Ronan. I haven’t slept much in the past few days, but not because of the usual insomnia that I have struggled with since you died. I haven’t slept much due to the most unexpected surprise from a girl named Taylor. I know you know which Taylor I’m talking about. That girl named Taylor who fell in love with your beautiful blue eyes so many years ago and made me aware of her love for you when she invited me to her Speak Now World Tour, the Red Tour, and now her 1989 Tour. That girl named Taylor who wrote a song for you and simply called it, “Ronan.” That girl named Taylor Swift who continues to sprinkle her magic everywhere with her heart of gold and selfless acts of kindness.
I follow everything she does in this world and not in a creepy way. I mean, I’m not swimming in an ocean to try to get to her house or anything. More so in way like when I hear about how she showed up at a hospital and spent hours on the floor of a children’s oncology unit, I jump up and down and do some ridiculously dorky dance. Or how I like to blast her music when I’m having a really bad day because it instantly makes me smile and feel like I can take on the world. Or the latest example being how I have been following her most recent tour online and every morning before school your brothers and I freak out about who her special guest was the night before. “Boys! Did you see who Taylor had as her special guest last night?!” We do our usual, OMG’s of it was, “The Weekend! Lorde! Imagine Dragons! Or my personal favorite, “Lena Dunham!!!!” We then go on to name who we would want her to bring on next and place bets on who will be right. I’m still holding out for Justin Timberlake. Never in a freaking million years did I ever think to wish for her special guest to be you.
We found out pretty last minute that we were going to her concert. As we were driving out together as a family, Quinn chirped in, “Mom, do we to spend time with Taylor like last time?” I didn’t want to get any hopes up as I honestly didn’t know what to expect, so I just told everyone the truth which was I didn’t know. Poppy was in the back chatting away and it went something like this, “Taylllor. I gonna show Tayllllor my meow meow shoes. MEEEOOWWWW. MEEEOWW,” referring to the Mini Melissa Kitty cat shoes she was wearing. I meowed back at her, of course.
Once we arrived at the concert to the best seats ever, or so I thought, we were soon whisked away by Taylor’s Tour Manager to sit somewhere else. That somewhere else being the back pit area where Taylor’s parents sit. Taylor’s dad, Scott, immediately recognized us and gave us the warmest welcome. We chatted with him as he caught us up on how the tour was going, how life was going, etc… He is always so much fun to talk to and always has the most interesting life lessons to share. He then goes, “Have you seen Taylor yet?” I told him we hadn’t. He then told us he would be right back as he was going to check in with her. We happily waited. Poppy was so entertained by the lights, the crowd and the music that she was keeping me more than busy by twirling her around. A few minutes later we were greeted by a really nice man who said, “Come with me, Taylor wants to see you now.” Taylor’s dad reappeared and told us that Taylor wanted to see us before the show because she knew if she waited until the concert ended at 11:00, Poppy would be asleep. Smart little cookie.
As we walked down the hallway of the arena, Quinn looked up at me, his eyes as big as the sky and goes, “Are we going to see Taylor now?” I felt my heart flip flop due to the look on his face as I told him yes. We waited for backstage for Taylor and soon she came walking out, her eyes twinkling as she scurried over to give us hugs all around. Her mom was with her which I was so happy about. I’ve been wanting to give her a hug for the longest time as we all have been keeping her very close to our hearts. We chatted for a bit. Snapped a picture. Poppy clung to me, but was so infatuated with Taylor and her sparkly coat. She said in her little voice, “Mom, Taylor soooooo sparkly!” She then proceeded to show Taylor her lipgloss and we bonded over the importance of a really good lipgloss, especially when it comes in the color red. We said our goodbyes as Taylor had to run onto the stage to start her show. She grabbed me for one last hug and I felt her hug me extra tight. I thanked her for everything as much as I could without bursting into a big pile of mushy tears. We headed back to our seats as we waited for Queen Tay to take the stage.
