Hey! You want to go on a Double-Date? And Listen to a Bunch of People, Talk about their Dead Kids?

Ronan. After trying to come to, after being emotionally beaten down these past few days, my head feels a little clear for once. I didn’t sleep at all last night. I’m pushing it again tonight as it is almost 2 a.m. I’ve stopped cold turkey with the sleeping meds due to my weekend of death that I tried to pull off a couple of weekends ago. I think Warden Woody has them locked up somewhere. I don’t dare ask where or if I can have them back. I know when I’ve crossed the line. So, here I am. Not sleeping until I am so tired from being up for so many hours, that my body and mind finally give in. It’s not happening yet, so I will write to you.

I spent the majority of today, in bed. I was exhausted from the night before. I finally got up and moving around 2 p.m. and headed to take your Nana to the airport. Your Daddy took your brothers for a sleepover at the Willets because we had something to go to tonight. I was asked a couple of months ago to be the ambassador for the MISS Foundation. I still at this point, don’t really know what that means and it doesn’t even really matter. All I know is if it is something to help Dr. JoRo, that is all that needs to be said. I would walk through fire for that woman. There was a cocktail hour tonight that I was asked to come to. So your Daddy and I got all dressed up. I asked my stalker friend, Mandy Bee;) a few days ago, if she and her husband, Brandon wanted to join us. She said they would love to. They came over here and we all headed out together. We arrived at a beautiful house in PV and there were about 60 other people there. We hung out and mingled a little bit. Mandy and I went and checked out the grounds of the house and ended up on some patio on top of a pool house. It was such a gorgeous and peaceful night. Your Daddy and her husband, Brandon, were really getting along and there was a lot of football talk so we let them be. There were drinks, food, music, and mingling. Soon, the Director, Kathy Sandler got up to say a few words. Dr. JoRo came over to stand by us. She cracked me up by shoving some food in her face and chowing it down. I love how she always keeps it real. After Kathy talked a bit, she introduced Dr. JoRo who got up to tell her story, how the MISS Foundation came about, what they do and how important it is for families who have lost children. They have over 77 chapters now, all over the world but still get very little funding. This breaks my heart. I know I say this all the time, but I know I would not be functioning the way I am, if not for this foundation. I think there would be a lot less parents in the world, who would just choose to not to live life, after losing a child if it weren’t for the MISS Foundation. They need more help, volunteers, money, etc…. to keep going. Otherwise, this Foundation may have to fold up and go away. I don’t know what I would do. I know how hard Dr. JoRo works. Most of her days are 17 hours long. She works non-stop. I will do whatever it takes to help her keep her baby up and running. It is vital to the survival of parents, everywhere. It is vital, to me.

After Dr. JoRo gave her talk, which was so beautifully sad, she came back to stand by me. I hugged her for a long time. Kathy got up to talk some more. I knew she was going to talk about us, but we didn’t go over what was going to be said. She introduced me, you, your Daddy. She told a bit about you and how you died. Then she started to talk about my blog and the writing I do. She started to read a little blurb from something I had written. Shit. I wasn’t prepared for that. I don’t ever go back to re read what I write to you and once she started reading, it was as if I was listening to her read somebody else’s words. Certainly, those beautifully sad words, were not written by me. Were they? I don’t really even remember writing them. This is what she read, out loud. A blurb from what I wrote, after Michael Dee and Sarah Love were here from Arizona Foothills.

“Michael asked how I feel about being an inspiration to others. I told him I honestly didn’t think about it because all I see is you, inspiring me. And if that turns into inspiring others, than that is such a beautiful thing. If others are ready to embark on this ride with us, I hope they are prepared to hold on tight. Because it is going to no doubt be bumpy, rough, scary, and at sometimes, it is going to feel like death. But I know the end result is going to be something out of this world. Something so different, special, and strong…. just like you. Something that is unlike anything this world has seen. Because never was there a boy, as beautiful as you, Ro. The beauty of your physical self and soul combined was so powerful and I as your mama, know this. Guess who else is figuring this out? The whole wide world. The whole wide world who wants to be a part of this change. Not only in the world of childhood cancer, but in the bigger scheme of things as well. They all know, because of you, that there is more to life, than just THIS.”

