Not a life full of beauty but one full of beautiful moments instead

Ronan. Today was one of those days where I just could not stop crying. I cried after I dropped your brothers off at school, I cried over every single Taylor Swift song that came on the C.D. I was listening to, I cried when I ran over to the mall looking for a very specific gift which I could not find, I cried when I went over to the baby girl section and tried to look at the clothes. I had a flashback to the days of when I used to ohhhh and awwww over baby girl clothes. Today, I didn’t see anything I liked and I just wanted to rip everything off of the racks. What is wrong with me? Then I remembered. Grief. Hormones. Pregnancy. Stress. Not sleeping well. Missing you. A lot is wrong with me, actually. WTF asshole mother fucker who thought I could handle all of this. All of this is way much for one person to handle. I left the mall, upset and sent my little Mandy Bee a message. “I need your help. Call me.” I told her about the gift I needed to find. She of course made a ninja plan to help me tomorrow, go and find it. She called around to a few places. Tomorrow will be better with my sidekick in tow to help out with my crisis which is actually not a crisis at all. It felt like it today.

I got a text from your Sparkly. I went down to his office. I picked up Starbucks. A coffee for him. A water for me. We shared some fruit and nuts. We sat and caught up. Our weekly little catch up that means everything to me. “Why are your eyes so red today?” He asked. Fuck, I thought to myself. I was not going to mention to him, how I had been crying most of the day but apparently my bloodshot eyes were not cooperating. “Oh, that would just be because I’ve been crying all day.” “Why so much today? Just the usual?” he asked. “Yes. Just the usual. I just miss Ronan so much, all the time, that’s all.” He knows that. He always knows that. We talked about some other things. He was proud of the advice he gave me that I listened to. I told him how he was pretty much the only person I listened to in this life anymore. He knows that too. You know what I told him today? That my life without you is full of so much pain, sadness and hurt. That all I get now are beautiful moments in life. I don’t get a life full of beauty, only moments. Those moments mean so much to me. They are like the air I breathe and I inhale them as much as I can. This is why it is so important to me, the people we surround ourselves with and the life we choose to live. The moments of utter beauty and bliss that I only feel by being with certain people. I soak them up whenever I can, as much as I can. They help me to survive this life I live now, without your sparkly eyes, little laugh and sweet lips. A life full of moments is what I am left with, Ronan. I’m afraid this is the best it is going to get. I will be thankful for those moments. I am trying my best. But I miss the days when life was always beautiful, always joyful, always full of such love and laughter. Back when you were healthy and here. Everything was so simple and so easy. I was always so thankful for what we had. It’s hard to have the all ripped away and still look on the bright side of things. Mother fucking asshole cancer. I hate you.

We went out to dinner tonight to one of our favorite restaurants, Tarbell’s. We sat, just the 4 of us and I tried to let myself relax and enjoy our dinner. This never happens for me. My mind is always wandering to where you would be sitting, what you would be eating, how beautiful your little face would have looked lit up by the flickering of the candlelight. We talked about Poppy for a while. I told your brothers once again, how I really want to name this baby girl, Poppy. They are so not cool with it. Quinn looked at me and said, “Why do you want to name her Poppy? That is basically like naming her Wooddawg.” I had to laugh at that. I told him about the story that somebody told me about the Poppy flower.

Flanders is the name of the whole western part of Belgium. It saw some of the most concentrated and bloodiest fights at the first world war .

There was complete devastation. Buildings, roads, trees and natural life is simply disappeared. Where once there were homes and farms there was now a sea of mud, a grave for the dead where the men still live and fought.

Only one other living thing survived and that was the poppy, flowering each year with the coming of the warm weather. It brought life, hope, color and reassurance to those still fighting.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
John McCrae 1915

I’ve am living in a war zone every single day. I am surviving, just like the Poppy flower. If I wasn’t sold on the name Poppy, I sure am now. Who am I kidding? I think the name is darling and it truly makes me smile. It makes me feel happy. I don’t think there is any deciding until we actually see this baby girl. Even if we name her something else, she will be called Poppy as a nickname. It is already her name, and she is not even here. Now if I can only get those brothers of yours on Team Poppy. I think you would have liked the name. I think it would have gotten the Ronan seal of approval.

This is the end of your story for tonight, baby doll . I am as always, wiped out. I’ll fall asleep quickly as I have been doing so easily lately. Only to wake up around midnight to toss and turn for the rest of the night. I kind of miss my Ambien is the devil days. The devil was kind of fun to dance with. Sometimes, I miss it. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little one.

xoxo

Of course your Nana didn’t leave your name off of the treehouse.

Ronan. I have to live the rest of my life without the touch of your little hand, without hearing your sweet giggles, without getting lost in your piercing blue eyes. Somedays this makes me extremely sad. Somedays this makes me super bitter. Today, I found myself not crying, but looking at all the people around me and going why do you get to live and he doesn’t? He would have been such a good person. He would have made this world so much more beautiful. Who lives and who dies and who decides??? And why??? I’ll never have the answers to these questions. These thoughts fill my head at the most random moments. Today it was while walking through the local Walmart to pick up some water. I was thinking these thoughts then I get the other little voice in my head that says, “You are a bad person for thinking that your son deserved to live, yet this jack off who is yelling at his 8 kids, should die.” I quickly tell that little voice to fuck off, because I am just being honest and any mother would feel this way. If I can’t be honest in my head, than I can’t be honest anywhere. Thoughts like this leave me feeling restless and I often feel trapped in my own head or like a hamster that is running around on that freaking spinning wheel, going nowhere and never knowing when to stop. Love that never-ending cycle of grief/shame/resentment/guilt/sadness that I cannot seem to escape.

Today, I tried to get lost in the world of your brothers. I think I faked it really well. I played baseball with them for a few hours today. I pretended not to be looking for you everywhere, waiting to see you up next to bat. I took them to lunch. We went to see the new, “Ice Age,” move which you know destroyed me. That was one of your favorites. You loved that Scrat character so much. After the movie, we came home and played more baseball. I headed out to meet our Bri Bri for a quick run around the lake. It felt good to get out there and run. I haven’t been running much in AZ due to not being motivated to do so in the brutal heat. I’d rather hike instead. I’ve been saving my running for this Washington trip. It’s one of my favorite places to run from everything in my head that I cannot seem to escape. I didn’t escape anything today, but I got to spend a little time with my sissy which is always a treat. I miss her. I know you do, too.

I heard another story today about a maybe cancer faker in this very real and sad cancer world that I know all too well. I cannot even get upset about it tonight because anybody that would do such a thing… well, they are trapped in a hell of their own that I cannot even fathom. My normal self would be swearing up and down in my head, my blood would be boiling… but I don’t even have words tonight for somebody that would do such a thing. I am in a peaceful place and for once, I refuse to give into to the evil of the world around me and let it ruin the quietness that I am feeling tonight. Tonight, I don’t feel spicy or angry or like swearing like a truck driver. I am calm, tired, and listening to your brothers sleeping soundly is giving me comfort that I need to listen to for once.

