Sink or Swim, Baby. What’s it gonna be??

Hi Ro baby. It’s funny how much I look forward to this time with you at night. After the house is quiet. I think of this as my Ro time. The time I get to spend with you, taking care of you now. It’s so precious and dear to me. After the days which are usually pretty busy, this is my way to unwind with you and I treasure every second of it. Thanks for inspiring me so much that I always feel like I have so much to say to you. I am lucky in that regard.

I’m trying to remember the past couple of days. I still have a hard time remembering the things that we have done. Sunday flew by. I honestly cannot remember what we did. Today I dropped your brothers off at school. I left Macy here so she could get some work done. I ran some errands and got caught up on some things. I came home later in the afternoon and picked up Macy. We went to grab your brothers from school. We took them to eat. We wore fake mustaches. It was a sad day, but I tried my best to make it light and happy for the sake of your brothers. I didn’t want Macy to leave. I was sad about it all day. We took your brothers over to Katie’s to say Hi and so Macy could say goodbye to her. We came home and I did all the normal things that normal moms do. I made dinner. I put away laundry. I did dishes. I helped your brothers with their homework. I faked the mommy role very well today. Gold Star for me!

Quinny and I took Macy to the airport tonight. Everyone was sad to see her go. Even your Daddy. I’m telling you, she fits in so well with our family….. it kills me that you are not here with us to be a part of the Macy Magic anymore. She hugged Quinny goodbye as the tears poured down her cheeks. It was my turn next. I just held her, we both cried and said we loved each other. As soon as I got back in the car, Quinn asked when Macy could come back. I told him I hoped soon, but if not we would go and see her. I am not going to let so much time pass between seeing her again. Macy is healing for all of us. Macy is our sunshine through all of this. She makes the darkest days, sunny and bright. But the good thing about Macy is…. if the days need to be dark, she’s o.k. with that too. If the days are dark, she is the little ray of sunshine peeking out behind the clouds. I appreciate that so much. Love you Macy Wood in Da Hood. Thank you for everything.

So Ro, now what? Back to this life. Back to trying to figure things out. I’m trying to make sense of so many things right now. I feel confused and sad. I had a long talk with Dr. Jo yesterday about some things that are going on. She is one of the few people I trust anymore. I’ve had so much crap going on that I actually sent her a text that said something like, ” You would tell me if I were crazy, right?? Everyone around me is making me think I am losing my mind.” She called me. We talked for a good 45 minutes. She told me that I was indeed not even close to crazy. But to the outside world, the normal world may think that I am, because they don’t get it. They may think that they do, but if they haven’t lost a child, they cannot even come close to understanding. But it’s been 6 months Ro. The whispers around me are saying, “Shouldn’t she be getting better by now?” As if there is a time frame on how much time should pass after you lose a child and then it’s time to “get better,” and “get happy” and “choose the right path!” And Grief can certainly make a person feel like they are crazy. I hate that I second guessed myself. I hate that for those few minutes, I felt like I actually might be crazy. I hate that I didn’t trust myself because of all the stupid noise around me. I don’t like noise. I know Dr. Jo and I know the things she is telling me, are not because they are the things she thinks I want or need to hear. She will always be truthful and honest with me. If she thought I were crazy, she would tell me. The thing about Dr. Jo is, she would tell me from an honest place and I would listen to her. She would tell me if I were crazy and she would embrace my crazy. She wouldn’t ever judge me. She wouldn’t ever tell me what I am doing is right or wrong. She would allow me to do this the way I felt was right, without being too overbearing or too opinionated. Or too pushy. You know how well I do with judgmental and pushy people. I don’t. I don’t and I won’t tolerate it. I’ll shut down. I’ll push away. I know who I am, Ronan. Faults and all because I do have many. I know who you are. I know what you expect of me.

I don’t know much about this life now except it is really, really, hard. Hard in a way, that I never knew life could be. Because the real world does not teach you about things like losing a child so therefor, you have to navigate this the best way you can…. without any sort of floatation device or paddle. Sink or swim, baby. Most of the time I feel like I’m sinking but then I remember the reasons why I need to try to swim. Why no matter how many people try to drown me….Inferno Fuckwad Bob being at the top of that list…… the reasons that I will continue to fight my way to the top of the water so that I can reach the surface and breathe again. Because I’m a fighter the same way you are. Because I started this blog and I’m not going to change a thing about it. I’m not going to stop writing it. I’m not going to be worried if it offends people or turns certain people off to supporting your Foundation. I’m not going to stop being me. Sad, happy, stupid, immature, angry, silly, crazy, goofy, honest, raw, scared, brave, and truthful. This is me. This is you. This is our world now. This is all we’ve got together and I’m not selling out, for anyone. I know who I need behind me. The one person that matters the most. Your Daddy. He is behind me. He supports this craziness. His opinion is the only one that matters to me. I know where we stand on this. It’s together. For now. That may change one day. If that time comes, I will sit down and listen. But now, this is the way it is. I’m not conforming. I’m not sugar-coating. I’m not going to stop being true to myself and who I am. I’ve been this way, from the beginning. It’s nothing new. It’s not as if I’ve pulled a 180 here and all of a sudden, I’m screaming from the rooftops for Cancer to Fuck OFF!!! instead of “Gosh darn you Cancer! Thanks for killing my son!” I’m not going to ever stop being true to you and the way you lived your life. I started this my way and that is how I intend on keeping it. I’m not going to let a bunch of men in black suits scare me off. I’m not conforming. I’m not here to fit in. I’m here to be me. Love me or leave me. You died, Ronan. But you still live in my heart, mind, body, and soul. You are my heart which is what I’m following here because it makes me feel like I am alive, for as much as I feel like I am dead. I don’t care what the outcome of all of this madness ends up being as long as I know I remained true to myself and what I believed in. I’m not living a life any other way. I’ve learned in a very cruel way, how short life really is. I’m going to live a life that I am proud of and if that is a disappointment to others, than so be it. I think to live a life any other way, is a very sad, sad life indeed. I think to expect anything else from a person who has just lost their baby, is just mean. There should be no expectations, no disappointments, no judgements. The only thing that there should be is unconditional love. And acceptance. Nothing else. Nothing more. It’s so simple, why make it complex?

