Working on my little Empire State Building Post… Thank you all who have been so supportive. Until I get it finished, there is this. I love you all. I miss you all. I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet on here. Just trying to keep my head above float. Wait… I think I meant head above water. I am so tired, I cannot even see straight.

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Ronan. Somehow our summer is over and I am left here scratching my head. How did summer go by so quickly? How in the world do I have 5th graders? Why isn’t Ronan starting the second grade? When is somebody going to end this sick joke and just freaking bring him back? I still think that, Ro even after all this time, that somebody is just going to knock on my door one day and hand you back to me. I want to scream sitting here at my office staring at your little picture that makes me sometimes wonder for a split second if you were really even real. That life I knew with you seems so long ago. Another lifetime ago. I am trying to cling to the life I had with you with everything that I have, but as time goes on it gets harder to remember. My old memories are being replaced by new memories as if they are in competition with one another. Nobody is going to win this fight. I want my old memories just as much as I want my new. I might just want my old memories, the good memories with you, more. The good memories are hard to come by. Sometimes remembering them is just as painful as remembering the bad, cancer baby memories. I wish I could say I have found just a little peace with all of this, but I have not. I truly do wonder how parents that have watched their child die, find peace. Do they ever truly really find it again, or just pieces of it here and there? Feeling peace about you dying is never going to be my thing and I am o.k. with that because at least I am being honest with myself and what life feels like without you which is still hell on earth everyday.

So… summer is almost officially over. We spent all of June in AZ, which we never do but with your brothers getting older they had committed to a lot of basketball and as much as I wanted to peace out AZ to get to Washington, I had to be supportive of their commitments. June sucked balls. It was really fucking hot and I was really missing my family, but I did my best to put on my fake ass smile and get through it. As soon as July 3rd came, we hopped on a plane to Nana and Papa’s house. Our time there was as close to bliss as bliss can get anymore. It is the only other place that brings me the most comfort, peace, and happiness… besides New York. I love my home. I love going back. I love and miss it so very much. I could not wait to get Poppy there and let her roam free and fall in love with it the same way you did. That is exactly what she did. We played outside from the moment she woke up until the moment she went to sleep. Usually we have a lot of down time there, but this summer I was on a mission to take advantage of everything we could do outside. Your brothers would wake up every morning and go, “What adventure are we going on today, mom?” Oh, let me see… as I would get on my phone to figure out what really amazing place I could take us to for the day. We would pack up the car in the morning and head out until Nana and Papa got home from work late in the afternoon. We did a lot of hiking. A ton of hiking where we would get lost for hours upon hours in the thick of the woods, and I appreciated the nature and beauty so much. I could literally feel my soul exhaling and the peacefulness that never exists inside of me, found me for a few hours each and everyday. I was so thankful for the time out from my life back in Arizona where I often still feel like I am suffocating to death. I’m not even being dramatic. Arizona is slowly killing me.

“Boys! Do you know how lucky you are to be spending your summers here. Look at all these beautiful trees! Look at these waterfalls! Look at all this green! All this fresh air! Isn’t it so amazing? Please tell me you appreciate this. Not everybody gets to experience things like this.”

They both looked at me like I had gone off the deep end, but are to sweet to tell me otherwise. Instead they both told me that they knew how lucky they were to be able to come back here every summer. I know they love it just as much as I do, but I think it’s the spending time with your Papa Jim that they love the most. Quinn also found a new favorite hobby which was “mowing” Nana’s field which really just consisted of him going as fast as he could on her riding lawn mower. Every night we would all find our way in my old bedroom and I would watch as all three of my babes were lulled to sleep by the fresh air that came through my bedroom window during the cool, dark nights. I sleep much better there than I do back at home in Arizona. In Washington, I sleep like a freaking baby. I think it’s the comfort of being back home with your Nana and Papa and all of the fresh air that we get that makes me fall fast asleep and stay that way for more than 3 hours at a time. It was heaven.

While we were there, Poppy had her first little accident. She has been walking for a while now but still takes the normal falls here and there. It was during the middle of the day and I was home with just Quinn and Poppy. Your daddy and Liam were at a movie and Nana and Papa were both still working. I was playing with Poppy in the living room and we were playing one of her favorite games which is her version of hide and go seek. She likes to take a blanket, cover her entire body while standing up while I go, “Where is Poppy?!” She then rips the blanket off of her head and says, “Here I am!” or more like “Ger baa mmmm” which totally means “here I am” in baby talk. We had been playing this game for about 10 minutes when all of a sudden I looked over just in time to trip over her blanket and fall on a sharp corner of Nana and Papa’s fireplace. A corner that I always knew was going to get one of you kids, sooner or later. I ran over and picked her up to make sure she was o.k. She was crying really hard. As I examined her, I saw that the corner of the fireplace had missed her eyeball by about an inch. The lower corner of her eye had turned a shade of black and blue almost instantly and it was starting to swell up. I yelled for Quinn to go and get me a first aid ice pack but he had to go outside instead. He couldn’t stand for one second seeing Poppy hurt. I grabbed the ice pack, a popsicle, and headed outside to try to calm her down while we sat on the porch. She stopped crying after a few minutes as I continued to hold her and tell her how sorry I was. Quinn came walking back over asking me if she was going to die. I wanted to die right then and there. It makes me sick that his little mind immediately goes to the worst of all places. I told him that Poppy was not going to die (the same way I told him that about you, fucking fuck fuck fuck) as we sat together and watched her little eye get worse and worse. I texted your daddy and Nana a picture of it to let them know what had happened. Your daddy joked and told me he was going to call CPS on me, your Nana flipped out. I tried to make as much light of the situation as possible (hey at least it’s not cancer) but I was silently freaking out myself. It just wouldn’t be until later that night that I would come to realize how much this little fall of hers was going to impact me.

I fell asleep that night pretty late right next to Poppy the same way I have done every night since she was born. You know, with her right by my side so I can check her breathing every hour on the hour. (insert psycho mama here) I think I dozed off only to jolt out of bed because of an old familiar feeling a couple of hours later. My eyes immediately went over to Poppy. Oh my god. Her eye now looked sooooo swollen. So black and blue. So much like yours right after you had your first surgery where they removed the mass that had metastasized right above the left orbit of your little eye. That surgery where you looked at me and without a word I could hear everything you were saying which in my mind was, “What happened? I was just running around fine a few days ago. What did you let them do to me? How could you let this happen? You are my mama, you are supposed to keep me safe.” I heard those words over and over again in my head. I curled up in a ball, grabbed a pillow to smother my sobs, and sob is exactly what I did for the next few hours. I sent an email to Dr. Jo around 5 a.m. She responded almost immediately and called my phone. I told her what had happened, the reaction I was having to it, and let her gently guide me through it. HELLO PTSD that nobody talks about after you lose a child, except Jo.  She  We made a plan which mainly just consisted of me acknowledging my grief, nurturing my grief, and getting through the day. I hung up with her once again telling myself how lucky I was to have found her and let her words sink in and prepare me for my day ahead.

We were set to leave Nana and Papa’s house to all go on a family vacation to Bend, Oregon. Nana, Papa, your daddy, brothers, Poppy,- my amazing step-sister and niece would also be with us which we were all so excited about. I spent the morning running off of the few hours of sleep and trying to get everyone packed to leave. I completed all of my tasks, running around, feeding Poppy, making everyone shower while I just lost my shit as there was no containing what I was physically experiencing. Your brothers came and checked on me as I handed Poppy off to Nana while I went and sat on the couch and continued to sob. Quinn rubbed my back. Liam kissed my cheek. I smiled at them both and told them I loved them. Soon it was time to leave for our vacation. I hopped in the backseat of my stepsisters car with Nana and Poppy while the boys and Jady girl went with Papa Jim. I was so thankful I did not have to drive. Between my now raging headache and my tears, I would not have been able to. I spent the new 5 hours in the car feeling like I was massively hungover and when we got to Bend, I headed straight upstairs to rest. I was so thankful to have your Nana there, to help with Poppy and let me cry on her shoulder. I was so thankful for the non-judgement that came from everyone about my little episode. I guess that is why I was able to just let everything out and not feel uncomfortable doing so. I never feel judged around my family and that is the best gift they have ever given me. It means everything to a grieving mother because my grief and pain is something that will be with me for the rest of my life. I am not going to be ashamed of that and I am not going to hide it. To love something so deeply that it makes you feel so much pain is a badge of honor that I will always wear as it is a constant reminder of my love for you.

Another reason the day was so hard was because it was another family trip without you. That hurts so much and I still look for you everywhere.

I have to end this now. I have been trying to finish this post for weeks. Now I have to move on to this Empire State Building stuff. I’m sorry to cut this short, but I need to just get this posted. I feel so badly that I have not written on here in so long. I miss you and this blog so much.

G’nite baby boy. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xxoo

Thank you all for your amazing hearts and spicy souls.

 

 

 

 

 

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Because of you all, the Spicy Monkey Spirit Hood was the company’s largest launch that they have ever had. Thank you all so much for buying them and making this venture so successful. Please continue to share this video with anyone and everyone. The more people who see it, the better. I love you all so much.

xx

 

 

http://vimeo.com/78844347

For those of you who want to sponsor me…

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THANK YOU! I’ve gotten so many emails from people saying they can’t run, but would love to sponsor me. What do I say to that?!?! HECK YES! And thank you times a million! You all are such wonderful, beautiful souls.

I know Ronan is so proud of all we are doing. The link to sponsor me is down below. Nothing can stop me from running for Ro. Not even these E size milk filled boobs.

xoxo

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/rockandro/runlikearockstar

1st Annual Run Like A Rockstar!

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Come join me in a 5k in my hometown! So excited to do this, so thankful for the support! Details for the race are in the link below! Let’s run for Ro!

http://www.active.com/running/longview-wa/the-ronan-thompson-foundation-5k-run-walk-2013

You make beautiful things happen

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Ronan. You make beautiful things happen and last night was proof of that. Taylor Swift was in town for the Red Tour. We were invited to go as a family and could have not been more excited. Last minute plans were made, plans were changed, plans were made again. Brianna was in town staying with us and Macy had just left after being here for almost a week. The time with Macy here or as Poppy is going to call her, “Auntie M,” was so special. I watched Macy fall head over heels in love with your sister the same way she did with you. We did a lot of nothing except live in Poppy world. We celebrated your Daddy’s birthday which was a hard day, but as always, we just go through it the best we could. Tears were shed, but for the most part we tried to make it a fun evening by having some dear friends over. We all just mostly sat around and cooed over your sister. She truly does make many days better, but days like special occasions are still pretty hard. Macy knew this and just sat and played with my hair while I rocked your sister and the tears fell silently to the ground. She just looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I know.” She knew what I was thinking, as she always does. How I wished so badly you were there with us to celebrate your wonderful daddy. How I wish every day you were with us to not celebrate a thing, but to just live this life with us that was so unfairly taken away from you. I will never stop wishing this.

