30 day challenge of mother fucking madness

 

Ronan. The 30 day yoga challenge. I have a friend who is crazy enough and actually did this. Kudos to D. She is crazy in all the best ways. And she loves her yoga. I do not love yoga. I am quite sure, if I were to try to contain myself in a calming, peaceful environment of yoga, that I would go all turrets on their asses and start freaking out/screaming/crying/puking about how I have a fucking dead kid so NOTHING is Zen, NOTHING is Ommmm and I would like to beat the bloody hell out of the Chakras that surround me. I’m pretty sure I would get kicked out of a yoga class, while offending everyone which does sound pretty badass and dangerous… so it’s a little tempting. If I didn’t respect the whole yoga thing so much, I would totally do this. But I secretly love yoga. I’m envious of those who do it, love it, and are better people because of it. I used to love it, Ronan. Before all of this. Now… I’m just not ready to go back.

I’ve come up with my own 30 day challenge, instead. I started it on Monday. It’s called Maya’s 30 day challenge of mother fucking madness. And the weather is getting hotter, which makes it even better. I spent 3 hours on Monday and 3 hours today, hiking/running/puking/crying/spitting/tripping/getting a rad tan. Skin cancer here I come!!!! I’ve decided to have 30 days of hiking for 3-5 hours a day in complete and total silence. I’ve already told your daddy, that it’s 30 days of solitude. 30 days of not talking to anyone because I’m really on a retreat to Italy/India/Indonesia like that Elizabeth Gilbert wah wah wah, my life is so bad, chick. When in reality, your life is freaking awesome lady. Plus, you got to travel to all of those places, solo, and figure your shit out. Unfortunately, I cannot do that, due to having a thing back here called 2 babes to take care of and a husband. This is my modified version of your little trip, Elizabeth Gilbert or whatever your name is. I think I totally have a one up on you though, due to having a dead kid, so kudos’ for that! One of those little silver linings in life that just makes everything o.k.! I am being sarcastic. Because I am in a pissy/sarcastic mood.

So, I started this on Monday and so far, I have not died. I have visions of dying out there though due to the heat/rattlesnakes/weird scary men that appear out of nowhere! when I am in the middle of nowhere!, alone! Rita! I freaking told you I needed a machete! You are going to be really upset if I get attacked and have nothing on me, to protect myself! I have many reasons as to why I am doing this. One being because if I don’t, I quite simply will stay barricaded up in my house, in my bed, crying. Two being because I need to be with you, Ronan. And being alone, hiking is where I feel closest to you. Three being I need the quietness in my head, or to deal with the screaming in my head by talking to Inferno Fuckwad Bob, alone. My head feels foggy. It feels less foggy when I am out, being active and dealing with this grief but in my way, the solitude way. Isolation. 30 days of intense hiking/isolation/how the fuck am I going to get through this? You’d better start figuring this out. You’d better start taking some control of some things. You’d better start because Ronan, as you told Dr. JoRo, in her dream…. “I can’t get to my mom, because she’s too angry. Tell her that, please.” She couldn’t tell me that for a while. She just told me that, last week. She has watched me struggle with this anger. I told her I was less angry and just more sad now. She decided that it was the right time, to tell me the last thing that you said to her, in her dream. FUCK. We both figured out when it is that I hide the most. It’s when I’m angry. It’s because to me, anger is shameful. It makes me feel dirty, like I need to take a shower and scrub, scrub, scrub. I’ve never been an angry person. I don’t know how to handle it. I’m pretty sure I have done/said hurtful things while being angry. I don’t want to hurt anyone so when I am feeling super angry, I hide. If I hide, I cannot hurt anyone with the stupid/mean things that may come flying out of my mouth. I’d rather just deal with my anger and take it out on myself, like on a mountain where I can beat myself up. Where I can find moments of quiet. Where I can scream, cry, bloody my knuckles and nobody has to see me. This is what I am doing, every single day until May 2nd. Plus, Dr. JoRo is freaking leaving me for 2 weeks! Um excuse me! If I don’t do this/and she is gone I am going to go bat shit crazy!

So, this is what I’m doing. I have no doubt that I will be up that mountain for hours upon hours for the next 30 days. I don’t know what I am looking for. All I know at this point is I kind of want to die but I also want to kind of stay alive. I’m just leaving it in the hands of the fates at this point. The exercise feels good to me. The not listening to music, feels good to me. The just being with my grief/sadness hurts like hell but it’s not going anywhere. I’m going to go and join it and truly join it, alone. I’m not filling my days with things/lunches/nail parties/all things I need to take a break from. I’m going to fill my days with silence/dirt/nature/barefoot hiking/blisters/cut feet/sunburns/isolation and solitude.

This is my plan. It’s not much but this is what my heart is telling me I need to do if I want to survive this next month that is coming up. Power through April and maybe it will help you to figure out May.

I’m sleepy, Ro. You would be so proud of your brothers tonight and their baseball game. They looked so great and happy. We all miss you so much. Tonight Quinn got blamed for doing something by your daddy that he says he didn’t do. I looked at him and said, “Just blame it on Ronan.” He giggled. We both yelled out, “Ronan did it!” That made us laugh even harder. And then we got sad because you weren’t here to do it, so we snuggled up together and I just held him and we quietly talked about you.

Your Sparkly said it best. Nobody deserves this. But especially not you. Especially not me. Especially not us. I told him it was you I am saddest for. You deserved so much better. You deserved so much more. You were robbed of living the most beautiful life. I am the saddest for you, always. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

Inferno Hiking. Safer than Meds.

Ronan. I cannot shake this funk. I have a few ideas as to why.

1) The maybe baby thing. I am honestly o.k. with it. Somebody asked me if we were going to try again. Well, we didn’t really try the first time and I don’t foresee us trying in the future. I will not be watching the calendar for when I ovulate. I can’t do it. It’s too much pressure. If this happens, I just want it to happen. I can’t handle the stress/worry/waiting/wondering/emotions that come along with the whole trying for a baby. I trust in you. If this is what is meant to happen, you will see to it that it does.

2) Fucking Easter is coming up. Fuck! Enough with these holidays! I think we all decided last year, in Coronado to ban Easter. If my memory serves me correctly, which it often does not anymore, we decide to ban Easter and celebrate “Feaster!” instead. I have no idea what this means but I am feeling the pressure to come up with a plan and come up with a plan, fast. For the sake of your brothers. I think we talked about how we will worship a chocolate easter bunny for the day. There will be no pastel clothing. No fancy clothes. No Jesus at all. Not that there ever was, so it won’t be that different, in that regard. I know the root of why I am having such an issue with this “holiday of pretend.” It is because it was the last holiday that you were here. I remember exactly what we were doing/where we were last year. I remember how I still not did think that you were going to die. I think everyone around us did, but of course, everyone hoped for a different outcome. I remember how happy you were but now I know you were in such extreme pain. You had to have been although your smile would have said otherwise.

3) I’m still fucking bloody exhausted. I think my body is having an allergic physical reaction to you being gone. Is that possible? I think that it is. I think that I am having it. I am trying my hardest to push my way through this. I don’t have a choice.

4) This whole 1 year thing is harder than I thought it was going to be. It’s distracting me from everything that I am trying to do/get done. Every single fiber in my body is missing you to the extreme. I can usually control my sadness, Ro. I can usually feel it, deal with it, embrace it, and it sometimes it does not feel so heavy. This has not been the case for the past week. This sadness that I am feeling, is so heavy that I feel like every step/breathe I take, is weighed down by 100 elephants. Everything that normally works for me, is not working at all. I am borderline scared.

Today, I was productive or as productive as I could be. I did some foundation things. I had a little lunch with two of the loveliest souls. I felt lucky to have them helping me. So lucky, Ronan. I am still amazed how due to your story, the most amazing people have trickled into my life, wanting to help and be a part of this change. I am very blessed in that regard. I came home after lunch and I swear to you, my bed was a magnetic force field that I could not fight. I crawled in it. I crawled into it and I felt like I was going to drown in tears/sadness and pain. I had to tell myself I could have 20 minutes of laying down. After 20 minutes, I yelled at myself in my head. Get up now. You cannot do this. You cannot stay in bed for the rest of the day. I made myself get up, out of bed, and back to our little mountain I went. I ran up it as fast as I could. I made myself almost throw up. I ran down it even faster so I would not be late to pick up your brothers from school. It was hot and the mountain was empty once again. Just the way I like it.

I picked up your brothers and we went to Rita’s Italian Ice place with some friends for an impromptu play date. I love things like that and I love the friends we went with. Your brothers giggles and smiles almost helped with my sadness. I ran into a mom I know. A mom that I don’t know all that well, but I always love seeing her. She has the kindest eyes and has a way about making me feel like even though she has no idea how I feel/what I am going through, she kind of does. I guess it’s because I can see the way she loves her twin boys so much. The same way that I love you and your brothers and I can tell she is a really good mom. I appreciate that so much.

I came home, helped your brothers with their homework, cooked dinner and that was all I could do. I slipped into bed, early. Not really sleeping, but tossing and turning. My sleep is all out of whack again. Go figure. Tomorrow, I have a day planned with Dr. JoRo. I obviously need it badly. I am hoping it will help with whatever is going on. I cannot take much more of this tiredness/fog/fatigue that I cannot get out of. WTF. It’s getting old.

That’s all for tonight, little one. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

Dear Asshat Fuckwad Idiot…

Dear Asshat Fuckwad who told me that they came back here, to read this blog, hoping that I had found peace. Who told me to go read, “Heaven is for Real.” Who told me to listen to the radio station, KLOVE to find comfort. FUCK OFF. Are you even fucking serious? Because if you are, I would quite possibly like to shove that book and that radio station, up your ass.

I did not cremate my dog. I did not cremate my grandmother. I cremated my son. I watched for 9 months as my beautiful boy, fought with everything he had for his life. I watched him take his last breaths. I watched as he was put on a table and taken away. I will NEVER come to peace with that. And for you, to sit back and tell me that I should… you are fucking sick. You are not a good human being. Do not tell me what do to/how to do this. Do not compare me to other mothers. I don’t give a flying FUCK, if heaven is for real. That does not diminish my pain, my missing him, and us having to be apart.

NEWSFLASH:::::: THERE WILL NEVER BE A DAY THAT I DO NOT MISS HIM. THERE WILL NEVER BE A DAY THAT I DO NOT HURT. THERE WILL NEVER BE A DAY THAT I WILL COME TO PEACE WITH THIS. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY WORDS THAT CAN MAKE THIS PAIN ANY LESS. THERE WILL NEVER BE A DAY THAT I AM NOT SAD, ANGRY, HURT, or broken. THIS IS WHO I AM NOW. But I am also learning that I can have moments where I truly feel happy. I am also learning that I have the ability to feel love so much more deeply now. How watching my twins at a baseball game, have a great play, can make me feel so happy that I feel like I am floating on air. Every kiss from them, every victory, ever hit of a baseball, every basketball shot they make, every spelling test they ace, every smile they smile… brings me so much more joy then I have ever known in my life. Every I love you, means so much more now. And it is all due to his death. I am not o.k. with that, but I know this is just how this is, so I embrace all of the intense feelings that I now feel more often then I used to. Everything in life means so much more now. Even on the days I don’t want it to.

And yes, you closed minded but God Bless YOU, little thinker… It may be offensive to some that I would have traded my husbands life for Ronan’s. Obviously, I would have traded my life first… then Woody’s. If there would have been a choice, this is how it would have went. How the fuck is this offensive? It goes back to our basic animal instinct. Do you find it offensive, that a mother tiger would do anything to protect and save her cubs in the wild?? Even if that means fighting with her mate, killing him, in order to save her babies? I doubt it. Because that’s the nature of survival in the wild. We are not that much different from the wild animals in nature when it comes to our babies. I would go so far as to say, most mama’s out there, would save their kids, before their mates if given the choice. Some people may be too scared to admit this as it sounds so wrong and fucked up. I really don’t care how it sounds because for me, it’s the truth. Woody would tell you the same thing. I know he would have chosen Ronan’s life over mine and I would have happily given it up. I would think there was something wrong with him, if he would have not traded Ronan’s life, for mine. But we don’t get that choice, so we will stay here, and be HONEST with each other about how much we miss him/love him. If that offends you… once again, you can fuck off.

I am proud of myself. I can see the way I have grown from this. I look back at where I was last summer, and that scares the shit out of me. If I were still in that state of mind/not functioning/angry/sad…. I quite simply, would not be here. I pulled myself out of the darkest place I have ever been in my life and I did it with the strength and love that comes from Ronan. I did it for myself, for my family, for my friends, and for all the people out there who believe in me. I am a fighter. I will fight for the rest of my life for everything I have, but also for everything that was taken away. I will never stop fighting for good. I may have a day or even a week here or there, where I take a break from it all and just let myself feel and give into this pain. This is my process, my way, and nobody else has the right to tell me what I am doing or how I am doing this, is wrong.

DO NOT CONTINUE TO COME BACK HERE, TO CHECK ON ME, AND THEN LEAVE YOUR NASTY COMMENTS. YOU DO NOT CARE ABOUT ME, SO GO TAKE CARE OF THE OTHERS IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU DO CARE ABOUT. I have the BEST people in the world surrounding me. I have no need for stupid idiots that tell me to find comfort in a fucking radio station or a book. The things I will find comfort in are the things in my everyday life. Real, tangible things like my twins, husband, and friends. In Ronan’s Foundation. In helping others. In trying to live this so very wrong life in a way that would make him proud, would make him smile, in the way that I am living it, not the way others want me to live it. That is such fucking bullshit. I am not here to be a sweet pea little angel who is peaceful and content with my son’s death. It was wrong. It is wrong that this is happening to so many babies/children/teenagers, yet people are more concerned that somebody threw flour on Kim Kardashian while she was walking the red carpet. It is offensive to me that shit like that is splattered all over the newspapers/on the television/in magazines. There are REAL problems in the world and until that world wakes up, I will not stop fighting, kicking and screaming for all that has been taken away from me and my family. And for all that is being taken away from all the other broken-hearted parents/friends/siblings/grandparents in the world.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Go back to your world of unicorns, rainbows and puppy dogs. Stop coming back here, hoping I have found peace and then being disappointed that I have not. If other parents, have found peace when it comes to losing a child, good for them. I will never be one of them. I have no doubt, that I will find something. But peace will NEVER be the word I will use. The only way I will be using this word is when I say, Peace out to you, A-hole.

I would also like to include a post from my Dr. JoRo that is on her blog http://drjoanne.blogspot.com/ Read it and weap. And then feel like the dumbass that you are.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bereavement and Snorting Seaweed

When I broke the silence, posting my first public statement with regards to the DSM 5’s controversial plans for the bereavement exclusion, I had no idea the breadth and depth of its reach. Publicly, almost 100 comments on a registered site. Privately, hundreds and hundreds of emails came from the bereaved and the traumatized telling their painfully intimate stories. Thank you all so much for your courage. I’m so sorry I haven’t yet responded to each of you. I will, I promise.

Because I believe in Dr. Brene Brown’s research on vulnerability and shame, I’ve decided to give form to my own story as a bereaved mother in 1994.

First, let me set the stage. I had no history of mental illness, depression, or family suicidality. In fact, I had never been depressed a single day in my life.

Chey died in July of 1994. Let’s just say I was truly struggling in the early weeks and months and even years after her death.

Let me tell you about the first few weeks. I was absolutely numb. In fact, if someone told me that standing on my head or snorting seaweed would help ease the suffering, I may well have followed their instructions. It was, in my best description, a zombie-like state, where I was utterly unable to think clearly and relied on others’ wisdom to get me through the intolerably quiet nights and the unbearably chaotic days. I couldn’t remember to brush my teeth or comb my hair. I felt out-of-body, often like I was floating. I was convinced I was in a horrific dream state. I wasabsolutely more vulnerable to the influence of others than I’d ever been. This, to me, is symptomatic of acute trauma, and this state lasted until mid-September.