I don’t have a lot to say tonight. I left my Ambien back in Phoenix. I don’t miss it. I slept well last night as I always seems to do here. The fresh air is good for me. I had a moment of panic yesterday when I went down to your treehouse with your brothers. Someone (I think your Nana) had painted little individual signs with all of your names on them to attach to the front of the treehouse wall. The door to the tree house was open as I was examining the names that hung above. My stomach dropped and I yelled to your brothers, “Why isn’t Ronan’s name up there?!” I almost started to cry. Liam yelled down to me, “It is mom. It’s on the front of the door, see.” There it was. In purple of course. I felt bad. Of course your Nana would not leave your name off of the tree house. Of course your Nana would not, not include you, just because you are not here. This is the same Nana, that had presents wrapped and underneath the Christmas Tree for you this year. She would NEVER leave you out just because you are not here. I cannot believe even for a second, that I thought she would. She includes you in everything that she does, every single day. She would never sweep you under the rug and pretend that you didn’t exist. She would never take you out of the equation. All she has to do is look at me and I know she is thinking about you. It’s painful to see but I am so thankful to know.

I have a lot more to tell you tonight all of a sudden. But I am too tired to continue on. It’s late little bug. I’m going to cuddle up to your brothers now. They both refuse to sleep in their room here and are tucked away in bed, with me. I don’t mind; I only wish you were crammed in between us. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, Ro baby.

xoxo

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A city where the happy is too loud so let’s go away to the cold beach

Ronan. What is today? Sunday I think. The days are lost for me. The day you left me is almost here. May 9th. Your day of death. Not the day you “flew away to the heavens above,” not the day you “went to be with Jesus,” not the day you “went to a better place where you are an angel now,” not the day that you became “free,” not the day that “you went home.” I am not about to soften this blow with any of that bullshit. It’s fluff and fluff does not work for me. May 9th. Your day of death. The bloody hell worst day of my life. Period. I would actually like to take May 9th and make it a National holiday. I would like May 9th to be National F U Cancer day. I think that is appropriate since it is the day that cancer stole you. I am not taking your day and turning it into something fucking pretty, happy, light, and filled with angels from above. FUCK THAT SHIT. I am going to take the day that you left me and rename it and make it the name that it deserves. I think I will wear black all day long. I think I will try not to die from the pain of physically feeling, with every cell in my body, that you are not here. I remember our last moments together. They are a part of my soul now. They fill me with things like anger that I never knew existed. They fill me with things like a fire and a drive that I never knew I had. They make me want to take on the world because I know I can change this. I know we can change this. I know the power of our love can take the worst thing possible, and help others. But I am not doing this the nice way. I am not playing by the fluffy rules. There is nothing sweet and fluffy about having to dig your babies ashes out of his urn to place them in a plastic baggie, so you can take him on a trip with you. Anybody that says otherwise, can fuck off. Because it is simply not true. It’s bullshit and something no parent should ever have to experience. Especially not in this day and age when kids die from cancer, due to lack of funding alone. I don’t understand this. I will never understand this. I will never understand why this is acceptable. I will never understand why all of these kids are swept under the rug. I will never understand so I will spend the rest of my life, trying to fix this. This is what I am here to do, Ronan. I am not doing anything else.

I may have had a mini freak out last night in our hotel room. We landed in a big city. A big city is not where we need to be right now. I knew that planning this trip. I can do a city, all alone, and badass, any other month, but not this month. We went to dinner in this big city last night. It was all I could do to stay in the restaurant and not flip the fuck out. There were sooooo many happy people, everywhere. Happy and fancy. All dressed up. All happy and carefree. Nobody in that restaurant, had a dead almost 4-year-old. That I am sure of. “Their happy, is too loud.” I know what that feels like. I feel like that, all the time. It makes me sad and stings my eyes. Please bring him back. Please. I beg over and over in my head. I WILL DO ANYTHING. This never works, but I will continue to try for the rest of my life. I left the restaurant with Liam. We had a little foundation business to attend to. We had to get a picture of my fake training, for Palmer Cash, as they were my sponsor for the day. Thanks Palmer Cash. Everyone needs to check them out. They make the raddest tee shirts out there. Liam happily snapped my pics and laughed at my goofy posing/fake running. You see, I am not only doing this to make some money for your foundation, but I am also doing this to help us get through May. My life kind of depends on it. This was my idea as I knew we were going to need a way to get a laugh and some smiles on this trip. A light-hearted but heavy-hearted way to make some money to get Dr. Mosse’s trial funded, seemed like the way to go. So far, so good. I have had a blast and it is a healthy, good distraction.

We were all tired from our long day of traveling. We fell asleep pretty early. I ended up waking up, and having a mini freak out session/panic attack which caused me to slam two Ambien and send some insane text messages to your Mr. Sparkly Eyes. Well, not insane, but intense. I am always the most intense when I am the saddest/on the verge of jumping out of our 7 story hotel room. It was the Ambien that knocked me into a black coma of oblivion, not the soothing words of everything is going to be alright that I needed to hear. No words last night could have saved me. I know myself well enough to know when I am not capable of handling things on my own. Last night, when I woke up in that hotel room, only to find your daddy and brothers, and you were nowhere to be found.. well, what can I say? Nothing. What do you say to that? How can words comfort that? They can’t. They didn’t. I chose to escape instead. I am not perfect. You know how I hate our little frienemy. But on nights like last night, I don’t have a choice. The 7th floor jumping out of our hotel window, to splatter on the streets below, did not seem like a better option. Ambien won. Again, but not always. Not always is good enough for me, as of now.

I woke up this morning, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. No trace of black oblivion coma, existed. Up, showered, packed, Starbucks, hit the road, let’s get outta this big city. We met up with some friends. Good friends. Forever friends because of the unthinkable bond that we share. The one of a dead child, due to cancer. It was good to see them. So good. It actually felt good. It felt like home. I am so glad we are here. Getting out of Phoenix was the right thing to do. We watched their little boys’ Lacrosse game. God, you would have loved that game. It is so a sport you would have kicked ass at. Since you cannot be here, to kick ass at this sport, I now feel like I should do this for you. I am dreaming of a woman’s Lacrosse team as we speak. How awesome would that be? Your brothers want to play as well. The thought of that, put a smile on my face. I told them I would look into it once we returned home from our trip. They are both so excited. I am excited too. They are such good little boys. Almost too good. I need to rough them up a bit. I think Lacrosse is a good start.

After the Lacrosse game, we all went to lunch. I sat back with our friends and watched the way the 4 of our boys became fast friends, laughing and giggling together. 4 boys but there should have been 6. 6 would have been much better. 6 would have been absolutely perfect in this so-called imperfect world that does not exist if you have all of your kids, healthy and living. Healthy and living and there should be nothing to complain about, ever. Not the spilled milk, not the ” I don’t have enough time for myself because my kids keep me too busy,” not the messes made, not the arguments that are had, not the strong-willed child that throws a fit over everything, not the “I am too tired because my “sick,” child kept me up all night.” Please. I would give both of my arms for those problems. I would give my life for those problems. Those are not problems. Those are “you are so fucking lucky.” So shut up, suck it up, and be grateful. Stop making everything so much more complicated than it really is. Because at the end of the day, it’s not complicated at all. If it is, fix it. Are you laying with your child, as he takes his last breaths? If you are not and you are still complaining about this shit I would really like to punch you in the face. I cannot tolerate a life of complaining of nothingness. I don’t tolerate it. Which is why I may have such a big problem with being out in the real world now. Complainers are everywhere. I don’t do well with them.