Once Taylor appeared and the music started, it was on like Donkey Kong. Poppy a.k.a Pearl (my lovies who follow me on Instagram will know what I’m talking about))) was on fire. I wasn’t sure how she was going to react to all the lights, loud music and thousands of people, but she turned that Taylor Swift concert into her own personal dance floor. I was dancing with her, twirling her about for a good 40 minutes when I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I looked back and it was Taylor’s Tour Manager, Erica. She had her cell phone close to her face and goes, “Taylor wants to know if it’s alright for her to sing, Ronan tonight. As soon as she said those words, tears sprang from my eyes and I yelled back, “YES!!!” I turned around to you brothers and daddy who had just watched the whole interaction. Your daddy goes, “What??” I told him what Erica had just told me and his eyes fell to the floor. He looked up at me and goes, “How are you going to handle that?” He knows I can’t listen to that song without sobbing hysterically. No matter how many times I’ve heard it, no matter how many times I listen to it, I ALWAYS cry. I told him I didn’t know, but the moment to me just felt so right that I did not even hesitate to say yes.
At the time, I did not understand what it truly meant to have Taylor perform that song again. I had always just assumed that she never would, therefore I had not even had time to make up an imaginary scenario in my head of what it would be like if she did. In other words, I was in no way prepared for what was about to happen. I stood with her dad after hearing the news. He didn’t know how Taylor was going to get through it as she had such a hard time singing it the first time. He didn’t know how I was going to get through it. He went and made sure the pit area was full of Kleenex. I wandered up to the front as I heard Taylor start to talk and the crowd become earily quiet and respectful to the words she was saying. I felt Taylor’s mom grab my hand. The next thing I knew, Taylor was talking and she was talking about me, about you, about the brutally heartbreaking world of childhood cancer. I think my body floated above me for a while as I could hear what Taylor was saying, but I was in such a state of shock that I could not process her words. My entire body was covered in goosebumps, but I felt like I had the softest, safest blanket wrapped about me which can only be explained as being you. I felt you everywhere. I swear I felt your little hand inside of mine as Taylor’s angelic voice started to sing your song. Guess what happened once she started to sing? My eyes welled up with tears, but I didn’t cry. Instead, I sang right along with Taylor the entire time. You would think in the most emotional situation, I would have completely lost it, but I didn’t. I think the reason why is because I could literally feel your little arms wrapped around me. I have not felt your presence so close to me since you were physically still here on this earth. It was absolutely one of the purest, most magical moments of my life.
I spent the rest of the night dancing with your little sister and trying to enjoy the beautiful moment that had just occurred. I wasn’t sure how your brothers were going to feel about everything, but I think they just feel incredibly proud. It wasn’t until I got home that I started to understand what had really just happened. I sent a slew of text messages to my dear friend, Rachel in New York. I woke her up way too early and curled up on my bathroom floor as we talked and cried about everything. Everything was so surreal. It still is. I am just so incredibly grateful for all the ways Taylor continuously gives her heart and soul to the cause of childhood cancer. She called me brave that night, but she is also brave. She has taken on a cause not because it is the “cool” thing to do or the easy one to take on. She has taken on a cause that NOBODY wants to talk about because of how heartbreaking it is. It would have been so easy for her to pick the “safe and sweet” cause where all she had to do was write a big fat check and call it a day. She didn’t do that. She followed her heart and it led her here and for that I will be eternally grateful. She is the real deal. She is not just talking the talk, but she is walking the walk. Not many people truly do that. She is the bravest soul who is not afraid to take on a little darkness in order to get to the light. Taylor’s light is the brightest light the world of childhood cancer has ever seen and it is about to catch on fire. You two make the BEST team and I am so beyond proud of you both.
Little man. I have to wrap this up now and try to get a couple hours of sleep. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.
Thank you for following your heart in everything that you do. You are changing the world and your heart is leading the way. That is such a beautiful thing to see. I love you so much.