By the end of September, when the emotional anesthesia had run its course and my pain became increasingly apparent in affect and behavior, everyone was concerned. And no one knew what to do with me. Many of the traumatic grief markers that are often confused for “depression” were a part of my daily existence: insomnia, significant weight loss stemming from compromised appetite, anhedonia, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, heaviness in my chest, difficult concentrating, feelings of panic and dread, longing and pining for my dead child, forgetfulness, envy, long periods of weeping, social isolation, persistent feelings of guilt and shame, and yes even thoughts of ending my own life. My concerned family sent me to my first psychologist. After about 30 minutes together, he said I was “clinically depressed” and suggested psychotropic medications. Yet, I had a tingling sense that he didn’t understand me, that he hadn’t connected with me. I felt his quizzically judging gaze as I told him that I did not want psychiatric medication. I insisted that I was not depressed. I recognized this darkness as grief. I felt that her life and her death were worthy of my emotional and behavioral experiences, and the intolerance of those around me was baffling. This was not the answer for me. This was not my truth. Somewhere, deep inside me, I knew.

Still, he pressed me. And still, I resisted.

I walked out of his office hurting more when I left than when I entered.

That encounter was a dangerous one for me, resulting in some unexpected outcomes which added to my grief burden.

It took months for me to realize that her death was my burden to carry, not anyone else’s, and I would need to do it my way. And carry it I did. Clumsily, awkwardly, fearfully, mournfully, indeed. But I carried it. Still, at the enduring behest of family members, there were other therapists I saw after him, and while not all labeled me as “depressed”, I never felt that deep human connection. I would be the one-hit-wonder of therapy patients.

I did eventually meet two bereaved moms through a local support group, Compassionate Friends, who would just sit and listen to me. That was, by far, more therapeutic than any of the professionals I had seen to that point. Mostly, I just needed someone to bear witness to my pain. Then, I began to allow the ‘doing’ to come from the ‘being.’ I started theKindness Project wherein I began committing random acts of kindnesses for strangers anonymously. My heart was turning outward toward others, and I began to see the suffering of the entire world through my own broken heart. Because the pain is so imbued with self-focus, perhaps a defensive type of narcissism, serving others provided an imperative toward a new paradigm. Slowly, the darkness lifted and I began to rejoin the world of the living. And slowly, my family began to understand that this was an unending process I needed to experience.

The next year, I received a phone call at home. A quavering voice on the other end of the phone turned out to be the first psychologist I’d seen.

He told me that he wanted to apologize to me, and that he was sorry for the way he’d treated me. Then, he told me the real reason for his call: his daughter died.

I went to his office that night and we talked. It was a very important turning point for me, a moment of perspicuity for us both. He now knew. He was an insider. No, he agreed, I had not been depressed. He understood what this was, and his entire worldview had been irreparably altered.

Now, I realize that this is my story. Not everyone’s. Only mine. What I did not realize was that I was the expert in my grief. (Check this amazing story about patients as experts!)

But I’ve seen, literally, countless bereaved parents through the years and I’ve heard their stories of interactions with others. We have six counselors trained in mindfulness based interventions in our Phoenix offices, and they’ve heard the stories. In fact, we get the painful privilege of seeing them from the early moments of death to years, sometimes decades, later. To assert that mindful, existential psychotherapy is commonplace amongst providers of psychiatric care might be- well- a stretch. Good bereavement care and competent interventions are a necessary social offering. However, time and time again, research demonstrates that thequality of the relationship between provider and client/patient is what makes the difference in outcomes.

Trained providers who are mindful (and especially those who practice mindfulness), humble, and present are a gift. Irvin Yalom calls this “thegift of therapy.” Truly, good therapy can be life-altering. Conversely, inadequate therapy with an unskilled, unmindful provider can exacerbate feelings of aloneness and emotional angst.

But, when a child dies, even “good therapy” doesn’t cure or fix. Good therapy is merely joining the sufferer in their pain, non judgmentally with full acceptance and compassion.

Some of my colleagues disagree with my position on the bereavement exclusion and I’m okay with that. Philosophical inquiry leaves plenty of room for discourse. But there are some misnomers: Some assert that achemical imbalance in the brain causes depression so the two are not mutually exclusive. I agree that they are not mutually exclusive however to date, I have not seen, as Dr. Paula Caplan says, “a shred of evidence” supporting the chemical imbalance theory. I also disagree with colleagues who assert that we should, as a profession, acquiesce to systemic “labeling” merely because mourners can get help (need I remind readers that the DSM III “labeled” homosexuality as a mental disorder?). If the only way people can get help is to “label” them, then the system is woefully broken and we’d better get busy repairing it not further harming the vulnerable. Finally, in our single minded quest for biological determinants, we must remember that psychiatry is not an absolute science. Unlike diabetes or other biological diseases, there is no objective blood test that can definitively diagnose grief or depression. Rather, it’s a field of value judgments and clinical prudence (or imprudence). And let’s not forget that psychopharmacology as an isolated ‘treatment’ is gaining and psychotherapy is not; rather psychotherapy is “assuming a less prominent role”(Olfson & Marcus, 2010). I’ll write more about this on another day as I do have an opinion on trauma focused practice.

For now, what I can say is that, for me, those nights on the closet floor curled up in a ball and those many days of skipped meals and the added burden of existential loneliness might have been more manageable had someone just been present and mindful with me.

And like the relativity, they can keep the label. Endogenous sadness is certainly nothing for which to be ashamed. But assigning that label to me was inappropriate, premature, and yes offensive. Let me restate something I said earlier in this article: I am not depressed now, nor was I ever. And almost 18 years later, I continue to grieve and mourn for my child because my love for her will never end. And that is, as they say, the price we pay for love. And yes, for that, I’d snort seaweed.

Apple pies and middle fingers

Ronan. I wonder if I’ll ever have a night where I don’t cry myself to sleep about you. It doesn’t matter if I have the best day possible. I always end it the same way, by crying myself to sleep. Or not sleeping so I just sit and cry and beg for sleep which never comes. It came last night, oddly enough. It’s been 3 nights straight that I have not had to take anything to sleep. I’ve been dreaming really vividly. It’s always the same thing. You are dead. Everybody knows it and is talking about it around me. I never get to see you. Your favorite lovie is always in my dreams…. like Master Yoda. Except this morning I woke up thinking he had died to which sent me into a total panick. I grabbed my phone and sent some crazy text message blabbing about my dream, you know making sure he was still alive. He was. Thank you, Ro.

Today was a pretty good day. Except I have Liam home not feeling well. He is the BEST little sick kid ever. No complaining, no whining, he’s just quiet and content. It felt nice to take care of him. He is so thankful for everything he has. Even without you, Ro. He is so thankful, sweet and kind. He is so happy just to be alive and healthy. You have made him appreciate everything so much more. I don’t know how it is possible to have such kind, well-adjusted brothers after losing you. But they are. It is bittersweet but it gives me one less thing to worry about for now. So I will be thankful for that.

I had a lot of busy work to get done today. I had my friend, Tanya, come over to help me with your new website. For your foundation, not the blog. It’s going to be Romazing. I cannot wait to get it up and running as we are adding a lot of great things to it. I also had one of my lovely little board members over to do some things are our new kick ass intern, Rissy. She’s a student as ASU and is such a doll. I am so excited and grateful to have her help. We need it badly as so many things seem to be happening with your foundation that I can’t keep up. It’s amazing all the really, really good people in the world. They make all the really, really bad people just go away. But you know what the funny thing is? All the haters that come on here, hide behind their computers, and write mean things…. they make me laugh. Like really laugh. Because the things they say are so absurd. It only adds more fuel to my fire, and motivates me in a way that I did not think was possible. In a way that I know that good will prevail over evil. It’s a Rovolution, baby. Because all good things are wild and free.

Here of some examples of why I know things are going to change in the name of childhood cancer and all things good in the word. Because of the thousands of emails I get a day, from people begging to help. Telling me they are so thankful for what they have. That their eyes have been opened up from the ungrateful slumber that they lived in before. Even though they have never been touched by childhood cancer, they don’t care. They are such amazing, kind people that they are not going to sit back, read this story, and do nothing. That is inspiring to me. That moves me. It is one of the biggest reasons that I get out of bed everyday and continue to march forward.