Hearing those words being read out loud, was so totally weird. I just started to cry. Dr. JoRo held me. I pulled it together but it was beyond painful. Never in my life, would I have imagined at 33, I would be sitting under a starry night, holding your Daddy’s hand at an event because one of my babies died of Childhood Cancer. This is so not acceptable. This is so not the path, I imagined my life taking. I still cannot believe you didn’t survive this. I’m still so sorry and so sick to my stomach over the fact that this has happened. Nothing will ever be o.k. again, Ronan. This life without you, is not o.k. This life without you, will always be wrong. So now, my life, this life that I get to live has now turned into a very not o.k. always wrong, life. A life where my heart feels like it lives outside of my body where people are trampling all over it, every second of the day.

After Kathy was finished talking, I had the chance to meet some lovely ladies from Raising Arizona Kids. One of them had interviewed me for a Grief article they did. She was so sweet the few times that I had spoken to her on the phone and it was lovely to put a face with her voice. She was even lovelier in person and I was so grateful that they came. The more awareness, the better for the MISS Foundation. They deserve to be recognized so much more than they are. Raising AZ Kids has been really good about helping them out with this. I will forever be grateful to them.

We stayed at the event for about another hour or so. At one point I was talking to a very sweet lady, Yasaman. She was at the Grief Retreat that I was at and came up to me to say hello and to introduce herself. I told her I remembered her. She told me she didn’t know who I was, at the retreat, but she left there not being able to stop thinking about me. She said she ended up finding me on Dr. Jo’s FB page which lead her to your story, Ro. She said she started reading and couldn’t stop. She said she things like, your story, has changed her life. She was trying so hard, not to cry. She offered to do anything for me, even folding laundry and mopping my floor. I told her that wouldn’t be necessary and I gave her my phone number instead and told her to call me if she ever wanted to have coffee. She smiled and told me she would. While we were talking, a young girl came up to me and said she was sorry for interrupting, but she had wanted to meet me all night. I asked her name and she told me. She asked if she could have her picture taken with me and I said, of course. I asked her what she did, in her real life. She seemed shocked that I wanted to know about her. It turns out, she works for a law firm and just happened to stumble upon this blog one day while she was googling Rockstar Energy Drinks. Awesomeness. She gave up her Saturday Night, to come and volunteer at this event, because put I put it out there, a few weeks ago, that the MISS Foundation needs volunteers. I felt light headed when she told me this. There are so many kind people in the world, Ronan. This 23-year-old girl, gave up her Saturday Night, just for you. I was amazed. So many great things seem to be happening. Does everyone see this, except me? I am in such a fog that I don’t really realize it, until they are right in front of my face, like Saturday night. Are people really listening? Are you coming back? Sometimes I think you are. Some days it’s the only way I survive the day, by living in a fake reality that is powered by tricking myself into thinking that you are coming back because LOVE is that powerful. Shouldn’t this be the way the world works? I think so.

After we said our goodbyes to Dr. JoRo for the night, your Daddy, Mandy, Brandon and I went to Wally’s to get a little food. I told them they had passed the initiation test and they were officially our friends. For Fucks Sake. Nice first couples date. Yes, hello, would you like to come to a cocktail party with us. An event because our child died and you can come with us and listen to all of these other parents talk about their dead kids, too! Doesn’t that sound like a normal fucking Saturday night? What the hell. That is so wrong. And awful. And sad. But you know what. It is our life. And Mandy and Brandon could not have been better company. For as messed up as it was, we still enjoyed the night and each other. Stalker Mandy is here to stay. And I am so glad. Our love for all things dark and skull like will help get me through this.

Ro Baby. You know what else?! I have been so beyond busy but your Rocking Rockstar Washington Peeps have been so busy too. I have no idea what is going on, except I turned some things over to Robin Miller and Jen Woodard and OMG. They threw together a fundraiser in about a week and had it last night. They have gotten the community so involved and raised over 3K! That is pretty impressive for throwing something together in such short notice and this is just the beginning. They are getting all the schools involved so that pretty soon, SEPTEMBER will be recognized everywhere as CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. I am so proud to be a Kelso/Longview girl. My roots will always go back to my small home town and I could not be prouder. Thank you to all of our lovelies there. Especially in this economy, to raise that amount of money, in such a small town, is incredible. You girls RULE.

