If you have a little time on your hands…

266169447c562500c9b40e39139ec76b         Rockstar Ronan was nominated for “Battle of the Blogs” on Arizona Foothills. Thank you to the lovely person that nominated me.  Also, thank you for being so patient with me while I work on this book. I promise you all it will be worth it!! Battle of the Blogs 2014 Rules & Regulations * Voting is unlimited * Voting runs until July 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM (MST). * The TOP 4 blogs with the most votes will be announced as the winners * Winners will be contacted by Arizona Foothills staff after July 30th. Prizes AZFoothills.com pages for one week, be featured in AZFoothills.com E-newsletters, get an editorial mention in Arizona Foothills Magazine, snag some super social media promotion, and be given a very special guest blog spot! – One full week as the static banner ad on all the pages of the website – Features in AZFoothills.com E-newsletters, which are sent to 75,000+ subscribers – An editorial mention in an issue of Arizona Foothills Magazine – Social media promotion on Arizona Foothills Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram handles – A guest blog spot on AZFoothills.com Vote if you can! Thank you so much! xx   http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/battle-of-the-blogs/voting/2.html

Here is an easy way to help us. You can vote once a day! Go Ro!!

 

 

 

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2013/voting/325.html

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2013/voting/295.html

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2013/voting/128.html

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Arizona Foothills Best of the Valley. You Can Vote, Once a Day!

Look at all the things we are nominated for! Thank you to AZ Foothills for being such an awesome magazine and recognizing everyone’s hard work. Thank you to everyone who nominated us! You can vote once a day! I know you are all probably sick of voting for us as I just hammered you all for the Chase contest, but look at all the good it can do. We don’t win any money, but the winners get a special spread in the best magazine in Arizona. This can do great things as far as being recognized and raising awareness goes. For those of you asking how you can help, here’s how! Just click on the links to vote for us in the categories we are nominated for. Once a day! It’s so easy and would mean so much to us! Thank you! We are honored to be nominated by the side of so many other organizations and individuals!

xoxo

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2013/voting/325.html

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2013/voting/295.html

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2013/voting/128.html

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2013/voting/131.html

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2013/voting/318.html

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2013/voting/120.html

Meet Your Host For The Gold Party. I am Honored to Call Her, My Dear Friend. She is a GEM!

 

 

 

 

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/features/features/4537-q-a-a-with-charisma-carpenter-for-the-gold-party.html

Dear Grief/Pregancy, You will NOT kill my soul.

 

 

Ronan. This staying in bed and waiting to die, because I’m pregnant and tired, is bullshit. Hello, who the fuck does this life/grief/pregnancy/death fuckwad, think they are dealing with? This is the girl who went skydiving, just because. This is the girl, who ran a marathon, without training for it, just because. This is the girl, who is fighting with every single thing that I have, because I don’t have a choice, unless I want to curl up and die, while letting cancer take EVERYTHING away from me.  I am tired of being tired and I’m going to fight through this as hard as I can. Staying in bed, in NOT good for my mental well being. I decide to start today with, enough is enough. Just because I am tired and sick does not mean I have to roll over and totally give into that, right?? I am allowing myself to have about an hour a day in bed, not the entire freaking day. I can’t do that to myself, no matter how awful I am feeling. Am I pushing things a bit? Maybe, but it’s the only way I feel like I can survive. Hopefully in the next month or so, I’ll have some of my energy back, but until then, I WILL power through this.

I spent the day with a friend of mine. We were invited to a lunch that at a house that lasted much of the day. I went, not knowing what to expect and it was a total adventure. It felt good to be out and about, doing something a little out of my comfort zone. Actually a lot out of my comfort zone. I was in a world that I normally don’t live in anymore. A world of shiny, happy people. I don’t fit well into that world anymore, but I love our hostess so for her, I was totally game. Plus she says the word, “Fuck,” a lot which you know I appreciate. I also got to see a good friend of mine, Kristi, and it is always fun to spend some time with her. It felt good just to be out with my friend. Our conversations area always easy and honest. No need for bullshit or pretending. I don’t function well in a bullshit and pretending world. I never have and never will. We left our lunch feeling as if we had just come off of another planet, but were both so thankful for the adventure. I needed a break from MY reality today which is exactly what I got. Thanks, J- for the break, amazing lunch and your dazzling smile. It was nice to be among the living for a few hours.

