Dear Mr. Andrew Fuckwad Becker of the American Cancer Society

Yes, I called you Fuckwad. You have really, really pissed a lot of people off. I would really hate to be you right now. Actually, you know what? I’ve changed my mind. I would trade places with you, in an instant. Do you know why? Because when I was trying to find a picture of your pathetic face tonight, to print out and attach to my punching bag, I read that you have 3 children. 3 healthy children. I too, had 3 children. 3 boys to be exact. Now I have just 2 boys, among the living. I had to have my 3-year-old son, Ronan, cremated, just 8 months ago because he died from childhood cancer. It sucks to be you because of the ignorance you have chosen to display and the backlash you are going to receive. But it really, really sucks to be me because I have a child who is dead. So therefore, I would trade places with you in an instant. I would rather have my head on a platter, with 3 healthy kids, whom you get to tuck in at night, then to have to be the parent of one who has died from this “rare,” disease called childhood cancer.

Have you even given any thought to all the kids who suffer and die from childhood cancer? This rare disease of childhood cancer which is actually in fact the NUMBER 1 CAUSE OF DEATH BY DISEASE FOR CHILDREN! I really doubt it because I’m sure you are too busy hiding behind your big, fancy desk in your big, fancy suit. I have given a lot of thought to all the kids who are suffering or who have suffered from childhood cancer. One in particular, my Ronan. My Ronan who was the love of my life. Who was the most beautiful little boy who ever existed and I’m not just saying this because I’m his mom. Anybody who knows of Ronan and our story, will tell you this. A lot of people know about Ronan because he was that amazing. Did I forget to mention that I too, have a blog? I do, all because of Ronan. As of now, I have 2,264,051 million hits on this little blog of mine. They all know about Ronan, and now, they are all going to know about you too. I am going to post your words below, just so my little blog readers can get an idea of exactly what you have written. I’ll let them decide for themselves, if you are indeed the fuckwad that I have called you out as being tonight.

Bald Barbie Demand is an Over-Reach

We apologize if the below post offended some of our readers. We realize that in our zeal to highlight an issue that deserves debate, we may have sounded insensitive. This post was written to provoke debate about the proliferation of products marketed to raise awareness, and we think asked legitimate questions. We believe discussions like this can help focus all our efforts more closely on our shared goal of defeating cancer.

You may have seen in the news that a Facebook campaign is underway to pressure Mattel, the maker of Barbie Dolls, to manufacture a bald Barbie. Cancer is one of, but not the sole reason for this campaign. The group’s Facebook page notes,

“We would like to see a Beautiful and Bald Barbie made to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, Alopecia or Trichotillomania. Also, for young girls who are having trouble coping with their mother’s hair loss from chemo.”

To the extent that this effort is about fighting cancer, we should ask ourselves what it accomplishes, who would benefit, and while we’re at it, how about asking if a bald Barbie could in fact do more harm than good for kids and parents, not to mention Mattel.

In a world already littered with cancer totems such as rubber bracelets and pink everything (a limited number of which are from ACS initiatives) , do we need one more thing whose function is to “raise awareness” about cancer? Is raising awareness worthwhile? Over at Mary Tyler Mom, who herself is the mother of a child who died from cancer, the answer is a resounding “no.” She makes the excellent suggestion that a donation of $10-$20 to support cancer research would make far more of an impact than buying a doll.

We know that funding more research is key, and every dollar helps, but who would benefit from sales of these dolls? Would it really be about fundraising?

The downside to raising awareness has been well documented by activists in the breast cancer arena. Awareness of breast cancer, for example, has been so thoroughly achieved, and many women are so afraid of the words breast cancer, that about one in 20 who are diagnosed with LCIS, a condition that may lead to breast cancer, are choosing bilateral mastectomy; the surgical removal of both breasts.

This isn’t to say that awareness doesn’t have an important role in defeating cancer. It can be incredibly important when it comes to informing people about ways to reduce risk or about getting recommended screenings regularly. But there may be better ways to attack childhood cancer. Just like radiation and chemotherapy, awareness must be deployed thoughtfully and carefully.

Childhood cancer is exceedingly rare. I would also argue that cancer is rare among the age group of women likely to have daughters young enough to play with Barbies. Women have about a one in 50 chance of developing any kind of cancer before the age of 40 . Which brings me to the claim that bald Barbies can help improve the self-image of little girls who are faced with having lost their hair, or seeing their mothers lose their hair. If they are mass marketed, many of these dolls will end up in the hands of girls who luckily aren’t likely to be touched by cancer in themselves or their mothers. But could they end up being terrorized by the prospect of it in a far outsized proportion to their realistic chances? There is no reason to create this sort of fear. It’s why we don’t see advocates calling for lightning strike dolls.

My final concern is the no-win position Mattel finds itself in. Last year the company went above and beyond, and made one bald Barbie for a four-year-old who was going through chemotherapy. Now the company risks a severe backlash of ill will if it does not accede to the demands of the social media mob. After all, what is more sympathetic than a little girl with cancer? How could this corporation be so unfeeling as to not make the major investment required to put a new product on store shelves? What happens when the next group demands a custom Barbie to represent its social concerns?

Sadly, some 1340 children under age 14 are projected to die from cancer this year. Each one is a tragedy, and they and their families deserve sympathy and support, but it is critically important to pull back from this exercise in consumer bullying and ask whether the need this movement is rising to meet is as big as imagined, and whether it will result in any meaningful support reaching those who need it.

