“We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”

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Ronan. Five years without you in my world and I don’t think there will ever come a time that I am not in disbelief. For the most part the shock has worn off, but it still lingers about when I am least expecting it. We left town for the anniversary of the day you died and for your birthday. Once again, I survived but I still wonder how. Macy came and joined us for a few days. She is still one of my greatest gifts from you as she is the one person that can get me to laugh on my hardest days or just sit quietly with me while I cry. I felt numb on the day you died and the day seemed to drag on forever. The night ended with us watching a Star Wars movie on television because your little Poppy sister is madly obsessed. Can you believe that? All she wants to do is talk about Star Wars. All she wants to do is watch Star Wars. All she wants to do is read your old Star Wars Encyclopedia. She has all of the characters memorized. She knows their names, if they are good or bad, whom you loved most. She just turned 3 and I am just left here in awe. I wonder if you are telling her things when she sleeps. She has such a wisdom about here that leaves me speechless sometimes.

The night that you died we were all in the living room. Poppy pulled a stool into the room and placed it right in the front where we could all see her. She climbed up on it and belts out, “We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” Yes, I have been listening to Prince non-stop since he died (I am heartbroken about that) Yes, she was quoting “1999.” Macy’s jaw dropped to the floor. Mine did, too. The timing of her little production was impeccable. It’s like she knows so much more than we all do. She already knows that everyday I am just trying to get through this thing called life, but especially on the day that you died. I know you talk to her. I know she knows you because  of the things she says about you day after day after day are not things that I tell her. They are things that can only come from you and I am so thankful for that. She loves you so much and I know that you are keeping her safe for me. I know you hear the worry in my head, day after day after day. Her stomach hurts. She has cancer. I tell your Sparkly that I need him to schedule her an ultrasound to rule out the mass that my fucked up head tells me is inside of her stomach. She threw a tantrum last night which is really out of character for her and was crying so hard that she told me that her head hurt. In my mind it wasn’t a headache from the tantrum, she obviously has brain cancer. I didn’t sleep as I was convinced she was going to stop breathing. This is the kind of shit that goes on in my head 24 hours a day. I honestly don’t know how I am not in a mental ward. I spend my days talking myself out of taking her to the ER for everything. I spend my days talking to you and begging you to calm me down. For the most part it works, but it leaves me completely exhausted to the point of I can’t even sleep when I crawl into bed at night. Five years without you can go and get fucked. So can that wonderful saying of, “Time heals all wounds.” Complete and total bullshit and should not ever be associated with someone who has lost a child.

I didn’t really cry on the anniversary of your death. I told you, I just felt numb most of the day. It was like I was having an out of body experience and watching myself from above as I survived.  Your birthday was another story. We had planned to spend the day at the Santa Barbara Zoo. I was getting your sister all ready for the day and she was running around saying, “It’s Ronan’s birthday and I’m going to the zoo!” “Happy Birthday to Roooonnnaaaannn!” I showered her, combed her hair and was chasing her down the hallway to get her dressed. She suddenly turned to me, her eyes wild and full of excitement. “When is Ronan going to be here?” I felt the blood drain from my face. I almost collapsed. I didn’t know how to answer her. She repeated herself as I covered my face with my hands to try to hide my tears. That didn’t work at all because the next thing she said to me was, “Why are you crying?” Quinn came into the room next. “Quinny. Mama is sad. Why is she crying?” I looked up at Quinn. Yup, I said looked up at him because your brother is all of a sudden a giant and my midget 5’7 ass is now being towered over by a 12 year old. Quinn didn’t say a word but just wrapped his arms around me instead. Poppy ran off yelling about your birthday and what animals she was going to see at the zoo. I told your brother I loved him and pulled my shit together so that we could head off to the zoo, without you.

