Because of you, I can do hard things.

IMG_3728Ronan. Remember that time that I said I was going to actively start writing on this blog again and then months went by without me writing a word? Me too. This life without you feels like I’m on a non-stop hamster wheel that I cannot seem to get off of.

Everything is so busy. And in between busy I’ve been working non stop on this book that I just cannot seem to let go of because in my mind, it’s never going to be good enough. I am constantly second guessing myself, but day after day I continue to write and put in the work. Any free time I have belongs to your book. And by free time I mean waiting for the oil to get changed in my car, waiting for an appointment, sitting in a parking lot in between school drop offs… my laptop is out and I am writing. And when I am not writing, I am writing in my head or in the notes section on my phone or in the 1 out of 7,000 notebooks or journals that I carry around with me at all times. The only time I can seem to quiet my mind is at the 80 minute hot yoga class that I have been taking which is currently saving my life. And even when I am there, I have to actively force my mind to shut the fuck up. I know I went insane a long time ago but this kind of insane, the one where you are reliving your real life worst nightmare all over again by writing the story down is a totally different type of beast. It is this self inflicted kind of torture that should have killed me by now, but because I am so stubborn I refuse to let it. I’ve stopped and started this book so many times. I’ve hated it. Erased words. Ripped up pages and thrown them in the trash. Re read my words and sobbed because sometimes I can’t believe they are my own and sometimes I can’t believe how good they are. I’ve hated myself. Loved myself. Been so proud of myself but I also have that layer of self doubt that always seems to be lingering about. The only thing keeping me going is your sweet little face that I see at the end of the finish line. This is for you. All of my blood, sweat, tears, vomit…. all of my self doubt because who the fuck am I?

I am not a writer.

Today, I had one of those days where I cried over everything. I had some stupid errands to run but it was the type of day where everything felt hard, even just a simple trip to the UPS store. I was feeling overwhelmed, a little sorry for myself and I was truly just missing you. A few days ago my agent put me in contact with someone who said she could help take a look at this book. I had a phone call with her and she agreed to take a look at things. I told her I would send her everything but I warned her that it was still really messy and asked her to please ignore all holes that needed to be filled in.

As I was pulling out of the UPS store where my mind was so foggy that I seriously lost my car keys for 35 minutes before finding them in a weird part of my yoga bag that apparently eats keys, I got a text from the person I had sent my book to. It said:

“Maya. Reading and crying and crying and reading. You are a fantastic writer. It needs a little polish but it is so raw and articulate.” 

As I read her words, my stomach dropped and I had to pull over. I read her words over and over again as the tears poured down my face. Hearing those words from this stranger today, who lives in the literary world meant everything to me. You know what I decided today, Ronan?

I am a fucking writer and I have the most heart wrenching, beautiful story to tell all because of you. I think deep down I’ve always been a writer but it was you who led me here. I am trying my hardest to make you so very proud and I promise to finish what I’ve started. I am so very close. Thank you for constantly pushing me through this process. Because of you, I can do hard things and I can do them well, even when I think I suck.

I love you so much.

G’nite, little man. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

 

Insomnia and New York

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Ronan. I still don’t sleep well. Six years later and you’d think I’d have this under control  by now, but I don’t. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever sleep well again. I used to make myself black out with Ambien. I stopped doing that years ago because I swear it made me suicidal. More so than I already was. So now when I can’t sleep I lie awake and think about all the reasons I can’t sleep…the biggest one being because of the absence of you.

And my usual questions.

Where are you?

Who is taking care of you?

Why isn’t it me?

Are you ok?

Are you still trying to find me the way I am always trying to find you?

I toss and turn and cry and scream in my head. I listen to make sure Poppy is breathing because yes I still co-sleep with her because it’s the only way I can make sure she doesn’t die in her sleep. I check on your brothers, too. I wander up and down our hallway. I sometimes read. I try to stay off of my phone because that only stimulates my mind. Sometimes I work on my book during these early morning hours. I think about you so much and how everything still hurts. Every part of me aches for you. I have some things that comfort me… but mostly I just continue to suffer. Especially during the nights when all things are still and quiet, except for my restless mind.

I went to New York for our Runway Heroes Fashion Show a couple of weeks ago. I took Liam and Poppy with me. We had around 20 kids who either have cancer or are in remission walk in it. All of those kids and then there was your sister, Poppy. She walked down the runway in honor of you. I wasn’t sure how she was going to do. She refused to show my her “runway” walk saying it was a surprise and I wouldn’t get to see it until the day of the show. At four years old, she is so sassy and bright. I often feel as if I am dealing with a teenager. I sat on the edge of my seat as she came down the runway towards me. She looked so proud up there and as if what she was doing was so important to her. There was no way I could stop my tears from falling as I watched not only her, but all the other kids as well.

This all started because of you. So many incredible things in this world are because of you, Ronan. I met a woman at the Runway Heroes who was running the New York City Marathon the very next day in honor of you. She raised almost 6k and I have to tell you, things such as that keep me going more than I think anybody knows. I was so in awe of her the way you had inspired her to do such an incredible thing. You are still helping people and pushing people to continue to live their lives doing the most amazing things. Val talked a bit in her blog about how it was you that carried her though the finish line. 26.2 miles all because of one little boy who is still not done changing the world. I am so proud to be your mom.

Poppy told me after the fashion show that being in it was one of the most special days of her life. I told you she is not from this world. She understands things with such depth and soul. Liam told me that he was so glad to finally see what the Runway Show was all about because it’s all I talk about for months before hand. He told me how he knew you would be so proud of it. I was so thankful to have him there with us. The three of us had a great time, I missed Quinn like crazy but he was back home playing basketball. Liam took the weekend off and I know the time in New York was so good for him. I took him back to Delizia’s where we used to eat pizza. We talked about being there with you. He told me he remembered everything about being there with you. Poppy had a million questions.

“Where would you sit, with Ronan mama?”

” What would Ronan order?”

“How many times would you eat there?”

“Did Ronan like pepperoni or would he just eat cheese pizza like me?”

“Did he have hair when he would come here or was he bald?”

“Why didn’t the medicine make him better?”

“Is he sad that he isn’t with us?”

The quesitons went on and on. I answered them all without crying. I felt like you would be happy that we were back there and because of that I was o.k.

It’s 2 a.m. I have to be up soon. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. I will write again soon.

I love you, Ro.