Last night, Ronan, I had the most vivid dream. I was in the hospital and I had this baby of ours. It was a boy. He was so tiny and frail. I was holding him and our Mr. Sparkly Eyes came into the room. This is such a pattern, him in my dreams, always when I am dreaming about you in whatever way that I am. He came in beaming and so happy. I handed him the baby to hold and I was begging him to help me name this baby boy, as I could not think of a name. The next thing I knew, this baby started talking and saying, “Ronan, Ronan, Ronan,” over and over again. I remember being really sad because this I so wanted this baby to be you, but it was not. I woke up soon after that, totally freaked out by the baby in my dream, talking. I was aching to see your little face so badly that I wanted to throw up. I almost felt mad at the baby boy, in my dream, for not being you. I don’t know what this dream meant. If we do have a boy, we have already decided his middle name will be Ronan, of course. We have about one idea for a first name. I am kind of all out of ideas for boy first names, but we know it of course has to be Irish.

I had a nice thing happen to me today. A nice email that once again, came again at the most perfect timing. Just when I have been struggling on a little side project the past few days. It’s almost as if you are still around so much that you know when I am struggling, and you send someone into help me out or give me a big fucking sign that everything will work out. I have a lot of dreams. This one has been in the works for a while but it is nothing I have been pursuing seriously. You know how I am about just letting things, happen when they are supposed to. I am such a true believer in this, especially in the world I live in now. I might just fall asleep with a smile on my face tonight and I might just be going out to New York City in a few weeks. Our Fairy RoMo said to pack our umbrella. Gladly. Happily. Best news ever. I am sick and tired of this blinding sun. Stay tuned:) I miss our city, so very much and now I might just have a great excuse to get my pregnant ass back out there, puking and all. I am dying to see our Fairy RoMo, as well.

This is all for tonight my most beautiful boy. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

Ava. No words would be good enough.

 

 

I am going to take my anger out on my surfboard with some very mean looking waves. I will surf for Ronan and Ava, and all the other kids, who will never get the chance to.

F U Cancer.

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/extra-extra/news/3988-rip-ava-holder-2007-2012.html

Like a Little Million Stars Spelling out your Name

Ronan. Just when I think I have a handle on something…. like my sleep, turns out I’ve spoken too soon. This sleep thing, for the past week has been awful again. I can’t unwind, when I do, I toss and turn, or just can’t fall asleep. Tonight was awful. My body is so tired that literally, everything hurts. I swear even the strands of my hair. Your Daddy was trying to get me to unwind, but I was hurting so badly, I couldn’t lay still. I sat in bed with him and just cried while he did his best to comfort me. What did I do? I pulled away and said things like he promised me he wouldn’t let you die, that everything hurts too much, that Romeo died with Juliet so why couldn’t I die with you? I am pretty sure my pain, of losing you, is way worse than their’s was. I got up, rambling something about needing to break a window. Your Daddy followed me and grabbed me to because I think he really thought I was going to. It started to storm out really hard. Quinn ended up in our bed with us, sobbing like a little puppy dog because he said he misses you. I just held him and cried too. It was all I could do. Your daddy was the one doing the talking. He told Quinn things like he bets the storm was your way of telling us, not to be so sad. I think it was your way of telling us, that you are so sad too, because you miss us so much. My head is spinning thinking of the ways we all miss each other now. Of how we were never supposed to be apart.

