Wild and free, together we will be

Ronan. Hello little bug. Guess what I did today. I spent the day doing things that I would normally not be doing; if you were still here. This happens to me a lot in this new life of mine. Sometimes, I feel as if I am living a double life. That I’m living the life of a person that I do not know at all. I’m trying to figure out who this new person is and if I like her or not. I still have not made up my mind about that. We shall see. I am thinking she is not going anywhere anytime soon. But I also know that I have no way of knowing that because as we have learned, life can be cruel and take you in an instant. And as we have learned, we have no control over when your time is up because death does not discriminate. I’m trying to remember that I am supposed to be making the most of every second, of everyday that I am “lucky,” to be alive. I don’t feel very lucky without you.

Today, I was honored at the Arizona Foothills Luncheon. It was weird. Weird in the way that people whom I did not know said things to me like, “Congratulations!” And I didn’t know how to respond so just coyly smiled and listened to the little voice in my head that said, “For what? My dead child? Oh, I know. So totally awesome!” I forget that there are people out there who think I’m inspiring as I am only listening to the way you are telling me to do this. So when I hear things like, “We are proud of you. You are so amazing!” My thought or response is usually just, “Well, he was amazing.” Because that’s all I know to be true, Ronan. That people should be proud of you, not me. People should be honoring you, not me. I’m simply just a vessel here left on earth, to carry out your mission because you were destined for greater things, right? I truly want to believe this last part. But of course, the selfish me does not want you to be destined for greater things and it pisses me off that you are gone and just not at home, cuddling in bed with me where you should be.

The luncheon was really nice though and I am grateful to AZ Foothills for not being afraid to take a chance on a girl like me as I know how sad and dark this story is. I am grateful that they can see beyond the sadness and the darkness of this story to the love that shines through, so brightly. Nobody can deny that no matter how many times I throw the fuck word out there and I scream, “I hate the world!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs. Our love story is undeniable and I am thankful that they chose to honor it today. I got to sit at a table full of our loveliest of lovelies and watch as they all wiped the tears from their eyes. Dr. JoRo got up and spoke for about 30 minutes. There was not a dry eye in the house. She talked about you a bit which I was not expecting…. but it was a nice surprise. She talked about life, death, kindness, sadness, laughter, love, and all things honest. It may have been a little too honest for some of the people in that room today. I wondered how many actually really walked away, grateful for the gift of watching one of the most beautiful souls on earth, speak. I hoped every single one of them. I wondered how many of them had taken care of their sick baby, who had cancer. I wondered if any of them knew what it was like to spend 8 months in cold, icy hospital rooms, fighting every second of everyday for a life that means more to them, then their own. Cleaning up vomit. Blood. Shit. Pee. Medicine. Spit. And feeling so grateful to do so because it meant LIFE. Not death. All while listening to the screams, cries, tantrums, of their child and other children around them. All while the rest of the world, ignores them because it can’t happen to them. I wondered if any of them knew how close a mother and a child grow, going through something like this together. How a bond is formed, unlike any other that exists in the world. I wondered if any of them could have imagined going through something like this only to have the love of their life, taken away from this world. To have watched as their child, slowly died. To have held their child as he or she took their last breath and fluttered their eyelids for one last time. I wondered if any of them, could have survived this and put on a green dress 8 months later to sit in a room full of women, who have not survived this. Only one woman in that room, had survived this today and that was me. For about .2 seconds, I was proud. But only for the reason that really matters. Because I knew you were watching over me today and I knew you felt proud. That’s all I care about as it is the only thing, that truly matters to me. Every single thing I do, every breath I take, every foot I put in front of the other, every tear I cry, smile I smile, everything I do in this life…. is for you. And I am so grateful for the gift of our love. I know I say this all the time, but it will change things. It is already changing things. I know we are just getting started, Ro baby. I know this.

So, the past couple of days have been pretty hard. But looking back, I’ve had some things happen that have made me laugh. Mostly shit that I hear myself saying or doing and I can’t believe that I am saying or doing. Sometimes, it makes others laugh which I swear to god, is the BEST medicine. When I make other people laugh, Ronan. OH.MY.GOD. You have no idea how good this makes me feel. Me, the girl with the saddest green eyes, still has the ability to make people laugh. For such a little thing, it means the world to me. These are the conversations over the past couple of days, that have given me a good chuckle. I hope they made you laugh too.

Last night, we were driving home from my very Fucky Sucky Unbirthday. As we were driving home, up on one of the hills by our house there is the most obnoxious, huge house. It is covered head to toe in Christmas lights. I mean covered. Every inch of the house, trees, cactus, etc….. My head immediately went to……” I wonder how much electricity those people are wasting, for their God damn Christmas lights. It could be going to Childhood Cancer. Think about all the money, people waste, for Christmas lights when it could ALL go to Childhood Cancer. America is so stupid. And ignorant. And blissfully blind.” Christmas lights, in my crazy, bereaved mind, should not exist anymore. I then said to myself…. “OMG. It’s January. It’s my birthday. Christmas is way over.” I said to your daddy, “Take me to the store.” He looked at me and said, “For what?” And I said, “For some eggs. I’m going to egg those assholes house, who still have their obnoxious Christmas lights up! It’s January 11th! Why do they still have their lights blaring?!” Your daddy then told me he would in fact, not drive me to the store, to get eggs, to egg the assholes house. I actually replied to him, “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT! SO TAKE ME TO THE STORE, SO I CAN EGG THEIR HOUSE!” I quickly realized one of two things: 1), that I was acting like a bratty 13-year-old, which I often embrace, and 2) that this plan was not going to happen so I should just let it go. The thought of actually doing this, made me laugh so I let that be enough to satisfy me. I know you know I fully planned to escape during the middle of the night, to drive myself to the store to buy eggs and do this. I should have called my Mandy Bee to pick me up. We could have dressed up like real life Ninjas. Word to the wise. Take down the fucking Christmas lights. Christmas is OVER. Move on. And if you are too lazy to take them down, just don’t turn them on. You are blinding me with your obnoxious, asshole, stupidity.

I went to get the mail today and I had some random package come in it. I get a lot of these. A lot of the time, they are small things, from strangers and they always make me smile and cry. It’s the pure kindness that gets me the most. Today, I got a package and it didn’t say who it was from. I opened it up to find the best tee shirt EVER! It’s black and in bold white letters, it says, “Fuck you you fucking fuck.” It totally made my night. I proudly put this tee-shirt on, as your daddy was getting ready to take me out for a quick bite to eat, as your brothers are staying with your Mimi and Papa tonight. Your daddy once again, just looked at me. “You cannot wear that out of the house, in a public place. You need to listen to me. I do this for a living, you can get into trouble for that.” I just looked up at him. UGH. Why does he have to be such a rule follower?? You died of cancer so don’t I get a hall pass to wear/do/say/act any way I want? Turns out, that although I often feel this way, I do not. “I’m wearing it. It’s awesome. If I want to wear it, I can. I’m sorry you didn’t know what a rebel you married, I’m sorry it’s been so repressed and you now have to just get used to it.” You daddy started chuckling out loud at that one. He quickly informed me that he knew what he was in for, when he married me. Since he was trying so hard to be a good sport about it, I cut him some slack and put on a coat on over my shirt. But I only told him I was doing this because I was cold, not due to the fact that I was about to give him a heart attack. And I unzipped my coat in the restaurant; obviously Ronan. Rule breaker for life:)

While we sat in the restaurant, we sat and looked like the “normal,” couple that exists in society, everywhere I go. We ended up sitting next to this couple who had a child about your age. I tried to ignore this annoying couple tonight. I was trying my best not to let them rip my heart out because that should have been us, sitting there with you. I was doing a really good job until I noticed the toy that the little boy pulled out of his bag. It was a lego Star Wars toy. My eyes welled up with tears and I choked on the strawberry that I was trying to eat. The mom started talking really loudly about that book, “The Secret.” The Oprah book that had everyone raving a few years ago. I never bought into that horse shit of a book but apparently, when you put something out there in the world, that you want to happen badly enough…. if you want it enough, it can magically be yours, just by you putting it out there, Ro. Or it can also be said that, everything in life, is possible, nothing is impossible. There are no limits. Whatever you can dream of, can be yours, when you use The Secret.

