Ronan. I made it through today. But tomorrow has to come now, too. The 9th. 16 months. Oh, and don’t forget August 13th, your diagnoses day. It’s always something around here. What choice do I have but to keep rolling with the punches? I don’t. This fucking bullshit grief/bereaved parent/life thing is such fucking bullshit. It’s a constant struggle to feel like I can breathe on most days. How did I get through today? With your help of course. It’s always you that helps me through the most.
I got through today by trying to be kind to myself. I got through today by allowing myself to feel, whatever it is that I needed to feel. I got though today by a little help from my friends and strangers. I got through today by looking at the smiles on your brothers faces. I got though today with the little sign that you sent me to let me know that you are still with me. It was a long fucking day though. I am beat.
Who gets off a red-eye only to land straight on my door step with flowers, donuts, a card, and some silly school things for your brothers? Only our crazy, Heather Freaking Firecracker. Our spicy little friend whose heart is bigger then her body. Not like that is saying much, because she is so itty bitty. She made my morning a little brighter which helped contain my tears for the drop off that I had to do. I dropped off your brothers. I didn’t let myself sit there and sob. I peeled out of that school like my hair was on fire. Not really. I may break a lot of rules, but speeding in a school zone is not one of them. I took a deep breath and calmly left school. I ran some errands. I had a mini breakdown in a parking lot, in my car. I looked at my phone. Your Sparkly: I hope you are o.k. Me: Not o.k. I’m sorry. I can’t believe he is not here. I think I let him down. Him: Please don’t do this. You are the best mom. You did NOT let him down. Me: insert sobbing here: It wasn’t enough. How could it not have been enough? You are making me cry. Stop making me cry. He knows it wasn’t him, who was making me cry. It never is. I pulled it together. I drove through a drive through car wash, for you. Because I used to just take you to them, when our car wasn’t even dirty because you loved them so much. I met a stranger for coffee. We have a mutual friend. She asked if I could meet this week. I jumped at the chance to meet her today. She knew what today was. I told her that it would give me something to look forward to; our little meeting of strangers. I left there feeling like she could be my friend.
I went to the freaking grocery store. I hate the grocery store. I made myself get things done for your brothers. I told myself I was going to cook dinner tonight. I picked your brothers up from school. “Hi boys! How was your day? Tell me everything!” I asked 50 questions. They were so happy. They had such a good first day. I tried my best to push down my sadness. I am so glad they had such a wonderful day. I let this fill me with the little happiness that I am capable of feeling now. It’s enough. I get them home, make snacks, we start homework. I engage and help them. A treat is left at our front doorstep by one of our friends/neighbors. This melts my broken heart. It makes your brothers smile. They gobble up the deliciousness. Your daddy gets home. We cook dinner, together. Kind of. Not really. I let him cook. I shredded the lettuce. Does that count? I don’t sit down to eat. I don’t eat again today. It’s o.k. I’m not hungry. I get a text from our lovie, Kassie. “Do you want to hike? I need to for my sanity.” “Absolutely,” I say. “I’ll meet you on our mountain, at 7.” Your daddy takes the boys to The Village.
I meet up with Kass. The girl who is literally looks like sunshine, but with a bit of a dark cloud above her. I call that dark cloud, wisdom and pain. Wisdom and pain that gives her young life, so much more meaning than others. I met her through this blog. The crazy thing is, after we started up our little friendship, we both found out that you shared a room at PCH with her brother who was going through cancer treatment. He was older. I never met Kassie. I am so glad I know her now. She likes to inferno hike with me. She even goes to the inferno without me. We sat at the top for a long time. We talk about everything. We talked a lot about you. A man came up to the top. We struck up a conversation with him. It was odd. Everyone has a story. He told us he liked to hike to the top of the mountain and then say 5 things that he was grateful for. He asked if we wanted to do it out loud with him. Sure. O.k. Why not. He said his list. I went next. Deep breath. I tried to clear my head. I struggled with what to say. I need to work on my gratitude list a little more I guess. I managed to come up with 5 things. I think they were this:
1) My husband. He walks on water.
2) My twins
3) The love between myself and my Ronan. He is the reason I continue to go on. He is the reason for everything I do.
4) The kindness of strangers
5) My family and friends.
It took everything for me to not scream from the top of my lungs, ” I AM NOT GRATEFUL FOR ANYTHING BECAUSE CANCER KILLED THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! I WAS GRATEFUL FOR EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE, ALWAYS, BEFORE ALL OF THIS! I DIDN’T NEED THIS LESSON!THIS LESSON IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!”
If this would have been a year ago, I would have screamed all of those things and then jumped off the side of the cliff. See, I am growing! Gold star for me! That would have been my anger taking over today. I controlled it. I will work on my grateful list a little more, for you.
Kassie’s list was great. She is a good girl who is grateful for everything and just wants to help make this world a better place. I was grateful for her list.
The man left after he decided that we might be insane, due to our snarkiness about how kids dying from cancer, is not the way to learn a life lesson. No thanks, buddy. We would rather have learned it another way. But thanks for playing with us. I’m sorry your puppy died. Bye-Bye. He left. We watched. The lightning danced around us. “Where is the moon”? Kassie asked. “That’s weird. It’s not out tonight. Why is it so light out? It’s 8:00.” I said. We couldn’t figure it out. The clouds started to roll in. “Look. Those clouds came out of nowhere. It’s not supposed to storm tonight.” I said. We watched some more. The wind started whipping around us. “Crap! Kassie said. “I think we are trapped in a Haboob!” I just laughed. “We totally are! Ronan is so pissed he didn’t get to start kindergarten today!” We sat at the top of our RoChurch tonight for a good 45 minutes and let the storm whip around us. No rain. Just a lot of dust and wind. We laughed. I might have cried for a second. I waited for it to calm down, so we could get off of the mountain. After the wind had settled, we got up and headed down. It was so bright, without the moon, that we didn’t need a light. So strange. We made it down the mountain and that’s when it happened. Only you could do this, for me. The second my foot touched the exact spot of where I have one of my favorite pictures in the world of you, a rain drop kissed my lip. “Kass! Did you feel that? It’s raining! It’s raining and I have this picture or Ronan, right here, in this very spot.” We both stopped and waited. It took a minute for her to feel it. But then, big, huge tears fell from the sky. But only right where we were standing. “That is so Ronan,” I said. “He always does this for me, when I need it the most.” We extended out our arms and let the big, sloppy wet tears fall on our faces. I smiled. “He’s the best.” We stayed for a few minutes and enjoyed the rest of your little storm. A sign from you that I very much needed today. Thank you, baby doll.
I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. I will try to do something dangerous for our danger day tomorrow. Fuck you 16 months.