So Ro. That’s it for tonight. Your daddy is having a really hard time right now too. 6 months of being without you is so much harder than the first month of all of this. That’s one of the many dirty little secrets nobody tells you about losing a child. It gets worse, as time goes on. Your daddy is doing the same thing I am now. He is looking for you. He thinks you are still here. The shock is wearing off for him too. The emotional anesthesia is fading away and it is pure and utter torture. It at times, can very well make you feel as if you are going insane. I think I miss you more today, than I ever have. I love you baby doll. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe. I’m so very sorry I couldn’t save you. I hope you know how hard I tried. I hope you forgive me. G’nite Ro baby. Sweet dreams.

And P.S. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

xoxo

Team Maya Table for One!

Ronan. I survived our first Sucksgiving, without you. You know how I did it? I have no clue as the entire day was painful and sad. You know what else is totally messed up? That we took a holiday and celebrated it exactly the way we wanted to. There was no pressure of doing something we didn’t want to do. We stayed home. We picked up Chinese Food. I made Macy wear a wig all day with me and I wore some ridiculous outfit/hat/glasses to get me through the day. To hide my tears. We had some sweet friends stop by. They knew how hard the holiday was going to be, but they wanted us to know they were there for us. They brought by pies. And their kids. And provided lots of hugs, laughs, tears, and acknowledgment that you were missing…. and it was obvious. We ate. We talked. We had a mini dance party. We were quiet. We let the kids hit a piñata. Nobody prayed and talked about things we were thankful for. We lit things on fire. At one point it looked like a scene from Lord of the Flies in our backyard. There were no expectations. It was survival only. Everybody knew that we had decided on Thanksgiving, that we had nothing to be thankful for. Woody and I both decided that. Together. It was our one day, to say fuck everything. Because every other day, we are fiercely reminding ourselves what  it is we DO have to be thankful for, just to subside the pain of not having you anymore, Ro. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. I hope it isn’t always this exhausting. But for now, it is. I am really glad that this holiday, is over for now. You know what else, Ro. It wasn’t actually that holiday that was hardest for me. It was the day after. The day after Sucksgiving when I was scrubbing the island in the middle of our kitchen and I felt like I was sucker punched in the middle of a “normal,” day. Tears sprang for no particular reason, other than the reality that I now live with. Your death which still does not seem real to me. I looked around our kitchen. I sat and waited to hear your voice. I begged for somebody to please tell me this is not my life. I beg for this a thousand times a day.

I’m not really sure what I’m doing at this point. Sometimes I feel so strong. Other times I feel so weak. I’m mostly just sad. Everywhere I look I am surrounded by other people’s pain and sadness. Some days I feel like we are all running around like chickens with our heads cut off as it feels as if our family just doesn’t know what to do without you. I swear Liam and Quinn look for you just as much as I do. Your absence if felt everywhere. I’m not sure how to get through this. This week I guess I am just trying to stay afloat. I am assuming a lot of this has to do with the holiday season approaching. Everyone is happy. Christmas music all around. People buzzing around shopping, shopping, shopping as if that it what the Christmas spirit is truly about. It leaves me confused. And scared. And sad. Was I like all of those people before all of this? I don’t really remember my life, before losing you to be honest with you. I don’t think I was. I have proof I wasn’t. I used to write about you all the time when you were alive and healthy. I used to say things like how everyday with you, felt like Christmas to me, because it did. You were our best Christmas gift, everyday. And it wasn’t just me who felt this way, Ronan. Your daddy and brothers felt this way too. You made everything complete and perfect in our family. You were the missing link. And how do you go from having all the pieces fall into place to having them all ripped away? How do you survive that?  I wish I knew the answer to that, Ronan. I am here, trying to figure it out but it mostly leaves me feeling like I am a 5-year-old, sitting in a mud puddle, crying, with rain pouring down on me and I am unable to get up because I am too stuck in the mud. That is the nice version of how I feel.

The things I’ve had to deal with this past week make me want to throw up. Just life stuff in general that I don’t have the tools to deal with anymore. How can I possibly be expected to deal with normal things that normal people go through that are considered “problems?” I can’t. I don’t want to. I don’t have the energy. Or the patience. Because I no longer see the world the same. I’m am no longer like everyone else which in turn just leaves me feeling totally alienated and alone. I choose to withdraw. I choose to be selfish. At this point in my life, I am just trying to survive this and figure out how I am not going to die from the pain. I don’t want to be inspiring. When people tell me that, it floors me. How can I possibly be inspiring when all I’m trying to do is to simply make it through the day? I don’t remember what your daddy said to me tonight, in the bathroom when I was washing my face but I looked at him and said, “Do you think I like doing any of this? Because I don’t. I don’t want to share Ronan with anyone. I want to keep him all to myself  but I can’t do that. Things have to change and I made him a promise.” Do you know what the easy answer would be to all of this Ronan? To quit. To pack it up. I know I could talk your Daddy into moving away from here. To some other town.  A quiet town where I could stop all this writing. Where I could stop all this fighting for you. Where we could disappear and reappear as just a normal family of 4. Where nobody knew about you. Where we could have 3 more babies. Where we could start over. It could easily be a reality. To run away. To try to run away from the pain. That would be the easy way out. But I won’t do it, Ronan. I don’t care how hard this gets. I won’t ever stop fighting for you. For our family whom believes in you so much. I couldn’t live with myself. I will stay here and fight for you for the rest of my life. I don’t care how many people I piss off in the process. You are my fuel and my fire. You are my passion, my heart, and my soul. I will give you everything I’ve got until things change in a major way. I’ve got nothing left to lose when I’ve already lost the thing which is most precious to a mother. Her child. But not only a child. My Ronan.