If good days existed in my life anymore, today would have been one of them. We left our friends and headed off to our new destination. As we drove to our hotel, I spent the majority of the car ride, quite, with tears streaming down my face. Everything in our lives has changed. Even a 45 minute car ride. I hid my tears from everyone, as not to upset your brothers. I was so thankful to get out of the city. A cold, beachy destination seems to be much more fitting. A sleepy little town, where it seems as problems do not exist. I know this is not true. But due to the fucked up things that go on in my head, I have convinced myself that if we had live here, you would not have gotten cancer and died. Case in point, conversation with your daddy in the car.

Me: “I’ll bet nothing bad ever happens here.”

Your daddy: “That is not true. Bad things happen everywhere.”

Me: “Well, I’ll bet kids don’t get cancer and die here. I’ll bet if we would have lived here, Ronan would not have gotten cancer and died. It’s just too perfect.”

Your daddy a.k.a. the voice of reason and also the voice of you are clearly insane: “People get cancer everywhere, living here would not have changed Ronan getting cancer.”

I huffed and puffed. A small part of me thinks that if we had indeed lived in this small little sleepy town, that you would still be here. It’s my pretend world and I can live in it if I want to. I choose to live in it. Most of the time alone. Sometimes not. Either way, I don’t see myself leaving it anytime soon. It is the pieces of pretend that give me a break from our reality.

I chose to see you today. Running on the beach. Diving into the freezing ocean like I know you would have. Carrying your little red sand bucket. Giggling everywhere. Yelling, “Quinny! Mama! Quinn just threw sand at me!” Then throwing the sand back. I would have chased you like the wind today. I would have loved every second of cleaning you off. Throwing you into a warm bath where I would make sure you felt safe, clean, loved and warm. I would have put on your sweet little pajamas and tucked you into bed with me, where you belong. Nowhere else. Certainly not this nowhere that is here now. Certainly not this nowhere of crying myself to sleep because I am so sad I got to do none of those things with you today. I know you want to be here doing them, just as badly. I can feel it. I am sorry. Forever sorry.

I might have to end this now. I think it’s really long and I’m too sad, to continue on. Today was as good of a day, as it could have been. Your brothers happiness is proof of that. There happiness is how I judge good days now. I very rarely know happiness of my own. I’m o.k. with this. As long as I get to see it through them. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. G’night baby doll.

xoxo

Ronan’s Day of LOVE

Ronan. I drive home. Alone. In the silence. With your blanket on my lap and your ashes around my neck. Blinded by my tears. I know what I am coming home to. An empty house. I pull into our driveway. Your bedroom window is the first thing I see. Your blinds are open. Everything is just the way you left it. Your room has not been touched. Your clothes are still in your drawers, your closet is filled with all the things you never even got to wear. The hand me downs from your brothers, in bins in your closet. You should be playing in your room. You are not. I hold my breath. Wishing for time to be reversed. I remember everything about this time last year. Everything from the text messages I sent, the phone conversations I had on the patio, to way you told me you loved me to the moon and back, how even though we were at the Ryan House, I did not think you were going to die. Nobody would be so cruel, to make us be apart, right? Who would do such a thing?

Somebody. Somebody did and now May is here. As of today, I only had 9 days left with you. Just 9 days. What would I have done differently, if I had known I only had 9 days to spend with you? I would have not slept. I would have told you over and over, how much I love you. I would have told you over and over, how proud I was to have you as my son. I would have told you over and over, how lucky I was to have you for the almost 4 years that I did. I would have told you how sorry I was. I would have kissed your lips, your fingers, your toes, a hundred thousand times. I would tell you how hard I will work for the rest of my life, to help others because that is one of the few things that is going to get me through this. My soul does not belong to myself anymore. I gave it up the second you left me. You took it with you. I don’t want it back. I know you are keeping it safe for me. I wish I would have had some poison to drink with me. The second you took your last breaths, I could have taken the poison and drank it too, so I could have died with you. So you wouldn’t have to be alone, without me. Like Romeo and Juliet. Only we loved each other so much more than they did. I’m sorry I cannot be with you. It is so wrong, Ronan. So very wrong.

I need you. I cannot do May. I said those words tonight. I know you heard them. I know you saw me. I’m sorry if you saw the pain in my eyes, the hot tears that ran down my cheeks, the way I said, “No, no, no,” over and over again as I clung to the one thing that makes me feel closest to you. Please make May go away. Please bring him back. Please. I cannot do May.

But May is here. There is no stopping it. I would have sent out your birthday party invitations now. We would have had an awesome party. Anything you wanted. I’m sure it would have been Star Wars related. I wonder sometimes if you would have ever outgrown your Star Wars phase. Now, I’ll never get to know because to me, you’ll love Star Wars forever. May 12, you would have been 5. That seems so big. You would have been such an amazing little 5-year-old. I’m still going to plan your party, even though you are not here. I’m calling May 12, 2012 Ronan’s Day of Love. We are doing something very special down at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to make some very sick sweet kids, smile. It’s exactly the way you would have wanted it to be. It’s going to be a very special day down there all because of you. I cannot be there. Not this year. It’s too much. I’ve got our lovely little board members handling it all as well as my intern Rissy and your Liz. They will do a great job.

So, Ronan’s Day of Love. I’ve come up with a few ideas. I think we should all wear purple for Ronan’s Birthday. It’s such a great color. I really loved all of the balloons for his birthday last year. Purple was his favorite color so if you all want to buy purple balloons and let them go, that would be so sweet. Any color would be fine, but purple was his favorite. I loved seeing all the pictures from it too, so if you want to snap the pics and email them to me, that would be nice to see. Any donations to his foundation are always welcome, of course. We are getting pretty close to getting Dr. Mosse’s trial funded. This Marathon of Madness has brought in some good money and we are so thankful for all the support. I’m not done planning Ronan’s party but I’m getting tired. One more thing that I can think of that I would like you to do is grab your child, children, sister, brother, friend, aunt, uncle,…. whomever you are closet to and say these words over and over to them…,”I am so lucky to have you.” I used to say those words over and over to Ronan all the time. And now I’m not so lucky, because he is not here for me to hold and tell him how lucky I was. I always knew. Everyday with that child was such a gift. A gift that I will never understand why it had to be taken away. I will never accept all that he went through and his death. I will carry that anger and pain with me for the rest of my life. It’s mine to carry. It’s a part of Ronan. I’m not letting that go.

But I have to go now. It’s been 2 weeks without Ambien. After tonight, I had to take one. Sometimes the screaming in my head and the tears just won’t stop. Somethings I have to say enough. I’ll be surprised if this post even made sense. I do some weeeeiiiirrddd shit on Ambien. Thank god I have no desire to go and drive a car. Tent City, here I come! Bucket list Rita!!!

G’nite Ro baby. I love you to the moon and back. You are my best friend. You were the best thing that has ever been mine. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

A promise and a baby lizard.

 

Ro baby. Hi. Hola. I cannot believe you are not here. I cannot believe you are really gone. I hate this so much. I’ve had a lot going on. I’ve done my hiking everyday or every night just like I said I would. I’m proud that I’ve stuck with it and have not missed a day. Even on the days that I have not been feeling well or have been too sad, tired, sore, or it’s too late. I don’t care. I have made myself climb that mountain, every single day. I have no excuse not to. I broke the most important promise in the world to you, which was how I promised to save you. I’m not breaking this one. I will spend the rest of my life, fulfilling the promises I make to you. It’s one of the things I take very seriously in this oh so insane life without you.