And then there are things like this: A friend. A new friend. A new friend who has been quietly sitting behind the scenes until a few weeks ago when we met up for some dinner and it has been a love affair fueled by endless amounts of chips, salsa, mexican cokes, and all things you. A new friend that sends me an email saying she just got a really insane kick ass job offer and was offered a huge salary, but she is thinking about passing on it. I tell her I’m so excited for her and she tells me that I am missing her point. With a huge salary comes a lot of hours. She says she is going to pass on this huge job offer because she pretty much thinks I am serious about kicking cancers ass and she wants to be able to continue to help me. Because she gets that there is more to life and she fully believes that I am going to makes a lot of shit happen. I told her, do not pass because of me!!! She told me this:

“Because of you. Because of Ronan. Because of kids who need a voice. Because I always fight for the underdog. Because yes, you are fucking inspiring whether you want to be or not.”

Do you want to know what else she told me? That she is afraid I am too kind for this world. I tried to argue and told her to fuck off! That I am not. I am a mean, badass who uses my middle finger 100 times a day, swears constantly while thinking of how I can destroy the world with all of my anger! But that was a lie and she knows it. Truth is, I don’t really swear much in real life and when I do, it’s probably while baking an apple pie while trying to figure out how I can use this anger for good, not evil. Damn it. I wish I could be a little more mean. I guess that is what all this venting is for, on here. Because it is on here that I can get my meanness out. I guess it is better to hash it out on here, then to hash it out in the real world by starting the imaginary bar fights that I think would be so badass. If I were that type of girl. But I’m not and never have been. I’ll just continue to bake my apple fucking pies I guess.

I am inspiring? I am inspiring. She is inspiring. That little Dragon of hers is inspiring. This really good world around me, is inspiring. Your fairy RoMo is inspiring. You are inspiring. You are inspiring, these really, really good people who are going to make such a difference in this world. You know who else is really inspiring? That Taylor Swift friend of yours. TAYLOR!!!! I have been meaning to write you a little letter. I have not forgotten about you and the kindness of your heart. I have not forgotten about that night at your concert when you looked me in the eyes, tears pouring down your face, and told me how sorry you were about Ronan. You didn’t even care that you were messing up your make-up. I have a confession to make, Miss T. I had my reservations about you. Because sometimes I can be a skeptic and sometimes the world of celebs seems so jaded and misguided. I kind of thought you might be too good to be true. I am happy to say that I was wrong and I am so glad about that. I heard what you are doing for Kevin. I hear about these things you are doing for these brave kids. I secretly think it all started because of Ro. Not your good heart as that has always been in you. But the kindness you are showing for these kids who deserve it most in this world. How I so wished Ronan would have had the chance to meet you. But I know he is guiding you in the way he is guiding me. I know you won’t ever forget the most beautiful little boy, as you called him. He is hard to forget, even for someone like you. Thank you for not forgetting him. It means the world to me. I will continue to watch you, love you and be inspired by someone like you. I am so proud of you.
Alright little Ro. I’ve gotta go. I’m so sleepy. I love you. I miss you. I promise to continue to do good things, for you. I hope you are safe. I am so sorry you are not here.
xoxo
P.S. Hellllloooo lovies! Just wanted to let you know that there is the most AWESOME page on Facebook that I think you should all like. It’s called F U cancer and I have no idea who created it;) but it is that awesome, so I think you should check it out and spread the word. It’s funny. It’s witty. It’s inspiring. It’s totally offensive to the people who are offended by the FUCK word, so if that’s the case, you should not check it out. But if you are not offended by the fuck word, because you are smart and think cancer is more offensive…. you need to *like* the page. I promise it will keep you giggling. And they are doing some really great things on it. Thank you! Have a lovely night!
Here is the link!
xoxo

In the words of Eddie Vedder…. I’m still alive. But do I deserve to be? Is that the question? If so, who answers…. who answers??

 

 

Ronan. I feel like I have run a marathon. I am emotionally beat, but my mind refuses to be still. I need you here. I need to tuck you in, to kiss you goodnight, to tell you I love you and to hear you tell me you love me back. I miss you so much that sometimes I think this pain might really kill me. I’m not that lucky because it never does. I just continue to feel like I am being stabbed over and over again. It is an endless, vicious cycle of pain and misery. It hurts to even breathe. But I’ve been productive. I spent the weekend, throwing myself into work for your foundation. I have so many ideas. I have come up with a new dream and vision. It’s HUGE. I think it’s slowly been in the back of my mind but it just become clear to me a few days ago, what it is that I think needs to be done. Not very many people know about it. I’ve only told a few as I think I need to keep this one to myself for a while, until I can get a handle on how this plan of mine, can actually become a reality. It could change so many things. It could help so many people. It’s just one of my dreams for this disease, just one of my many ideas. I’ve obsessed over it for days now. But it’s like slowly putting a puzzle into place. The pieces have to fit just right and it is not something that can be rushed. It has to be done just right, so eventually all the pieces will fit into place. It’s time to start working on the pieces baby. One by one.

So, I may be out of control with our little Taco place. I spent 3 days in a row there. 1 lunch, 1 dinner, and one very productive foundation work day. Turns out, you can hijack the wi-fi from the big restaurant across the street. SCORE for Team Ronan! I’m going to have to start up a Taco/Mexican Coke fund. I spent last night there with your fairy RoMo and Margarita. It was kind of a last-minute thing from your RoMo as she was like, “Hey, I’m thinking of changing my flight to stay an extra day!” My response was please do so, that way we can go and have more chips and salsa. So we did and I hijacked Margarita to come along with me. BEST NIGHT EVER. Is it bad, that my best nights ever now revolve around everything you?? Because to me, it means the world to me the way I get to sit around and throw out these ideas to people who care so much that they will give up their Saturday night to figure out what it is that we need to do to make these really, really great things happen?? Do you know what I was told last night?? That the word no, was not acceptable. That there is always a way to work around things to make things happen. I LOVE that. I need less no’s and more let’s find a way to fucking do this! Because so much needs to be done in a big way for pediatric cancer, to change things. Last night was so inspiring, so powerful, so moving. At one point, your RoMo just looked at me and goes, “I can’t explain this, Maya, because there is no explaining it. Ronan is changing everything. There is a shift and a movement happening. No other “sick,” child has had an effect on people like this.” I just quietly listened and told her I knew. We all know that this is beyond something bigger than us. I know that this is all due to you, your beauty our love, and your wild and free ways. It is too beautiful to try to explain with words. Let’s explain them with the huge things we are going to do in this world instead. We’ve got a pretty kick ass list of names that we are going to try to recruit to help us. It’s time for this world of ignoring childhood cancer, to change. Enough is enough. You should not have died. Let’s try to help other little one’s so that one day, they won’t have to either. I don’t think that’s too big of a job, do you? I know you don’t, otherwise you would not be pushing me forward to do this.

Today, I went back to our little Taco Shop with my imaginary board member that does not exist. We sat, went over the huge to do list. She gave up her Sunday, for me, for you, for us. What do I even say to that? Nothing. Because she does not want the huge fuss made about her, that I want to make. She just wants to be behind the scenes, helping us out in her quiet Wizard of Oz way. She is the freaking Wizard of Oz in a way that leaves me speechless. Speechless but tearful and thankful. Thanks, you know who you freaking are. Thanks for everything but most of all for looking at me today and going, “We can do this. This is easy.” Thanks for believing in me and Ro. Thanks for being just a kind-hearted, secret badass chick in general. You are quite simply, are RoMazing:) Oh, and little LoRo…. my other little amazing dolly who has worked so hard on the RoLove that she is creating….. I need to tell you thank you tonight. For not being a normal, 17-year-old girl. For being different in such a way that you have set the bar so high, for other girls your age. Your heart and the love that you have for Ronan and all these other cancer babes, is so beautiful and you are such a gem. Thank you for all of your hard work and love. I’m so thankful for you.