Tonight, I went for a really long, dark, late at night run. Mostly out of anger. And hurt. Mostly out of hurt, which turns into anger because anger is much easier to access, than sadness. All I want is for everyone to be on the same page as “Team Maya.” Turns out a lot of people, are not. And I have to learn to be o.k. with that. But it’s still hard. I ran far and had to have your daddy come and pick me up after mile 10. I thought about things. I mostly tried to picture what it must be like for my friends to be outsiders looking in on all of this. I tried to listen to the words I’ve heard and I tried to tell myself it is only coming from a place of love and concern. I tried to rationalize with myself and the things that were racing through my mind. It must be scary to be on the outside looking in.Why do so many people think they have a clue what this is like for me? For us? Why do so many people have an opinion on the way I am handling this? Am I hurting too much? Is that even possible? Am I making that poor of choices?  I guess. I confess. My poor choices include being sad. Being angry. Avoiding old friends. Making new friends. Avoiding all friends. Venting to the people closest to me. Running at night. The whole weekend of death. Looking for distractions like helping others. Being honest. Writing this blog. Being bratty. Being pissed at the world. Throwing pity parties. I did take a rock that one time and cut my arm just to see if I was capable of feeling pain. I didn’t feel a thing. Should I be decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies, while singing along to Christmas Carols? How the fuck isn’t everyone just proud of me that I am being somewhat productive? Isn’t it enough that I’m not at the local Tavern, drinking my life away? I’m pretty fucking proud of myself for not going down that path. Actually, I think I’m pretty fucking awesome for that. Or I could be totally addicted to all the meds that I was on before. But I stopped taking them. Cold Turkey. Totally dangerous. Bloody hell. Maybe I’d fit better into the “Maya Mold,” if I would just play by the rules and shut the hell up and stop using the fuck word so much. Has anybody seen my apron? The casserole is ready!! Maybe I should just pretend to be a little bit sad and not so sad that I am scaring people. Or maybe I should get back on my meds and then” go away,” to an institution for month so I can reflect on this “amazing journey,” write a book, and then come out “happy,” again. What a crock of shit. What a crock of fucking shit that anybody who has not been through this thinks they are entitled to a fucking opinion about this. It is easy to have your opinions when you get to go back to your life and you have never had to kiss the Urn that your baby is in now because they died of cancer. It must be a very nice throne to sit on. It must be a very nice glass house, to live in.

Ronan baby. You know how much I miss you. You know how sorry I am. But most of all, you know how much I love you. I’m trying to let our love get me through this, but some days it’s harder than others. Some weeks, it’s harder than others. The one thing I know about you though is no matter how scary this all gets, you will never stop believing in me. You will never stop trusting me. You will never give up on me. Because of that, I will never be without you.

G’nite baby. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Because Palmer Cash Kicks Ass

I’ve been ordering from this company for years. I love to rock my Golden Girls and Magnum P.I. Shirts weekly. Ben, the president contacted me a few months ago to tell me the sweet story of his wife who is a loyal blog follower. They wanted to make a Ronan shirt. I was honored to help them. Thank you to Ben and his lovely wife. Hope you all LOVE them. I think they are totally badass and am so proud to have Ronan’s name represented by such an awesome company. Here you go, friends! Order away!

http://www.palmercash.com/c-259-cancer.aspx

Mandy the Owl, Ben with the Bald Head, and Bret the Rockstar

Ronan. I guess I’ve had a hard couple of days. So many things have happened. Everything seems to be moving so fast, yet so slow. I’ll have to catch you up on some things since it’s been a couple of days since I’ve written to you. I drove up to Sedona on Tuesday to see Dr. JoRo. I could have seen her here in Phoenix, later this week but I honestly like the drive up there and back. It’s my quiet time in the car. I don’ talk on the phone. Sometimes I listen to music. Sometimes I don’t. I am always thinking of you. I cry a lot. Here in Phoenix, I feel like I am constantly on the go. It’s a race that often leaves me exhausted and I don’t get to sit and be quiet much. I am still trying to find that happy medium of grieving for you and letting my self being absorbed in the pain; without slitting my wrists. Sometimes it hurts so much that I’m scared to sit and just let myself just be. Sometimes I don’t think I can handle the pain. I worry about what will come of it. My mind can slip into a very dark place, with the blink of an eye.