My body is now so tired that it just won’t sleep. I’m past the point of tired. Can somebody just shoot me in the head? Oye….. started that last night, Ro. Guess I was not in such a good place. But when am I? That’s why nights like tonight, are necessary. For as much as I want to hide and avoid people, it’s nights like tonight that show me that I cannot. Because I am capable of having a slightly good time. Good time may be pushing it, but Ro, it felt better than my nights have felt in a long time. I’ve been really good at not doing anything with ANY of my girlfriends. No more movie dates, dinners out, etc.. Nothing. Not a thing. Well, I threw a little something together, last-minute to try to break up this rut I’m in. I saw that there was a Roller Derby tournament going on tonight. You know me and my big mouth. I have blabbed about this Roller Derby thing since before you were sick. I have had your Papa Jim all psyched up about it, saying he’d fly all the way here, to watch etc, for two years now. I acted all tough and badass and told him I was going to try out. I had your Nana all worried, because she thought I was serious. I had a plan, and I was mostly kidding, but I continued on talking about it because I just couldn’t let it go. And your Papa Jim and I loved seeing your Nana all riled up; upset that her little girl, could possibly get hurt doing something so crazy like Roller Derby. Then you got sick. And all the jokes stopped. And all the teasing stopped. Nothing was funny anymore. Life became……so serious. So much more serious than I ever though was possible.

When I started looking into the Roller Derby thing again, I thought to myself, this could actually be really good for me. I really think this is something I could check out. What a great way to get some of this aggression out. So, I decided to grab a couple of girlfriends, to go and watch. A night out? Yes. It’s time. A night out with just a couple of girls, is way overdue. So, I asked my new friend, Mandy Bee to go with me. She’s from Canada, Eh, and we seem to have some sort of connection. Oh yes… this little Mandy Bee. The one who drops bags full of candy off for me as well as kick ass leg warmers. The one who stalked me and I liked her from the second I laid eyes on her. The one who cusses like a sailor and has a dark side which sings to my soul. This new little Mandy Bee of mine feels like someone who I have known in a past life or something. I like this girl. A lot. I asked her to come with me. She was game, right away. I also asked my dear friend, Melissa to come as well. My dear Melissa whom I never get to spend time with, but she is someone I always want to be around. She makes me feel safe. And sad. And happy. And it feels good to be safely sadly happy, around her. Because she knows. She sat with us so many days at the clinic. You used to laugh when her cell phone would ring and chirp like a bird. She loves you. She misses you. She’s never gone away. She hadn’t met Mandy yet. I thought the 3 of us, together, would make a good team. I was right. Melissa picked us up at our house. We hung out for a few minutes and then we headed out to the West Side of the Valley. The chatter was easy in the car. Honest and true. Just the way I like it. A little dark too. We got to the Roller Derby Rink. Lots of tough looking girls skating around everywhere. We found some seats and got up to talk to some of the Roller Derby girls in the booth behind us. We threw lots of questions their way. Turns out, every Wednesday, you can come and get familiar with what exactly goes into this Roller Derby thing. Turns out, every Wednesday, they have try-outs. Radness. Mandy and I locked eyes. Sign us up, please. Melissa laughed and said she would come and watch. I told Mandy, after this Fashion Show awesomeness, you will find me on the rink. We shall see. What have I got to lose, Ro? NOTHING. What have I got to lose, if I don’t try this out? Regret. Regret is an awful thing to be chained down to in life. I won’t do it. I want to try this, so I think I will. Go Big or Go Fucking Home.