We had a really nice family day, all things considered. The zoo was tiny, but beautiful and Poppy was in heaven. Your brothers were great and didn’t complain once like they tend to do when I force them to go to the zoo in Phoenix. After the zoo, we went and grabbed a bite to eat. I didn’t have much of an appetite, but did my best to act like I really enjoyed my food. An older couple who looked to be in their late 70’s sat down next to us. The man starting chatting with me, wanted to know how many kids I had, etc… I told him 4. He told me he had 4 as well. His wife didn’t say much and her hands were shaking terribly the entire time. When our dinner was finished, I stayed behind to pay the bill. Our waitress came over and I quietly told her that I wanted to pay for the couples dinner that was seated next to us. She smiled and winked at me. The old man continued to ask me questions and just as I thought I was going to make the through dinner without crying, I ended up telling him a tiny bit about you and how it was your birthday. He looked down at the ground and said something like he couldn’t imagine. I got up, gave him my best tear filled smile and told him to have a wonderful rest of the night. I left a few of your little Ronan cards in with our bill. It felt nice to be able to do something for someone else but the shitty thing is I would have done something like that anyway, even without you dying. I have not learned any lessons on how to be a nicer person since you died. I’ve always been a nice person and you getting cancer and dying still makes zero sense to me. I will never be at peace with this. There will never be a day that I don’t yearn for you. There will never be a good enough reason for any of this. Five years later and I still stand by those words.

I have so much more to tell you, but you know all the reasons I cannot. At least not tonight. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. I’m forever sorry and heartbroken that you were not here to turn nine with us. We all miss you so very much.

Just a little update…

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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.

xoxo

Until I get back to a place where I have the time to write on my blog, this is where you can find me..

I promise you, after I am finished with this book, I will get back to blog writing. I love writing to Ronan and miss it so much. One thing I am very good at is keeping everyone updated on Instagram. It’s so easy for me to post there, and photography is such a passion/hobby of mine. I know not all of you have Instagram, but I really want to keep you updated. Especially during this very important month of childhood cancer awareness. I’ve been posting something every single day that has to do with childhood cancer. The things I post are not always easy to read, but I wouldn’t be staying true to my path if I started to sugar coat things. The world needs to hear this stuff in order for things to one day change. I’m going to post my Instagram posts to this blog, so everyone can have access to read them; if they choose to do so. I really hope you won’t stop reading or look away. So many people are trying to change this world. I am doing all I can over here and I am so thankful to the people that remain behind this cause.

I have to give a little extra love to my Rach in New York and Rainesford in Kentucky. These are two young girls, who have become my dear friends/family. They are the two that have been keeping me afloat, saving my life, especially during a time when much Taylor love came floating our way. You guys, I am not a fancy foundation. We are small, we do not have one paid employee, and these girls have been working non-stop for me for so long now, all while being full time college students, volunteering, and working. We may be small, but we can still do mighty things and these two girls are proof of that. Without these two, I would be drowning ever more than I already am just trying to keep caught up on things over here.

I love you all so much. Below is my picture for Day 1 of childhood cancer awareness month. You should just be able to click on it to read what I have written. Stay Gold, kiddos.

xxoo

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THIS is what the Be Bold Go Gold Challenge is all about. These girls NAILED it!

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I think I have watched this video at least 10 times today. And each time, it makes me so happy. Please continue to submit your videos to: gogoldbebold2015@gmail.com or use the hashtag #beboldgogold on all your social media outlets. Feel free to share this video everywhere! Let’s keep this challenge going and give childhood cancer the awareness it deserves!!