Otherwise known as HORSE SHIT. I’m pretty sure, the people starving in Africa will not die…. due to “The Secret.” I’m pretty sure that the packed orphanages around the world, will not become empty….. due to “The Secret.” I’m pretty sure, the problem of homelessness, childhood cancer, kids dying in general, abused kids, drugged up parents who should not be fucking parents because they put their baby in the spin cycle of the washing machine….. will not disappear because of “The Secret.” I’m pretty sure, the fucking god damn Secret book, will not bring you back. But I listened tonight as this lady told her husband the power of ” The Secret.” and how it was going to bring her a new car this year, a fancier one. Your daddy watched me as I listened. Your daddy squeezed my hand. “I’m going to throw my strawberry at this ladies head, if she doesn’t shut up.” She didn’t shut up. I didn’t throw the strawberry at her head. I got up, walked past her and made sure she saw my tee-shirt instead. Her mouth dropped to the floor. I just smiled. I now know who sent this tee shirt. Word travels fast when you grow up in the smallest of towns with the biggest of hearts. Thank you, S. You truly are one of my little devils rocking this thing called life for me, when I cannot.

Tonight, your daddy looked at me, Ro and goes, “How long until you get a devil tattoo?” I just laughed. And I thought of you. My most spicy, little devil who was all things sweet, pure and innocent. My most beautiful little devil that rules my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never understood the angel/devil role. The angel always fucking annoyed me and it still does to this day. Why can’t the devil be an angel too? Why does the devil, have to be bad? Because that’s what society teaches us. That’s what religion teaches us. That’s fucking stupid. It’s called being brain washed. It’s called letting something “bad,” control your life and fear it. I say take that something, “bad,” and make it GOOD. Take that little devil and instead of making him evil, make him spicy with nothing but the purest intentions. Make him an outside of the box kind of thinker. Make him fix problems in all sorts of different ways, just not one formula. Not just one answer when the world is full of so many different answers. Make him brave, determined, fearless, smart, compassionate, loving, crazy, independent, sweet, kind, gentle, and unique. I have a little devil that sits on my shoulder all the time and that is you. You are all of those things to me and you always will be. The little devil who knows what it means to be naughty and nice, in the best way possible.

Alright Ro. I’ll get off my soapbox now. To each his own. Respectfully so. Wild and Free, together we will be. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you. Every second of everyday. Sweet dreams little man. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

P.S. I’m too tired to touch on this subject tonight so I’ll just leave it short and sweet.

Dear Mattel,

If you do not make that Barbie, with a bald head, for childhood cancer, then you are ASSHOLES and you will be disappointing so many people who you could so easily make smile. It’s a NO BRAINER. Please do not be morons here. We have enough of those in the world, ****cough cough**** Casey Anthony and her fucking “Webcast that was hacked.” Make it. Donate the money. But please be aware, of where you are actually donating the money to. Please donate it to somewhere, that is actually invested in finding better treatments in hopes for a cure. Don’t do this, to make a profit off of it. Trust me, nobody benefits from a dead child. Well, except the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, but that is a whole different story that I’m sure you are not interested in because this can’t happen, to you. I’m here to tell you it can.

Be active in spreading awareness. Just fucking do it.

Sincerely,

RoMama

It’s time.

Ronan. I’ve written to you a couple of times these past couple of nights but I think the words have been writing have been really, really dark and angry. I haven’t finished them and I don’t feel like finishing them now because for the first night in a very long time, I am not in a dark and angry place. I feel hopeful and a bit peaceful. I have to start accepting some things Ronan, in order to move forward and to get out of the arms of grief that seems to be strangling me. I have to accept the fact that you are never coming back and as for much as that kills me, it is a fact. No matter how much I sit here and scream, cuss, cry and beg….. you are not coming back. Acceptance is the first step, yes? I have to start to accept this so I can take this anger, pain, and sadness to a positive place. Yes. I said it. Positive. I know it may seem like I love the dark, negative space that seems to consume me, Ro. But I do not. It’s not me. It’s never been a part of me or who I am. Do you know how much I struggle with this new found emotion? Anger? It’s foreign to me, Ronan. Anger, bitterness, jealously, resentment….. those words didn’t exist in my vocabulary before this. I am afraid they are going to destroy me as I don’t know what to do with them. They are so powerful, they are trying to take over my entire life. They fill my head with so much noise during the day that much of my days are spent just trying to quiet them down. The fighting in my head is constant. I’m trying to get a handle on it. To use this anger in a positive way. I know it may not seem like it by the words I write, but I want my life to be full of positive things and not so dark. I really, really do. To have some light come out of this darkness. To take all of this anger and turn it into something that is so powerful, that it can change the world and the way people live their lives. To help change the outcome of childhood cancer. But we both know this is about so much more then just cancer, Ronan. Because you were so much more, then cancer. I’ve got to start thinking about how to channel this anger in a new direction. I have ordered a punching bag and some boxing gloves. I guess this is a start. My best ideas seem to come in the middle of blood, sweat and tears while my endorphins are running.

I had my board meeting tonight, baby. It was almost 4 hours long. I had it at our house and it was lovely. For as much as I don’t know what I am doing, you would have been so proud tonight. Because I am figuring it out with the 4 most beautiful women that exist. It was a board meeting that was full of everything you. It was a board meeting where I sat back and watched as these 4 women made me feel like we really are going to turn your foundation into something that is so beautiful and pure, that it is going to change the face of childhood cancer. It is so easy for me to slip into the dark world of I don’t need anybody because I can do this alone. But the truth is it doesn’t feel good and I can’t. You know what felt good tonight? Listening to the way we hashed out our agenda for our meeting. The way we talked about the things we need to overcome and figure out. The way we brainstormed ideas and answers. The way we worked as a team. The way I saw all four of our lovelies eyes, sparkle as they talked about you and how much they believe in you and what we are going to do. They way I felt the love that surrounded me the entire evening. I don’t allow myself to get lost in the love part of life very often anymore. It felt so very nice and I think I should try to allow it in a little more often. To live in constant pain and agony is destroying me, baby. And I know it’s not how you wish for me to be. I know this. I wish I didn’t have to have this foundation because you got sick and died from cancer. But I do and I realized tonight that this part of what is going to help heal me. I have to start to heal a little, Ronan. It’s time.

To my lovely of loveliest board members,

Thank you for tonight. Thank you for believing in me, when I sometimes forget to believe in myself. Thank you for reminding me that I am capable and worthy of feeling the love that surrounds me. Thank you for helping me take my son and not letting the “him,” get lost in all of this. Thank you for making this as important to you, as it is me. Thank you for making me feel like he was all around us tonight…. I felt him everywhere. I know he is so proud of this board that we have created. It is perfect. I love you all so very much.

I’m sleepy tonight, Ronan. Without my Ambien. I love you to the moon and back. Sweet dreams. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Hell is empty and all the Devils are here

Ronan. Cancer is stupid. And people are stupid. I try to ignore the stupid people of the world the best I can but sometimes they get under my skin. I try not to let them but as it turns out, I’m still human. For as dead as I feel I guess I’m really not because I am still able to feel. I wish I really were a dead zombie. Then I wouldn’t be bothered by these stupid, ignorant people. I would just rip their hearts out and eat them and then maybe they would be able to feel a quarter of the pain that I feel on a daily basis. Only in Zombieland, right buddy. Sometimes the stupid people of the world say stupid things like, “You know, there are other mothers out their who have lost children. You’re not the only one.” My reply is, “Really? No shit, asshole.” Please hold on a minute while I punch you in the throat. It is as if they are trying to compare my pain, to somebody else’s. Or justify it by saying there is someone else out there, who has it worse. I am not ignorant. I am aware of the other people out there who have lost their children. But guess what? They didn’t have a Ronan. So there is no comparing or justifying. You were mine and therefore, nobody else knows what this is like. I don’t care if they too, have lost a child. This pain is my own, this sadness is my own, this experience is my own. I would never tell another parent, “Oh, I know exactly how you feel.” Because I don’t. I understand some aspects of it. I can relate but to each his own. I am learning to be respectful of that for others going through this process. I’m still new at this game but this is something that I have learned. Unless you had a Ronan, you don’t fully know.

