Fake it till you Make it

Ronan. Hi baby doll. So, last night…. not so much fun. I fell asleep from 11-1. Was up from 1-4:00. Slept from 4-6:00. Rise and shine, adrenaline pumping. I could not sleep last night to save my life. I wandered around the house, looking for you. I went into your room and wrote. I sat and cried. I took more Melatonin. It didn’t really work. I know why. It’s because today is Esther’s 4 months since she passed away. I was worried about Doriet. I called her this morning, after I took your brothers to school and had some time before I went to see Dr. Joanne. I needed to hear her voice and to let her know I was thinking of her. It felt good to talk to her and tell her I love her. I do. I told her I would come and see her. I really want to. I really need to. I will.

I saw Dr. Joanne today. I took your “GiGi,” blanket with me and wore my locket full of your ashes. We went over the worksheet today that she had me do. I started to cry as soon as we started going over it. She said I was really feeling it today. I was. We talked a lot about you. We talked a lot about me. I told her about the strong desire I have to still take care of you. How taking care of you, now comes in the form of taking care of me. I told her that I feel like I have to hit rock bottom, how I have to walk through Hell and back, to get through this. I told her how you are worth every amount of blood, sweat and tears that I have in my body. We talked a lot about expectations. She is glad that I am strong enough to stick up for myself and go through this the way I need to. Not the way anybody else thinks I should. I love her. She is such a powerful soul. She told me today that she can tell I feel like I have one foot in the world of the living, and one foot in the world of the dead. She gets it. She was exactly right. Nobody can understand the true pain of losing a child, unless you are a bereaved mother yourself. This journey is mine and mine alone. Nobody else’s. I am o.k. with that. I prefer it like that. The session was good.

We were about to end on a pretty good note, but then I had to pull out the journal that I found while cleaning out my desk a few days ago. I guess deep down, I’ve always been a writer. I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Never anything I was serious about, but I’ve always loved it. My words have always been hauntingly honest and insightful, but I never bothered to share them with anyone but myself. I never thought I was any good at it. Never had a reason to be. I found some really disturbing words written down, 2 days after your diagnoses. Call them my insightful ways. UGH. She sat with my words for a while and seemed taken aback. She was going to give me some homework, but decided we are going to take my words, and have me sit with them and to talk to you about the things I had written. To listen to what I would hear you say, back to me. I can do this. I can do anything for you.

I came home from Dr. Joanne and changed my clothes. I went and checked some things off of my “Shit List.” I went Inferno Hiking. I had a conversation in my head with the pretend paramedic who I was going to need to save me from that Pink Rattlesnake I’ve been dreaming about. I told the pretend paramedic that I was not afraid to die from the poisonous venom of a rattlesnake. That if my time was up, than my time was up. I told him how I had you waiting for me and if we were meant to be reunited, my life, would be ending in exactly the way that it was supposed to. I told him how you must miss me so much, that you are ready to have me back taking care of you again. I told him how I was not scared at all and I said all of this with a smile on my face. I have conversations in my head all day long with people I don’t even know. I have conversations with you a lot. “Landslide,” played on my iPod. I looked behind me when Stevie Nicks sang,

“I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down.”

I turned around and looked for you. I couldn’t see you. I cried as I ran as fast as I could up the mountain today. I screamed for you. I whispered for you. I listened for you. I pretended to see you, running up the hill behind me. I wished for death. It didn’t happen. I ran as fast as I could back down the mountain, hoping to fall and break my arm. Anything to feel a break from this pain of living without you. I made it to the bottom, soaking wet, but safe and sound. Guess today was not my day to walk with you again. To hold you sweet, soft hand and kiss your perfectly plump lips. It’s days like today, that I almost cannot take being without you. I tried to eat lunch. That went over really well. I threw it all up.

I picked up your brothers. They were so happy and excited to tell me all about their day. The good grades they got on their spelling tests, math test, AR Reading points…… They are happy. They are coming to terms with the fact that you are gone and are not coming back. They are so full of hope that the fact that it is not infectious to me makes me think that I am seriously disturbed. NOTHING MAKES ME HAPPY. NOTHING. Try swallowing the guilt that comes from that. I hope someday that I will be happy again. But I am not going to walk around and pretend that I am. Fake it till you make it. As Dr. Joanne said, I sure do put on a good game face. The best I told her.

I took your brothers to Sauce for an after school snack. I sat and watched as they gobbled up pizza and engaged with them, smiled for them, laughed with them. It was fucking exhausting. Also, I’m sure the fact that I had almost no sleep last night, didn’t help. We came home, emptied out their backpacks and lunch boxes and went over their homework. I told them they could have a break, some down time. I crawled under the covers. Your Daddy came home soon after that. I fell asleep for about a half an hour. I woke up to your Daddy, telling me he was going to take your brothers to play basketball. He asked if I wanted to go. I quietly told him, “No,” as the tears slid down my cheek. I felt like I had been run over by a bus. Soon the house was quiet and empty. I got up, unloaded the dishwasher and did all the good mommy/wife things that I am supposed to be doing. I called your Nana, whom I never talk to anymore. I felt guilty as she picked up and I could hear the excitement in her voice. We talked for a few minutes. She told me she is worried about me not eating. She told me she doesn’t want me to end up in the hospital. I told her, “Who cares.” She tried to gently scold me, all while telling me she wasn’t judging me. I told her I knew that. I know she does not. She is a good mom. I promise to call her more often.

