I love my Bible reading, totally devote Christian, Rissy Roo

Ronan. I have 5000 words to say tonight, but nothing to actually say, because I have too much to say. Does that make sense? I just need to wrap my head around some things and sit with some things for a while. Today, I had a nice long chat with Rita. I do this a lot as she is really good about telling me if I am being insane or not insane. She tells me I am being insane, a lot. Today, she told me I was being insane. I said, “Ok. I get that. I will listen to you. I can work with that. I can try to fix that.” In the middle of our you are being insane talk, she also said to me, “You don’t sound so good. Are you o.k.?” Grrrr…. My cover was blown! How could she tell, that I had been sitting in my bed, sobbing? I put on my best I am totally fine normal voice. ESP. Not only does she have a professional singing voice, but she also has ESP as well. I’d better always stay her friend. You never know when those two things could come in very handy in life and just might save my butt. Tonight, when I talked to Rita, she did not think I was being insane. She listened to me cry instead over the story I told her. Tonight we had a good, long talk where I listened to her opinions and advice and verified that tonight I was not in a crazy/insane place. Tonight, I was in a place of hurt and sadness and rightfully so. She also maybe almost offered to buy me my machete. That is how much I think she hurts for me sometimes. And she really does not want to buy me a machete, but tonight she was totally down for it. That made me laugh. Yeah, I don’t really know what I would do without our little Rita. She gets it more than anybody, even though she says she does not. She gets me (most of the time) so that counts for something.

I don’t know where else I really want to go with this post. I took my first Ambien in over a week to calm my nerves/to help me sleep as I am so upset I know sleep would not be happening tonight. I had a hard day doing a lot of crying. I think Coronado Island is being run by all little boys who are 3,4,and 5. Nobody else seems to exist. I had a 3, almost 4, and a dead 5-year-old too, except he couldn’t be here to play. Such a shame. He would have had so much fun, jumping in the water, begging me to take him surfing, throwing rocks off of places they shouldn’t have been thrown. I know he would have had the best summer with me.

I have this picture tonight to post Ronan, of us. I know it’s blurry and not the best quality. I have stared at this picture for 2 days now. Don’t even look at me. Look at my little boy. This picture says everything. He loved me so much. He thought I was the funniest mama on the planet. He adored me. And he was so happy. I know every single thing that he was feeling at that moment, because I was feeling it too. I was asked about peace tonight. If I will ever come to peace with losing you. My answer was, “Yes. When I am dead.” As long as I am living on this earth, without you, I will never be at peace with that. I think I will be able to find little pieces here and there, but no, I will never be fully at peace, without you Ronan. Are there mother’s out there who are at peace with losing their child or children? I am sure that there are. I am happy for them. I will not be this way. Ever. I don’t care how much my heart changes or softens. None of that will take away this pain. I am ending this now. I’ve taken my stupid Ambien and now due to the fact that it looks like the picture of you, on my screen saver is coming alive and you are moving. I just spent the past 20 minutes, touching your face, watching you breathe, all while crying and telling you to get out of that computer screen and come back to me. Yeah, Rita… even I know that’s insane.

I am getting a text message from my very serious/hardcore Christian inter, Rissy. She loves me to pieces. She tells me all the time that I am the most beautiful soul she has ever encountered and she does this all by reading my blog, spending actual time with me and holding her bible close to her heart. She embraces the way we see differently on things, but we respect and love each other enough to never be offended by our differences. I listen openly to her. I support the mission trips she goes on. I love all of that for her, so very much. In no way, shape or form does Rissy’s Christianity offend me. I think it is beautiful that she has that. It has made her one of the best people I’ve ever met. Rissy loves me for me. Rissy does not judge me. I do not offend Rissy when I’ll admit it, my words can be offensive to most. Rissy sees me as a mom, who lost a child, and from losing a child, she is trying to figure everything out again. What life looks like, once again. All while trying to make the world a better place for these kids who are dealing with cancer. I don’t write on here, every single thing I have going on, but it is a lot. It is a lot of good things that are already making a difference. I’m not going to waste my time, by sitting around and being sad and not doing anything. I am going to spend my time, being sad, but also being productive. I am sure there are so many people that just wish I would stop this blog and go back to a normal life where cancer never existed. Not happening. I’m not walking away from this. Do you know when this story will end? I will tell you. It will end like this:
“Maya Thompson did so much good in the world that Ronan was brought back to her, healthy and alive. They lived happily ever after. The End

That’s when the blog writing will stop. And I’ll say the same thing over and over again. You don’t like what I write on here, then don’t read it. That will not offend me at all. I have several friends who do this and it is fine by me. I cannot please everyone. I am not worried about pleasing everyone. This is about being Ronan’s mama still. This is the way I want to be his mama. G’nite monkey boy. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

;

A painfully gracefully clumsily beautiful existence

Ronan. I had a rough sleep last night. I think there was a lot of tossing/turning/punching pillows involved. It was 1:45 a.m. when I pretty much said FUCKTHISSHIT and popped an Ambien. Hate it. But sometimes the silence of nothingness is needed. More so than not lately. Nights have been more brutal than they normally are lately. Nights are when the cries from you to me and me to you, scream the loudest. Nights are never quiet.

I got up today, running on the little sleep I had gotten, but I had a lot to do. Too much to do so I went into tunnel vision to get everything done. Foundation things. I had a meeting at Phoenix Children’s Hospital that I needed to prep for too. Prepping came with basically giving myself a pep talk and telling myself how I would be brave today and talk about you, without sobbing like a baby. Prepping for today came with a lot of,”You can do this. For him. He would love this.” Rita met me down at PCH. I was waiting in the lobby for her, busying myself with doing things like cleaning out my purse. Busying myself with a lot of things to distract myself from crying. I don’t have a problem with being at PCH. I’m down there a lot still. I had a problem with the reason I was down there today. I didn’t want to be there, without you, asking for permission to do something for your birthday, and you are not even here to celebrate it. I wanted to be down there, with you holding my hand, doing something for your birthday and celebrating the fact that you were here and we together, wanting to do something nice at PCH because we were so lucky to still have you. I fought back my tears today and bravely did this without you. I sat in a conference room with Rita and clumsily/gracefully talked about your upcoming birthday and what it is, we would like to do, to honor you. I am used to hearing the word no a lot now. I am used to getting met by skeptical glances and it usually involves a… “Well if you want to do this, you have to check off this box and this box and this box, to have it done.” I am used to having to work/fight for everything in life. Today, none of that existed. I was met with a big fat, “We love this idea! We love everything about it. We will do whatever it is, you like. How can we help/what can we do/how would you like to see this idea, happen all the time in Ronan’s honor!” I was quite simply shocked. I think Rita almost fell over in her chair. This was not what either of us, was expecting. We left there stunned but smiling. We went for tacos afterwords and talked where we talked about your birthday and how we are going to execute the ideas that we have. We are going to make it a very special day for a lot of kids. I know it would make you smile and so happy.

After I left Rita, I drove to your brothers baseball game. I was feeling alright. I arrived to the game and just as I was sitting there, thinking about an email I was supposed to send today, in regards to an event I am trying to pull off for you in September, a little text message popped up on my phone. A little text message from the person I was going to email, but did not. I read it, sat with it, and the tears started pouring. I don’t want to go into details about what the text message said as it’s not important. I’ll sum it up with a little Taylor Swift lyric instead…one of my favorites. “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine.” I was crying for about 10 different reasons during that moment. 1) Because baseball games are hard in general. 2) Because I miss you. 3) Because this little text messaging person, blows my mind 4) Because I am so thankful that truly good people in the world, like her, exist 5) Because the stars are aligning, right before my very eyes 6) Because just when I start to doubt myself, this person always seems to know it and reminds me that she believes in me and you 7) Because I am so about letting things just come about/not push them and this was a huge reminder/sign to me to continue to do things, this way. There are a few more reasons for my tears, but I don’t want to go into them. Mostly it was just a huge fat thank you, Ronan. For reminding me that you are still here, working away during the times when I feel the most defeated. Or tired. I told your Sparkly eyes that I was just freaking tired of everything. I was quickly met with a, “So what? That’s bullshit. You’re tired? That means nothing.” He is one of the few people who I allow to slap me in the face and I don’t become defensive or feel offended. I am able to step back, assess the situation and say, “You are right. I am acting like an asshole and I need to knock this shit off.” I am learning to let myself take little breaks here and there, but I will never give up on you. I will work as hard as I can, to make some things in this mad world, right.

