home in a blur of tears again. I looked at my “To Do,” list and starting checking off boxes. I had the entire thing done in 2 hours. I ran some errands, met Woody and Uncle Jay for lunch. Jay was there before your Daddy. I sat across from him and just started bawling. He held my hand and listened to me blab about how my life has no meaning anymore. Well, at least from 9-3. How I had for the past 8 years, always been taking care of my babies, and now my big babies are off at school and my little baby is dead. I don’t know what to do with myself as I am not used to all of this freedom. I don’t like it. It should be illegal. But there is nothing I can do about it now…. when my plan comes to place it is going to be because it is right, not rushed. So for the time being….. I’m in limbo…. totally lost….. feel like a total loser…… feel scared….sad…. and empty. I came home a couple of times during the day and just held your ashes in your bedroom and cried on the floor for you. I yelled for you a lot in this house today. At one point, I almost threw up all over the laundry room.

My life is meaningless without you. Especially now that your brothers are gone for 6 hours out of the day. I know I want to start helping others….. I just don’t know if I am mentally stable enough to do that yet. It has only been 3 months. 3 months in 5 and a half hours. 3:30 a.m. will be here soon. I cannot believe I’ve lived 3 months without you already Ronan. I miss you so much. We all do.

I picked up the twins from school. I watched all the other mom’s, holding the hands of their 3.5/4-year-old siblings. O.k. I’m usually not like this, but it ripped my heart out. I wanted so badly to be holding you hand. Or fighting you to make you hold my hand because you always would refuse to and would run ahead of me instead. Baby Danger we used to call you. I sat and waited outside of Quinn’s class, sweating like a pig. Seriously, this heat has got to go. I smiled to a few people, but mostly just put my head down to avoid eye contact. There was no way I was capable of holding a conversation today. Quinn bounced out of the classroom, so excited to see me. I asked his teacher how he did, and she said she was the luckiest teacher in the world to have him as her student. Maybe she says this about every kid, but it was still nice to hear. Quinn is a good boy. I know he is a teacher’s dream student. Same with Liam. They are such good boys and I am so thankful for that.

Liam and Quinn were both so excited about their day at school. They gave it 5 out of 5 stars and said they loved it. That’s one less thing for me to have to worry about tonight. I am so happy they loved it so much. It means everything to me that they do well in school and are well rounded, good, kids…. especially considering everything we have just been though. That says a lot about them. I really couldn’t ask for better boys.

We returned home and I got Quinn ready to go and talk to Dr. Beth. He was nervous, but I explained everything to him as detailed as I possibly could. Dr. Beth greeted us in her waiting area and we just kind of got to know each other out there. We all 3 stayed out in the waiting area for a good 25 minutes. She then had Quinn come into her play office and I sat outside the window in a comfy oversized chair. I could hear Quinn in there giggling, as always. I waited patiently for him to finish up as I was anxious to see what they had done. When the hour was up, Quinn came out of the room and gave me the biggest hug. He then wanted to show me what they had done. I went in to the room that they had been in and sat down in the little chair in front of the whiteboard. Quinn had written out names of our family members: Mom, Dad, Liam, Quinn, Ronan. Dr. Beth said she and Quinn talked about how even though Ronan wasn’t here, he would always be in our hearts; forever. Quinn also had Luke’s name written down. Dr. Beth said Quinn told her all about Luke and how he came to the Ryan House to lay with Ronan and how much time he spent with him. Dr. Beth was very impressed with Luke and said he must have a very big heart. I told her that he has become a big part of our family and that he and Ronan had a very strong bond. I thought it was sweet that Quinn brought it up. It means so much to him.

We left there saying goodbye and Dr. Beth said she would talk to me about Quinn more tomorrow. Liam’s appointment is tomorrow at 5. I’m anxious to see how he takes to it. Quinn did quite well and said he wants to go back on Monday. Music to my ears! He needs this so badly and the fact that he has already taken to it lifts a little weight off of my shoulders. I spent the rest of the night telling the boys how proud I was of them for their great day at school, how much I loved and missed them, and how I had a good day too. Although, my day could not have been more painful, I could not tell them that. I knew it was going to be hard…. but today was ridiculous. I am surprised I survived. I usually get so tired during the days that I do boot camp, but my body does not seem to do tired anymore. It’s like I am running on electricity 24 hours a day. Adrenaline, maybe? Whatever it is, it’s not fun. I would love to be so exhausted that I have no choice but to fall asleep in a REM sleep for a good 6 hours. I wonder if that day will ever come again. I wonder if any of this will get any easier. I cannot take another day like today, but I suspect it will not be my last.

Ronan. Where are you?? I wish I could see you. I felt you at boot camp this morning. You make me go faster and work harder. I love you for that. You know when I need that push to get me going. Thanks for making me get up out of bed this morning. I love you to the moon and back baby. I hope you are safe.


P.S. Our good friends, Brandon and Janette welcomed a new baby boy into their lives today. They named him Cooper Ronan. I cried looking at his sweet picture. He is perfect. Congrats Bunger Family!!

15 responses to “Boot camp baby steps”

  1. Maya, your boys are a direct result of you and Woody… they are such wonderful boys. Make sure you get up for boot camp tomorrow! Your family is in my thoughts every day throughout the day. I often look at pictures of Ronan, he makes me smile and seeing his precious face is the only thing that offers me a small sliver of peace when I start to get really sad about your little one… No mom should have to live without their mini partner in naps and crime. Here’s to cheering you and your baby steps on. 🙂

  2. Glad you made it thru the day. Happy that the boys loved school. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Baby steps, one day or hour at a time. Our thoughts, love and prayers to your entire family.