After we watched the match, which is totally confusing by the way. They really have a strategy down, those girls. It’s not just girls in badass outfits, skating around, pushing and tripping each other. There is a reason behind the madness. I wonder if those girls, have a reason behind their madness, like me. I’ll bet not. I’ll bet nobody’s reason behind their madness is because their almost 4-year-old, died of cancer. I have a feeling, I’ll be solo on this mission. It’s o.k. I like being the lone wolf. I always have. I work best this way. So, Ro. After the match we headed out and decided to grab some dinner. We stopped at St. Francis to grab some food. I was wearing my purple F U Cancer sweatshirt and as we made our way through the restaurant to sit outside, so we didn’t have to wait an hour and a half to be seated….. a lady at a table yelled at me that she liked my sweatshirt. I told her thanks and she asked where I got it. I told her my friend had made it for me. She then told me that her sister had just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and that she would love my sweatshirt. I told her then she had to have my bracelet and I took my Fuck You Cancer bracelet off of my arm for her. She read it and looked up at me, smiling. I knew I was going to have to tell her, about you. So I pulled out one of my little cards, with your picture on it. I started to explain your story. Then man next to her, interrupted me. “What was your son’s name?” He asked. I simply said, “Ronan.” His eyes welled up with tears and he stood up. “Oh my goodness. I am (crap I cannot remember his name) the Chaplin over at The Ryan House. I have prayed for your family, since I heard about Ronan. I’ve read your blog. FUCK YOU CANCER!” He grabbed me for a big hug. “I’m so sorry about Ronan.” My heart sank. But my heart, also fluttered too. The Chaplin of the Ryan House, just said, “Fuck You Cancer!” It totally made me laugh. We stood and talked for a few more minutes. The girls and I then went to sit outside to enjoy some beers and food. YUM. Beer, Food (I ate!) and new and old friends. It felt good just to be sitting outside, on a crisp night, with this new friend of mine and this old friend of mine. And to watch the way the 2 of them, got along. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE, Ro. You know how I love to watch relationships form. It’s like a science experiment to me. The 3 of us, mesh well together. The night ended around 10:30. Your little stalker brother, Quinny, was getting worried. That’s the new nickname, I’ve given him. I was supposed to be home (or I told him I’d be home around 9:30) When the clock turned 9:31, I looked down at my phone and had 8 missed calls from him.(or so we figured out after about 15 minutes of us girls freaking out that 8 missed calls had come from some creepy unknown phone number( our house phone which I don’t even know the number to because we don’t use it) Turns out, it was Quinny, wanting to know where I was. I told him I would be home soon. I then gave him the nickname, Little Stalker. I thought that was pretty PG rated of me. It could have been Little Fucker. The girls and I laughed about the phone thing, forever. It felt nice.

Ro baby. Started all of this a couple of days ago. It’s Sunday Funday now. Or Sunday I Fucking Hate you day. Except today, wasn’t a bad day. I was gone all day, helping out with Fashion Show things. It’s this week! Can you believe that, little man? All because of you. Bittersweet to say the least. But we are doing everything, just the way you would have liked it. Just the way, you would have rocked it. If only you were here, to enjoy it. I so thought you would still be here. Remember how I thought we would still be going back and forth between New York and here? How I was so ready, to pack up my life, to live with you in New York? How I wasn’t scared because I knew the two of us would be together so that was all that mattered. How New York, quickly felt like our second home. As if we had lived there together, in a former life. Remember how we used to spend the days, roaming the streets, not caring that you had cancer because we knew New York was going to heal you? It was going to save you. How the fuck were we so wrong?? How did that not happen, baby? I’m so sorry, Ro. You know I would give anything to change this. I miss you so much. My whole heart feel like it is missing, without you. But I’m still here, fighting for you. Because as I told Michael Dee, Sarah Love and Heather while they sat in my kitchen last week…. what choice do I have? You, Ronan Sean Thompson came into this world, kicking, screaming and crying. I had to watch you leave this world, silently. Not being able to do any of those things because cancer robbed you of that. So now I am fucking left here; and it is my job to kick, scream and cry for you until the world starts to listen. Until this little army of mine, turns into a REALLY FUCKING BIG ARMY and Childhood Cancer starts to get the attention it deserves. Because I refuse to just sit back and watch as these poor innocent children are fucking MURDERED before our very eyes but nobody cares. Because it’s not their child, right Ro? It may not be their child but what if it is someday?? Or what if it ends up being their grandchild or cousin or niece or nephew or Godchild? What assholes, will all these people who have chosen to IGNORE Childhood Cancer, feel like? Fucking Douchebag Assholes, I’m sure. Guess what Ro? I know a whole bunch of people who did not even know you, who DO NOT want to be Douchebag Assholes. They want to help. They want to be a part of something because they know this is something REAL. In a world full of SO many FAKE PLASTIC TREES. The Fake Plastic Trees in life will only get you so far, right Ro. The Fake Plastic Trees will leave you with an icky taste in your mouth that will never go away. No matter how often you CHOOSE to look away. Because guess what Douchebag Asshole People???? Now that you’ve read these words….. It’s a CHOICE now. You CHOOSE. I hope you can sleep well at night. With his big, blue eyes, piercing into your soul. Because they are that life changing. And trust me. I now know a lot more about life, than I ever hoped to. And I had to learn the hardest way possible. As of now, you DO not. So fucking do something. Or do not take his gift. Go on. Carry about your days until you Louis Vuitton luggage, becomes too heavy and your Xanex becomes to weak to numb your pain. Are you still going to look the other way????? That makes me sad. I’m so, so very sorry. Ronan deserved to be here. Do you?????????? If so, make it worthwhile. Because to be any other way, is just not enough. And I know deep down, we all want to be more than enough.

