Ronan. I’m here. Back to the place where we were basically told there was nothing left we could do for you. Back to the city that was supposed to heal you. Well it didn’t. I’m hoping it will heal me a little I guess. I’m not giving up on this city. I’m not going to let it make me so bitter and sad so that I can never return here. I’m here and this city is still as lovely as ever. A perfect place for an insomniac like me.
I’ll admit it, I was a little nervous and sad to leave tonight. I had a moment when I was saying goodbye to your daddy and brothers before went through the security line. I gave them lots of hugs and kisses. Liam was being so stoic and brave about me leaving. Quinn had tears running down his cheeks. Your daddy looked sad as well. It killed me to leave them but as I have said before, I don’t have a choice. This is something I need to do. As I was sitting in the airport, waiting for my plane I thought to myself, “What in the fuck are you doing? You are leaving everything and everyone behind that you love to go to a big city where you know, nobody. Who in the world do you think you are?” Then I remembered, I am your mama. I can do anything. I may not know what the fuck I am doing; but I’m not going to stop until I figure it out. I owe this to you and I owe this to myself. I told you I died when you died. I know this. I have to do things like this in order to live again. I don’t know why it is that you wanted me to come back here again and at this specific time, but your little voice in my head has been too loud for me to ignore. I know you have a bigger plan for me and I know this is part of it. So here I am. I’m here and listening to you in every way possible.
Hi little bug. I fell asleep shortly after what I had written above. It must have been about 5 a.m. when I finally passed out. I woke up around 9, made some phone calls, showered and headed out into this big, beautiful city that I love so much with no destination in mind. I walked for a few hours. It’s cold, crisp, and the city is covered in snow. I didn’t go anywhere special but I just let myself get lost in my surroundings. I called your brothers and daddy to check in. I didn’t have anything specific planned but some things came about anyway. I met up with a lovely man named Scott. He is one of the men who started up Solving Kids Cancer which is based out of NYC. I touched based with him a couple of months ago to let him know I was coming out here and that I would love to meet him and pick his brain. So we ended up meeting later this afternoon. It’s so strange this little shitty fucking club of ours that we now are a part of. As soon as he walked in, I got up and gave him a hug. I have never seen this man before but I felt like I’ve known him forever. We slipped into an easy but difficult conversation. The one where you sit across from this stranger and you have no guard up and no filter because you notice he has the exact same sad eyes as you. So you sit and talk about your dead children, your alive children, your friends, your life before and your life after. No topic is off-limits. You sit and talk about how your kids got the short end of the stick and you say the word fuck a lot. You talk about how you know you have no choice but to change the face of childhood cancer. I felt myself breathe and exhale easily today, while in Scott’s company which I never do. He has so much love for his little boy, that was taken away, and I know he is going to fight this fight as hard as I am. He is not going to stop until things start changing. It was nice today to feel like I was not alone in this big fight. It was a day that I very much needed and I appreciated it so much. He let me pick his brain which I loved. He is smart and you know I always appreciate that. He totally has his PH.D in this childhood cancer thing. I’m sorry he does. I so wish he did not. I wish that for both of that but as we both know, wishes don’t fucking come true.
After my afternoon, I ran back to the apartment to change as my friend, Kelly, told her husband I was here and he texted me to see if he could take me to dinner. She is still back in Oregon and Derrick is living here while Kelly gets things packed up for their big move. I have not seen Derrick since the summer we spent with them, over in San Diego. The summer where you and their little girl, Grace, fell in love. I’ll never forget that summer, Ro baby. You and your little tan beach body. You and Gracie spent so much time together playing and loving on one another. It was such a good summer. It was good to see Derrick. He and Kelly have been such good friends. So supportive from a distance. We had a nice dinner and he showed me where he works now at MSNBC. We got caught up and talked about you a lot. Seeing him made me miss Kelly and our old life, so much. Our old life when you were here and healthy. Derrick sat and told me how strong I was to keep going on and pushing forward. He told me there is no way he would be able to do what I’m doing. I just told him that I don’t have a choice. I’m not going to just curl up in a ball and not fight for you and all the other babes out there who are dealing with this or who may be dealing with this in the future. I’m not here to sit back and do nothing. I’m still your mama, Ronan. I’m not brave or strong or a fighter. You are. All I’m doing is being your mama, in the only way I can now. After Derrick dropped me off, I changed my clothes and headed out for my most favorite thing in the world. My dark and dangerous Central Park run. It was so cold and the entire park is covered in snow. I ran a fast paced 6 miles. It felt so good it gave me a chance to clear my head from the things that had happened during the day. I took some time to think about you, a lot. Like I always do.
GOD FUCKING DAMN IT. I have not been on the computer at all. I have purposely been avoiding it. I just got on my Facebook to check my messages. I just found out that Coach Bemis passed away. The dad of the 2 most beautiful girls who came in to get some Fuck You Cancer bracelets a few months ago. I just happened to meet them and said hello. It was there that they told me that their dad had been diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer and he didn’t even smoke. I have been following his story even since. I didn’t know things had taken a turn for the worst so fast. I’m so sorry girls. I wish I could hug you and take this all away. I’m not going to say anything stupid like, “He’s in a better place,” because I fucking hate that. All I can say is that life is not fair. There are too many good people who are taken away and it will never make sense. All I can do is scream, “FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” for you. And cry for you and hope that if there is something else beyond this world that your dad will get to hang with Ronan. I don’t know what to make of any of this. When in the fuck did life get so hard? I mean, I know life is hard…. but this is beyond hard. This is beyond the petty everyday bullshit that people bitch and complain about. Try outliving your child. And Coach Bemis. He has a family that now is supposed to sit here and figure out how to go on without their dad? The most beautiful family. Who can justify this? You can’t. It’s just the fucked up life that we live in. You can’t make sense of any of this so people need to stop trying. Sometimes, there just are no answers. For as much as we want them, there will never be an answer that can justify any of this. I’m sorry Makenzie and Brianna. So fucking sorry.
Ro baby. It’s Monday now. I got up early this a.m. to go meet up with another Mama, Gretchen who lost her little boy, Liam to Neuroblastoma too. Just a year ago, today. Guess what else I found out about Liam? That he was born the day after you were. He was born on May 13th. I know that wherever you are, that you are friends. He sounds so much like you. I got to give Gretchen the hug that I’ve wanted to give her for so long now. I got to meet another person who has the same eyes as me. She started up Cookies for kids’ cancer. She is taking her pain and channeling it into something so unbelievably beautiful. All because of the love she has for her child. And because she knows that she does not have a choice because when the day comes, that she does get to see Liam again, she is going to be able to tell him how she did make a difference in the lives of others. How she did stand up and fight for all of these other innocent kids. How she stood up and fought for him and she never stopped just like the way, I refuse to stop for you. I’ll never stop fighting for you, Ro. You give me the strength to do this. What choice do I have? This is my way of taking care of you now. I’ll always be your mama. That will never change.
So, now I’m on a train to Washington D.C. I got invited on a little adventure that I jumped at the chance at all because of you. I am taking you with me, just like I took you with me everywhere. Oh, how we loved our little adventures so much. It’s going to be a good one. I can feel it. This trip is exactly what I needed. It’s been a whirlwind of calmness and craziness that I love. That I’ve needed because I tend to get stuck in a rut in AZ. I often feel like I can’t breathe there. I am really glad I listened to you and fought for this trip. Thanks for being such a constant, strong voice in my head.
I love you baby doll. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe.