Ronan. Hi babydoll. We are still at your Nana’s house. It feels like we’ve been here, forever. I don’t miss home. I do miss your daddy. He can’t come out this trip, which is killing us both, but we are both doing our best. All that time he took off during May/June has left him with a ton to catch up on. I hate knowing that he is at home at night, in our empty house with just your urn, to keep him company. It is so wrong, on so many levels. I’m doing my best to play the role of both parents here. Your Papa Jim and Nana have been a big help. Your brothers have been really good. We have been doing so much…kind of going non-stop. Last night, your Papa Jim wanted to take your brothers out on his boat, night fishing. “What do you mean, they’ll be gone until midnight? No way! I already have one dead child, I don’t need anymore!” I said to your Nana with a look of terror on my face. “They aren’t going.” But then your brothers, begged. And begged some more. Normally, I would not give into the begging. I thought it through. Night fishing with Papa Jim. Who knows when this will happen again. New memories for them. An adventure. Something they will treasure for the rest of their lives. “You can go if you both promise me this. No fighting on the boat. I want text message updates every hour. Under NO circumstance does your life jacket come off. EVER. You follow the rules and listen to everything your Papa says. Pinky promise me.” We hooked pinkies. “Thanks, mom!” They were so excited. I got text messages, every hour on the hour. The cutest little text messages. Your brothers are so sweet, it kills me that they have to go through any of this. I am trying my best for them, Ronan. And for you. I think I am doing an alright job. I feel like I am doing much better for them, then I was doing last year at this time. Everyday is still as struggle, but it is easier for me to be more present and engaged with them, then it used to be. I decided awhile ago that for as much pain as I am in, I cannot ruin their lives, even more by bailing out. They don’t deserve that. They don’t deserve any of this, but what happened to you was not in my control. What happens to them, due the the way I react to the loss of you, is in my control due to the decisions I make. I am trying to be a good mom to them still, Ronan. I am trying so very hard. I think somedays, I get it right. I hope they will forgive me for the days that I just can’t seem to pull my shit together. They don’t happen very often. But I hate that they have had to see them at all.
Your brothers and Papa got home around midnight. They caught a huge Salmon. I am so glad they did. That made their adventure, even better. We all 3 slept in again and I woke up to hearing the giggles and laughs coming from outside. I went out to see what was going on. Ahhhhh… the cleaning of the salmon had begun. Liam was gagging and would not get near it. Quinn was gloved like a freaking serial killer and was cutting away with a huge knife, helping your Papa, clean the thing. I got there just in time to snap away so great pictures. It was a beauty of a fish. Quinn then proceeded to take the head of the fish and inform me that he was a doctor, performing surgery. I watched him as he cut away and dissected the entire head of the fish down to the eyeballs. This might make some mom’s squeamish. Not your mama. I was right in there with him, helping him with all the guts and blood. Sometimes he is so much like me, that it is eerie. I’ve never been one to be squeamish over guts and blood. But it does take me back to you, of course. All of the bloody noses that we had to deal with. I will never forget those, Ronan. They haunt me at all times of the day. I’m so sorry baby. For all you went through and even after everything, nothing could save you. How could that even be? I’ll never ever understand, Ronan. I would have done anything to save you. I would have taken you anywhere. I look back and regret so much. Even though your daddy still swears we did all we could do. That will never be good enough for me.
After the cleaning/operation on Mr. Fish, we went to Oregon to hike Multnomah Falls. These two states, often leave me breathless Ronan. There is never ending beauty, everywhere. I miss it here, so very much. I have for a really long time. We had the best day with your Papa. It was day full of simple surprises. The deer that we saw on our hike, that was just sitting there, eating the leaves not even 3 feet from us. I saw it and immediately thought of you. “Oh, a gift from Ronan.” I think every beautiful thing I see, feel, or hear in my life is a gift from you. It was so perfect, calm and sweet. The deer wasn’t scared of us, it just nibbled on it’s food, while staring into my eyes. It jumped away after somebody came by with a dog. I could have sat and started at it, forever. It was almost the most perfect day. But you should have been there, too. I kept looking for you everywhere and imagining what you would have been doing. I do that with everything we do, without you. I know you would have been right in there with Quinny, dissecting the fish. I know you would have been right there with Liam, throwing rocks into the waterfall. I know you would have made me carry you, halfway up our hike. I know you would have been eating that ice cream cone, with your Papa and giggling with him in the car. I know these things, even without you here to do them. I live my life imagining you this way every second of every day. Nothing I do in my life, is without you.
I’m going to end this here tonight now, Ronan. I am a blubbering mess and I am trying not to cry too much because I don’t want to wake up your brothers and make them sad. They are both sleeping right next to me. We miss you. We wish you were here. I love you, little man. I miss you so very much. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.