My time with Dr. JoRo was long. Grueling. Good. We talked about everything. I always find myself staring up at your pictures a lot that she has on her shelf of the thousands of books that she has read. I cried a lot. She cried too. We listened to a song together as the tears slid down both of our cheeks. There was a lot of crying. There was a lot of fucking fuck words used by the both of us. She is helping me with a little research as far as trying to figure out who we want to help fund treatments for Neuroblastoma. I don’t want any of this money to go towards a fancy hospital building and advertising. I don’t want this money to go towards building a wing of a hospital with your name on the fancy door. FUCK FANCY. This money has to go directly to the RESEARCH aspect of this disease. This money that we are trying to raise will go to the team that we believe in with our whole hearts and souls. The team that we feel will up the survival rate and ultimately, find a cure. This has to be a doctor/facility that is going about things differently. Because obviously what they are doing for this disease is NOT working. But they keep doing the same thing, over and over. If you survive Neuroblastoma, it’s by luck of the draw and nothing more. I have 2 doctors I am interested in. I’m putting their names out there tonight. Dr. Giselle Sholler and Dr. Yale Mosse. I know Dr. Mosse from Chop. She is the one who has a little piece of my heart due to her passion for finding a cure for the nasty disease. But her hands are tied by the COG. I am not a fan of the rules she has to play by. If anybody wants to throw info my way about Dr. Sholler, or anyone else, feel free to do so. I’ll take all the help I can get. I want to meet with them both. I want to see the evidence behind what they are doing, and why they think it is going to work.

Dr. Jo knows you shouldn’t have died. But you did. She is going to help me every way she possibly can. She is doing more than just saving my life. She is going to help me fight this Childhood Cancer nobody gives a fuck, BULLSHIT. We talked about your Foundation. She tried to tell me I didn’t have to do any of this if I didn’t want to. I looked at her, gave her a half-smile and told her that it wasn’t my choice anymore. I told her I am not choosing to do anything. For me, this is not something that I am choosing to do. It is something I HAVE to do; just like I have to breathe, to stay alive. She looked at me and said she knew I was going to say that, because she felt the exact same way, 17 years ago when her baby girl died and she was locked in a closet, going through the Yellow Pages, trying to find someone to help her get through losing her baby girl. There was nobody. She almost died from the pain. She swore to Chey if she lived through it, she would change this and help other parents. The MISS Foundation was born because of her pain and because she survived. She survived, Ro. And now look at all the people she is here, helping. She is saving the lives of so many parents who feel so alone. She is a walking billboard for surviving one of the worst thing that can happen to a person, but she still managed to come out the other side even more beautiful than before. Stronger. Smarter. Wiser. It changed her in a way that a person never wants to be changed. As sick as it is, the death of her child has turned Dr. Jo into someone who fucking lives on this earth, walking on water. I know she doesn’t feel this way, as she is so ridiculously humble. But this is the way I see her. To me, that woman walks on water while cussing up a storm which makes me love her even more.

After I got home from a really long Sedona day, I had a meeting to go to for your Foundation. We had to choose some new board members. As of now, our board is really small and intimate. I want it to stay this way. I need the people on it, who have walked through hell and back with me. Who you knew and loved because they are family. My sisters. The board meeting was VERY formal which was so weird to me. I got about half way through it but then my head started spinning. I lost it. In the middle of everything, I buried head on the table, in my arms, and just started bawling. I felt the hands of Fernanda and Tricia rubbing my back. I stayed that way for a few minutes. Then I just got up and bolted out of the restaurant, crying, crying and crying. Just like that. You know what I wanted to do? I wanted to run really, really, really far away. To the most dangerous neighborhood in Phoenix. I wanted to run out in the middle of traffic to get him by a car. I decided the boots I was wearing were too cute to ruin, so I sat down on a bench instead. I sat and soon Fernanda came and sat down with me. She sat and held my hand and pressed it up against the locket that I gave to her with some of your ashes in it. She kept asking me where I was. Where my head was. I couldn’t even answer her. I just sat and cried. I think we sat there for about 20 minutes. I ended up trying to gather my thoughts. The fact that I was sitting around that table last night, talking about you, like you were a business made me sick to my stomach. It was too much for me to handle and I went into it, completely blindsided. I felt like I was being beaten to a pulp. I felt like my insides were being ripped out. I felt like I wanted to just die. I went home, after that meeting, looked at Warden Woody and said, “Give me a fucking Ambien.” He tried to argue. I wasn’t having it. The running off of 5 hours of sleep, for the past 3 days was caching up with me. After yesterday and last night, I couldn’t do another night of tossing and turning. I popped that little Devil and it was lights out until 7 a.m.

