Breaking rules, changing Holidays

Ronan. Hi baby. Another day done. Looking back on todays events, although nothing major happened, it seems like forever ago. If I were to write a handbook on losing a child, because there seems to nothing out there about this subject, one of the things I would write about is how slowly time passes by. How the hours just drag on, and so do the days, months and I am assuming years as well. By the time I die, I’ll bet I’ll feel like I’ve lived hundreds of lives. As of now, I don’t really feel like this is a good thing. I’m just tired. And sad. I think I’m also starting to realize that I don’t think I will truly be happy again. I don’t think I will ever know pure bliss again like I knew before all of this cancer shit. Before the loss of you. My life, at best, will be filled with moments of happiness here and there, but the happy that once existed before all of this will never be again. Maybe this will change as time goes on, but I just don’t see how that is possible.

What did I do today?? No clue. Woke up. Didn’t want to. Texted Liz to see if she wanted to walk down to the Del to grab a coffee. She did. Quinn came with us. We got coffee and some yummy but very bad for you pastries and sat and ate them at a table outside. A girl named Katie came up to me with her little boy to introduce herself and to say how much she thinks of you. It was so sweet. They both were wearing their Rockstar Ronan bracelets. It made me smile and my heart melt all at the same time. Everybody loves you so much. Even strangers whom have never met you. It really is amazing all the love and support that has come of this. I will forever be grateful and humbled.

After our coffee, your daddy wanted me to grab him some bagels in town. Liz headed back and Quinn went with her. As much as I love being with your brother, the time to walk alone was nice. But then something weird happened. Something that I should probably get used to, but it still annoyed me. I was paying for our bagels and I felt like a hole was being burned in the back of my neck. I glanced to the side and there sat a family. A mom, dad, and three older daughters. They were staring with their sad eyes and talking in low voices. The girls had their backs to me, but were turned around in their seats while they all gawked. I don’t know if gawked is the right word here, but I’m using it anyway because that is what if felt like. At first, I thought is was my imagination so I just went on with my business and paid for our things. I could feel them all still staring, so as a natural reaction, I glanced their way to see if it was indeed true, and not just me making things up in my head. It was true. Once they saw me look back again, their eyes fell to the floor and they avoided anymore eye contact with me. I quickly rushed out of the bagel shop after that feeling very sad. I get it. Coronado is a very small place, a mini Phoenix. I know people know about you and just don’t know what to say. I know a lot of people just choose to say not say anything and that’s fine. But just a smile would have been nice. That way, maybe I wouldn’t have felt like a zoo animal on display. I hate the looks of pity. I understand the looks of sadness, but the pity looks only make everything even more painful. The looks of pity followed by awkward silence. I’m not a fan of that at all.

I walked back to the Shores trying not to get too sad about that I didn’t have you following behind me. I pictured you running on the boardwalk, doing something naughty like stepping on all the flowers. I pictured myself chasing after you, laughing, but trying to be stern about teaching you to respect nature. As tears started to form, I saw a woman walking in front of me, carrying a Paul Frank monkey bag. The tears stopped. I smiled instead. Then I got to thinking about life and how what if everything that happens is carefully orchestrated. That woman, that stranger, was put in front of me, in that single moment because I wasn’t supposed to be sad. She was put there to make me smile and think of you in regards to something that reminded me so much of you, in the form of happiness. My head starting spinning then and I took a deep breath and thanked you.