It’s taken me a few days to figure out why I am having such a hard time writing this post. I’ll start by saying two years ago when I was first invited to meet Taylor and go to her concert, I was in a completely different place than I am now. 2 years ago I remember trying to get ready for her concert and how I could hardly peel myself up off the floor to go. I was destroyed back then and wasn’t so sure I’d be around to survive this life much longer without you. I was in such a sad place that I didn’t think I deserved to go to a concert, meet this amazing girl or feel any sort of happiness at all. I went because I had a message to share, because of my manners, and I knew how rude it would be not to go after I was so kindly invited. Little did I know that Taylor already knew all about you and our hauntingly sad love story. She already knew the message I was wanting to share and welcomed it with open arms. Fast forward 2 years later and I am now in a very different place.

I spent the day with Liam, Quinn, and Bri Bri, hanging out and getting ready for the concert. I felt excited and happy, and as always, a little sad, too. I knew Taylor was going to be meeting your Poppy sister and for me, that was the best part of everything. To me, it was like she was going to get to meet a little piece of you and I can’t even put into words how much that meant. We as a family, all went to the concert. We ended up splitting up as your daddy, Liam, and Poppy sat backstage with Taylor’s dad for most of the show. Even though we had protective ear coverings for Poppy, it still made me nervous to have her out in the loud arena with everyone. Your daddy was whisked away by Taylor’s lovely assistant and taken back stage where all was safe and sound. Liam went with your daddy also, as the concert was a little too loud for him. He’s never been a fan of anything too loud and crazy. I stayed down at our seats with Bri, Quinn and your Sparkly. There was a lot of dancing, singing, laughing, and maybe a little crying. I sat back and watched the most amazing performance and was of course blown away by the talent before me. She always manages to out do herself that Taylor girl. I felt so blessed to be a part of it. It was a night where I got a chance to put my pain on hold for a few hours and just get lost in the magic and beauty before me. Between Taylor’s beautiful voice, the smile on Quinn’s face, and the insane dancing that I did with Brianna when Taylor sang, “22,” everything about the night was perfect. Almost freaking perfect. You know the one little thing missing was of course you. I tried my best to remind myself that you were there with us, somewhere. Even though I couldn’t see you, I know you were there and I let that be o.k. for a few hours.

After the concert we got to spend a lot of time with Taylor and her dad in the most intimate setting. I’ve now realized why it is that I’ve had such a hard time with this post. It’s because of the way this relationship with Taylor has changed and evolved. It’s because I feel insanely protective of her and the way she’s opened up her heart to us. People try to exploit this girl all day long and I’m just not going to do that. I won’t do that. I’ve felt that way since day one of meeting her, but my protectiveness has only grown over time. I’ve had all of these news stations calling me, wanting to do interviews about Taylor’s concert, what it’s like to have her here in the Valley, wanting to know if she was going to sing, “Ronan,”etc… I politely declined doing any of them. It almost felt yucky to me. To me, the time we spent with Taylor was so sacred and special that I would just like to keep most of it between us and our family. At one point during our time together as I watched her holding Poppy, I asked her a certain question. She looked at me to answer it and said, “I hope I made the right call.” I told her as my eyes filled up with tears that I believed she did. I hope tonight, with this post, I made the right call, too. I don’t mind sharing most of the night, but not all of it. Some things just feel too sacred to be shared. This girl feels like a part of our family now, not some big celebrity. It’s funny because she’s never felt like some big celebrity to me. To me she’s always just felt like a normal girl who fell in love with you and who just happened to be in a position to make something really beautiful happen because she took a chance on us and followed her heart. To me, that has saved me in a way and I will forever be grateful to her and her old, wise soul. I have no doubt that many more beautiful things are to come.

As far as me not wanting to share much about our night, I hope you all understand. To me, the picture below explains everything.

I love you, Ronan. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little man.

xoxo

P.S. Taylor, Thank you for EVERYTHING. You know I have 50 million things I want to say to you, but all I’m going to say is you my friend, could give Hallmark a run for their money. I love you so much.

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I love your Poppy sister to the moon and back.

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Ronan. Sometimes I just sit here at this computer screen, wondering what to write because the only words I can think of are… I just miss you so much. That’s it. I just miss you so much plays over and over in my head like a broken record that I will never turn off. Tonight, I guess I have a little story for you that is mostly about your sister. I’m not going to lie, Ronan. I was a little unsure of how things would be once she got her. All of my usual doubts filled my head. The thousands of questions. Will I be able to love her enough? Will she love me as much as Ronan did? Can I still be a good mom? Am I worthy of loving another child? What if we don’t connect, bond, etc… What if I am still so numb, that I feel nothing? Am I betraying Ronan? Would he be mad or sad or jealous? Am I hurting his feelings by having another baby and loving it? The things I worried about in my head seemed to be never-ending and oh so dramatic, but they were my real life thoughts about all of this.