I had  a board meeting yesterday. It was productive and fast. We are getting a lot of things done. I made it through yesterday by the skin of my teeth and a very long, hot hike. I’ve slept the past 4 nights without our little frienenemy, Ambien. Yay me. My sleep has been horrific though. So many intense nightmares. I cannot even think about them without being sick. A lot of them have to do with you being tortured and I cannot get to you, in time to save you. I wake up scared and sad but I’m back to fighting off having to take Ambien. I don’t like taking any kind of prescription sleep aids. I’m back to trying to suffer through sleep, without their help. Dr. Jo is happy about that. I am too.

I spent today running around, getting things done. It seemed everywhere I went, I was surrounded by babies. It was weird. It made me really sad and miss you. I met Rita for lunch. I was waiting for her and I texted her something like, “Fucking babies everywhere.” She said we could go somewhere else. I told her no. That I would just ignore the babies. She got to the restaurant. I think she saw the look on my face as sweet innocent baby #1 was right behind me. She sat down. She looked at me and goes, “Oh my god. Whatever you do, DO NOT TURN AROUND. They just took their baby out and it is a lizard. It’s not even a human. They had a freaking lizard for a baby and it is disgusting.” I started cracking up. The baby lizard story continued for a few minutes while the laughter escaped my lips. It was a really, really, good story. I almost believed it. That Rita of yours, knows just how to make me giggle when I need it the most. #Thankful (hashtag, right Rita?)

After lunch I ran to see Dr. JoRo. We sat in her office and hashed out what has been going on. I cried. A lot. She asked what we were doing, this time last year. I told her. She asked me if I had written it down. I said I am pretty sure I had written a blog entry. She asked if I minded if she looked it up, from around this time, last year. I told her I never re read what I wrote, but sure. She found an entry. She read it out loud. She had to stop a few times, to compose herself. I just sat quietly and let the tears slide down my cheeks. I closed my eyes and pretended like I was listening to someone else’s story. Please don’t let this be about us. Please don’t let this be about you. I begged. I pleaded. I opened my eyes. There your little obituary sat on the same place it always is. Right in the middle of her desk. This is our story and it fucking sucks. I don’t care what good comes from this, Ro. All I want is you back here with me. More than anything.

I’ve been making plans though. Plans for your birthday, plans for our trip, plans for summer, plans for this marathon of madness. Lots of plans. Lots of plans that I don’t want to make but what choice do I have? I have to do these things for my sanity and for the sake of your best brothers, who deserve to have as normal as a summer as possible. I saw your Sparkly. I had your GiGi with me when I saw him.

“Why are you carrying that around? I’ve never seen you do that.”

I had it draped over my neck.

“I need it today. It smells like him. I take it a lot of places. I just don’t pull it out in front of you.”

He gave me that curious/sad look that I get a lot. We chatted about some things that have gone on/are going on. I sat quietly and let him talk. Sometimes I need to do that. Sometimes, I don’t have much to say because it’s all I can do not to choke on my tears. Sometimes, it’s just good for me to sit back and listen. He may have told me sometimes he wants to ring my neck due to certain things that tend to just come flying out of my mouth. I told him I knew. I apologized for my non existant filter that does not exist around him. I asked him what was I supposed to do? I told him to stop telling me I was going to be fine because that is what he is always telling me. I finally got him today, to admit that I am not going to be fine. He told me today, “I know you are not going to be fine. I’m not telling you this ever again. I am going to tell you what I know about you and that is you are going to survive this. You will survive.”

I buried my face into your blanket. I spattered out the words, “May. How am I going to do May?”

“You know how you are going to do May? With Ronan. Ronan will get you through May. Nobody else. You have to trust that. He is not going to let you down. He is going to get you through May. I promise you that.”

I looked up, my eyes burning with tears. I quietly said, “O.k.” and nodded my head. I trust his words. I trust you. I have to, Ronan. I just wish I didn’t have to. I just wish I had you back here with you trusting me, because that’s the way it should be. It should not be like this.

I fell asleep, baby doll. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

A barefoot hike and a spicy little dragon

Ronan. Every single morning I wake up, the first thing I do is miss you. I will never be the mama that wakes up with a fresh set of eyes. My eyes are always sad, mostly bloodshot and my heart is always heavy. Every single morning, I have to make a choice to get out of bed. It’s a choice because a lot of days, I do not want to wake up at all. After a very heavily induced Ambien coma sleep last night (yeah, I totally went there), I woke up this morning saying all kinds of shit in my head. You HAVE to get up today. You HAVE to make 2 decisions today. You HAVE to check 2 things off of your list. You have to start making some decisions about Ronan’s death day/birthday that is approaching. I get up. I make my way to your brothers room the same way I do every morning. I walk past your room. My stomach drops that you are not in there. Your bed is neatly made. I go into Liam and Quinn’s bedroom. I open their blinds. “Good morning, boys! Rise and shine!” I turn on their shower. I text back and forth with Rita. We make some plans for tonight, as a family. YAY! I get to see her little dragon! I pack your brothers lunches and drop them off at school. “Bye boys! Have the best day! Try your hardest! Be nice! Be kind! Help others! But don’t take anyone’s crap! I love you!”

I decide to make a run to Target for a couple of things and one of them includes a couple of little trucks for my little dragon friend of mine. I get so excited about seeing him. I love his little raspy voice, the way he says my name over and over, just to say it, and the way I get to hear him call out to Rita, “Mama,” because that is what he calls her. I am a sucker for that mama word. I am a sucker for the way he sometimes talks about himself in 3rd person. I am a sucker for this little dragon friend of mine who makes me want another baby/child so freaking badly. I would actually just like to take him home, but I don’t his two totally amazeballs parents, would be o.k. this. I’ll just continue to take him in the doses I get him in, which totally makes my day.

It’s while browsing through the toy aisle at Target that I of course, walk past the Star Wars toys. I can’t resist. My heart flip-flops back and forth. New guys! New helmet guys that Ronan did not have, but totally would have wanted. I pick them up. I put them back. I almost walk away. I can’t. I turn around and grab the new guys and throw them in my cart. I’m buying them for Ronan. I don’t care if he is not here to play with them. I run home, look at my get two fucking things done list, I sit down and do them. Good job, you. I look around at our house. It’s so freaking clean. Everything is put away. There is not even laundry to do or windows to clean from your little pudgy, dirty hands smearing stuff everywhere. This is FUCKING BULLSHIT. I throw on my workout clothes. Well, since there is no maybe baby, I guess I can go beat myself up a bit. I drive to our mountain.

I listen to Dr. JoRo’s voice in my head telling me, no headphones… just try to be quiet. To be mindful. I run up our mountain. Except instead of taking our usual route when I get to the top, I turn the corner instead. I slip off my shoes and continue up, down, around, and around the unfamiliar trails. It’s hot. Nobody is around at all. My heaven. Inferno hiking season is almost back. My feet don’t really feel any pain. I run for a long time, barefoot. I stop after about an hour and a half of hiking up, up and up. I find a nice spot, throw my things down, sit down on a big, black rock. I close my eyes for a long time and think about you. I snap a picture to send to Rita. She responds back that the cactus I’m sitting in front of, looks like it flipping off cancer. I laugh. It totally does.