You totally fucked yourself from the get go when you used the word, “pressure,” in regards to the Facebook campaign to get Mattel on board to make a bald Barbie. Couldn’t you have chosen a nicer word? Who the hell pissed in your cereal this morning to get it off to such a bad start? Nobody is pressuring Mattel to do anything. Some women, came up with a beautiful idea and simply put it on the table. It was such a beautiful idea, that a lot of people have decided to get behind this idea in regards to trying to make it happen. That’s how you get shit done, you presumptions asshole. It’s called passion. It’s called a vision. It’s called a dream. Things that you obviously have no idea about. Things that my Ronan and so many other kids out there will never get to feel because they are being murdered by childhood cancer. MURDERED you Fuckwad!!!!!! Chew on that for a while. Try to swallow that pill without choking on it. And it’s all due to the lack of funding that childhood cancer gets. Because its too sad of a story, because bad things don’t happen to good people, and because their are too many people looking the other way. This is all such bullshit. These kids are our future. We as adults should be screaming the loudest and the hardest for them. They should be the one’s getting the MOST funding out there. I would have traded my life, in a second for Ronan’s but he never even stood a chance and I’m blaming this on our greedy, self absorbed society. Share the fucking wealth. Give these children a voice and a chance! None of them deserve any of this. It’s time to stop looking the other way. I now know this, the hard way. I now know this because I am living proof of what childhood cancer can do to the sweetest most innocent child. I will have to live with this for the rest of my life. I vow to fix this epidemic in this society. So someday, another Ronan won’t have to die. What do you plan to do about this Mr. Andrew Fuckwad Becker? Besides be blinded by your ignorance? I really hope you choose to wake up and be part of this change. I really hope you take this opportunity to take this wrong and turn it into a right. I really hope you change your insensitive ways. I really hope you prove me wrong and make me eat my words to you.

With your pea sized brain, Mr. Asshole Fuckwad Becker, you asked 3 little questions. The first being, “What would having this Barbie made, accomplish?” Look dude, I’m no rocket scientist, but are you even serious with this question? My 8-year-old could this answer question, in his sleep. A better question my be, what WOULDN’T this accomplish? It could accomplish SO MANY THINGS. It could bring the awareness to childhood cancer that it deserves so that one day, maybe a parent will not have to watch helplessly as their child dies. Awareness=Funding and Funding= CURES. The survival rate of breast cancer is proof of that. Even if the making of this Barbie, only accomplished something so small, which is actually huge in my eyes, such as making one child smile…… well that is good enough for me.

Your second question is actually a good one because so many people are so unaware of where the money goes in which they are so generously donating. So, where would all the money go? I have no idea and I don’t care as long as it goes 100% to the research that is actually going to make a difference. As long as it may actually save the life of a child. I selfishly want it all to go to Neuroblastoma, which is what my Ronan died from. It is actually one of the least funded pediatric cancers, but in my mind it should be the one funded most. Obviously I am biased because of my Ronan, but if you had been his parent, you would understand. I have a question for you, Mr. Asshole Fuckwad Becker. Where does all the money go that the American Cancer Society raises? To CEO whom I’m hearing, makes about a million dollars in compensation per year. I know where it doesn’t go. To helping fund and support pediatric cancers. This makes me really sad. I have friends who worked really hard to raise money for the Relay for Life this past year. I will NEVER in my LIFE, support this organization unless some serious changes are made such as supporting childhood cancer. I am not going to support an organization that uses the money to pay overhead, salaries, fringe benefits and FUCKING TRAVEL EXPENSES. I will NEVER support a organization like yours again, Mr. Andrew Fuckwad Becker. I hope my lovely little blog readers will choose to follow my lead on this one. They are pretty amazing and I also know they are pretty pissed so I am not worried about them. I know they are able to sleep at night due to knowing that they are going to help be the change in childhood cancer that we so need. It takes an army, you know. And I have a really, really great army behind me. You, on the other hand may need a long, exotic vacation somewhere in order to sleep again. Please be sure to have an extra margarita, on me. But I won’t be paying for it out of my son’s foundation. I’ll be using that money, to actually make a big dent in this neuroblastoma world. Because due to my son dying, I get to make the world a better place. Lucky, aren’t I???

Your 3rd question is just as stupid as your first. Pull your head out of your asshole, and think about this. I’m pretty sure by now, you can come up with the reasons why the making of this doll, would not harm anyone as long as the proceeds go to the right places. I never knew making a child smile, could hurt someone. Childhood cancer has been ignored for long enough, which is why children are still dying from it. If you are too ignorant to answer this question tonight, Mr. Asshole Fuckwad Becker, I’ll make it easy for you. Ask yourself this. WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR CHILD???????? Awwwwww!!! Did a lightbulb just go off in your head? Did a tear just slide down your cheek?! I doubt it. Because you don’t have a child with cancer and you never will. But guess what? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it can happen to you. It can happen to anyone!!!! I wouldn’t wish this on anyone or any child. But FUCK. If something like this does ever happen to you or anyone that you know, you are going to feel like the worlds biggest prick; and rightfully so. I hope you know by your little post today, we can all read between the lines. What you are actually saying is, “DON’T RAISE AWARENESS! KEEP KILLING OUR KIDS!” Way to go, Mr. Fuckwad Andrew Becker. I hope you feel like a winner tonight.

Alright Mr. Asshole Fuckwad Becker- I’m going to end this post tonight. Trust me, I could go on and on and on about your dumbass post but I’ve grown tired of you. I’m going to let my lovely little blog readers, handle the rest for me. I’m sure your inbox is being bombarded with emails at this very moment. You’ve now taken my night, and hijacked the writing I get to do to my dead son, due to this “rare disease.” For that alone, you can go and fuck yourself. And no sweet dreams for you. Only for Ro. Always for Ro.

Sincerly in the nicest way possible,

Maya M. Thompson

Ronan’s mama

TO ALL MY LOVELIES,

Here is some more information about our dear new friend, Mr. Asshole Fuckwad Becker. Feel free to let him know your opinions, whatever they may be. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.

Andrew Becker is Director of Media Relations. He is the New York-based member of the national media relations team. His work includes all patient and family services offered by ACS, as well as global health, corporate finance, and supporting the overall brand. Before joining ACS, Andrew spent a decade using his political communication and public relations training for good instead of evil. He was involved in the first few years of the American Legacy Foundation’s truth campaign, as well as other tobacco prevention work, and counts projects for NIH and the Ad Council among his proudest professional achievements. Andrew is a father of three, so he expects to be working for decades to come. E-mail him at andrew.becker@cancer.org.