I survived Christmas? I survived Christmas. It was brutal. I took some time in the morning, before I got up and just cried for you. After that, I was able to go downstairs to watch your brothers open gifts and enjoy Christmas the way 8 year olds should. It was as nice as it could possibly be. All that mattered is I was able to get out of bed and watch as your brothers smiled, giggled, and laughed. I lasted a couple of hours but then the pain became too much and I had to retreat up to my old bedroom where you and I spent all last summer cuddling and whispering secrets to each other. I passed out for a few hours. I dreamed of you. This is the second time in a month that I have seen you in my dreams. They are never pleasant and it is always the same theme. You looking at me. I’m trying to save you, but I can’t. I know you are dying, but you always look peaceful. Thanks for that, little man. My heart was extra heavy on Christmas for another mama. Another mama who wrote to me a few days before Christmas to tell me thank you. I was sick to my stomach after her email. I don’t want a thank you from another mama because her baby girl died of Neuroblastoma. She died on December 7th, this year. This mama told me it was because of what I had written about you after you passed away, that she was able to tell her Charlotte all the things she wanted to say, right before she died. I don’t remember what I wrote about you and I don’t want to know. I guess I am glad it helped somebody else although I wish I didn’t have to. I wish I could give her Charlotte back. I told her I was sorry. I wish I had some wise words for her. I didn’t. Sorry was the best I could do. She told me how she just wants to be with Charlotte. I told her I knew. Oh, how I know.

Yesterday, I spent the day in Portland with your daddy. You know how Portland is one of my favorite cities. It was a nice day. We grabbed lunch. I ate a bit of soup but that was all I could manage to keep down. We talked. But not about normal things anymore. Our talk revolved around everything cancer. I played the game that I am so good at playing now which is we didn’t choose the right treatment. If we did, Ronan would still be here. Should we have done this? Should we have done that? We picked the wrong treatment for him. He insists that we did not. He insists the outcome would have been the same, no matter what. I still don’t believe him. But I guess I have little credibility due to being the irrational broken-hearted mama. I don’t need credibility though. I just need someone to figure out this fucking disease. I need the doctors to get a clue as to what it is they are doing so little kids don’t have to sit around playing russian roulette. I’m not stopping until this changes Ro. I promised you that. After the talk about you we moved on to other fun things like Coach Bemis. The coach in AZ who has Stage IV lung cancer and he is NOT a smoker. We moved on to Katie who is the beautiful 15-year-old girl with Rhabdomyosarcoma. We talked about Charlotte, Will, Dr. Sholler, Dr. Mosse, etc….. We will never be the normal couple again who goes to lunch and talks about the weather. We both agreed that this world is fucked. But we left there, holding hands and we’re not letting go. We know what we have to do.

We walked the streets of 23rd for a while. We passed a boy playing his guitar. He was really good. He had his guitar case open so people could throw money in it. He looked to be around 15. He had a sign sitting in his guitar case. It wasn’t the normal sign that read something like, “Help me, I’m hungry.” It simply said, “Help Fight Boredom.” I smiled and laughed as we passed this boy. I looked at your daddy. I had your daddy give me a couple of bucks and I turned around and walked back to this boy. I threw it into his case as well as your little card and your “All good things are wild and free,” bracelet. He said thanks and continued to play. I caught back up to your daddy and we started to walk. I noticed the boys’ guitar playing had stopped. I turned around to watch him read your bracelet. I watched from a far as he read it. He looked up and waved to me, the girl in the yellow coat. I waved back. That boy made me happy today. He reminded me of you. I hope he never gets cured of his boredom. I hope he remains curious to the world and follows his dreams. I hope he has a mom and a dad who know how lucky they are, to have him. I hope he is safe. I hope he is o.k. I hope he is wild and free. This is what I hoped today, Ronan. It felt nice.

Dear lovely little blog reader: I will address your questions but only because you have pissed me off and I am feeling extra spicy today. Here goes dolly.

Why is it ok to take Ambien, but not an anti-depressant? I think you are being slightly hypocritical. You need something to get out of the abyss you are in – other than your youngest son, which, while totally un-fucking fair, will not happen. The fact that you didn’t care if your older sons’ had winter coats speaks volumes. Christmas Eve and you hadn’t bought your twins any presents??? You need some help. You think you might need to check into a hospital…what do you think they are going to do there? I’ll tell you, they will load you up with anti-depressants. They will monitor your food intake and your vomiting. You will lose the control you so relish. The choices will be taken away from you.

You need to talk to a physician. Your constant vomiting is obviously not healthy – don’t your other sons deserve the same mom that lovingly helped her youngest son? While I’m not suggesting you are bulemic, have you ever read what constant vomiting does to your body, your throat, your teeth? Or is this part of your “danger” crusade?

No, I have never lost a child, so I’m sure that will make you totally disregard my opinion, but do you ever re-read your posts? You are on the edge and if you don’t get some perspective, you are going to fall off. Where will that leave your already devastated family?

It is NOT o.k. to take Ambien. For me anyway. I think this drug is the devil. Obviously you are a new reader and have not read all of my posts, therefore you are the one being hypocritical. I talk about this all this time. I hate myself for the fact that I sometimes have to take this drug in order to sleep. Not all the time, but it is during the times that I am struggling the most, when I know the lack of sleep is going to make the crack, so I give in and just take it to get some fucking sleep. It makes me feel mentally weak. It makes me feel like a loser. It makes me feel a lot of things that I hate but sometimes I need a break from the pain and sleep for a solid 6 hours seems to help. This is not always the case and I am proud of the nights that I don’t have to take anything at all. I try every night, not to take that drug but as I said before, sometimes I need a break.

Why is everyone so bothered by me not getting on the antidepressant band wagon? SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! If it helps other people, great! But it’s not for me. I did the anti depressant thing for about 6 months and it only made things worse. I have tried it, and I didn’t like it. END OF STORY. The abyss I am in is called my son just died 7 months ago. I am so sorry you are so bothered by this inconvenience. I am so sorry that you are so bothered by the fact that I didn’t care about my twins’ winter fucking coats and Christmas presents this year. Lady, are you high?!?! Are you on crack? Are you even a parent? Probably not. If you are, I am scared for you. The fact that you think the above things above are a big deal, in the grand scheme of things, disturbs me. I’m a good mom. I know this. I will never second guess this and anybody that truly knows me, wouldn’t either. Even if I didn’t go out and buy winter coats or Christmas presents this year. I think I deserve a fucking hall pass for this first Christmas, don’t you? I don’t care if you do or not. I’m taking it.

And no. I do not re read my posts. For obvious reasons. Maybe you should go back to the beginning and read them all though, before you judge and spew your words of concern. I’m going to go now. I’m off to go skydiving while I throw up my breakfast to continue my “danger crusade.” Opps. I didn’t eat breakfast today which must mean I’m anorexic. Clearly. I am aware what this constant vomiting does to my body. I’m not proud of this but it’s not something I can control right now. I guess having a dead son will do that to you. I hope the hospital that I am going to check myself into, can bring him back so it will stop. Have a lovely day, thanks for your concern but I think you need to go back and reread what you wrote and try a little harder to put yourself in my shoes. This is not a dog we are talking about, dying. It is a child. It was my son. It is not something a fucking pill can make better. Or a hospital. G’day lovely little blog reader.

Ro baby. I love you. To the moon and back. I miss you. I hope you are safe. I hope you are wild and free.

xoxo

Adam Spofford owns a laptop. And meet Gary.

