I would like to go back to reality… never.

Ronan. I am always nervous when going to places that I have been with you before and having to return to them, once again without you. I was nervous to come here, as I never know how I’ll actually do. I have only the best memories of being here with you as your Nana and Papa’s was one of your favorite places to go. We didn’t come here last summer. I thought it would have been too painful. I think anything last year, was too painful. Coming out here, this summer with your brothers was the right thing to do. They have spent the past few weeks, in utter bliss. I have not seen them so happy, since before you were sick. It has been a little healing to my heart. How could it not be? I want your brothers to be happy. I needed to see them this way, for my own healing as well. I may never be happy again, Ronan. I can be o.k. with that, as long as your brothers are happy. I can live my happiness through them.

This place, will always be home to me. It will always be my favorite place. It is good for my heart, mind, body and soul. It has been a good trip, even under our harsh circumstances. You know what I got while I was here, Ronan? Nothing but pure love. What do you mean, I can walk around and not be judged for what it is I think, feel, say or act? Where are all the people, glaring at me with their hash, cold pretend eyes? Where are all the whispers?They don’t exist here. I get smiles. I get we are proud of you. I get you are doing a good job. I get your name brought up, everywhere. You are not swept under the rug. You are not forgotten because life just goes on. You are not in a better place. You were not part of a bigger plan. This did not happen for a reason. There is no reason for this and everybody here, knows that. Here, it is simple. It’s unconditional love, trust, support and no judgements. The only way a bereaved parent, should be treated. I am thankful to my family for trusting in me that I would find my way, and emerge from my hole, when I was ready. I am sure that hole will always exist for me, Ronan. But not once have I wanted to crawl in it here. I have spent the past few weeks soaking up your Nana, Papa, your brothers and Bri Bri. It has been just the time that I needed to unplug from the world and just be. Everyone misses you so much, but nobody is afraid to talk about you. Everyone is so worried about me, but nobody is afraid to talk about that, either.

I saw my dad today. I took your brothers over to see him for a bit. It was a quick visit. I don’t talk to him much, because I honestly don’t talk to very many people much anymore. He told me I looked better than he expected. He told me how worried he is about me. He looked so sad. I told him I would be alright. I talked to him about Dr. Jo for a while and how she has really been the one to help me through this. I told him about our very nontraditional therapy like relationship. About how I spend a lot of time up in Sedona with her and we do things like barefoot hike instead of sitting in some stuffy office, talking about stuffy things that most fancy doctors with their PH.D’s talk about. About how her therapy isn’t just an office where you are talked about, then forgotten. How I go there and how you are so loved by her because her heart is that big. I watched my dad, watching me as I talked about Dr. Jo. He looked down at me and said, “I am so glad you found her. She sounds amazing and now I am so less worried about you. Please give her a hug for me and tell her thank you, for saving my daughter.” I just smiled at him and said I would. See, Ronan. That right there is what I am talking about. How it does not matter how I am finding my way, because the people that truly care about me most and truly love me for me, don’t care how it’s done. They are just so thankful for the help and that I am finding my way, the way I need to find it. Because they are intelligent and open-minded enough to know that the only way I am going to find my way, is my way. Not anybody else’s.

Today, was your Nana’s birthday. I was sad most of the day because any type of birthday is sad for me now. They all feel empty without you. And I know what we all were wishing for and that was for you to be back here, with us. I did my best. I played with your brothers most of the day. I watched them follow your Papa around like two little ducks. I wanted my 3rd little duck to be following behind him, too. I looked for you, everywhere. I wondered if you were watching us. I wonder that a lot. It doesn’t give me peace, it just makes me sad because I know how badly you want to be with us. It is so wrong that we are separated. I have such a hard time in life without you here with me and some days, I just don’t know what to do. It’s days like today, that I force myself to continue moving forward, even though everything hurts so bad. I haven’t really had any breakdowns since being here. I know I am due for one, soon. I’m positively sure it’s waiting for me back in Arizona. We have one more day left here. Leaving is going to be hard. Your brothers are not ready to go at all. I am dreading having to take them away from your Papa and Nana. I think it’s going to be hard on everybody. Reality awaits us and there is no escaping that. It was nice to take a little break from it here though, and I am so thankful for the time with your Nana and Papa. Watching your brothers with them is one of my favorite things in life. It always has been. The bond that your brothers have with your Papa Jim is so very special. You loved him so much, too. I’m sorry, Ronan. For the fucking bullshit of a hand we were all dealt in this life. It rips me to pieces, every single day.

It’s late. I need to try to get some sleep. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

A painfully gracefully clumsily beautiful existence

Ronan. I had a rough sleep last night. I think there was a lot of tossing/turning/punching pillows involved. It was 1:45 a.m. when I pretty much said FUCKTHISSHIT and popped an Ambien. Hate it. But sometimes the silence of nothingness is needed. More so than not lately. Nights have been more brutal than they normally are lately. Nights are when the cries from you to me and me to you, scream the loudest. Nights are never quiet.

