Live brave, not safe. Thanks, Dr. JoRo. I love you.

Ronan. Miss Macy is gone. We had a busy, busy day yesterday. We left the house around 8:30 a.m. and didn’t get home until about 8:30 p.m. We had a little breakfast out, some errands to run, and I had an ultrasound appointment as well. I was so excited to take Macy with me as she has never been to one before. I asked Fernanda and Stacy if they wanted to come as well. They both jumped at the chance to see your little Poppy sister on the big screen. I was so nervous before the ultrasound. I think I made your Macy nervous too. About 10 minutes before we got there, I started chanting, “Please still be a girl, please still be a girl…” over and over again. You know it doesn’t really matter to me, because of course a healthy baby is the most important thing… but it kind of does matter to me. Only really because of how badly you wanted a little sister. And I question myself a lot about having another boy and I wonder if I would compare him to you. I know it’s not fair, but I worry about doing that if I were indeed having another boy.  I found out super early that this Poppy was a girl. At 13 weeks. So you know, there is always that chance that the early ultrasound could be wrong. We arrived at the ultrasound place and were soon taken back into the room. The technician started going over everything from head to toe. She asked if I knew what I was having and I told her I was told very early on it was a girl. We all waited for her to check Poppy’s parts out again to confirm she really is a baby girl. The technician showed us on the screen in between her little legs. No penis in sight! Confirmation that this is indeed a baby girl. You should have heard the way all of my friends were cheering and clapping. I felt like we were at a sporting event! It made me laugh and I let out a big sigh of relief. Next came the question I knew I had to ask. “If she had a mass in her stomach, you would be able to see it, right?” I almost got those words out, without becoming hysterical. Almost. The tech asked me why I was asking that question. I told her a little about you. I could tell she was trying to best to stay composed after I told her what had happened. She reached over and got me the worlds biggest kleenex to wipe my face which was covered in tears. She told me that she would be able to see a mass and if she saw something, she wouldn’t let me walk out the door without talking to someone. She asked who my OBGYN was and told me that because of what we had gone through, that she was sure she would let me come back to get another in-depth ultrasound later on in my pregnancy just to make sure nothing was there. I wonder about that all the time, with you. If you had this since birth and if I would have known to ask on an ultrasound, would somebody have caught it? Do they catch these things, early on, without people asking about it? I don’t know the answer to that. All I know is I know to take every fucking precaution possible which now means asking about a mass on an ultrasound while Poppy is still in the womb. The tech assured me that everything with your Poppy sister looked perfect. I can’t get over how much I think she already looks like you.

After the Poppy party ultrasound, we all went to grab some chips and salsa. I was quiet and exhausted during our little lunch. It’s amazing how much things like getting a routine ultrasound wipe me out due to all the emotions that now come with it. I listened to my girls chatter about and floated in and out of their conversation, but I was mostly lost in thinking about you and missing you to the core of my very soul. I was also trying to process that this is all really real, baby girl included. Sometimes everything still feels like a dream/nightmare that I cannot wake up from. I had promised your brothers a bike ride after school. That idea was squashed when all of my mother hens stepped in and told me that I indeed should not be riding a bike at this point. “What if you fall, Maya?” No, no, no bike ride!” Fernanda put her foot down. “Come to my house for a play date with the boys instead!” I knew this would get me out of the dog house with your brothers and the lack of fun I am these days. I agreed to stay off of the bike. I let myself have a pity party about it for a few minutes and heard my inner self saying the words, “Loser Mom.” I just want to be the fun mom who can go on bike rides and not cry all the time! I just want to be the fun mom who is not exhausted with grief and pregnancy all the time! I just want my old life back where you were here and everything was so happy and wonderful. I know I can stomp my feet all I want, but that will not happen. I have to deal with these shitty cards that I was dealt, the best I can. A play date instead of a bike ride would have to make due for the day.