You know what else you are doing for me? Or should I say, this grief is doing for me? It’s making my heart bigger than ever. I did not know that was even possible, but it is. There are things now that I just cannot look away from. I want to save/help everybody. It’s helping others, that is saving me. Dr. JoRo told me this after a few times of seeing her. She talked about how my heart, would eventually start to turn outward again. I remember being in a fog, listening to her words, but not really understanding what she was saying. My heart would turn outward and grow bigger? Not possible. It is black, broken and shattered into a million pieces. I am starting to understand what she has told me, from the beginning. I’ve always believed her, but I think until now, I wasn’t truly ready to hear what it is, she was telling me. She is so freaking humble. I talked to her today. She is still on her trip and just found out she is getting some huge/really big deal award for being what I think should be called, “The Most Amazing Woman Alive on the Planet Award.” I listened to her talk about it like it was not really a big deal, even though it is. She would never come out and say that because that is just how she rolls. I tried to tell her it was a big deal, that she deserves this for everything she is doing. I was met with a, “Maya. That’s the thing. I’m not really doing anything except just being with you. Just holding your hand as you do this. All I am doing is sitting with you while you feel this, while you go through this, while you find your way.” I wiped the tears off of my cheeks. I told her that what she was doing, was walking through this with me in a way that nobody had done before. By truly listening. By speaking for me when I cannot, even if it’s not saying anything at all. By NEVER judging. By NEVER pushing. By NEVER expecting. By NEVER telling me I am doing this wrong. By NEVER lessening my pain. By never trying to numb my pain by shoving 10 different pills down my throat. By never saying, “Oh, I lost a child too, so I TOTALLY get it. By never telling me it’s time to get over this/move on. By never comparing her pain to mine. By NEVER using the words, “Well at least you have these things/people to get you through this. By never using the words, “You should be grateful for the things you do have.” By never telling me this gets easier. By never giving me false hope. By being brutally honest about how fucking awful this all is and she cannot fix it. She cannot fix it, but she will forever be here to watch me as I do, as I am the only one that can. And finally, by believing and me and trusting me, even when I do not believe or trust in myself. She always does. I know she always will too. She is one of my biggest reasons for continuing to fight as hard as I do. When I grow up, I want to be just like her;) She is beyond inspiring, Ronan. She reminds me a lot of you. She reminds me a lot of me, too. So much some days that I can see my pain, in her eyes. But the thing with her is it never hurts to look at her eyes, full of all of my pain. When I look into her eyes, I see a quiet strength that makes me feel the most at ease. It’s like I can breathe for a bit.

Guess what I did tonight? I did not get to hike today due to my busy day of getting shit done. I was quietly panicking in my head about it. I took Liam out tonight to grab a bag of ice for your daddy. It was dark. It was late. I drove the two of us, to our mountain. “Liam. I didn’t get to hike today, buddy. You want to go with me really fast?” I was met with an, “Ok mom. But I don’t have shoes.” I quickly told him no problem, that we could just go barefoot. He was so excited. “Good thing I have tough feet, mom.” Tears sprung to my eyes. “Yeah buddy. Good thing. I do too, so we will be alright.” We hiked, barefoot, in the dark together. He talked the entire time. We didn’t go to the top but that was not the point. We went as far as we could with bare feet/no flashlight like we didn’t have a care in the world. We bonded. We laughed. We missed you. It was a very sweet hike with a very sweet boy. I bawled like a baby over it and the fact that we were simply doing that crazy thing, because you are dead. If you were here, I would have never been on a mountain, holding Liam’s hand with bare feet and a broken heart. But I was. And I am. And I will continue to be for the rest of my life. This is just the way it is now. This is just the way it will always be. This grief/pain will never leave. I can’t have you anymore so this is what I am left with. A beautifully, painful life. I am noticing that the amount of beauty that I see in the world is endless but so is the amount of pain. They both seem to go hand in hand, everywhere I look. They are never without each other. It is as if they are best friends/worst enemies. You cannot have one, without the other. I wonder if other people notice this or if it is just a bereaved parent thing. I think my friend Rita sees it all the time, as well. Maybe this is one of the reasons I like her so much. That and she is funny as a mo fo. I cannot contain laugher/her snarky ways when I am around her, kill me. Like in an I almost pee my pants kind of way. Laughter truly is the best medicine. I need a lot of it. She is good at providing it. Plus, sometimes she makes me feel like I am being funny and making her laugh, too. So sometimes I feel like it’s just not a one way street;) YAY ME! I can still be kind of funny, when it comes out naturally. I only do this with the people I feel most comfortable around. It’s a weird introvert characteristic of mine.

Alright babydoll. Turing in for the night. Ambien I hate you but I have to sleep is here. G’nite baby doll. G’nite sweet friends. I miss you, Ro. I hope you are safe. I love you.

xoxo

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I Love You and that’s All I Really Know

Ronan. I’m pretty sure I had no clue the pain of missing you could become worse. I’m pretty sure I thought I had felt the worst of it. I was wrong. My first sign? Friday morning. What do you do on days like Friday morning? You sit outside of a Smart and Final for 2 1/2 hours, crying, sobbing, screaming, writing, and texting very intense things to one of our lovies. I believe I fully freaked out and considered driving to some rehab place to check myself in. I could not get out of my car. But I HAD to because, I had to bring drinks to Liam and Quinn’s class for their Halloween Party. OPPS! I forgot, “FALL FESTIVAL!” Halloween does not exist in schools here anymore. Thank God the real problems of the world are being solved. I finally got out of the car, while on the phone with our lovie, sobbing…. not making much sense. But I got the freaking apple juice I needed and hopped into the car. I drove to the boys’ school early and waited. I worked up the nerve to put on my “Hello! I’m just a normal mommy face! Nope! The love of my life did not just die. You must have the wrong person.” I wish it would have went down this way. I was helping set up with a mom whom I don’t know. She asked how our year was going. I should have just said, “Totally Awesome!” But I didn’t. I told her it was awful. I told her my almost 4-year-old had died only 5 and a half months ago. I was sobbing. I couldn’t keep it together at all. I tried my best. But I think I totally failed. I think I got a big fat “F,” on my report card. And it for once, was not for the word FUCK, but rather FAIL, instead. Quinn didn’t seem to notice that I had been crying when he came into the room, which is all that matters. I left Quinn’s room and skipped over to Liam’s classroom. You should have seen the way his face it up when I walked into his room. You should have felt the mama guilt wash over me instead of happiness. He was very intently reading a book. He was so focused. I sat and watched him. He was concentrating so hard on his book. My serious student. Your beautiful brother.

After I left the school I and headed down to PCH. Sandra needed some help with her Mia today. Even though I was a mess, going to help Sandra is something I am always happy to do. WTF PCH. Poor Mia and this damn button on the outside of her stomach which is used to administer her medication. The area itself is raw, gooey, red, and Mia has been screaming for months because she is in so much pain. After a lot of talk about what to do…. because we, the parents have learned….. we have to advocate for our kids’ well-being and make the choices and decisions because nobody knows the right answers. They finally gave Sandra a choice. A choice after she FOUGHT to get a choice to choose from. They told her they could remove old button and basically replace it with a tube that hangs out Mia’s stomach. Well, duh. Why wasn’t this done months ago. It seemed like such a simple answer, to relieve the rubbing on Mia’s stomach that was causing all of the pain and irritation. Her poor little skin has been rubbed raw for months while everybody just walked around, not knowing what to do about it. How is that acceptable in this day and age? Sandra looked at me and said, “What do you think?” She asked me in a room full of fucking DOCTORS when they should have been the one’s making the call. I just looked at her and told her, it wasn’t even a choice….. get the thing that is hurting her so badly, out of her. The end result was she had the GI Button taken out, and something else put in, to hopefully give Mia’s skin a break. But Sandra, had to make the fucking request. It wasn’t offered to her. I mean seriously? How is it acceptable when there were other alternatives out there, but nothing was put on the table? Doesn’t anybody care? And can I please vent about the doctors assistants that were in the room with us as well? Two of them. Two girls, who are sitting back, staring like Mia is a Zoo animal on display. They didn’t say a word, but just sat back, smiling…. grinning from ear to ear. All while Mia is screaming, crying and Sandra has her head buried in her hands as she fought to find the right words and questions to ask for her daughter. I so wanted to scream, “What the FUCK are you all smiling at?! Is something cute or funny? Is there an imaginary fluffy bunny rabbit, running around the room that I do not know about?!” For FUCKS SAKE!

After we left there, Sandra texted me to thank me for giving her the courage to stand up and advocate for Mia today. I texted her back and told her that she didn’t need me for her courage today, that she was a badass. She said that she felt more badass with me around. I told her nonsense, that I totally think it’s her sassy hot blond hair that she now rocks. The hair that has grown back from shaving it BALD when Mia was first diagnosed. Nothing says badass like a mama who has a bald head, because her baby has cancer. I’m so proud of her.

I’ve decided, it’s official. I do not live on this planet anymore. Even though my body does, my physical spirit does not. It’s long gone. Nothing makes sense. I know nothing about life except what I know at this exact moment which is this: I’m laying in your bed. You’re dead. I miss you so much. I miss you so much, that I don’t know what to do or how to be. I can’t talk much about this weekend. Fuck. Tomorrow is Halloween. Fuck again. I met a new baby boy tonight. Cooper Ronan Bunger. He was sweet. Only 3 months old. I took a picture of the two of us. He smiled in it. I think you told him to. I love you for that. I’m sorry I failed you. I’m sorry you’re dead. I’m sorry I have to do Halloween without you tomorrow. It feels like betrayal. I have to drive to Sedona to see Dr. Jo. Because I’m scared. Because I’m tired. So. Very. Tired.