I got up today, running on the little sleep I had gotten, but I had a lot to do. Too much to do so I went into tunnel vision to get everything done. Foundation things. I had a meeting at Phoenix Children’s Hospital that I needed to prep for too. Prepping came with basically giving myself a pep talk and telling myself how I would be brave today and talk about you, without sobbing like a baby. Prepping for today came with a lot of,”You can do this. For him. He would love this.” Rita met me down at PCH. I was waiting in the lobby for her, busying myself with doing things like cleaning out my purse. Busying myself with a lot of things to distract myself from crying. I don’t have a problem with being at PCH. I’m down there a lot still. I had a problem with the reason I was down there today. I didn’t want to be there, without you, asking for permission to do something for your birthday, and you are not even here to celebrate it. I wanted to be down there, with you holding my hand, doing something for your birthday and celebrating the fact that you were here and we together, wanting to do something nice at PCH because we were so lucky to still have you. I fought back my tears today and bravely did this without you. I sat in a conference room with Rita and clumsily/gracefully talked about your upcoming birthday and what it is, we would like to do, to honor you. I am used to hearing the word no a lot now. I am used to getting met by skeptical glances and it usually involves a… “Well if you want to do this, you have to check off this box and this box and this box, to have it done.” I am used to having to work/fight for everything in life. Today, none of that existed. I was met with a big fat, “We love this idea! We love everything about it. We will do whatever it is, you like. How can we help/what can we do/how would you like to see this idea, happen all the time in Ronan’s honor!” I was quite simply shocked. I think Rita almost fell over in her chair. This was not what either of us, was expecting. We left there stunned but smiling. We went for tacos afterwords and talked where we talked about your birthday and how we are going to execute the ideas that we have. We are going to make it a very special day for a lot of kids. I know it would make you smile and so happy.

After I left Rita, I drove to your brothers baseball game. I was feeling alright. I arrived to the game and just as I was sitting there, thinking about an email I was supposed to send today, in regards to an event I am trying to pull off for you in September, a little text message popped up on my phone. A little text message from the person I was going to email, but did not. I read it, sat with it, and the tears started pouring. I don’t want to go into details about what the text message said as it’s not important. I’ll sum it up with a little Taylor Swift lyric instead…one of my favorites. “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine.” I was crying for about 10 different reasons during that moment. 1) Because baseball games are hard in general. 2) Because I miss you. 3) Because this little text messaging person, blows my mind 4) Because I am so thankful that truly good people in the world, like her, exist 5) Because the stars are aligning, right before my very eyes 6) Because just when I start to doubt myself, this person always seems to know it and reminds me that she believes in me and you 7) Because I am so about letting things just come about/not push them and this was a huge reminder/sign to me to continue to do things, this way. There are a few more reasons for my tears, but I don’t want to go into them. Mostly it was just a huge fat thank you, Ronan. For reminding me that you are still here, working away during the times when I feel the most defeated. Or tired. I told your Sparkly eyes that I was just freaking tired of everything. I was quickly met with a, “So what? That’s bullshit. You’re tired? That means nothing.” He is one of the few people who I allow to slap me in the face and I don’t become defensive or feel offended. I am able to step back, assess the situation and say, “You are right. I am acting like an asshole and I need to knock this shit off.” I am learning to let myself take little breaks here and there, but I will never give up on you. I will work as hard as I can, to make some things in this mad world, right.

You know what else you are doing for me? Or should I say, this grief is doing for me? It’s making my heart bigger than ever. I did not know that was even possible, but it is. There are things now that I just cannot look away from. I want to save/help everybody. It’s helping others, that is saving me. Dr. JoRo told me this after a few times of seeing her. She talked about how my heart, would eventually start to turn outward again. I remember being in a fog, listening to her words, but not really understanding what she was saying. My heart would turn outward and grow bigger? Not possible. It is black, broken and shattered into a million pieces. I am starting to understand what she has told me, from the beginning. I’ve always believed her, but I think until now, I wasn’t truly ready to hear what it is, she was telling me. She is so freaking humble. I talked to her today. She is still on her trip and just found out she is getting some huge/really big deal award for being what I think should be called, “The Most Amazing Woman Alive on the Planet Award.” I listened to her talk about it like it was not really a big deal, even though it is. She would never come out and say that because that is just how she rolls. I tried to tell her it was a big deal, that she deserves this for everything she is doing. I was met with a, “Maya. That’s the thing. I’m not really doing anything except just being with you. Just holding your hand as you do this. All I am doing is sitting with you while you feel this, while you go through this, while you find your way.” I wiped the tears off of my cheeks. I told her that what she was doing, was walking through this with me in a way that nobody had done before. By truly listening. By speaking for me when I cannot, even if it’s not saying anything at all. By NEVER judging. By NEVER pushing. By NEVER expecting. By NEVER telling me I am doing this wrong. By NEVER lessening my pain. By never trying to numb my pain by shoving 10 different pills down my throat. By never saying, “Oh, I lost a child too, so I TOTALLY get it. By never telling me it’s time to get over this/move on. By never comparing her pain to mine. By NEVER using the words, “Well at least you have these things/people to get you through this. By never using the words, “You should be grateful for the things you do have.” By never telling me this gets easier. By never giving me false hope. By being brutally honest about how fucking awful this all is and she cannot fix it. She cannot fix it, but she will forever be here to watch me as I do, as I am the only one that can. And finally, by believing and me and trusting me, even when I do not believe or trust in myself. She always does. I know she always will too. She is one of my biggest reasons for continuing to fight as hard as I do. When I grow up, I want to be just like her;) She is beyond inspiring, Ronan. She reminds me a lot of you. She reminds me a lot of me, too. So much some days that I can see my pain, in her eyes. But the thing with her is it never hurts to look at her eyes, full of all of my pain. When I look into her eyes, I see a quiet strength that makes me feel the most at ease. It’s like I can breathe for a bit.