Then that day came that your sister was placed in my arms. I can honestly tell you that I was so overcome with so many different feelings, that it was hard for me to feel a thing. So I just stared at her while she stared at me. The first thing I whispered in her ear was something like, “Ronan loves you.” Then my mommy mode adrenaline rush of I can do it all kicked in. So it was a constant stream of auto pilot everything. Feed baby. Change baby. Sleep baby. Tend to mama just pushed out a baby war wounds. Eat mama. Sleep mama. Drink mama. Shower mama. While taking care of other kids, laundry, people wanting to meet her, phone calls, emails, a few blog posts, foundation things, don’t forget to grieve mama, the questions of “how are you really doing from my friends and family seemed constant. But with all that adrenaline rushing, I was able to keep a safe distance away from really feeling that deep connection with your Poppy sister. Oh, I knew I loved her, but I had been keeping myself so busy as if to not let myself fall in over my head. My guard was still up I guess you could say. My mind was still trying to go to that place of don’t get too attached, in case something happens. So, I guess you could say at first, I was dating Poppy in a way. Testing her out to see how things were going to go.

I’ve spent the past few weeks, slowing everything down. I’ve spent the past few weeks, letting myself and my relationship with Poppy unfold a little more. We spend much of our days, sitting quietly. Her constant need to be fed has helped us to bond. We do everything together. I can’t even put her down in her crib to sleep, so she has been sleeping in our bed. For as slowly as I’ve watch things unfold, I can’t stand the thought of being separated from her. I talk to her a lot, even when she is sleeping. My favorite part of the day is when I lay her down to be changed and she just stares at the big picture we have of you in her room and while she is staring, she smiles at it from ear to ear. She’s been doing this from really early on, when babies aren’t supposed to smile at all. She started this at about 2 weeks when babies are supposed to be blind as a bat. I watch her and say things like, “Is Ronan telling you secrets again?” I scoop her back up, rock her and then sometimes look down at her and think to myself, “Are you really Ronan? Because if you are not, I had no idea I would be able to feel this way again. This close and this strongly connected to a new baby after losing my everything. Either you are Ronan or Ronan sent you because he could not take how sad I was anymore. He sent you to try to help fix my heart and soul. He could not have picked a more perfect baby girl to heal my heart.”

The past few days, I’ve felt nothing but this euphoric happiness. Happiness that has only come because of your sister. I see it through everybody, but it’s through myself that I can actually feel it. I am not dating Poppy anymore. We are full on in a crazy, love affair, forever will be married, marriage that I am over the moon about. I without a doubt know, none of us could have really survived this life and lived this life in the way we should be living it, if it were not for your sister being born. Everything has shifted in such a good way. The energy in our house has changed. I’m getting more of those beautiful moments in life that I often talk about from the simplest things. Beautiful moments seem to be everywhere I look, Ronan. I am no longer fighting them or scared of them. I feel so lucky and blessed and this is all due to this gift you have given us which is her.

Dr. Sholler has been in town and you know I am always crazy happy when she is here. Your daddy, Poppy and I picked her up from the airport on Sunday. Before she got in our car, she sent me a text. “Can we hike?!” I laughed out loud. I said to your daddy, “Giselle wants me to take her inferno hiking. She is such a badass.” I told her of course we could. Your daddy said to me, “Are you sure about that? Did you tell her how you almost killed your intern, inferno hiking?” I told him to hush, that she didn’t need to know that. I did warn Dr. Sholler that it was going to be hot, but she was totally game. I was feeding Poppy in the backseat of the car when she arrived. Your daddy parked and went to walk to get her. As soon as she got in the front seat, she scooped up your sister into her arms so she could hold and love on her. I was blown away. Watching the two of them meet was something that will stay in my mind forever. They sat and stared at each other for a long time and Dr. Sholler was such a natural with your sister in her arms. That’s what makes her so different from other doctors, Ronan. She doesn’t have that compassionate chip missing, for being such a bloody freaking genius that a lot of people do. She doesn’t have a fucking ego or agenda. She cares so much not only about her patients, but the family’s as well. Even the one’s with the dead kids. That is so beyond rare. She is such an anomaly in this world. She is my hero and I am so proud to be a part of the things she is doing and will be doing in the future for these kids fighting Neuroblastoma. I will forever be sorry that we didn’t find her sooner.

I took Dr. Sholler hiking. We talked a lot about cancer things, but other things as well. I asked her the million dollar question which was, “What do I need to do to make sure Poppy doesn’t have cancer?” I said, “Do I do nothing and just trust in the Universe that completely screwed me over? Do I start having her urine tested? Do I get her blood tested? Scanned? Please, just tell me.” We talked about how a urine test after 2 would be a non invasive way to just make sure everything is o.k., but ultimately Dr. Sholler wants me to just trust in you. She told me that your sister is fine and is going to be fine. I tried my best to listen and trust in that, but it’s really hard to do so when your entire world has been shattered. Fast forward to today to prove my point on that.

I fed Poppy this morning. I burped her after. I set her in her bouncy so I could pack Liam and Quinn’s lunches. I heard Poppy coughing a bit so I picked her up. Bright yellow vomit/spit up goes flying all over my shirt, not once, not twice, but three times. I go into show your daddy. I see Poppy looking a little pale. In my mind I’m freaking out and everything in me is screaming, “SHE HAS CANCER!” Your daddy makes light of it. I do not. I text our pediatrician. She texts me right back and says it’s probably curdled milk, but if I want she will check her out and feel her tummy. I of course, ask her to make me an appointment to bring her in. So, I sit and wait at home for our appointment. My mind goes to all of those awful places while the tears pour down my cheeks. This is my life now. This will always be my life now. I’ll never escape this world where a little thing is just a little thing. A little thing to me, will always mean cancer. I know I have to learn to let some things go, but today, this lesson was lost on me. Today, it was all I could do not to run down to the hospital demanding to have her scanned. Dr. Campbell calmed me down and told me everything it could be, none of it being cancer. She pushed down on her tummy and told me it was soft. She told me your sister is fine. Your sister is fine, Ronan but I will never be fine again. Not when it comes to normal things like yellow spit up, tummy aches, aching muscles, headaches… I will always think the worst. I thanked Dr. Campbell and she told me she would do tummy checks on Poppy everyday if I wanted her to. That she would come by our house even and to text her whenever I was feeling uneasy about something. I smiled and thanked her again. Once again, I am so lucky to have such an amazing doctor who truly cares, taking care of our family.

