Ronan. I still have insomnia. You would think after all this time my sleep would have gotten better, but it really hasn’t. Every night when I lie in bed, I lie awake for hours sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning. I still sleep with Poppy. If I am going to lie awake at night, I prefer to do it next to her so I can hear her breathing or I can reach out to touch her warm little body so I know she is still alive. I live for the moments in the middle of the night when she is half awake half asleep and she grabs my face and says, “I love you, mommy.” Also, I don’t want to hear any shit about co-sleeping from anyone because as far as I’m concerned it is the best thing ever and I wish I would have done it with all of my kids. Once you were diagnosed with cancer, you were always in my bed. I wish I would have had you in my bed the years before your diagnoses, when you were perfectly healthy or so we thought. It just would have meant more time with you and had I known our time together was going to be so short I would have co-slept with you and soaked up every second we had together.
Nights around here are rough. My thoughts are still consumed by you. Lately it has been what would 10-year-old Ronan have been like? I wonder what you would look like. What you would sound like. Would your laugh still be mischievous? Would your little voice still squeak? Would you still want to hold my hand and would you still call me mama? Your brothers don’t… they started calling me mom a long time ago. Poppy calls me so many different things. Maya when she’s mad at me(or asshole because I asked for extra spicy). Mom when she’s trying to act big. Mommy when she is scared. Mama when she is being extra sweet and she tops it off by saying, “I know that is what Ronan called you and I know it is your favorite.” Thoughts of you usually consume me for hours at night. I often cry. Or write. And then get up and do laundry because for some reason the sound of the washer and dryer soothe me. I check on your brothers and wander around the house. Sometimes I go into your closet which is now Poppy’s and I smell your clothes. Some of them still smell like you. Or at least the way you liked them to smell which was so clean and fresh.
“Mama! I’m going to wear one of Ronan’s shirts today to school, ok?! Can you come in here! I want to count them.” I walk into your closet just in time to find Poppy pulling your shirts off the hangers one by one.
“One…. two…. three…” all the way until she gets to the last one…”24,” she replies so proudly. Your shirts have been in your/her closet since she was born and she has never asked to wear them. I feel my stomach drop. I try to act all proud of her counting. I try to act supportive of her wearing one of your very boyish shirts. It’s not the boy part that stabs at my heart. It’s the fact that seeing her in one of your shirts is going to emotionally incapacitate me. Just as she takes the one she wants from the pile on the floor, something catches her eye. It’s a pink dress she had forgotten about. “Never mind! I want to wear my pink dress because today pink is my favorite color.” I let out a sigh of relief and gather up all of your shirts on the floor only to hang them back up where they were before. Saved by a pink dress today, but maybe not tomorrow.
I have to work on this book now, little man. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, my love.
Ronan. I could not be more proud right now. Of the person Taylor is and always has been. Her new song. This video. The way she is so self aware and has taken everything that has been thrown at her and turned it into a masterpiece. Not only does she continue to evolve as an artist but as person as well. The levels of depth she has, the layers of herself that she is revealing… I am in constant awe of her but I am never surprised. I’ve known since the first time I looked her in the eyes that not only is she one of the kindest souls on the planet, but she has this inner strength that will take her wherever she wants to fucking go in life. Nobody can stop this girl. And the ones who try are fools. She has a fire in her soul that cannot be contained and a love in her heart that is pure and good. Those two things are unstoppable and so incredibly inspiring. I am so glad Poppy has her to look up to in this life and I am so thankful for the beautiful love story between you and Taylor that I often tell Poppy at night as a bedtime story. It is one of the sweetest stories I have ever known.
I have to run to a meeting little man. I’ll write more later. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.
Ronan. I am in awe of all the people who contacted me yesterday about the fact that I wrote on your blog again. When I hit post on my last entry, I got goosebumps all over my entire body. It actually felt really good to post something. I truly have missed writing on here but I needed to take a break for many reasons. Mostly because any free time I’ve had, I’ve been pouring my words into your book and I am still not even done. I’ve been wanting to start-up this blog again because I truly have missed having this as an outlet, but I just needed a little push to do so. I got more than one push from many people so here we are and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people wanting to know what I have been doing the past few years, but they also want to know how Liam and Quinn are. The twins are incredible and just turned 14. Even typing that out makes me want to stop and scream, “WHAT?! 14?! THERE IS NO WAY THEY ARE 14!” but they are and they are growing into the most amazing young men. You know how you always hear from the “parenting experts” that you shouldn’t be best friends with your kids because for some reason those “experts” think raising kids is black and white and there is only one RIGHT way to do so? Well, it turns out those experts don’t know anything and the only rule worth following is the one that works for your family. Having an honest, open relationship where your brothers know they can come to us with anything has created this family dynamic of us having 14-year-old boys who love us, respect us, and they genuinely enjoy being with us. So when they’re not playing basketball, which by the way is pretty much 7 days a week, they are usually with us. They have a good group of friends they hang out with, but they like to do that at our house and we love that, too. No girls yet… just basketball and that is more than fine with me. They aren’t even into social media much, hate when I post about them on Instagram and are probably going to be pissed when they find out I wrote about them on here so I will stop now.
At 14, they have boundaries and I have always tried to be respectful of what I write on here about them. There is a reason why they are not all over my blog or my social media accounts. So if I don’t talk about them much, please know there is a really good reason for that and it has nothing to do with them being locked in a basement because I love you more. Or Poppy more. Or even myself more as a lot of assholey people like to say. I mean I do love myself a lot because I am fucking awesome, but it doesn’t even come close to how much I love my kids. All 4 of them.
I have to run now little man. I’m trying to finish up a chapter in your book today. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.
Wait… side note. Did you guys notice my blog got an amazing make over thanks to my two little East Coast agents?! I am almost as in love with it as I am with Taylor Swift’s new song. Thanks, Jord and Rach for the little makeover. What would I do without you?!?!
“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.”
“Oh, ’cause she’s dead!”
Lyrical little genius she is and I could not be more excited for all that is about to come.
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.