Alright my not spiciest little monkey boy. I’ve got to go. I miss you so much. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, Ro.

xoxo

Love you, Mandy Bee. Thank you for letting me just be.

The Silver Lining in the Clouds. I Wonder What it’s All About.

Ro baby. I haven’t been avoiding you. But I’ll admit it. For the first time ever, since starting this blog…..I’m scared. Scared because of the weakness that I gave into. Scared because I’m NOT as strong as everyone is always telling me I am. Scared because of the many days that I don’t think I can survive this. Scared because of the reality that I had to wake up to, after truly trying not to survive this because the pain is sometimes just too much. Scared because I came closer to the dark side than I ever have, and it was so easy to do. Just like that. No thought. Only impulse. Consumed by the pain of my reality, that you are never coming back. NEVER. I know I talk about you dying all the time, but do you want to know the truth? I still think in my heart of hearts, that you are going to come home again. That your Daddy is going to one day, walk through that door, carrying you in his arms. That is how delusional I am. This is how deeply I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that you are never coming back. I cannot accept your death. I cannot accept our pain. I cannot accept our life, without you. I just want you back. I want you back, so badly that I feel like it should so easily be able to happen. This is how my delusional mind works now. Nothing is real, so your death can’t possibly be real, right?

I told Dr. JoRo that so many nights, when I’m out running, all I think about is some van pulling up next to me, grabbing me and pulling me inside of it. Do you know what I see in that van? A bunch of men in white coats and masks. They are holding you and you are alive. They explain to me that you really are not dead. I see your face, your smile, your tears of joy because you are back in my arms, where you belong. These men tell me that this was just an experiment to see how strong a mama’s love, really is. To see how much pain a mama could handle, before she could handle no more and did something really crazy. Like the skydiving I am planning to do on Thanksgiving. I’m just trying to decide if it will be with or without a parachute. If you would have asked me last weekend, I would have said without a parachute. If you ask me tonight, I would say with one, please. Dr. JoRo and I joked about this tonight. The skydiving thing. We laughed as she said I should throw a turkey out of the plane before I jump. Then our dark sense of humor took over as we giggled about the headlines of the news that day. “Runner killed by a flying turkey, on Thanksgiving Day.” And they said turkeys couldn’t fucking fly. Oh, how wrong they were about that.

So, Ro. After the weekend of the dark side…. it was very highly recommended that I go to Sedona on Monday, to see Dr. Jo. I drove up there, happy to do so. I like that time alone in the car, driving to the place that makes me feel a little peaceful. I had a lot of people offer to drive me but I politely said no thank you. I needed to clear my head, before I bared my soul. I was greeted by Dr. Jo, like always except for her hug was a little tighter this time and I had to listen to her apologize for being out-of-town, for work, during my little crises. Nonsense I told her. It wouldn’t have mattered. I knew that we were in for a long session, to figure out what lead up to this. Besides the obvious.

We talked about my week. Shit. I had a lot of shitty shit shit, happen. Too much shit that I wasn’t even aware of, because I had let everything build up and roll off my back. Trying to be the Superwoman, that I so am NOT. I need to remember this, more often. And Halloween. I was not prepared for how hard it was going to be, but I had tried all week to prepare myself for the worst. Our favorite holiday, without you. NO. All of your “friends,” dressing up in their costumes. NO. Thinking about what we would be doing, if you were here, like you should be. What would you have worn? I spent most of the week thinking about not being able to dress you up. I spent most of the week, crying about it. I went to PCH to help Sandra. I ran into a girl there who used to work at the front desk of the clinic. “How’s your baby!?” She said. “My baby?” I replied, puzzled. Do I have a baby?? I couldn’t remember. I said, “You mean Ronan?” She said, “Yes, I haven’t seen you guys in a while.” I must have looked like a deer in headlights. “Oh. He passed away.” I said as the tears formed puddles at my feet. She felt so bad. She hugged me and told me how sorry she was, that she hadn’t heard as she had been out on maternity leave. I told her thank you. I asked how her baby was and did my best to get myself under control. I had to put on my best game face so I could go and try to help my friend. I did an o.k. job. Helping out Sandra, is one of the few things that makes me feel o.k. in life. It reminds me of why it is that I am going to keep fighting this fight when there are so many days that I do not want to anymore. Seeing the way cancer has destroyed Mia’s little body and robbed her of her childhood pisses me off so badly and it is exactly the kick in the ass I need to carry the fuck on. Or so I thought, but it didn’t save me during my weekend of death.

