Las Vegas, Chicago, and Palm Springs

Ronan. I’m still here despite my silence. It’s only been a few days since I’ve written, but it feels like a lifetime. A lot has happened, even though it really has not. Let me try to retrace my steps these past few days. Your Daddy ended up going to Vegas. It was a quick trip and I am glad he ended up going. He needed to. He deserved to. He needed to blow off some steam and spend some time with the boys doing boy things. Liam and Quinn left for Chicago with Mimi and Papa. They are still there. They went to the ASU game last night. It sounds like they have been having a great time.

While your Daddy and brothers were gone, I stayed home alone for the first time. I had people checking in on me, friends who were worried and said they didn’t like it….. that I should call my girlfriends to come and stay over. I didn’t listen. I wanted to see if I could do it. If I could handle being in our house, all by myself. It wasn’t enjoyable, but I made it though. The visions of blowing my brains out didn’t even crawl into my head like they usually do. I had a quiet night at home, crawled into bed, did a few things on the computer, and tossed and turned all night. I walked around the house a lot. Looked outside, expecting to find you. I didn’t. I made it though the Silent Night without you. FUCK. That song. I used to sing it to you ALL the time. I never sang it to Liam and Quinn. Always to you. It is what I would sing, hum, whisper to you when I was rocking you to sleep. I never knew what a silent night it would really end up being. That song creeps me out now. I hate it. Why that song? Is it because I knew that one day, I would be without you, alone in our house, and I would have to survive the fucking silent night? I had to survive the night without you. I had to do it alone. I hated every second of it.

Your Daddy came home from Vegas and as soon as he walked in the door, we hopped in the car and headed to Palm Springs. It was a last minute trip and we knew we should take advantage of your brothers being gone, so we decided to drive out to Palm Springs to see Laura and Kasey. It was either that or stay in Phoenix and get caught up in our everyday stuff. We both knew we needed to get out of town, to see some dear friends, to spend some time together, just the two of us. I have forgotten what it is like to be with your Daddy, just the two of us. To be honest, I was nervous about spending this time with him. You know how closed off I am to everyone and everything. Guess what I found on this trip though?? I found one of my best friends again. Your Daddy. I remembered. I remembered why I fell in love with him 13 years ago. I remembered why I married him. I remembered why I love the feeling of holding his hand. I remembered how I love to see him smile. I remembered how I used to love to smile for him. I remember how much I love how he towers over me and makes me feel so tiny, even though I am tall. I remembered all of that and it felt nice. It all felt really nice, but it made me miss you even more. This guilt/grief thing really messes with ones mind. Anytime I felt a tinge of happiness, I would feel a rush of guilt wash over me. As if I was betraying you. I tried to talk myself out of these feelings, but it was impossible. I’m just going to continue to do what I’ve been doing, which is to nurture the feelings I am having and not try to change them. I have to embrace them and right now, and guilt is a big part of what I feel. I feel guilty for many things, but most of all for being here and living this life without you. It seems so unfair. You were supposed to be here, living this life with us. You were supposed to live to be a hundred, not only almost 4. Just shows you how little control we have of this thing called life. Absolutely none. I said this to your Daddy tonight. I don’t know how our conversation started, but it ended up with me yelling something like, “So what! We did everything right in our lives. EVERYTHING! And look what happened to us!” Just goes to show you, there are no guarantees in life, no matter how hard you work, how much you love, how you think you make all the right choices….. It can all be taken away in an instant and then what? You are left blind-sighted, trapped in this life, wishing for death everyday. But good thing you worked so hard to make the perfect plan.