Um, Hi, Ro. Are you still there?? I’m sorry baby. I think my post got hijacked by Inca tonight. Apparently, I had a lot to say. I’m not even sure what just went on up there. Oh well. Fuck it. Most of the time when I write to you, I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience. I feel like I get so lost in my writing that I am watching from above, while I’m really off somewhere else, playing with you. I love this time, so much. I’m sorry it has to be this way for now. I am trying so very hard to do this. To make you proud of me. You push me and you give me strength. You are a gift to me every second of my life. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little one.

xoxo

This is now on the John Lennon Wall in Prague thanks to the raddest girl who has ever lived in NYC. Miss Rachel Goldman. Thanks Dolly. You made my day with this.

xoxo

Sarah Love outdid herself. Thank you, dolly. Thank you Arizona Foothills. It’s Beautiful. It’s Perfect. It’s Real. I’m Honored.

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/features/people/2934-dear-ronan-we-miss-you-.html

 

The Silver Lining in the Clouds. I Wonder What it’s All About.

Ro baby. I haven’t been avoiding you. But I’ll admit it. For the first time ever, since starting this blog…..I’m scared. Scared because of the weakness that I gave into. Scared because I’m NOT as strong as everyone is always telling me I am. Scared because of the many days that I don’t think I can survive this. Scared because of the reality that I had to wake up to, after truly trying not to survive this because the pain is sometimes just too much. Scared because I came closer to the dark side than I ever have, and it was so easy to do. Just like that. No thought. Only impulse. Consumed by the pain of my reality, that you are never coming back. NEVER. I know I talk about you dying all the time, but do you want to know the truth? I still think in my heart of hearts, that you are going to come home again. That your Daddy is going to one day, walk through that door, carrying you in his arms. That is how delusional I am. This is how deeply I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that you are never coming back. I cannot accept your death. I cannot accept our pain. I cannot accept our life, without you. I just want you back. I want you back, so badly that I feel like it should so easily be able to happen. This is how my delusional mind works now. Nothing is real, so your death can’t possibly be real, right?

I told Dr. JoRo that so many nights, when I’m out running, all I think about is some van pulling up next to me, grabbing me and pulling me inside of it. Do you know what I see in that van? A bunch of men in white coats and masks. They are holding you and you are alive. They explain to me that you really are not dead. I see your face, your smile, your tears of joy because you are back in my arms, where you belong. These men tell me that this was just an experiment to see how strong a mama’s love, really is. To see how much pain a mama could handle, before she could handle no more and did something really crazy. Like the skydiving I am planning to do on Thanksgiving. I’m just trying to decide if it will be with or without a parachute. If you would have asked me last weekend, I would have said without a parachute. If you ask me tonight, I would say with one, please. Dr. JoRo and I joked about this tonight. The skydiving thing. We laughed as she said I should throw a turkey out of the plane before I jump. Then our dark sense of humor took over as we giggled about the headlines of the news that day. “Runner killed by a flying turkey, on Thanksgiving Day.” And they said turkeys couldn’t fucking fly. Oh, how wrong they were about that.