  3. Your boys first days of school…takes me back to when my boys went to school. The school bus would come by to get them…and I would then jump into my car to follow at a long safe distance, just to watch to see if they made it off the bus ok. They always did fine…but I would be a mess. I was always one of those moms who really liked to have their kids around. I never could understand those moms who were so excited to have their kids “gone” away to school to give them a break from them. I was a crier…sad that they left for school, but happy that they were thriving there.
    It’s good that your kids get to talk to someone about what they are going through. It will help them immensely.
    Boot camp. I ached just reading all that you went through! Ouchy! Maybe I should get back on my treadmill at least!?
    You mentioned that you felt like your life was meaningless. I guess it would feel that way now. When the time is right, when you are ready, things will change for you for the better…moving your forward. You will know when. In the meantime, it’s good that you are staying busy.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me and others that follow your blog. I know that I appreciate your kindness and truth.
    I wish for you sweet dreams, light and joy in each of your days.

  4. Maya, I’m glad you pushed yourself to boot camp and Ronan was right there beside you.

    So glad the boys had a good first day. I’m glad that Quinn’s dr visit went well and he looks forward to going next week.

    Thinking of you and Rockstar Ro on 3 mos at 330am. My heart aches for you!

    Every time I hear of someone new battling cancer or a child taken so soon I say FU Cancer! it’s so not fair!

    What an honor your friends naming their lil boy Ronan.

    Peace and strength

  5. Maya,
    I’m so glad the twins first day back at school went well. I can only imagine how hard it was to walk out of their school after dropping them off and facing the day that stretched out before you. But you did it and you got through it. Good strong girl! Don’t rush yourself to fill that time. You’ll know when the time is right to start new projects and save the world. There is nothing wrong with taking baby steps and letting yourself heal at your own pace. Committing to boot camp is a great step 1. Something you like to do, makes you feel good, and a place where you feel Ronan. Win, Win, Win. Hope it continues to make you feel so good. I think it’s great that you all are starting therapy for the boys. I think they are remarkably well adjusted for what you all have been through, and I think the therapy will help them be even better. I’ve said before, my father passed when I was small. I don’t think people really thought of therapy for children at that point, but I think it would have been so helpful. It’s just such a confusing thing to deal with as a child. I think you and Woody are doing a phenomenal job with Liam and Quinn. Just don’t forget to take care of yourselves and each other too. Like the safety instructions on airplanes, put on your oxygen mask first. I’m thinking and praying for all of you, especially hard for the 3 month mark. Lots of love to you all.

  6. Even the thought of boot camp at 6 am is enough to make me hide under the covers. You are like those old army ads ” we do more before 6 am than you do all day”. I am so glad Quinn and Liam are doing well. One day at a time.

  7. Praying for you today Maya! You’re doing the BEST any of us could do given your circumstances! God bless! xoxo

  8. Wow! Small world….I went to college with Brandon and Jeanette. Brandon and my then boyfriend were roommates. Lots of fun nights listening to the two of them ‘steam roll’ eachother! Hang in there. I told Ronan’s story this morning to the receptionist ar Kidzaams in Prescott Valley. She made a statement about her granddaughter being remission and I asked her what type of cancer she had…..neuroblastoma with a rare autoimmune combination, survival rate for her type 1 in 100,000…I said …. hug that girl extra today and log onto to read about a little boy with an amazing family that lost his battle to the same horrible disease…she said it gave her goose bumps and that she would check it out……Sending you warm thoughts today….

    1. Womens Day, Sept 2011 issue, pg 20, there is an article on a charity for neuroblastoma. Twice this topic has been brought to my attention with in the hour.

  9. sending you and your family love love love. your boys are so lucky to have such a wonderful, honest, and loving momma.

  10. You’re awesome! I continue to pray for peace.

  11. Maya,
    I know you may run across these sites a lot in your internet travels but I wanted to send this link to you. I know how badly you want to help other children suffering, but I thought you may be an inspiration to parents who are suffering as well.
    All the best.

  12. I wish Ronan was here with you.

  13. I will admit this blog is one I have a hard time not reading, but also have a hard time reading. I do hope this comment is not too lengthy or offensive.
    The love you have your Ronan is so amazing. It’s so strong! He was so amazing and you are all so lucky to have such a wonderful few years together. I can’t imagine anything close to what you are going through. And I doubt what I post will have the power to console you through this, but I still want to post. I would say this to any of my friends, because.. Well.. I am mourning right along with ya. For you and Ronan.
    3 months is not very long. You have a right to be numb and feel like this, and as long as you have your moments of sunshine and happiness, they will nourish you back to good, little by little. I don’t know you but I can tell you have the power inside you to be back to your old self. You have to admit you won’t ever get back to 100%. That’s a given. Because of your husband and your twins, you’ll get there. Even if you only get to 75%, that’s ok. Your mourning time could take a while, and I am sending you my strongest, happiest, feel good vibes to help (maybe.. hopefully)
    Also, I’d like to start helping the foundation, I can’t offer much time right now but I know in a few months I can offer much more.
    I’m sure this isn’t what you want to hear, but try to smile and feel good about something. Anything. 🙂
    *biggest feel-good hug through a comment*

  14. Maya,
    Dr. Beth has been our family therapist for over four years now. In fact, we were in her office earlier on that day. My girls always ask when they are going back, to the “talking and playing” doctor. Although our issues are not the same, Dr. Beth has been nothing short of amazing for us and I pray she is the same for your family.

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