Ronan. A few things have happened since I’ve last written. I’ll start with Gary. Gary the stuffed animal that I bought for you in Starbucks. Gary who I didn’t tell anyone about, except for Dr. JoRo. I was waiting to board the plane with your Daddy and brothers. I was so sad. I didn’t want to get on the plane. I was sitting down. Quinn came and sat next to me. He saw Gary in my purse. He pulled him out and asked what he was and said he smelled like coffee. I told Quinn, that I had bought him for you. I said to Quinn, “Ronan would have liked him, don’t you think?” He smiled and said yes. I asked Quinn what you would have named him. I watched as Quinn got nervous and his little eyes started to tear up. He said he didn’t know. He didn’t want to answer me. He kept looking at the ground. I pushed him and told him just to think of the first name that popped into his head. He took a minute to answer me. He shyly looked up at me and goes, “I don’t know. Maybe Gary.” I thought I was hearing things. I said to him, “That’s exactly what I named him!” I grabbed Quinny’s face and kissed his lips. I told him I loved him. I took it as a sign from you, that I had to get on the airplane and go. During mid-flight, I could hear your daddy and Liam laughing behind us. They started handing us little post it notes that somebody had left in their in flight magazine. The post it notes said things like, “LOSER.” a game of tic-tac-toe was played. Hearts were drawn. But the best one said, “Adam Spofford owns a laptop. This is his laptop. It sucks.” xoxo- a friend. I don’t know why, but these little post it notes from a previous flyer, probably a 10-year-old girl, made us laugh. And trust me, we really needed to laugh. I made it though the flight. Quinn slept on me. Everything in my body hurt. The memories came flooding back of all the flights I taken with you and how sick you were. The memory came flooding back of our last flight together. How you could hardly move because you were in so much pain. I tried to push these memories out of my head. But they are here to stay. Forever. I know this.

We landed really late. Around midnight. It’s our first time to Nana and Papa’s, without you. Painful beyond words. But as I said before, necessary. Everything is so pretty. Nana made sure you are everywhere. Her tree is done up all purple just for you. Your stocking is hanging in between Liam and Quinn’s, just like it should be. Gifts bursting out of it. Your pictures are still all over her house, just as they have always been. Everything is the same, yet different. Nana’s house is perfectly sparkly, warm, cozy, and so welcoming. She has always been so good at this as I know, we are all her whole world. The house is full of laugher, despite you being gone. Not from me but from your brothers and Papa Jim. The never-ending goofing off and playing games that is going on is all too familiar. It’s just the way it has always been. I miss your giggles the most though. It is so obvious they are missing.

We drove to the beach yesterday to go clam digging. I slept most of the way as your Papa Jim drove us. I closed my eyes and thought of you almost the whole way there. I knew exactly where you would have sat, what you would have worn, the things that you would have said. The entire car ride would have been completely different. I know all of this. We arrived to the beach where we were greeted by the cold, wet weather. My favorite. I got out of the car and helped your brothers get all bundled up. We ran out to the ocean in our rubber boots. The tide was out really far and it was drizzling rain. I was playing with Liam. A small wave came chasing after us. A small wave that was much bigger than I had thought. We both ran but it caught up to us. I watched as Liam’s boots were flooded with water and he got soaking wet. I did as well. Within the first 15 minutes, we both had soggy boots and wet jeans. I laughed as I knew if you had been with us, you would have been drenched as well. I took Liam back to the truck and changed his socks but the damage was done…. once your boots are wet, forget about it. We toughed it out for the next hour but we were soon frozen. We headed back to the truck and watched as your daddy, Quinn, and Papa Jim dug for clams. They didn’t get a single one but it didn’t matter. It was all about the adventure and letting them make the happy memories they deserve. Our drive home was long. We played games in the car. I looked out the window and was reminded of why I love it here so much. There is something so peaceful about the Pacific Northwest. I decided that it was a really good thing, that we came here for Christmas. I needed to get away from the rat race of Phoenix. I needed a break. I needed some fresh air. I needed to breathe. I feel like I am suffocating in AZ. A change of scenery has been good, for as hard as I thought it was going to be….. it isn’t as bad as I had anticipated. We all needed this.

I spent this morning with your daddy. I think he was a little worried that we didn’t have gifts for your brothers. He woke me up early to get out of the house. I put up a fight about going out as I just wanted to stay in bed all day. I didn’t. I got up and showered. We ran into town. There are 3 choices when it comes to shopping in this little town. The closest one being Super Walmart. It was totally a Super Walmart kind of day. We roamed the aisles. I got mad. I got sad. I think I told him everything was stupid when I turned down an aisle and saw EVERYTHING STAR WARS. I walked off. I found some 3 wheeled bike in the middle of the bike aisle that was not attached to anything. It had an awesome basket on it. I started riding it around the store. I instantly felt better. Your daddy found me and gave me one of his, “What in the world are you doing looks?” I just smiled and told him I wanted to buy the bike. He knows I’m ridiculous and told me to come with him as he had found some things for your brothers. He led me over to the weapon aisle. Weapons. Now this is something I can get behind. He showed me some Airsoft Guns he thought they would like. You would have liked them too. I think they are kind of like bb guns, only safer. Maybe. I’m not really sure but they look like fun. I told him sure. Whatever. I started roaming the aisle for other treats. I grabbed a Machete and put it in the cart. Your daddy gave me the look again. I told him I needed the machete. He told me I indeed, did not need a machete. He told me to put it back and he would buy me my own Air Gun for Christmas. Fine I said. I put it back although I didn’t want to. I could have cut down a lot of wilderness with that Machete and protected us from the zombies that lurk about. When it Rome…….
The rest of the day was spent playing. I played outside with your brothers and Papa Jim. We played hide and seek. We played basketball. We played. I laughed. I cried. I missed you. I went into town and ran the lake. Tomorrow is Christmas. Fucking Fuck. I’m still here. I don’t think I’m going to die. I wondered this last night though. I wondered if the pain from loving you so much and missing you so much, will actually kill me. Or if the pain from loving you so much and missing you so much, will get me though this. Will it kill me or just make me stronger? I don’t want to be stronger. I don’t want to be strong. I just want you back.
I have to go now. Merry Christmas Eve baby doll. I’m so sorry. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe.
xoxo
And P.S. little lovely overly concerned blog readers. No. NO. No. I’m not going to go on anti-depresents. So stop encouraging it. If it works for you, lovely. But it’s not my cup of tea. I’m doing this alone. Solo. I don’t want any help from a stupid little pill that will not make my dead son, come back. If someone can invent a pill that will bring him back, I would take it in a heartbeat. Unless this is the case, I’m not interested. But thanks for your concern. Merry Fucking Christmas!

I don’t have a choice. I have to go.

Ronan. You’re dead? You’re dead. I’m here. Still here. Because of the someone who is behind all of this. The person who behind all of this, who is not being merciful to me. So here I stay. Blurry, blurry days. A trip we must take. No. No. NO. But yes. Me, the everything must be perfect before we go on a trip. The suitcases packed perfectly to a tee. Never to forget a thing. Everything thought out and so perfectly planned. I lived for packing you and your brothers up for our upcoming travels. So perfect. Even our house. The house. All beds made. Laundry done. Dishes put away. In case we get robbed while we are away. I wouldn’t want the robbers to come into a messy house. This is how my mind used to work. The anal mind that used to control part of my life. Now your daddy, just stares at me from the bedroom. “You need to pack. And the boys’ don’t have winter coats.” But I don’t want to go and I don’t care about the winter coats, I think to myself. “I’m not packing. I’m not packing the boys either.” Your daddy, the best daddy in the world, steps up to the plate. “I’ll pack the boys,” he says. “And I’ll take them out to buy coats.” I just look at him. “I’m sick to my stomach. I think I have the flu. I think I need to go to the hospital.” Your daddy kisses my head and leaves. I lay in bed. My jewish sister from another mother appears. She comes bursting through our front door with her arms full of homemade brisket, potatoe latkes, gifts for the boys, and silver sparkly disco sunglasses on. She yells at me from the front room. I peek out from my bed. “I’m here to take care of you, feed you and to dance for you.” I smile my fake smile. “Cut the BULLSHIT smile!!” she says. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say because nothing that I say, will make this better. But I can dance for you.” She dances and jumps on my bed. She makes me put on the sparkly disco sunglasses. “I haven’t packed. I have laundry to do. I can’t do any of it.” “Well!!!!!!! That’s what I’m here for. I’ll pack you.” I say o.k. I eat some food. I watch as she grabs things to pack. “A couple pairs of jeans, your F U Cancer sweatshirt, your spirit hood, some workout clothes, some boots, underwear, pajamas, running shoes, some tee-shirts…… what else, mama?” “Nothing else,” I say. Nothing else. We sit in our living room. We watch some gun show on T.V. without the volume because I can’t figure out how to turn the sound on. That’s how much I watch T.V. now. Mandy Bee rubs my back. I let her while I listen to the 15 voice mails I have on my phone. All of which I have been ignoring. We light the menorah that sits in our window. We put your picture by it. Mandy Bee says her jewish prayer. I like it. I like the way your little face lights up in the picture from the flickering of the candles. Mandy Bee leaves. But then she comes back. “I’m not leaving you.” I crawl back into bed. She leaves. I throw up. Your daddy and brothers return. Quinn and I crawl up in Liam’s top bunk bed. We fall asleep. Ambien induced for me.