So, Ro. After the weekend of the dark side…. it was very highly recommended that I go to Sedona on Monday, to see Dr. Jo. I drove up there, happy to do so. I like that time alone in the car, driving to the place that makes me feel a little peaceful. I had a lot of people offer to drive me but I politely said no thank you. I needed to clear my head, before I bared my soul. I was greeted by Dr. Jo, like always except for her hug was a little tighter this time and I had to listen to her apologize for being out-of-town, for work, during my little crises. Nonsense I told her. It wouldn’t have mattered. I knew that we were in for a long session, to figure out what lead up to this. Besides the obvious.

We talked about my week. Shit. I had a lot of shitty shit shit, happen. Too much shit that I wasn’t even aware of, because I had let everything build up and roll off my back. Trying to be the Superwoman, that I so am NOT. I need to remember this, more often. And Halloween. I was not prepared for how hard it was going to be, but I had tried all week to prepare myself for the worst. Our favorite holiday, without you. NO. All of your “friends,” dressing up in their costumes. NO. Thinking about what we would be doing, if you were here, like you should be. What would you have worn? I spent most of the week thinking about not being able to dress you up. I spent most of the week, crying about it. I went to PCH to help Sandra. I ran into a girl there who used to work at the front desk of the clinic. “How’s your baby!?” She said. “My baby?” I replied, puzzled. Do I have a baby?? I couldn’t remember. I said, “You mean Ronan?” She said, “Yes, I haven’t seen you guys in a while.” I must have looked like a deer in headlights. “Oh. He passed away.” I said as the tears formed puddles at my feet. She felt so bad. She hugged me and told me how sorry she was, that she hadn’t heard as she had been out on maternity leave. I told her thank you. I asked how her baby was and did my best to get myself under control. I had to put on my best game face so I could go and try to help my friend. I did an o.k. job. Helping out Sandra, is one of the few things that makes me feel o.k. in life. It reminds me of why it is that I am going to keep fighting this fight when there are so many days that I do not want to anymore. Seeing the way cancer has destroyed Mia’s little body and robbed her of her childhood pisses me off so badly and it is exactly the kick in the ass I need to carry the fuck on. Or so I thought, but it didn’t save me during my weekend of death.

Back to my Dr. JoRo session. It was long. Grueling. We made a plan because I cannot have another weekend like last weekend. My plan does not include any sort of hospitalization. Sorry to all of you out there, who think you know best. You don’t have a fucking clue. I know you mean well, I know you care, but please don’t act like you truly knows what this feels like for me so therefor, you know what is best for me. Because you don’t And I hope to RO, that you never do. I do not need to be in an institution. That is not the answer. What would that solve? My safety? No. A hospital cannot save me. Dr. Jo cannot save me. My husband cannot save me. My living children, cannot save me. Only, I, myself, or the self I have left, can save me. ME. ME. ME. ME. Not you. Not my friends. Ronan? Yes. Of course, Ronan. Can you bring him back to me? That is the only thing that would 100% guarantee that I will be able to survive this life. I know I have to keep going, but sometimes I just want a break from all of this pain, this life, these tears, this heartbreak. I have to find that break, without breaking myself and everyone around me. I am thinking of trying out for a fucking roller derby team. I’m thinking I had my little break over the weekend and it was the wake up call I needed. I think I need to figure a lot of things out, so I can start to put myself back together again. I think I need to start letting my husband back in a little more and stop pushing him away so much. I think I cannot do this alone, like I have tried so hard to do. I think this life is totally fucked but it is my life to live now. I think I’d better start figuring out how to do that, sooner, rather than later.