Thank you, girls for being so wild, free and fun!! Also Emily, thank you for spending your birthday this way. I hope it was the best birthday, ever. #youaremyspiritanimalandsoisyoursister

https://youtu.be/7cqdT07Fou4

Welcome to the BE BOLD GO GOLD CHALLENGE 2015! Want to get involved and help us turn the world GOLD? Here are some ideas and guidelines that the lovies at The Ronan Thompson Foundation have come up with. Please help us make this September shine gold by being bold, brave and beautiful with us! Whatever you end up doing, please make sure to use the hashtag #beboldgogold

Post your submissions to: gogoldbebold2015@gmail.com

1. #BeBoldGoGold Dance Challenge:
-Deck yourself out in gold…the sparklier, the better!
-Turn on your favorite T-Swift jam, get your groove on & make your own personal flashmob! Dance like crazy at the store, in the park, at school or wherever you feel like spreading awareness. Bonus points if you lip synch… Tell random people why you are doing what you are doing, challenge them to do the same.
(Inspiration via Ellen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWWQmmuxwCM)
-Film it! Encourage people to give even just $5 to RTF. Tag us! We’re reposting our favorites. Can we make this go viral?!

Why? Because you CAN get dressed in crazy amounts of gold & dance wherever you want. And kids fighting cancer often don’t have the luxury of being kids as a lot of the time they are sick and stuck in hospitals. Get out of your comfort zone, and draw attention to the worthiest cause of all! (Plus, who are we kidding? Random dance parties are the best).

2. Encourage businesses in your area to go gold for childhood cancer! Whether it is donating, displaying Who Is Ronan? cards, or letting you dance on their tables (that’d be awesome…). Donations can be made here: http://www.theronanthompsonfoundation.com/donate

3. Spread Ronan bracelets around! Chalk the sidewalk with childhood cancer statistics! Doing something super-awesome while dressed in your gold! Bonus points for pictures & videos.

4. Shop the cause: Get your gold on here!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/FiredaughterClothing?section_id=16346898

5. Blast this all over social media. Turn your social media icons gold, to pictures of Ronan or any gold cancer fighter you want. This is our chance to make the world hear us and we can’t do it without you!!

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Have the BEST time and let’s honor these kids the best way we know how; by being BRAVE, BOLD, WILD, and FREE!

xx

THE BE BOLD GO GOLD CHALLENGE 2015 STARTS NOW!!!

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Welcome to the BE BOLD GO GOLD CHALLENGE 2015! Want to get involved and help us turn the world GOLD? Here are some ideas and guidelines that the lovies at The Ronan Thompson Foundation have come up with. Please help us make this September shine gold by being bold, brave and beautiful with us! Whatever you end up doing, please make sure to use the hashtag #beboldgogold

Post your submissions to: gogoldbebold2015@gmail.com 

1. #BeBoldGoGold Dance Challenge:
-Deck yourself out in gold…the sparklier, the better!
-Turn on your favorite T-Swift jam, get your groove on & make your own personal flashmob! Dance like crazy at the store, in the park, at school or wherever you feel like spreading awareness. Bonus points if you lip synch… Tell random people why you are doing what you are doing, challenge them to do the same.
(Inspiration via Ellen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWWQmmuxwCM)
-Film it! Encourage people to give even just $5 to RTF. Tag us! We’re reposting our favorites. Can we make this go viral?!

Why? Because you CAN get dressed in crazy amounts of gold & dance wherever you want. And kids fighting cancer often don’t have the luxury of being kids as a lot of the time they are sick and stuck in hospitals.  Get out of your comfort zone, and draw attention to the worthiest cause of all! (Plus, who are we kidding? Random dance parties are the best).

2. Encourage businesses in your area to go gold for childhood cancer! Whether it is donating, displaying Who Is Ronan? cards, or letting you dance on their tables (that’d be awesome…). Donations can be made here: http://www.theronanthompsonfoundation.com/donate

3. Spread Ronan bracelets around! Chalk the sidewalk with childhood cancer statistics! Doing something super-awesome while dressed in your gold! Bonus points for pictures & videos.

4. Shop the cause: Get your gold on here!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/FiredaughterClothing?section_id=16346898

5. Blast this all over social media. Turn your social media icons gold, to pictures of Ronan or any gold cancer fighter you want. This is our chance to make the world hear us and we can’t do it without you!!

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Have the BEST time and let’s honor these kids the best way we know how; by being BRAVE, BOLD, WILD, and FREE!

xx