Morning comes. I ignore everything that there is to do, around the house. I shower. I throw up. I feed your brothers. Max and Ruby, comes on T.V. Fucking Fuck. Your favorite show. I throw up, again. I get your brothers in the shower. They are going to play at Cal’s house. We stop at the car wash before I drop them off. I hold their hands. I laugh and smile with them. I miss you. I drop them off. Little Heather, texts me. “Meet me at PVCC for a quick bite.” I do. I eat a grilled cheese and see all your little friends at day camp. I cry. I listen to little Heather, talk about so many things. I get lost in her world for a bit. She is good at letting me do that, without letting you get lost because she knows, it is always about you, even when LIFE is not. As LIFE, goes on for others. She embraces the you in everything that goes on and she didn’t even know you. I appreciate this. I leave little Heather but not before, Sam, her little boy, comes flying into my arms for a hug and a kiss on the lips. I smile at him and the way he reminds me of you. I drive to Dr. Jo’s but I stop at Starbucks before. I run to the bathroom and throw up everything. I brush my teeth, wipe my face and wait in line. I see a bucket full of the cutest little stuffed animals. I thought to myself, Ronan would love this. I panic. OMG. I didn’t buy Ro a gift for Christmas. I grab the stuffed animal. I start to cry. I wipe the tears and buy the little guy. I stuff him in my purse. I get to Jo’s office. I wait in the waiting room, but I really just set my coffee down and bury my head into my arms and cry. I don’t know how long I waited before she came out. 15 minutes maybe. She finds me and I make my way back to her office, only to fall on the floor and not the couch. We sit there, and I look at her. “Ronan’s dead?? Ronan died, right?? He’s dead?” She holds me and nods her head. “O.k.” I say. “Ronan is dead.” We sit. I cry. I look around her office. I see your picture. She asks if I remember her telling me that it was about 6 months after Chey passed away, that were the hardest for her. That the 6-12 months after, seem to actually be harder. I told her I didn’t remember. But I feel this way, now. I tell her I think I need to go to the hospital. I tell her how I can’t breathe. She is quiet and does not entertain my thoughts of a hospital. She doesn’t want that for me. She knows I am stronger than that; I think. We talk about what’s been going on. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Sucksgiving. Christmas. A birthday soon. The list goes on and on and on. I pulled out the stuffed animal and show her what I bought for you. She asked me what you would have named him. I tell her something silly, like Gary. We name him Gary. I look at her and say to her, “I don’t have a choice, right? I have to get on that airplane tonight and go?” She replies with, “Do you have a choice?” I tell her, No. I have to do this for Liam and Quinn. She says it is a sacrifice of love for them. I agree. I don’t want to go home. Back to the place that was our peace. Our solitude. Our paradise, without you. I have not been back, since right before you were diagnosed. It was the last place I spent with you, when you were “healthy,” but really had Stage IV cancer. I don’t want to but I don’t have a choice. I have to go back, someday. Your brothers are so excited. I tell her I’ll fake it, for them. I have to continue to fake this, for now as to not ruin their Christmas. We say our goodbyes. I ask her if her kids are coming up to Sedona. She replies with they are. “Well, all of them except the dead one.” I burst out laughing. That dark sense of humor that I so get. She tells me that Chey gets the top of the Christmas tree, every year. She tells me, that she is not a fan of these holidays either. I know why. I tell her I’m off to the airport to watch happy families everywhere, going to happy places. I’m going to ignore these families this year and pretend everyone has a dead child too. I used to be that happy family, chasing you through the airport with not a care in the world. Fucking asshole cancer. I leave her office, feeling better than when I had arrived.

I go home to a quiet house. I go into crazed mode, packing, cleaning, laundry, beds stripped, dishwasher unloaded. Robot mode. Survival mode. Instinct. Memory. This is what you do, so suck it up and do it. We get to the airport. 4 not 5. Where are you? Bags checked. “Woody, can you watch my things? I have to go to the bathroom.” I go. I throw up. I am so fucking nauseous.

I gotta go baby. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Somebody wake me up when this bloody holiday is over.

Ronan. I am really, really hoping that I am not truly losing my mind from the pain of losing you. I am really, really, hoping that this pain, which is already intolerable, only feels as if as if it is on steroids, just due to the fact that Christmas is almost here. I am trying hard to be logical about this. Who cares about stupid Christmas? Why is it because Christmas is here, that it is making this 10 times harder than normal? I have been doing a lot of talking to myself because Inferno Fuckwad Bob is trying to completely take over. I had this conversation in my head tonight about how much pressure the holidays bring anyway when you are a normal human being. Now, try doing these holidays when your child is dead. I am trying not to panic about the many reactions my body is having…… which I swear I have no control over. The throwing up. The blurry vision. The headaches. The insomnia. The racing of my heart. The shaking of my hands. The way I can’t seem to breathe. The way every part of my body hurts. Even the tips of my fingers. I feel like I should be admitted to a hospital. Can’t they sedate me and put me on oxygen, too? So I can breathe a little more easily? Can’t they just put me to sleep for about a week? I deserve a little break from this or else I am going to crack. Maybe I am starting to crack and these are the warning signs.

No amount of physical exhaustion is helping either. And it normally does. This morning I got up early and met Mandy Bee for a workout at some place she goes. I don’t remember much of it except we did a lot of picking up heavy tires, ropes, and punched a boxing bag. Afterwords, I was shaky and I hopped in her car as she talked me into going to Starbucks. I think she was really afraid to let me up and just drive home as I know she saw the sheer look of terror in my eyes. She drove me to Starbucks but she had to pull over right in front so I could run into the bathroom because I told her I was going to throw up. I did. A whole lot of liquid as I had nothing else in my stomach. I brushed my teeth in that Starbucks bathroom as I now carry a toothbrush with me everywhere because I am so used to this happening. We sat outside and drank our coffee and made small talk with some south african guy. The small talk turned into the how many kids do you have, question. I let Mandy answer first. My turn next. Lucky me. “Two eight year olds. And an almost 4-year-old who just passed away.” Good thing the dude was wearing sunglasses so I didn’t have to see the look in his eyes. I’ll never get used to saying this to people when they ask this question to me now. I always take a minute to answer and think to myself….”There has got to be a better way, to say this.” Turns out, there is not. It will never just roll off of my tongue.

