The day you died, the day you were born and the day you died again because you were put in a urn. Happy should have been 7th birthday, my spicy Ro.

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Ronan.  I didn’t die from the fuckwad of May dates that I had to get through.  The day you died. Mother’s Day. Your birthday, which was also the day you were cremated. And the day we had your celebration of life aka a bullshit word I think I let everyone around me make up when it should have just been called “the most fucked up reason for a funeral” because that is how I really feel about it.  We went away for May.  It was as good of a trip as it could possibly be, despite the circumstances.  We went to New York and spent about a week out in the Hamptons with our dear friends who are pretty much the only reason I got through everything alright.  On the day you died, I didn’t sleep much.  I tossed and turned the night before and sent my same text that I send every single year around 3:20 in the morning to Mr. Sparkly Eyes because he was the first person I texted after you died and I’m weird with my rituals like that.  I said what I always say which is how I hope he never forgets how much you loved him.  How thankful I am for him and the role he played in your life and how I will never forget how above and beyond he went for you and continues to do so in this life now.  He called me a few hours later and I ran outside, barefoot so I could talk to him without waking up the entire house.

“Are you o.k.? That is a stupid question. I know you are not.”

I told him it was ok, that I was as o.k. as I could possibly be. I didn’t cry this year when he called for some reason.  I just let his words sink in and took his advice which was basically, “You don’t get to stay in bed today because that is not fair to Ronan or your other kids, so go out and do something.” I told him I would and I listened again as he told me how sorry he was.  I thanked him for calling and told him to please go and do something for you today, besides work.  He said that he would.

We spent the majority of the day, outside in the cooler temps by the ocean.  We played in the grass, rolled down hills, climbed to the top of a lighthouse, watched Poppy go to town picking flowers and ended the night by jumping in our freezing cold pool.  We were pretty much surrounded by friends the entire time we were in the Hamptons and it is because of this that our days and nights were actually filled with smiles and laughter.  Poppy kept everyone on their toes with her constant dancing to Pharrell Williams, “Happy.” A couple of years ago I know hearing this song would have thrown me right over the edge.  Now I am able to dance and sing to it and I know that is all because of her.  How can one not feel happy watching a one year old pump her little arms and rock back and forth on her chubby little legs to the beat of this song? Impossible even when you have an almost 4-year-old in an urn and kissing that goodnight is the closest you will ever get to kissing his little body again.

We spent your birthday in the city.  We started it off by grabbing pizza at your favorite place which is right by the Ronald McDonald House.  We then walked through the city a bit and went to see our good friend, Scott at Solving Kids’ Cancer.  Your daddy hadn’t met Scott before but they talk a lot on the phone.  I was beyond excited for the two of them to meet because 1)Scott is amazing and 2) They remind me a lot of each other. Of course they hit it off and seeing the two of them together made me smile on your beautiful day. I stepped out of our “meeting” and ran across the street to meet up with a favorite editor of mine in the literary world.  It was so good to hug her and catch her up on this book/life/fuck cancer/she couldn’t believe it was your 7th birthday.  She was so good about checking in with me to see that I was alright the entire time we were together. Our time together was so nice and I was so glad I got to introduce her to your daddy since he hears me talk about her so much.

After our impromptu meetings, we continued to do all your favorite things in the city.  Poppy took the streets by storm of course and I did my best to let her have a little freedom, while trying to keep her safe from getting run over by the crazy NYC taxis.  It was the first time in my life that I understood why those parents put their kids on leashes; because I totally wished I had one that day.  Instead, I chased your sister down the sidewalks as she took off without looking back at all and after a minute I would have to grab her from behind, pick her up to keep her out of harms way, all while she screamed bloody murder for me to put her down.  She seems to have turned a corner since turning one and I’m not sure there is any going back.  Miss Independent EXTRA spicy Poppy it is.  I, of course wouldn’t have it any other way.