Back to my Dr. JoRo session. It was long. Grueling. We made a plan because I cannot have another weekend like last weekend. My plan does not include any sort of hospitalization. Sorry to all of you out there, who think you know best. You don’t have a fucking clue. I know you mean well, I know you care, but please don’t act like you truly knows what this feels like for me so therefor, you know what is best for me. Because you don’t And I hope to RO, that you never do. I do not need to be in an institution. That is not the answer. What would that solve? My safety? No. A hospital cannot save me. Dr. Jo cannot save me. My husband cannot save me. My living children, cannot save me. Only, I, myself, or the self I have left, can save me. ME. ME. ME. ME. Not you. Not my friends. Ronan? Yes. Of course, Ronan. Can you bring him back to me? That is the only thing that would 100% guarantee that I will be able to survive this life. I know I have to keep going, but sometimes I just want a break from all of this pain, this life, these tears, this heartbreak. I have to find that break, without breaking myself and everyone around me. I am thinking of trying out for a fucking roller derby team. I’m thinking I had my little break over the weekend and it was the wake up call I needed. I think I need to figure a lot of things out, so I can start to put myself back together again. I think I need to start letting my husband back in a little more and stop pushing him away so much. I think I cannot do this alone, like I have tried so hard to do. I think this life is totally fucked but it is my life to live now. I think I’d better start figuring out how to do that, sooner, rather than later.

Dr. JoRo is checking in with me everyday. Your Daddy and I went to her support group last night. Together. It was the first time we have done something like that, the two of us. I tried to tell him he didn’t need to come, that I could do it alone. He insisted. I am so glad he did. I arrived first. I sat down, in my chair and immediately felt myself retreating into my dark, alone place that I often tend to go when put into a new group setting. The room soon filled with other parents, all there for the same reason as me. Because we all belong to the same fucking club. The club I like to call My kid fucking died and I don’t want to be here anymore club. The worst club to be a part of in life. Dr. Jo was leading the group which is the only reason I went. She arrived and things got started. Everyone took turns going around to tell their story. It was almost my turn to talk about you. Your Daddy walked into the room, late and sat down next to me but not before kissing my lips. I just looked at him and buried my head into his chest. I couldn’t talk last night so he talked for me. He told a little piece of our story, to this room full of sad strangers. I hid my face in the side of his neck. Dr. Jo asked if I wanted to say something. I told her No. I couldn’t stop crying. I told her I didn’t want to be there. She said she knew. I stayed though. We stayed. Together. For as bad as it felt, it felt good too. The group lasted 2 hours. It was full of so many different people. Young, old, black, white, Believers and Non Believers…. once again I am reminded that death does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone. Everyone is at risk of losing a child. No matter what choices you make in life. Good or bad. It doesn’t fucking matter. After the group broke up, we talked with Dr. Jo for a bit. I was so glad to introduce your Daddy to her, and vise versa. It was like watching 2 parts of my soul, connect. It was magical. Your Daddy talked to some other parents. I sat with Dr. JoRo and watched him. She looked at me and goes, “He has quite a presence, doesn’t he.” I looked at her and told her I knew. He’s always been that way. I am so fucking lucky to have him. I am so fucking lucky and thankful that he loves me so much, that he is willing to put up with me and all of my craziness. That when push comes to shove, he’s not leaving. Ever. And how I love to push buttons. I think it was Sunday night that your Daddy grabbed me and told me enough was enough. That I needed to stop because no matter what I did or what hurtful things I said, he’s not going to walk out on me, the way that my dad did. That when he married me, it was forever so the self-destruction that I am engaging in, needs to stop because he’s not going anywhere. His words slapped me hard. His words shook me to the core. Sometimes I need to shut the fuck up and just listen to him. I did on Sunday. I need to do it more often. The truth of the matter is, we are in this, together. Forever. He lost you too. He can’t lose me as well. I won’t do that to him. You loved him too much. I love him too much. My grief often blinds me of this. I needed the little wake up call I had over the weekend. It had to happen for me to realize a lot of things that I have been forgetting.