I’m going to go now baby doll. I miss you so much. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

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I’ll follow you into the dark

Ronan. Hi baby. I miss you so much. This morning I woke up late and so did your brothers. I didn’t fall asleep until about 3 a.m., so we slept in until around 9. I don’t know what exactly happened this morning. Actually, I do. A couple of things. Your daddy called. He was upset. He said he had awful nightmares about you all night long and did not sleep well. His dreams of you are always the same. He dreams of the two of you playing together, and you are so happy. But then you die. Hearing your dad’s voice today shook me to the core. He was so upset, which in turn, upsets me.  I then got on the internet and I was obsessing over Neuroblastoma stories, treatments, doctors, etc…. It was like I was in a black hole and could not come out. Even though you are gone, and your little life could not be saved, I sit and obsess about what we could have done differently. It’s pure torture, but I also find the need to educate myself as much as possible. I cannot get this Dr. Sholler out of my head either. After an hour of reading, I was in a bad place. I came out of my room to make your brothers breakfast and the fighting between them started up. I lost it. I mean, completely lost it. I started bawling in front of them, telling them how I could not handle their fighting today. I told them how it was not fair that you just died, and how they need to be so thankful that they have each other and LIFE, as you didn’t have a choice to live life anymore. I told them, as I was hysterically crying, that I was so sad about losing you that I don’t even know what to do anymore. Uhhhh… maybe a little too heavy for 7 year olds, but today, I couldn’t calm myself down. I think I scared them and I know it upset them to see me so upset. They both ended up crying and wrapping their arms around me and telling me they were sorry. We sat for a while and cried together and talked about how much we miss you and how much we are all hurting. I told them how it is good for them to cry, how I understand that they are boys and they are going to fight, but today, I needed them to cut me some slack. Today, I just could not emotionally handle the fighting that I know is a natural part of being brothers. But today, I just needed a break. They gave it to me and after we cried and I got them settled down, I had them sit at the table and do some writing and workbooks. I mainly did this so I could get in my phone call with my therapist, Sarah. I closed my bedroom door and as soon as Sarah picked up, I was a blubbering mess. I don’t remember much about the beginning of the conversation, but I ended up calming down. I think she even got me to laugh about a tee-shirt we were joking I was going to have made. In fact, I know she made me laugh which is why I love her so much. She has that same dark sense of humor that I do. I eat that stuff up. It works for me. We talked a lot about you, of course. She told me how it’s like I’m living in a paradox world. I couldn’t agree more. That is so how I feel. We talked about your old soul, as we are both convinced that you are one. She thinks I am one as well and we both think that I have known you in a past life. I have no doubt that we have been together many times before you were born, Ronan. It is why our bond is so strong. After my talk with Sarah, I felt better. She pulled me out of the hole that I was ready to bury myself in today. I got off the phone with her and got Liam and Quinn ready to head out to the Padres baseball game with your Papa Charlie, Uncle Larry, and all of your cousins. They needed a day out and the baseball game was the perfect place for them.

Your Mimi Kay asked if I wanted to head over to Fashion Valley with her. I said, of course and we spent the day together. We had lunch and shopped a bit. We had a good talk about you. She told me how Papa dreams about you all the time and how you always have your hair. Mimi says when she dreams of you, you are still bald. I told her how I don’t dream about you. She said she is sure that I do, that I just don’t remember it. I hope she is right. Not dreaming about you is really hard on me. I would give anything to see you, even if it is only in my dreams. That is the best it is going to get for the rest of my life. I don’t even know how to comprehend this. How can you really be gone. How can only being able to dream about you ever be enough? It won’t be, but it’s all I have now, Ro. So please, come and see me and let me see you. I’m not scared and I miss your face so much.

After my day out with Mimi, we returned back to Coronado. Your brothers were on the lawn playing baseball with your cousins. I put on my running clothes and ran a fast 6 miles. After my run, I went and played baseball with everyone. It was sweet and fun but it also hurt. All I could do was picture you playing with us. You are always missing from everything we do and it is so hard to go on with everyday things like playing a baseball game. You would have been proud of the ball I caught in the air that got Liam out. You would have been proud of the way that I thought of you when I caught that ball. I think of you in everything I do. After the baseball game, we borrowed your cousin, Layne, for the night for a sleepover. I told you the quietness of having you gone is eerie. Having someone around to play with your brothers is good for us. The louder the better. It makes them happy and seems to help them. It helps me too. The quiet scares me and is something that I am not comfortable with.

If I could have any wish in the world, Ronan, it would be for you to come back to me. Please. I’m begging you. I don’t know what to do without you. I feel dead. I don’t think I’ll ever feel alive again. I know I have your brothers and I know how lucky I am to have them, but that still does not make the pain any better. How can I live without you? Is this whole thing even real? I said today to Sarah, I feel like I’m on that show “Lost.” Is this what Purgatory is like? I feel like I am trapped between heaven and hell and there is no escaping. All I want is to be with you. I cannot believe you are not here for me to kiss, to hold, to watch you grow up and play sports, to take care of when you are sick. I can’t believe just 30 days ago, I gave you a bath after you died and then had to leave you behind in a room as your body was carried out. I cannot believe the last words  you really said to me were to “Stop being sad, Mom!” That’s it. That’s all I get? It’s not good enough, Ronan and I don’t know what to do. I need you to guide me and to tell me that I can get through this because as of now, I don’t even want to. Everything hurts too much.

I’m sorry for unloading on you, little man. I talked to Doriet tonight and she is in the same place as I am. I hurt for her so much too. Esther passed away May 6th. You, May 9th. Two of the most special old souls that have ever existed. You two have brought us together and I know it is because you and Esther are together now, watching over us. You two will take care of each other just the way Doriet and I will take care of one another. By talking about you, loving each other, and going on because of the love we have for the both of you. Somehow, baby. Somehow I will get through this.

I love you Ronan. I love you to the moon and back baby boy. Sweet dreams.

xoxo