We walked as much of the city as we could.  Stopped for a little pit stop in Central Park so Poppy could actually do some real running.  I plopped down in the grass, exhausted from a beyond mentally exhausting day.  Your brothers ran all about and your daddy took your sister to play on the playground while I stayed behind, laying in the grass and looking up at the sky.  After about 10 minutes, all the tears I had been holding back came pouring out and I just gave in and let them, not caring who would see.  My little, Rachel, came walking over soon after as she had been trying to find us in the park.  Just in time for me to bury my head in her lap while telling her, “I haven’t been very spicy today” as the snot dripped out of my nose and tears plopped out of my eyes and on to her jeans. She stroked my hair and said it was alright.  I cried for a few minutes more and then got up to decorate the most beautiful tree with a ton of your Ronan bracelets.  I had to do something spicy, so I climbed up the tree and sat there for a bit.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve climbed a tree and I wonder why.  It was lovely up there and so something you would have done.  At this time, it was getting dark so we parted ways with Rachel and ended up back at your favorite pizza place, one last time.  We had one last thing to do which was our random act of kindness so we bought a ton of gift cards at the pharmacy next door and I took your brothers and marched my little butt right back into that Ronald McDonald House where we spent so much time.  I told them I wanted to drop them off to give out to the family’s that were staying there.  I had a flashback of you in the lobby there, right when we arrived and you were wearing your cute little warm hat, standing on the luggage carrier giving me the biggest smile as if you trusted me with your life because you knew I was going to get you better and fix all of this.  I’ll never forget the look in your eyes as they sparkled so bright and were full of such hope, trust and love.  I’m so sorry that you will never get to be 7 and instead you will be always almost 4. I’m so fucking sorry.

Ending this now with some words I read a while ago and I like to read them again when everything seems to be lost in the world, but I know it’s not because once upon a time, you were mine and I was yours.  You always will be mine, even if you are not here but somewhere else where I know I will see you again.  I wish knowing that made things hurt less, Ronan.  Sometimes this pain is all too much.

I miss you.  I love you.  I hope you are safe.

On this day, you read something that moved you and made you realise there were no more fears to fear. No tears to cry. No head to hang in shame. That every time you thought you’d offended someone, it was all just in your head and really, they love you with all their heart and nothing will ever change that. That everyone and everything lives on inside you. That that doesn’t make any of it any less real.

That soft touches will change you and stay with you longer than hard ones.

That being alone means you’re free. That old lovers miss you and new lovers want you and the one you’re with is the one you’re meant to be with. That the tingles running down your arms are angel feathers and they whisper in your ear, constantly, if you choose to hear them. That everything you want to happen, will happen, if you decide you want it enough. That every time you think a sad thought, you can think a happy one instead.

That you control that completely.

That the people who make you laugh are more beautiful than beautiful people. That you laugh more than you cry. That crying is good for you. That the people you hate wish you would stop and you do too.

That your friends are reflections of the best parts of you. That you are more than the sum total of the things you know and how you react to them. That dancing is sometimes more important than listening to the music.

That the most embarrassing, awkward moments of your life are only remembered by you and no one else. That no one judges you when you walk into a room and all they really want to know, is if you’re judging them. That what you make and what you do with your time is more important than you’ll ever fathom and should be treated as such. That the difference between a job and art is passion. That neither defines who you are. That talking to strangers is how you make friends.

That bad days end but a smile can go around the world. That life contradicts itself, constantly. That’s why it’s worth living.

That the difference between pain and love is time. That love is only as real as you want it to be. That if you feel good, you look good but it doesn’t always work the other way around.

That the sun will rise each day and it’s up to you each day if you match it. That nothing matters up until this point. That what you decide now, in this moment, will change the future. Forever.

That rain is beautiful.

And so are you.

 

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The Eye of the Storm

 

 

 

Ronan. I am in the eye of the storm. The month of hell. You are working really, really hard, to make sure I survive this. You have been working so hard, that I can hardly keep up with all of the amazing things that have been going on. This week has been a blur. Between finishing my 30 day hiking challenge, working on some things for your foundation, preparing for our trip, a couple of amazing dinners about some ideas that I would like to see happen, getting ready for your birthday at PCH… I don’t even know what day it is. That is probably a good thing for today. I would not have made it through the week if I had been sitting around, thinking about where we were, last year at this time. I know where we were. I had 5 days left with you. Just 5 days. And tomorrow it will be four. I still don’t know how this can be, but it is. This is just the way it is and there is nothing I can do, to change it.

