The Death of a Domestic Goddess

tumblr_medw43k3Ar1qzdeblo1_500Ronan. I don’t sleep well. I know this is not healthy, not good for me or Poppy, but every single night this is how it goes. I fall asleep easily enough for a few hours. Then like clockwork, I am wide awake and cannot fall back asleep. How do you sleep peacefully when you have a dead child? Does anyone? Your daddy seems to. Maybe it’s because I’m your mama, that I don’t. Because my primal maternal instinct just takes over. I feel like a caged animal, searching for you. I wonder if this is how animals at a zoo feel that have been separated from their young. I’ll bet it is pretty similar.

Today, I did a lot of normal things that I don’t really enjoy anymore. Much of them consisted of being domestic. I have a hard time with that in this new life of mine. I did the whole Costco trip which I never do anymore because it give me so much anxiety. Today, I did it with a friend, so it wasn’t so bad. I came home, unloaded groceries, got dinner ready for tonight and finished up all the laundry that needed to be done. The laundry that I used to love to do, but now I loath, due to not getting to wash all of your clothes, too. I picked up your brothers from school. We came home, I made them a snack, we did their homework, etc… I was feeling pretty beat down/tired like I seem to be feeling a lot these days. Grief and pregnancy are not my cup of tea. I had a hard time being pregnant back in my life before knowing what it was like to have a dead child as well as being pregnant, too. Being pregnant with this Poppy girl just seems to make my pain for missing you, much more intense. I am officially a little over halfway in this pregnancy. I wish I could say I felt great, but I don’t. I feel miserable. Tonight, as I was taking a bath I thought to myself, “I wonder if I’ll survive being pregnant. I think I might die, from hurting so much.” I had a flash of death, like I often do. But then I thought of your brothers of course and that always seems to put me back on track. I know one thing, for sure. I cannot do this again. I cannot have another child, after this. It has all been too painful, and too much. I just need these next 4 months to fly by fast, please. I know I will be alright once Poppy is here, safe and sound. I cannot wait to have a little insomnia buddy to hang out with me;)

I think a lot of my problem is my mind is constantly wound up. I have such a huge to do list in front of me, that my mind is constantly thinking of things to do or that need to be done. The Neuroblastoma Center being at the top of it. Barb from NPR asked me if I thought this center was a reality. I told her without a doubt, it is. She asked me how I was going to get it done. My reply to her was, “I’m not exactly sure. All I know is I have someone very powerful behind me on this, that being Ronan, and I’m just going to follow his lead.” As long as I trust in you, I know this dream will become a reality. Do you know how much I believe in your foundation and what we are doing, Ronan? So much so, that when I was working through the details of where the money was going to go from the song Taylor wrote for you, I made the choice to have everything that came our way from iTunes, go to your foundation. I know I could have used it for our family, for your brothers’ college savings account or Poppy’s new room… but I didn’t. Because I believe that helping to save these kids’ lives, by giving them the best chance possible, is the most important thing in the world. Everything else can wait. These kids cannot and I will not stop trying to fix this world, until it gets drastically better. I know this center will do this. I know what needs to be done, to make these lives a little better for these kids so they don’t feel like they are just another number, the way we often did. I know this is going to take time. I am trying to be as patient as I can. I realize I am dealing with a lot, on top of trying to get this center figured out. Sometimes, I’m not sure how I am doing everything I am doing. But then I remember, I am living without you every single day. There is nothing harder than that.

We are going to see your Nana and Papa for Christmas. That cannot come soon enough. It has been unseasonably hot here and it’s starting to make me really hostile. I need a break from the sun. I need to get to Washington, where I feel like I can actually breathe for a change. I need the rain, the gloom, and the fresh air. I need the safe house I grew up in, with the best parents ever. I need to watch the way your brothers are so happy in the presence of your Nana and Papa and vise versa. I need the love that fills that house and where I feel the most loved. I am counting down the days, already. I know we all are.

I am going to try to go back to sleep now. I have much to do tomorrow and not getting enough sleep is not going to help me to be productive. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

I’d totally let you be Hanky the Christmas Poo for Halloween. Actually, I’d let you be Hanky everyday if that is what you wanted, if you were still here.