Snow Falling in Flagstaff

Ronan. Guilt is what I feel at this time, in this moment. For living this life, without you here. For the smiles that I’ve smiled, for the laugher I’ve done, for the love I’ve given to your brothers. Guilt for going on when you know, all I want to do is be with you. I wonder if the reason you insisted on being with me, almost every second of every day of the almost 4 years that I had you, is because you knew you wouldn’t be able to stay with me forever. I wonder if you miss me as much as I miss you. I wonder if you are as sad as I am because we are apart. I think that you are and it kills me that there is nothing that I can do about it. I can’t wipe your tears, hold you close and tell you that everything is going to be alright. I can’t promise you that I’ll never let anything happen to you, because it did. The worst possible thing that could have happened, did. And I will never stop being sorry for that. It is so unfair that the four of us are left here and you are gone. I constantly feel like I have forgotten you somewhere. I am constantly looking over my shoulder for you to come running around the corner. I don’t think I’ll ever stop looking for you.

I have been struggling with my sleep so much. The devil, Ambien has been in and out of my life since you were diagnosed. I try not to take it, but I’ve had a solid 3 weeks where I have taken it almost every night. Dr. Jo told me to try Valerian Root last week. She told me she takes 2 of those and she is out cold. So, I took 4 a few nights ago and nothing. I ended up taking my Ambien instead. I haven’t taken my Ambien for 3 nights in a row now. It has been horrific. The first night I fell asleep in our bed, with your daddy. I was in and out of sleep the entire night. I felt like my body was on fire. I had the most awful nightmares. I was watching myself scream your name, knowing that you were dead, but nobody could hear me or help me. Sounds like my real life. When I take Ambien, it puts me into such a heavy sleep, that I don’t dream at all. When I don’t take it, I toss and turn all night long, only to dream the most awful things. So what’s worse? I don’t know as they both seem bad. I know that I don’t want to rely on something to sleep so I am going to try to continue to tough this out. And if I need a break every once in a while, for now, it is o.k. Dr. Jo is trying to get me to meditate before bed or to try some yoga. It’s worth a shot, right??

We spent the weekend up in Flagstaff. It was another 3 day weekend and staying home just didn’t seem like an option. We tend to go stir crazy without you around. It’s like everyone is trying to overcompensate for the fact that you are not here. We headed up on Saturday and spent a couple of days enjoying the cooler weather and lazy days. Your daddy was actually able to relax. I tried too but it was hard to be up there for the first time, without you. I had a moment where I was walking into the living room and Liam was sitting down at the table on the floor. The top of his head, looked so much like the color of your hair, that I thought it was you. It was like I had the wind knocked out of me when I realized it was not. Your brothers were so kind to each other this weekend. They are such good boys. They didn’t fight at all, which seems so rare these days. I watched them as they played together, took care of each other, and helped out with a lot of the things we asked of them. We all snuggled on the couch and watched some movies, your daddy took them on an Arctic Cat ride, I took a long nap with Quinn, which I never do anymore. I snuggled up to him and let him remind me of you and the way we loved to take our naps together. Your brothers were extra sweet to me this weekend. I think they could tell I was sad about having to be without you, doing our normal family things that we loved to do. It snowed up in Flagstaff last night. I watched the snowflakes fall with tears in my eyes. You would have gone crazy over it and made me take you out in the middle of the night to play in it. I would have without hesitation.

It’s going to take a lot to heal us all. We all have some good ideas, of some things that can help. We are all being very open about our sadness and we talk about you all the time. But we are a different family now as we are all different people. Even your brothers. I keep wanting to write your little brothers. As if I feel that you were older then they are. I guess due to everything you went through and how strong you were about it all. I guess due to the fact that I now feel like you are older than them and you are the one watching out for them and protecting them. And the wisdom that you always had as you were so much wiser than your almost 4 years old of age. I always knew this about you. You truly were a gift to us all.

I have a busy week as I am leaving for New York soon. My solo trip that is much needed. I need some time to go back to our favorite city where I can just be for a little while. Some plans are falling into place which I am loving. I planned this trip without having anything to do but some very nice things are coming about. I am excited for the little adventure we are going to have together as I know you will be with me, the entire time.

Alright little man. I love you so much. I hope you are safe. I miss you so very much.

xoxo

Meet Ronan’s friend, Ben

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/benpurcell/journal

This is Ben. He could really use a lot of love right now. We met his family in the clinic at PCH when Ronan was in the middle of treatment. He is the sweetest little guy that I have a big soft spot for. I asked his mama, if I could share their story and she gave me the green light. Thanks Barb. I think about you guys, everyday.

Wild and free, together we will be

Ronan. Hello little bug. Guess what I did today. I spent the day doing things that I would normally not be doing; if you were still here. This happens to me a lot in this new life of mine. Sometimes, I feel as if I am living a double life. That I’m living the life of a person that I do not know at all. I’m trying to figure out who this new person is and if I like her or not. I still have not made up my mind about that. We shall see. I am thinking she is not going anywhere anytime soon. But I also know that I have no way of knowing that because as we have learned, life can be cruel and take you in an instant. And as we have learned, we have no control over when your time is up because death does not discriminate. I’m trying to remember that I am supposed to be making the most of every second, of everyday that I am “lucky,” to be alive. I don’t feel very lucky without you.

Today, I was honored at the Arizona Foothills Luncheon. It was weird. Weird in the way that people whom I did not know said things to me like, “Congratulations!” And I didn’t know how to respond so just coyly smiled and listened to the little voice in my head that said, “For what? My dead child? Oh, I know. So totally awesome!” I forget that there are people out there who think I’m inspiring as I am only listening to the way you are telling me to do this. So when I hear things like, “We are proud of you. You are so amazing!” My thought or response is usually just, “Well, he was amazing.” Because that’s all I know to be true, Ronan. That people should be proud of you, not me. People should be honoring you, not me. I’m simply just a vessel here left on earth, to carry out your mission because you were destined for greater things, right? I truly want to believe this last part. But of course, the selfish me does not want you to be destined for greater things and it pisses me off that you are gone and just not at home, cuddling in bed with me where you should be.

