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