Alright, my spicy little monkey. It’s kind of late. My eyes are burning and I think I have to try to sleep. Not just for a few hours. Please. I just want some normal sleep. Not sleep which now seems to come in the form of fall asleep for a couple of hours and wake up to Ronan is dead. Ronan is gone. Nothing in the world is right so screaming voices take over in my head, instead. I’m sleeping in your bed tonight. Maybe this will help. It seemed to be working for a while. I hope it will work, tonight. I love you. I’m sorry. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe. G’night baby doll.

Grief! It’s a tricky mo’ fo!

Ronan. Grief is a tricky thing. It’s one of the thousands of things in life that I will never understand because it is that out of my control. I never know when it is going to be an o.k. day., a really bad day, a paralyzing day, a “crazy,” day. I never know who I am waking up to in the mornings, who I am having breakfast with, who I am showering with, who I am folding laundry with, who I am sleeping with. For somebody that has lived with so much consistency in their life for so long, the living this new life of never knowing is exhausting. But I keep rolling with the punches.

Guess what I feel like today? The really bad mama/wife alter ego. Guess what, Ronan. Today, I don’t want to be a mom or wife at all. Try living with that guilt. I never felt like this before losing you. Now, I feel like this all the time. I want to run away and never look back. I want to be alone with my pain. I don’t want the comfort from your daddy or brothers and I don’t want to comfort them. Does that make me evil and a bad person? Because that’s the way it feels. All I want is to take my pain of losing/missing you and run away and keep it to myself. I want to live in the middle of some dark, dreary forest where it rains all of the time and live in a little house, all alone. Just with you and our memories. I don’t want to see our old friends. I want everyone to go away. But you know how this would end if I actually did this? I would end up killing myself. Sylvia Plath style. Her death was so dramatic, yet it was what she wanted and the way she wanted it. I respect that. I’ve always loved that woman.

I think about death all the time. It doesn’t scare me. It didn’t scare you which in turn means that it is something that I don’t get to be afraid of either. When it’s my time, it’s my time. I know that life is too short to sit around an worry about it. So I don’t. I think about it instead. You know what the 2 things that are guaranteed in life, Ronan? Death and this exact moment. Not 10 minutes from now, not 10 hours from now, 10 days from now, or even 10 years. I’m not going to worry about the fucking future when the future is a lie because it is not guaranteed. I am going to worry about this moment. I am going to put some ideas out there and if they happen, great. But if I die before they do, at least I’ll know I put some things out into this world. At least I’ll know, I tried. I’m going to say the things I fucking want to say, and regret NOTHING. As long as I stay true to you and me…… regrets are not going to happen. I’m DONE. Done worrying about what the others out there, think. The others of the world can fuck off. I don’t care who has a fucking problem with my GOD is an ASSHOLE SHIT. If you are going to judge me for that, then you can FUCK OFF too. There is no God out there…. the good and all mighty powerful God who would do this to parents. Who would do this, to you. So judge me all you want. Keep living in your little bubble and lock your doors, so I don’t turn your kids into Satan loving little devils. If you really think this about me, due to what you read, then you don’t know me at all. You are being judgmental and due to that alone, please stay away. You know the kinds of people that I appreciate so much in this life? The parents. The parents who read this, yet they still invite Liam and Quinn over for play dates and they still let their kids come over for play dates at our house. Even if they do not know me that well… they have taken the time to get to know my children and they see two of the kindest, most gentle souls so they know that no matter what I write….. everything is going to be o.k. They trust me; even though they do not really know me. They are the parents, who know I am in agonizing pain, but who let my children be a reflection of me. This means everything to me. Everything, Ronan. I am a good mom. I am a good person. This is my outlet where I can scream, cuss, and cry because I don’t always get to act this way in the real world. In the real world, I tend to remain calm, cool, and collected. In the real world, I keep it together and for the most part, I am able to act like the “normal,” mama under these hellish circumstances. Hell is real alright but all the devils are here. Tell me I am going to HELL and I will never see my child again. This is HELL. I am living in HELL, right now. I know in my heart, that I will see you again, Ro. I know this and this is the only thing I’m answering to in this life.

Today, I don’t even know what I really did. I think I stayed home which may actually become the death of me. I think I could die from the pain alone of being in our house, without hearing the little pitter patter of your feet and the sound of your squeaky voice, yelling for me…. your giggles. The best giggles in the world. I stayed home and played the domestic good little wife roll that is now like nails on chalkboard, but has to be done. I folded a fuckton of laundry. I licked a lot of envelopes. I got a little last minute text message from my newest/oldest yeah I feel like I’ve known you forever friend, but I’ve never actually spent any time with you that said, “Do you need some help with some things?” I said, “YEAH! Do you fold laundry?!” She said she totally did and within the hour she was in my house where we didn’t actually fold laundry, but we licked envelopes and wrote down lists of shit to get done ideas instead. It was a highly unorganized fly by the seat of your pants afternoon where you don’t know what do expect but that’s always how the BEST things, come about. We have lists of a lot of things that have been piling up in my head that I just don’t know what to do with. Things that I am passionate about, getting done. We came up with some new ideas too. We talked about the importance of keeping everything we do in regards to your foundation, true to you. Trust me, Ro. I know how pissed you would be about me throwing an event full of fancy evening gowns and diamonds. Kinda wasn’t your thing. We’ve got some much better ideas in store.

After our productive day of many lists, I picked up this new little friend of mine for dinner. I got to meet her little boy and it was love at first sight. I only got to stay and hang with him for a few minutes but I really wanted to stay and play with him, for hours. I wanted to get lost in his little world and let everything else, slip away. Maybe next time:) Margarita, took me to a really dangerous part of of the hood, for Mexican food. Well, not really but we pretended like it was. It was pretty dangerous having to watch the little blond boy, skip around our table while we were trying to eat. It was pretty dangerous of us to cry over our food and talk about all this “Ronan is in heaven, playing with puppy dogs bullshit.” I’ll say it again, like I always do. I don’t care if this really is the case. The fact of the matter is, you are not with me, like you should be. That in turn, makes everything so wrong. We took our danger crusade to the neighborhood Ross and browsed the aisles of the best infomercial products you could buy, dangerous chemical filled bubble bath, and some of the best ugly dresses I’ve ever seen. Of course we were walking down the aisle full of random nothingness and some little Star Wars action figures were just staring at me. They were all alone, among a bunch of household items. I grabbed them and told, Margarita, I had to buy them for Super Nate. She then goes, “Well they are kind of just sitting there, screaming at you to buy them.” Yes indeed they were. How could I ignore that??? I couldn’t so I took them home with me instead.

I came home to your brothers all curled up on the couch, watching a Pearl Jam documentary on T.V. I snuggled on the couch with Quinn who is still, stuck to me like glue. I mumbled to your daddy that the lead singer of Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, was my long lost soul mate in life. He likes to use the word “Fuck,” a lot too and is all about following his heart while breaking the rules. I’ve always been a huge Eddie fan. And the fact that he is such good friends with your favorite, Neil Young is the icing on the cake. I think I need to work on getting those two to do a Rockstar Ronan Rock Concert for you. It’s already on my list, baby boy. I’m going to make it happen. I can see the line up now…….

So, baby boy. Guess what? I have not been taking my Ambien to sleep at night. Guess what I have come to find out. That if I snuggle up in your bed at night, I can actually sleep for hours…. uninterrupted. Last night I dreamed about dolphins all night long. I was in the ocean, holding a baby dolphin and it was so peaceful. No doubt, the baby dolphin was meant to be you. I’ll never forget our summer and how the dolphins would just appear every single time I went out to the beach. I know that was you, letting me know you are around. So last night, I slept in your bed and dreamt of all things peaceful. I cannot remember the last time that has happened. Thank you for that. It’s early and I need to get moving this morning. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Dear Lovely Little Blog Readers,

I am putting this out into this big, beautiful world that I know exists. If anybody knows of any office space that may be available free of charge…. I so need it. I cannot continue to run this foundation out of my house, alone. It’s too quiet. It’s too sad. And his room, full of his toys is just down the hall from my dining room where I often sit, crying, trying to get things done. Yesterday, my friend came over to help me stuff envelopes and pointed out that me sitting at home, doing these things alone was not healthy. I knew this, but I never thought to ask for anything else because this is just the way it has to be. She quietly told me that I should look around to see if anyone has any empty office space they want to let me use. I would be a really good, quiet tenant. I am really super clean and I smell good, so I have those two things going for me. I don’t really run around screaming obscenities unless provoked so for the most part, I’m a calm collected girl. I have really good references if you need them;) If anybody knows of anything, can you email me at mayawoody@gmail.com. But I don’t want to pay rent. I don’t want any overhead. I would never feel right about taking money out of Ronan’s Foundation, to run things/advertise/etc….. I am not using his money, this way. So if anybody, just has some empty space they know about…. that is just sitting; I’m your girl. I would be SO thankful. I may not end up like Sylvia Plath; with my head in the oven.

