Ro baby. I’m back home. In your home where you should be but are not. It was strange to leave NYC without you only to wind up back at our house, without you. Your brothers were sound asleep as it was late when I got in. I went into their room and gave them a million kisses. I was thankful to have them to come home to. I woke up this morning to hearing your brothers get up and in the shower; all by themselves. I didn’t even have to wake them. They are getting so big and responsible. They are so much more responsible than most 8-year-old boys. I guess that comes with the hard lessons they have had to learn. When I came home last night, I saw a laminated poster that Liam had made for school that your daddy had helped him with. It was full of pictures of all things Liam. Along with the things about him such as his favorite place, food, thing to do, etc….. I read the words, “If I had one wish it would be _________. He had filled in the blank with, “unlimited wishes.” I looked at your daddy and I could feel the tears start to sting my eyes. I said to him, “Wait. He didn’t wish for Ronan back? Why wouldn’t he have wished for Ronan back?” Your daddy said he had asked Liam that question too. Liam simply replied that he would wish for that second, after he got his unlimited wishes. For a split second, my heart was broken over Liam’s answer but then I remembered how he is just 8 years old. How I know that he wishes for you back, everyday. But what kid wants to go to school and tell their entire class that they wish that their baby brother, who died of cancer, to come back? What 8-year-old, wants to explain that to their entire class? To me, that was even more heartbreaking. After my split second punch in the gut that I literally felt, it went away quickly and I thought to myself, “What a smart little kid.” I know how badly losing you has scarred your brothers for life. I am watching them, slowly learn how to live without you. And I can tell you everything they do is with 110 percent more effort, fire and passion. They are the best little boys in every way possible. I am so lucky, Ro. I am so proud of them.
I spent today with Dr. JoRo. We talked all about New York and how good it was for me. She is so glad I fought for that trip. I am glad too. I listened to myself tell her things that I never thought I’d hear myself say again like I feel hopeful and inspired. That I feel like I am starting to believe in myself just a bit. She had me fill out a few questionnaires that apparently, I had filled out when I first came to see her. I told her I didn’t remember filling out a thing. I stared at her questionnaire like I was seeing it for the first time. She assured me that I had filled it out before and she watched me as I checked the boxes off one by one, once again. She compared my answers to the one’s I had answered only a few months after losing you. My numbers were really high on her scale as far as PTSD and some other things go. My numbers are a little lower now. She talked about how she would never say I’m getting better because you don’t get better with something like this. But she did tell me I’m learning to cope with things a little more. I’m learning to slowly come back to life, one piece at a time. I guess this is progress. I told her she had given me this test at the wrong time….. straight from coming back from a NYC trip. I told her to give it to me next week, after reality came crashing down again. She laughed and said she would.
I forgot to tell you a totally funny story that happened on my last day in New York. I was out for my Central Park run and I had stopped at mile 4 and sent Katherine some really pretty sunny NYC picture along with some words about how lame this extra safe, Central Park daylight run was. She replied back with something even more clever and brilliant than my smart ass comment. I continued on my extra safe stupid this is not dangerous enough for me run, laughing at her words. I was a few miles back into my run and I guess I was running pretty fast, but I was totally zoned out. All of a sudden, I tripped on something and felt myself go flying through the air. And I’m not talking the kind of flying where you end up on your ass. I’m talking the kind of flying that it’s like you are running to home plate in a baseball game and go sliding in head first to score a run. Oh YEAH. That was totally me. Except I was not on a baseball field. I was on hard, black pavement. I picked myself up quickly and totally just started running again like nothing had happened. My hands, clothes, and body told a different story. My hands and clothes were covered in the black NYC streets, I had blood and asphalt, engraved into my skin, and I could feel the huge bruise on my thigh getting bigger by the second. I finished my run, in fits of giggles though, so wishing somebody would have caught my totally awesome fall on tape. I texted Kath and told her that it turns out, running in Central Park in the middle of the day, CAN be dangerous. I could be on to something here and I have the asphalt tattoos to prove it. I’ve scrubbed for 2 days now and my hands are still black. I told you NYC didn’t want me to leave. Or at least it wanted to send me off back to Phoenix with the reminder that no matter how hard I fall in life, I’m the only one that can pick my sorry little ass back up. Nobody else, Ro. There was nobody there to save me or help me when I fell yesterday. And even if there would have been, my stubborn self would not have taken their hand. Because deep down, I know that it is going to take a lot of falls, bruises and bloodied hands to get through this. I know that I am the only one that is capable of fixing my owies, as you used to call them. You are so worth each and every one or them, Ro. I love you so much.
I’m tired baby. I spent the rest of tonight doing all the things that I should be doing like helping your brothers with their homework and playing football outside with them. I missed you every single second. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. G’nite, little one. Sweet dreams.
7 thoughts on “Sometimes it takes the hardest fall, to know where you really stand”
Thinking of you and Rockstar Ro!!
love this blog. that is my photo you have used for this post(wake up and live)…. just wondering where you found it?!
Liam is super smart. I am glad that you made it back safely and with a little bit of NYC stuck to you :-).
My therapist gives me a PSTD questionnaire and adds up some numbers too. I wonder what a “good score” for a bereaved parent should be. I do not usually need the questions or the numbers to tell me that my heart is broken. . .
Sending peace, hugs and a big FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!
Grief has dropped a bomb in your life. You are shattered, blasted, blown apart and all but nearly destroyed. Amongst the shards, amongst the debris, you live. You don’t know how. You can’t see. You can do nothing but feel the pain that is within you and around you. You don’t understand, you will never understand. You lay down amongst the rubble for you can do nothing else and you cry, like you have never cried in your life before and you think why me, why this, why RO?
And somehow without knowing how you uncurl yourself and brush yet more tears from your face and you walk. You begin to pick up a shard, a broken piece of your life here and a broken piece there. They don’t fit together anymore, they can’t. There is no going back to what once was. And as each tiny fragment begins to shape itself anew, so do you. Your shape is a stranger to you now and to everyone else. Your pieces have become you. They speak of your strength, of your courage and they speak of you, the vulnerable you, the broken you, the loving you and the wonderful you.
Love is never lost, always in your heart and soul, right where Ro is…
I’m glad NY was all you needed and more! And how nice to have those sweet twin boys to come home to 🙂 Still think of you and Ro every day, xoxo
Dr. Jo and her fancy little scale may also want to know that this is the first time I can remember since Ro was stolen from the world that we have back to back “tiny bits of peace and finding your groove” posts. Happy about that–for you and for childhood cancer, b/c that shit is going down. And for the why the fuck are you reading this blog if you think a little 4 letter word is offensive….I send an extra big fuck fuck fuck shout out to them!
It sounds like Liam thinks around corners. He can wish for his brother and then have enough wishes for all the other kids with cancer.