Guess what I did tonight? I did not get to hike today due to my busy day of getting shit done. I was quietly panicking in my head about it. I took Liam out tonight to grab a bag of ice for your daddy. It was dark. It was late. I drove the two of us, to our mountain. “Liam. I didn’t get to hike today, buddy. You want to go with me really fast?” I was met with an, “Ok mom. But I don’t have shoes.” I quickly told him no problem, that we could just go barefoot. He was so excited. “Good thing I have tough feet, mom.” Tears sprung to my eyes. “Yeah buddy. Good thing. I do too, so we will be alright.” We hiked, barefoot, in the dark together. He talked the entire time. We didn’t go to the top but that was not the point. We went as far as we could with bare feet/no flashlight like we didn’t have a care in the world. We bonded. We laughed. We missed you. It was a very sweet hike with a very sweet boy. I bawled like a baby over it and the fact that we were simply doing that crazy thing, because you are dead. If you were here, I would have never been on a mountain, holding Liam’s hand with bare feet and a broken heart. But I was. And I am. And I will continue to be for the rest of my life. This is just the way it is now. This is just the way it will always be. This grief/pain will never leave. I can’t have you anymore so this is what I am left with. A beautifully, painful life. I am noticing that the amount of beauty that I see in the world is endless but so is the amount of pain. They both seem to go hand in hand, everywhere I look. They are never without each other. It is as if they are best friends/worst enemies. You cannot have one, without the other. I wonder if other people notice this or if it is just a bereaved parent thing. I think my friend Rita sees it all the time, as well. Maybe this is one of the reasons I like her so much. That and she is funny as a mo fo. I cannot contain laugher/her snarky ways when I am around her, kill me. Like in an I almost pee my pants kind of way. Laughter truly is the best medicine. I need a lot of it. She is good at providing it. Plus, sometimes she makes me feel like I am being funny and making her laugh, too. So sometimes I feel like it’s just not a one way street;) YAY ME! I can still be kind of funny, when it comes out naturally. I only do this with the people I feel most comfortable around. It’s a weird introvert characteristic of mine.

Alright babydoll. Turing in for the night. Ambien I hate you but I have to sleep is here. G’nite baby doll. G’nite sweet friends. I miss you, Ro. I hope you are safe. I love you.

xoxo

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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

Baby Danger Plan….. Activate!

Ronan. I know you know when I’m quiet on here, it’s when I’m at my worst. Dr. JoRo keeps telling me to be kind to myself. I haven’t been. I’ve been downright mean to myself. I say I’m not depressed as I feel it is so unfair to diagnose one with depression when they are going through something like losing a child. It’s just another thing that is wrong with this oh so not compassionate world we live in. It is much easier to diagnose somebody and walk away. It is much easier, to label them. Or put them on a pill and not deal with the real issues at hand. I’m not depressed. I’m just really, really sad. I guess this is probably what it feels like to a normal person who suffers from depression. I wish I were just a normal person, who was depressed. I wish I wasn’t this way, because you died. I can hardly remember what I was like before all of this. I’ve been hiding out a lot. I didn’t go to the holiday party with my small group of closest besties on Saturday night. Little M hosted it like she does every year. I miss her so much. I’ve now missed our holiday party, two years in a row. I went for a run in the dark instead after I had been in bed all day long on Saturday. But Saturday wasn’t my fault. I was hit with a 100 pound brick when all I was trying to do was be a normal mama. Liam and Quinn had a basketball game early on Saturday morning. I didn’t want to go, but I sucked it up and I did. I wasn’t prepared for what I walked into. A gym. Full of I swear, what was 200 people. That’s what it felt like to me. An encounter where I felt like a deer in headlights and I swear all eyes were on me. An encounter that has been a long time coming, but I wish it had been anywhere but there. A basketball team that all of your friends from preschool, were playing on. Mommy friends that I have not seen in a very long time. A basketball game that you should have been playing in. You weren’t. But everyone else was. I think I blacked out for much of this encounter. Or at least I left my body. I was hysterical. I ended up on a bench, trying to focus on your brothers but all I could do was look around at all the empty faces in the gym, waiting to see you. I didn’t find you. You didn’t come. I was left there, alone, to pick up the pieces as always. I wanted to run away. At one point, I almost bolted. I tried but it felt like my feet were glued to the gymnasium floor. I stayed. But I didn’t clap and cheer. I cried instead.