We are home. I am exhausted from not sleeping well last night. I guess I was also a bit wired from the amazing night I had with Dr. Sholler and some great peeps from T-Gen. I took Poppy with me. She goes everywhere with me and didn’t make a peep. Best baby ever. So many wonderful things are in the works and I am so honored to be able to be surrounded by such amazing people, who share the same dreams and visions as I do. Together, we are going to do extraordinary things.

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

xoxo

The days of hell are over, but never really end.

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Ronan. Your 6th birthday came and went. I kept wondering to myself, what kind of party we would have had? I asked your brothers, “Do you think Ronan would still like Star Wars if he were here?” They assured me that you would have so in my mind, for the 2nd year in a row, I threw you a Star Wars party. I clung to my imaginary party in my mind to get me through the birthday from hell that I had to have without you in real life that fell on Mother’s Day this year. Your brothers and daddy did their best at spoiling me so by telling me how much they loved me, what a great mom I am, how lucky they are to have me, etc… They tried to make the day about me as much as they could but I ended up saying, “This day isn’t about me, it’s Ronan’s day so let’s do everything Ronan would have wanted to do.” So we did. We went to a brunch where I ignored all the 6 year olds running about and focused only on your brothers and Poppy. We went swimming and I watched as your daddy and brothers went crazy going on the water slide that was at our hotel. I sat quietly in the shade and let my smiles, come from them. They played football in the grass and participated in a water balloon fight. After a few hours of that we went back to the room to rest and get ready for dinner. We ate at a really good mexican restaurant and we had plans to go and see Iron Man 3 (which you would have totally wanted to do) but your sister’s breastfeeding got in the way of our making the movie on time so we ended up just coming back to our room. We all snuggled up together and watched a movie from the hotel instead. Your brothers let me pick it which was very sweet of them to do so we ended the night by watching “Oz, the Great and Powerful.” Quinn gave it 5 stars. Liam gave it 4. I was just happy they both enjoyed it and it made a quiet ending to a day that I just wanted to get through without jumping off the side of a cliff.

Now I sit here on the 15th of May, reflecting on what this day was like 2 years ago. It was the day we had your funeral or a.k.a. your celebration of life which is really just a nice way of saying this is fucking bullshit that I had to cremate my kid so let’s try to cover it up by calling it something beautiful. Having my baby cremated is not the way I ever envisioned celebrating your life. Today, I pulled out the white dress I wore on your death day. The white dress that hung on my shell of a body and now hangs in my closet like a keepsake or a wedding dress because I know I will never wear it again. It haunts me hanging there and I often find myself running my hands over it, waiting for the ghost of who I was during that time, to appear. That shell-shocked of a girl who really had no idea of the magnitude of what had just happened because I was in such shock and a deep place of denial. I remember your services, barely. I remember how I was so numb, that I didn’t even cry. I remember making everyone wear white and how after everything was over how Liam went over to a fountain to throw a penny into it. I remember saying, “Make a wish!” and how he looked up at me and said, “Why? Wishes don’t come true.” I remember at that point, it took everything I had to not fall over from the pain of his words. His innocent yet not so innocent words that right then and there, shattered everything I had ever known. Wishes don’t come true, rocked my world in the most fucked up way possible. Wishes don’t come true out of the mouth of an almost 8-year-old that should not be so wise in the way that he is.

I spent a lot of today crying and staring at that white dress while I found the comfort I so desperately needed, in your Poppy sister. I can’t seem to put her down which explains the loads of clean laundry that I need put away. Laundry can wait. I’ll take the snuggles of your sister over clean laundry any day. Your brothers are getting ready for their big basketball game on Friday. So a lot of practicing has been going on over here. Tonight I left Poppy with your Daddy for a bit so I could sneak out for a run. A little 3 mile run that I nearly winced in pain with the entire time. I forgot how bad it sucks to try to get back into running after having a baby. OUCH. Everything hurt tonight but you know nothing can ever hurt as much as the pain I feel from being without you everyday. I ignored the pain from my body and pushed through my 3 miles, slowly, but I was determined not to give up or give in even though every part of my body was screaming at me to do so. I came home just in time to see your daddy through your bedroom window, sitting in on your bed in Poppy’s room. I watched as he stared down at Poppy with such a look of mixed emotions on his face as he played with her little feet. I felt like an outsider, looking in on two strangers. This can’t possibly be my house, my husband, my new baby sitting in my dead child’s room, right? A year ago I would have saw this sight and wanted to run away from it all. Seeing this sight would have been too much for me to handle. Tonight, I had no desire to run away at all and instead I walked inside our house to where your Daddy was walking Poppy all about, carrying her like a little football. I went up to her, let her focus on who I was and said, “Hi Poppy!” I watched as a big smile splashed across her face. “She smiled!” I exclaimed to your daddy. It was a smile that told me that we are all doing alright and that Poppy is the best thing that could have ever happened to us since losing you. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her. She is still the most peaceful little thing. No crying, no fussing, just lots of eating, sleeping, and love. We all cannot get enough of her.