P.S. I forgot one other thing, that I do know. That everyone, who reads this blog, should click on this link: http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/best-of-our-valley-2012/voting/150.html and vote for our Miss Katy. Because her store is full of awesome things like Garbage Pail Kids,Sugar Daddies, Fake PURPLE and PINK Glasses, Invisible Ink, Silly Putty, and Retro phones that you plug into your iPhone, while you talk on it. It totally makes you look like the raddest kid on the block, in an old school kind of way. It it is the one and only thing that make me laugh today. Thanks Miss Katy Grace.

Goodnight my babydoll. You were the most beautiful thing that’s ever been mine. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Liam needs glasses and I killed you.

Ronan. I kind of slept last night. I was restless, but I fell asleep for a few hours, here and there. Your Daddy said I was up and down all night. I don’t really remember, except I woke up in Quinn’s bed. I didn’t send your brothers to school today. It was a half day and they both had an eye doctor appointment at 10:15. We all slept in until 8 or so. I got up, prepared to get ready for the day I knew I had to face. Our Lovie called. I bawled about how I was taking your brothers back to the same doctor, that sent us to PCH for your CT scan. I told him I didn’t know how I was mentally going to do it today. I got a little pep talk, but that didn’t stop the tears. I wiped them away, I fixed my face as best I could and threw on my sunglasses so I wouldn’t freak your brothers out. We drove to Dr. Cassidy’s office. I don’t know how I got us there as all I could think about was driving you out there for the first time, before we knew anything was wrong. I cried most of the way. I am good at hiding my tears when I need to though. Liam and Quinn didn’t notice. We stepped into the office, I filled out their paperwork and we sat and waited. There was a baby boy, about a year old, sitting on his mama’s lap. He kept looking at me and waving. I waved back, smiled, as the tears just poured down my cheeks. He wouldn’t stop smiling and waving at me. His Mama must have thought I was a lunatic as there was nothing I could do to stop the tears. Your brothers saw. They were in full force and I couldn’t hide them while we sat in that waiting room today. We were soon called back. Dr. Cassidy’s Assistant came to do your brothers exam. He asked a lot of questions. I was on auto pilot. The word Chalazion came up as one of your brothers eye lids looked puffy. I just laughed out loud. He asked if I was familiar with what a Chalazion was.

Here was the answer in my head:

“A Chalazion…. why yes. It was what my 3-year-old, was supposed to have  had, which was causing his eyelid to look droopy, which is why we came to see Dr. Cassiday. Well, it turns out, it wasn’t a Chalazion, gosh darn it. It turns out, my 3-year-old had Neuroblastoma, and he is now DEAD. So yes, I am quite familiar with that word.”

Here was my real response: (Insert teary eyes, and fake smile here) “Yes. Yes, I am.”

Boys got their eyes dilated next. Which took me back to being in Dr. (insert name that rhymes with witch here) Robinson’s office. The lady with the not so nice bed side manner whose appointment I walked out of because she was that awful. The lady who dilated your eyes and then made some rude comment about not wanting to listen to you fuss about it so we would have to wait out in the waiting area. We didn’t wait in the waiting area. I grabbed you, stormed out of her office and put you in the car. I called your Daddy and he told me I was crazy, that I would never get another appointment  so quickly because nobody would see you in such a short amount of time. I sat in the parking lot of Liam and Quinn’s school, panicking, googling another Children’s Opthamologist, and found Dr. Cassiday. They didn’t want to see you until September. I screamed and told them that was not acceptable. I needed to get you in, that next day. They listened.

Fast forward, a little more than a year later; and I’m back in his waiting room, with your brothers, and you are dead. I thought I was going to have a panic attack. The voices in my head were screaming, “What were you thinking!? You idiot! You can’t handle this! Why didn’t you have someone else bring them?” Then I remembered. I remembered why I brought them today. Because I am their mom and that is what mom’s do. I didn’t get to be their mom, for all those months. I have to start acting like it again and if it means I have to walk into the same eye doctor, that we saw… then I just have to do it.

We saw Dr. Cassidy. I don’t think he remembered me. It was dark when he came into the room. He told me it was nice to meet me. I told him that we had met before. Those are the only words I could get out of my mouth. Such a nice man. I did not want to get all upset in front of him and your brothers. I did not want to remind him that he is the one who came to PCH, in the middle of the night for us, to read your CT scan. I did not want to remind him that I looked him in the eyes and asked him if you were going to be o.k. He told me, yes. As he should have. He didn’t know what we were up against. I did not want to tell him, that you had passed away. I could not sit and say those words today. So, I didn’t. I listened as he told me Liam needs glasses. I requested a CT scan for Quinn, because he has been having headaches. He said he would set it up for me. I get to play the overly paranoid mommy role now because I am convinced that both of your brothers have Cancer and are going to die, too. It’s an awesome feeling to live like this, Ro. Just wonderful.

We left there, all upset. I was upset for the obvious reasons. Liam was upset about having to get glasses. As I was backing out of our parking spot, crying, crying, crying; I looked in my rear view mirror. Liam threw something at my head. He was crying and yelling about how he was not going to wear glasses. His exact words were, “IF YOU MAKE ME GET GLASSES I’M GOING TO TAKE THEM HOME AND STEP ON THEM UNTIL THEY BREAK!!!! AND THEN IF YOU MAKE ME TAKE THEM TO SCHOOL, I’M GOING TO THROW THEM IN THE GARBAGE CAN!” I could not help it, but I started dying laughing and could not stop. This coming from Liam; my little rule follower, my easy as pie, independent, does whatever you ask of him and does it happily. He was throwing the biggest fit and it only made me think of you. I could not stop my fit of giggles, but I was trying so hard to play the “let’s settle down and discuss this role.”

Quinn took over instead.

Quinn-  “Liam, those glasses looked nice on you. You will be able to see better.”

Liam-  ” I don’t care! I don’t want glasses! Nobody in my class wears them, they looked stupid!”

Quinn- “Liam, they looked nice on you. They looked better on you, than me.”

Liam- ” I don’t care!!!! Glasses are dumb!”

I took over from here, after I got my laughing under control. I got Liam settled down for the time being. I took your brothers to Chick-fil-A, for lunch. We came home after that and they were tired and their eyes were still dilated. Quinn asked if I would lay down with him. I said sure and we snuggled up in my bed and passed out for a couple of hours. All that crying, wiped me out. I held his hand as we slept, just the way I used to hold your yours. I woke up, feeling strange for having have slept in the middle of the day. I felt disoriented and it took me a minute to realize what exactly I was waking up to. I expected to find you, playing with your brothers. Once I remembered what I was waking up to, I felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks.

I had to get to Dr. Joanne’s office for our session today. Papa came over to watch Liam and Quinn. I was crying before I even pulled into her building. I gathered up my notebook, with my “homework.” I walked into find her in the front office putting some things away. She hugged me and we headed back to her office. She had a little treat for me. A picture frame that came with a big magnet that attached to it. It said, “Rockstar.” So sweet and thoughtful of her. We jumped right into where we left off last week.  I told her all the things that have consumed me all week long. The panic attacks again. The guilt, sadness, shame, regret. How everyone I love is either, sick, dying, or going to leave me. You left me, so why shouldn’t everyone else? We talked about each one of those things, in depth and where they were coming from and what they were about. The real reason they are there. I told her I killed you. I told her I promised you I would save you and that you must be so mad/sad/lonely/hurt that I didn’t. I cried almost the entire time I was there.

You know one of the things I appreciate most about Dr. J? There are so many things, but one of the things that sticks out the most is when I fully break down, and go to the darkest of dark places, like telling her that I think I killed you… she doesn’t tell me I didn’t, like everyone else does. I’m sure she thinks it, but she doesn’t tell me this. She lets me feel it, she let’s me talk about it, she let’s me cry about it, she let’s me say it until I’m blue in the face. I know why she does this. It’s because she knows what it’s like to feel the exact same way that I do. Like she killed her baby, too. She’s felt the exact same way I am feeling right now, and she knows the answer is not to tell me I did not. She knows the answer is giving my time to feel this, believe this, and hopefully, I’ll finally come to a place, where I don’t really believe this anymore. She knows it takes time to get to that place, and I will get there when I’m ready. But she knows I’m not going to get to this place by being pushed by anyone. I’ve got to get there, myself.

I left her office, with a slew of books and some tough homework assignments. I left there feeling as if I had just had an exorcism. I looked down at my phone and it read 6:30 p.m. What the hell, I thought to myself. I had been there for over 2 hours. No wonder I felt so exhausted and beat down. It was worth it. I feel somewhat peaceful tonight and sleep might actually happen. We shall see, my little one. I’m going to go now, Ro. I miss you, I love you, I hope you are safe. I am so, so, sorry I couldn’t save you. I hope I can forgive myself one day. I love you, my not spicy monkey. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

I’m leaving you all tonight with something Dr. Joanne shared with me that she had written. I sat with my eyes closed as my tears just poured and I listened to her voice. I sat there and thought, wait, did I write this? How did she get into my head? Everything she read to me tonight, was if she had taken the words out of my soul and put them on paper. Except she does it much more eloquently than I do. I am so thankful for her sharing her words tonight. In a place that feels so lonely, it is nice to sit across from someone who really does get it. As much as I wish that she didn’t; I am thankful that she does. For those of you who don’t understand, because, thankfully, you have never lost a child, Joanne’s words could not explain the feelings that come with it, any better. Thanks, J. You are one of the most amazing gifts to this world.