After our support group last night, your Daddy and I had a late dinner out. It was the first time, in so long, that we have went out, just the two of us. We sat at Hillstone, in a cozy booth, and tried to act like the normal couple that we no longer are. The normal couple that I would give anything to be again. The normal couple that we used to be that felt so blessed and thankful and proud of the life we had created which revolved around us and the three of you. We shared the artichoke dip and a burger. We talked quietly but I was soon distracted by the early 40 something couple who was sitting in front of us, making out and feeding each other apple pie. I started stabbing my burger with my very sharp knife, over and over again. “Really people. WTF. Who is THAT happy? At 40? They are either having an affair, or they are having an affair. Nobody is that happy. I think I am going to throw this burger, across the room at their table.” Your daddy looked panicked as he now thinks I am so out of my mind, that I may actually do it. He grabbed my hand. “Stop stabbing your burger. Calm down.” But I didn’t want to calm down. I wanted to really chuck my burger across the table at them. And I wanted to tell them how I used to be that happy, until you died. But I think it is gross to make out in public and that they needed to get a room. And feed each other apple pie, elsewhere so I didn’t have to stab their eyes out with my knife. Your Daddy and I got up and left there, holding hands, as it was the best we could do. We are doing the best we can do, which at this point only seems to be surviving. But surviving together.

I started writing to you last night. I couldn’t finish it. I was so tired that I fell into a deep sleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. Your Daddy asked for time with me. For me to put the computer away. I snapped at him and instantly felt guilty. I should have explained to him about the anxiety I was feeling, from not writing to you, for a few days. How I want him to understand and respect that although you are not here, I still need my time to take care of you and now, that comes in the form of writing to you. Without this, I don’t know how I would cope at all. How important this is to me, to still nurture the relationship between a mother and a child. My dead child. How guilty I feel, during the times that I don’t write to you and how that guilt builds up because I feel like I am betraying you. Like you will think I have forgotten to tuck you in at night. My writing is my version of tucking you in, bathing you, kissing you, feeding you, holding you, wiping your tears, fixing your ouchies, and loving you. It is so important to me to continue this, for you. And for me. So, I started this last night, but should have listened to your Daddy because the fight I tried to put up, insisting that I needed to write to you, didn’t even pan out because I was that tired. Without the Ambien. You know what I’ve found is a natural remedy for sleep? Tears. Lots of tears. Endless amounts of tears that never stop so that when the night comes now, I am so tired that sleep is just begging for me. Such a far cry from the insomnia that consumed me for a good year.

I woke up today with a fuck ton to do. I woke up late. 8:00. I was so tired I felt like I could have slept for days. I took your brothers to school and got ready for someone to come over to the house from AZ Central to take my picture. Weird. It was actually fine. But something that I’m obviously not used to in my regular mama/cancer mama/bereaved mama life. I threw on a wrap dress that I have had forever. I took the time to blow dry my hair and throw on some red, spicy MAC lipgloss that I love. Because I heart red lips for everything. Red lips make everything better. As soon as the photographer got here, we settled into an easy chit chat. He was super sweet and I told him to make this picture thing as painless as possible. He laughed and said no problem. I also told him I really wanted to wear my purple TuTu and my Fuck You Cancer shirt, but I was thinking that the Arizona Republic would not embrace that. He laughed and said I should have, but I was probably right. Can’t win em’ all but it was the thought that counted, right? He took some pics outside. I tried to smile but I told him how hard that is for me now. He said he was sorry told me that I didn’t have to. So I didn’t. I didn’t feel like faking it today. I didn’t have the energy to force a smile. No big deal, yo. Just another day in the life of being here. Or just being.