I had one of the best nights I’ve had in a really, really, long time the other night. You just happened to make sure your Fairy RoMo, got dropped in my lap at the beginning of the month of hell. How in the world did you pull that one off? I don’t know, but the stars aligned and the next thing I knew, your Fairy RoMo just landed in my lap. It just happened to be on the night of Rita’s birthday, too. The two of us met up with your Fairy RoMo at some Hotel that seemed to not have a name because it was as if we were somewhere completely else, not 10 minutes away from our house. We sat outside, under the stars and got lost in the night. We talked, laughed, cried, and worked on our evil little plans to take over the world, while curing childhood cancer and traveling to Iceland. I watched them, watch me. I watched the way they looked so so sad, yet both of their eyes sparkled in the night whenever we talked about you. I listened to the most beautiful story about a purple balloon that was let go in Central Park for you. I started to cry during this story. Not only out of sadness but also out of love. The sadness and love of the story that was told was one of the most beautiful things I have heard since losing you. I watched my friends as they looked at me and said, “You have to stay here. You promised.” I told them I knew. I remind myself of the promise I made 50 times a day to keep me going. After a very late night of lots of Roplans I came home exhausted but I felt peaceful. Being in the presence of those two very special souls heals little pieces of my heart. They leave me feeling inspired and my soul awakened. I know they are both gifts from you. It was because of them, that I made it through that May day.

Now it is a new May Day. May 6th. 3 more days. 3 more days is all I had left of you, at this time, last year. I had to get out of Phoenix. We left today. Left to go far, far away but it will never be far enough. This is not a vacation. This is a get me the fuck out of Phoenix for the day that he died/his birthday. Vacations will never exist in my world again. We made it to our destination and I hate the reason that we are here. But all I can continue to do is to continue to fight upstream in this never-ending battle of a current that wants me to drown. It is a constant never ending battle and on days like today, I get really tired. Days like today that consist of long airplane rides with a little 5-year-old stranger that sits right across from you in the aisle of the airplane. I wanted to say to his mom, “Hey! I have a 5-year-old too! He is right next to me. Maybe our two little boys could play together on this very long, very boring, flight to hell. Wait? You are not going to hell? I am. Because my 5-year-old is dead. So I don’t get to have him here anymore. But so nice meeting you! Have a great vacation!”

I didn’t get to say any of those things. I sat on the airplane with Quinn instead and did not even cry. I felt numb. Yeah. I scooped out some of your ashes this morning before we left. And guess what. I didn’t even cry doing this. How is that possible? Because I am that strong? No. It has nothing to do with strength. It has everything to do with this being so unreal to me, that it is not real. I often leave my body when I have to do things like this. I leave my own body a lot and I swear I float above, watching the girl below scoop out her child’s ashes of his urn while not crying. Sometimes it’s the only way to get through this. I don’t know how I’m going to survive these next days coming up but what choice do I have? Your brothers are happy. Your brothers are excited. I am trying my hardest to act happy and excited too, Ronan. But everything is screaming that this is all so wrong. Everything is screaming to get me as far away from this fucked up world as possible because there is nothing right about any of this.

This is all for tonight, baby doll. This is all I can do. I’m so sorry. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

New York Miss Macy takes on Coronado!!! Watch out Navy Seal boys!

Ronan. I’m trying to remain calm and quiet tonight. Today was hard. WTF is going on? I thought things were supposed to be getting easier as time goes on. Time heals all wounds. Who is the dumb ass that made that up? All time is doing is taking me further and further away from you and this time I had with you on this earth. It just makes me miss you more. I don’t even really remember today, except it was another one of those longest days ever. I woke up late with Liam and Quinn. Made them breakfast, talked to you Daddy about some things, cried, all while Quinn sat and wouldn’t leave my side. UGH. You know how much I love your brother, but sometimes, I just need my space whether it be when I’m on a phone call or just trying to freaking go pee. Your brother refuses to leave my side. This breaks my heart, as I know the reason why and I tried to calmly talk to him about privacy today as he grabbed my phone to read a text message out loud that Macy had sent me. Little eyes! I handled the situation appropriately I guess, but I think he got his feelings hurt. After spending the past 3 days with your brothers, I’ll bet you Quinn has been away from me for maybe 10 minutes. I love how much he loves me. It’s as if he is trying to give me a double overload of love because you are gone and he knows I need it and he needs it too. But fuck. I do need my space every once in a while. Thank GOD for NY Miss Macy arriving tomorrow. Not only am I in desperate need of how she makes me laugh like no other, but she can take some of the pressure from this Quinn situation. Mama needs a break and a very long run to get out some of this restlessness.