I found myself on my bedroom floor today, huddled in the corner of my room and on the phone with Dr. JoRo, bawling so hard I don’t think she could even understand much of what I was saying. I told her how I couldn’t breathe, how I wanted to just go to sleep, and how tired I was of everything. I stayed this way for about 10 minutes. I then told her I had to go because it was time to be a mom and I was taking your brothers rock climbing. I had to play the good mommy role and suck it up. All I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and not come out. I didn’t though. I sucked it up and pulled myself together as they were so excited to be off and doing something with me. We went with Kristi and her gorgeous girls. I loved watching your brothers as they tried something new. I tried not to let the fact that you weren’t there with us, ruin everything. I made myself climb to the top of that rock wall today. Actually, Kristi really made me do it as I was content to just sit and watch your brothers. I was glad she did. I was halfway up and decided to turn around and look down. Bloody hell it was high up there. I almost stopped and turned around. A vision of your face flashed in front of me and I looked up and made myself continue on, to the very top until I touched the metal little pole that proved I did it. I know you were proud. As Kristi said, one more thing on my little list, checked off. I thought to myself…… yes indeed. But I wondered how long I could really keep all of this up. I’m still glad to have that little check mark off of my list. I did it for you and for your brothers. Because they deserve to have a mom who hasn’t completely checked out. I know I am being hard on myself but I also know that your brothers saw me as I cried in the car all the way home. I wish I could hide my pain from them all the time, but sometimes it is impossible. It is so hard to look them in the eyes when it is so visible to them, that I am hurting so badly. No 8-year-old should have to watch their mama wiping away the never-ending tears. But no 8-year-old should have to ever watch their best friend and baby brother, die of cancer either. It is all fucking bullshit.

We came home tonight to your daddy. I ran to the bathroom where I threw up the dinner I tried to eat. I took a bath and crawled into bed. Your daddy, sat with me and just held my hand while I stared blankly at the wall as the hot stinging tears poured down my cheeks and soaked my pillow. He took your brothers out to run some errands. I fell asleep for about 30 minutes. I jumped up, startled, when my body realized that I had fallen asleep and reminded me of how wrong everything is in this life now, including things like sleep. No rest for the weary.

I love you. I’m sorry. I miss you so very much. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll. I love you to the moon and back.

xoxo

Survival of Christmas, an Anniversary, and an UnBirthday= A SPARTAN DEATH RACE

Ronan. I feel dead. For real. Like I’m living here but I’m not alive. I’m numb. Again. It must be the holidays that are right around the corner. The ones that I cannot wait to be over. But then you know what’s next….. an anniversary. Our 10 year anniversary.  Impressive right? We were supposed to be in Peru, hiking Machu Picchu. We were supposed to be doing something extra special to celebrate the life that we had been so blessed with, the life we worked so hard for. To celebrate our happy life of still being each others best friends with the most perfect little family we could not have dreamed up because it was that perfect. It was simple. It revolved around pure and true love. With the most 3 beautiful boys, ruling our house which was always overflowing with love, fights, silliness, chaos, naughtiness, sweetness, laughter, dancing, sports, calmness, peacefulness, and security. What more could we ask for? Nothing. We didn’t ask for anything as we knew that we were beyond blessed. But then you got sick. And then you died. And now we are here. With a 10 year anniversary coming up to celebrate. No thanks. I would not like to sit in a fancy restaurant this year. I’ve never really liked to sit in a fancy restaurant, any year. I would really like to dig that hole in my backyard and Woody can throw me down food to eat. Kind of romantic, right? I can see how many marshmallows I can catch in my mouth. No fancy restaurants. No fancy anything. And next up….. My birthday! HOLLA!!!!! That one is sure to be bloody horrific. I remember where I was last year. We were at PCH cuddled up in your bed. We got woken up by one of our favorite lovelies with, “Good morning, young lady!” It was the best way to start my very unbirthday. But you told me happy birthday and smothered me with kisses. So many kisses. I was so happy to be there with you. My girlfriends tried to get me out but I think I denied their request. I am pretty sure I stayed with you on my Unbirthday. Playroom Kathy brought me a little cake. You fed it to me. So sweet. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had because we were together. More together than we had ever been in life before. Life and Death partners. One mommy who was healthy and one baby who was sick. Very, very sick. But we didn’t let that stop our parties in your bed. Right, Ro. We partied like it was 1999 with your chemo, and asspole as our guests. We didn’t care. They couldn’t cramp our style. You were getting better. Obviously. That’s what everybody was saying. You really weren’t. At this point, I think this is when everything started to spiral out of control, we just had no way of truly knowing it. Scans were next! After this last round 6 of your chemo. For not having much of a memory anymore, I remember much of this. I can even remember the hospital room we were in and which side of the room we were on. Not a window side, which we always hated when we had to share a room at PCH with other people. We loved our view and a window view room was always such a treat.

So, Ro. A birthday is coming up. But I think I stopped having birthdays when you were diagnosed. This will be my second annual Very Unbirthday Day to me! Does this mean I get to subtract 2 from my actual age? I think that is a fabulous idea. I will not be 34 this year. I get to be 32. I’ll just start getting younger as I think I deserve this after having to go through this life and losing you. Although, I actually feel like I am 74 after everything that has happened. So, what does one do on her second annual Very Unbirthday Day? Go skydiving, of course. I told you I was making plans, Ro. Lots of plans to try to make myself feel alive, otherwise I don’t have a chance at staying on this earth. I think skydiving is a MUST. You know what else is coming up?? After my trip to NYC…. The Spartan Death Race.  Check it out here: http://www.spartanrace.com/      It’s in February at Rawhide. All I heard were the words, 9 miles, mud, fire, tight spaces, obstacle courses, and you may die and I couldn’t sign up fast enough. There was also some huge liability waiver I had to initial as well. It said something about them not being held responsible for your death. I skimmed over it. I signed it in blood. Bring it on. You had me at, “you may die.” I’m not scared to die Ro. Your Sparkly made me look him eyes and promise him no more death hikes at night. And I promised. Had to. So, no more night death hikes means I must find something else to help this insanity. I also told him, “Ronan died of cancer. That makes me invincible.” Because if I am still here, surviving this pain, surly I can survive a 9 mile little race, right? Absolutely. And I know you know the reason behind all of this madness. These things are the only things that make me feel a different kind of pain and it takes my dead body and makes it feel alive for a short period of time. On normal days, I am a walking zombie. I wish I had a cool Bill Murray Zombie friend to hang out with. Or you. I wish you were here and would be my zombie friend. We were the best team. We were the best everything.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. I worry about you so much. All day long. All night long. The worrying never goes away. I love you my spicy monkey boy. I love you to the moon and back. Sweet dreams.

Quinny misses you so much. This pic rips my heart out, Ro. For so many reasons. But I’m trying so hard to keep them happy.

Here’s what I know about life. Nothing.

Ronan. You know what I know about life? Nothing. Except for almost 4 years, I took care of you almost every single day. And then from the time you were diagnosed from the time you passed away, I was so emerged in the fighting for your life world and all of a sudden it’s just gone. Just like that. And now I am expected to go back to “life.” How wrong is that? How does one do that? I don’t know. You know what I feel like? This came to me last night as I was waiting for the devil Ambien to kick in, because yes, I’m back to that for the moment. I feel like somebody has taken my body out to the Arctic Sea. I feel like I am constantly being dipped in and out of that freezing ocean. And just as soon as I am starting to defrost, I am dipped back in where my entire body is shocked to the core. In and out in and out. It’s a never-ending feeling of numbness and pain in which I have no control over. That’s the best way I can describe it tonight, anyway. Then I was thinking about the outside, non bereaved world. I’ll bet they think the pain of this is something like putting a your most favorite dog to sleep. Not because they love their kids any less, but because I think unless you are in this situation, although you may try to understand you cannot possibly have any idea of how much this truly hurts. Does that sound cold, insensitive, and harsh? I don’t mean to. I’m only trying my best to explain how deep this pain is, to the outside world. Of how I know how much they think they can understand this, but they cannot. And for that, I am glad. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I would never want somebody who has not gone though something like this, to truly be able to understand the pain that comes along with it. Not fully anyway. It is just too much.