After I got home from Liam and Quinn’s basketball game, I crawled into Liam’s bed. I passed out. I stayed there, until 6:00 at night. I only got up when Danielle called to ask if I wanted to meet her for a dark run on the canal. How could I turn down a run after the day I had? I couldn’t. We ran. We talked. We parted ways after about 4 miles. She ran to her house. I walked on the dark canal alone. I stopped to look up at the moon. I stood and looked at the water. I stood and contemplated if I would really drown if I jumped into the canal. I stood for about 15 minutes playing out the scene in my head. I decided that death would probably not be the outcome, so it wasn’t worth it. I would have ended up wet, cold, and lord knows what kind of creepy crawly dirty rodents live in the canal. My fear of those things, stopped me. I finished up my run and came home to your daddy and brothers. I fell asleep with Quinn in his bed. I decided that Sunday, I was in a funk in a bad way. I gave myself a pep talk to try to get myself out of it. I decided that a hike was necessary. Mandy came over and we went. I told her that we needed to hike the mountain, barefoot. She is crazy enough that she didn’t even look at me twice. I think her shoes were off, faster than mine. We hiked. I ran. I got a lot of weird looks. It felt good to feel the pain beneath my feet. It made me feel alive. I came home and we had Kenny, Stacy and their kiddos over for dinner. I played with Kennedy. Oh, that little spicy girl. She reminds me so much of you. She let me paint her nails all pink and sparkly. We ran around outside. We played a let’s scare the boys game. We played your hot lava game, outside. I tried to feel happy. It only made me miss you more.

I spent today, Monday, being productive. I woke up to the pouring down rain. My favorite days. Our favorite days. I dropped your brothers at school and was determined to get in a hike. I ran up our mountain in the cold, windy rain. I stood at the top and let the wind whip around and slap me in the face. I watched the gray skies as they came pouring in and the rain and wind got more and more angry. I headed down the mountain, running as fast as my legs would carry me. I didn’t see another soul there. Only Inferno Fuckwad Bob met me. I wasn’t happy to see him but I did my best to pour my energy into myself and you. I tried not to give in to him. I got a lot done today. I got a lot things crossed off of my list. I survived. I’m here. I’m trying to be happy about it, but I’m not. Oh! But I know a nice thing that happened today! I stopped by Katie’s to check in. I actually hung out in the back of her store and worked on some foundation things. I had my headphones on and I was on a mission to get some things done. As I was getting ready to leave, I headed to the front and I saw a lady buying some of your bracelets. She looked like the nicest grandma and I wanted to hug her the moment I saw that she was holding your Fuck You Cancer, bracelets. I sat and watched her for a minute before I said, “Hi, I’m Maya.” She looked so surprised. She gave me a big hug and told me she was buying the bracelets for her granddaughter who lives in New Jersey. She said her name was Ally. I knew who she was talking about right away. I try my best to keep up with your lovies, Ro. The ones who are always reposting about you, who talk about you, who Facebook, and Twitter about you. I try my hardest to always be thankful for these lovies as they are all going to help change this disease. She told me her granddaughter would be so excited to know that she had met me. She told me all about the essay she wrote about you for the college she was applying to. She got accepted and she’s getting a scholarship too. Her grandma called her while I was in the store and put me on the phone with her. It was the sweetest thing ever, Ro. This sweet Ally girl, couldn’t even talk, she was crying so hard. I told her how thankful I was, for her support. How excited I was for her college opportunities. I told her I hoped I would get the chance to meet her someday. It made my day. See Ronan. You are changing the world. Look how inspiring you are, to all kinds of people everywhere. It’s such a good thing to be wild and free.

I need to start being wild and free. I told my Mandy Bee this yesterday. That we needed to do something dangerous this week. I told her to come up with a plan. She did. We will execute, tomorrow. As for now, I’m keeping it a secret. I will tell you more tomorrow. I need to blow off some of this steam. I’ve decided that something, “dangerous,” needs to happen every week in order to give me something to look forward to. I’ll be accepting suggestions from you all. Don’t disappoint me:). I know you won’t. I’m going to create a Ronan’s bucket list and live it out, for you. I’m game for anything. I like a challenge. I like to try new things. This could actually turn into something really fun. We should all be living our lives doing new and exciting things. Even if it means, spending the day in a library or going to a movie alone. As long as it’s something that you normally wouldn’t do. Ronan, we didn’t call you Baby Danger, for nothing. I’m going to start embracing this Baby Danger of mine. It was my favorite nickname for you. Get busy living or get busy dying. I’ve got one foot stuck in both worlds right now. It is beyond confusing. It’s beyond sad. I need to make some plans, otherwise I’m going to sit here and just drown in these tears. You would be so mad at me and the way I’ve been, Ro. I know this. I’m sorry. I’m making plans, baby doll. Lots and lots of plans.

I’m going now baby. I love you. I’ll be extra spicy for you tomorrow. Sweet dreams beautiful boy. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe. Oh, Ro baby. I need you to watch over Mia for me. Please. I talked to Sandra tonight. Mia is trying so hard to get better. I need you to help her, please. This is so not fair, for any of them. It is killing me. They need a break. They deserve a break. Please. Send Mia the strength to get better. I know the way Mia is fighting, is because you are helping her. I know that is you. Keep going baby. She needs you more than ever.

Also, lovies….. if you want to do something sweet, send Mia some mail. I’ll bet this would brighten her day. She is in Philly now, at Chop. What little girl, doesn’t love getting mail?? She loves kitty cats, sparkly things, hello kitty, princesses….. all things girly and fun. Have your kids, draw her a picture or write her a sweet note. I know she is missing home. I know she is missing her family. I know this would make her smile. Here is her address. They will be there, for awhile. At least another month. Thank you so much. For something so little, it means so much.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Seashore House
Patient: Mia Foutz, Room 300
34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104 – 4399

xoxo

Ro baby. Super Nate’s mama sent me this picture tonight of him, by your tree at PCH. She said his jaw dropped when he saw it and thanks for making their day. This picture made me so happy but then I ended up on our bed, tears pouring. For so many reasons. For you. For me. For us. For Nate. For Nate’s parents. For everyone out there, dealing with cancer in whatever way, shape or form. For anyone who has ever lost a child. The reasons were endless. I miss your bald head. So very, very much.