Today. Groundhogs day, all over again. Met a Lovie for coffee. Cried. Our lovie, cried too. Talked. Cried. Made some promises. Took a drive with her. It felt nice. Ran to meet Miss Mandy Bee for lunch. She came wearing her Owl SPIRIT HOOD because she is that crazy, that she thinks she is a Goddamn Owl, in real life. And we are both that weird that we like to wear our animal Spirit Hoods, everywhere, just the way you and I did. I’m wearing yours now, as I sit here and write. We sat outside at America’s Taco Shop. Mandy had some exciting news about getting the word out there about you. Just as we were in the middle of talking about you and I was starting to tell her what bullshit this is, that you died of this disease because nobody’s voice has been powerful enough to make the fucking world stop and LISTEN. Why the fuck does this have to be me? This should have been somebody else, 5 years ago and then you would not have to be fucking DEAD. I started to get really upset. I started throwing a pity party to Miss Mandy Bee. Why me? Why him? I don’t want this. I want this to all go away. I want him back. I don’t want to stay on this earth. I want to die. I don’t want to fucking do this. Just as I was saying those words, Ronan…..He appeared. Outside. On the patio where Mandy Bee and I were. Ben. What the fuck. Somebody is clearly messing with me, Ronan. Ben with the Bald Head. I looked at Mandy. I seriously thought I was dreaming. Mandy watched me, she grabbed my hand. Do you want to leave, she asked? No, I said. His Dad came and sat down and said Hello. His mom came out next. She looked at me and said, “You’re Maya, right?” I said indeed I was. She asked if I remembered her from the clinic. I had forgotten her face. But I remembered Ben’s. I stood up to give her a hug. Her husband hugged me as well. We sat and talked. They looked sad. They looked scared. Ben looked beautiful. I wanted to eat him up. I wanted to spend my whole day getting lost in his dimples while kissing the top of his bald head. His mom kept saying she felt like they were upsetting me. I was upset alright, but it wasn’t for the reason that I think she thought it was. I was upset because just 10 minutes before they arrived, I sat and bitched that none of what I was doing, mattered because you are gone. I gave into the selfish Maya that sometimes comes out because the bottom line is, YOU ARE DEAD. But Ben is not. Ben is here. Ben is still fighting. Ben saved me today. I know that was a sign from you, Ronan. That was too much of of coincidence, for it not to have been. That was your way of communicating with me. That was your way of saying, “Hey Mama! Don’t give up! I’m right by you, helping you. Mama, you have to be the loud voice now. You have to take everything you are doing and keep going, for all the other kids out there. For all the other kids who deserve a future. For me, because this is what we were meant to do, together.” Ben was you today. And Ben was exactly what I needed at that exact moment. I know it was you. Thanks, Ro. I’ll keep on truckin’ until the world turns into a sea of Gold for SEPTEMBER. But PURPLE, for you. Ben gave me a big hug goodbye. I kissed the top of his head. It reminded me so much of yours.

I spent the rest of the day, lost in what had happened at the Taco Shop. I ran over to Katie’s store. I was sitting at the counter, with my computer, doing some things. Christy and Katie were behind the counter, working. Pandora was on, as always. As I was sitting there, one of your favorite songs started to play. Angus and Julia Stone, “Big Jet Plane.” I sat there, stunned. I looked up and said to the girls, “This was Ronan’s favorite song.” I covered my face and started to cry. Christy asked if I wanted her to turn it off. I told her no. About halfway through the song, my phone rang. Of course it did. Was this you too? How does this always happen, every time I seem to be having a really hard moment? Our favorite lovie always knows when to call.

I picked up. I said one word.

“Hello.”

“Why are you crying?”

-how the fuck does he know i’m crying?? all i did was say hello.

“I’m not. I’m fine. I don’t know.”
– i start to cry, harder.

“What’s going on? Yes, you are, cut the bullshit and tell me what’s going on. Please.”

fuck. why can’t i ever pull the wool over our lovie’s eyes? i don’t want to say why i’m crying. but i did.

I think it went something like this……”Because I’m sad. Because of the song on the radio. Because of the board meeting where Ronan is a business. Because I miss him. Because of Ben at America’s Taco Shop. Because of Thanksgiving. Because I have to fucking survive Thanksgiving. Because I don’t know how I’m going to get through it. Because I haven’t slept. Because I want him back. Because I JUST WANT HIM BACK.”

Silence.

“I’m sorry, darling.”

I don’t remember much more of the conversation. But by the time it was over, I had stopped crying. It was enough. It was like an invisible hug, from you.

I left to pick your brothers up from school. Quinn had a sore throat so I had made him a doctor’s appointment earlier in the day. I stopped to feed your brothers, before our appointment since we didn’t have time to go home. I went into Jack and the Box while your brothers waited in the car. It was pretty empty. There was a man at the counter. You could tell he was homeless. He was dressed as nice as he could possibly be. His shirt was tucked into his pants. He was older, probably in his 60’s. He was pulling out coupons to pay for his 3 dollar meal. He smelled awful. He needed a haircut and a shave. He was hungry. I could tell he was so very hungry. I waited my turn. I watched this man with the kind, sad eyes. He didn’t seem to notice me. I watched as he paid for his food. I watched the way he sucked down his drink like he had not had anything to drink, in days. I’m ashamed to say, in my old life I probably would have felt sad for this man, told myself you are so lucky, Maya. But it is very possible I would have just looked the other way while counting my blessings. Not today. Today, I wanted nothing more but to take this man home. Feed him. Let him shower. Give him clean clothes and a bed to sleep in. I wanted to sob for this man. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I knew it wasn’t going to be nothing. I paid for my food. I watched the man, standing at a table, putting his coupons away. I took out one of your cards. I wasn’t sure how do approach this man, as I didn’t want to offend him. I walked over to the table that he was sitting at. I gave him one of the cards with your picture on it. I handed him a 20 dollar bill. He looked at me and said, “No. No. Really? Is it that obvious?” I simply said, “No. Not at all. This is not from me. This is from my son. He died of cancer. He wants you to eat.” The man tried not to accept my 20 bucks. You could tell he wanted it, but you could tell he was also a man who still had a pinch of dignity left. He told me thank you. He told me that I should save my 20 dollars and give it to the humane society. I told him I didn’t want to save an animal.(sorry. i’m am a animal lover. but these days, kids with cancer just tug at my heart a little more. today, this hungry man, tugged at my heart a lot more) I told him to please take the 20 bucks. I told him to go and do something kind for someone else. He promised he would. I believe him. He told me, that he had just spent his last 3 dollars, on his meal. I am such a skeptic of human beings, Ro; but not today. Today, I believed this man. Today, I believed in the human spirit and I believe that, because of you. It’s days like today that I know that you are making me a better person than I could have ever imagined. It’s days like today that I realized that I need to stop fighting all the little gifts you are leaving me because I know they truly do exist. And I know I am worthy of receiving them. I know they won’t bring you back but I know they will keep you alive.