Ronan. Holy Fucking Fall Break. Day One, down. I remember, when you were still alive, how I thought it was crazy that schools had a Fall Break. Didn’t your brothers, just start back to school? What is this Fall Break madness? I remember feeling the pressure of wondering how I would keep all 3 of you, entertained, for a whole week. What I wouldn’t give to have that worry back now. It was not a worry at all. How did I even think that it was? What was wrong with me? How did I think that something like that, was an actual problem? It’s because I lived in the make-believe problem/worry world before all of this. In a world that was so simple and perfect, that I had to make things up, to complain about. Like the Arizona heat, like not getting enough sleep, like missing a workout, like not having enough time to myself. Blah, Blah, Blah. Those are not problems. Those are blessings. If I only knew then, what I know now. I would have never complained about a thing.
I spent the day with your brothers. Doing a lot of errands. I took them for haircuts, to Costco, etc…. We spent about 4 hours, running around today. They saw one of those big Halloween Costume places. They asked if we could go in. I put on a smile and told them, of course when it was secretly killing me that I had to walk in there, without you. Our first Halloween without you. We spent a good hour in that store today. They ran all around. We tried on silly costumes. They pointed out some things they thought I should be. They played with fake swords, knives, guns, blood, and all things Halloween. They both want to be characters from South Park. Remember how you used to love that show? How once you got cancer, all of life’s rules, just kind of flew out of the window? Crap. Before all of this, I would have never let my kids watch South Park. But then you got Cancer and one night, we were trying to make you laugh. To forget that you were sick. Your Daddy put on the Hanky the Poo, South Park episode. Laugher galore in a house full of cancer and sadness. Fuck what is appropriate. Because once your child gets cancer, you no longer view the world the same. And things that seem important and appropriate, are not. All that mattered is that we were all together and we were all laughing. So Kenny and Cartman they wan to be. If you were still here, I’d let you be Hanky the Christmas Poo. I wouldn’t think twice about it. You loved to sing that song so much. I have a feeling trying to find costumes to fit 8-year-old boys, after an adult Cartoon show, may be a little difficult. I’ll make them if I have to.  I wanted so badly, to buy your costume today. I don’t know how I am going to get through this Halloween without you, Ro.

I spent all day, entertaining your brothers. It was work. It was hard. It was exhausting. And normally, it would not have been. It would have just been fun. It would have been crazy. We would have spent the day with friends. At a pumpkin patch. At the Train Park. At the Zoo. Or any other big adventure as long as it meant you 3 were busy, having fun, getting messy, dirty, and just being boys. Your Daddy came home around 4 and I was about to break. He let me lay in bed for a while, but the whole time, Quinn was by my side. I needed some space and your Daddy knew this. He took your brothers to play basketball and they went to dinner afterwords. I stayed home, curled up in bed, and as soon as it became dark, I headed out for my run. It’s the only place, where I can clear my head just a bit. It’s the only place where I can seem to find just a bit of clarity; whatever that means now. I ran 6 miles. I turned around at 3 and ran back home so I didn’t end up somewhere crazy, like last night.

I came home, showered, and spent the rest of the night with Quinn attached to my hip. I watched Liam  play Chess. He is getting really good. I tried to spend some alone time with Liam, but Quinn is just not having it. I had to have a talk with Quinn tonight about “my world now.” I had to say things to him that were tough and made him cry. I was in his bed, trying to get him to sleep, laying with him like I do every night. He started talking about the trip I am going on this weekend. He has obsessed about it for a month now. His little brain, cannot comprehend it or understand it. Not to sound harsh, but he has been riding my ass about it for 2 weeks straight. He is making me feel really guilty for leaving. I have so much that I feel guilty for, so you’d think that this little thing would just be another little thing to throw into the pile. Add it to the list, no big deal. It’s becoming a big deal so tonight I kind of just broke. I raised my voice, which you know I don’t do often because I don’t really ever have a reason to. It’s happening more and more. I’ve explained this trip to Quinn, no less than 10 times.

