Ronan. Hi baby. I’m missing you so much tonight. But what’s new. The missing part of you is constant and is something that never goes away. The weekend is almost over. Thankfully. It was fine. O.k. Alright. I did my best. I had a lot of busy work to tend to. Busy work that I keep telling myself is going to get us somewhere. Busy work that I keep telling myself, is going to make a difference. Busy work that I know you would be proud of. If I didn’t have this busy work, I would be sitting around, pulling my hair out. I would be in the corner, curled up in a ball, in my bedroom not wanting to come out. Not just some days, but every single day.
Sunday Funday. Right? No. Sundays that I hate. Sundays that are filled with an eerie stillness that I detest. I stayed in bed until 1 p.m. Yup. You heard me. I could not fall asleep last night. I tried. I wrestled with my sadness/anger/tears, until 4 a.m. I almost punched your Daddy just because I was so annoyed that he was sleeping so peacefully next to me. I don’t know how I pass the never-ending time that exists during the night. If I am going to be a Vampire/Zombie, I am going to have to start coming up with some productive things to do, besides listening to the screaming inside of my head. I need a crazy, productive hobby. I think I need to make a “Go To,” list for the nights that I am so restless of things that I can do. You know how I LOVE a list.
I made myself get up out of bed today. I took Quinn and we ran some errands. We went to Target. Your favorite place. As soon as we were walking in, there was a lady who was in front of us who was getting her cart. She was bald. I took off my “F U Cancer,” bracelet and simply said, “I have something for you.” I gave your bracelet to her. I don’t think she even read what it said as she quickly just gave me a thank you. I needed nothing more. I hope your bracelet makes her even more mad at cancer and it makes her work harder, to fight harder, like a Rockstar. Like you always did. Like I will continue to do, for you.
Strolling through the aisles of Target today…..ugh. I cannot concentrate enough to navigate my way through that store anymore. Everything in it reminds me of you. Happy, lovely Target. Full of your Paul Frank Monkey friend, Julius. Full of your Star Wars guys. Full of your Burt’s Bee’s Coconut Soap that I used to wash you with. Full of the Slurpies that I would always have to buy you, just to get you to sit in the cart. But you never did. You would have hung on the side of the cart instead. You would have tried to ride one of the display bicycles. You would have hidden from me in the racks of clothes. Your giggles would have filled the entire store and made my heart skip a beat. They always did. Today, I took Quinn there instead. Quinn my little helper who takes on the responsibility of pushing the cart, trying to pick up the case of water for me, and who helps me remember the list of things I needed, because I left my physical list, at home. If it would not have been for Quinn today, I would come home without the little list of things we needed. I would have abandoned our cart to cry in the car instead. Thank you, for him.
After we left Target, I told Quinn we needed to go to Smart and Final. He was annoyed and wanted to know why we had to go there and why we couldn’t get all of our drinks, at Target. I told him that Smart and Final is the best place to buy Liam’s Gatorade and that they are the only place I can find my Mango/Peach Coconut Water. He tried to talk me out of going, but I didn’t listen. Oh, how very happy I am that I insisted on going to Smart and Final today. It made my miserable Sunday, absolutely amazing. We got into the store and of course we got the cart that just didn’t work right. Quinn was laughing at me because I insisted that we would just make the best of it and use the cart that only wanted to turn right. I came up with some amazing there is a lesson in everything, kind of metaphor for him. Something along the lines of working through a tough situation and making the best of it. I made him laugh when I crashed into the Gatorade aisle. I told him I was not giving up on our crazy cart, to trade it in for a new one. I don’t know what I was trying to accomplish with this at the time as it would have been so easy to just go and get a new cart. There is a lesson in everything, right? At least that is what I was trying to explain to your already too worldly/knowledgable about life, 8-year-old little brother today.
As we were checking out, I noticed the side of the counter was lined with little flyers that read, “Kids 4 Hope.” Hmmmm….. I thought as I went to read the fine print. I thought to myself, I’m sure it has something to do with anything but Pediatric Cancer. I almost passed out when I saw that each dollar donated, was in fact donated to funds for Pediatric Cancer. I asked the girl who was scanning my items, what exactly this was for. She told me you could purchase a flyer in someone’s name, for a dollar, for Childhood Cancer. I had to take a minute to absorb the amazingness of this. After a few seconds, I said, “Can I buy 50?” She looked stunned. She replied back, “50? Really? You want to buy 50 of these?” “Absolutely,” I told her. Quinn sat back, quietly observing. The girl counted out 50 little flyers and I than told her that you, my son, had passed away from Childhood Cancer. She got quiet, handed me the 50 flyers, a pink Sharpie, and some tape. She asked how old you were. I told her 3. She told me she has a 3-year-old, and could not imagine.