We went and played. Your brothers seems to be content with the playing over the bike ride. Thank god for Fernanda. We only were able to stay for a while. I had to get your brothers home and their homework done before Macy and I went to see Dr. Jo. We had some things to do at the MISS Foundation. Macy was beat as she ended up not feeling well due to catching the little cold that your Quinn has had for a few days, but she really wanted to go with me to see Jo. We got to Jo’s office. I had thrown on my glasses to cover up my eyes that were bloodshot and so tired from crying a lot of the day. I didn’t know what the night was going to consist of, but I knew the gist of what was going on. I had been asked last week to do an interview for NPR on grief and how one copes with this with or without the religion aspect of it playing a role. I spoke with someone from NPR last week who flew in this week to meet Jo, see the MISS Foundation, etc. Before I knew it, Jo’s room was filled with about 10 people, Macy included who was really just there, to hold my hand. Everyone went around and talked a little about where they stood on the whole God thing. You had some who were atheists, some who used to be christians, but due to losing the most important thing in the world, had lost their faith as well. Some who are struggling to get back their faith back and but are still looking for it. Some are making progress and others are not. You had others, like me… who just are not sure… who believe in nothing AND everything. Who have their own beliefs and those beliefs seem to be stronger than anything in a book, could tell them. Last night in that room, I didn’t see any labels on the people sitting before me. I saw pain, sadness, fighters, survivors, beauty and strength. I could have cared less if the person in the room, across from me believed their god, was an alien. Who am I to judge that? As long as they are not trying to push it down my throat, to each their own. Whatever works for the individual and gets them through the day…. I respect it ALL. No matter how different it may be from what I think or believe. Barbara from NPR asked to meet with me to do a further story on you, us, and all of this. I, of course agreed. You know me and how much I love to say the yes word to anything that comes my way. I often say yes to things not having a clue as to what it is that I am actually getting myself into. That is the people pleaser in me I guess. Or the opportunist. I don’t like to turn down things because you never know what you are going to miss out on. I would rather just say yes, and hope that something amazing comes of it. This is how my day/evening with Barbara Hagerty from NPR went.

Barbara came over to our house. I instantly felt at ease with her which is always super nice. We dove right into things. We picked up from where we left off, last night. I talked about you, our family, a little about my faith, the whole Taylor Swift amazingness, the fucking fuckwad cancer that murdered you, and your foundation. At one point she looked at me and had to turn off her microphone. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I have to stop. I never cry while doing interviews and I’ve been doing this for a very long time.” I watched as she took off her glasses and wiped her eyes. I told her it was o.k. That I was used to it. We started back up again. My interview was long. It consisted of me crying a lot as well. She asked me if I could go back and read a couple of blog posts. Errrrr…. I have never reread the things I have written. Something told me in my mind told me that it was o.k. to do so for this amazing soul sitting in front of me. I picked one that I had written right before you passed away. I also read the one that I wrote from you, to Taylor after I went to her concert. Both of my entries had my bawling as I read them. I tried my best to keep my voice from shaking. I tried my best to focus on my breathing while letting myself go off into another place, while I read my painful, painful entires. Fuck me. I don’t know how you all read what I write. My blog posts are really, really hard to read. That is something I never realized, until yesterday. I just write what is in my head. I don’t actually think about it or go back and ever re read what I have written. Now I know why.

My day with Barb soon turned into evening. She went with us to your brother’s basketball game. She talked to your daddy for a bit. I had such an enjoyable day with her that I was truly sad when our time together ended. She told me that she was going to see if her editor would agree to letting her do a separate story about us instead of tying our story into the piece she was working on about grief and religion. I just smiled and told her thank you for believing in our story so much that she would even ask such a thing. I got an email from Barb today. She got the green light. NPR, here we come! I am of course, thrilled beyond belief. NPR has such a huge audience and will just help even more on spreading the word about this murderer called childhood cancer. It is more of an audience that we have not reached yet. I need the biggest army possible, behind us. Slowly but surely, we are getting closer and closer to our dreams. I will get this research/care center built, one way or another. Failure is not an option. I have too many kiddos to help.

I’m going to end this now by leaving you with a text that I got from my mom or and your Nana. You all wonder why it is that I am such a good mom? Because I was taught by the best. My mom is the best mom on the planet. She has this thing for me called unconditional love. She has never judged me or hurt me through all of this. She not only lost her precious grandson, but her daughter as well. I hate the pain I know I’ve caused her, but I know that has never changed the love she has for me. I am slowly finding my way back to my mom, which has been really hard because the pain that she feels, hurts me so badly that it is hard for me to see so I’d rather just shut down or be closed off. I don’t think there is anybody in my life, that loves me as much as she does… well, besides my husband. I am so lucky and so thankful for her. She loves you so much, Ronan.

Her text was about Christmas. It simply said: I just bought some new Star Wars stuff for the Christmas Tree. Is there anything special you want me to get Ronan for Christmas?

I just cried. I don’t think I even responded. She is the most selfless woman I’ve ever known. The thoughtfulness of that text message meant the world to me. And I know she wasn’t even trying to be thoughtful. She was just being your Nana and the beauty of it all is it’s as simple as that. It means everything to me that she includes you in everything we do. Including wrapping a couple of presents for you to go under the Christmas Tree.

This is a novel. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Bye bye, baby.

xoxo

She is real, she is real, she is real. She has your lips. Please keep her safe.