I know you’re yelling out to Nate, “May the force be with you, Super Nate!” You’ve got to help him too. I know you will. Thanks baby. I love you.

7 Months but who’s counting? I am. I always will be.

Ronan. I wrote to you. On your 7 month day. I wrote to you around 2:30 a.m. May 9th was just 7 months ago. Feels like 7 years. I couldn’t sleep at all that night. I ended up making your daddy give me something to help me sleep. The screaming in my head wouldn’t stop. It stopped and I fell asleep. I don’t know where everything I wrote to you went , as it is not here anymore. It’s probably best that way. I’m sure what I had written down, wasn’t pretty. I’m not sure where the week went. It was busy. Non-stop. I’ve been a very busy mama. I had a meeting at T-Gen. They were kind enough to meet with me so I could get an idea about what it is, they are doing in regards to Neuroblastoma. I wanted to see what they are using the 4 million dollars that Dell has given them for. They are working with Dr. Giselle Sholler, whom you know I am very interested in. I have been reading everything about her that I can possibly find. She is on to something big. I look forward to the day I can meet her. I look forward to the day that she can retire, because she is going find a cure for this nasty disease. I sat in a room full of these people from T-Gen. I had to tell them all, a bit about your story. I’ve never really talked about you, in front of a room full of strangers, Ro. I much prefer hiding behind my computer. Glasses on. Hair up. No make-up. Music blaring. Did you see me? The way I was only able to give them the generic basics about what happened to you? The very business like story. I had on my best business like boots. My best business like jacket. My best business like face. Game face on. Because I knew if I said what I really wanted to say, that I would have ended up under the table, sobbing like a baby. How do you tell a room full of people, what you really want to say? How do you tell them the way the love of your life, was ripped out of your arms and how hard you fought to help them beat this disease? How you fought with everything in your entire body, only to fail. So clearly, I failed as a mother because I promised I’d save you, and I didn’t. How do you tell them the way you watched your child die, will haunt you for the rest of your life. So much so that most days you walk around feeling as if all the air has been sucked out of you. How you are now filled with such guilt and shame because you are certain you chose the wrong path for your child. Because if the right one had been chosen, you would still be here. Death would not have been the outcome, right? I know what you are saying. That this is not the case. Because if there were ever 2 parents, who knew this disease inside and out…. it was us. If there were ever two parents, who tried their hardest…. it was us. If there were ever two parents, who loved a little boy the most…. it was us. But it was not good enough Ronan. We failed. I hope I don’t always believe this, but the grief thing is still blinding me and beating me to a pulp. So much so that I have bruises all over my body and I have no idea where they have come from. The funny thing is, these bruises appear and I don’t even feel them so I don’t notice them until I look down and I see a huge black and blue mark on my leg. Or my arm. I just assume I don’t feel them, because I don’t feel much of anything anymore.

So, the meeting at T-Gen I took your Mr. Sparkly Eyes with me. I am so thankful he went as he has a way of knowing how to put my thoughts into words, without me having to say anything at all. Because he was there, though all of this. He watched the way this played out. He saw your smiles, listened to your laughs, watched my tears, listened to my screams, at sat back, helplessly, when there was nothing left to do. His insider’s/outsider’s perspective on this was useful as well. I get that I am the emotional mommy who just lost her son. He was able to play the role of the level-headed, logical one who loved you as well…. but not in the way that a mother loves her son. As soon as we left T-Gen I got the talk. The one that he is so good at giving. The one that went something like, “This is it. This is what you were meant to do. I don’t care how hard this gets, I don’t care how much you want to give up. You cannot. Do you hear me? You cannot. This is it. You are going to change this so that one day, when I am gone, you can look up there and give me a little wave and tell me you did it.” I couldn’t even reply to that one. I only choked back my tears and said something like, “Where are you going,??” Which in turn ended up in the,”I’m not going to live forever talk.” The one I choose to ignore, every time it comes up.

From T-Gen, I went home. Wiped out from the day. I had a board meeting to go to though so I had to man up as they say. I was dreading it. Our last one was a disaster. It was so painful and everyone was on edge. I expected this one to be the same way. It wasn’t. It was lovely, but long. 3 hours long. It ran really smoothly and all of our concerns were addressed but in the most loving way possible. After we wrapped things up, I looked around the room and felt a wave of warmth wash over me. Like something very big and magical was about to happen. All because of the women that I was surrounded with whom were all there for one reason. Because of you. Because they believe in you and they know they are going to be a part of something so beautiful and true. Something different and unique. Something that is going to change their lives…. for the better. They believe in you. They believe in me. That is more than I could ever ask for, Ro. I felt you all around us that entire night. Thank you for that, baby. I really needed that in the worst way possible.