This past week has been much harder than I had expected. I get that the holidays are around the corner and I keep hearing everyone talk about how hard they are going to be for us, but I’ve been doing my best just to get by. It’s only been these past few days that I have realized that I have no control over anything, no matter how strong I am trying to be. I’ve been crying non-stop. I am trying so hard to give Liam and Quinn a somewhat normal Christmas. I took them to Target and told them to pick out some things. I tried my best to put on my pretend mommy boots because they deserve to have a nice Christmas, whatever that means. But this year, when they were picking out a few things, I made them pick out some things for your friend here, Super Nate who is battling Neuroblastoma as well. They picked out a blue light saber that really lights up, a clone trooper bobble head, and your favorite, “guys helmet,” Captain Rex. I am trying my best to make sure they still get to be 8 years olds, having an 8-year-old Christmas, when all I want to do is strangle Santa and shoot the fucking elf on the shelfs head off with a machine gun.  I’ve had a talk with them about how hard this Christmas is going to be on all of us. I don’t know if what I am doing is right but all I know is I’m not going to hide the fact that this is our first Christmas without you and it fucking blows. I’ve told them this in a much nicer PG rating way though…… although I didn’t want to. I wanted to scream, kick, cuss and cry in front of them, but I didn’t. Somethings have to be done a little more gently with a little mama love thrown in. I’m running on empty but I gave it all I had. I hope it was enough.

I went to PCH I think on Wednesday or Thursday night. I can’t remember now. I went to see Nate and to give him his toys. I stayed a lot longer than I expected. He was so excited about the real light saber. I felt so blessed to be able to give it to him, from you. He let me play with him in his bed and he even let his mama slip out to take some things to her car and grab some food. I got to stay with him, alone. What a little doll. We played the funny monkey game on my iPhone but my favorite part was when I had him giggling up a storm by making his Storm Trooper bobble head eat some cheerios. His little laugh was priceless. He even let me kiss his bald head and said I could come back sometime to play. Just as I was walking out, I saw one of your favorites, playroom Kathy. She kidnapped me and I ended up staying another hour, just catching up with her. I saw some of your other favorite nurses, Kathy and Katie O. I cried when I saw them as I haven’t seen the two of them, since we were there getting your last round of chemo. I asked if you very favorite nurse, Arica was there but she was not. I told them to give her a hug for us anyway. It was nice to see them all but it made me super sad that you were not there with me. It turned into a full on party because Miss Elizabeth Blair ended up being on the floor as well, getting treatment. I got to give her a hug as well as her mommy and daddy. I left PCH feeling drained, but in a good way, I guess. I told your Mr. Sparkly Eyes that now going to a hospital to make a little boy smile feels so much better to me than sitting in a fancy restaurant, trying to enjoy something normal. Normal does not feel good. Normal does not exist. I would rather be off, doing something for someone else, than trying to pretend to live in a normal world where pretend normal dinners will never be the same. So, when I get a night out….. I would rather sit in a hospital with a bald-headed little boy than in a restaurant full of friendly faces. This is just the way it is now.

Being in our house has been really hard for me all week. Everything is making my skin crawl. Dr. Jo has been gone which I’m sure is part of the reason, I feel like I’m going to flip out. She has become my lifeline and the fact that I have not been able to see or talk to her, has been really difficult on me. Much harder on me than I thought it was going to be. I’ve been so tired from not sleeping well. I came home on Thursday and passed out for a little bit. Naps used to come so easily to me. To us. I fell asleep for about 15 minutes. It was restless and I dreamed of you, but in the worst way possible. I dreamed that I was watching you from your radiation table. You were looking at me in the eyes with such a look of trust because you knew that I was going to save you, because that is what I had promised. But than you died. I woke up to this nightmare only to find that it was indeed, my reality. It wasn’t a nightmare at all. I had dreamed the truth. So now for the past week sleep has become so painful and the days are too much to handle so I crawl into bed, begging to black out. This is where my frenemy, Ambien, has come back into play. I’m not happy about this at all. But sometimes, I need a break from everything. Including life.

I’ve been hiking and being active to try to calm down the never-ending screaming in my head. It’s not helping. I went up Camelback, late tonight, just like I’d said I’d never do again. I did. But this time, I was able to use my handy little flashlight app on my iPhone so I could see better. Thanks friends.

Ro baby. This is all for tonight. My brain is mush, my eyes are tired, and my heart is not fucking healing. I just want you back. Or I just want to be with you. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

A Dangerous Day Indeed

Ronan. Today, I lived. I lived and I didn’t feel like dying for the first time, in a long time. But I am still aware of the reason it is, that I am trying to live this life to the fullest. I am aware that it is because of your death, that I have no choice but to go on and try to live this life now that I am without you. That is a heavy things to carry around with you, when you are just trying to survive. It weighs you down but at some point, you just have to try to get used to carrying this weight around with you now. Because it is never going away. I met Mandy Bee, Kristi and her friend, Jacqueline, at Scottsdale Gun Club. I’ve never shot a gun before in my life. Well, that is not totally true. I’ve shot a bb gun a few times. I think I tried to shoot my little brother once, when we were little with one. But that is the extent of my gun experience. Today, I had no idea of the awesomeness I was in for. I should have known just due to the company that I was in. We arrived, Mandy and I had to watch a little video before we got started. Kristi and Jacqueline are pros. Jacqueline has been shooting guns since she was 9. Badass. We made some pretty little targets to shoot at. Most of them said, “Fuck You Cancer.” or “Cancer is an Asshole.” I made one, for a specific person, who shall remain nameless. But it felt the best when I was shooting my machine gun, at this sign. I also made one for Inferno Fuckwad Bob. Jo would have loved that. We shot a couple different machine guns, a pistol…. I have no idea of the actual names of these guns. All I know is it was the best therapy I’ve had in a long time. I took out a lot of aggression and anger today on those targets. I felt empowered. I am woman, hear me roar.  I told Woody I want a machine gun, for Christmas. I was joking, of course. But that is how I feel. Like life is so fucked up that I should just be able to walk around and carry a machine gun with me at all times. To kill all the zombies that are trying to eat me. You would have loved today, baby doll. I know I made you proud. Check mark number 1 for your little bucket list  that I am going to carry out for you. Thank you K,M and J for today. It was a day that Ronan would have loved.

After our little Baby Danger outing, Mandy Bee and I went and grabbed some lunch. I told her I was freaking out because I hadn’t worked out today, so I was going to go home and try to get in a run before I grabbed the boys. She told me I should just come over and I could workout at her house. She said she would teach me to box. Sign me up! Another thing, I’ve never done. We got to her house and changed. She has a punching bag hanging in her garage. I told you this crazy stalker girl, is my kind of girl;) One that keeps a punching bag hanging from the ceiling of her garage because she likes to take her aggression out on things that she can hit. It was pouring outside. We turned on some loud music and bootcamp Mandy was in full effect. She yelled at things for me to do. I did them. After about 20 minutes of doing whatever she told me, it was time for my little punching lesson. I put on her gloves. I tried to focus on my form and breathing. Mandy held the bag and screamed a lot of fuck words for me. It was hard. Really hard. Next I took off the gloves. It was time to hit the bag, with my forearms. I can’t remember what Mandy called it and I didn’t care. All I knew is I was beating the shit out of something and I didn’t want to stop. I continued. She told me that was enough. I told her no. I wanted more. She told me to look at my arms. They were all scraped, bloody, red, bruised. I told her I didn’t care. It didn’t hurt me. She let me go another round. She had to pull me away. We worked out in the pouring down rain. I didn’t have shoes because I had worn my boots earlier in the day. So we were both barefoot. After our kicking workout in the rain, we went on a run. Barefoot. We came back to her house. I told her I wanted to punch the fucking bag again. She let me but finally told me enough was enough. She wasn’t going to let me hurt myself anymore for the day. I felt like what I bet a crack addict feels like. I wanted more. My bruised and bloody arms, told a different story. I can hardly wait for my next little punching lesson. I really did tell Woody that I want a punching bag and boxing gloves for Christmas. Preferably purple.

You know how I am when I say I’m doing to do something, Ronan. I don’t half ass it. Today, I didn’t do just one thing I’d never done before. I did three. I told Tricia this and she laughed and said, can’t we just ease into this and your new danger plan? I told her no. I’m already plotting as to what next week has in store. Although your brothers will be out of school for break, so I’m going to have to get creative so I can include them too.