The luncheon was really nice though and I am grateful to AZ Foothills for not being afraid to take a chance on a girl like me as I know how sad and dark this story is. I am grateful that they can see beyond the sadness and the darkness of this story to the love that shines through, so brightly. Nobody can deny that no matter how many times I throw the fuck word out there and I scream, “I hate the world!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs. Our love story is undeniable and I am thankful that they chose to honor it today. I got to sit at a table full of our loveliest of lovelies and watch as they all wiped the tears from their eyes. Dr. JoRo got up and spoke for about 30 minutes. There was not a dry eye in the house. She talked about you a bit which I was not expecting…. but it was a nice surprise. She talked about life, death, kindness, sadness, laughter, love, and all things honest. It may have been a little too honest for some of the people in that room today. I wondered how many actually really walked away, grateful for the gift of watching one of the most beautiful souls on earth, speak. I hoped every single one of them. I wondered how many of them had taken care of their sick baby, who had cancer. I wondered if any of them knew what it was like to spend 8 months in cold, icy hospital rooms, fighting every second of everyday for a life that means more to them, then their own. Cleaning up vomit. Blood. Shit. Pee. Medicine. Spit. And feeling so grateful to do so because it meant LIFE. Not death. All while listening to the screams, cries, tantrums, of their child and other children around them. All while the rest of the world, ignores them because it can’t happen to them. I wondered if any of them knew how close a mother and a child grow, going through something like this together. How a bond is formed, unlike any other that exists in the world. I wondered if any of them could have imagined going through something like this only to have the love of their life, taken away from this world. To have watched as their child, slowly died. To have held their child as he or she took their last breath and fluttered their eyelids for one last time. I wondered if any of them, could have survived this and put on a green dress 8 months later to sit in a room full of women, who have not survived this. Only one woman in that room, had survived this today and that was me. For about .2 seconds, I was proud. But only for the reason that really matters. Because I knew you were watching over me today and I knew you felt proud. That’s all I care about as it is the only thing, that truly matters to me. Every single thing I do, every breath I take, every foot I put in front of the other, every tear I cry, smile I smile, everything I do in this life…. is for you. And I am so grateful for the gift of our love. I know I say this all the time, but it will change things. It is already changing things. I know we are just getting started, Ro baby. I know this.

So, the past couple of days have been pretty hard. But looking back, I’ve had some things happen that have made me laugh. Mostly shit that I hear myself saying or doing and I can’t believe that I am saying or doing. Sometimes, it makes others laugh which I swear to god, is the BEST medicine. When I make other people laugh, Ronan. OH.MY.GOD. You have no idea how good this makes me feel. Me, the girl with the saddest green eyes, still has the ability to make people laugh. For such a little thing, it means the world to me. These are the conversations over the past couple of days, that have given me a good chuckle. I hope they made you laugh too.

Last night, we were driving home from my very Fucky Sucky Unbirthday. As we were driving home, up on one of the hills by our house there is the most obnoxious, huge house. It is covered head to toe in Christmas lights. I mean covered. Every inch of the house, trees, cactus, etc….. My head immediately went to……” I wonder how much electricity those people are wasting, for their God damn Christmas lights. It could be going to Childhood Cancer. Think about all the money, people waste, for Christmas lights when it could ALL go to Childhood Cancer. America is so stupid. And ignorant. And blissfully blind.” Christmas lights, in my crazy, bereaved mind, should not exist anymore. I then said to myself…. “OMG. It’s January. It’s my birthday. Christmas is way over.” I said to your daddy, “Take me to the store.” He looked at me and said, “For what?” And I said, “For some eggs. I’m going to egg those assholes house, who still have their obnoxious Christmas lights up! It’s January 11th! Why do they still have their lights blaring?!” Your daddy then told me he would in fact, not drive me to the store, to get eggs, to egg the assholes house. I actually replied to him, “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT! SO TAKE ME TO THE STORE, SO I CAN EGG THEIR HOUSE!” I quickly realized one of two things: 1), that I was acting like a bratty 13-year-old, which I often embrace, and 2) that this plan was not going to happen so I should just let it go. The thought of actually doing this, made me laugh so I let that be enough to satisfy me. I know you know I fully planned to escape during the middle of the night, to drive myself to the store to buy eggs and do this. I should have called my Mandy Bee to pick me up. We could have dressed up like real life Ninjas. Word to the wise. Take down the fucking Christmas lights. Christmas is OVER. Move on. And if you are too lazy to take them down, just don’t turn them on. You are blinding me with your obnoxious, asshole, stupidity.

I went to get the mail today and I had some random package come in it. I get a lot of these. A lot of the time, they are small things, from strangers and they always make me smile and cry. It’s the pure kindness that gets me the most. Today, I got a package and it didn’t say who it was from. I opened it up to find the best tee shirt EVER! It’s black and in bold white letters, it says, “Fuck you you fucking fuck.” It totally made my night. I proudly put this tee-shirt on, as your daddy was getting ready to take me out for a quick bite to eat, as your brothers are staying with your Mimi and Papa tonight. Your daddy once again, just looked at me. “You cannot wear that out of the house, in a public place. You need to listen to me. I do this for a living, you can get into trouble for that.” I just looked up at him. UGH. Why does he have to be such a rule follower?? You died of cancer so don’t I get a hall pass to wear/do/say/act any way I want? Turns out, that although I often feel this way, I do not. “I’m wearing it. It’s awesome. If I want to wear it, I can. I’m sorry you didn’t know what a rebel you married, I’m sorry it’s been so repressed and you now have to just get used to it.” You daddy started chuckling out loud at that one. He quickly informed me that he knew what he was in for, when he married me. Since he was trying so hard to be a good sport about it, I cut him some slack and put on a coat on over my shirt. But I only told him I was doing this because I was cold, not due to the fact that I was about to give him a heart attack. And I unzipped my coat in the restaurant; obviously Ronan. Rule breaker for life:)

While we sat in the restaurant, we sat and looked like the “normal,” couple that exists in society, everywhere I go. We ended up sitting next to this couple who had a child about your age. I tried to ignore this annoying couple tonight. I was trying my best not to let them rip my heart out because that should have been us, sitting there with you. I was doing a really good job until I noticed the toy that the little boy pulled out of his bag. It was a lego Star Wars toy. My eyes welled up with tears and I choked on the strawberry that I was trying to eat. The mom started talking really loudly about that book, “The Secret.” The Oprah book that had everyone raving a few years ago. I never bought into that horse shit of a book but apparently, when you put something out there in the world, that you want to happen badly enough…. if you want it enough, it can magically be yours, just by you putting it out there, Ro. Or it can also be said that, everything in life, is possible, nothing is impossible. There are no limits. Whatever you can dream of, can be yours, when you use The Secret.