After the AZ Republic guy left, I wrote a little, and tried to get a handle on the overflowing mounds of laundry that I have been avoiding. It is all clean, but has just been sitting in our laundry room, piling up to be folded. UGH. I had an interview with Arizona Foothills Magazine at noon so I was trying to chill before that. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had no idea of the major AWESOMENESS that was in store. My friend, Heather, came over for to hang out for the interview. She knows Michael Dee well, and is really good about breaking the ice and bringing about a positive, crazy energy. She also brought me Starbucks which I was in desperate need for as my weekend of death hangover still seems to be looming about. We hung out and soon Michael Dee and his communications director and amazingly talented photographer, Sarah Love, arrived. As soon as I opened the door, I let out a sigh of relief. I felt the love and connection, instantly. Good people. These are really good people who are here to hear our story because they truly care and want to help. I gave them a little tour of our house. I joked with them about the mounds of laundry and asked if they knew how to fold. They laughed and said they would do it in a heartbeat. I didn’t think they meant it. It turns out they did because that is how our amazingly almost 3 hour interview/therapy/crying/laughing/feeling you everywhere, ended. With the 4 of us, folding my laundry. Our house for 3 blissful hours, was filled with an amazing raw and organic energy as I talked about you and this crazy painful adventure that is beginning. Michael asked how I feel about being an inspiration to others. I told him I honestly didn’t think about it because all I see is you, inspiring me. And if that turns into inspiring others, than that is such a beautiful thing. If others are ready to embark on this ride with us, I hope they are prepared to hold on tight. Because it is going to no doubt be bumpy, rough, scary, and at sometimes, it is going to feel like death. But I know the end result is going to be something out of this world. Something so different, special, and strong…. just like you. Something that is unlike anything this world has seen. Because never was there a boy, as beautiful as you, Ro. The beauty of your physical self and soul combined was so powerful and I as your mama, know this. Guess who else is figuring this out? The whole wide world. The whole wide world who wants to be a part of this change. Not only in the world of childhood cancer, but in the bigger scheme of things as well. They all know, because of you, that there is more to life, than just THIS.

Ro baby. I am so tired. I miss you so much. I know I don’t have a choice. I HAVE to do this. Thanks for reminding me of this.

To my Arizona Foothills Family- Michael Dee and Sarah LOVE. I love you. Thank you for loving me. For loving, Ro without even knowing us. Until now. After today, you will forever be a part of our hearts and souls. I cannot wait for our monthly laundry folding therapy sessions. GO BIG OR GO FUCKING HOME! You are now, family forever.

xoxo

Fucking Fuck Fuck Fuck

Whoever thought of the word, “Fuck,” is a fucking genius. I like to throw it around here and there, when it is necessary. I say it in my head, more often than I do out loud. I write it a lot. I get a lot of crap for it which I tend to ignore. You don’t like my language on here, then don’t read my blog. You know what I don’t like? That my son got cancer. And died. That fucking sucks more than anything. When Ronan was diagnosed with cancer, it made sense to have bracelets made so people could show their support. I stayed true to who I was and what I was feeling, which just happened to be, “FUCK YOU CANCER!” It also made me laugh during the darkest of times, like when I was in a hospital for over 21 days straight, with my baby boy. Looking down at that bracelet, often gave me a good chuckle. I’ll admit it, I have a very dark sense of humor. I embrace this. I own this. Fuck you cancer is about as dark as you can get.

I can guarantee you, anyone who is dealing with cancer, no matter what type it is, wants to scream this. Most people don’t have the balls to put on a bracelet, especially when it is pertaining to their child; but why not? Because it is offensive to put the FUCK word out there when your child gets cancer? Says who? I say it is offensive to not stay true to yourself. I say it is offensive that children get cancer and die from it. I say it is offensive that my husband and I had to navigate our way through our son’s treatment, because nobody in the medical world knows exactly how to handle Neuroblastoma. I say it is offensive the way people say the word, Fuck, is offensive whom have obviously never lost a child. It’s a word. Get over it. Childhood Cancer. Now that is something to be offended by.

Your child dying from cancer? Your mom dying from cancer? Your sister dying from cancer? Your husband dying from cancer? Your best friend dying from cancer? Your brother dying from cancer? That is beyond fucked up. It is worthy of the fuck word being used. Stop being so afraid of the word Fuck. Embrace it. Saying the words “Fuck you cancer,” is much more satisfying than screaming, “Gosh darn you cancer! You killed my son!” Trust me on that one. There are bigger things in life to be afraid of. There are bigger things in life, to be offended by. If you are offended by the word, Fuck, it tells me that you are living your life in such a bubble, that you have to make up things to get upset about. It is absolutely ridiculous.