After I paid for our items, I moved over to the other counter where Quinn and I stood and wrote your name on all the donation flyers. I looked over and the girl who had helped me, and she was ringing up her other customers as the store was super busy. She was bawling. That in turn, made me start to cry, and your poor brother Quinn….. he did not know what to do. I did not know what to do, so I just continued to cry and fill out your name. I tried not to get angry at all the customers who said they would NOT like to donate a dollar to Childhood Cancer. It took everything I had not to pull up your picture, shove it in their faces, and ask what was wrong with them! It was only a dollar! You were worth so much than a dollar! And it’s for kids! Who in the world says no to that?!?! As I witnessed today, a lot of people. It just goes to show you how much the lack of awareness for Childhood Cancer, truly does effect the outcome. People won’t even give up a dollar. Standing in that Smart and Final today, I vowed to myself, once again, to make this change.
I went over and talked to the sweet girl that rang up my groceries today. I asked what her name was. She told me it was Ida. I told her how beautiful it was. I gave her one of your bracelets. I asked to speak to her manager because I wanted to ask him how much he knew about where this money was actually going. He came out, I introduced myself, and he didn’t know much. He went back to get the print out that the store was given for this Kids 4 Hope. I told him I was amazed that they were doing this in their store, for the ENTIRE month of October as this is unheard of due to Susan G. Komen. Everything for the month of October, goes towards Breast Cancer research. I thanked him and practically skipped out of that store today with our wobbly cart. I told Ida I would see her soon.
I came home and googled the handout I was given. It’s legit. You can read about the boys who started this, below.
Troy and Jake Paul are two Los Angeles natives who combined their passion for basketball and their desire to help other kids when they formed their charity, Kids 4 Hope.
When their mother Renee was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, Troy, now 13, began collecting bottles from local businesses and neighbors in order to raise money for his mother’s newly started charity,Racing For Hope, which benefits City of Hope. “We recycled the bottles and made $1,200,” Troy says, “and we gave the money to our parents’ charity.” But from that point on, Troy says, “we realized we wanted to be able to raise more money, and wanted to branch out and start our own charity.”
The desire to help children suffering from cancer came when the boys saw what their mother went through as she battled the disease. Jake, now 16, says they saw “how hard [battling cancer] can be for an adult, but trying to grasp a young kid going through that–I couldn’t even imagine what that would be like.”
This led the Paul brothers to start Kids 4 Hope, which, according to its website, “is dedicated to raising funds to support City of Hope’s research, treatment and special programs for all of the children battling cancer.”
In order to raise money, the boys turned to their biggest passion–basketball–and decided to create an event that would be both fun and charitable. “We wanted a way to put our own personal touch on the charity, rather than just raise money with a regular fundraiser,” Jake says, “so we incorporated something we both like, which is basketball, and made it a fun way for kids to help other kids.”
Jake and Troy Paul hope both Kids 4 Hope and its events will inspire other kids to take up causes they can enjoy also. “Of course we would love to raise money through this charity,” Troy says, “but hopefully kids can see what we do and take something they love and incorporate that into a way to help people.”
Their advice for kids looking to start charities of their own or looking to get involved in a good cause? “Find something that you’re passionate about, because it’s great to help kids, but it’s easier if you are doing something you love,” Jake advises. “The main idea is any way a person can help is positive. You are helping someone else, so do something that makes it seem like more fun than work.”
Can I kiss these two boys, please? I would like to kiss Smart and Final while I’m at it. Look at how these two young boys, took something that they believed in, and made it into something so beautiful.Well, I believe in something, Ronan. I believe in YOU. I believe that you truly are going to change the face of this disease so that someday, there will be a cure. I really needed to be reminded of this today, Ronan. That anything is possible. Well, almost anything, Ro. You know what I mean by that, baby.
Alright my lovie. I have to try to shut off this mushy brain of mine for the night. I’ve got an early running call in the a.m. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. G’nite my Babydoll.