Otherwise known as HORSE SHIT. I’m pretty sure, the people starving in Africa will not die…. due to “The Secret.” I’m pretty sure that the packed orphanages around the world, will not become empty….. due to “The Secret.” I’m pretty sure, the problem of homelessness, childhood cancer, kids dying in general, abused kids, drugged up parents who should not be fucking parents because they put their baby in the spin cycle of the washing machine….. will not disappear because of “The Secret.” I’m pretty sure, the fucking god damn Secret book, will not bring you back. But I listened tonight as this lady told her husband the power of ” The Secret.” and how it was going to bring her a new car this year, a fancier one. Your daddy watched me as I listened. Your daddy squeezed my hand. “I’m going to throw my strawberry at this ladies head, if she doesn’t shut up.” She didn’t shut up. I didn’t throw the strawberry at her head. I got up, walked past her and made sure she saw my tee-shirt instead. Her mouth dropped to the floor. I just smiled. I now know who sent this tee shirt. Word travels fast when you grow up in the smallest of towns with the biggest of hearts. Thank you, S. You truly are one of my little devils rocking this thing called life for me, when I cannot.

Tonight, your daddy looked at me, Ro and goes, “How long until you get a devil tattoo?” I just laughed. And I thought of you. My most spicy, little devil who was all things sweet, pure and innocent. My most beautiful little devil that rules my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never understood the angel/devil role. The angel always fucking annoyed me and it still does to this day. Why can’t the devil be an angel too? Why does the devil, have to be bad? Because that’s what society teaches us. That’s what religion teaches us. That’s fucking stupid. It’s called being brain washed. It’s called letting something “bad,” control your life and fear it. I say take that something, “bad,” and make it GOOD. Take that little devil and instead of making him evil, make him spicy with nothing but the purest intentions. Make him an outside of the box kind of thinker. Make him fix problems in all sorts of different ways, just not one formula. Not just one answer when the world is full of so many different answers. Make him brave, determined, fearless, smart, compassionate, loving, crazy, independent, sweet, kind, gentle, and unique. I have a little devil that sits on my shoulder all the time and that is you. You are all of those things to me and you always will be. The little devil who knows what it means to be naughty and nice, in the best way possible.

Alright Ro. I’ll get off my soapbox now. To each his own. Respectfully so. Wild and Free, together we will be. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you. Every second of everyday. Sweet dreams little man. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

P.S. I’m too tired to touch on this subject tonight so I’ll just leave it short and sweet.

Dear Mattel,

If you do not make that Barbie, with a bald head, for childhood cancer, then you are ASSHOLES and you will be disappointing so many people who you could so easily make smile. It’s a NO BRAINER. Please do not be morons here. We have enough of those in the world, ****cough cough**** Casey Anthony and her fucking “Webcast that was hacked.” Make it. Donate the money. But please be aware, of where you are actually donating the money to. Please donate it to somewhere, that is actually invested in finding better treatments in hopes for a cure. Don’t do this, to make a profit off of it. Trust me, nobody benefits from a dead child. Well, except the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, but that is a whole different story that I’m sure you are not interested in because this can’t happen, to you. I’m here to tell you it can.

Be active in spreading awareness. Just fucking do it.

Sincerely,

RoMama

Happy Fucking Mother Fucking Birthday

Ronan. I think I thought last year was a hard birthday for me to celebrate. I’m pretty sure I bitched and complained about it. I wish I would have known then, what I know now. That last year, was the best birthday of my life. I know we were in the hospital. I know we spent the day, in your bed, cuddling and playing Star Wars. I would have given anything, for that day today.

My birthday is almost over. Thankfully. I expected it to be hard. It was a day full of ups and downs. You would not believe all the beautiful things people did for me and said to me. It was a day where I had so many people try to make me smile. I smiled over a few things. It was a day full of lap dances, Miranda dances, Purple, Skulls, kisses, hugs, tears, phone calls, text messages, FB messages….. and so many beautiful people. Want to know some of my favorite things that I got told? I have a few that I can remember. Someone told me how it was just another day, right? And 2011 was officially the worst year ever. I exhaled when I read that. YES. THANK YOU. I’m being serious too, Miss J. I so appreciated your honesty. Somebody told me, “Happy Fucky Birthday!!” I laughed over that one. Thanks Sarah. Somebody wrote to me, “Happy RObirthday!” I loved that one. I got a lot of “Happy Fucking Birthdays!” I of course, loved those too. The card above is from one of the sweetest souls I’ve never met but I hope to someday. Her card made me smile from ear to ear. Thanks, K.

I spent the day trying to be kind to myself. Something that is hard for me to do now. I spent the day, just trying to get through the day, without you. I couldn’t believe I had to spend my birthday, without my best friend. I worried about you a lot today. I missed you so much. I cried a lot. I just wanted to today to be over. I told your daddy that I was so mad that I was having another birthday, and you were not. Dr. JoRo texted me to see how I was doing today. I responded back to her, “Bloody fucking fucking mother fucking awful. Shaking a lot. Going to try to run some of this off.” She said her birthday was always hell for her too. She said she was going to do some sort of kindness act for you tonight. That made me smile. I went for a run. It didn’t stop the shaking of my hands. Nothing does.

