Ronan. Yesterday went a little something like this: May 8th, the eve before you passed away. We went into town. It was raining cats and dogs. We all decided it was a good idea to see a movie so into the dark theatre we went. I was fidgety. I was anxious. I kept squirming in my seat. I ate a little popcorn. I had a huge wave of guilt wash over me, sitting in that movie theater, watching “The Avengers,” which is a movie you would have loved. Your daddy looked at me and said, “You can go. Go get a pedicure or something.” He didn’t have to say it twice. I up and bolted before we were even 10 minutes into the movie. I could not have run out of that theatre, fast enough. Out into the pouring down rain of the streets of Portland, Maine, was where I needed to be. Alone. I didn’t have an umbrella. I didn’t care. I just started walking, not knowing where I was, or what I was doing. I walked for a good 15 minutes before I finally found some random salon where I could soak my troubles away. I ran in the doors. “Do you do mani/pedis?” asking like my life depended on it. “We do.” the glossy girl behind the counter said to me. I was so thankful that they had an appointment open.
As I was sitting and waiting, a nice girl was waiting next to me. The conversation started because she was dying over the rain boots I was wearing. You know the ones. Those badass Hunter Wedge heel Rain Boots/my obsession that I never get to wear. I wore them yesterday and whenever I do, I have women stopping to ask me about them. She wanted to know where I got them. I told her. I also told her how excited I was to wear them, because I never get to. She asked where I was from and I told her. Then came the next question. “What are you doing here?” My eyes fell to the floor and the tears starting welling up. “Ummmm…. I stumbled over my words. Somehow I found them, but not without sobbing and apologizing everywhere. I barely got the words out of my mouth and this stranger started bawling too. She got up to give me a hug and told me how sorry she was. We ended up going back to the pedicure area together where we talked all about you. The poor girl that was doing my pedi was quiet as she listened and when I looked down, she too had tears pouring down her cheeks. She didn’t say much for a while. I not only noticed her tears, but the pretty purple shirt she was wearing. Of course it was purple. She finally looked up at me and told me all about her best friend, who had bone cancer. How she watched her struggle through it and how she was leaving for San Diego tomorrow, to go and visit her. I started crying harder. What is it about pedi/mani places, that I always end up crying the hardest? I guess I really miss you when I am there. I really miss you and how I would take you to get your toes painted sparkly and you were always so exited to show everyone at PCH. Sparkly toes for the most sparkly boy.
After my pedi of tears, I met back up with your Daddy and brothers. We went to grab some dinner at this place the girls in the salon told me about called, “Silly’s.” And silly it was. In the best way possible. You would have gone crazy over it. Quinn went crazy over the purple kool-aid that they just happened to be serving that day. Liam went crazy over the deck of cards they had in the special lunchbox on the table. Your daddy went crazy over the chocolate milkshake. I went crazy over the fried pickles. Fried pickles, Ro. Can you believe that one? You would have went crazy over them, with me. Your daddy pointed to a table of two girls that looked to be in high school. They were sitting at a table together, playing cards, drinking cokes. Your daddy kept saying, “This is totally a place you and Salina would have come and hung out. You two are such Jacksons.” (his word for silly) I smiled. I watched the two girls at their table. They reminded me of my youth. With my childhood bestie, Salina, and the world of complete and utter silliness that we created and always lived in. The two girls didn’t look silly though. They looked serious. Like the two of them lived in a world, where they were fighting for everything they had; but they were doing it together. It made me ache for my youth when everything was so uncomplicated and easy. Well, compared to now. I know the world of teenaged drama all too well. I remember the “problems,” I had back then. I look back now and know that they actually weren’t problems at all. They were lessons learned and part of growing up. I am thankful for all of them. As we finished up our food, your daddy took Quinn across the street to get some snacks. The waitress brought out check. I told her I would like to pay for the girls’ sitting across from us, as well, so to please put whatever they had, on our tab. She looked at me, wide-eyed. “Do you know them?” I just quietly told her I did not. I told her to give them 2 of your F U Cancer bracelets for me as well. She smiled and said she was sure they would be grateful. What I really hope is that they will just remember this small act of kindness and do something else nice, for somebody else someday, just because.
We all came home, tired from the days events. I tried to lay down but it was early. I don’t remember what happened next. The time you passed away, was getting closer and closer. You want to know something, Ro. I don’t know the exact time you died. I’ve been too scared to look at your death certificate. That makes this all too real. I think it was around 3:25 a.m. I know what time it was, that I sent my one and only text message, after you left to your Mr. Sparkly Eyes. It was 3:32 a.m. It simply said two words. “He’s gone.” 2 words, but so earth shattering. Two words, but how could there have been more? 2 words were all I needed because any other words I had, would not touch the fact that you had left this world. You leaving this world was enough to dim every single star in the sky for that night. I know the sky was covered in a blanket of black.
Your daddy lit a candle for you last night. Everyone fell asleep. I did not. I watched the candle flicker. I went in and out of sleep. 1 a.m. 2:30 a.m. 3:00 a.m. and I was wide awake. 3:32 a.m. came. I sent my only text message, once again, to our Mr. Sparkly Eyes.
Except exactly one year later. This time it read:
Fuc. (fuck you cancer)
I love you.
He loves you.
I cried. I fell asleep for a couple of hours. I had the most vivid dream about being back at PCH. You were dead. Dr. Adams was there with me. She was dressed in all purple and looked so stunning. She held me like a child and I just told her over and over how I wished I had not taken you to Dr. K. The rest of my dream just consisted of the both of us sobbing and I remember her purple dress being so bright and pretty. I woke up to my phone chirping like a bird alerting me of a text message from your lovie at around 5 a.m. I read it, cried again and fell back asleep until my phone rang around 8 a.m. I threw on my Uggs, warm sweater and ran outside to pick up the phone for the only person I knew I would be talking to, today. Your Sparkly. I ran out into the cold, fog, and drizzly rain. Of course the weather is this way, today. Of course it is.
“Hi.” I was already crying
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” the talking stopped and I just listened to your Sparkly cry.
I went quiet on my end and we sat there this way, on the phone for what felt like an eternity. Crying. Sobbing. What else could be said? No words were even necessary.
I babbled out a lot of “I don’t understand,” over and over. I babbled out a lot of why’s. Why him? “I’ll never understand this.”
I asked him, “How am I supposed to do, today?” in between my tears.
He said, “Don’t. Don’t do today. Spend the day in bed. Have a fuck it all day because this is fucking bullshit and there is no explanation.”
I told him I couldn’t. I couldn’t do that to Liam and Quinn.
“O.k. then. Go play in the sand. Do something that Ro would have loved to do. Who cares if it is raining. It should be raining. It should be raining, everywhere.”
“Alright. I will do my best.”
” I will check in on you later, o.k.?
“O.k.” I said.
“My heart is broken for you. I’m sorry.”
I crawled back into bed for a couple of hours. I knew I had a long day ahead of me and I had already felt like I had run a marathon.
I’m ending this right here, Ro. I’m tired. I don’t know if I can write much more about all the went on today. I will try, later.
I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. I am so sorry, baby doll.