Dr. JoRo is checking in with me everyday. Your Daddy and I went to her support group last night. Together. It was the first time we have done something like that, the two of us. I tried to tell him he didn’t need to come, that I could do it alone. He insisted. I am so glad he did. I arrived first. I sat down, in my chair and immediately felt myself retreating into my dark, alone place that I often tend to go when put into a new group setting. The room soon filled with other parents, all there for the same reason as me. Because we all belong to the same fucking club. The club I like to call My kid fucking died and I don’t want to be here anymore club. The worst club to be a part of in life. Dr. Jo was leading the group which is the only reason I went. She arrived and things got started. Everyone took turns going around to tell their story. It was almost my turn to talk about you. Your Daddy walked into the room, late and sat down next to me but not before kissing my lips. I just looked at him and buried my head into his chest. I couldn’t talk last night so he talked for me. He told a little piece of our story, to this room full of sad strangers. I hid my face in the side of his neck. Dr. Jo asked if I wanted to say something. I told her No. I couldn’t stop crying. I told her I didn’t want to be there. She said she knew. I stayed though. We stayed. Together. For as bad as it felt, it felt good too. The group lasted 2 hours. It was full of so many different people. Young, old, black, white, Believers and Non Believers…. once again I am reminded that death does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone. Everyone is at risk of losing a child. No matter what choices you make in life. Good or bad. It doesn’t fucking matter. After the group broke up, we talked with Dr. Jo for a bit. I was so glad to introduce your Daddy to her, and vise versa. It was like watching 2 parts of my soul, connect. It was magical. Your Daddy talked to some other parents. I sat with Dr. JoRo and watched him. She looked at me and goes, “He has quite a presence, doesn’t he.” I looked at her and told her I knew. He’s always been that way. I am so fucking lucky to have him. I am so fucking lucky and thankful that he loves me so much, that he is willing to put up with me and all of my craziness. That when push comes to shove, he’s not leaving. Ever. And how I love to push buttons. I think it was Sunday night that your Daddy grabbed me and told me enough was enough. That I needed to stop because no matter what I did or what hurtful things I said, he’s not going to walk out on me, the way that my dad did. That when he married me, it was forever so the self-destruction that I am engaging in, needs to stop because he’s not going anywhere. His words slapped me hard. His words shook me to the core. Sometimes I need to shut the fuck up and just listen to him. I did on Sunday. I need to do it more often. The truth of the matter is, we are in this, together. Forever. He lost you too. He can’t lose me as well. I won’t do that to him. You loved him too much. I love him too much. My grief often blinds me of this. I needed the little wake up call I had over the weekend. It had to happen for me to realize a lot of things that I have been forgetting.

After our support group last night, your Daddy and I had a late dinner out. It was the first time, in so long, that we have went out, just the two of us. We sat at Hillstone, in a cozy booth, and tried to act like the normal couple that we no longer are. The normal couple that I would give anything to be again. The normal couple that we used to be that felt so blessed and thankful and proud of the life we had created which revolved around us and the three of you. We shared the artichoke dip and a burger. We talked quietly but I was soon distracted by the early 40 something couple who was sitting in front of us, making out and feeding each other apple pie. I started stabbing my burger with my very sharp knife, over and over again. “Really people. WTF. Who is THAT happy? At 40? They are either having an affair, or they are having an affair. Nobody is that happy. I think I am going to throw this burger, across the room at their table.” Your daddy looked panicked as he now thinks I am so out of my mind, that I may actually do it. He grabbed my hand. “Stop stabbing your burger. Calm down.” But I didn’t want to calm down. I wanted to really chuck my burger across the table at them. And I wanted to tell them how I used to be that happy, until you died. But I think it is gross to make out in public and that they needed to get a room. And feed each other apple pie, elsewhere so I didn’t have to stab their eyes out with my knife. Your Daddy and I got up and left there, holding hands, as it was the best we could do. We are doing the best we can do, which at this point only seems to be surviving. But surviving together.

I started writing to you last night. I couldn’t finish it. I was so tired that I fell into a deep sleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. Your Daddy asked for time with me. For me to put the computer away. I snapped at him and instantly felt guilty. I should have explained to him about the anxiety I was feeling, from not writing to you, for a few days. How I want him to understand and respect that although you are not here, I still need my time to take care of you and now, that comes in the form of writing to you. Without this, I don’t know how I would cope at all. How important this is to me, to still nurture the relationship between a mother and a child. My dead child. How guilty I feel, during the times that I don’t write to you and how that guilt builds up because I feel like I am betraying you. Like you will think I have forgotten to tuck you in at night. My writing is my version of tucking you in, bathing you, kissing you, feeding you, holding you, wiping your tears, fixing your ouchies, and loving you. It is so important to me to continue this, for you. And for me. So, I started this last night, but should have listened to your Daddy because the fight I tried to put up, insisting that I needed to write to you, didn’t even pan out because I was that tired. Without the Ambien. You know what I’ve found is a natural remedy for sleep? Tears. Lots of tears. Endless amounts of tears that never stop so that when the night comes now, I am so tired that sleep is just begging for me. Such a far cry from the insomnia that consumed me for a good year.