The whole not celebrating my birthday did not work either. It turns out…. the lovies in our lives were not having it. So the day and night was filled with more I love you’s, than ever. Your daddy picked up your brothers from school for me. My mind was in one of those moods today where it played tricks on me. I had myself convinced that you were going to come running through our front door yelling, “Happy Birthday, mama!” I sat and watched out the window for your daddy’s car to appear with you and your brothers in it. I imagined how you would all tell me that this was indeed a sick joke and you were alive and well. I imagined your daddy telling me he had brought you back to life, for my birthday. I know you know how this turned out. None of this happened. Not any of this, came true. Your daddy and brothers took me to AZ88, one of my favorite restaurants for dinner. I blew out my birthday candle. I made one wish. The same one that I make 50 times a day. I hoped, wished, and begged that you were safe. I put on my best face and thanked your brothers and daddy for such a nice birthday. We came home and we all snuggled in our bed and watched part of a movie. Quinn asked if the two of us could sleep in your bed again tonight. I told him o.k. We snuggled up, I kissed him goodnight, we said goodnight to you, and he soon fell asleep. I’ll sleep with him in your bed again tonight. It makes me sad that your bedroom is so empty now. I feel so guilty that it is so sad and lonely. I have been sleeping in your room just to mess up your little bed and to cuddle with all of your Master Yoda‘s and monkey friends.

I ended tonight with a phone call from one our favorites, New York Miss Macy. Fucking fuck I miss her. The phone call started off with me crying so hard, that I couldn’t even talk. It ended with us both in fits of giggles. Her ability to bring the laughter and sunshine out in me is a gift that nobody else has the capability of doing. She asked me what I was going to do in NYC. She asked me if I was going to visit Sloan Kettering. I told her I didn’t think so, unless I wanted to end up in jail. I told her I was pretty sure they had me on a watch list, after the letter I sent to Dr. Kushner. We cracked up at the thought of me wearing disquises, in order to get into the hospital. She said she knows I could pull off some awesome mustaches. We cracked up at the thought of this. She misses you so much too.

I’m going to end this tonight now, Ro. I miss you so much. I’m so sorry. I hope you are safe. G’nite, sweet dreams, I love you.

xoxo

Dear Loveliest of Lovelies,

Thank you all. For being so kind, sweet and thoughtful. Thank you for taking the time out of your day, to wish me a Happy Birthday, Unbirthday, Fucking Fucked Birthday, not a birthday, a Wild and Free Birthday, a RoBirthday, and all the other creative things you came up with. You made me smile through my tears. You made me feel loved. You made me actually feel which is hard for me to do though all the numbness. You all are the best RoFriends a girl could ever ask for. I know Ronan is so thankful for all of you. So am I.

I love you all.

xoxo

8 Months so a Skydiving we will go, Ro.

Ro baby. I didn’t die today. I really thought I was going to. I woke up this morning, knowing what the day had in store. I didn’t dare tell your brothers what I had planned. Your daddy chose to ignore my danger day and left the house the way he always does; by kissing me goodbye and telling me to have a good day. We had talked on Thursday night about the skydiving I had planned for Monday. Well, we didn’t actually talk about it…. I more just told him I was doing it. He said to me, “Don’t you think we should sit down and have a discussion about this?” I said, “We’re having a discussion now. I’m going skydiving on Monday.” He said he didn’t want me to go. That I could die. I told him that I could die crossing the street. He didn’t think that was a very good argument. He made his feelings known that he didn’t like the idea and we left it at that. We didn’t talk about it again until after I made it safely to the ground today. Your daddy knows how I am, once I get an idea in my head. There is no stopping me. Especially not now. Your daddy knew I was a handful before losing you, Ro. Now the word handful has taken on a whole new meaning. Yowzer. At least I keep things spicy, right baby doll;) Extra spicy just for you.

I woke up  this morning like it was just another normal day, without you. I got your brothers ready and Mandy Bee came over to help me as she was my danger crusade sidekick for the day. She packed your brothers lunches while I ran around the house, trying to get ready. I knew I wanted to take you with me, but there was no way I was going to bring your heavy locket, skydiving. I went and got a small ziplock bag and opened up your Urn. I put my hands inside and went to grab some of your ashes. I grabbed something hard instead. It looked like one of your little bones. I dropped it back into your Urn. I looked down at it, didn’t want to touch it, but then thought to myself there is a reason I was supposed to touch that today. I scooped it up and put it in my little baggie and zipped it up in the pocket of my coat. I didn’t throw up, but paced back and forth, crying instead. I quickly pulled it together so I could get your brothers off to school. I didn’t want them to see me so upset as they would have worried. We hopped in Mandy’s car so we could drop off Liam and Quinn. I hugged and kissed them both and told them how much I loved them and to have a wonderful day.

As we drove off, I got really quiet which is always the first clue that I’m a mess in my head. My silence screams my pain. Mandy asked what was wrong, besides the obvious. I didn’t answer at first but stared out the window instead. After a minute or two, I pulled out your ashes told her the story and starting bawling that I couldn’t believe you, my baby, were in a plastic fucking baggie. She just held my hand, listened, cried, and we talked about how fucking fucked up all of this is. What else could she have said? Nothing and she knows that. That’s the thing I love most about that Mandy Bee. She never tries to make things better with bullshit words. She knows she can’t so she just lets me be. We drove to Eloy and it was mostly a quiet drive. We both started to freak out as we got closer, talking about how we couldn’t believe we were going to jump out of a plane. I told her I fully expected to die. She told me I was not dying on her watch so to shut the fuck up. I just laughed and told her that I thought I was going to and I was o.k. with that. As soon as we started to get closer, we looked up and saw about 10 parachutes falling from the sky. The excitement started to kick in. We checked in, watched a short video and signed a ton of paperwork in regards to our life. Or our death. We sat and signed our lives away without thinking twice. We went and got suited up, met our partners in crime and listened as they gave us very little, but informative instructions in regards to tandem jumping with them. I guess knowing less is better so that way you don’t over think it. I chose to not over think anything at all today. I only thought about you the entire time.