I came back upstairs and did my best to get on with the day. I failed. I sunk into bed and fell asleep for an hour. After kicking my own ass in my head, I got up and agreed to go to the beach with your brothers and daddy. It was warm out there today. We played beach darts, football, and I snapped a bunch of pictures. After a couple of hours, your daddy and brothers headed back up to the condo. I stayed down on the beach to finish my book. I now get to read books about sadness and grief. I am looking for answers that I am never going to find. What I wouldn’t give to have some trashy novel in my hands instead. What I wouldn’t give to be completely consumed in a summer beach read. I finished, “The Other Side of Sadness.” It was actually pretty good and interesting. It talked about surviving grief and how there is no step by step guide, which I am slowly figuring out. It talked a lot about different cultures and how death is perceived differently in each one. If anything, the book was informative in that way. I got a few good things out of it. A mother talked about losing her daughter after 9/11. She said one of the things she worried about most was forgetting the memories of her. After a few years passed by, the author asked her what bereavement felt like, years after losing her.She said, “It’s a bit like a fading light. It grows dim, but it never goes out, never, not completely anyway. I find that enormously ressuring. I used to worry that someday the light would disappear that I would forget, and then I would really have lost Claire. I know, now, that doesn’t happen. It can’t. There is always a little flicker there. It is a bit like the small glowing embares you see after you see a fire dies down. I carry that around with me, that little ember, and if I need to, if I want to have Claire next to me, I blow on it, ever so gently, and it glows bright again.”

I thought this was really beautiful. What a simple, non-complex way to bring peace to your heart. I know your little light will never flicker out, Ro. But it was nice to hear it from someone else, who has lost a child. Which I have also decided, is the worst thing that can ever happen in life. I’ve honestly thought about this for some time now, trying to throw in other losses that could even come close to comparing. There is nothing. Losing a child takes the cake. Losing you is like losing a million cakes all at once. I cried on the beach today at a lot of things said in this book. I took the time to sit, reflect, and watch the oceans waves all while being engulfed in the sound of two little girls building a sandcastle right beside me. Their dad apologized for their loudness. I wanted to say to him, it wasn’t loudness at all, but music to my ears. I watched them play for a while and then was determined to finish my book, which I did. Mr. Sparkly Eyes would have been proud that I actually finished it. I was proud of myself. For something so little, the fact that I am actually able to finish a book now is a big deal. Who cares that it takes me twice as long now. I did it, felt emotions from it, and now I can put it behind me. Check mark, please!

I came back upstairs, showered and got ready to go to dinner. We went to happy hour on the island and sat in the bar with Liam and Quinn. We had a really fun dinner. There seemed to be a lot of laugher, talking, and engaging. We have talked a lot about holidays and what are favorite and worst are and why. We have decided to make up a new holiday to celebrate on Easter. Woody says we should call it Feaster and make it all about food. I agreed as long as we could worship a giant chocolate Easter Bunny and not have to dress up in fancy clothes. Liam wants chocolate covered everything, including bacon and Quinn wants to play games. Sounds like we are on the right track to turning this into a lot of fun. I think I’ve said before that most holidays seem meaningless now. Easter is one of them for us. Down with Easter; Feaster is born. I would like to take it and put your spin on it of course, buddy. We’ll have to come up with some things that you would have wanted to have. I’m imagining huge glass bowls filled with your favorite, Candy Corn. I may have some funny shirts made up to and anyone wants to come is invited. Feaster is the new Easter at our house. We will not be giving thanks to Jesus Christ. Sorry folks. That’s not the way this holiday is going to be celebrated. If you are offended, sorry. If you are cool, come over:) We have decided after losing you, Ro…. that life is too short to do things you really don’t want to do. It’s time to start making up our own fun rules and traditions as a family. The Thompsons march to their own beat and we are going to embrace that now more than ever. You earned that right, you loved to break all the rules, so that is what we are going to do. Some rules really are meant to be broken in life, only to be put back together, much better than they had ever been before.

