I know I need Poppy, but I truly think your brothers need her more.

Got the sweetest card today. Thanks, Noah’s grandma. Made my day. xxoo

Ronan. I am at my office on a Saturday being very productive. I am online researching all the genetic diseases Poppy is going to be born with, because clearly she is going to die. I wish I could say I was joking about my past hour of “research,” but I am not. I had to stop myself because I was getting physically sick to my stomach. I wish my dark mind did not work this way. I wish I were still the naive mom who didn’t know anything about the death of a child. My mind likes to try to go to these dark places a lot. It is a full-time job to keep these obsessive, destructive thoughts away. But sometimes, I just have to go there because I get tired of all the fighting it. I am not naive. I do not live in a bubble. I know these realities, much too well.

Your brothers had a basketball game today. I drove separately because they were going to the ASU game with your daddy right after their basketball game. I was in A.J.’s grabbing some fruit to munch on for the game. Your daddy sent me a text that said, “Liam needs you.” I threw down my fruit and ran out the door, over to The Village to see what was going on. Liam never needs me. I got to the basketball court and asked your daddy what was going on. He said that Liam had a full on breakdown in the car on the way over to the game where he was crying about you and how much he wishes you were there to watch him. Liam was warming up and I gently went over to him and pulled him to the side. “Hey, Dad told me what happened in the car, buddy. I’m sorry.” He looked up at me with his big hazel eyes and I watched as they started to form tears. It took everything I had, not to break down and cry right there in front of him. I knew I could not. I had to give him a little strong pep talk. I think it went something like this…”Ronan is always watching you. He is always right her with us. I know he is so proud of you. I know he is the reason your team in undefeated this year, Liam. He is the reason you are playing basketball so well this year, because you get your strength, from him. I know you are going to go out there, and have such a great game and Ronan is watching every single second of it. Even though you can’t see him, I promise you he is with you.” He put on his little brave face and ran back out on the court after that. He had one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play in my life. I don’t feel happy very often anymore, but watching your brothers play on the same team, high-fiving each other after one of them makes a basket or has a great assist, makes my heart skip a beat. This little Poppy that I have growing inside me, could not have come at a better time, Ronan. We all so need her. As of right now, I think it’s your brothers who need her the most. They need her more than I do, as of now. She is going to be such a gift to us all, but especially to them. I know she will make the pain in their eyes, a little less.

I have to go to Costco today. As in, I have been sitting here for the past 40 minutes, prepping myself for my Costco trip. I still don’t do well in grocery stores. I wonder if this is a “thing,” with all bereaved parents. The fear of the grocery stores. I don’t have you to push in the cart anymore, like I would always do. I don’t have you to chase around the store, yelling at you to come back because you would always run off. I don’t have you to fight with over you wanting every type of candy, cookie or popsicle in the store. I get to see all the other mom’s and dad’s there with their kids. Where are you? Why are you not with me? I used to love our little grocery store trips, so much. Now I’m just the really sad mom, doing everything I can to push my cart as fast as I can through the aisles, fighting my way past the tears so I can see enough to get our stuff. Costco blows. But being without you, blows even more. I ended up not being able to go to Costco. I sent you daddy there instead, with your brothers. I,¬†on the other hand, aborted Costco mission and sat at my little office desk and sobbed for about 30 minutes. Saturday was not a good day. I came home after that and fell asleep for a while. I got up before your brothers got home and put on my best mama face for the night. They had a friend sleepover which was a nice treat for us all. Sometimes, a third little guy in the house helps so much. I got to be the cool fun mom on Saturday night. Your brothers came to me, “Mom! Can you take us tee-peeing?” I looked at Mandy Bee, who was here. I told them to come back and ask me in 45 minutes. They did and I told them yes. So we all dressed up in crazy outfits and I piled everyone into our car. They were all 3 so excited in the back and giggling about our little adventure. I drove them over to a very specific house with a very specific plan. We weren’t just going to teepee anyone. We went over to the Willets. Those 3 boys are always up to something fun, and I knew they would get a kick out of it. Turns out, tee-peeing at 8:45 at night is not the way to go. The boys were outside and their mom was across the street at the neighbors. I let the boys out anyway with their toilet paper and they went to town. It turned into a full on toilet paper, wresting battle between 6 boys. I got to sit and watch your brothers have fun and catch up with Gay which is always the best. I love her so much. She misses you so much. All of her boys do. I’ll never forget spending your last Halloween with them. Your favorite holiday that is right around the corner. I can’t believe it’s almost here, and I don’t have you to dress up. Somedays, I still don’t know how I am surviving this. We are going over to the Willets this year. We didn’t last year, and your brothers were so upset. Your daddy and I didn’t think we could handle it. Your daddy still doesn’t think we can handle it. I looked at him this year and said, “We are going. It’s not about us, it’s about them. They deserve to have a nice Halloween and this is what they want to do.” He looked at me and said, “You are right.” So to the Willets we will go, while missing every single thing about you, as we always do.

I’ve gotta run, little bug. Quinn was home from school today, “sick.” I really think he just wanted a day with me. I’ve got to get some things done around the house, before Liam gets here. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.


P.S. Dear New York lovies,

Please stay safe. Thinking about you all.