Vegas on crack

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Ronan. Is the picture above, sad? Because I wept just seeing it. It tells the story of everything that is wrong in this life, because you are gone. It tells the story of everything that should be, but is not. At least to me it does. Is everything sad? Because I can’t seem to stop crying. Is this because I spent much of my time in New York, not crying? I went days there, without crying. Now back here, I cannot seem to stop. I took my Ambien to go to sleep last night. Fucking Fuck. I just wanted to 6 solid hours of sleep without tossing and turning. Is that too much to ask? I woke up today, feeling rested. I thought it was going to be an o.k. day. I was wrong. I spent the morning being productive, trying to get some thank you cards addressed. It seems like I am drowning in them. I have to get them sent out. I hope there are not people out there, who think I am not thankful for all they have done, big and small. Nothing goes unnoticed. As I was addressing the envelopes, I thought to myself…. I really don’t recognize any of these names. Who are all of these selfless people, who love you so much that they wanted to help us in our darkest hours? Strangers? Long lost friends? Acquaintances? Is does not matter because they are all united by you so that makes me love them all, even if I may not know their faces. I feel like I know their hearts and they are beautiful.

I’m not sure what happened the rest of the day except I didn’t leave the house. I could easily become a hermit and I have decided I have developed Agoraphobia. Well, at least that is the way I felt today. I felt afraid of the world but hey…. that’s not right because I’m not supposed to be scared of anything. Today, I felt scared. Today, it seemed too bright outside to venture anywhere at all. So I didn’t. Do you know what the outside world looks like to me on most days? Las Vegas, on crack. Everything is so bright, that it hurts. Everything looks so fake and plastic. Everything feels like an illusion and a dream. Maybe I should move to Alaska where the sun doesn’t shine so much. I have a feeling my zombie self would do just fine there. I didn’t pick up the phone either, even though it kept ringing and my text messages, kept dinging. I was in the zone of cleaning out my jewelry drawer and I knew what I was going to find even though I wasn’t looking for it. The ziploc baggie that contains your hair. Your beautiful hair that I had saved when we shaved your head. I opened the baggie, felt your soft hair, and wept. In the middle of my crying, my doorbell rang. I threw on my big, chucky sweater and went to answer it. It was Mandy Bee and she was tired of me ignoring the phone and her. And she was worried. I let her in and let her hold me while I sobbed in her arms. I had the ziploc baggie of your hair in my hands. We sat on the couch and she tried to get me to leave with her. I told her I couldn’t go anywhere except for I had to meet your daddy at Dr. Rachels. I told her I needed to try to make myself look less like a zombie for that. She stayed with me as I somehow managed to throw on some mascara and take my hair out of it’s wet mop on top of my head. I totally had good intentions of leaving the house today, early on. I showered in the morning but I just couldn’t seem to manage much more than that.

Mandy Bee picked up your brothers at school for me. She brought them back to our house for a little playdate with her boys. She also insisted that she was taking me to dinner tonight. I told her no. I tried every excuse I could use, to get out of it. She wasn’t taking no for an answer. Your daddy took your brothers to play basketball. I headed out into the dark for a run. Mandy called me halfway through my run to tell me she was on her way to pick me up. That girl is so persistent. I finished my run just in time to hop in the shower before Mandy came to kidnap me. I answered the door and told Mandy I could not go anywhere that sweats/no makeup/ glasses on/wet hair up in a bun/chunky sweater/red eyes were not allowed. I also told her I could not eat because I had been throwing up all day. She totally pretended like she was agreeing to everything I was saying, but we ended up at True Foods anyway were I proceeded to eat a little something for her. I ate. I sat. We talked. I was glad I went out with her for the hour that I did. I needed the little shove that she gave me. I hope tomorrow is better. There has been a lot of screaming voices in my head again and they have not been saying very nice things. They are making me tired, restless, and exhausted. It’s obvious the grief grim reaper/inferno fuckwad Bob is back with a vengeance. I’ve been trying to let myself just be true to what I have felt the past couple of days. I have tried to be respectful of the way I am feeling by not forcing anything else. I am learning that grief comes in waves. It will never be a steady uphill process. I know I can get knocked back down, at anytime and it often feels like I am starting all over at square one. There is no rhyme or reason to this…. it’s just the way this grief thing works; for me at least. Everyone is different. All I can do it be patient and surrender to the way I am feeling, at this moment in time. One foot in front of the other as they say. Or two-steps backwards to go off the beaten path to an unknown destination. Nothing is guaranteed in life; especially not now. All I can do is keep trying to survive, one day at a time.