 

I waited a long time to watch the film The Rabbit Hole. It was intentional. There was too much media frenzy around the film, and I wanted to allow that to settle, wanted to be clear and present with the film in an unadulterated way.


Disappointedly, the film didn’t move me. I shed a tear, maybe two, but there was an emotional lacking for me, an inauthenticity in Kidman’s character with which I simply could not relate. But of course. How could a Hollywood actor possibly capture a mother’s grief? It reminds me of a myth I’d heard long ago about Michelangelo’s Pieta; he was hesitant to sculpt Mary’s face for fear he could not possibly carve, with requisite honesty, the pain of a grieving mother.

After the film, I contemplated the many movies I’ve watched since my induction into bereaved parenthood in 1994. Many depicted traumatic death, and some even child death. Yet, none of the Hollywood enactments resonated any degree of substantive authenticity.

Tonight, I watched The Greatest for a second time. The first time I watched it, I found it to be one of the most sincere portrayals of parental grief and, though it still felt inadequate, I noticed that some memories unearthed during the second watching. Memories of the real storywhich had fallen victim to an ad hoc amnesiac state, but which were rapidly resurrected. These memories evoked powerful emotions tonight.

So, what is the real story- the one I wish Hollywood would tell- so the non-bereaved could really experience the truth about grief after the death of a child?

– I wish they would tell the story of how every single cell in our body hurts. Literally, it hurts from tip of our toes to the ends of our hair. The pain is indescribably physical and as merciless as the Mayan heart sacrifices of its helpless victims.

– I wish they would tell how difficult even basic bodily functions are: drinking becomes work as our throat is constantly tight and closes off to water, or food, or oxygen, or sustenance. Or how we are unable to carry groceries or the mail or the sadness in our arms as they ache with the phantom weight of our children. Or how we cannot breathe because of the concrete slabs on our chest, heavy and dense and gray. Or how our legs buckle and we cannot bear to see other children, especially the ones who are their age and with their names walking gleefully with their parents; parents who may or may not take a moment or two for granted but who will tuck them into bed tonight as we lay sobbing, our salty tears saturating the shag carpeting, in our dead child’s room.

– I wish they would tell the story of how, on the rare occasion when we do sleep, we awaken in the morning, nearly every morning, wishing we hadn’t.

– I wish they would tell the story of how we look in the mirror at our unrecognizable self every day and wonder at the stranger we see. And how every relationship in our lives change, even our conflicted relationship to the imposter-self. And how all the others- family, friends, colleagues- want us to be the person we were previously, but we know that person is irretrievably lost.

– I wish they would tell the story of how our primal mourning is most often done alone and that the supernatural sound of this mourning frightens us, like an wild animal being killed and eaten or like the flogging of human flesh or like the torturing of a prisoner or like Satan being cast from G*d’s presence.

– I wish they would tell the story of grief’s incessant state of craze: pacing the hallways late at night, the inability to focus on anything, the intolerance of music, or laughing, or expressions of joy, sensitivity to lights and other benign stimuli, racing video tapes that replay in our heads as we wish-for-changed outcomes, the constant self-accusations of blame and responsibility, the unconscious roulette of risk with Death as our challenger.

– I wish they would tell the story of how we are terrorized by insidious ruminations of our other children dying, and we either over-protect to maintain illusory control or under-love to maintain illusory protection from recurrent grief.

– I wish they would tell the story of the dark and ugly thoughts about other people and their happy and naive lives. Or how we become fierce imaginary protectors of children who are neglected, or unloved, or scolded, or abused by their “parents”.

– I wish they would tell the story of how a mere turn of a corner in the grocery store that confronts us with baby food, or car magazines, or cereals can unhinge us to the point of utter helplessness and madness, frantically abandoning $200 worth of unpurchased frozen foods for an exit sign .

– I wish they would tell the story of how this brings us to our wounded knees. On the floor. Face in the dirt. Begging and pleading for a different life. Willing to do anything, anything to turn time back and go through another door. Or how we fantasize about time machines and contemplate self-institutionalization.

– I wish they would tell the story of a pain so deep and so wide that no word in the English language can begin to express it. That no subsequent child, no new job or house, no distraction- no pill- no drug- no G*d- no joy- no self-induced suffering is sufficient to fill the chasm of the loss.

– I wish they would tell the story of how we pray, even in the absence of a belief in a Creator- we pray, that the suffering would end, by any means.

-I wish they would tell the story of how well-meaning others cause us to recoil with their platitudes and mindless remarks about G*d’s will and His garden, the one which needs tending, and something idiotic about making lemonade.

– I wish they would tell the story of how this mother and that mother and this father and that father would have given their life in a moment to save their child, and that we continue to negotiate that with a G*d in whom we may or may not believe for months or even years.

– I wish they would tell the story of how life goes on but that everything has changed, and that we have died in a sense, and must choose to be reborn.

– Mostly, I wish that they would tell the story of a bittersweet survival that does not include a fallacious or contrived “end” to the grief after a prescribed six months. This is not reality for most of us. Yes, I wish they would tell a true story of the anguish absent the “happy” ending. Not that we, at some point, aren’t capable of pure love and joy and contentment. In fact, having really “looked into the eyes of such sorrow” is the only way to such pure joy, as Gibran says. But there is no bypassing the tortures of child death, it’s effects perennial and relentless for much longer than the unsuspecting world believes.

And there is so much more I wish they would tell.

I wish they would tell the story because I wish others knew. Certainly, if the others knew, they would have to be kinder, more compassionate, more loving to bereaved parents. Wouldn’t they?

Wouldn’t they?

Yet, I find even my own words fall woefully short of the real story.

As the Michelangelo-myth goes, some things cannot be expressed in sculpture or form or film or with words. The real story is one we can never truly tell.


For you, I swear.

Ronan. It’s days like today, that scare the shit out of me…. because they do not. I don’t have ANYTHING I’m scared of anymore. I have things I worry about, of course. Obsessively. But fear does not register anymore. It’s weird to live so freely, yet so contained. My mind is going a million miles an hour today, with no end in sight. I feel like I’m on that carnival ride, the Tilt a Whirl, and I cannot get off. Life is just spinning, spinning, spinning…. everything is out of control, moving so quickly, and never slowing down or stopping when it should be. You died. The world should have ended too. It would have made sense to me, if it did. The pain I feel from losing you is so great, that I feel as if everyone else should be feeling it too. I know there are people, who are feeling a great deal of sadness from losing you. People you didn’t even know. People who you did know. Like your Godmama, Tricia Boo. Whom I sat with and had frozen yogurt with. I sat in the dark with her and listened to her tell me how she went out on Friday night because she is young, gorgeous, single, and that is exactly what she SHOULD be doing. She sat and cried to me and told me how guilty she felt about going on, about living life, because she never wants me to think for a second that she is not thinking of you, how unfair this all is, and how fucked up everything turned out. She sat there and tried to justify the happiness that she should be feeling, but she just is not because she is so jaded by this world. It hurt me to hear her say these things because all I want for her is to live her life, without having to worry that I think she is being disrespectful. I took some time to sit quietly with what she was saying to me and I finally just looked at her and told her I basically never wanted to hear those words, come out of her mouth again. That I never want her to worry that she could be offending me or hurting me, because she could not. And if she ever did, I would let her know. I told her how I know how much she loves you and she does not need to prove anything to me. Ever. I told her I am aware of the friends in our lives, who your death has affected so deeply. How by because of what we have gone through, their lives have changed, even in the smallest way. I notice it. I am aware of it. I am thankful for it. Not thankful for your death of course, but thankful for the way I am watching all of my little flowers bloom around me, because of the love they have for you. For us. I don’t need any of my little flowers worrying about being happy or having a great life. They were all meant to, Ro. They were meant to because you were part of their worlds and you affected them in such a way, that they will become more beautiful, because of you. What a gift you have given all of us.

So to all of my Tricia Boo’s, my Little M’s, my Susie’s, my Macy’s….. stop it. Stop apologizing for things that you do not need to apologize for. You all have proven yourselves more than I could have ever asked for. My Macy… I’ve been meaning to tell you to stop apologizing for not calling me on the 4 months of Ronan’s death. He loved you so much. That in itself means you are my sister forever. Nothing you do or forget to do, will ever change the way I feel for you. I expect you all to live your lives, just the way you are. As being the best versions of yourselves and being happy and thankful, because you know what it truly means to have been loved by Ronan. If there ever comes a time, that I am hurt or mad, and that day may come….. And it could be over somethings as silly as the time that I yelled at Tricia because I said she abandoned me, and then she and Macy ended up tracking me down on Camelback Mountain; because they were so upset over my words. What happened then? Tricia grabbed me, we cried, hugged, and apologized. But we were honest with each other and it only made us closer. You know what else happened? Macy flashed everyone she passed with the skirt she was wearing as she tried to hike up the mountain, in sandals. It made me laugh and love those two more than I ever thought possible. I know, Ro, who is true. So do you. That is the reason our lives are filled with the most beautiful people on the face of the planet. And I’m not exaggerating. If you are in our lives, there is a reason why…. so stop worrying, second guessing, thinking you have offended me or hurt my feelings. I promise you, I will let you know.