I have to go now, Ro. Too tired. Too sad. Too much. I love you. I miss you. I’m sorry. I hope you are safe. I love you to the moon and back, baby boy.

One last thing. But not a little thing. A HUGE thing. Bret Michaels. Bret Michaels the kick ass Rockstar who is the genius behind the band, Poison. Bret Michaels went on the Regis and Kelly show today. He wore your F U Cancer bracelet, Ro. He is spreading the word about you. Can you believe this???? I am in awe. We so need people like this, behind your cause. We so need a voice for Childhood Cancer. Education=Awareness and Awareness=CURES. People have to start listening. Because of what that man did today, they are going to listen. I have a feeling the gorgeous woman in his life, had a little something to do with this as well. It takes a strong family united, to get things done. Today, they did this, for us. For YOU. For all the other parents and kiddos out there who have been forced into this nightmare. For all the parents and kids out there who are helpless and so scared. He helped us all today and I wonder if he has any idea, how much it means? How this could really get the ball rolling and start changing things. Because babies/kids/teens need to stop being fucking MURDERED by Childhood Cancer. So Mr. Kickass Rockstar Bret Michaels. Thank you from the bottom of Ronan’s wild and free heart. I know you know that all good things, truly are wild and free. You are an amazing man. And gorgeous Kristy. Thank you for being the raddest wild and free mama, behind this man by doing something so selfless and kind. You two, are amazing.

Ro baby. Did you ever in your life think that for only being almost 4, that you would have so much power? I always knew this. Your beauty alone moved mountains while you were among the living. Now look what it’s doing and you’re not even here, Ro. You are that special, beautiful, and magical. You will always be mine. And I will always, be yours. Forever. I love you.

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The Girl with the Saddest Green Eyes

Ro Baby. Where are you?? Last night, I went for a run, late. I left our house. It was so dark outside. I hesitated leaving, running through our neighborhood because of the pack of Javelinas that has taken over. When I say, “pack,” I’m not kidding. There are about 15 of them, living right next to the wash where your bedroom window is. For those of you who don’t know what they are… Google them. YUCK. I am so beyond sad, that you are not here to see them. Quinn is so scared of them. Liam doesn’t really care. You would have thought they were so awesome. You would have went with me, as I walked up to them to get a closer look. I’ll bet you would have thrown rocks at them. I can’t believe you are not here and I don’t get to pick you up to carry you over to see them. I would have thrown rocks at them, with you. They are the ugliest things. Although, there are about 5 tiny babies. The babies are pretty cute. I hesitated on leaving for my run, but then my NO FEAR thing kicked in and off I went. I ran from our house down Camelback for about 5 miles. It was a good run.During my run, I had a wave of guilt wash over me. I thought to myself, how am I out here running, like my life is the same?? How am I out here, doing normal things and Ronan is dead? I felt like I was betraying you. I feel like I am betraying you, with every breath I take, Ro baby. Every smile I smile. Every laugh I laugh. Even every time I eat or drink. You don’t get to do these things anymore so neither should I. That’s what Inferno Fuckwad Bob tells me at least. You are not living, so why should I be? You are way more important than I am. You deserved to be here, much more than I do. The fact that you are gone and we are all left here to live life feels like the ultimate betrayal to me. I don’t expect anyone to understand this. Because nobody else was a mama to you. So nobody else would understand, how this inner turmoil feels. Do you want to know what it feels like to me, Ro? It feels like razor blades ripping my skin apart. Or how I would imagine, they would feel. It feels like I am living a life, not being able to breathe or feel anything but hurt, pain, and sadness. I have a few things that make me happy; sometimes. But even when I am feeling the waves of happiness, they are accompanied by the guilt. Happiness and Guilt are two best friends that I would have never guessed would get along so well together in my life. But they are best friends now. They are my worst enemies too.

At one point, I stopped to take off my headphones and to sit and have some quiet time. I don’t do that, often. I need to do it more but I have been so busy with the distractions around me. I found a dark parking lot that was empty. I threw off my headphones and set down my phone. I laid down on the cool pavement and got so lost in the sky and my thoughts, that the noisy traffic coming from Camelback Road, disappeared. I talked to you while looking up at the bright, dark sky filled with clouds and stars. I got lost in thinking about this life and what it all means. I thought a lot about faith and religion. I thought about heaven and wondered where you are. I thought about all the people who truly do believe in heaven and then I thought about how I think this life must be this way because could you imagine what the world would be like, if nobody believed in a God or a Heaven? It would be total chaos. Or maybe not. Maybe people would actually start to really believe in themselves and be o.k. with just not knowing. I’m o.k. with the not knowing part. Could you imagine what people would do if they actually believed this is as good as it’s going to get?? Maybe they would live their life to its full potential, being the BEST person they could be, because this is all we get. One shot to make it right. One shot to live this life to the fullest, to love the hardest, to laugh the loudest, to dance the craziest, to actually start living because after this, there is nothing better. I got to thinking about death and how I guess believing in heaven keeps people from being paralyzed with fear, about dying and about life in general. If you mess up, you can ask God for forgiveness and it’s a done deal, right? Sounds like a fucking shady deal to me. The fact of the matter is, people want something to believe in and heaven and God is an easy thing to get on board with. I’m not so sure about it all. I question everything. Especially now. It would be nice to believe in God and Heaven and to never question anything because it is wrapped up in a pretty bow. It would be so nice, to live this way. But fuck that. Nice flew out the window the second you died. You know what I believe in, Ronan? I believe in the you. I believe in the sun, the stars and the moon. I believe that good people exist. I believe in our love that nobody can ever take away, no matter how cruel the world may be. I believe in music and souls. Old and new. I believe in sparkly people.I believe that bad things happen to good people, everyday and it’s not fair or right. I believe there will never be justice for this. I believe that you will take care of me now. I believe that anything good that happens in my life, is fully because of you. I don’t believe in much anymore and I don’t know that I ever will. I will be alright though, Ro. All I need is you to keep pushing me the way that you have been. All I need is you and our love. That is enough. Fuck everything else.