I wish I could say I was going on a Girls Trip. I wish I could say, “Oh, all of my children are alive, and mommy needs a break so I’m going to Napa.” I wish I could say I was going somewhere with my husband because we are so overdue for the one week-long trip we used to take every year, together. Without kids. I wish I could say I was going somewhere cool to “find myself.” Nope. Natta. Not happening. Will never be the case again. I’m going on a Grief Retreat. Alone. A trip I would not wish on anyone. A trip I wish I never had to take. A trip I do not want to go on, but I have decided it is something that I have to do. Because I don’t know what else to do and if I don’t do something, I will crack. And much more than I already am. It’s in Sedona. I’m going up on a Friday night and coming home on Sunday. The seminar is all day Saturday and it is put on by Dr. J and a couple of other people. I’m really only going because it is something that she is involved in and I believe in her. I don’t know if this will help me and I am going without any expectations. I will be proud of myself if I can manage to be present for even part of the day. I know I am asking a lot of myself at this point in my life, but I am willing to try because I have to. Because what I am doing now is not working and if somebody can clue me in, even the slightest bit…. then I am willing to take a chance. Even if it is to tell me that the seminar is too much and I just need to crawl back in my hotel bed, for the day, pull the blinds and not worry about anyone or anything, then that is good enough reason for me to go.

Back to your brother. Your brother that spent 20 minutes, in his bed with me, grilling me about Sedona. I was trying so hard to be extra sensitive to his questions. I was really patient, sweet, compassionate and was doing really well with explaining everything to him. He would just NOT let up. I get that he has a reason to worry but after sweetly talking with him for 20 minutes about this trip….. crack. The mama, spawn of the devil, took over.

“Quinn! I am sorry! I don’t know what else to tell you. I am sorry I have to go on this trip, because your brother died. I’m sorry you don’t understand because you are 8 years old, and you are not supposed to. But I need to take a little time, to take care of myself, because if I don’t, I cannot be the best mommy that I want to be to you. Because I am so sad about your brother dying that I need help. That’s why I go talk to Dr. J, that’s why I am going to this. Because all I really want to do is lock myself in a room for a month and cry, scream, yell and punch things. But I can’t do that, because I have to take care of you and Liam. So you need to cut me some slack! You need to trust that I am coming back and I am not going to leave you! But I need a break, Buddy, and if I don’t take some time to do some things to help me, then we are all going to be in big trouble. So please. Try to understand a little, Quinn. You are not a Daddy. You are 8. You don’t know what it feels like to lose your own child. It is very hard to be a mommy and have your 3-year-old child die, Quinn. Please just give me a break. This is not a fun trip that I am going on. It is a sad trip but I need to take some time to go on this sad trip and just be really, really, sad. And listen to some other teachers, that can maybe help me a little!”

I’m laying with Quinn as I’m saying this. He says he is sorry and tears pour down his cheeks. Stamp my forehead with WORST MOM EVER, please. I kiss him, tell him I’m sorry you died, and that I love him. I don’ know what else to say or do. He falls asleep while I rub his back. I woke him up a few minutes ago to tell him how much I loved him. How much you love him. How he was your best friend. How special he is. I don’t know if he’ll remember tomorrow. Maybe you can visit him tonight and play with him in his dreams. I know he’d like that.

That’s all for tonight, little man. I’m beat. But not really. You know how this goes. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, Ro baby.

xoxo

I found Liam reading in my bathtub. I think I’ll just wear a really funny mask for Halloween so nobody has to see my tears.

You speak in every curling wave

 

 

 

Ronan. Today started off as good as it possibly could, without you here. We woke up and Liam, Quinn, and Layne spent the morning playing together. I put on my good mommy boots and made them all a huge breakfast. Waffles, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage…… you name it, it was on the table. I thought of you the entire time as I was making the scrambled eggs, just as you would have liked them. You used to insist that I made the best scrambled eggs ever and would only eat them if I made them for you. I loved that so much. Soon, Layne went home to get ready for the day. Your daddy took Quinn and went off to Costco and to run some errands. I stayed here with Liam and we just kind of had a lazy day. I cleaned and did a lot of laundry. I had a few things trigger a lot of tears today and I did a lot of throwing up. Your dad came home to me, a wreck, just sitting on the bed, bawling. Quinn took one look at my face and sat down with me at told me he loved me and started rubbing my back. I forced the tears to stop and got up to help them unpack the things from Costco. Your daddy and Quinn came home with my very own surfboard for me. It almost cheered me up, but I mostly just couldn’t wait to get out into the water so I could get my ass kicked. I was on a mission. Mission accomplished.