I head back down the mountain, keeping my shoes off for half of the way. I stop to put them on and start to cry. A few ideas trickle into my head about what it is, that I would like to ask people to do for your death day. I’ve decided that’s what I’m calling it. Not your passing day (that sounds too sweet) not your anniversary (i hate that too) I guess I could call it your Fuckiversary. That has a nice ring to it as well. You deathday/fucking bullshit Fuckiversary it is. I know a lot of people will want to do something. I’m creating a little list in my head of what it is, I would like to see done. Up until today, I have not been able to even think about it without getting physically ill and drawing a total blank. It was only today, during my hike of numb pain, that ideas started to spin around. I’ll write about them later, not tonight. I’m tired and I want to be able to let this all come about, naturally, and I don’t feel like I’ve gotten it all figured out yet.

My little hike lasted 3 hours. It was nice to be outside, connecting with nature in a physical way. I get in a funk when I don’t do things like that. I always feel close to you and I tend to feel the closest to you, on that little mountain of ours. I left your bracelets all over the same tree below, like I do every single time I am there. I always wonder who finds them. I always wonder if they will google your name and learn about the most beautiful little boy who ever lived. I hope they do.

I went to your favorite restaurant tonight, Chelsea’s Kitchen, with that little Dragon friend of mine, his parents, your daddy and brothers. I felt like you were there with us. Especially as I watched Little Dragon, jump into the water fountain outside of the restaurant with his shoes, socks and pants on. If you were there, you totally would have done it with him and I would have laughed. I laughed and I almost heard your giggles in the distance. I laughed even harder when that Little Dragon, grabbed someone’s shoe that was just sitting near a rock by the patio (seriously who takes their shoes off, at a restaurant?? if you ask me, they were just begging to be thrown into the water by a very curious 4/maybe 5 year old) and threw it in the fountain/pond. Such a little rebel Ronan move. Your brothers thought it was hilarious. Rita, apologized profusely, but secretly /not so secretly to me, thought it was funny. I looked up at the sky and blew you a kiss. It was a great ending to an almost good day.

I love you to the moon and back my very spicy, little monkey boy. I’m so sorry for all of this. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

The it’s a given promise

Ro baby. Has it really been almost a week since I’ve written to you? How is that possible? I guess that explains all the anxiety that I have had. Well that, along with the 10 other things that are causing it with the number one reason being your death. I have no freaking clue what I’ve been doing. I’ll try to remember, but the events mentioned may be out-of-order. Pretty sure you won’t mind though.

I’ve been busy. So freaking busy. Between taking care of your brothers and running your foundation, I am left at the end of the day with my head spinning. I feel like I have so many balls juggling in the air. I’m trying to prioritize them. Your brothers come first of course, but it doesn’t take much to keep them happy. They have a good life and they know it. I’ve been giving them anything and everything that I have left which is all I can do. I get out of bed every single day. I tend to what they need. I love them. It’s simple really. They thrive off of love and security. They have that even with the death of you. It’s wrong but it’s so right. It’s the way it has to be and it’s what they deserve. They deserve the happiness that they feel. It’s all I want for them. I wish I could say it helps with my pain, but it does not. I think I’m realizing, nothing will ever help with this pain, Ronan. It will always just be this way. I will forever feel like I am sinking in quicksand and I will constantly feel like I am fighting against it for my survival. Nobody should have to be this fucking strong. Nobody.

I’ve been writing a lot, but writing to others. Trying to get shit done, yo! I’ve been helping my friend, Tanya, redo your foundation website. It looks amazing and she has worked so hard on it. You know how picky I am so we are in the process of going over everything with a fine tooth comb. Tanya has taken my vision and ideas and made them a reality. Everything about your new website is so beautiful. She knows how important it is to me to keep the “Ro,” in all of this. She’s let me come to her with these ideas and she’s made them happen. She has put so many hours into this project and she has done it all out of the kindness of her heart. I am so thankful for her. Just another one of those beautiful things to come out of all of this sadness. Beautiful people exist more than ever. I know you are putting them everywhere in my life to help me survive this. It’s your way of taking care of me. Thanks, babydoll.

I’ve been crying a lot I think. Crying at the most random times. I’ve been sleeping at night still without the help of Ambien. Sleeping and dreaming of everyone, but you. It’s not fair. I miss your face so much. I always think of you at night, before I go to sleep. You would think this would help me dream about you. It does not. I wake up sad, searching for you in my dreams since seeing you in real life, is not a reality. Seeing you in my dreams is what I beg for now. I can’t believe it is so difficult due to the fact that you are all I seem to think about.

I’ve been running a lot and not eating again. My appetite is back to nothing. I pick at all of my food. It all tastes blah and if I do eat anything, it comes back up. Your daddy took me for a nice dinner the other night. We rode our bikes to the restaurant. On our way home the little voices inside of my head, took over. They whispered things in my ear like,”What in the fuck are you doing, riding a bike? Your baby is dead. You are not allowed to go outside, with your husband, and ride a bike. You are a bad mom. You are betraying Ronan. You are not allowed to ride a bike which in turn, makes your feel somewhat normal. You are not normal anymore. Ronan would be so mad at you if he knew what you were doing.” I had to work really, really hard to get the voices to shut up. I wish I could tell you that I didn’t believe anything that they said. But I believed everything. I threw up when I got home. I threw up and passed out cold and slept for a solid 5 hours, woke up at the same time I do, every night. 3:27 a.m. Right around the time you passed away. I wonder what this means. I wonder if this is your way of screaming and crying for me and there is nothing I can do, to get to you. I think it is your way of trying to communicate with me, but I don’t know what it is you are trying to say. I’m so sorry. I wish I knew.

I saw Dr. JoRo yesterday. It was a pretty long session as I guess I have a lot going on. At one point I looked at her and said, “And is my fucking memory ever going to come back?! Seriously, Jo. It’s fucking with my life! I cannot even remember what I do during the day!” She told me it may never be the same again. She explained why, but now I cannot remember to tell you. It has to do with the trauma and loss of you. It’s beyond frustrating to me and leaves me feeling so vulnerable and lost. I feel like a little girl who is lost in the middle of the forest and will never find her way home again. I’ll just be lost forever I guess. I am hoping you can throw me a map every now and again. If I don’t get to live at home anymore, can’t I at least go and visit once in a while? That would be nice.

I had dinner with our Mr. Sparkly Eyes. I forced myself to eat as it had been a couple of days. I picked at the food in front of me, but managed to get some of it down my throat. He said he was glad for that. During our dinner where he actually didn’t eat, but watched me eat instead; I looked up at him with the question I’ve been sitting with for a while now.

“I need you to promise me something,” I said in my strongest I’m not going to cry while I ask you this voice.

“Alright. What is it?” he asked.

“I need you to promise me that if you get to wherever it is that you go to, after here, before I do… that you will take care of him. That you will watch over him and keep him safe. I need you to promise me that.”

“Of course I will take care of him. I’ll always take care of him for you. I’ll take care of him and look after him while we wait for you to join us. You didn’t even have to ask that. I would be honored.” he said with that look in his eyes that makes me know if that time comes, and if it is before me, or your daddy can get to you… you will finally be safe.