Today was busy indeed. I went to Katie’s to help her with some things. Mandy Bee stopped by. I went to my friend, Samya’s, to check out the new shirts and sweatshirts she is making for our little F U Cancer project. Her friend came over to take some pictures of us wearing the shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies. Sandra was there too. The 3 of us posed together in our “Maya’s Mafia,” shirts. We flipped off the camera. We held hands. We felt empowered. I hope Sandra felt strong, because she is. I just felt sad. And strong. I felt both of those things today as I had my hands intertwined between those 2 girls. I know the story my eyes told though. The girl with the greenest, saddest eyes to ever exist tells your story, everyday.

I’m tired. I have to drive up to Sedona to see Dr. JoRo tomorrow. I have to tell you one last thing though. While I was home tonight, my phone started blowing up with all of these FB messages. I got on there to see what in the world was going on. Somebody had posted on my wall that Bret Michaels had taken on of your little cards and posted it on his FB wall and it simply said, “Who is Rockstar Ronan? It then showed the card with your picture on it, saying who you are. Bret Michaels has over 1.2 million fans on his FB wall. All who are now, reading about you. All who are about to find out, who you are and why it is you, who is going to change the face of childhood cancer. Because you are that beautiful and amazing, Ronan. Because all good things are wild and free, just like you and Bret Michaels. That was beyond awesome of him. That one little thing that he just did, is going to help raise so much awareness for childhood cancer and your story. The adventure is beginning, Ronan. I hope you are ready for a wild ride. And Bret Michaels…. if you ever read this… thank you so much. Honestly. What you just did, was so kick ass. You are a true Rockstar and you just inspired this mama, to keep going, because people are starting to listen. Blessings to you and your beautiful family. Thank you. So freaking much.

That’s all for tonight, baby. I love you. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe. G’nite.

xoxo

Hey! You want to go on a Double-Date? And Listen to a Bunch of People, Talk about their Dead Kids?

Ronan. After trying to come to, after being emotionally beaten down these past few days, my head feels a little clear for once. I didn’t sleep at all last night. I’m pushing it again tonight as it is almost 2 a.m. I’ve stopped cold turkey with the sleeping meds due to my weekend of death that I tried to pull off a couple of weekends ago. I think Warden Woody has them locked up somewhere. I don’t dare ask where or if I can have them back. I know when I’ve crossed the line. So, here I am. Not sleeping until I am so tired from being up for so many hours, that my body and mind finally give in. It’s not happening yet, so I will write to you.

I spent the majority of today, in bed. I was exhausted from the night before. I finally got up and moving around 2 p.m. and headed to take your Nana to the airport. Your Daddy took your brothers for a sleepover at the Willets because we had something to go to tonight. I was asked a couple of months ago to be the ambassador for the MISS Foundation. I still at this point, don’t really know what that means and it doesn’t even really matter. All I know is if it is something to help Dr. JoRo, that is all that needs to be said. I would walk through fire for that woman. There was a cocktail hour tonight that I was asked to come to. So your Daddy and I got all dressed up. I asked my stalker friend, Mandy Bee;) a few days ago, if she and her husband, Brandon wanted to join us. She said they would love to. They came over here and we all headed out together. We arrived at a beautiful house in PV and there were about 60 other people there. We hung out and mingled a little bit. Mandy and I went and checked out the grounds of the house and ended up on some patio on top of a pool house. It was such a gorgeous and peaceful night. Your Daddy and her husband, Brandon, were really getting along and there was a lot of football talk so we let them be. There were drinks, food, music, and mingling. Soon, the Director, Kathy Sandler got up to say a few words. Dr. JoRo came over to stand by us. She cracked me up by shoving some food in her face and chowing it down. I love how she always keeps it real. After Kathy talked a bit, she introduced Dr. JoRo who got up to tell her story, how the MISS Foundation came about, what they do and how important it is for families who have lost children. They have over 77 chapters now, all over the world but still get very little funding. This breaks my heart. I know I say this all the time, but I know I would not be functioning the way I am, if not for this foundation. I think there would be a lot less parents in the world, who would just choose to not to live life, after losing a child if it weren’t for the MISS Foundation. They need more help, volunteers, money, etc…. to keep going. Otherwise, this Foundation may have to fold up and go away. I don’t know what I would do. I know how hard Dr. JoRo works. Most of her days are 17 hours long. She works non-stop. I will do whatever it takes to help her keep her baby up and running. It is vital to the survival of parents, everywhere. It is vital, to me.

After Dr. JoRo gave her talk, which was so beautifully sad, she came back to stand by me. I hugged her for a long time. Kathy got up to talk some more. I knew she was going to talk about us, but we didn’t go over what was going to be said. She introduced me, you, your Daddy. She told a bit about you and how you died. Then she started to talk about my blog and the writing I do. She started to read a little blurb from something I had written. Shit. I wasn’t prepared for that. I don’t ever go back to re read what I write to you and once she started reading, it was as if I was listening to her read somebody else’s words. Certainly, those beautifully sad words, were not written by me. Were they? I don’t really even remember writing them. This is what she read, out loud. A blurb from what I wrote, after Michael Dee and Sarah Love were here from Arizona Foothills.

