Ronan. I am wondering if I will go to sleep now. It’s 12:10 a.m. on March 9th. In just a few hours, you will have been gone from this earth for 10 months. It seems that I am having a hard time with this 10 month date. It seems as this 10 months is harder than a lot of your past months have been. I am thinking it may be due to all the chitter chatter surrounding your upcoming 1 year date of being gone, along with your 5th birthday that we were supposed to be celebrating. It seems as if everywhere I go, people are talking about it. I’m hearing a lot of, “You guys need a plan. What are you going to do for Ro’s one year? You need to go on a trip. I’m worried for you. Let’s plan something special. Just plan something please. Do not let it sneak up on you. May will be here, before you know it.” I am like a little kid who is choosing to cover her ears and hold her breath. If I don’t listen or breathe, maybe this whole one year thing, won’t happen. Maybe it won’t come true and maybe you won’t really be gone. I am covering my ears, eyes, holding my breath, kicking, screaming and crying to protest your death. I will do everything I can to not make it real. I have tried in my mind, so many times to make a plan as far as what we will do. I just cannot wrap my head around it. My mind won’t do it.
Today was a hard day. I spent the morning crying/trying to work/entertain your brothers. After our board meeting on Wednesday night, I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done. I sat down at our kitchen table with every intention of getting some things checked off my list. Total fail. I sat and cried and could not focus on a thing. Your papa Jim is here visiting. I left him with your brothers so I could run out to grab a coffee and hit up Sprouts to grab a couple of things. On my drive home, I was mentally trying to plan out what I had going on next week. I remembered I had an event to go to in March for the Beth and Friends show. A few people had nominated me for Beth McDonald 99.9 KEZ Woman of the Year. I texted Margarita on the drive home and asked her if she could look up the date of the event for me because I couldn’t remember when it was. She called me back. “Girlfriend. It’s tonight.” she said. “Shit! Tonight?” I exclaimed. “What am I going to do? I’m a wreck today! I don’t think I can go!” I tried to talk Rita into saying it was o.k. not to go. She did not. She told me in no way, shape or form was it acceptable not to show up. I knew it was not o.k. either, but I had literally been crying for hours upon hours and I was mentally beat. I took a second to logically play out the scene in my head and all I could think of were the women who nominated me. The women who took the time out of their day, to write in about me and how passionate they were about us. Badass mother fucking boots on. Suck it up, Maya. Make them proud and stop your crying for the day. You are going. You are going and you are so thankful for these strangers who love and believe in you so much. You are doing this for them and for Ro. That’s the bottom line. That’s the only thing that matters.
I’m going to be honest here. I do not love the limelight. That may be shocking to some, due to how vocal I am on here, but it’s just not me. I would rather be the one, behind the scenes just quietly doing things in the spiciest way I know how. That mainly means by working quietly with people who I am closest to. Blabbing about ideas. Watching them play out, but I’d rather watch them play out while at home, in my pajamas. Being honored feels weird to me for many reasons, but the biggest one of all is mainly because I am so sad. I don’t want to be inspiring due to your death and the way I have chosen to go on. In my mind, I haven’t chosen anything. You have chosen it for me. Why are people saying I am inspiring when it’s really not me? It’s all you, Ronan. All you. I would very much like it if the next time I am honored for something, it is not Maya Thompson who is being honored. It is Ronan Thompson. That might make my smile a little easier. How do you get up in front of an entire room full of people and smile that fake smile when all you want to do is curl up on the floor and drown in your puddle of tears? I’m really, really bad at the fake smiles, Ro. But it is actually something that secretly makes me a little proud. An unauthentic smile is one of the worst things in the world. It feels bad and everyone can see right through them.
I didn’t have a date to the event due to my grief brain completely forgetting about it. I swear if I don’t have things written with a Sharpie on my arm, I won’t remember them. Your daddy had plans to take your papa Jim and brothers to the Suns basketball game. I was not going to have him miss that. I had a vision of going all by myself, solo…totally badass, right? I am so glad I did not. I grabbed Stacy and she was kind enough to put up with my last-minute shit, act like it was no big deal and she could totally make it happen. This coming from a mom who works full-time and has two little ones at home. UGH. I knew she was frantically doing whatever she had to do, to step in and be by my side to support me. I know Stacy. She is my organized task master who is always prepared. I was not. I often am not. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants while she tends to keep her seatbelt on at all times. I love her for this.
Stacy picked me up and we headed out for the banquet. “Where are we going, what is this for and are you o.k.??” she asked. “I don’t really know what is going on at this event. I think I am nominated for women of the year. No. No I am not o.k.” I said with tears rolling down my cheeks. “Tomorrow is 10 months. 10 months. I don’t like 10 months.” The rest of the car ride we talked softly as Stacy did her best to keep my mind off the 10 months since I last kissed your lips date that was approaching. We arrived just in time to slide into our chairs around a table full of people. There was my name on the table, just in case I made it. I did by the skin of my teeth.
Crap. I am so unprepared for this. I looked around at the room full of amazingness. Stacy gave me the look of I am going to mother fucking kill you. One of the girls who I was supposed to RSVP to was sitting right next to us. She could not have been sweeter. She kept saying how glad they were that I had made it, how they didn’t think I was coming, etc… I had RSVP’d yes… I just didn’t call them back to give them the name of the 3 people I was bringing with me. Ugh. Grief brain/your memory sucks so you HAVE to write everything down. This is all new to me peeps. I used to have the memory of an elephant. I never had to write anything down. Now, I have to write down the 2 items I need at freaking Walgreens or I will forget them. It is so frustrating. Beth said a little something about each of the women there, and how Maya Thompson was not able to be there. SHIT! I looked at Stacy again. She once again gave me the I am seriously going to kill you look. A woman got up to speak named Nicole Stanton. I couldn’t place why the name sounded familiar, but I knew it did. She started talking about how honored she was to have been invited to speak among such an amazing group of women. I heard something about her being the Mayor’s wife. That’s how I knew her name. I grabbed my program to read up about her. Just as I did that I heard her say, “I was really looking forward to meeting Maya Thompson tonight and was sad to hear she was not able to come.” Um, what? I thought to myself. Did she just say my name? I shot Stacy a, what in the world is going on glance. This woman did not stop there. She went on for a good 4 minutes about me, about you, our story, how she’s an attorney but my writing is some of the most powerful writing that she has ever read. How everyone needed to read Rockstar Ronan… I don’t know what else she said because I literally left my body. She singled me out, made it a point to talk about me, even while thinking that I was not even in the room.