“Promise me again,” I said.

And he did. I know I didn’t even have to ask this question as it is a given due to how much he loves you, but I still needed to hear the answer out loud. It gives me a feeling of peace that I so desperately need and never get to feel. I even managed to keep my food down after dinner. Good job me. Thank you, Ro, for him.

I think I’m all over the place tonight, blabbing away. I have too many things to say and tell you. This is what happens when I go too long without writing to you and I don’t like it at all. All of my thoughts are all jumbled about. I need to sleep now. It’s late and your Gary is laying right next to me, looking cuddly and warm. Oh, how I wish it were you instead. I still think this is all a very sick, very cruel joke. I’m still waiting to wake up from this never-ending freaking nightmare.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams babydoll. I’m so sorry we have to be apart. It shouldn’t be this way. I’ll keep fighting for you though. I promise. We can do this; together. We can do anything, Ro. I believe in us. I believe in you.

xoxo

You and Ben. Ben and You.

Ronan. I have had so much go on the past couple of days but all I can think about is Ben died today. Those are the words that jolted me out of my Ambien induced coma last night at 12:11 a.m. I was asleep, in Quinn’s bed and you know once I take my Ambien, World War II could be going on in our house and I wouldn’t know it. Last night, I was ripped from my sleep and straight up in my bed, not knowing why. I reached for my phone because something just felt not right. That’s when I read the words, “Ben died today.” My stomach dropped. I immediately sent your Mr. Sparkly Eyes a text that simply said, Ben died. Fuck. Fuc (which is our code word for Fuck You Cancer) I got up, I kind of remember going into our bedroom and just saying out loud to your Daddy, “Ben died. FUCK!” I don’t remember what happened next except my face was very wet. I woke up in the morning, back in Quinn’s bed praying that I had only dreamed of Ben dying. I grabbed my phone and read the words, once again. No. No. No. No. Not Ben. I got up, showered, got your brothers up as we were running late. I was in the middle of making lunches. Your brothers came out to grab some breakfast. Your Quinny was complaining about the shorts your daddy had picked out for him to wear to school. They were just normal, corduroy shorts and I told him how handsome he looked. He started to say how he didn’t want to wear them, how it wasn’t fair. I stopped in the middle of making his sandwich, looked at him and I said, “Ben died. Ben died and you are going to complain about the shorts you are wearing? You are not allowed to do that.” Was this too harsh for an 8-year-old? I don’t fucking think so. It’s real life. It’s real life where I’m sorry but we don’t get to complain about things that don’t fucking matter anymore. There are bigger problems in life. I refuse to let your brothers, forget that. I refuse to let them grow up in a world where they are ungrateful that they are alive and get to wear stupid shorts that look nice when all they want to do is wear Nike Basketball shorts. It’s not happening when you and Ben would have given anything to wear nice corduroy shorts.

So Ro. I knew that day I saw Ben at America’s Taco Shop that it was really you that I was seeing. It was not just a coincidence. It was a very well orchestrated plan thought out by you. I knew that day, that Ben probably was not going to be around much longer. I knew that this was your way of telling me this, but it was also your way of telling me that you were going to take care of him. I knew this then, but I know this now for a fact. I have not told his mama this. I talked to her today. I wanted to tell her this, but I could not find the words. I was the one, crying on the end of the phone while I listened to her tell me that she was fine. How she was cleaning the house, but she was fine. What do you say to that? I did the only thing I know how to do. I simply said, “Barb. You are not fine. You are in shock. You are having a physical reaction to Ben being gone and your mind and your body are trying to protect you.” She said she wasn’t sure, that she really felt fine. The tears slid down my cheeks. “O.k.,” I said. “Please just know that I am here when the shock wears off. I’m much further down this road, so I kind of get it. Not entirely, but kind of.” All I wanted to do was reach through the phone and wrap my arms around her. All I wanted to do was to bring Ben back so she wouldn’t have to be fine. I felt so useless and so helpless. I tried to think back to what happened right after I lost you. I don’t remember much but I think I wrote to you. I’m sure there were so many people out there going, “Has she LOST her mind?!! Who writes a blog post, not even 24 hours after their child dies?!!!” I guess that was my version of being fine. Everybody deals with things differently. There is no right answer. You know what else, makes me love Ben’s mom even more? The fact that when she did do her update (I’m assuming it was her) that she simply titled it, “Ben died yesterday.” That was very Maya like if I do say so myself. Regardless if they are religious or not, it was so fucking refreshing not to read, “HALLELUJAH! Ben is with our Lord Jesus Christ! We are so happy!” The next caring bridge that I have to read, that says something like that, I’m going to punch my fucking computer screen. I don’t care how much you believe in God…. stop fucking lying. No parent is happy and rejoicing that their child is dead. Let’s call a spade and fucking spade. I don’t care if God is your fucking BFF. The fact of the matter is your child is gone and let’s just be honest for .2 seconds and be honest about it like Ben’s mom. Ben died. That says enough. That says everything and more. It is enough. Just let it be enough and nobody needs to scream Hallelujah about it.

I know I worry about you being safe, Ronan. But I don’t worry about Ben, because I know he is with you. Does that make sense? I may not know that you are safe, but I know you are now watching after your little buddy and I know that you two are together and so I know you have a little friend to pal around with. I pictured you two, today playing with each other and running all around. I actually pictured you both on this earth and how you would have been great friends. You don’t get to be here together so you being somewhere else, will have to do. It was easy for me to picture the two of you, together which is weird because we didn’t even know Ben that well. We only had a few interactions with him but they were always one’s that I could not forget. I never could get his little mischievous smile, out of my mind. It was so much like yours.

Words failed me today with Ben’s mom. There are no words that could ever be good enough. I’m so sorry was all I could really do. If I had to tell her some things, it would be this.

This should not have happened. It should not have and you don’t ever have to be o.k. with this. You won’t ever, “get better,” or get over this. And you should not. He was your Ben. Your one and only sweet Ben and this just proves that life is not fucking fair. Nobody will ever have a Ben like yours. This is o.k. You are the only one that was special enough to have him. People will try to understand but they won’t. This is o.k. too. He is your best kept little secret. Your love is your best kept little secret. The best kept little secret that nobody can take away from you because it lives closest to your heart and your heart, ONLY. Nobody else’s. Ben knows how much you loved him. Ben knows you would have traded your life for his in an instant but it was not your choice. You will learn to accept this and let his love, guide you for the rest of your life. Don’t question your heart. Ever. With anything you do anymore. Even if that just means deciding what to cook for dinner. Everything will eventually mean so much more than it did before because Ben will be behind everything you do. Not that he wasn’t already before, but now his light will become that much stronger even on your darkest of days when you don’t want to get out of bed. Don’t fight this. Stay in bed and have lots of dark days. He is worth every single tear. He is worth your shattered, broken heart. He will help you put it back together when it is time. There is no time frame for this. Don’t listen when you hear this gets easier as time goes on. Time is irrelevant. Time means nothing. Time has stopped. You were his teacher for an amount of time, that was cut way too short. Let him be your teacher now. I know he has so much he wants to teach you. I know he has so much he is going to teach you. He will keep you safe. I promise. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry and I wish I could bring him back. I can’t so Ro will watch over him. I don’t believe in much these days, but I believe in this. I don’t just believe in this, I know this. I love you. I love Ben. I love the love you two have for one another. Not had. HAVE. You will always have that. Always.