I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams little man. I love you to the moon and back.

xoxo

Ava Holder

  • Dear Lovely Little Blog Readers,

    I’ve had the chance to meet Ava and her mom, Chrisie, a few times. I have looked this little girl in the eyes and I have seen the fire that exists. She has endured so much and continues to fight like a rockstar. Ava’s family needs help as they start a new treatment in Texas as they have been left with no other options. Please take the time to read the letter written by Ava’s Grandmother below. If there is anything you can do, no matter how big or small, it would help so much. Please keep this little girl in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever it is you choose to do. Please take the time, to remember how lucky you are to have your babies safe and healthy. Please stop and cherish every single second you have with them. I’ll be talking to Ro today and asking him to watch over Ava and help her in any way he can.

    I love you all so much. Thank you for your endless love and support. Thank you for being grateful. Thank you for being the best version of yourself, that Ronan would give anything to be.

    Dear Friends and Family,
    I am writing this letter on behalf of my granddaughter, Ava Holder, who as many of you know is battling cancer. This February marks the 3rd anniversary of Ava’s diagnosis of Stage 4 High-Risk Neuroblastoma. Over the last 1,095 days Ava has had huge obstacles to overcome. Ava has never had a break in her treatment – it has been a constant for our family. It is remarkable that Ava has survived this disease and her treatments to this point. We were not sure Ava would make it to her 2nd birthday. Ava has relapsed in her brain 3 times and in her body several times. Ava is currently in the fight of her life with an inoperable brain tumor and a tumor on her pelvis.

    Doctors have given Ava limited treatment options as she has had her maximum amount of radiation and 17 cycles of high dose chemo which has required 2 stem cell rescues, 5 tumors removed from her brain, and 1 major resection surgery in her abdomen. Despite all this Ava is a vibrant four and a half year old who loves to ride her bike, play dress up, and most of all loves her big brother Eli. Ava looks forward to the future and has dreams to one day become a doctor and help kids just like her.

    Ava has never given up her fight and neither has her family. This February Ava with her family will travel to Houston, Texas where they will embark on an experimental trial that involves chemotherapy and a vaccine treatment. The year long trial consists of traveling to Houston every 2 weeks for the vaccine. The expense incurred over the next year will include airline travel, lodging, ground transportation, meals, and various medical expenses and copays plus any unforeseen costs. Total monthly costs are expected to exceed $2,000. These costs will be incurred every month for a year. Many of you have asked what you can do to help. Having a child with cancer is stressful. It takes it’s daily toll on you physically, emotionally and financially. Chrisie and Nick are so strong and have always handled the situation with such grace and dignity. They would never complain or ask for help themselves which is why I’m reaching out for them and my granddaughter.

    The expenses of associated costs surrounding Ava’s treatments will add up quickly. We have seen our friends and family come together in the past to help Ava but continue to be asked what can be done to help now. So I ask you, our friends and family, to assist financially Ava’s family with current travel and medical expenses. Any contribution is welcomed, no amount is too small.

    Thank you for your continued support and love. Please share this letter with others who have the ability to support Ava. Family updates can be viewed at:
    www.caringbridge.org/visit/avaholder

    All checks can be made payable to Ava’s parents. Chrisie and Nick have set up a savings account dedicated to Ava’s medical/travel expenses.

    Nick and Chrisie Funari
    18036 N 93rd Street
    Scottsdale AZ 85255

    With Great Love and Hope,

    Bruce and Sharon Elliasen
    Cell#602-432-2962

  • www.caringbridge.org

    Through CaringBridge, you can be a part of Ava’s health journey by reading updates, viewing photos and leaving messages of love, hope and compassion in the guestbook. Your support will mean the world to Ava.