I keep telling myself if I can just get through these tough, tough days, that I have so much to look forward to these coming months. Dr. Sholler is coming into town on Sunday, so I will get to spend a few days with her and pick her brain in regards to my master plan. We have made some plans for dinner and some hikes. I am so excited to have her here and she is so excited to meet your baby sister. I’ve got Macy coming in to stay with us for about 5 days and you know everyone in our house is so excited about that. Bri Bri is also coming out and so is our little, Rachel. It will be nice to see my favorite girls and spend some time with them. As Dr. JoRo says, “Did you ever know that so much sadness and so much happiness could coexist?” I never would have believed her if she had told me this a year ago, but now I find it to be so true.

Alright little man. I must go. Poppy wants the boob. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

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Thank all of you…

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For remembering Ronan. You all are insanely amazing. I have literally received thousands of emails, tweets, texts, phone calls, blog comments, etc… about Ronan. I hope you all know how much it means to me. Thank you for remembering my sweet boy. I appreciate each one of you, so very much. If I could, I would kiss the ground you walk on and sprinkle you all with glitter. Thank you for helping this broken-hearted mama, get through this month of May. And an extra special thanks to my very amazing friends who are like family. The best kind of family to have. I love you all and consider myself so lucky to have you all surrounding me. Best sisters ever.

I love you all to the moon and back. Ronan does, too.

Thank you to one of my little Twitter followers for the picture above. So very sweet.

xoxo

I thought I was ready, but I’m not ready.

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Ronan. It’s normal to sit partly naked on a table at your OBGYN’s office and cry, cry, cry while waiting for her to come in a check your cervix, right? I was really trying to avoid this today. I had my nose busily buried in a book that I was reading on my iPad, but somehow it was as if my hands were not my own anymore and the next thing I knew I was swiping my fingers across all of my pictures on my iPhoto only to be staring at you and your big blue eyes while I waited for Dr. Schwartz to see me. I can usually do this and be o.k. I mean, I look at your pictures all the time, but today looking at them left me with tears streaming down my face and wet spots all over my iPad. There you were in every picture, smiling your beautiful smile at me while I traced your mouth with my little pinky as if I were actually touching you. I listened to the voices screaming in my head that it couldn’t really be this way, that my darling, sweet boy, didn’t really die of cancer. The flashbacks began. The ones that forever haunt my mind. The way I watched cancer eat away at your little body, mind and soul. The pain that set in during your last week or so that I could not rub or kiss away no matter how hard I tried. Your sunken eyes, bloated belly, cold lips and stiff little legs. The pain that I now feel every single day and the sadness that never goes away. Now the harsh stares, un welcomed judgment about the grief that I carry around with me. The grief that nobody will ever truly understand but they sure can pretend as if they do while voicing their opinions about it while judging away. The baby sister that is now almost here that will supposedly heal my broken heart according to the world around me. It’s like the outside world thinks she is the magic pill that I’ve so been searching for but will never actually swallow no matter how hard they try to shove it down my throat. Those who know me well, understand my truth. Those who know me well, know that no amount of time, love or even a new human being will ever take away my pain of having to live my life without you and they don’t judge me because of that. It only seems to make them love me more. Those are the people I surround myself with. The handful of people that are not afraid to be a silent witness to this pain and only fill us with unconditional love. They lift us up not bring us down with their words of kind compassion, non-judgemental stares, and they are just so proud of us for still being here and being a loving family to one another. There are no expectations, no whispers of he’s in a better place, or she is doing everything wrong. I hear the whispers and I am very aware of who is doing the whispering. It’s like I have a sixth sense for those things and I have learned that the whispers will always be there, but I have a choice of whether or not I hear them. I mostly choose to tune them out because I know at the end of the day the proof is in the pudding and the pudding being your daddy, your brothers, and the amazing friends that have become family. Not to mention your Nana and Papa Jim. I always say I swear I could murder someone and your Nana would still say, “I am so proud of my daughter.” I know what it is like to be unconditionally loved, thanks to her. She has taught me a very valuable lesson through all of this. One that I could never repay her for or say thank you enough for. That’s the great thing about your Nana, too. After everything Ronan, after all of her love, support, strength, sadness, help… she would never look at me and say, “You owe me for this for all I have done for you. Or you hurt my feelings because you don’t pick up the phone. Or you are being selfish, rude and need to get over this.” She would never make this about her in any way shape or form. She is absolutely the most selfless person on the planet and I only hope that I too, am silently following in her humble footsteps. I know how much she misses you and misses me. I hope one day that I can start picking up the phone more like I used to when you were here. I am thankful that she does not take any of this personally because she knows that I am just doing the best that I can and to her, that is more than enough.