Alright Ro baby. It’s been a long day full of too many tears and homemade potato latkes. I peeled the fuck out of the potatoes today while I cried for you, me, our family, Ben, and Ben’s family. I made some pretty kick ass potato latkes. You would have loved them. I’m sorry that cancer is an asshole, therefore you couldn’t be here to eat them. I’m sorry. I’m sad. I love you and I hope you are safe. Thanks for taking good care of Ben. I love you both to the moon and back. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

Whipped Cream Kisses for Dessert

Ro baby. What in the world happened last night and today that I can exist on only 4 hours of sleep, like it’s no big deal? Oh, I know….your death. This coming from a girl who used to easily sleep 8 to 10 hours a night. Sometimes 12. I was totally that girl, that mom, that me. Not anymore. The peacefulness of sleep is hard to come by, especially on nights like last night where nothing out of the ordinary happens; just reality. Last night I fought sleep until 6 a.m. I did a lot of talking to myself, played a lot of musical beds, sent some emails, posted some stuff on FB about zombies and how 4 a.m. sucks. 4 a.m. sucks, but 6 a.m. when the birds start to chirp, is even worse. 6 a.m. and you know enough is enough, so you pop an Ambien because nothing else works. I slept from about 6:20-10 a.m. I got up, showered and my mind was racing with things that I needed to do, for your foundation. So much stuff that it was making my head spin. I went to my little Starbucks office and worked away not even feeling the hangover from the lack of sleep. I was really productive during my hours at the Starbucks office, despite the extra annoying, really bad soft porn music that blared from the speakers. I got recognized by a RoFan of yours which I was really surprised by because I only go to this Starbucks for the reason that I won’t run into anyone. It’s my secret Starbucks office where nobody knows my name. Or so I thought. Today, this girl was sitting by me for a while with a boyfriend or boy friend of hers. They got up and left and I was so into what I was doing, that I hardly noticed. A minute later I noticed the girl as she came walking back through the doors and headed straight for me. I looked up just as her soft eyes asked if I was Maya. I smiled and said yes. She told me she reads this blog. I asked her how long she had been reading it for and how she found out about you. She said she heard about you when we were on Channel 12, about needing an airplane to get you to New York. Whoa. What a sweet, loyal dolly. She’s been reading for a long time. She told me how sorry she was. I tried not to get choked up as I looked into the eyes of this girl who I swear could have been 17. I gave her a bunch of your bracelets and RoCards. She seemed so nervous and shy. I told her thanks for saying hello. I meant it. She made me smile.

Margarita stopped by the F U Cancer Starbucks office to say hi and help me with some things. Turns out, by the time she arrived my brain had turned to mush. I’m pretty sure she was looking into the eyes of a zombie but she still managed to make me laugh. A real laugh too which only a few people in my life seem to be able to make me do anymore. She being one of them. I had filled out an application for something (which will remain TOP SECRET classified information until more comes of it) and my application totally sucked balls. I filled it out last night during my insomnia marathon. Margarita looked it over and goes, “Yeah… I think we can do better than this.” HA! There is nothing I appreciate more than someone who can tell it like it is. She may have saved our secret mission today because if I would have actually sent in what I had filled out, I can guarantee you it would have went right into some fancy NYC recycling bin. Thanks, Rita. Rawr! You are a RoSaver! The rest of the day/evening was spent with your Luke, Daddy and brothers. We all went to the batting cages and hit some balls. I tried to enjoy it but as you know, when going to places like this I am constantly looking over my shoulder for you to appear. I don’t think I’ll ever stop looking for you. I watched your brothers as they ran around full of so much love and life, just like they should be. I closed my eyes and imagined you were there with us and for a split second, everything in the world was perfect. Simple perfection was ripped to shreds by the reality of Hell when the giggles of a child nearby forced me to open my eyes, just to make sure it wasn’t you. It wasn’t. Fucking fuck.

These are the things I’ve seen in the past 24 hours that I just can’t deal with because it is as if salt is being poured into an open wound. The real world. The real, non bereaved, I didn’t lose a Ronan and you did world. A lunch in the middle of the day at your favorite restaurant. A lunch with the best company in the world. A new friend and an even newer friend on the most delicious day (sunny. breezy. chilly. not rainy. sunny was delicious before you died) We sat outside as the breeze whispered in my ear and I swear I could hear your voice. My eyes gazed up from the menu only to fall on the table nearby. A mom. A dad. A little boy, around 3. A new baby. The little boy, roams carelessly around the tables. Almost in a mocking sort of way that only a grieving mother would feel. The parents look on, and drink their bottle of wine in the middle of the day. A whole big bottle of red wine. Another one is ordered. They pay no attention to the little boy as he wanders off, far off. Not far enough to get swiped up, but maybe….. it could happen. But the mom and the dad are so calm, so clueless, so free that they don’t mind. They trust in the world that the fates will be kind as they let their child wander about. They look as if they don’t have a care in the world and their big bubble looks oh so delicious. I watch with my blood-shot eyes, worrying……..over what? I’m pretty sure the cancer grim reaper does not live at Chelsea’s Kitchen. Hey! That’s too far! Hey! He’s talking to strangers. But the strangers just smile and laugh. He’s so cute they say. The mom and the dad don’t really reply, they look up and smile instead at the strangers almost in a conceited sort of way. They gaze into each others eyes as they’ve just had the best sex of their lives and now they are going to drink more wine and do it again. Their children certainly don’t cramp their style. They are so mellow and laid back. I’m pretty sure the VW bus strapped with surfboards on the hood and the California license plates, belonged to them. They continue to drink the wine. The little boy returns to the table. The mom orders dessert. The little boy goes back up in his high chair. So high. I watch as he eats the whipped cream with his mama. I watch her kiss it off of his lips, they way I used to kiss it off of yours. She asks for more wine. She is tiny, I think to myself. How can she drink so much wine? Don’t they have to drive home? Oh, how I hope they walked. But even that scares me. They have a brand new little baby, too. I’m confused. Wine. Toddler. Baby. Middle of the day. Smiles all around. Is this really real? Who lives this reality? It certainly isn’t mine. Is it everyone else’s, but mine? The little boy finishes his desert. He isn’t strapped into his high chair. He stands up in it and nobody cares. Or maybe it is that thing they seem to have going on where they trust in the world so much so they just know everything will be o.k. What’s that like? I can’t remember. He stands up and I start to count. 1,2,3,4,5…………. Hey! How is that allowed? He could fall! 45 seconds later and he almost does. But his mama swoops in to catch him right before the waitress does. The waitress gives a nervous giggle. The mom does not. She giggles as if something was truly funny. How is she so carefree, I wonder? Must be the flower in her hair. The long, flowy childlike hair. My lunch dates watch this interaction as well…. but not as closely as I do. I am borderline, obsessed. I would have never been so carefree with Ronan in a restaurant, I think to myself. I would have never let him wander without keeping my eye on him every single second. I would have never let him stand up in a high chair for 45 seconds only to catch him right before he fell. I would have never drank 2 bottles of wine, in the middle of the day. Or ever. What’s their secret? Because clearly they have the key to happiness. It was all over their smirky faces that were saying to me, you have a dead child and we do not! Sucks to be you! Or maybe they really do but I’ll never know. I know I cannot truly know the story of this family by my 60 minute observation. But in my mind, the story that I had made up in my head, was too much to take. After the almost high chair falling incident, I looked up at my 2 new friends like a deer in headlights. I’ve gotta go. This is giving me way too much anxiety. They both knew it and we quickly up and bolted. After paying, of course. Thanks, Rita;) I left your little restaurant, and that family behind yesterday. But not without feeling the stings from the open salt wound that is now my heart.