Thanks lovies. Oh yeah. Space needs to be in AZ:) I mean Transylvania would be awesome… but the Phoenix area is more realistic.

Vegas on crack

;

Ronan. Is the picture above, sad? Because I wept just seeing it. It tells the story of everything that is wrong in this life, because you are gone. It tells the story of everything that should be, but is not. At least to me it does. Is everything sad? Because I can’t seem to stop crying. Is this because I spent much of my time in New York, not crying? I went days there, without crying. Now back here, I cannot seem to stop. I took my Ambien to go to sleep last night. Fucking Fuck. I just wanted to 6 solid hours of sleep without tossing and turning. Is that too much to ask? I woke up today, feeling rested. I thought it was going to be an o.k. day. I was wrong. I spent the morning being productive, trying to get some thank you cards addressed. It seems like I am drowning in them. I have to get them sent out. I hope there are not people out there, who think I am not thankful for all they have done, big and small. Nothing goes unnoticed. As I was addressing the envelopes, I thought to myself…. I really don’t recognize any of these names. Who are all of these selfless people, who love you so much that they wanted to help us in our darkest hours? Strangers? Long lost friends? Acquaintances? Is does not matter because they are all united by you so that makes me love them all, even if I may not know their faces. I feel like I know their hearts and they are beautiful.

I’m not sure what happened the rest of the day except I didn’t leave the house. I could easily become a hermit and I have decided I have developed Agoraphobia. Well, at least that is the way I felt today. I felt afraid of the world but hey…. that’s not right because I’m not supposed to be scared of anything. Today, I felt scared. Today, it seemed too bright outside to venture anywhere at all. So I didn’t. Do you know what the outside world looks like to me on most days? Las Vegas, on crack. Everything is so bright, that it hurts. Everything looks so fake and plastic. Everything feels like an illusion and a dream. Maybe I should move to Alaska where the sun doesn’t shine so much. I have a feeling my zombie self would do just fine there. I didn’t pick up the phone either, even though it kept ringing and my text messages, kept dinging. I was in the zone of cleaning out my jewelry drawer and I knew what I was going to find even though I wasn’t looking for it. The ziploc baggie that contains your hair. Your beautiful hair that I had saved when we shaved your head. I opened the baggie, felt your soft hair, and wept. In the middle of my crying, my doorbell rang. I threw on my big, chucky sweater and went to answer it. It was Mandy Bee and she was tired of me ignoring the phone and her. And she was worried. I let her in and let her hold me while I sobbed in her arms. I had the ziploc baggie of your hair in my hands. We sat on the couch and she tried to get me to leave with her. I told her I couldn’t go anywhere except for I had to meet your daddy at Dr. Rachels. I told her I needed to try to make myself look less like a zombie for that. She stayed with me as I somehow managed to throw on some mascara and take my hair out of it’s wet mop on top of my head. I totally had good intentions of leaving the house today, early on. I showered in the morning but I just couldn’t seem to manage much more than that.

Mandy Bee picked up your brothers at school for me. She brought them back to our house for a little playdate with her boys. She also insisted that she was taking me to dinner tonight. I told her no. I tried every excuse I could use, to get out of it. She wasn’t taking no for an answer. Your daddy took your brothers to play basketball. I headed out into the dark for a run. Mandy called me halfway through my run to tell me she was on her way to pick me up. That girl is so persistent. I finished my run just in time to hop in the shower before Mandy came to kidnap me. I answered the door and told Mandy I could not go anywhere that sweats/no makeup/ glasses on/wet hair up in a bun/chunky sweater/red eyes were not allowed. I also told her I could not eat because I had been throwing up all day. She totally pretended like she was agreeing to everything I was saying, but we ended up at True Foods anyway were I proceeded to eat a little something for her. I ate. I sat. We talked. I was glad I went out with her for the hour that I did. I needed the little shove that she gave me. I hope tomorrow is better. There has been a lot of screaming voices in my head again and they have not been saying very nice things. They are making me tired, restless, and exhausted. It’s obvious the grief grim reaper/inferno fuckwad Bob is back with a vengeance. I’ve been trying to let myself just be true to what I have felt the past couple of days. I have tried to be respectful of the way I am feeling by not forcing anything else. I am learning that grief comes in waves. It will never be a steady uphill process. I know I can get knocked back down, at anytime and it often feels like I am starting all over at square one. There is no rhyme or reason to this…. it’s just the way this grief thing works; for me at least. Everyone is different. All I can do it be patient and surrender to the way I am feeling, at this moment in time. One foot in front of the other as they say. Or two-steps backwards to go off the beaten path to an unknown destination. Nothing is guaranteed in life; especially not now. All I can do is keep trying to survive, one day at a time.

I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams little man. I love you to the moon and back.

xoxo

8 Months so a Skydiving we will go, Ro.

Ro baby. I didn’t die today. I really thought I was going to. I woke up this morning, knowing what the day had in store. I didn’t dare tell your brothers what I had planned. Your daddy chose to ignore my danger day and left the house the way he always does; by kissing me goodbye and telling me to have a good day. We had talked on Thursday night about the skydiving I had planned for Monday. Well, we didn’t actually talk about it…. I more just told him I was doing it. He said to me, “Don’t you think we should sit down and have a discussion about this?” I said, “We’re having a discussion now. I’m going skydiving on Monday.” He said he didn’t want me to go. That I could die. I told him that I could die crossing the street. He didn’t think that was a very good argument. He made his feelings known that he didn’t like the idea and we left it at that. We didn’t talk about it again until after I made it safely to the ground today. Your daddy knows how I am, once I get an idea in my head. There is no stopping me. Especially not now. Your daddy knew I was a handful before losing you, Ro. Now the word handful has taken on a whole new meaning. Yowzer. At least I keep things spicy, right baby doll;) Extra spicy just for you.

I woke up  this morning like it was just another normal day, without you. I got your brothers ready and Mandy Bee came over to help me as she was my danger crusade sidekick for the day. She packed your brothers lunches while I ran around the house, trying to get ready. I knew I wanted to take you with me, but there was no way I was going to bring your heavy locket, skydiving. I went and got a small ziplock bag and opened up your Urn. I put my hands inside and went to grab some of your ashes. I grabbed something hard instead. It looked like one of your little bones. I dropped it back into your Urn. I looked down at it, didn’t want to touch it, but then thought to myself there is a reason I was supposed to touch that today. I scooped it up and put it in my little baggie and zipped it up in the pocket of my coat. I didn’t throw up, but paced back and forth, crying instead. I quickly pulled it together so I could get your brothers off to school. I didn’t want them to see me so upset as they would have worried. We hopped in Mandy’s car so we could drop off Liam and Quinn. I hugged and kissed them both and told them how much I loved them and to have a wonderful day.