I fell asleep late last night. Once again, the thought of falling asleep without having you to kiss goodnight, is worse than any nightmare that I could ever have. I fell asleep but did the usual tossing and turning. I remember a bit of my dreams, but not much. I remember it had to do with the locket I have, that I put some of your ashes in. Somebody, and I cannot remember who, took my locket and threw it into a fire. I remember screaming hysterically and thinking that I was burning you all over again and you were going to be able to feel it. It was an awful dream, Ro. I’m so sorry. I woke up today, so tired from my restless night. I bounced out of bed anyway. I had a meeting to go to. A meeting that I’m not going to go into too much detail about because it is personal. And I don’t know if this person is o.k. with me blabbing about the things we discussed today. I know how to tip toe around things when I need to, as I don’t want to scare people off. I know I walk a fine line with the responsibility that comes along with this blog, but for as much as I am all about honesty….I do want to be respectful of others. Let’s just say, I met with a mom today. An amazing mom who knows what it is like to walk in my shoes. She took the time to meet with me, listen to me, hold my hand, to cry with me; but she also took the time to tell me this is livable. Her marriage survived. She still has her other kids, who have turned out to be amazing kids. She told me how she knows what the lowest of the lows are, but when the highs come along, they are unbelievable. She didn’t sugar coat a thing, which you know I love. I love to meet other people who are open and honest; it makes my heart happy. It’s funny throughout all of this, the people I am meeting. The people whom I feel like I’ve known my whole life, even though I have not. It was so easy to feel a connection with this mom today, because of the fucked up club we are in together. She is a firecracker, like me. She is a fighter, like me. She is ready to go to War. She is willing to do whatever it takes to help me get this message across. She is ready for the Sea of Gold, that is going to come. I know this is going to take some time, but it is coming. I will stop at nothing to make sure of this. And I love all of you, for being on board as well. Thank you.

After my meeting, I came home and went to meet Inferno Fuckwad Bob, at Camelback Mountain. Man, he was messing with my head today. I climbed that mountain, in the heat of the day, while dealing with him, screaming in my head. I have now convinced myself that everyone I know, is either sick, dying or leaving me. Ronan, you had to leave me…. so who is next? This is what Inferno Fuckwad Bob, is trying to convince me of. He’s doing a pretty good job because I spent a majority of the day, screaming and crying. I ran down Camelback at an insane speed. I fell hard, didn’t feel an ounce of pain, got back up and screamed to the world, “This is the best you can do!!! FUCK YOU!!!!!!!” I fell. Just like we all do sometimes do in life, all the time. I made a choice today. I could have cried out in pain and carefully continued down the mountain, watching my every step, tending to my bloody hands, bruised ass, and jacked up ankle; but I didn’t. I got back up, laughed, screamed, had someone ask me if I was alright, said “Yes, thank you,” and I ran my ass the rest of the way down to the bottom. Fuck you, Cancer. I hate you so much, that you make me stronger than I ever knew I was capable of being. I remember driving in the car, sobbing, and screaming out loud to you how sorry I was. I swore on my life, the life that I don’t want anymore, that I would not stop advocating for Childhood Cancer until people start to become aware and a major shift comes. I swore that to you today, out loud and I will not let you down, Ro. I don’t care if this does not happen until I am on my death bed, at 100 years old. It’s going to fucking happen. I have to take this anger I feel for losing you and turn it into something good. I HAVE TO, Ro. You were so gorgeous Ronan, that I know you will end up making this disease, which is so dark and ugly, into something beautiful. Something that people will no longer ignore. I know we will make this happen, together. Just you and me, Ro. Forever.

I love you little man. I’ve got to pick up your brothers soon from the airport. I miss you a million times a day. I love you more than you will ever know. I hope you are safe. I hope you were never scared. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you. I’m so, so sorry, Baby Doll.

xoxo

Inferno Fuckwad Bob

Ro baby. So, remember how I told you I was going to stop cold turkey, taking my Zoloft…. mainly because everyone told me not to. That I needed to slowly come off from it. I didn’t listen. I stopped taking it over two weeks ago. I did it, all by myself and I’m still here. I didn’t have any side effects. I just feel better. One less medication that I am on. I do not want to live my life with the help of Zoloft. Not that there is anything wrong with it. I just want to find another way to get through this pain and I don’t want any help from a pill. I tried this last night with the Ristoral I am taking to help me sleep. I tried not to take it. It was awful. I tossed and turned for a few hours, while lying next to your Daddy. I dozed off, here and there but the screaming in my head was too much to take. The dreams were too mean and vivid. I got up, around 12:30, and paced the house; looking for you. I took 2 of my sleepy meds and ate a bowl of cereal. I had not eaten all day long. I crawled up into Liam’s top bunk bed and fell asleep until 7 a.m. I woke up groggy, and felt hung over. Your Daddy looked worried as he could see the glazed over look in my eyes. He decided to take Liam and Quinn to school for me. It was a good thing, because I mentally was a wreck today. I don’t remember what happened next, but before I knew it, I was laying my head on the kitchen table, sobbing into your blanket, with your Urn in front of me. I went and grabbed the locket that Macy got me, that does not have a picture of you in it yet. I got out the scissors and cut open the plastic holder that keeps your ashes sealed. I found some glue, rubbed it on the inside of the locket, took my hands and picked up some of your ashes. I felt them for the first time. I kissed them and I took a little of them and sprinkled them to the inside of the locket filled with glue. Fernanda called. I ignored her phone call. I sat and sobbed with you instead. She called, again, about 20 minutes later. I picked up this time. “What are you doing?” she said. I couldn’t talk, so I didn’t say anything; I just sat and cried into the phone. “Where are you?!” she asked in her beautiful English, Spanish, and Italian accent. “Home,” I said. She said,”I’ll be there in 2 minutes.” And she was. She pulled up and I opened up the door, my face black from my mascara. I really need to freaking invest in some waterproof mascara at this point in my life. She grabbed me and let me cry all over her all white blouse. My angel.

We sat at the table for a bit. I told her what I had just done with some of your ashes. I said to her, what if these had been your beautiful blue eyes. She told me they were not. Your eyes, left long before you were cremated. I agree. She put her head down on the table with me and we sat and cried and talked. I told her I needed to get coffee if I was going to function at all today. We ran to Safeway and sat on the couch at the Starbucks. A woman came and sat down next to us. She overheard some of our conversation. We started talking to her. Turns out, she had a 2-year-old who had died, and she had lost a baby from a miscarriage as well. She told me how lucky I was to have a friend, like Fernanda… as she had nobody. All I wanted to do was take this woman home and love her. She does not have a Liam and Quinn to keep her going. She does not have a reason to get up in the morning. But she has found one…. whatever it may be. That is true strength. I told her about your website, and I gave her one of the MISS Foundation cards. I told her about them. She said she didn’t even know something like that existed. I told her to call them. I hope she will. I wish I could have done more for this woman today; but I did all I could do.

The rest of the day was a blur. Quinn went to Dr. Beth. He is so needing her now. As well as your brothers are doing in school…. which from what I can tell, they are excelling….. I know this outside help is so important for them now. I know in the long run, it will make a difference. We are choosing to face this head on, not bury it down in the ground. Their therapy is a big part of this so I plan on continuing it for as long as we need…. even if it is for the rest of their lives. I hope it won’t be, as I want them to be able to go on and live normal, happy lives. But to get them to that point, this is so necessary.

I went to see Dr. Joanne. It was a really long, intense session. I ended up being able to write out that grief worksheet before I saw her. I wrote it out this morning, in a really random, public place. I have struggled with the finding the words to fill it out all week. I have carried that worksheet all over with me, and when I sat with it today, the words to the questions just came pouring out. It took me only a few minutes to answer the 5 or 6 questions. One of the things I had to answer was, if I had to Name my grief; him/her, I’d call him/her…… ??? What???? I had to come up with a name for my grief. The name, Inferno Fuckwad Bob, just flew out of my head. That is what I wrote. I named my grief, INFERNO FUCKWAD BOB. I have no idea where in the world this name came from, but it is perfect. Dr. J sat with my sheet of paper and asked if I thought I could read it out loud to her. I told her No. She asked if she could read it out loud. I said yes. So she did. I think I cried while she was reading my words. I think I bawled pretty much the entire time I sat and talked with her today. When she got to the name of your grief part, hearing her say that out loud, made me laugh. She giggled a bit too, and told me she had heard some interesting names for Grief in her time, but this may have been the most interesting. It was at that point, that I knew that there was no other name in the world for my pain, my hurt, my grief. Inferno Fuckwad Bob, it is. I hope he is not always so present in my life, but for now he is; and I cannot ignore him.