I thought Stacy’s eyes were going to pop out of her head. It was so unprompted. It was so organic and real. This woman is inspired by me? This woman reads this blog? I swear Ro, I honestly really think that other people don’t really read this. I honestly think I am writing to you and that’s really it. I often forget that I do indeed have a very big audience. Maybe that’s why I am able to be so real on here. Because it just feels like this is for you and only you. I often forget that other people are listening. I like to forget and just let things come out as they do. I looked over and Stacy was wiping tears from her eyes. I was still in shock. It was so surreal and I felt as if I were dead, attending my own funeral and watching it from above. I could not believe all the kind things this lady was saying about me. I felt so proud and honored and I could not wait to meet her to tell her thank you. She made my entire night and she took my awful day and made me smile. A real, genuine, true smile. A smile just for you.
I did not win. I was so thankful for that. I like to be the underdog. It just shows me I have to work harder to prove myself. It was just as good to be nominated. It was just as good to be sitting in a room full of such beautiful women in the community who really are doing wonderful things. I am baby at all of this. I don’t know what in the hell I am doing. But I am doing it and that is all that matters. I am doing it and I am doing it in a big way. I may not have all the answers to this, Ronan but you are showing me the way by gently holding my hand and guiding me. You know I am the most patient person on the planet. Most days, I feel like I do a good job. Most days, I know you are proud. I know you were proud of me last night. I was proud but sad. I really missed you last night. You would have told me in your squeaky little voice how cute I looked. Or you would have told me, “Mama. You pretty. You so pretty, mama.” I miss your squeaky little voice so much. I tried to listen for it last night but I think all of my tears got in the way.
After the banquet, I got a chance to meet this lovely Nicole Stanton. We sat and talked for a good hour. Wow, Ronan. I can tell you that not many people surprise me in my life. This lady blew my socks off. What a classy, lovely soul. We talked about everything from you to my visions and dreams. We talked about her anti- bullying initiative that she has worked furiously on as it is very personal to her. Her brother was gay and died of AIDS in 1991. He was bullied and beaten up in high school. Hearing this brought tears to my eyes. I know the issue of childhood cancer is something that I will stand up for, for the rest of my life, for obvious reasons. But you know what? I have other things that I am completely passionate about too. Being bullied for being “different,” when all you are doing is being yourself if fucking infuriating. It is infuriating and wrong. What is wrong with this world, that people choose to hurt others, for just being themselves? I’ll never understand this. I’ll never be o.k. with this. I am so grateful for someone like Nicole, who I know will make a difference in this very wrong world. She will fight to make it right. That is such a beautiful thing to see. How lucky are her little ones to have such an strong mom. They will grow up with such an amazing perspective on the world due to her passion and voice. I love that so much.
When Nicole was telling me about her brother, so many things rushed through my mind. I felt her pain. I felt her parents pain. I hurt for all of them. I thought about Leo and how he passed away from AIDS and how he was also gay. But in our family, those two things never defined him. He was just this amazing, carefree soul who was sadly taken away from this world, too soon. Just like you and just like Nicole’s brother. I had a moment when I paused and thought to myself, this was the reason you came tonight. For this moment, right here. Seeing the fire behind Nicole’s eyes made the sadness of the day, a little less sad. It inspired me and reminded me that there are bigger reasons why moments in time don’t just happen. There is always someone or something behind it. I smiled to myself thinking last night that you and Nicole’s brother, were the reason that the stars above, aligned.
Your 10 months, came and went. I am too tired to talk about todays events. I drove a race car for you. I hit a few baseballs over a fence. I laughed with your brothers and Papa Jim, so hard my stomach hurt. I cried tears over missing you. I missed a call late tonight from Charisma. I called her back after hearing her message. I called her back before it turned March 10th and now I know why. You wanted to tuck me in tonight. You are so unbelievably magical. I cried at the story she had for me. We sobbed in the phone together for the amazing things you did for her today. We sobbed in the phone over missing you so much and the pain that she knows I feel.
The script that she just got a job for, today, was all you. Right down to the child that has cancer. I talked to my friend today who is so worried about me. I talked to my friend whom I miss so much. I hope I made her worry less. I think she understands now why I continue to write this even though to many it seems so painful and hard. I talked to Charisma outside while looking up at the full moon. I told her the thing I have been wanting to tell her for so long, but it never felt like the right time. I told her about how being at the Ryan House was so blurry to me during your last few days but the one memory, the one GOOD memory that always sticks out in my mind is watching her bend down to kiss you and the way I watched her whisper something into your ear. I remember the way a peaceful feeling washed over me and I thought to myself, he is going to take care of her, for the rest of her life, too. You are doing just that. She knows it. She is so thankful. She thinks you are safe and in a much better place, than we all are, but she knows your soul is still here and with us. I really needed to hear those words from my friend tonight. I think I will be able to sleep a little better after hearing her voice and words.
This has turned into a novel tonight. I’m so tired. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you so much and I am so sorry. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, babydoll. G’nite.
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