As we drove off, I got really quiet which is always the first clue that I’m a mess in my head. My silence screams my pain. Mandy asked what was wrong, besides the obvious. I didn’t answer at first but stared out the window instead. After a minute or two, I pulled out your ashes told her the story and starting bawling that I couldn’t believe you, my baby, were in a plastic fucking baggie. She just held my hand, listened, cried, and we talked about how fucking fucked up all of this is. What else could she have said? Nothing and she knows that. That’s the thing I love most about that Mandy Bee. She never tries to make things better with bullshit words. She knows she can’t so she just lets me be. We drove to Eloy and it was mostly a quiet drive. We both started to freak out as we got closer, talking about how we couldn’t believe we were going to jump out of a plane. I told her I fully expected to die. She told me I was not dying on her watch so to shut the fuck up. I just laughed and told her that I thought I was going to and I was o.k. with that. As soon as we started to get closer, we looked up and saw about 10 parachutes falling from the sky. The excitement started to kick in. We checked in, watched a short video and signed a ton of paperwork in regards to our life. Or our death. We sat and signed our lives away without thinking twice. We went and got suited up, met our partners in crime and listened as they gave us very little, but informative instructions in regards to tandem jumping with them. I guess knowing less is better so that way you don’t over think it. I chose to not over think anything at all today. I only thought about you the entire time.

The guy I jumped with was named Jason. I liked him instantly. He was young, tattooed, a great smile, and the icing on the cake was his beautiful blue eyes. I instantly felt like you were there, holding my hand, once I met Jason. As you yourself, had hand picked him out for me today to jump with because you knew he would keep me safe. I know this was one of the reasons why I didn’t ever feel scared or panicked. I felt a peacefulness and a calmness that I have not felt in so long. We waited our turn and climbed on board of the plane which held about 20 people. Up and up we went. It was SO HIGH, Ronan. I had one moment as I was looking out the window of the plane that I thought, “What the FUCK am I doing?” But then I remembered that today, was your 8 months. Today, I remembered that it has been 8 months since I last kissed your lips. Today, I remembered that because I have faced my worst fear in life, that I have have nothing to fear anymore. 13,000 feet up in the air we went and I could have not felt more content or calm. My head has not been this quiet since before losing you. There were no screaming voices today in my head. Only pure silence. Jason was preparing me to jump. He was strapping me to his body and as he was putting me in-between his legs, he said something that was so inappropriately wrong, that it made my entire day and night because it was that raunchy, perverted and hilarious. It made me forget the fact that I was about to plummet to my death. I told you I knew you had picked just the right guy for me today, Ro. You know my sense of humor so well. I looked at Mandy as I was getting ready to jump out of the plane, first. She screamed,  “I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!” I looked back at her, flashed her a smile and said, “I LOVE YOU MOOOOORRRRREEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!” Jason stood me up at the open door of the plane and told me to look up. ONE, TWO, THREE!!!!!! We jumped. We fell. We flew. We became one.  I screamed, laughed, flipped off the camera man who was taking a video of the entire thing. I screamed “FUCK YOU CANCER!!!” I yelled, “I LOVE YOU, RONAN!” We fell, in the sky without our parachute being open for at least a minute. It was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had, besides being your mama. I wasn’t ever scared. I wanted to free fall, forever. It  didn’t feel like I was falling from the sky. I felt like I was floating. I felt closer to you today, then I have since you’ve been gone. Jason pulled the parachute after a minute or so. After that, we were able to talk while we floated all around in the sky. He pointed out the mountains in the horizon. I asked him how I did and he said amazing. I told him all about you and how I was doing this, for you, because of you. Because you’ll never have the chance so now I have to do things like this, for you. If you were still here I would have NEVER done this. But now I wonder why not? It was the most freeing feeling that I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’m only sorry it took you dying, for me to do something like this. The landing was easy, and Mandy Bee was waiting for me. She came running over, jumped in my lap and kissed me smack on the lips. It was one of the top 5 BEST days, of my life.

Today, I didn’t feel like I was buried alive. I didn’t have a hard time breathing. I felt happy. I felt fearless. I felt free. I said to myself, If I can jump out of a plane for Ronan, I can do ANYTHING. I meant that today. All I wanted to do today was to get back into that plane, and jump again. I jumped up and down with Mandy on the ground, instead. My Mandy Bee who is afraid of heights, Ronan. Afraid of heights, but didn’t think twice about going with me when I put this out there about a month ago. My Mandy Bee that you never got to know, but it is because of you that I have found my fearless soul mate in life. The friend who holds on to me the tightest when all I want is for her and everyone around me to let go. The friend that is not scared of my dark side that often exists. The friend who doesn’t judge. The friend that trusts me, embraces my crazy ideas, and thinks I am capable of anything and everything. Thank you for her. Thank you so very much. You have no idea, how many times she has saved me. I don’t know how I would be doing any of this without her. I am so glad I don’t have to.

After our jump of death. Or jump of life…. whichever you prefer… we went and grabbed lunch at your favorite place, Chelsea’s Kitchen. Mandy Bee also went grocery shopping with me, which you know I don’t do well with. I would rather jump out of a plane any day then tackle the grocery store. It helped having her there so much. I’m learning that I do indeed need help with things and for now, grocery shopping is one of them. I’m learning that it is still o.k. to ask for help, especially now that you are gone. It’s too hard to go there alone and without you. So Mandy shopped with me. We rode on the carts like I would have done with you. Remember how you would sit in the cart and I would push you so fast and crazy? You would giggle with fits of laughter. I pushed my cart fast and crazy for you today, only I was the one riding on it. I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry you got cancer and I couldn’t make you better. I’m sorry I have to live without you. But thank you for letting me live today and making me feel like it might be o.k. That it won’t hurt so badly, everyday without you. I know I can’t jump out of a plane everyday to have good days like this. I hope you can give me some ideas on how else to ease the pain. I’ll be here waiting to hear from you.

I went for a 6 mile late run tonight too. The moon was so full and beautiful. I yelled up at it that I loved you. I know you heard me. I know you hear me all the time. I love you baby doll. Sweet dreams. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

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Ronan’s Table for 6

Ro baby. I guess my last post was pretty happy and upbeat. I wish I could say I have spent the past few days, feeling the same way after writing the things I wrote. I didn’t end up falling asleep peacefully like I had hoped. I tossed until 3 a.m. and had to take the devil aka, Ambien in order to fall asleep. I woke up, feeling like shit…. but I went on with my day anyway. I don’t remember what I did, but I’m sure it was a lot of all the things I’m supposed to be doing, like being productive. All the things I’m supposed to be doing, like living life taking care of your brothers, the house, paying the bills, etc…. Being present. On Saturday, I went down to ASU to participate on a panel that Dr. JoRo had asked me to be a part of. It is for a class she is teaching at ASU on traumatic death. I sat on a panel, in front of her class with about 10 other bereaved parents and a grandmother too for about 5 hours…. but it felt like 10. Dr. Jo basically asked us to tell our stories and she then asked us all question after question regarding our tragedy. I watched as her students listened, wiped tears from their eyes, took notes, and tried to process the things that we were saying. I watched the ways they didn’t have to say anything at all, as I could hear their thoughts in their heads. I know each and every one of them begged whomever it is that they believe in, for this to never happen to them. I so wished I had been one of the students sitting in that class today, taking notes. Not the one the other side, talking about you and this fucked up story. I tried my best to get my words out in regards to you, my grief, and everything else that I am going through, but it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, mentally and emotionally. I was the first parent on the panel to be asked the questions, so I had to be quick on my feet with my responses. I had so many things racing through my mind and trying to articulate the words that I wanted to say, is so much easier for me to do in my writing rather then speaking. But I did my best and I did it from my heart. It was the best I could do. It’s one thing to write about you… I could do this in my sleep and I often do. To talk about you, on the spot, hurts so badly that it is almost impossible. One day, I hope to find my voice for you…. where it’s not one where I feel like I am gasping for air. I think I did an o.k. job yesterday…. I caught myself pinching myself on and off through out the day to make sure the day was real. Unfortunately, I felt all the pinches I gave myself. I cried a lot. How weird to be so vulnerable in front of so many strangers. A gig I never wanted. I gig that I’ll have to have for the rest of my life. I think I said the fuck word a few times and I remember making Dr. Jo’s students laugh by flipping them all off when she asked the question what we, as bereaved parents, would we like to say to all the people who say stupid things to us. Things like, “Well, my cat died so I know how you feel.” “You can have other kids.” “Heaven needed another angel.” “You were given this because you are strong enough to handle it.” The list goes on and on. My response to Dr. Jo and her class was, “I like to keep it short and sweet.” I then stuck my arm out and flipped everyone off. I remember hearing everyone laugh. You would have been proud of that, Ro baby. Fuck those people of the world and the stupid shit they say. They will never get it…. they are too fucking ignorant, self-absorbed, and brain washed by society.