I spent that next day, feeling pretty beat. I think the whole not sleeping thing, the T-Gen meeting, the board meeting, and not seeing Dr. Jo, caught up to me. Thursday came and I tried my very best to suck it up and carry on with the world. Mandy Bee spent the morning with me, doing distracting things. I was out with her for a couple of hours. I knew I was going to crack. I looked at her and told her that I needed to go home, as I was feeling like I couldn’t handle much more of the real world for the day. She took me home, helped me with a few things around the house and played the role of the best jewish mother that I have come to love, so much. She told me she could stay if I needed her to. I gave her one of my best bullshit smiles as she calls them and told her it was o.k. I needed the quiet time. I knew what was about to happen and I just had to give into it. She left. I crawled into bed and sobbed the rest of the day. Thankfully, Liam and Quinn stayed the night with Mimi and Papa so I didn’t have to put on a show for anyone. I got up to run to an appointment. I came back home. Your daddy and I were supposed to go to a concert. He came home. He saw my puffy eyes. I told him, I couldn’t go. I told him to please go without me, to have fun with his friends. I could tell he needed to blow off some steam. I told him I just wanted to stay in bed and be sad. I don’t do that often enough. I was in no mood to go out in public and pretend. Your daddy went. I stayed home. I cried for 15 hours that day and night. I cried for you until I could take no more. That’s when I had to take the little magic go to sleep pill. I thought all of that crying would have knocked me out. It didn’t. The screaming in my head and the silence of the house were too much to take. I passed out. I woke up feeling o.k. 7 months had arrived. I just had to make it through the day.

I had a busy busy busy Friday. I saw Dr. Jo. It was good. It’s always good. I had a lunch to go to after I left her. A lunch that turned your very sad 7 month day, into a very sweet day instead. I met with a new friend. I say new friend, because I have a feeling about this new person. You know that feeling when you meet somebody and you just kind of go, oh hello person I feel like I’ve known my entire life, but I’m just meeting for the first time, today. That is how I felt when I met this person. Her name is Kristi. Kristi Michaels. She knows that Rock Star person we talked about in a few posts before this one. She knows him, very, very well. She knows him, better than anyone. Hellos were said. Hugs were given. We hopped in her car where we sat for a good 20 minutes before leaving for lunch. We sat and talked. I guess we more cried, than talked. I was a mess. She was a mess. We sat and she listened as I told her about you and this sad story that nobody wants to hear about. Because childhood cancer is just too sad so people would rather ignore it because if you ignore it, surly it will go away, right Ro? Bullshit. Somewhere in the middle of all the tears, Kristi said Bret wanted my permission to do something in honor of you. He wanted to ask my permission to have a room at Barrows Medical Center, where he was treated for his brain aneurysm, named after you. Built for you. With your little face, smiling down at the kids below. A play place for the kids to go. A safe and happy place full of all things wild and free. Because you are that beautiful, Ronan, that nobody wants to forget your face. Kristi and Bret and going to make sure that you don’t get lost in all of this. They want to help make sure to help spread the word in any way possible, any way I need or want. This is just the beginning of great things to come. They know that it is not acceptable for kids to be dying of cancer due to the lack of funding and awareness. You should not have died. You just should not have, Ronan. This was not the way this was supposed to turn out. But for fucks sake, it did. And I swear to you, I’m not going to stop telling your story until people start to listen. And things start to change. Kristi was crying when she told me about this. She was also crying when she told me that Bret wore your bracelet in his Pet Smart campaign. And also, in their Christmas Card picture which she gave me while we sat in the car. I opened up their Christmas Card. This was after my little rant about Fuck the Holidays and Fuck Holiday Cards. I smiled when I looked at the faces on the card. I smiled because it was at that exact moment, that I knew that this family, staring back at me, was truer than true. It wasn’t a FAKE or PHONY holiday card, Ro! It was them. It was who they are. It was everything Rock and Roll and Love combined. Their card, told their story and no words were needed. Music. Tattoos. Dogs. Black. Dark. Edgy. But soft too. Smiles. And the best thing of all…. one of their little girls, is wearing a Santa Hat with little Devil Horns sticking out of the top. The exact kind of Santa Hat, I would have put you in Ronan. I smiled at this Christmas Card. It made my day.

We left for lunch after we composed ourselves. It was the kind of lunch where you find out you have a lot of things in common. Small town girls. Big city dreams, but small town girls at heart, forever. A love for nature. A belief in true love. How you both think, being a mom is the best thing ever. How you both believe in raising your kids in an open and honest world. Sometimes maybe a little too honest which others judge. You both tell those people, to fuck off. Because at the end of the day, you both know that as long as you are true to yourself and your family, nothing else matters. Because fucked up things happen everyday like kids dying. And you never know when everything could change in an instant. So you’d better make the best of this time by being true to where your heart leads you. Especially if it is wild and free. The best adventures are wild and free…. right baby? I know you knew this from the second you were born and it was the way you lived you life every single day. I cannot even begin to imagine the things you would have done in this world, Ronan….. had you been given the chance. At one point during lunch, my passion for you took over and I was blabbing about how I much I believe in you and how I refuse to do this any other way than the way that my heart is telling me to. The way, you are telling me to. I don’t remember exactly what I was saying, but Kristi looked at me and goes, “You remind me, so much of Bret.” This caught me off guard but in the best way possible. She then went on to tell me how if Bret would have listened to all the people in his life, telling him he was going nowhere, how he couldn’t sing, etc….. that he would have ended up a truck driver. He was told no, so many times. He didn’t listen. He kept going. He chased his dreams. He broke downs all the doors that were slammed in his face. He ignored all of the asshole people who for some sick and twisted reason, thrive on keeping others down. He is proof that if you believe in something enough, anything is possible. Anything. Even a cure for this fucking disease that killed you. A CURE. I said it. Dream big or go the fuck home.