After dinner, we walked around and the boys got cupcakes for desert. I stayed away from those due to my stomach issues. All of my favorite things, sweets, cupcakes, frosting…. destroy me. It’s as if my body is rejecting them. Oh well. I’ll take rejecting them rather than scarfing them down. At least my pants will still fit:) We came back to the condo, I got dressed for a dreaded run. It was chilly out but I did it anyway. Just 4 miles up and down the beach. I sat down for a while and talked out loud to you. I like to talk out loud to you. I did a lot of talking and crying to you. It felt good to listen to my voice say those words to you tonight, alone on the beach. After our little pow wow, I got my sandy butt up and finished my run. I showered and Quinn had asked to watch, “The Cove,” on my computer. I thought about it and said it was o.k. Why not educate him and his  young mind on how corrupt this world really can be. He’s already had the worst thing possible happen to him, he loves to watch, “Whale Wars,” so let’s do it. I watched it with him and explained this is why I have a hard time going to Sea World and swimming with Dolphins. It is one of the saddest movies ever and those Japanese “Fishermen,” need to be stopped. Watch the movie if you haven’t seen it. You will be so appalled that you will want to help expose what is going on. They are slaughtering those beautiful creatures left and right. It is beyond sicking and maddening. Especially to me now, Ro. After all the time we’ve spent watching the dolphins here, it makes me even more upset. What is wrong with people in this world?? Are they that selfish and greedy?? The slaughter of these poor innocent mammels has got to stop. How am I supposed to take on Childhood Cancer and this Dolphin slaughtering together?? I feel like it is my second calling in life. I felt that way when I first saw this movie. I am totally passionate about it and I think it is a beautiful thing for my boys to learn about. They have already learned about death in a way they should have never known, but now they can take this and turn it into nd learn how we need to respect these beautiful mammals, and how if you are passionate enough about something, that you can change the outcome. Sign me up! I’ll kick cancers ass and the japanese fisherman’s as well!! Bring it on, yo!!!

It’s going to take shit like this to get my ass out of bed in the mornings. I am planning on jumping back into boot camp next week. I need to email Tammy to tell her if I don’t have a reason to get up, I’m just not going to. She needs to be my reason for a while. Until I find a new reason. Although, waking up for her boot camps were always my favorite reasons to get up and exercise in the mornings. I hope she’ll save a spot for me:) Phoenix Adventure Boot Camp is by far, the best one in AZ. Tammy rules!!!!

Do you all see what I’m doing here? I’m slowly planning little things so that I don’t barricade myself in Ronan’s room and never come out. Ro, I can not, not, live for you. God. You would be so mad at me for my sadness and anger these past couple of weeks. You would be so mad at me for laying in bed. I’ve got to get up and do things for you. I don’t have a choice. I’m not willing to go down so easily and just die. Then what? Then everybody loses. I’m going to stay in this fucking fucked up world without you, and try to change some things. You would want this. You would be proud. As much as I want to escape into a non reality world, which means hiding in bed, ignoring everyone, not taking care of your Daddy, your brothers, our house…… I just can’t. I can’t have your brothers remembering me as that mom. They’ve been through enough already. I can do this, Ro. Just promise you’ll always be right by my side. I feel like you are, I really do feel you during the day. Please don’t ever go away, Ro. I already miss you so much.

Alright little buddy. My favorite not spicy monkey boy. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. I hope it’s a kissing day because I miss your sweet little kisses so much. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

Sunday, bloody Sunday

Ronan. Sunday has always been my least favorite day. Sundays to me are depressing, sad, and I’ve never liked them. Why should today be any different? Let’s start with the fact that I didn’t fall asleep until 6:30 a.m. I had an awful night last night of worrying about you, about life, and I couldn’t get myself to wind down. I ended up popping an Ambien at 5:30 a.m. I was being stubborn because all I wanted last night was to fall into a blissful, non medicated sleep, and dream of you. Instead, I fought off the demons that now live in my head until I could take no more. Ambien induced sleep soon came and as I was halfway between being awake and sleep, I was holding my phone looking at pictures of you. I remember falling asleep and I was touching the screen on my phone with a picture of you smiling. I swear the picture came alive and you were moving, laughing, and smiling at me. I played with your face on the screen of my phone until I finally went into my coma. I don’t remember dreaming of you at all, but I played with you before I drifted off for the next five hours. When I finally woke up, I told your daddy that we should get out and go grab a late breakfast somewhere. We headed off to some restaurant a lady on the airplane had told him about. I don’t even know where it was, except we had to leave the Island of Coronado to get there. It was a really cute restaurant, and I sat on the patio with your daddy and brothers. We all ordered breakfast and I was just sitting there, looking at home handsome your brother, Liam is. I stared at him for a few minutes and then the crying started. I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring, your daddy just looked at me and brushed them away, and I put back on my sunglasses. There was a table of people right next to us. I nicknamed them “The pretty people,” in my head. They must have been in their 30’s and they were celebrating a birthday. Their table was full of so much happiness, laugher and love. I used to know what it felt like to sit at a table like that. Not to have a care in the world and everything was so carefree and pure. Now, the table I sit at is full of tears and sadness with a reality that I never wanted, but will always be mine. I will wear these scars for the rest of my life and they will never fade, because you are missing. Because you didn’t get to be a breakfast with us today, nor will you ever be again. I pictured you with us though. You would have loved the gooey cinnamon roll Quinn and Liam had. You would have gotten the frosting everywhere and probably wiped it all over Quinn. You would have taken the pure sugar chunks they had sitting out to sweeten the tea with and chucked them across the table at one of your brothers. I would have done my best “Ronan Sean Thompson! Use your manners!” to you as I tried to scold you but I would have ended up in a fit of giggles. Your naughty ways were always my weakness. Your carefree spirit, freed my soul.