I made a nice version of the bracelets too. I don’t wear it, but my kids do. I only let them wear the Fuck You Cancer bracelets, on special occasions. Oh no. Are you offended because my 8 year olds know that word? I am offended that they had to watch their brother, die. I am offended by the fact that my 8 year sat with his little bro, 2 days before he died, and asked me why he was talking so sleepy and wanted to know when would he wake up, so they could play. I am offended that I had to sit there, look my child in the eyes, and tell him that he wasn’t going wake up and play again because he was going to be getting sleepier and sleepier. That really fucking offends me.

So, to all of you fucking fuck word haters out there. YOU OFFEND ME. CANCER OFFENDS ME. I know what it means to live a life and to have real things to be offended by. If you are going to let a word get you all hot and bothered; then you need to re examine what is really important in life. You need to re examine what it means to truly be upset by something. Because it is not worth it, to get so upset over a word. You don’t like the word? Word to your mother. I get it. You don’t like it, then don’t use it. But to get upset over somebody else using it, is just obscene.

I personally think the word, is awesome. Did you know that it is the only word in the English language that can grammatically complete, and stand alone in a sentence? Ex: Fuck, fucking fuckers fucked. It can be used as an adjective, adverb, adverb enhancing an adjective, a noun, as a part of a word, ex: one of my favs:::: absofuckinglutely, and as almost every world in a sentence, fuck the fucking fuckers. Bloody Brilliant!

You know what else I would like you to know?? Don’t judge a book by its cover. If you know me, in real life, you know that I am a classy broad. I don’t run around screaming this word just to hear myself say it. I am quiet, reserved, serious, and shy… until I am comfortable enough with you to show you the real me. That’s when the real fun begins. My truth is, my son got cancer and all rules flew out the window. If I want to have tee-shirts made that say “Fuck Cancer,” or bracelets made that say, “Fuck you Cancer,” that is my right, as a human being. That is my right, and who are you to say I shouldn’t be able to say what I want to scream at cancer everyday? The fucking cancer police?

Like I said, if you don’t like it, fine. I don’t really get that, but whatever. But don’t try to silence me. Don’t sit back and judge me. You haven’t walked a second in my shoes. It’s time to go and find a new hobby. One that is more offensive than the F word. Maybe you could get fired up about all the babies who sit in the hospital, with cancer, who don’t have any parents to hold them, because they have to work all day and night. Maybe you could be offended about all the babies who get cancer and die. Maybe you could be offended by parents like my husband and myself, who spent our lives doing everything right, only to have our precious son, die of cancer. Trust me. That is way more offensive than the F word could ever be.

Or maybe it’s time to let your guard down and figure out what’s the REAL reason, you are so offended by that word. Because it’s not lady like? Neither is sitting in a pool of blood because your child’s platelets are so low that you can’t get his bloody nose to stop. Neither is not being able to shower for 3 days because you cannot bear to leave your child’s side. Neither is screaming the FUCK word because you were just told that your child’s cancer is spreading and there is nothing more that anyone can do. Fuck ladylike. I’ll stop using the word, FUCK, when Childhood Cancer no longer exists. Until then, the FUCKING FUCKWAD can FUCKING FUCK OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually, I changed my mind. I won’t ever stop using this word because Cancer killed my son. So unless you have a magic, purple fucking wand that can bring him back, I will be screaming this word until the day I die.

To all my lovelies. I love you all. Thank you for being so open-minded and not being offended by my truth. Sweet dreams. G’nite my little Ro baby. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

If you are still offended after this picture, then you have serious issues and can fuck off in the nicest way possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo

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

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Ro baby. Thank you for visiting me in my dreams last night. It was so unexpected as I was beginning to think it was never going to happen. You were at home, with us, where you belong. You were bald, but running about just as you always did. You were happy. I watched you and started to cry out to your daddy that I didn’t understand how you were so sick, and you were going to die, because you looked and acted so healthy. I knew your fate in my dream. I knew that you were going to be taken away from us, in the end.