I woke up today with a fuck ton to do. I woke up late. 8:00. I was so tired I felt like I could have slept for days. I took your brothers to school and got ready for someone to come over to the house from AZ Central to take my picture. Weird. It was actually fine. But something that I’m obviously not used to in my regular mama/cancer mama/bereaved mama life. I threw on a wrap dress that I have had forever. I took the time to blow dry my hair and throw on some red, spicy MAC lipgloss that I love. Because I heart red lips for everything. Red lips make everything better. As soon as the photographer got here, we settled into an easy chit chat. He was super sweet and I told him to make this picture thing as painless as possible. He laughed and said no problem. I also told him I really wanted to wear my purple TuTu and my Fuck You Cancer shirt, but I was thinking that the Arizona Republic would not embrace that. He laughed and said I should have, but I was probably right. Can’t win em’ all but it was the thought that counted, right? He took some pics outside. I tried to smile but I told him how hard that is for me now. He said he was sorry told me that I didn’t have to. So I didn’t. I didn’t feel like faking it today. I didn’t have the energy to force a smile. No big deal, yo. Just another day in the life of being here. Or just being.

After the AZ Republic guy left, I wrote a little, and tried to get a handle on the overflowing mounds of laundry that I have been avoiding. It is all clean, but has just been sitting in our laundry room, piling up to be folded. UGH. I had an interview with Arizona Foothills Magazine at noon so I was trying to chill before that. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had no idea of the major AWESOMENESS that was in store. My friend, Heather, came over for to hang out for the interview. She knows Michael Dee well, and is really good about breaking the ice and bringing about a positive, crazy energy. She also brought me Starbucks which I was in desperate need for as my weekend of death hangover still seems to be looming about. We hung out and soon Michael Dee and his communications director and amazingly talented photographer, Sarah Love, arrived. As soon as I opened the door, I let out a sigh of relief. I felt the love and connection, instantly. Good people. These are really good people who are here to hear our story because they truly care and want to help. I gave them a little tour of our house. I joked with them about the mounds of laundry and asked if they knew how to fold. They laughed and said they would do it in a heartbeat. I didn’t think they meant it. It turns out they did because that is how our amazingly almost 3 hour interview/therapy/crying/laughing/feeling you everywhere, ended. With the 4 of us, folding my laundry. Our house for 3 blissful hours, was filled with an amazing raw and organic energy as I talked about you and this crazy painful adventure that is beginning. Michael asked how I feel about being an inspiration to others. I told him I honestly didn’t think about it because all I see is you, inspiring me. And if that turns into inspiring others, than that is such a beautiful thing. If others are ready to embark on this ride with us, I hope they are prepared to hold on tight. Because it is going to no doubt be bumpy, rough, scary, and at sometimes, it is going to feel like death. But I know the end result is going to be something out of this world. Something so different, special, and strong…. just like you. Something that is unlike anything this world has seen. Because never was there a boy, as beautiful as you, Ro. The beauty of your physical self and soul combined was so powerful and I as your mama, know this. Guess who else is figuring this out? The whole wide world. The whole wide world who wants to be a part of this change. Not only in the world of childhood cancer, but in the bigger scheme of things as well. They all know, because of you, that there is more to life, than just THIS.

Ro baby. I am so tired. I miss you so much. I know I don’t have a choice. I HAVE to do this. Thanks for reminding me of this.

To my Arizona Foothills Family- Michael Dee and Sarah LOVE. I love you. Thank you for loving me. For loving, Ro without even knowing us. Until now. After today, you will forever be a part of our hearts and souls. I cannot wait for our monthly laundry folding therapy sessions. GO BIG OR GO FUCKING HOME! You are now, family forever.

xoxo