Today, simply just sucked. Bad day. Bad headache. Bad mood. Bad everything. You know you are going to have a bad day when you wake up to the ocean and sun shinning and you feel pissed off. Liam and Quinn were still tired from yesterday and last night. We attempted to go down to the beach and pool for a while, but they were soon board as none of us were feeling it. Liam was tired, Quinn was tired, and my headache was out of control. We came back upstairs so I could make them lunch. I knew it was going to be one of those lazy bum beach days. Liam plopped himself in front of the T.V. and Quinn said he wanted to take a nap and wanted me to lay down with him. I couldn’t tell him no. We snuggled up in bed together and he grabbed my hand to hold while he fell asleep. I just watched him and tried not to cry. Remember our naps together? Almost everyday we would take one, it was part of our little routine. I loved those napping days together so much. I dozed off with Quinn but my sleep was restless as it always is, especially without my Ambien. I don’t think it would be such a good idea to take that stuff in the middle of the day. I wrestled with my sleep, tried to be peaceful, but woke up angry at everything still. Quinn slept for a few hours. He was beat. I got up and took out my aggression on the laundry, dishes, and cleaning.

After Quinn woke up, we got ready and decided to go out to dinner. We went to Old Town for some Mexican Food. I shared Carnita’s with Quinn and Liam ate a huge thing of chicken nuggets and the homemade tortillas that they make at the restaurant. He of course, dipped them in his ketchup. Your brother and his eating habits…. I swear he could live off of ketchup alone. It was a nice dinner but as always it was a big reminder that you are not here. We used to take you to that restaurant all of the time and it was as if there was a video playing inside my head of the last time we had been there with you. It was all I could focus on as I tried to hold a conversation with Liam and Quinn. I did my best.

It has not even been 2 months since you left me and already I can feel myself panicking about what I am going to do in August when your brothers go back to school. I am now panicking even more because your daddy brought it up today. He knows I will go crazy if I don’t have something to stay focused on. You were my soul focus for 4 years. Now what, Ro? I am scared to death as I don’t have a plan at all. I like a plan so much but a part of me wants to rebel against this “plan,” and just see what comes my way. Fuck the plan of life because I now know there are never any guarantees if you do have one. I had a plan with you. It was the most perfect plan and now look. I’m left alone, in a house, without you to take care of, while your brothers go back to school. I know I will figure something out, I have to. Otherwise, I know I will end up seriously doing something crazy like barricading myself in your room and never coming out.

I talked to my Bryson friend via text messaging tonight. Your spirits are so similar. He loves Star Wars, just like you. He is really passionate about living his life full of fun; just as you were. He has crazy pictures on his FB wall of the skiing he does, jumping off cliffs, etc….. That is so how you would have been. Nothing in life would have stopped you and I know you would have been extra fearless especially when it came to things like skiing, surfing, cliff diving, etc….. It was just something you were born with. Bryson is this way too. The more I learn about him, the more I am finding out how much alike you really are. I don’t know what this means, but I am intrigued. He is a very sweet boy. He told me he thinks we met so he could help me heal. I just told him that is a big job for such a young kid. Way too much for him to take on. He has already helped me by what he did for me on the airplane. Sitting alone without you for the first time…. I very well could have lost it. He distracted me and let me tell him the beautiful story about you. I am so thankful for that. That first flight was going to be hard on me.

I’ll smile tonight thinking about how you used to always say, “Mama.” and I would go, “Yes.” and you would say, “You’re cute.” and I would go, “You’re the cutest!” and then we would start our wrestling tickle party telling each other that the other one was cuter. I loved that so much. It was so fun to be so silly with you. So simple.
Alright my baby. You know our conversation that we had tonight? The one where I stare at the pic of you on your iPad and I swear you are staring back at me. I kiss you and whisper what I need you to do, which is take me with you. I told you to tell whoever it is upstairs, that I need to be up there with you. I am you mom. I am the one who is supposed to be taking care of you! I am fine with leaving here. You make them make it happen for me, Ro. We belong together. Just you and me. Just like we always said. I know you can hear me. Make it happen because I can’t take this much longer. Ambien is kicking in. I miss you so much and although I still had so much to say tonight….I’m tired. I love you so much. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Where’s Macy??? Where’s Ro????