I’m sorry. I miss you so very much. Thank you for my gift of being able to see you in my dreams. I love you and hope you are safe.

xoxo

Goodbye summer 2011

Ronan. It’s late. It’s late and I am so tired. So tired, but I cannot sleep. I am trying tonight to sleep without my fucking Ambien. I think that drug is the devil. I think it’s making my mind go crazy. I don’t want to take it. All I want is to fall asleep, without the aid of any medication. I want to stay asleep for at least a solid five hours. I want peace while I sleep. That Ambien makes my nights too dark, and my days too sluggish. It’s effecting my short term memory…. I think. Ha. That was a joke. But not really, because it is. I cannot remember the simplest of things anymore. Dates easily slip my mind and I feel foggy. It’s apparent that I am going to have to take this stupid pill tonight to get to sleep. I’ve been trying to sleep for 3 hours now and it’s just not going to happen. To live in a world where even going to sleep is exhausting. A true prison indeed.

Ro. I started that last night. During my witching hours that I cannot escape. Yesterday was full of doing things as a family. My hands shake just trying to write about it. We swam, went to the Diamondbacks game for a bit, Liam and Quinn stayed the night with Mimi and Papa. Your daddy and I spent some time together. I have always had a hard time sleeping when the three of you would to together for a sleepover at Mimi and Papa’s, but last night was pure torture. Not having your brothers here to check on made me so sad. They needed the time with Mimi and Papa though, and vise versa.

Today was spent getting Liam and Quinn ready for school. Tomorrow is the big day. Liam is excited and Quinn is nervous. I am laying right next to him as I write, and I have been trying to ease his mind about things. I took him to dinner tonight and your daddy took Liam out for some one on one time. Quinn and I went to Houston’s. We sat and talked all about our summer and I did my best mother/son talk. I told him how great tomorrow was going to be and that he needed not to worry about me. I took out a piece of paper and we sat and wrote out what my day would be like, without him tomorrow, and without you. Seeing this written out seemed to give him a little relief. It scared the shit out of me because I have nothing of importance to do. I can’t believe I don’t have you to take care of. This is all such bullshit.

My mind is still refusing to believe this is all really real. I want so badly to remember certain things about you, but every time I do so, I am overcome with so much pain that my mind pushes the memories of you away and forces me to think about something else. Anything but you. Thought of you leave me breathless, my head spinning and tears pouring. I so wish this were a mind over matter thing and I could make myself feel less pain. I’ve always hated the word impossible, but now it speaks such truth. A happy life without you seems impossible. I feel still feel so empty, shallow, and numb.

August 9th is here soon. 3 months. Guess what else is here? August 12th. The date of your diagnoses just a year ago. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year. A year since our life was forever changed in the blink of an eye. I remember it like it was yesterday. It plays over in my head like a movie. I swear I remember every second about that day. Your daddy said to me tonight for as much as we hated hospital life, how he would give anything to go back to living that life with you. I couldn’t agree more. Hospital life with you was like living in freaking paradise compared to this.

I took Quinn on a bike ride today. 104 degree heat and all. We rode our bikes over to Tricia’s. I have not been to her new house yet and Quinn wanted to go on a bike ride. Perfect reason to go and see my bestie. We rode out bikes to her house in the blazing heat. It was fun and it felt a little good to me. I love being outside and I know it meant a lot to Quinn. We stayed at her house for about a half an hour; just enough time to cool off. Tricia is learning how to play the piano. It is something she started doing, just for you after you passed away. I sat on her floor today and asked her to play for us. She has been teaching herself and has one song down to a tee. I don’t even know the name of it, but sitting there watching her play today was so beautiful. I didn’t even fight back my tears as I was overcome with emotion. I felt so proud of her. So lucky to have her in our lives and so honored that she is your godmom. I felt a little sad too. Sad that her beautiful life now knows such sadness. I know it’s silly, but I think about things like this a lot. How if 6 years ago, if we had never met, then she would not know the pain of loving and losing you. I hate the sadness that I know she feels. She does not deserve all of this pain. I know none of us do, but for some reason, knowing the pain that Trish feels, hurts me so badly. I guess it’s because I love her so deeply; like a sister. I guess I get the reason why, but it doesn’t make it any easier. She told me you visited her in her dreams last night. I’m so glad for that. Thank you, baby.

Alright my little blue eyed boy. I am going to say goodnight now. Please watch over your brothers at school tomorrow. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe. G’nite, Ro. I love you to the moon and back.

xoxo