After lunch, the 7 months since you left me lunch that actually turned out to be a beautiful day….. thank you, Kristi<3<3 I ran back to Dr. Jo’s. We had another little session with some of our lovelies, Ronan. I think they have been having a hard time…. trying so hard to understand all of this. They both just want to understand so badly what it is that I am going through…… and for as hard as they have been trying, I think they feel lost. I felt like Dr. Jo could make a little sense of this, more so than I can. I’m too caught up in it all. She is the expert not only experience, but education as well. Dr. Jo was sweet enough to meet with all of us, so she could listen to their concerns and she did her best to let them into the world that I now, live in. I think it was helpful. I hope it was to them. It was the least I could do. I know I say I want to be alone and push everyone away. Sometimes that is true. But some days it is not. I don’t want to lose everybody in this process. I want to make them understand even if it is just a tiny bit, without having to go through something like this. I don’t know if that is even possible, but I feel better knowing that I am trying when all I want to do is give up and not care. I care. I know I do. I’m too loving of a person, not to.

I took Mandy Bee barefoot hiking today with me. Because we are badass. I didn’t hike up the mountain. I ran. Barefoot. Take that, mother fucker cancer. I’d like to do it again, tomorrow. I didn’t feel a thing. Dr. Jo is leaving tonight for a week to a silent mediation retreat. I have been panicking. She sent me a text before she left. It said for me to please take good care of myself while she is gone. How she needs me as she can’t change this world, on her own. She’s not going to have to. You will help her, my bravest little boy. I know this.

Has this turned into a novel tonight or what? I’m sorry. That’s what I get for not keeping up with you. I hate the nights that I don’t write but my head has been a mess. I have much more to say, little one but I need to get some shut-eye. I’m feeling tired, which doesn’t happen naturally very often anymore. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. I’ll forever be sorry.

G’nite baby doll.

xoxo

The Guest House
by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

A Barefoot Hike and Little Socks

Ro baby. Everyone is asleep. It is late. We had a late night out tonight. We went over to The Willets’ house, for dinner and to catch up and let the boys play. I so missed you tonight. I was so sad you were not with us. You loved those boys so much and used to always keep up with them, despite your younger age. I sat back and watched as L and Q, ran around with Gay’s three boys all night long. I used to have 3 too. Where are you? It feels so wrong to be the mom of only two boys now. I almost can’t take it. But it was nice to be with all of them tonight. I will say this for the rest of my life….. but we truly do have the best friends. Some are friends we have had for a long time…. like the Willets. Others are new and who came into our lives at the beginning of all of this, like Melissa and her family whom we had over last night. All are beautiful. After Melissa, David and their kids left last night, your Daddy goes, “You have made some really amazing friends through all of this.” I just smiled and told him I knew. I do know. I think about it all the time. It is another one of those gifts you have left behind. Our lovelies are everywhere. We had a nice time tonight as being with the Willets is calming to my soul. We love them so much. I love how laid back they are, funny, kind, and crazy. I love being surrounded by their boys and your brothers. I remember how much you loved being with them. I hope you were with us tonight. I think that you were. I was showing Gay how to put Pandora on her iPhone as she is new at all of that iPhone stuff and I’m an old pro. As I was playing with her phone, mine which was sitting on my lap, started playing music. Katy Perry’s, “Firework,” just started to play. I thought of you. I hope it was you. I think that it was. This life is so strange now. Nothing makes sense. I don’t know how it ever will again.

So, this WordPress Blog is so detailed. I have a whole stat tracker which gives me very specific details on how all of you lovelies are reading this blog. For example, on May 10…. a day after you passed away, Ro… I had 55,923 hits on this blog. On that one day alone. I check it out every few days, just out of curiosity. It tells me what search engine term people are using to find out about you. I get a lot of weird things, such as today… somebody searched this… “me and you baby dolls can drink.” Um o.k. Random and weird, but I guess I tagged Baby Doll before since that is what I used to call you and your website came up. These are the most popular search engine terms used from today.

rockstar ronan 1,438
rockstarronan 352
rock star ronan 93
ronan rockstar 54
ronan thompson 45
rockstarronan.com 43
rockstar ronan blog 43
www.rockstarronan.com 42
maya thompson blog 22
the ronan thompson foundation 21
rockstar ronan dies 16
maya thompson 15
rockstar ronan com 14
ronan thompson foundation

I get some funny things, some disturbing things, but most of all the two things that are searched the most are “Rockstar Ronan,” and “Rockstar Ronan dies.” The last one rips me to pieces every time. I often catch myself thinking, “Wait. What? Ronan died? How can that be true?!” It’s as if I am the blog reader, not the writer. Oh, how I wish that were true. My body than returns to itself, because reading those words truly does feel like an out of body experience. I have to remind myself that you, my beautiful son, did die of Cancer. I sometimes cannot even take reading this, so don’t ask me how I am able to sit here and write this. I still have no clue. One day, I will sit back and read all of this, but not today. I don’t know what I am waiting for, but as of now… it’s the writing that I need to do. The reading, can wait. I know there is no way I am ready to read what I have written in the past. It is going to be so painful and everything is still too fresh and raw.