The guy I jumped with was named Jason. I liked him instantly. He was young, tattooed, a great smile, and the icing on the cake was his beautiful blue eyes. I instantly felt like you were there, holding my hand, once I met Jason. As you yourself, had hand picked him out for me today to jump with because you knew he would keep me safe. I know this was one of the reasons why I didn’t ever feel scared or panicked. I felt a peacefulness and a calmness that I have not felt in so long. We waited our turn and climbed on board of the plane which held about 20 people. Up and up we went. It was SO HIGH, Ronan. I had one moment as I was looking out the window of the plane that I thought, “What the FUCK am I doing?” But then I remembered that today, was your 8 months. Today, I remembered that it has been 8 months since I last kissed your lips. Today, I remembered that because I have faced my worst fear in life, that I have have nothing to fear anymore. 13,000 feet up in the air we went and I could have not felt more content or calm. My head has not been this quiet since before losing you. There were no screaming voices today in my head. Only pure silence. Jason was preparing me to jump. He was strapping me to his body and as he was putting me in-between his legs, he said something that was so inappropriately wrong, that it made my entire day and night because it was that raunchy, perverted and hilarious. It made me forget the fact that I was about to plummet to my death. I told you I knew you had picked just the right guy for me today, Ro. You know my sense of humor so well. I looked at Mandy as I was getting ready to jump out of the plane, first. She screamed,  “I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!” I looked back at her, flashed her a smile and said, “I LOVE YOU MOOOOORRRRREEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!” Jason stood me up at the open door of the plane and told me to look up. ONE, TWO, THREE!!!!!! We jumped. We fell. We flew. We became one.  I screamed, laughed, flipped off the camera man who was taking a video of the entire thing. I screamed “FUCK YOU CANCER!!!” I yelled, “I LOVE YOU, RONAN!” We fell, in the sky without our parachute being open for at least a minute. It was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had, besides being your mama. I wasn’t ever scared. I wanted to free fall, forever. It  didn’t feel like I was falling from the sky. I felt like I was floating. I felt closer to you today, then I have since you’ve been gone. Jason pulled the parachute after a minute or so. After that, we were able to talk while we floated all around in the sky. He pointed out the mountains in the horizon. I asked him how I did and he said amazing. I told him all about you and how I was doing this, for you, because of you. Because you’ll never have the chance so now I have to do things like this, for you. If you were still here I would have NEVER done this. But now I wonder why not? It was the most freeing feeling that I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’m only sorry it took you dying, for me to do something like this. The landing was easy, and Mandy Bee was waiting for me. She came running over, jumped in my lap and kissed me smack on the lips. It was one of the top 5 BEST days, of my life.

Today, I didn’t feel like I was buried alive. I didn’t have a hard time breathing. I felt happy. I felt fearless. I felt free. I said to myself, If I can jump out of a plane for Ronan, I can do ANYTHING. I meant that today. All I wanted to do today was to get back into that plane, and jump again. I jumped up and down with Mandy on the ground, instead. My Mandy Bee who is afraid of heights, Ronan. Afraid of heights, but didn’t think twice about going with me when I put this out there about a month ago. My Mandy Bee that you never got to know, but it is because of you that I have found my fearless soul mate in life. The friend who holds on to me the tightest when all I want is for her and everyone around me to let go. The friend that is not scared of my dark side that often exists. The friend who doesn’t judge. The friend that trusts me, embraces my crazy ideas, and thinks I am capable of anything and everything. Thank you for her. Thank you so very much. You have no idea, how many times she has saved me. I don’t know how I would be doing any of this without her. I am so glad I don’t have to.

After our jump of death. Or jump of life…. whichever you prefer… we went and grabbed lunch at your favorite place, Chelsea’s Kitchen. Mandy Bee also went grocery shopping with me, which you know I don’t do well with. I would rather jump out of a plane any day then tackle the grocery store. It helped having her there so much. I’m learning that I do indeed need help with things and for now, grocery shopping is one of them. I’m learning that it is still o.k. to ask for help, especially now that you are gone. It’s too hard to go there alone and without you. So Mandy shopped with me. We rode on the carts like I would have done with you. Remember how you would sit in the cart and I would push you so fast and crazy? You would giggle with fits of laughter. I pushed my cart fast and crazy for you today, only I was the one riding on it. I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry you got cancer and I couldn’t make you better. I’m sorry I have to live without you. But thank you for letting me live today and making me feel like it might be o.k. That it won’t hurt so badly, everyday without you. I know I can’t jump out of a plane everyday to have good days like this. I hope you can give me some ideas on how else to ease the pain. I’ll be here waiting to hear from you.

I went for a 6 mile late run tonight too. The moon was so full and beautiful. I yelled up at it that I loved you. I know you heard me. I know you hear me all the time. I love you baby doll. Sweet dreams. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