I got your brothers all ready for the beach and we headed out to meet your cousins. They had their stuff in the sand, but they were all in the pool. We set our stuff next to theirs, Liam and Quinn headed out to the pool and I grabbed my board and paddled out into the ocean. The ocean seemed as angry today as I was. The waves were ridiculously big. I didn’t care. I paddled out as far as I could, which ended up being really far. Wave after wave threw me from my board and under the water. I continued out there, to try to get past them. I got up a few times, I asked for your help. At one point as I was paddling out, I looked up and a huge wave was getting ready to come crashing down on me. I think I said, “Oh shit,” out loud and ended up flying off my board and the fin ended up hitting the back of my arm really hard. I almost thought it was sliced open, that’s how badly it hurt. Turns out, it was not…. it turned into a big welt and bruise instead. No big deal, yo. As much as it’s hurting tonight, I am choosing to ignore it because all I can do is think about you and all the pain you felt, especially towards the end of your fight. This stupid welt on my arm has nothing on you, Ro. I surfed for a couple of hours and the current ended up pushing me really far away from my starting point. Tiffany was watching from the shore and when I finally got back over to her, she said she was a little concerned that I was going to end up in Mexico. I told her I didn’t realize how far away I had gone and that I was ALMOST a little scared for my life at one point. But not really because fear doesn’t really seem to exist anymore.

After my little surfing fiasco, I went to join your brothers and cousins at the pool. They are such little fish and didn’t stop swimming in the pool and the ocean until 9 tonight. We were down at the beach for 7 hours today. We met up with your Mimi and Papa, and Uncle Larry and Aunt Joan. Tiffany and her kids too, and we grilled up a big dinner by the pool while all the kids continued to swim. It was such a sweet summer night. Of course, the only thing missing was you. Quinn ended up cutting his little thumb on something in the hot tub so we had to doctor him up. I took him into the bathroom as he was very upset about his thumb. I changed him into his warm clothes, looked at his thumb that thanks to Tiffany and her first aid kit, we had it bandaged up pretty good. He was really upset about it and I just quietly explained to him that I was sorry he was hurt but he is going to get hurt in life; it’s just part of being a kid. I talked all about you and how after all the things that you went through, that were so painful, that you hardly ever cried. I don’t know if it is a good or a bad thing to make comparisons to you and how tough you were to Quinn. But tonight, it needed to be done and it felt right so I did it. I think more than anything, he was just tired and needed some mommy love. We packed up our stuff and Liam helped me carry everything to the condo while Quinn went on and on about his thumb. As soon as we got upstairs, I put him in my bed and 15 minutes later, he was out like a light. Worn out from his day at the beach and I know sad from missing you. Liam told me last night as he was crying that he was homesick. I asked what he exactly was homesick for. He told me his bed and you. I held him and told him we were all homesick for you, but now you lived in our hearts so you will always be with us. As much as I could tell you this seemed to bring him comfort, it didn’t. It didn’t help me either. I don’t want you in my heart; I want you back here with us, where your freaking belong.

After a long day, I ended it with talking to Stacy. What a perfect way to end my night then with a phone call from her. She had a lot to tell me about meeting with the busy little bees today in regards to the event that they put on at The Biltmore for you on Friday night. I sat, cried, and listened as she told me about meeting with the girls and how amazing they are and how much love they have in their hearts for you. I am still in awe of how quickly they put on this event and how many people came out to support it. We talked about how after the summer, I would like to sit down and pour all of my energy into making this an event something we do every year for you. For others, because as I’ve said before, we have to raise awareness. I cannot believe the army of people that we already have lined up to help us with this. I don’t even know how this happened. Actually, I do. It is all you, Ronan. You are changing lives everywhere. I cannot wait to personally meet all the people who helped with this event and give them all the biggest hug from you. The passion that you have created is astounding and once again, I am so proud to be your mama and your best friend. I miss you, Ronan. I know you are here though. Thanks for the little sign tonight that comes from my Pandora. Right now, as I’m writing this, your song came on. The song that we played for you every time you were left alone in the room for your radiation. The Killers, “Human.” You are such a special little soul. G’nite best friend. Thank you for visiting your daddy so much in his dreams lately. I know you will come to be when the time is right and I can get off of this damn Ambian. Love you to the moon and back, baby.

xoxo