Palm Springs was a good break. It was pretty low key. We spent some time with Laura and Kasey. I got to see your little friend, Cameron. She misses you. It was harder than I thought it was going to be, being around her. I spent a lot of Friday night, at Laura and Kasey’s house, just crying. I sat with Cameron and painted her little 3 year old fingernails and toe nails. As I was in the middle of this, she looked up at me and goes, “Maya, why did Ronan die in the hospital?” Oh, baby. I didn’t even know how to answer her. I couldn’t think of anything remotely acceptable to respond as an answer to her. So I didn’t. I just choked back my tears instead. Laura soon put Cameron to bed. I went to snuggle with her and we talked and I rubbed her back. I sang her our “Twinkle, Twinkle, LIttle Star,” as I played with her little fingers that reminded me so much of yours. You both have the same big hands and long fingers. I cried as I snuggled with her. Sweet, sweet, girl. She talks about you a lot and thinks about you a lot. She misses you and told Laura she wishes you were back with us. That’s a big thing to come out of a 3 year olds mouth. She loves you. I remember how much you loved her too. I’ll never forget your Tu Tu party with her, your first summer at the beach together, how you discovered your love of pickles together. Laura and I would talk about how you would grow into adults and get married. It was the perfect plan until it wasn’t. Until is was no more. No more planning your days, months, years, or life.

How quickly everything changes. What an awful change.

It was good to spend some time with our friends. I tried my best to keep it together and to smile and laugh along with my tears. The endless tears that just flow whenever, wherever. I have no control. I don’t need to. You are worth every one of them. The endless tears that I know I will cry for the rest of my life, Ro. I miss you.

My melatonin is starting to kick in. I’m tired, baby. I hate that I have to go to sleep now, without kissing you goodnight. Do all of you mommies out there, who have your babies, know how lucky you are?? For the first time in my life, I know the feeling of being jealous. A feeling I have never experienced in my life, but now I do, after losing Ro. It is a very sad thing to feel. It stings and it’s ugly. But I feel it, and I’m not going to deny it. I hope one day I won’t, but as of now I do. I refuse to let it make me an ugly person. Jealousy can turn the most beautiful people, into the most ugly. I will deal with it, let it fuel my fire for this fucked up disease of Childhood Cancer, that everybody just wants to ignore. Here’s what I have to say to anyone who reads what I write, but chooses to look the other way. Childhood Cancer can happen to ANYONE. Infants, toddlers, children, teen-agers, adolescents…. ANYONE. If you read about Ronan, if you are now aware of his story and you choose to do nothing…. I feel sorry for you. Truly sorry. I pray that the day never comes, that somebody you know, whether it be your child, niece, nephew, grandchild, best friends child, etc…… GOD FORBID, ends up getting cancer. You will feel like such an Asshole, knowing that you knew about Ro, but continued to live your blissfully happy life. If you are reading this blog, it is for a REASON. Do something with that reason. Help be a change. Be aware. Be proactive. Stop sitting on your ass and living in a bubble. If there ever comes a day, that your bubble bursts and you had your wake up call but didn’t take it…… Well that just sucks. I don’t care if the only way you change your life, is by just being more thankful….. At least that is something and it has come from the beauty of my son. I refuse to let him die in vain. I WILL NOT LET HIM DIE IN VAIN. This is my promise to him and the world. A change is coming. A change for the better, because life without one is absolutely pathetic and disgusting.

That’s my political attempt for the night, with my eyes half closed and heart ALWAYS heavy. Miss you, my baby doll. So much more to say, but words are failing me. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. Night baby.

Rain from Ro

Ronan. So many people made today, not an awful day. Friends, family, strangers and even you. As much as I was dreading today…. too many things happened for it to be anything, but beautiful. For as awful as I was feeling inside, there were too many things in the Universe, spinning around, not in my hands… making today bearable. I survived today and even made it though the day with a smile. Something I don’t do very often anymore. Something I miss doing so very much.

The day started off normally. Well, kind of. I was tired from not falling asleep until early morning. I heard Quinn come into my room around 6 a.m., saying he had a bad dream. I had just fallen asleep a few hours earlier. I wrapped my arms around him and we both fell back asleep. It was 8 before we woke up and I thought about just staying in bed and keeping your brothers home with me today. I knew if I did this, that it would not be a good day. I would have ended up hiding in bed, and not coming out. That is something your brothers do not need to see and I do not need to do. It only makes me feel worse. I got up, got Quinn up and we rushed to get out of the house before school started. We barely made it. I dropped your brothers off and went to Hava Java to meet N and Fernanda for coffee. I found a table outside, which never happens; as that place is always packed. Fernanda showed up and N soon after. I just happened to get a table right next to Susan Levine. She came to visit us when you were there. Gosh, she is beautiful. She knows, N and said Hello. I went up to her and gave her a hug and I thought I was going to have to remind her who I was, but I didn’t. She remembered. Even in my running shorts, no make-up, baseball hat self. She still recognized me as your Mom. I tried not to cry and thanked her for her amazing Ryan House. It was strange seeing her today, on your 4 months, but it felt like it was supposed to happen. Like it was meant to be.

I sat outside with N and Fernanda. We talked and caught up. N had to leave after a short amount of time due to a work call. It felt nice just to see her face. After N left, I sat with Fernanda and we talked about how I want to go back to NYC…. to have a few words with Kushner. We both know it will not do any good, as we are sure he is not capable of dealing with an emotional, angry mother. I don’t care if I don’t get though to him at all. I just want that man to look me in the eyes and tell me he is sorry. How he promised things that he should not have, and that when he couldn’t deliver, he abandoned us. He owes that to you, Ronan. I need closure. It is something that I cannot do without. It is part of my healing process. It may seem stupid and trivial, but it is important to me.

As Fernanda and I were sitting outside, we weren’t really talking, we were just being. I do this with her a lot. As we were both just being, we looked up at the sky. It started to rain. Rain in September. Rain from Ro. The sky opened up and I swear it was just over Hava Java as the clouds were nowhere else to be seen. Fernanda and I both looked at each other and just sat, held hands across the table and cried. We both know the rain was from you. You know how happy rain makes me. It is one of my favorite things in the world. I felt the little drips of the rain, on my lips and the tip of my nose. Kisses from you. It was such a perfect moment. So simple and filled me with a bit of joy. The fact that I had this moment while Fernanda sat across from me, made it even better. I know you saw the two of us today. You wanted us to know that you are still around and that you are taking care of us now. I really believe this to be true. We sat with the rain and it stopped after a few minutes. I didn’t want to leave but had to get on with the day. Inferno Hiking was waiting. It wasn’t much of an Inferno Hike today. You out of towners are going to laugh when I tell you how “Cool,” the temperature was. It was only 101 today so the Inferno did not exist. I cannot believe I am even saying that. Anywhere else, and 101 would be boiling. Not here. It felt chilly today as I climbed the mountain in that degree of heat and not the 115 that I have been hiking it in. I got to the top and sat down on my bench. I actually laid down and cried my eyes out all while watching the most amazing clouds roll in and the wind thrash back and forth. It was really windy up there today. I listened for you. I talked to you and told you I love you. I hope you heard me. I stayed up top for a good 30 minutes and ran all the way back down. Right as I was ending my run, The Bravery song that I played for you last night, came on. So funny. So fitting. So you.

I came home, showered and the doorbell rang. I went to answer it and it was a delivery guy with the most gorgeous purple flowers. A card was attached, and said something about making this day brighter, but no name was signed. So, I have no idea whom these flowers came from today but I am going to say Thank You, anyway. So thoughtful, sweet, and made me smile. They are gorgeous. What’s even more gorgeous is the fact that somebody out there sent me these flowers, without needing me to know who they are. I love deeds such as this. That says so much about a person. So, lovely stranger or friend. Thank you for your kindness today. I love that no recognition was needed. But I’m still dying to know who sent them! If you want to tell, feel free to send me a little message;) If not, that’s o.k. too. I totally understand.