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Ronan’s Table for 6

Ro baby. I guess my last post was pretty happy and upbeat. I wish I could say I have spent the past few days, feeling the same way after writing the things I wrote. I didn’t end up falling asleep peacefully like I had hoped. I tossed until 3 a.m. and had to take the devil aka, Ambien in order to fall asleep. I woke up, feeling like shit…. but I went on with my day anyway. I don’t remember what I did, but I’m sure it was a lot of all the things I’m supposed to be doing, like being productive. All the things I’m supposed to be doing, like living life taking care of your brothers, the house, paying the bills, etc…. Being present. On Saturday, I went down to ASU to participate on a panel that Dr. JoRo had asked me to be a part of. It is for a class she is teaching at ASU on traumatic death. I sat on a panel, in front of her class with about 10 other bereaved parents and a grandmother too for about 5 hours…. but it felt like 10. Dr. Jo basically asked us to tell our stories and she then asked us all question after question regarding our tragedy. I watched as her students listened, wiped tears from their eyes, took notes, and tried to process the things that we were saying. I watched the ways they didn’t have to say anything at all, as I could hear their thoughts in their heads. I know each and every one of them begged whomever it is that they believe in, for this to never happen to them. I so wished I had been one of the students sitting in that class today, taking notes. Not the one the other side, talking about you and this fucked up story. I tried my best to get my words out in regards to you, my grief, and everything else that I am going through, but it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, mentally and emotionally. I was the first parent on the panel to be asked the questions, so I had to be quick on my feet with my responses. I had so many things racing through my mind and trying to articulate the words that I wanted to say, is so much easier for me to do in my writing rather then speaking. But I did my best and I did it from my heart. It was the best I could do. It’s one thing to write about you… I could do this in my sleep and I often do. To talk about you, on the spot, hurts so badly that it is almost impossible. One day, I hope to find my voice for you…. where it’s not one where I feel like I am gasping for air. I think I did an o.k. job yesterday…. I caught myself pinching myself on and off through out the day to make sure the day was real. Unfortunately, I felt all the pinches I gave myself. I cried a lot. How weird to be so vulnerable in front of so many strangers. A gig I never wanted. I gig that I’ll have to have for the rest of my life. I think I said the fuck word a few times and I remember making Dr. Jo’s students laugh by flipping them all off when she asked the question what we, as bereaved parents, would we like to say to all the people who say stupid things to us. Things like, “Well, my cat died so I know how you feel.” “You can have other kids.” “Heaven needed another angel.” “You were given this because you are strong enough to handle it.” The list goes on and on. My response to Dr. Jo and her class was, “I like to keep it short and sweet.” I then stuck my arm out and flipped everyone off. I remember hearing everyone laugh. You would have been proud of that, Ro baby. Fuck those people of the world and the stupid shit they say. They will never get it…. they are too fucking ignorant, self-absorbed, and brain washed by society.

After the “death panel,” as I called it to Dr. Jo, I left ASU with her and we went to grab some dinner with 3 other parents and the grandmother of the group who had lost not only her grandson to death, but her son as well to the grief. Her son is still here, but you know what I mean. The grief took him away for some time. It sounds like she is slowly getting him back but, ouch. That hurt hearing her say that yesterday, on that panel. I know that is how your Nana feels. That she not only lost you, but me as well. I know that is how many people feel as I may as well be dead too, because that’s the way I have been acting. The only thing is, it’s not an act. It’s the way I feel and I can’t change that. Someday maybe. But not now. While we were waiting for our table in the bar, where I sucked down my Coke…. the waitress came in to ask for a name for our table of 6. I looked at Jo. She looked at the waitress and goes, “Ronan.” I smiled. A few minutes later, the waitress came back saying, “Table for Ronan!” I had to wonder what the lady would have done or thought if she knew she was calling out the name of a dead child. This is the strange world I live in now. Where you have to make the dead live among the living, in any way possible. Even if it means to hear their name being called out at a restaurant because your table is ready. We all sat and talked about the day, our kids, or lives before this and now. Dr. Jo pointed up at the ceiling and how all the light fixtures were in the shape of little stars. It was your way of being there, after such a brutally hard day. It was your way of giving me the little giggle that I so miss. I then told the table how I used to call you feisty. How I used to say, “Ronan, you are so feisty!” How you would then scream back at me, “I NOT SPICY!” I told them it was one of my favorite things that you used to say to me. I miss that so much. I also told everyone at the table how I feel like it should be mandatory for bereaved parents’ to carry around tasers. And when people say stupid shit to us, we should just be able to taser their asses, instead of trying to answer their dumbass questions. Oh, how everyone laughed at this idea. I think a law needs to be passed for this to happen. I have so many people I would like to taser just to make them feel a tiny piece of the pain I feel 24 hours a day. I actually wish I didn’t have to taser anyone, Ronan. I wish people would just start thinking before speaking. I wish people would just be a little more thoughtful, kind, thankful and compassionate. I actually wish you were just here and I didn’t have to wish any of this shit. I would like to tell you that I left dinner and came home to our “happy,” house and fell into a peaceful sleep. I did not. I hate what I’m going to have to tell you next.

I left dinner, got into my car, and started to drive home. I wish I could tell you what happened for the next 40 minutes, but I can assure you I left my body for that time. I can swear to you that I should not have driven. I can swear to you, that I felt scared which is something that I never feel anymore. I somehow ended up out at Wildpass Resort, which is nowhere near our house. It’s on the east side of the valley. I was crying so hard that I had to pull over at a gas station where I sat, cried, felt my heart racing so fast that I thought it was going to explode. I almost called an ambulance. I had to make myself breathe for I knew if I didn’t, I was just going to suffocate to death. I ended up calling Dr. JoRo….. which is something I never do…. and she’ll be the first to tell you that. I hate to bother her, even though she is so good at making sure I know I am never bothering her. I called her last night as I knew if I didn’t, I would have been in big trouble. I tried to get out my words to her as to where I was and what had happened. I told her there were fireworks going off in the sky and how the fuck can fireworks even exist anymore. I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. She made sure I had pulled over somewhere safe. I told her I thought I had, but how lost I was. I said to her, “If I can’t find my way home, how am I supposed to find my way through life?” What a perfect metaphor, Ronan. I don’t know the answer. But I eventually ended up finding my way back home. Dr. Jo texted me so she could know I was safe and asked if I needed to talk. I told her that I was o.k. That I had made it home…. 2 hours after I had left her. I told her a hot bath and the reeses peanut butter cup that she had given me earlier in the week, had saved my life. For tonight. I fell asleep. I dreamed of you and your little bald head. I got to hold you but I knew you were going to die. I am just thankful that I got to see you.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is your 8 months since you’ve been gone. I’m so sorry for that. I miss you so much. I know you know what I’m doing for you tomorrow, but I’m not saying too much about it now. If I’m meant to see you, to kiss your little lips, and feel your soft skin, I will. It’s not up to me, it’s up to you. I’m not scared. I love you so much. Sweet dreams, my not spicy little boy. I hope you are safe.

xoxo