After the “death panel,” as I called it to Dr. Jo, I left ASU with her and we went to grab some dinner with 3 other parents and the grandmother of the group who had lost not only her grandson to death, but her son as well to the grief. Her son is still here, but you know what I mean. The grief took him away for some time. It sounds like she is slowly getting him back but, ouch. That hurt hearing her say that yesterday, on that panel. I know that is how your Nana feels. That she not only lost you, but me as well. I know that is how many people feel as I may as well be dead too, because that’s the way I have been acting. The only thing is, it’s not an act. It’s the way I feel and I can’t change that. Someday maybe. But not now. While we were waiting for our table in the bar, where I sucked down my Coke…. the waitress came in to ask for a name for our table of 6. I looked at Jo. She looked at the waitress and goes, “Ronan.” I smiled. A few minutes later, the waitress came back saying, “Table for Ronan!” I had to wonder what the lady would have done or thought if she knew she was calling out the name of a dead child. This is the strange world I live in now. Where you have to make the dead live among the living, in any way possible. Even if it means to hear their name being called out at a restaurant because your table is ready. We all sat and talked about the day, our kids, or lives before this and now. Dr. Jo pointed up at the ceiling and how all the light fixtures were in the shape of little stars. It was your way of being there, after such a brutally hard day. It was your way of giving me the little giggle that I so miss. I then told the table how I used to call you feisty. How I used to say, “Ronan, you are so feisty!” How you would then scream back at me, “I NOT SPICY!” I told them it was one of my favorite things that you used to say to me. I miss that so much. I also told everyone at the table how I feel like it should be mandatory for bereaved parents’ to carry around tasers. And when people say stupid shit to us, we should just be able to taser their asses, instead of trying to answer their dumbass questions. Oh, how everyone laughed at this idea. I think a law needs to be passed for this to happen. I have so many people I would like to taser just to make them feel a tiny piece of the pain I feel 24 hours a day. I actually wish I didn’t have to taser anyone, Ronan. I wish people would just start thinking before speaking. I wish people would just be a little more thoughtful, kind, thankful and compassionate. I actually wish you were just here and I didn’t have to wish any of this shit. I would like to tell you that I left dinner and came home to our “happy,” house and fell into a peaceful sleep. I did not. I hate what I’m going to have to tell you next.

I left dinner, got into my car, and started to drive home. I wish I could tell you what happened for the next 40 minutes, but I can assure you I left my body for that time. I can swear to you that I should not have driven. I can swear to you, that I felt scared which is something that I never feel anymore. I somehow ended up out at Wildpass Resort, which is nowhere near our house. It’s on the east side of the valley. I was crying so hard that I had to pull over at a gas station where I sat, cried, felt my heart racing so fast that I thought it was going to explode. I almost called an ambulance. I had to make myself breathe for I knew if I didn’t, I was just going to suffocate to death. I ended up calling Dr. JoRo….. which is something I never do…. and she’ll be the first to tell you that. I hate to bother her, even though she is so good at making sure I know I am never bothering her. I called her last night as I knew if I didn’t, I would have been in big trouble. I tried to get out my words to her as to where I was and what had happened. I told her there were fireworks going off in the sky and how the fuck can fireworks even exist anymore. I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. She made sure I had pulled over somewhere safe. I told her I thought I had, but how lost I was. I said to her, “If I can’t find my way home, how am I supposed to find my way through life?” What a perfect metaphor, Ronan. I don’t know the answer. But I eventually ended up finding my way back home. Dr. Jo texted me so she could know I was safe and asked if I needed to talk. I told her that I was o.k. That I had made it home…. 2 hours after I had left her. I told her a hot bath and the reeses peanut butter cup that she had given me earlier in the week, had saved my life. For tonight. I fell asleep. I dreamed of you and your little bald head. I got to hold you but I knew you were going to die. I am just thankful that I got to see you.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is your 8 months since you’ve been gone. I’m so sorry for that. I miss you so much. I know you know what I’m doing for you tomorrow, but I’m not saying too much about it now. If I’m meant to see you, to kiss your little lips, and feel your soft skin, I will. It’s not up to me, it’s up to you. I’m not scared. I love you so much. Sweet dreams, my not spicy little boy. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

It’s time.

Ronan. I’ve written to you a couple of times these past couple of nights but I think the words have been writing have been really, really dark and angry. I haven’t finished them and I don’t feel like finishing them now because for the first night in a very long time, I am not in a dark and angry place. I feel hopeful and a bit peaceful. I have to start accepting some things Ronan, in order to move forward and to get out of the arms of grief that seems to be strangling me. I have to accept the fact that you are never coming back and as for much as that kills me, it is a fact. No matter how much I sit here and scream, cuss, cry and beg….. you are not coming back. Acceptance is the first step, yes? I have to start to accept this so I can take this anger, pain, and sadness to a positive place. Yes. I said it. Positive. I know it may seem like I love the dark, negative space that seems to consume me, Ro. But I do not. It’s not me. It’s never been a part of me or who I am. Do you know how much I struggle with this new found emotion? Anger? It’s foreign to me, Ronan. Anger, bitterness, jealously, resentment….. those words didn’t exist in my vocabulary before this. I am afraid they are going to destroy me as I don’t know what to do with them. They are so powerful, they are trying to take over my entire life. They fill my head with so much noise during the day that much of my days are spent just trying to quiet them down. The fighting in my head is constant. I’m trying to get a handle on it. To use this anger in a positive way. I know it may not seem like it by the words I write, but I want my life to be full of positive things and not so dark. I really, really do. To have some light come out of this darkness. To take all of this anger and turn it into something that is so powerful, that it can change the world and the way people live their lives. To help change the outcome of childhood cancer. But we both know this is about so much more then just cancer, Ronan. Because you were so much more, then cancer. I’ve got to start thinking about how to channel this anger in a new direction. I have ordered a punching bag and some boxing gloves. I guess this is a start. My best ideas seem to come in the middle of blood, sweat and tears while my endorphins are running.

I had my board meeting tonight, baby. It was almost 4 hours long. I had it at our house and it was lovely. For as much as I don’t know what I am doing, you would have been so proud tonight. Because I am figuring it out with the 4 most beautiful women that exist. It was a board meeting that was full of everything you. It was a board meeting where I sat back and watched as these 4 women made me feel like we really are going to turn your foundation into something that is so beautiful and pure, that it is going to change the face of childhood cancer. It is so easy for me to slip into the dark world of I don’t need anybody because I can do this alone. But the truth is it doesn’t feel good and I can’t. You know what felt good tonight? Listening to the way we hashed out our agenda for our meeting. The way we talked about the things we need to overcome and figure out. The way we brainstormed ideas and answers. The way we worked as a team. The way I saw all four of our lovelies eyes, sparkle as they talked about you and how much they believe in you and what we are going to do. They way I felt the love that surrounded me the entire evening. I don’t allow myself to get lost in the love part of life very often anymore. It felt so very nice and I think I should try to allow it in a little more often. To live in constant pain and agony is destroying me, baby. And I know it’s not how you wish for me to be. I know this. I wish I didn’t have to have this foundation because you got sick and died from cancer. But I do and I realized tonight that this part of what is going to help heal me. I have to start to heal a little, Ronan. It’s time.

To my lovely of loveliest board members,

Thank you for tonight. Thank you for believing in me, when I sometimes forget to believe in myself. Thank you for reminding me that I am capable and worthy of feeling the love that surrounds me. Thank you for helping me take my son and not letting the “him,” get lost in all of this. Thank you for making this as important to you, as it is me. Thank you for making me feel like he was all around us tonight…. I felt him everywhere. I know he is so proud of this board that we have created. It is perfect. I love you all so very much.

I’m sleepy tonight, Ronan. Without my Ambien. I love you to the moon and back. Sweet dreams. I hope you are safe.

xoxo