After our session, I came home, threw on my hiking clothes and drove to The Inferno. I ran my butt off up the mountain. I saw Mountain Mike again, which was strange because I was there much later in the day than I usually am. He was coming down as I was running up. I took out my headphones to say Hello. We chatted for a minute, then he said for me to keep going as he didn’t want to keep me. As I got to the top of the mountain, I took my time to talk to you. I didn’t see the Eagles today, but that was o.k. I did some stretching and breathing. I put my headphones on full blast and got ready to run as fast as I could down the mountain. Just as I was getting ready to run, I got this text from Dr. Joanne.

Goosebumps ran down my spine. I had gone into the bathroom, after I left her office. I just needed to wipe down my face and dry my eyes. I was in the bathroom for maybe 30 seconds. I am always intentionally leaving your bracelets places…. on my hikes, random restaurants, grocery stores, etc….. It never even crossed my mind to leave one in the bathroom of her office building today. But she found one, in the sink. I asked her if it was the naughty or nice version. It was the naughty. I thought I was totally out of all of those, but apparently one found it’s way to Dr. Joanne. So random. So something you would do. I have hesitated about giving her one…. just not wanting to overstep my boundaries as I know not everyone is comfortable with the F word. I guess you had other ideas and know she is deserving of wearing it. Because she is a badass:) I am so glad, baby. I thought so too, but you made it happen. Thank you for that and for making me smile so big after seeing that text from Dr. J.

As soon as I turned my headphones up as loud as they would go, and starting running as fast as my legs could possibly carry me, without falling on my face, another little thing happened. I have decided one of the ways you are communicating with me, is through music. I had my iPod blaring, and you had decided what my playlist was going to be. From the time I started running, until I stopped at my car, these are the songs that came on, in this order. Pearl Jam, Given to Fly. Coldplay, Fix You. Band of Horses, No One’s Gonna Love You, and it ended with Katy Perry, Firework. I mean really, Ro. That was so sweet of you. It made me smile, cry, smile, laugh and blow kisses up into the sky. I love you so much, baby. I miss you so much.

The rest of the evening was spent at home with your brothers, Daddy, Danielle and Dave stopped by with their new puppy; Bash. We sat outside and played with him. Such a sweet, simple night. I often feel you around when Danielle is with me. She is one of the people in my life that makes me feel peaceful. I needed that tonight. Thanks, D. Love you.

Alright, my “not spicy, little monkey boy. I’m going to try to get some sleep. Really want to do boot camp in the a.m. but have not been succeeding in waking up for my 5 a.m. booty, boot camp call. Maybe tomorrow. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. G’night my love.

xoxo

New obsession. Inferno Hikes. My physical Hell.

Ronan. The Sunday Blues. I hate Sundays. Always have. I woke up in an awful mood due to the dreams I had all night long. They were long, intense, and I was mad at everyone in them. I fought with your daddy in my dreams. Quinn and all of your cousins were smoking cigarettes in front of me. I was crying, screaming, and yelling. Everyone in my dream, knew you were dead and it was all they talked about. Is it too much to ask for a little peace in my life? Apparently, yes. To say I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, is an understatement. I woke up, vividly recalling what I had just dreamt about; and then I remembered that I was really waking up to you not being here. I walked around in a zombie state of mind for most of the day.

Hi baby. I started that yesterday, but didn’t finish due to trying to go to sleep. I passed out around 10, but tossed and turned all night long. My dreaming is out of control. I could be sick just thinking about it. I saw you in my dreams last night. Yes, indeed I did. I wish I could tell you it was amazing, but it was awful. I had a dream that I was holding you. You were still alive, but you were being cremated in my arms. Your skin was burning off and it was so hot, that I could feel it. I was supposed to just wait it out and watch you burn. I woke up, barely being able to breathe. I got up, walked around the house, went into your brothers’ room, and tried to go back to sleep in there. I did, but didn’t. I slept for a couple of hours and got up early to start my day. I was so tired of trying to sleep so I just aborted mission. I got up, showered, made your brothers breakfast, got them ready, got myself ready, made myself a list for the day of things to do and headed out to take your brothers to school.

I filled my day with errands. I went over to Gay’s house to give her a hug. I have not seen her since your services. I miss her and her little guys so much. So do Liam and Quinn. We are planning a play date with them tomorrow. It will be so bittersweet without you. After I left Gay’s, I finished up the things on my list. I came home, threw on my workout clothes, and decided to do hike at 1:00 in the afternoon. The temperature on my car read 114. Screw it. I’ve hiked the mountain everyday for a week now. Tricia hiked with me Saturday and Sunday. We are OBSESSED. Inferno hiking is our new Hot Yoga. As I was getting ready to head up the mountain, I decided I’d better tell someone where I was. I texted Trish and told her if she didn’t hear from me, it was because I had died; hiking. I made sure she knew where I was in case I didn’t make it back down. I had a moment of hesitation before I started. An empty mountain, the thought of rattlesnakes, the heat, and god knows what else; was enough for me to think twice about braving it today. But then I thought of you and everything you went through in your little life. All the pain and suffering. My fear subsided and I ran, as fast as I could for 35 minutes, up, up and up. I got to the top, started to dry heave, and threw up the only thing I had in my stomach the entire day which was coffee and water. No biggie. I took about 20 minutes to feel the sun burn my skin and I did my talking to you. I can’t remember if I cried or not as I was in a daze. I headed back down and just as I was thinking in my head, that I must be really be crazy; because nobody else in their right mind would do what I had just done….. a man appeared. I thought I was hallucinating at first. I took out my headphones and watched the man who must have been about 75, with his walking stick, approach me. He was carrying a spray bottle mister full of water in his hands. I smiled and told him I couldn’t believe that he was hiking today as I thought I was the only crazy person on the mountain. He told me to take off my sunglasses so he could spray me down. I laughed and thanked him and he told me it would keep me cool for about 10 seconds. I told him that was better than nothing. I think that 75-year-old man, hiking today, was clearly an Angel. It was a little sign from you to let me know that no matter how alone I think I am, without you… that you will never be far from my side. I really needed that today, Ro. Thank you.

I picked up your brothers from school, came home and we did their homework. The rest of the night has been pretty low key. Everyone is tired from the heat of today. Tomorrow, I have a busy day full of therapy appointments. I’m seeing Sarah and Dr. Joanne. I am going to try to go to boot camp at 5….. so please let me get some sleep. I need the rest, emotionally, physically and mentally. I miss you so much. We all do. We spent last night all crying about you. Quinn was hysterical, sobbing so hard that he couldn’t even talk. Liam was crying in your bedroom with your door closed, playing with your Star Wars guys. I cried most of the night as your Daddy tried to take care of all of us; but he was just as sad. I just don’t know what to do with days like yesterday. I almost can’t handle them. We survived somehow. Quinn is watching your favorite movie, “Home Alone,” now. I really can’t handle that. The little boy in the movie is you to a tee as far as the way he acts. You used to quote this movie every other day as you loved it so much.  I so badly wish we would have went on a vacation, and left you at home alone. At least this movie has a happy ending. I don’t see how our life can possibly have a happy ending without you here.

I’m going to go now baby. I’m so tired I can hardly see straight. I love you to the moon and back and hope you are safe. I miss you so much. Sweet dreams, my “not spicy, little monkey.

xoxo

I would like to dream about these sparkly shoes tonight. Something crazy, gorgeous, and girly.

Game over! I lose, you win! Bring back my baby!

Ronan. Hi my baby. I have not written in a few days. I’m sorry. It’s hard for me to write when your daddy is here and your brothers do not go to bed until super late. I’m not sure what we’ve done. The usual, except these past two days have been really hard on me. Struggling with a lot of things I guess. Panicking that we are coming back to Phoenix soon. I don’t know how I’m going to walk into our empty house without you. How I’m going to go back to our life without you. I’ve done a lot of crying. A lot of screaming. A lot of this cannot be my life. But it is. Nothing can change that.

I remember feeling o.k. just a few days ago. I remember laughing with Liz as we decided to rent paddle boards and take them out in the ocean. We somehow managed to get those monstrous beasts in my car. One stuck out the sunroof, the other one out the back-end of my car as we drove though town with my trunk open. We broke just a few traffic violations. Once we got to the beach, we put on our sunscreen and took our Orange and Lime Green Zinc sunscreen on and wrote “Ro,” on one side of our cheek, and a big star on the other. I told Liz that it was our way of taking you with us and you would protect us from Sharks;) Genius idea. We took Liam and Quinn out with us first, somehow managing to get them past the break of the waves. Quinn was on my board with me as I swam us out further into the ocean. I crawled up on the board with him as I listened to him tell me how we were out too far, how he didn’t like it, how he was scared. I validated all of his feelings but also explained to him that he needed to take in a deep breath and just look at nature and the beauty of the ocean. I talked to him about how important these experiences were in life, because if you don’t take chances trying new things, the beauty of things will never be discovered. He listened to me, but didn’t seem to buy much of it. I paddled him back into shore, and he played on the beach while I went back out into the ocean. I fell in love with paddle boarding or Sup boarding as most people call it. It’s a lot harder than it looks and I was told by a friend, that you are supposed to learn how to do it in the Bay first, then move on to the ocean. Oh well. Go big or go home, right? It was a really peaceful experience although I did get a lot of bumps and bruises. I think Liz may have almost broken her foot due to a wipeout from a wave. Auntie Karen is convinced she needs an x-ray. The thought of just watching her live life and doing something new makes me smile though. I have learned the very hard way just how precious life really is and it makes me so sad to know that you will never be out there paddle boarding. It helped to have Liz there. And also, the dozen of dolphins that appeared. Liz kept saying what a great day it was. I couldn’t have agreed more.