I headed over to see Katie at her boutique. I brought her a Green Tea from Starbucks and a slew of bracelets. She said her phone had been ringing off the hook all day and her email was flooded with requests for your bracelets. I could not believe it. I am still in awe of the support and love that is coming from all of this. I sat at the counter, while she rang up customers. I am surprised at how much at home I feel in Katie’s store and with her. I hardly know this girl, yet her store feels like a second home to me. So strange. I feel like I’ve known her my entire life even though I only met her last week. I am such a skeptic of people too and their intentions. I feel only good vibes when I am with Katie. I know she is helping me because she is just a good-hearted person; not because she wants anything from all of this. She has nothing to gain, she has no reason to put herself out there to gain anything. Her intentions are so true and pure. I love this. As I was sitting at her counter, while she was gift wrapping something for a customer, guess what came on while I was sitting there? Stevie Nicks, “Landslide.” I just looked at Katie and gave her a hard time about putting that song on, on purpose. We both laughed and then the tears started to well up in my eyes. We just kept staring back and forth at each other, both getting teary eyed, while trying to keep our composure in front of her customer. Katie yelled out, “O.K. I can’t even look at you right now.” I just smiled and wiped my tears away. It was such a funny moment. I left there shortly after to grab your brother and cousins from school.

I had a crazy house full of boys. Wild, funny, happy boys. I had 4 of your cousins over to play. 2 of them are staying the night. It’s been a really great night. I love nothing more than being surrounded by kids. It’s my happiness. I took your brothers and cousins to basketball practice. Your daddy is coaching their team again. I watched my two little hoopsters and what amazing players they have become. You would be so proud of them. After practice, your Daddy went to the ASU football game. I took the 4 boys and we decided to try a restaurant, “Beckett’s Table,” for dinner. We have wanted to try this place out for months now. I was so excited to go somewhere new, with my date of 4 boys all under the age of 8. All the boys were really excited too. We sat outside in this amazing weather and had the best service. A really sweet server came out after we had been there for about 30 minutes. We were the only one’s on the patio, eating, but she came out to say Hello and to tell me that she reads this blog. I was surprised, as I guess I kind of forget that I’ve put myself out there in such a way that strangers recognize me. I gave her a big hug and told her thank you. She asked if I Inferno Hiked today and I told her yes. She than said something about how she felt so voyeuristic about knowing all of this stuff about me and asked me if it felt weird. I told her I honestly didn’t think about it at all and I still think that I am really only writing to you, and that nobody really reads what I write. I told her how much I appreciated her coming up to me and saying hello, because I do. So many people won’t and that just sucks. I would rather have someone tell me they are sorry than say nothing at all. As I was gathering up the 4 best dates in the world, we walked out of the restaurant and I smiled and said thank you to the people who were standing by the kitchen. One of the managers chased me out to tell me that our dinner, was on them tonight. I tried to put up a fight but she just was not having it. I wanted to cry but I put on my brave face and told her thank you so much. The kindness of this big city, is really something remarkable. The chocolate covered bacon was amazing. Actually, everything was amazing. Thank you, Beckett’s Table tonight. It was truly one of the best dinners out that I have had in a VERY long time. We’ll be back, for sure:)

I missed you today and tonight, Ro. In everything I did. Even driving in the car. I looked in my rear view mirror today, at the place where you used to sit, behind me. It was empty and felt so wrong. I almost had to pull the car over to throw up. I can’t believe I don’t have you behind me anymore, throwing things at my head, squeezing toothpaste that you had found, all over yourself and smearing it on the windows. This is so fucking wrong. So unfair. So permanent. I still can’t believe that you are never coming back. I still feel like your Daddy is going to come bouncing through the doors with you. I still feel like I made you up in my head, because the pain of knowing that you were here, and are now gone, is just too much. People say this gets easier over time. I’m here to tell you, it does not. 4 months later, and the pain is worse. Your Daddy agrees too. Time does not heal wounds. If you survive something like this, you just learn to live with the pain. You learn to fill the holes here and there, but there will always be a big chunk of your heart missing. That is a fact. It does not get easier, you never forget, the pain does not become less over time. It stays with you, every second of the day until you just becomes used to it. It is just a part of the person you are. Pretty soon, you are so used to the pain of all of this, that you don’t remember what it felt like before. It is as if you have felt this way your entire life. Well, this is my experience anyway. To each his own.

Time to go baby. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll. I love you so very much.

Goodnight my lovelies. Thank you to everyone who texted me super early this morning to say they were thinking of me, for all the phone calls, FB messages, emails. smiles, hugs, random flowers and a really sweet dinner. I am in awe of all the love that surrounds us thanks to Ronan. Love you all.

xoxo