I cleaned myself up before Dr. Schwartz came into the room. I know I looked like a bloody mess as my entire face was blotchy and red. I was quiet when she came in to see me today and asked me her usual questions and went on with her exam. I told her how I have been getting sick again. Mostly during the middle of the night the throwing up starts. I won’t ever know if it’s your sister or my body’s way of reacting to my grief. I have a feeling it’s a little of both. She checked my cervix and measured my belly which is still measuring a week ahead of time. “O.k. it’s not going to be much longer now. You’ve dilated quite a bit. Let’s put you back in a room to see what’s she’s doing and watch your contractions.” I headed back out into the waiting room to wait for a room to open up. There was a girl out there, waiting with her little boy. I tried my best to avoid eye contact, but she smiled so I of course said hello. I was a wreck and listening to the little boy call out, “Mama!” was enough to make my eyes well up with tears as that is what you always called me. He was so cute but I refused to look his way as I knew what was going to happen if I did. I was doing a pretty good job of reading my book until his little car came flying at my feet because he had thrown it across the room at me. This made me laugh as I bent down to pick it up as it is so something you would have done. I returned the car to his mama and she shyly looked at me and said, “You’re Maya, right?” I smiled and said that I was. The girl told me how she has been reading my blog forever and how she actually saw me a couple of weeks ago out and about but didn’t want to come up and bother me. We sat and chatted for a bit while I tried not to get lost in the blue eyes of her little boy. She could not have been sweeter and told me how meeting me had made her day. I gave here a ziplock bag full of your bracelets that I just happened to put in my purse this morning. I knew there was a reason that I packed them. I don’t always leave the house with a bag full of your bracelets, but today I felt like I might need them. I’m so glad I was right:)

I finally got back to the room where my contractions were monitored and your Poppy sister was, too. Dr. Schwartz came in and read the results and told me due to my contractions, she wouldn’t be surprised if she saw me before Friday which means I could have your Poppy sister at any time. I thought I was ready for this but I think I’ve changed my mind. I’m not ready and I’m bloody scared as hell. The only part of me that is ready for this is my body. My tired body is more than ready to have this baby girl. My heart and my mind aren’t so sure. Can I do this doubts fill my head. Your Sparkly promised me that I indeed, can do this. I know he is right, but it doesn’t seem to be making things any less scary or sad. My excitement for your sister seems to have been put on hold due to the anticipation and emotional roller coaster of tears that will not seem to stop. I can’t seem to stop thinking about the fact that you won’t be here to hold her, love her, kiss on her the way I know you would be doing if you were here. I try to calm myself about this by letting my heart remind me that although you are not here, you will forever be watching over her, guiding her and protecting her in ways that only you can do. I would give anything for you to actually be here, teaching her all sorts of naughty things and causing all sorts of trouble but as I’ve learned the hard way, beggars can’t be choosers.

I’ve got to run, Ronan. Your Bri Bri aka, my little sissy is in town for orientation at ASU. Can you believe that? I don’t know where the time went as it seems like just yesterday I was bouncing her on my hip, watching her grow up and bounce Liam and Quinn around and then, you. Now she is all grown up and is finally going away to college to ASU. I’ve listened to her talk about ASU since she was 8 years old and how she would go to school there someday. That someday is almost here and I am so excited to have a little piece of our family in Arizona with us. Your brothers are thrilled. I know she is nervous but we are going to take such good care of her. I so wish you were here to be a part of this with all of us. You loved your Bri Bri so much. You two and your big blue eyes were quite the pair. I can’t wait for Bri to meet this Poppy girl. I know she is going to be so helpful with her the same way she is with your brothers. Best little sissy ever;)

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little one.

xoxo

P.S. I just wanted to say a thank you to all of you lovely souls who have been sending the sweetest little gifts, cards, and even a few Poppy things. I even got a little Poppy headband and matching socks all the way from Ireland a couple of days ago. You all are the most thoughtful creatures on the planet. Thank you for loving my little boy and our family so much. Thank you for letting Ronan make you the most beautiful people. It makes my very broken heart, skip a beat. I love you.

Baseball, Brisket and Marriage Equality for all!

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Ronan. I think time is standing still. At least that’s how it feels to me. Maybe it’s because I’m having to take things easy now that your Poppy sister is almost here. Maybe it’s grief. Or a combination of both. I remember things feeling this way right after you passed away for the first 6 months or so. It feels like this once again. I wake up, do the things I need to do, but life feels really empty right now. Nothing feels good. I’m exhausted. I can hardly make it through the day and normal things like keeping up on the laundry, dishes, and feeding your sweet brothers, feels really, really hard. I’m sure this mostly has to do with my pregnancy coming to an end but still, it’s mentally wearing me down. Then there is still the issue with your bedroom. Fucking fuck fuck fuck. I can’t believe it really happened and all of your things are out of there, being cleaned, refinished, your clothes are in bins, your stuffed animals in bags. I still am in shock over it all. I never thought I would let that day happen. Your daddy asked what I wanted to do with the clothes in your closet. I made him leave them there. I still like to touch them and smell them, even though they smell nothing like your sweet little scent. I still take whiffs of them whenever I can, hoping to be reminded of a sweet memory of when they were last worn by you.