Yesterday, I woke up early as I wanted to have a productive day. I know what happens if I don’t get myself tasks to do or something to wake up for as that is exactly what happened today. I got up before anyone else, I ran to Chula Vista to the car wash there. It is the one I used to always take you to. I got the car washed and on the drive home, I started to panic. The pain and memory of being there without you was just too much. I called Tricia and cried to her, screamed to her how I just wanted you back. How scared I am to go on without you. How I don’t want to. I sat in my car after I got off the phone with her and sobbed for 2 hours. I talked to Doriet for a good half an hour. We talked about you and Esther and how hard of the time we are both having. We seem to be in a very similar place. I talked to Mr. Sparkly Eyes. He did the thing he is best at which seems to be calming me down with his stern, yet compassionate words. He ended the conversation by telling me to get my ass out of the car and inside the house. I listened.

Once inside the house, I showered and tried my best to pull it together for the sake of your brothers. I put on my best “I’m dying on the inside, but smiling on the outside,” act. We went to lunch. I ate my half of sandwich. I threw it up. We got in the car and drove to the Del Mar race tracks. Bad idea. We acted like the perfect family. Somebody in line, waiting to bet, commented on how cool it was that we took our boys to bet on some horses. I just smiled. We went outside and watched a couple of races. My head was spinning. It seemed as if everyone around us was smoking. I couldn’t stop obsessing about it. I finally looked at Woody and said to him, “Look at all of these people, smoking. Why are they doing that?” He just shook his head. Everywhere I looked, people were drinking, laughing, all dressed up. Life was going on. How could it be? How can all of those people, just go on like you are not gone? How do they not all know about you?? I made us leave after about 45 minutes. It was all I could take. Once we got back to our condo, I told your daddy and brothers that I needed a little quiet time. I went down to the pool and sat with Auntie Karen for a couple of hours. I sobbed to her about you. I talked to her. She is worried, she is sad, she is hurting, she is missing you. She sat and held my hand and told me how I can get through this, how I will get through this, because I don’t have a choice. I told her I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. She talked about how that isn’t what you would want, how that wouldn’t be honoring your life. I told her I knew, but all I want is to be with you. She said that she thinks you are always with me. I still wonder where you are. After my day of crying, I somehow managed to get back upstairs and I put myself in bed. I popped an Ambien at 8:30 p.m. Lights out early for me, which I never do.

Guess what time I got out of bed today? 2:00 p.m. Bad mommy. I couldn’t do it today. I slept and cried and slept and cried. I held on to your blanket. Your daddy tried to pull me out of bed. I told him I hated him. I told him he promised me you wouldn’t die. I told him to bring you back. I said a lot of mean things that I shouldn’t have. I am human. I make mistakes. I am sorry for my words, as I didn’t mean them. It is as if I am turning into this person who is going to let cancer win. I’m spinning out of control into a world that I don’t want to be in, but I don’t know if I have the strength left to fight it. I’ve fought this since the second you got sick. I’m tired. Am I going to have to fight this hard for the rest of my life?? Will I ever feel normal again?? Will there ever come a day that I can just do something so simple and sweet like enjoy the sweet San Diego sun without feeling like a knife has just been ripped through my heart when I see families with their 3 boys, riding bikes around the island??

Today, after your daddy pried me out of bed, I got up and showered. We headed out for a movie. Captain America. I was restless. Quinn didn’t like it. I took Olivia and Quinn to the bathroom in the middle of the movie. We didn’t go back to our seats after that. I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t concentrate, my mind kept wandering to places it shouldn’t be. The 3 of us walked around Fashion Valley instead. We met your daddy and Liam at P.F. Changs for dinner. We colored a Kitty Cat for Liz and sent her a picture of it. I engaged as best as I could. I played a game of scrabble with Liam on my phone. He beat me. I was happy to let him;)

Once we returned home, I slipped out for a much-needed 8 mile run. I ran at a fast pace…. 8:08 tonight. My whole body hurt but I didn’t care. I don’t care. Whenever the pain sets in I think of you. I think of you and all that poison they put into your little body. I think off all the surgeries, the bone marrow aspirations, the pokes, the prods, all the things that caused you pain. You pushed through it so I will too. I talked to a friend tonight about you. He told me everything I already know but I need to hear it. He told me how it is unacceptable to lay in bed all day, how it is unfair to Liam and Quinn. I know he is right. I will try harder tomorrow. We only have a little time left here. It is important that we make that time special. I don’t want them ending their summer going back to Phoenix with memories of me not getting out of bed. That is so unfair to them. Do you want to hear the saddest thing yet? Quinny, your 8-year-old brother, thinks it’s his job to take care of me. Quinn. I was in bed tonight, reading and he was walking all around, putting things away, asking me if I needed dinner because I didn’t eat. He asked if he could make me a sandwich. He asked if he could bring me a water and then did and opened the bottle for me. He put away my camera that was out of its case. He finally laid down by me with his iPad. He said he wanted to write to you. This is what he wrote:

To Ronan today we went to see a move to see caption america i love you ro from Quinn

He also wrote this:

Good Night ronan I love you from quinn to ronan

As I read it he laid his little head down on my arm. I whispered in his ear that you love him too. 3 seconds later, I felt warms tears dripping on my arm. They were his tears. I grabbed him, held him, told him how sorry I was, how I would do anything to bring you back. I sat and we cried together. I told him how important it is to cry about you, how healthy it is for us because we cannot keep it bottled up inside. I told him how proud I was of him. He soon fell asleep in my arms. The angle of his face tonight from where I was watching him, looked exactly like you Ronan. I see a lot of you in Quinn all of the time. It makes me smile. After Quinn fell asleep, I tried to join him, without my Ambien. FAIL. I slept for maybe an hour, but tossed and turned. I just had to pop one about 20 minutes ago. Here we go, coma induced sleep. It’s not good for me and my dreams are fighting to come out. I have remembered a couple of them. I never get to see you. I’m always talking to people and they are always saying how sorry they are that you are gone. I’m always the mom who lost her son. I can’t be that mom for the rest of my life. I have to make something bigger come out of this so I won’t get overshadowed by that title. Tomorrow will be a better day, right?? It has to be. I’ve got to get out of this bad place that I am in. Like Doriet said to me, we have 2 choices, to either live this life, or not. And if we do decide to stay, then we have to live it to the best we are capable of. Laying in bed all day is just not the answer. So if that won’t work, then what will? That is what I have to figure out little man. I need your help more than ever.

I know I am going to need deep, intensive therapy when we get back. So is your daddy and the boys. I’ve got to deal with this stuff head on or else it is just going to fester and get worse and worse. I am ready to start working hard to save myself. If I can save myself, I feel like I can save everything else that needs to be saved. I might actually be able to go on as a wife and mother. But that’s not going to happen if I don’t start doing some seriously deep grief counseling. This will become my job for a while. I’m so pissed I want to punch this computer screen. I don’t want this job. I want the job of taking care of you, Ronan. JUST FUCKING COME BACK HERE ALREADY! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! THIS EXPERIMENT IS OVER. I FAILED. I FAILED BECAUSE I AM HALF A HUMAN BEING, WIFE, MOTHER WITHOUT YOU. YOU WIN. PLEASE JUST BRING HIM BACK TO ME!!!! I scream these words all the time. I have decided that I am not sane anymore. Hey, at least I’ve got that figured out. At least I’ve got that going for me. Lock me up and throw away the key. I don’t care.

Ronan. I’m sorry if I’m making you sad by being so sad. I would never want that. I hope you still believe in me and know I can still do this. But mommy is going to have more bad days then good for a while. At least that’s what they say. Seems to make sense. I’m sleepy now. I miss you so much. I love you to the moon and back my favorite not spice monkey boy. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, Ro. Please visit your brothers in their dreams tonight. They need you.

xoxo

Oh Ro….. what am I going to do without you??

JUNE 9th……………………..

Ronan. It’s almost been two months. Two months since you left me. How is this possible? It makes my head spin. It’s 1:30 in the morning…… 3:30 a.m. will be here soon. That’s around when you took your last breath. When I kissed your lips and whispered in your ear to come with me so we could get out of this place. I still can’t believe all this has happened. How my worst nightmare, really came true. I was so sure you would get better. You were going to beat all of the awful statistics and live to be a normal, healthy boy. You were so strong, so brave, and so proud. I remember how the day before you passed away and you weren’t really going to the bathroom anymore. I kept trying to get you to go. Finally, you told me in your squeaky little voice that you needed to pee. You didn’t want to go in the urinal right by your bed, you made me carry you to the toilet even though you were in so much pain that it hurt for me to even pick you up. I carried you to the bathroom and set you down on the toilet. Your little body was so skinny and frail that it took my breath away. But you were so proud. Too proud to do the easy thing and just use the potty by your bed. You always hated that thing. You held your chin high as cancer tried to take away your dignity. It never won. Cancer may have taken your life, but it never took away your pride. It would have been such an easy thing to give up and I don’t know that I know many souls in this world that would have put up such a fight like you did. I feel so privileged to be your mommy, Ro. You are so amazing in every way.