“Michael asked how I feel about being an inspiration to others. I told him I honestly didn’t think about it because all I see is you, inspiring me. And if that turns into inspiring others, than that is such a beautiful thing. If others are ready to embark on this ride with us, I hope they are prepared to hold on tight. Because it is going to no doubt be bumpy, rough, scary, and at sometimes, it is going to feel like death. But I know the end result is going to be something out of this world. Something so different, special, and strong…. just like you. Something that is unlike anything this world has seen. Because never was there a boy, as beautiful as you, Ro. The beauty of your physical self and soul combined was so powerful and I as your mama, know this. Guess who else is figuring this out? The whole wide world. The whole wide world who wants to be a part of this change. Not only in the world of childhood cancer, but in the bigger scheme of things as well. They all know, because of you, that there is more to life, than just THIS.”

Hearing those words being read out loud, was so totally weird. I just started to cry. Dr. JoRo held me. I pulled it together but it was beyond painful. Never in my life, would I have imagined at 33, I would be sitting under a starry night, holding your Daddy’s hand at an event because one of my babies died of Childhood Cancer. This is so not acceptable. This is so not the path, I imagined my life taking. I still cannot believe you didn’t survive this. I’m still so sorry and so sick to my stomach over the fact that this has happened. Nothing will ever be o.k. again, Ronan. This life without you, is not o.k. This life without you, will always be wrong. So now, my life, this life that I get to live has now turned into a very not o.k. always wrong, life. A life where my heart feels like it lives outside of my body where people are trampling all over it, every second of the day.

After Kathy was finished talking, I had the chance to meet some lovely ladies from Raising Arizona Kids. One of them had interviewed me for a Grief article they did. She was so sweet the few times that I had spoken to her on the phone and it was lovely to put a face with her voice. She was even lovelier in person and I was so grateful that they came. The more awareness, the better for the MISS Foundation. They deserve to be recognized so much more than they are. Raising AZ Kids has been really good about helping them out with this. I will forever be grateful to them.

We stayed at the event for about another hour or so. At one point I was talking to a very sweet lady, Yasaman. She was at the Grief Retreat that I was at and came up to me to say hello and to introduce herself. I told her I remembered her. She told me she didn’t know who I was, at the retreat, but she left there not being able to stop thinking about me. She said she ended up finding me on Dr. Jo’s FB page which lead her to your story, Ro. She said she started reading and couldn’t stop. She said she things like, your story, has changed her life. She was trying so hard, not to cry. She offered to do anything for me, even folding laundry and mopping my floor. I told her that wouldn’t be necessary and I gave her my phone number instead and told her to call me if she ever wanted to have coffee. She smiled and told me she would. While we were talking, a young girl came up to me and said she was sorry for interrupting, but she had wanted to meet me all night. I asked her name and she told me. She asked if she could have her picture taken with me and I said, of course. I asked her what she did, in her real life. She seemed shocked that I wanted to know about her. It turns out, she works for a law firm and just happened to stumble upon this blog one day while she was googling Rockstar Energy Drinks. Awesomeness. She gave up her Saturday Night, to come and volunteer at this event, because put I put it out there, a few weeks ago, that the MISS Foundation needs volunteers. I felt light headed when she told me this. There are so many kind people in the world, Ronan. This 23-year-old girl, gave up her Saturday Night, just for you. I was amazed. So many great things seem to be happening. Does everyone see this, except me? I am in such a fog that I don’t really realize it, until they are right in front of my face, like Saturday night. Are people really listening? Are you coming back? Sometimes I think you are. Some days it’s the only way I survive the day, by living in a fake reality that is powered by tricking myself into thinking that you are coming back because LOVE is that powerful. Shouldn’t this be the way the world works? I think so.

After we said our goodbyes to Dr. JoRo for the night, your Daddy, Mandy, Brandon and I went to Wally’s to get a little food. I told them they had passed the initiation test and they were officially our friends. For Fucks Sake. Nice first couples date. Yes, hello, would you like to come to a cocktail party with us. An event because our child died and you can come with us and listen to all of these other parents talk about their dead kids, too! Doesn’t that sound like a normal fucking Saturday night? What the hell. That is so wrong. And awful. And sad. But you know what. It is our life. And Mandy and Brandon could not have been better company. For as messed up as it was, we still enjoyed the night and each other. Stalker Mandy is here to stay. And I am so glad. Our love for all things dark and skull like will help get me through this.

Ro Baby. You know what else?! I have been so beyond busy but your Rocking Rockstar Washington Peeps have been so busy too. I have no idea what is going on, except I turned some things over to Robin Miller and Jen Woodard and OMG. They threw together a fundraiser in about a week and had it last night. They have gotten the community so involved and raised over 3K! That is pretty impressive for throwing something together in such short notice and this is just the beginning. They are getting all the schools involved so that pretty soon, SEPTEMBER will be recognized everywhere as CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. I am so proud to be a Kelso/Longview girl. My roots will always go back to my small home town and I could not be prouder. Thank you to all of our lovelies there. Especially in this economy, to raise that amount of money, in such a small town, is incredible. You girls RULE.

Alright my not spiciest little monkey boy. I’ve got to go. I miss you so much. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, Ro.

xoxo

Love you, Mandy Bee. Thank you for letting me just be.