That’s my story tonight baby doll. It’s late. I’m tired but not really. I will try to sleep. I love you so much. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams. G’nite.

xoxo

Diamonds Are Not a Girl’s Best Friend

Ronan. Does it sometimes feel like I want to rain on everybody’s happy parade? Because I don’t. I am happy there are happy people out there. I am happy that most people out there do not know what it feels like to lose a child….. well, I may be taking the happy word a little too far, because you know I don’t know what happy feels like anymore. So let’s tell it like it is…. happy is not the right word. I am glad. Glad that most people won’t know this pain. But I really hope from reading this story, they get how lucky they are and they choose to live life a little differently. Just by knowing how it really is the small things in life, that matter the most. The sweet whispers of a child, the helping of a stranger, the butterfly kisses of the world, a child’s hand, laughter, a solid marriage, strong friendships, true friendships, loving yourself, soul mates, being kind to others, sparky eyes, and helping when you are in a position to do so. These are the things that matter in life. Nothing else.

I have some bereaved mommy confessions to make. I have a lot of them, but in order to confess them all, I would need to write a book. And maybe a good attorney to keep me out of jail. Let’s just start with a couple tonight. The one that makes me feel like such a jerk. Let’s call this one, “Confessions of a bereaved mommy who now hates to wear jewelry.” This didn’t happen until after I lost you. Until I started wearing your ashes around my neck. Until one day, I looked down at my diamond ring and got really mad. It made no sense. I did everything right. I married the right man. We loved each other. We had formed a house full of respect, love, compassion, strength and honesty. But now our baby boy, was dead. But I had the pretty jewelry. The jewelry was there, but you were not. I didn’t want the jewelry. I only wanted you. I slowly started to put all of my pretties away. Christmas and my birthday came and went. Guess what was given to me? A new pretty ring and matching earrings. Tears were cried over the gifts that I did not want. Your daddy only wanted to make me smile. But I cried instead. Take it away. I don’t want it. It’s too pretty for me to wear. And I am so ugly. Can’t you see how ugly and sad I am?? I don’t deserve to wear this pretty jewelry. I have Ronan, around my neck… I don’t need anything else. None of this stuff really matters and because life is not fair, the jewelry gets to stay and Ronan gets to die? I want the jewelry to die, instead. Your daddy insisted I keep it all. I did. I tried. I’ve worn the pretty ring and earrings once and it didn’t make me happy; it just makes me sad to look at. I put it away with the rest of my things. It came up tonight, again. I begged your daddy to take it all back. “I won’t wear it!” I told that daddy of yours. “But you are so thoughtful. Thank you. It really is the thought that counts, Daddy Woo….. but the only thing I need to wear…..is Ronan.” I’ll mix it up a bit, Ro. I’ll wear some inexpensive skull bracelets around my arms, your bracelets, or some cheap Forever 21 jewelry that is bright, but diamonds, gems, stones….. I can’t do it. I used to think diamonds were a girls best friend. I thought that, until I had my best friend taken away from me. A diamond cannot replace you. A diamond cannot bring you back. A diamond cannot make me smile. A diamond only makes me sad. I fight with this a lot. Because I know anything and everything your daddy does, comes from such a good place. So why can’t I just suck it up, smile, and wear the pretty things? I mean, really…. it could be so easy to do. If I were a fake. But that’s just one thing I’m not. I cannot suck it up and fake it with the stupid jewelry. This makes me feel like a big, fat jerk but I cannot look away from the lesson I’ve learned from all of this. Pretty jewelry, and I don’t care how much you have….. will never truly make a person happy. When everything else is stripped away, when the most important thing you’ve ever had in your life, is taken away and all you are left with is pretty jewelry….it will not mend a broken heart. It really just DOES NOT matter. It is not what is really important in life. It won’t stop the tears, sadness, emptiness, or loneliness one feels. It won’t bring back my smile or you. It is only a reflection of broken promises, hopes and dreams. It’s a facade. It is overcompensation for what was supposed to be, but never will be again.

I tried today. So freaking hard to have the HAPPIEST ROENTINE’S DAY EVER! I had some productive things to take care of. I had a meeting. I put on my game face. I did a lot of nice things, for others. I brought cupcakes to your Sharon at PCH. I had coffee with your other lovie and gave him our card. The smile it brought to his face, made my entire day. But his smile did not come with false words like most peoples do. His smile came with watery eyes and words like, “I know you are in excruciating pain…..” I know he knows, which makes my pain worse. I don’t like that other people hurt because of this. I never wanted to hurt anyone, Ro. Especially the one’s we love the most. It makes me sad.

Our new friend, Margarita, dropped off dinner because I have seem to have lost my cooking skills/desire. (Total inside joke for my Saline Bean…. (“I seemed to have lost my keeeeysssss”) I sat at our table, in your spot and opened the cards from your Daddy, then Quinn, then Liam, and finally, you. Your card sang. I could hardly listen to it because the tears just started pouring. I smiled through my tears, kissed your daddy and brothers and told them thank you.

I drew a hot bath. Your brother, Quinn is still sick and Ronan…. confession number 2 of the night…. I cannot take care of him. It’s all I’ve been doing since Saturday and I am about to crack. I think I’ve become a bad mom. I would have never had these feelings before losing you. I feel like a big weight is on my chest. I feel like I can’t breathe. I feel like I don’t want to be a wife or a mom anymore. Do normal people feel this way? Or is it just me? Have I gone mad? I think so. I must be mad. Insane. And sad. So very sad.

I tried to make it a very special day, Ro….. but all I did was think about you and Ben. Ben with the Bald Head. Ben who likes to eat sushi and listen to The Beatles. Ben who has a very sad mommy for the worst reason possible. I’ll attach Ben’s caring bridge tonight because I need everyone to send them their extra thoughts, love, prayers and whatever else you might do. I’m only sending them you, Ro. Only you.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/benpurcell/journal

Please think about Ro and Ben all you people out there, reading this. Please don’t just make this your bedtime story while you sit reading it, dripping in your diamonds or ice cream. Please do something to help us change this… for your kids, your grandkids, your neighbors, your friends, for anyone you love. Please help us change this, because as of now…. our pain is not yours. But bubbles can burst at anytime. Never trust a bubble.

Ro baby. It’s Ambien coma out tonight. I have not taken anything in a week. I have been sleeping like a baby, in your bed, without Ambien. I’ve been sleeping in my dead babies bed. I can’t believe this is true, but it is. Today was too much. Tonight is too much. I need a break. I just need a break from all the screaming, crying, laughing, T.V., conversations, vivid dreams of everyone but you. Where are you? Why won’t you visit me, in my dreams? I miss you so much. I’m so sorry, Ronan. I hope you are safe. I love you, baby doll.

xoxo