New York Miss Macy left today. Everyone was sad to see her go. Quinn and I took Olivia with us for the day as he wanted to go to a movie. We ended up seeing, “Turtle: The Incredible Journey. It was all about a little Loggerhead turtle and her journey in life. Her purpose, which ends up being to travel the paths of her ancestors, only to return home 25 years later to give birth to her offspring while fighting every odd stacked against her along the way. Only 1 in 10,000 turtles survive this journey. Throughout the movie, I felt as though the turtles journey is similar to mine. It may sound weird, but so many things that happened in this movie made me feel so vulnerable and struck such a chord. It started with the fact that these babies are buried alive after they hatch out of their shell and it takes 3 days for them to dig themselves out of the sand. Yup. I know a little something about feeling like you are buried alive just like you, little turtle. The baby, who is the size of a small child’s hand, has to leave the beach for it’s new world of the dangerous ocean. Many of them do not make it due to being eaten by crabs, birds, or the oceans waves are just too tough for them. The Loggerhead turtle, has one of the most difficult and longest migratory patterns of any marine animal. It reminds me of a bereaved mother. After you lose a child, it is almost like you are born again and thrust out into this cruel, cruel world. You are expected to survive it by everyone, you are expected to do as others think they would do, but the truth of it is….. we are all different and will follow our own instincts to hopefully return to our place of peacefulness and our home once again, when we are ready to go there. Just like the loggerhead turtle.

It is a very long journey and the turtle has to continue to fight, without giving up. They are survivors. Just like a mom who has lost her child. A mom who is just trying her best, trying to pull herself out of bed everyday;  to do what is somewhat normal for her kids so they can have days like yesterday where one of them spends time with his very special Papa Jim, and catches his first Salmon. Where the other one, spends his day with his mama and all of her amazing “sisters.” I have not heard Quinn laugh so much since he was with Ronan, before he was sick. Do I feel weird being out and about, laughing away?Absolutely. But I am not really doing this for myself. I am doing it for my children. I want them to look back at this summer and remember being surrounded by the people who love them so much and to remember all the laughing and silly bonding time we had together. I want them to be able to see that even though I cry a lot, I can still laugh. Even though it is the saddest summer that we’ve ever had. I cannot let my children drown in their sadness like I want to. I will not have them secluded and take away any more of their childhood, any more of their innocence. They deserve to have as much normalcy as possible.

After 25 years, the Loggerhead turtle grows into a big strong turtle and is no longer afraid of the ocean. She develops a big, hard shell and very thick skin. If you have ever lost a child, this is a necessity for survival. Especially if you have decided to share your inner most thoughts and feelings though a blog for everyone to read. You really need a thick skin for that one. Luckily, I have always had thick skin so I’ve pretty much got that covered. The hard shell can be for my hard head, as I tend to be pretty stubborn, or so I’ve been told. My point being, that while watching this movie today, and seeing how many obstacles this little turtle had to overcome to survive, I was forced to think about my new life without you, Ro. It is so hard to go on, move forward, and not want to just give in and sink to the bottom of the ocean. This little turtle could have easily given up. So could I. But I keep telling myself I am a  survivor just like the turtle.

JUNE 11th……………….

Ronan. I did not finish the post above due to falling asleep. I have no idea what was written above as I don’t go back and re read the things I write. I hope it made sense. I think I remember something about a turtle…….. Everything is blurry. I don’t even know what has happened since I last wrote. Except I am still in miserable, extreme pain. My head hurts, my shoulders still hurt, my toes hurt, my heart hurts….. everything hurts. I think I managed to run 6 miles last night though. I think I have managed to get out of bed the past couple of days…. although not until at least 11. I think yesterday was the 2 month date of you being gone. I remember staying up really late the night before and crying with your daddy. I remember waking up the next morning and my head felt so heavy that I could not get out of bed. I remember talking to Mr. Sparkly Eyes and just crying in the phone and telling him how I couldn’t get out of bed, how I couldn’t believe it had been 2 months. He begged me over and over to get up and get out of bed. I told him I could not. I laid there for an hour after talking to him and I couldn’t get the sound of his voice, out of my head. If it wouldn’t have been for his words, ringing in my ear and not going away, I wouldn’t have gotten up. I made myself get up out of bed. I think we went to the beach with Auntie Karen, Liz, and Olivia. I surfed. Quinn fell asleep in the sun. Later in the evening, as we all sat there together as the sun was setting; dolphins appeared. They always do for me. Auntie Karen said it was you. It made me smile. Last night, I fell asleep really early. Well, really early for me. I remember cuddling up with Quinny and we fell asleep around 11.

Today, I didn’t get up until 11. Seems like if I don’t have a reason to get out of bed, I’m just not going to. Your daddy was up with Quinn, playing video games. I texted Liz and asked what they were doing. They said they were going to the Farmer’s Market in Hillcrest. Your daddy, Quinn and I met them there. We walked around and ate some food. I bought some humus. That and rice pudding seem to be the only thing I can keep down. Weird combo. After the Farmers Market, Auntie Karen took Quinn home with them. Your daddy and I needed some time together. We walked back to our car and held hands. It felt nice. We decided to go and see a movie. We saw, “Horrible Bosses.” We both agreed it was o.k. We had some laughs.

Lots of signs have happened the past few days. It seems as everywhere I go…. Coldplay is on the radio. I swear, I heard it 4 times in a row a couple of days ago. We always loved to listen to them together. Something else happened today. After the movie, your daddy and I walked into Nordstrom Rack as it was right by the theater. He went off to look at ties and I was looking at shorts. There was a lady right next to me and her little girl, who looked to be about 3, was playing right by me. She was hiding underneath the clothing racks which was one of your favorite things to do. I heard her mom call out her name. It caught my attention. I looked up and said, “What’s your daughter’s name?” as I was sure I had heard her wrong. She goes, “Ireland.” I just looked at her, stunned. I told her how your daddy and I had picked that name out about 9 years ago if we ever had a girl. I then had to walk off because I just started bawling. I walked around and found your daddy. A few minutes later, the little girl and mommy walked past us. I pointed her out and told him what had just happened. He seemed a little shocked too. The fact that the name is so uncommon, that this Ireland girl just happened to be in the same spot as me, the way her mom just happened to call out her name……..it kind of shook me to the core today. I can’t stop thinking about it. I wonder if it was your way of telling me that you are still here. That you are really watching over me. I think it must be. I can’t think of any other reason that would have happened today. It had to be you.

I talked to Fernanda tonight. It has been so long since I have heard her voice. She is still in Mexico. She picked up the phone and goes, “Buenas!” I squeaked, “Fernanda…. hi….” She goes, “Who is this??” I said, “Maya.” She goes, “Oh, Maya, Maya, Maya……I miss you so.” I started sobbing into the phone. I was overcome with how much I miss her and thoughts of you. We talked for a good half an hour. She has been having such a hard time, just trying to get back to her normal life. It will never exist for her again either. We talked about you. How this feels like a life sentence. How cruel it was to have you and then to have you taken away. How if she hears one more person tell her God needed another angel she is going to fucking lose it. Fuck that saying. It’s bullshit and the only people that say that, are people who have never lost a child of their own. We talked about what we are going to do once school starts up again. How she will help me find my way because nothing that I do, if not in honor of you, will make any sense. We both want to do something more with our lives than driving freaking carpool. We both feel the need to help other babies and families. I don’t know how we will do this yet, but I promise you, something will be done. She will be here on Friday. I cannot wait to wrap my arms around her. I hate being so far away from her.

Quinn is asleep next to me. We had a good night together. I talked to Liam and he will be back tomorrow night. I can’t wait to see him. We have missed him so much. I am so proud of him for going to Washington without us. He is so brave and independent. I know he has had the best time. It meant so much to Nana and Papa.

Ok my baby boy. I’m going to try to get some rest. I miss you so much. I love you, Ronan. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

And P.S. To all the people on my husband’s flight back to AZ tonight from San Diego….. you embarrass me. A family of 4 asked if anyone would switch seats with them so that the two parents could each be with one kid, so they wouldn’t have to be separated. NOBODY offered. Except Woody. My 6’6 husband gave up his aisle seat to sit in a middle for them. WTF is wrong with you people??? There should have been at least 10 people offering to give up their seats. Such little acts of kindness are things my husband has been doing his whole life. And he, the person who deserves it LEAST in this world, just had his son die of cancer. Fuck all you mean people. As my dear Charisma would say, “RUDE.” Miss you CC. Miss you Big Daddy Woo. Love you both.

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