I saw Dr. Schwartz today. Everything is progressing well, but I seriously feel like this pregnancy is never going to come to an end. I have it in my head that Poppy is just going to stay inside of me forever as I sometimes still do not think she is real. I honestly don’t think I will fully be able to truly absorb what is happening until I have her in my arms. We talked about everything from Cord Blood Banking, postpartum depression to the whooping-cough vaccine she made your daddy get today. She told us that she doesn’t want anybody around Poppy who has not had the T-dap vaccine as she has been seeing babies die from being exposed. Great. Add that to my list of things to worry about. Liam and Quinn had it with their regular immunizations so they are fine. I had to call your Nana to tell her she needed to get hers before she comes out here. Dr. Schwartz is just being extra careful which is good, but it still makes me nervous. Then there is the whole postpartum depression thing. We sat and had a conversation for a good 20 minutes about this. I told her I honestly wasn’t worried about it. I’ve never had it with my other kids and if I am depressed at all, it’s during this pregnancy -the here and now as being pregnant is keeping me from being able to do everything that helps me not to be depressed/consumed by my grief (which is not depression it’s just grief!) Mainly my exercising. Once your Poppy sister is here, I will be able to start to have my outlets again and they won’t consist of me resting in bed, which I fucking HATE, but instead will consist of going out and doing my hikes/runs/anything to get the adrenaline flowing. She talked about anti depressants. I told her how that’s not happening as I had taken them before and I swear they made me suicidal. How they just seemed to pile on more grief because I wasn’t dealing with anything and I was just numb. I agreed to let your daddy watch out for me though but still, I think I know myself pretty well. We’ll see if I’m eating my words in a few weeks and if so, I’ll deal with it my way. I sent Dr. Jo a text about this later today. We had a very long conversation which left me laughing at the way she got so riled up over the mention of medication/and postpartum depression vs just plain grief. I love her passion so much.We talked about our plan because we do have one. It’s the same one we’ve always followed. When things get more heavy for me, I see Dr. Jo on a more frequent basis and I’m always honest with her about everything I am feeling. We work through it the way it works for me. No fucking meds required. We talked about my sadness though all of this and how I will face it head on. She knows that Poppy is not just going to appear and BAM! all my sadness will be gone. She expects me to feel waves of happiness and waves of sadness with all of this. That’s just the way my life is always now. Poppy won’t fix it all. As Dr. Jo said, “You are not having Poppy to replace Ronan. You are having Poppy because you wanted another baby. But you need to be prepared for the people that are going to come out and act like this she is the answer to all of your sadness. People want her to fix everything and to take this all away from you but that’s not the reality of this. You need to let people know that the birth of this baby girl, does not diminish your pain or your grief. That she does not take Ronan’s place in your family. Ronan’s place is Ronan’s place and he will always be there.” That is our reality. That will always be our reality and nothing will change that. Not even your beautiful baby sister. I know she is going to help with our sadness, Ronan. But our sadness won’t disappear and I am o.k. with that. I am learning every day to just live with it.

Your daddy has been the one working in your room. I can’t bring myself to do a thing. Thank you for him. I honestly don’t know what I would do without that amazing daddy of yours. I always knew I was so lucky to have him, but going through something like this really makes me realize it that much more. He truly is unlike any other man on this planet. He has taken such good care of all of us in every way since losing you. I know it’s a big reason our family seems to be doing o.k. To have such a strong loving man to hold us all up, makes all the difference in the world. I can’t imagine where our family would be without your daddy. Every single night he talks to you out loud before he goes to bed. It mostly breaks my heart to listen to his words and I often times pretend like I am sleeping because what he says, usually makes me cry. Sometimes I don’t want to listen to what he is saying, because him telling you good night and how much he misses you, leaves me with a pit in my stomach that I will never get used to. I always appreciate this though even though it is so hard for me to hear. He went to a concert tonight. He’s been going to a lot of these things lately. I always encourage it. I will always be the wife that says, “Please, go. Have fun.” I will never be the wife that bitches or complains that he does these things. He deserves the break. He deserves to blow off some steam. He works so hard and takes such good care of us that I am always supportive of your daddy going out and having some fun. It makes me happy to see him doing these things. He is so ridiculously excited for your sister to be here. I cannot wait to see what it’s like for him to have a baby girl. I know it is just going to melt my heart. What a lucky little girl to have a daddy like him. It will be such a beautiful thing for our family.

I made your brothers dinner tonight. I cooked a really great brisket for Passover and talked to your brothers all about this holiday and what it means. It’s is important to me that they know about all religions, not just one or none. I want to teach them about EVERYTHING. I want them to have an open mind and be educated about it all. It was a fun little bonding time tonight where we talked about everything from sports to religion to marriage equality for all. Yes. I talk to my twins about this. I am proud to say that I do as I cannot believe this is even an issue in this day and age. Don’t we have bigger fish to fry? Why in the world do I care if my neighbor Bob marries Joe down the street? I don’t. People should be allowed to love who they love, end of story. My boys will grow up knowing this. It’s not our job to judge others or tell others what is right or wrong. It’s not hurting my family, affecting my marriage so GEEZ! Can we please just stop all this madness?! KIDS ARE DYING PEOPLE! Left and right kids are dying from a little thing called cancer yet nobody seems up in arms over this. That to me is pure insanity. People need to get a life and focus on what is really important in the world and it is not over who your neighbor, loves and wants to marry. The ignorance around this is shameful and embarrassing and enough is enough. I have 2 things I am really passionate about in life. 1) Childhood Cancer and 2) Equal rights for all. I won’t ever shut up or shy away from those two things. I was lucky enough in life to have parents who taught me to have an open mind at such an early age and who welcomed a very gay, black man into our world who we loved like our family and whom I was taught was no different from us. I will forever be grateful for my parents for this lesson in life. I will forever be grateful for my parents who let a little girl love a man for who he was, not who society defined him as being. I am a better person for this and my twins will be, too. I would have given ANYTHING for Ronan to grow up and be gay. Or straight. Who cares. At least he would have freaking had the chance to grow up and not die from cancer! Seriously. Where are our priorities?

Alright little man. I’m going to get off my soap box for tonight. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Please keep your Poppy sister safe. It won’t be much longer now. I love you.

xoxo

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