Ronan. I am walking the city streets of New York on the most perfect New York day except I seem to be the only who thinks it is perfect. Even though it’s the end of summer, it is gloomy and has been pouring down rain all morning long. All of the other human beings around me look annoyed by the torrential downpour that has currently taken over their city. I watch as a mother who has a small child but not an umbrella makes a beeline for the McDonalds around the corner to seek shelter. Umbrellas are everywhere and thankfully my little Rachel has provided me with one for the day. I have a meeting to go to, one that is very important and because of this I decide that you are the one who has made it rain just to show me that you are around and you believe in what I am doing. I set out to get lost in the city for a few hours before my meeting so I can clear my head and talk to you. I smile at every person and some random man yells as I walk past him, “You have the most beautiful smile!” I yell back, “Thank you!” as I remember back to a time not long ago when I hardly smiled at all and when I did, it was often forced. My “bullshit” smile as Mr. Sparkly Eyes calls it. He hates that smile, but nobody hates it more than I do.
I close up my umbrella and continue to walk the rainy streets. I want to feel your kisses on my face. They splatter on me and I am suddenly aware that I didn’t wear waterproof mascara today. I quickly push that narcissistic thought out of my head and decide that I don’t care if I end up looking like a raccoon because anything goes in this city. I once saw a man walking these streets wearing only a backpack, shoes, and a sock to cover up his penis. I figure if he could get away with that, I can certainly get away with looking like I’m embracing my inner goth puck rock I love everything from the 80’s and 90’s vibe that the rain was going to provide me with today. My thoughts turn back to that time a few years ago when I was sure I would forever be stuck in a place of not loving myself. One of the many side effects of your death was this thing called “goodbye, self-worth.” Everything about me had been destroyed in the aftermath of losing you. For many years, I blamed myself for your death. I should have done more. I should have taken you to a different hospital for treatment in the beginning. If we only could have found “this” doctor sooner you would still be alive and here today. It has taken me a lot of therapy and a lot of talking to other doctors to come to a place of understanding that I am not to blame for your death. Cancer is and there was nothing we could have to done differently to have changed your outcome. I do know that now, but there are still times when my fucked-up mind tries to convince me otherwise.
With that said I have had to do so much work to find my self-worth again. It is actually never ending work that I know I will be doing for the rest of my life. It is hard, but it is necessary as I don’t want to ever get to a place again of knowing what not loving myself feels like. But Ro, do you know what’s even more important to me than me? Your baby sister who is not so much of a baby anymore. She is 4 and I don’t even know how that happened but it did and she is the most incredible little thing. She is strong, feisty, independent, and full of so much love that at times she makes my whole heart want to explode. I have to love myself for her so that the only world she knows is one where she is capable of doing anything in life. Glass ceilings don’t even exist for her because she has a mother who has already shattered them all. And I will continue to shatter them all for the rest of my life for her. She is my everything.
More on all of this later, little man. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.