I was writing last night to Mr. Sparkly Eyes and my exact words to him were, “Ronan completed everything in my life. Everything. After I had him, I finally for the first time in my life felt complete, whole, and perfect. He tied our whole family together in a big, pretty bow.  Now what? What do you do after that is gone? Survive I guess. Float, so you don’t sink. Swim, so you don’t drown. Go on. Move forward. Continue to fight. Fight to stay alive, to get out of bed, for that glimmer of happiness that I sometimes get to feel during the day.” Those were my words last night and you know it’s my truth. I’m fighting baby. I’m fighting every second of the day to hold on to you, to me, to your brothers, to your daddy. I won’t let go no matter how much I want to give up. I won’t let you down.

After our breakfast of tears, we explored the streets a little. Walking down the sidewalk, did you see the 4 of us? I know you did. We were all walking down the sidewalk, holding hands. All of us, linked together. I turned around to find you, expecting you to be running behind us. When I realized you weren’t there, I had to let go of your daddy’s hand. I couldn’t  hold on without you. The tears burned my eyes, but the pain in my heart was worse. Everyday seems to be getting harder and harder. I did forget to tell you about something so silly that happened last night though. Something that made me happy. After the crazy ocean swimming night I had with your brothers, we all went to the hot tub. When we returned back to the condo, Quinn realized he had forgotten his flip-flops down by the pool. I took his hand and told him we could walk back to the pool to get them. We got to the pool, but it was after hours so my card that lets us in, wouldn’t work. Quinn was devastated but I tried to tell him we would come down in the morning to get them and it was no big deal. His eyes got all teary as you know what a little worry wart he is and he was upset that they would be gone in the morning. I told him there was nothing I could do, but the look on his face  told me I had no choice to somehow get into the pool and rescue his darn flip-flops. So you know what I did?? I looked around to see if there was any way I could scale the concrete wall that surrounds the pool. I told Quinn to hold my things and I somehow managed to hoist myself up and over the wall, and I landed on the other side where his flip-flops were waiting for me. You should have seen the smile on your brothers face. I smiled at that and the thought of you and how I knew you were watching me, “break the rules,” as we used to love to do. Quinn told me that I was the best mom ever and now he understands why I like to run all the time and why it’s important to me. He said it’s so I can do things like that and he bets no other mom would have done something “so cool.” It made me giggle. He’s been talking about it non-stop to me since it happened last night. Sweet boy. The smile on his face was priceless. It made my night.

I ended tonight with my late night run and a movie night on the couch with your daddy and brothers. I’m going to say goodnight now baby. My most favorite movie in the world is on, “Lost in Translation.” I’m going to try to unwind while watching it in hopes for some sleep. It’s a movie I will never get tired of, no matter how many times I see it. It’s a good way to end just another painfully hard day. I miss you so much. I hope to see you soon. Sweet dreams, my blue eyed boy. I love you.

xoxo