Ronan. I’ve been in hiding. Yes, you’ve been dead for over 4 years now and at times my pain is still so unbearable that I have to completely check out. I can usually foresee when this is coming. It all started with a September that was slammed for childhood cancer awareness month. I hardly slept, I had surgery, went to New York, and basically spent the entire month running around like a crazy lady screaming anywhere I could about the injustice of the world of childhood cancer. As soon as October 1st came, I knew I was going to need a break or else I was going to end up in a mental ward somewhere. I slowly stopped returning phone calls, answering emails, looking at Facebook messages/text messages, and for the most part stayed away from social media. I spent the entire month of October pretty much hibernating with Poppy and your brothers, only leaving the house to do necessary things such as basketball games, hiking, playing at parks, the grocery store, and a few other mommy duties. I have not seen anybody except for my family and about 2 other dear friends who are key to my survival. I’ve been doing a lot of crying. A few danger missions such as hiking Camelback during the pitch black nights. You know when I get restless you can always find me on top of a dark mountain somewhere or running the streets late at night. I still need my danger days/nights where I can tell everything to fuck off.
I took my sissy/Brianna up Camelback with me a couple weeks ago pretty late. It was a good thing we were there because during our danger hike, I swear we saved the lives of two hikers. They were a young couple from New Orleans who were visiting. They had decided to hike Camelback, but were unaware of how long it was going to take them and how dark is was going to get, so fast. As soon as they saw us at the top, they told us they had no idea how to get down off the mountain and they had already been hiking for 4 hours. They were so scared, tired, and sore. They didn’t have headlamps with them or any type of light. There was nobody else on that mountain except for the 4 of us. I told them we would get them down. It took us over two hours. I’m pretty sure if we hadn’t been there, they wouldn’t have made it down. They didn’t talk much as I think their exhaustion had kicked in. They did ask me if it was normal for people to hike Camelback at night. I just laughed and told them I didn’t think so, but I did it quite a bit because my life was anything but normal. I explained to them how I always came prepared, knew the mountain like the back of my hand, and sometimes I just needed to be alone with my thoughts and this was the best place to do that; especially at night. Once we got them safely off the mountain, I offered to drive them somewhere so an Uber could pick them up and take them to their hotel. They were so grateful to be alive and safe. I was thankful we were there to help them. See, sometimes my danger missions are actually helping others, as well as myself. I secretly think you were of course watching out for them which is why you put me on that mountain at that exact time. I felt really thankful that we were there to help.
Brianna has been spending a lot of time with us. I am still in awe that my beautiful little neighbor/sissy that I used to bounce on my lap when she was 3 years old is all grown up and here in college. I love having her here. We all do. I love being able to take care of her, to guide her through things such as life, college, boys, her career choices, etc… She is family and makes me a little less homesick for my family back in Washington. I also love so much that she knew you, loved you, and much of what she does in her life is for you. That means everything to me. She is working at Phoenix Children’s Hospital right now, while trying to get into nursing school. That is all because of you. I love hearing about her nights working there and all of the new experiences she is having out in the real world. She is growing as a person right before my very eyes and it is such a beautiful thing to see. I get so sad when I think about how I will never have the chance to watch you grow up and pursue your dreams. The thought of that will never get easier or become less painful, but it is my reality and everyday I have to figure out how to live with that. Your brothers and sister help me so much with this. I don’t know what I would do without them.
Poppy is starting to ask a lot of questions. I’m watching as her little two and a half year old mind is trying to process what happened to you. We all talk about you all the time. Your pictures are all around, as well as your hats, stuffed animals, in your closet still hangs a lot of your clothes. Out of the blue Poppy will say things like, “You see, Ronan got sick… he had to go to the hot-i-pol, because he was sick. I told you he was sick, mama. Do you miss him, mama? Ronan is my bro-da, I drew him a picture, who take my bro-da, mama? Did he run away?” I try my best to answer her sweet little questions, but I am not ready to tell her where it is you actually are now. I just tell her that you had to go somewhere else for a while. I can’t tell her your little body is actually in an Urn right in our bedroom. She won’t understand that and frankly, I am not ready to tell her. She is too young, too innocent, and I am not ready to break her little heart. For now, I will just continue to let her figure things out her way while being as gentle as I can with my answers to her never-ending questions.
I have to end this now, Ro. I need to move on to something else that has been going on, but I don’t want to write about it on this post. I just wanted this to be a little nice bedtime update since it has been so long since I’ve written on here. I miss you, I love you, I hope you are safe.