Ro baby. I started that last night but had to stop due to the Melatonin kicking in. I had dreams about you. They weren’t happy, but they weren’t sad either. I don’t remember what you looked like, but I remember asking you questions. I asked you if you were scared. You told me, No. I’m glad for that. I hope you’re not scared as that is one of the things I worry about most. I still feel like I have just forgotten you somewhere, and that you are all alone in this big, big world. I miss you so much. I am glad I got to dream about you last night. It does not happen often.

I woke up this morning, knowing that I had to have a productive day, regardless of the day off that your brothers had from school and your Daddy has off from work. I got up and showered. I messaged back and forth a bit with a girl named, Katie, whom I have never met, but I have wanted to meet for some time now. She is just a friend on FB and owns an adorable kids clothing store. She is always reposting this blog on her business FB page and I’ve wanted to stop in for a while to tell her thank you. She told me she wanted to run some ideas past me so I said I would stop by this afternoon. I took Quinn with me. I walked into her store, Garage, and instantly fell in love. It is filled with all the things, your stylish self, would have gone crazy over. You loved to dress so sharp and stylish. I met Katie and felt like I had known her for years. We sat and got to know each other, while Quinn played and explored in her store. We went over an idea she has, which I’ll be talking about a little more once the details are finalized. I left her with a bunch of your bracelets, the Naughty and Nice version. I have to be careful about the people I partner up with, who want to help with your Foundation…. but everything with Katie felt right. And just as I was getting ready to leave, “Landslide,” by Stevie Nicks came on. If that wasn’t a sign right there, I don’t know what is. I started to tear up, and Katie told me I could sit and listen to it if I wanted. I told her that I had to go, because I knew if I did stay and sit, that I would be a uncontrollable mess. I left there with tears in my eyes but a smile on my face. Thanks for being there with me today, Ro.

I ran a few more errands with Quinn. Talked to NY Miss Macy. She has been with Tricia all weekend long as Trish flew to San Francisco for this long weekend to spend some time with her. I love that. I so wanted to go, but it is not the right time for me to be away from your brothers. It made me happy though, to know my beautiful besties, were spending some quality time together. I sometimes cannot believe that had it not been for you, that Macy would have never been introduced into our lives. She is a gift that I will treasure forever. For as big as the hole in my heart is now, I know you are trying to fill it up as much as you can with people like Macy. I know that you are still working away, trying to find ways to make me grateful and happy again. Your gifts come in so many different forms now. For that, I am grateful.

After finishing up my errands with Quinn, we returned home and the rest of the afternoon was spent doing things around the house. Checking things off my shit list, left and right. I picked up my friend, Julie, who lives right down the street and I took her Inferno Hiking with me. She loved it and almost threw up, but did not. She is a trooper:) I am also glad to know that I am not the only one who sometimes throws up after a hard workout. We got to the top and she was saying that it was kind of like Hot Yoga. I told her exactly, except it was much better:) I can’t wrap my head around being peaceful enough within myself to go back to Hot Yoga. I told her how Inferno Hiking to me, is very intense, yet peaceful. She completely agreed. As we were heading down, Mountain Mike, was on his way up. So funny that we always seem to be there at the exact same time, even though the time that I hike, is never consistent. We said our hellos and I introduced him to Julie. He continued up as the two of us then started on our run down the mountain. It was the perfect ending to this day as you know how hard weekends are for me.

Tonight was spent quietly around the house. Your daddy went to the office and Liam and Quinn are snuggled up together on the top bunk of their bed. I have been busy putting all of the laundry away. It’s taken me forever. I have been washing the same pair of your socks for months now. I refuse to put them away. I just wash them over and over. I carry them around with me. I can’t believe I don’t have your little feet here to put them into. I can’t believe how I wander around the house, doing busy things and often just walk into your room, expecting to see you playing. Your room is still the way it always has been. I don’t want to change a thing. Liam often plays in there. I like to write in there and sometimes sit and quietly think. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that you are not here to play and sleep in your room. This all still seems like a bad dream, except I cannot seem to wake up.

Where are you baby? Are you playing with Esther. Please tell me yes. Tomorrow, it will have been 4 months since that sweet baby girl passed away. Your 4 months will be here soon as well. Please watch over Esther’s mama tomorrow. Well, everyday, really… but tomorrow extra close. I am worried about her. I feel such a need to go and see her. I promise I will get back East to do this soon.

I think this may be all for tonight, Ro. I have some homework to do before I see Dr. Joanne tomorrow. She took you with her when she went barefoot hiking this morning. I’ll send you the pic she sent me. I love you to the moon and back, baby boy. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, my love.

Dear lovely readers…….. Many of you have been asking about Ronan’s bracelets and where you can get them. I am almost completely out, but if you live in AZ…. there are some places that you can get them. Here are the locations::::

The Water Connection:::::::Nice Bracelets only::::: 3929 E Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85018

Green Cleaners::::Halle has Naughty only::::: 3912 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Garage::::Katie has both Naughty and Nice:::: 7144 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

For my out of town peeps. I PROMISE, I’ll let you know when more are available. Should be later this week. Thanks for the LOVE and SUPPORT.

xoxo