I’m tired tonight. Sore. I spent the rest of the evening, feeling sick to my stomach due to the crazy Mandy Bee Bootcamp. It’s still raining. Pouring. I hope it never stops. I love you. Today, I missed your smile so much that it took my breath away. You have the most beautiful smile baby. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams my little wild and free soul. I hope you saw all I did today and you know it was all for you. Always for you. G’nite.

xoxo

Team Maya Table for One!

Ronan. I survived our first Sucksgiving, without you. You know how I did it? I have no clue as the entire day was painful and sad. You know what else is totally messed up? That we took a holiday and celebrated it exactly the way we wanted to. There was no pressure of doing something we didn’t want to do. We stayed home. We picked up Chinese Food. I made Macy wear a wig all day with me and I wore some ridiculous outfit/hat/glasses to get me through the day. To hide my tears. We had some sweet friends stop by. They knew how hard the holiday was going to be, but they wanted us to know they were there for us. They brought by pies. And their kids. And provided lots of hugs, laughs, tears, and acknowledgment that you were missing…. and it was obvious. We ate. We talked. We had a mini dance party. We were quiet. We let the kids hit a piñata. Nobody prayed and talked about things we were thankful for. We lit things on fire. At one point it looked like a scene from Lord of the Flies in our backyard. There were no expectations. It was survival only. Everybody knew that we had decided on Thanksgiving, that we had nothing to be thankful for. Woody and I both decided that. Together. It was our one day, to say fuck everything. Because every other day, we are fiercely reminding ourselves what  it is we DO have to be thankful for, just to subside the pain of not having you anymore, Ro. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. I hope it isn’t always this exhausting. But for now, it is. I am really glad that this holiday, is over for now. You know what else, Ro. It wasn’t actually that holiday that was hardest for me. It was the day after. The day after Sucksgiving when I was scrubbing the island in the middle of our kitchen and I felt like I was sucker punched in the middle of a “normal,” day. Tears sprang for no particular reason, other than the reality that I now live with. Your death which still does not seem real to me. I looked around our kitchen. I sat and waited to hear your voice. I begged for somebody to please tell me this is not my life. I beg for this a thousand times a day.

I’m not really sure what I’m doing at this point. Sometimes I feel so strong. Other times I feel so weak. I’m mostly just sad. Everywhere I look I am surrounded by other people’s pain and sadness. Some days I feel like we are all running around like chickens with our heads cut off as it feels as if our family just doesn’t know what to do without you. I swear Liam and Quinn look for you just as much as I do. Your absence if felt everywhere. I’m not sure how to get through this. This week I guess I am just trying to stay afloat. I am assuming a lot of this has to do with the holiday season approaching. Everyone is happy. Christmas music all around. People buzzing around shopping, shopping, shopping as if that it what the Christmas spirit is truly about. It leaves me confused. And scared. And sad. Was I like all of those people before all of this? I don’t really remember my life, before losing you to be honest with you. I don’t think I was. I have proof I wasn’t. I used to write about you all the time when you were alive and healthy. I used to say things like how everyday with you, felt like Christmas to me, because it did. You were our best Christmas gift, everyday. And it wasn’t just me who felt this way, Ronan. Your daddy and brothers felt this way too. You made everything complete and perfect in our family. You were the missing link. And how do you go from having all the pieces fall into place to having them all ripped away? How do you survive that?  I wish I knew the answer to that, Ronan. I am here, trying to figure it out but it mostly leaves me feeling like I am a 5-year-old, sitting in a mud puddle, crying, with rain pouring down on me and I am unable to get up because I am too stuck in the mud. That is the nice version of how I feel.

The things I’ve had to deal with this past week make me want to throw up. Just life stuff in general that I don’t have the tools to deal with anymore. How can I possibly be expected to deal with normal things that normal people go through that are considered “problems?” I can’t. I don’t want to. I don’t have the energy. Or the patience. Because I no longer see the world the same. I’m am no longer like everyone else which in turn just leaves me feeling totally alienated and alone. I choose to withdraw. I choose to be selfish. At this point in my life, I am just trying to survive this and figure out how I am not going to die from the pain. I don’t want to be inspiring. When people tell me that, it floors me. How can I possibly be inspiring when all I’m trying to do is to simply make it through the day? I don’t remember what your daddy said to me tonight, in the bathroom when I was washing my face but I looked at him and said, “Do you think I like doing any of this? Because I don’t. I don’t want to share Ronan with anyone. I want to keep him all to myself  but I can’t do that. Things have to change and I made him a promise.” Do you know what the easy answer would be to all of this Ronan? To quit. To pack it up. I know I could talk your Daddy into moving away from here. To some other town.  A quiet town where I could stop all this writing. Where I could stop all this fighting for you. Where we could disappear and reappear as just a normal family of 4. Where nobody knew about you. Where we could have 3 more babies. Where we could start over. It could easily be a reality. To run away. To try to run away from the pain. That would be the easy way out. But I won’t do it, Ronan. I don’t care how hard this gets. I won’t ever stop fighting for you. For our family whom believes in you so much. I couldn’t live with myself. I will stay here and fight for you for the rest of my life. I don’t care how many people I piss off in the process. You are my fuel and my fire. You are my passion, my heart, and my soul. I will give you everything I’ve got until things change in a major way. I’ve got nothing left to lose when I’ve already lost the thing which is most precious to a mother. Her child. But not only a child. My Ronan.

Tonight, I went for a really long, dark, late at night run. Mostly out of anger. And hurt. Mostly out of hurt, which turns into anger because anger is much easier to access, than sadness. All I want is for everyone to be on the same page as “Team Maya.” Turns out a lot of people, are not. And I have to learn to be o.k. with that. But it’s still hard. I ran far and had to have your daddy come and pick me up after mile 10. I thought about things. I mostly tried to picture what it must be like for my friends to be outsiders looking in on all of this. I tried to listen to the words I’ve heard and I tried to tell myself it is only coming from a place of love and concern. I tried to rationalize with myself and the things that were racing through my mind. It must be scary to be on the outside looking in.Why do so many people think they have a clue what this is like for me? For us? Why do so many people have an opinion on the way I am handling this? Am I hurting too much? Is that even possible? Am I making that poor of choices?  I guess. I confess. My poor choices include being sad. Being angry. Avoiding old friends. Making new friends. Avoiding all friends. Venting to the people closest to me. Running at night. The whole weekend of death. Looking for distractions like helping others. Being honest. Writing this blog. Being bratty. Being pissed at the world. Throwing pity parties. I did take a rock that one time and cut my arm just to see if I was capable of feeling pain. I didn’t feel a thing. Should I be decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies, while singing along to Christmas Carols? How the fuck isn’t everyone just proud of me that I am being somewhat productive? Isn’t it enough that I’m not at the local Tavern, drinking my life away? I’m pretty fucking proud of myself for not going down that path. Actually, I think I’m pretty fucking awesome for that. Or I could be totally addicted to all the meds that I was on before. But I stopped taking them. Cold Turkey. Totally dangerous. Bloody hell. Maybe I’d fit better into the “Maya Mold,” if I would just play by the rules and shut the hell up and stop using the fuck word so much. Has anybody seen my apron? The casserole is ready!! Maybe I should just pretend to be a little bit sad and not so sad that I am scaring people. Or maybe I should get back on my meds and then” go away,” to an institution for month so I can reflect on this “amazing journey,” write a book, and then come out “happy,” again. What a crock of shit. What a crock of fucking shit that anybody who has not been through this thinks they are entitled to a fucking opinion about this. It is easy to have your opinions when you get to go back to your life and you have never had to kiss the Urn that your baby is in now because they died of cancer. It must be a very nice throne to sit on. It must be a very nice glass house, to live in.

Ronan baby. You know how much I miss you. You know how sorry I am. But most of all, you know how much I love you. I’m trying to let our love get me through this, but some days it’s harder than others. Some weeks, it’s harder than others. The one thing I know about you though is no matter how scary this all gets, you will never stop believing in me. You will never stop trusting me. You will never give up on me. Because of that, I will never be without you.

G’nite baby. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo