What doesn’t kill you, will make you a better person. Hopefully.

Ronan. I spent the majority of the day, sobbing after I held it together at your brothers meet the teacher. I wore my best mama hat. “So nice to meet you, Quinn’s darling teacher.” “Liam is so excited, this is going to be an amazing year, Liam’s darling teacher, too.” In my mind you know I was freaking out. I have no idea how I did not burst out in a puddle of tears while slipping and falling on them in front of everyone. Oh wait, I know. It’s because I had to remind myself to be strong and not to break in front of your brothers and mortify them, completely. I chatted with them the entire way home about school and everything they were so excited about. We got home and I was fine, until your daddy called. “How was today.” he asked. “Fine.” I choked out. That’s all I could say as I was crying too hard, to finish the conversation. He was home, a few hours later. Home to me making him a grilled fucking cheese because that’s all I could manage to cook for dinner tonight. Awesome wife of the year award totally goes to me. He acted like I had made the best meal on the planet. I started doing the dishes. Your daddy looked at me, my tears falling into the sink. “You don’t have to do those now.” “Yes, I do.” I sobbed. “You know I can’t ever leave a dirty dish in the sink.” We then sat at the table. “You need to eat. Have you eaten today?” I hadn’t. “I’m not hungry. I’m not eating. I need to go hiking.” You daddy just looks at me. “I’m sorry. I don’t know how this happened. It’s so wrong. He should be going to kindergarten tomorrow. I love you.” “I love you, too.” I squeak back.

I head out the door for a night hike. I think a lot on my hike. I don’t turn my music on. I get lost in the night, without a headlamp. Opps. I cry for a long time, at the top of the mountain. I tell you how sorry I am, over and over again. Thoughts fill my head like I think I let you down. I don’t want to let you down anymore. I need to work on some things because I am human and make mistakes. Some days, I get so angry that I impulsively act out. That’s not me. That’s not who I am. But some days, the anger wins. What can I do, to change this? You were not about anger, but about all things pure and love. I am not about anger, so what can I do with this fire that fills me and makes me want to lash out at people who don’t deserve it? Because things that go on in the normal world, that people think are problems, but are actually not, make me crazy. But that’s not for me to decide, what other people’s problems are. I am not the gate keeper of the normal problems of the world that I so wish I had. It all goes back to, who am I to judge? Just because you died of cancer, I get to decide what problems are real in people’s lives and what problems are not? That’s not o.k. That’s not a role I want to play. Please tune it out, Maya. Please make something good come out of it, instead.

I thought about tomorrow a lot. How are you going to make it through tomorrow. A scene played out in my head. What if I go to an AA meeting. Would they kick me out? Can I sit in a group and get lost in the problems of other people for a while? And when it came to my turn to talk I would just say, “I’m not an alcoholic. I don’t even really drink. My son was supposed to start kindergarten today, but he died of cancer and I didn’t know where else to go or what to do.” Then I got to thinking I should start up my own group of AA except I would call it Anger Anonymous. Where we could have a support group for people from all walks of life who are dealing with their pain, whatever it may be, and who don’t want to let it destroy them. Our motto could be “What doesn’t kill you, will make you a better person.” We could make our focus about recognizing your anger, talking about it, but then taking it and doing something really good with it. I try to do good, everyday. But sometimes, the little super pissed cancer killed the love of my life and I’m so mad takes over. I’m sorry for this. This is not what you were ever about. I will try to do better. For you.

I have to go now. Your daddy asked to spend some time with me. Maybe I’ll have cried so much today, that tomorrow will be o.k. I will survive, no matter how hard it is. I always do. G’nite Ro baby. I love you. I miss you. I’m sorry. I hope you are safe. Please take good care of LoRo during her surgery. I know you heard me tonight, asking you to. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

P.S. You all are the BEST for your suggestions. I loved the one where somebody replied with “Drink. I know it’s not very smart, but it’s all I’ve got right now.” I almost peed over that one. Thank you all, so much. You have the most beautiful hearts. xxoo

Cancer is a whore. My friend, Robyn, told me so.

 

Ronan. I am tired. Living this life without you is exhausting. I hardly remember the days when I used to think you wore me out due to your never-ending energy. I used to think taking care of you was a lot of work. Well, let me assure you, taking care of a dead child is 100 times more exhausting. It is 100 times more exhausting than the temper tantrums, throwing up, crying, teaching, arguing, potty training, bathing, feeding, reading, singing, playing, snotty noses, laughing, loving, and all the other beautiful things that come with raising a child. Taking care of a dead child is 24 hours of pure and non-stop torture that on days like today, leaves me feeling more exhausted than running a fucking marathon.

We are still in Washington. I do well here. It’s no secret. My heart is not in AZ. I won’t live there forever. There will come a day when I will leave. Your daddy knows this. He is on board with this. He will go wherever we decide to go, as a family. I’ve already thrown out a few places as options. It’s a decision we have both made. My heart does not belong in that state. It never has. I have only a couple of things keeping me there, as of now. But those couple of things mean too much to me to leave. As long as they are there, I will stay there. I’m not saying what or who they are, but I know you know. Because you’ve always known. Right now, we are there because it is where we need to be. Because right now it is what is best for Liam and Quinn. I can put myself aside for the sake of the two of them for the time being. I can sacrifice myself for those boys’ no questions asked. But Phoenix leaves me feeling restless and chaotic. The only peace I get is when I am hiking up a mountain in 110 degree weather. That tells me right there, that there is a problem. I know what my main problem is… that being not having you anymore. But Phoenix only seems to add fuel to the fire. I can make due for now. I can be thankful that we have your Nana’s house to come to so that I can have a little peace and quiet. I can be thankful for things like rainy summer days, scratches from sticker bushes, muddy feet from exploring the never-ending rivers/streams/ponds that surround us… I can be thankful that your brothers have this place to come to, to experience childhood the way it should be. Simple, calm, and beautiful. You don’t get much more beautiful than this state. I have always thought so. It makes the 8 months of rain, totally worth it. But I am also a big fan of the rain so I may be biased. I am an even bigger fan now because I feel like my body and soul are in a constant state of rain due to all of my tears. It’s nice to not wake up to the blinding freaking sun every single day. The mornings here are damp and foggy. The air is clean. The sun comes out just in time to kiss my lips for a few hours and then it goes back to sleep. My heaven.

I’ve been doing a lot of playing with your brothers. So much playing that we are all 3 falling into bed and we hardly have the energy to say goodnight to one another and you, before it’s lights out. That never happens in AZ. It’s been a constant stream of baseball, board games, swinging, basketball, and Papa time. That Papa time is my favorite time of all. Your papa and I took Liam and Quinn to Mount St. Helen’s yesterday. The world that I watch Liam and Quinn slip into around him is magical. It’s one of my favorite places to be. The laugher and adventures are endless. He is the youngest 72-year-old that I have ever known. It’s like I’m watching 3 kids play whenever I am with him. He was one of your best friends and vise versa. He misses you so much. Yesterday, when we stopped to explore a little bit, we were throwing some rocks into the water. There were a ton of sticks and wood pieces floating around. The kind that you used to make your papa load the back of his truck up with. “More papa, more!” you used to yell to him. We would always bring home 10-20 pieces of wood and sticks for you. Your papa found a really good one yesterday and said, “I’d better get this one, for Ronie.” “Ronie, Ronie, Macaroni!” he would often sing to you. I just looked at him and said thank you. What I really meant was thank you for being the best step-dad ever. For being the best papa ever. For being the best friend to my 3 boys. For never forgetting you, Ronie, and for never being afraid to talk about you, sometimes like you are still here. I know how hard this has been for him. He loves you so much. He would have traded places with you, in a heartbeat. I know he is constantly asking himself why you and not him. We all are baby boy; we all are.

I think about you all the time. I told your Sparkly that I swore I think about you, 24 hours a day. He said he knew. I know he knows this because he thinks of you everyday too. He misses you. I have been thinking about a lot of things lately, trying to give myself some peace of mind which won’t ever happen, but I need just a sliver of it, to get me through this. For me to say that I 100% know where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing is something I am not willing to eat up on a plate of bullshit. Hello! Am I the only crazy one out there, who will admit this?!! NOBODY REALLY KNOWS where you are, Ro baby. WTF! I can fully respect what people believe… but I am so tired of hearing, “Oh, hello… I am 100% sure of where Ronan is. He is safe and happy and he is where he should be. ” Fuck off people. That is not the right way to approach me. Why don’t you just be honest and say, “Oh, hello… I don’t 100% know where Ronan is, but this is what I believe.” Thank you. I can deal with the “I believe part.” I don’t have a problem with the “I believe part.” I won’t even tell you to fuck off. I will politely smile and tell you thank you, instead. I just want some freaking honesty. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so. Unless you are officially hanging out in heaven, with Ronan, dancing on clouds and then you get to come back here and tell me about it, and put it on a DVD for me to watch…. I am not going to 100% be sure of anything. That’s honest. That’s real. It fucking sucks but I am not willing to sugar coat the life and death of my child just because it makes other people comfortable.

I know what I think I believe. I know what I think I don’t believe. I know that I am still learning and growing, but no matter how angry I get, I still have a shred of faith that I hold on to. It’s dear to me no matter how different or how out of the norm it is. I don’t like normal. I grew up with a dad who used to mediate on top of compost piles. Is that weird? Maybe to some. It wasn’t weird to me. It was his way of teaching me to love nature and the world around us, but mostly to connect to ourselves, our hearts and our spirituality. I know that my beliefs are ever-changing and ever-growing. What I believe today, may not be the same, tomorrow. I find that fascinating and it makes me proud that I have the strength to question everything out there when I could easily just believe in it all, instead. If I want to question if the sky is blue and the grass is green, that is my business. Nobody has the right to try to take that away from me. Not even God himself.

I found a picture of you today, Ronie. I don’t know if I’ve ever called you, Ronie, on here, P.S. Which is weird… because I used to call you that all of the time. Anyway, it was your preschool picture. The one where I can vividly recall the day so well which is unusual for me due to not having much of a memory anymore. You are so beautiful. I put you in one of your favorite orange shirts. Your hair almost matched it in the picture as the color of your hair was so unusual. A copper color almost. Blonder in the summer, but copper was the true color of that mop of hair of yours. I stared at that picture for a long time, before tears sprang to my eyes. I sent a couple of text messages to Dr. JoRo and to my new friend, Robyn. I haven’t really talked about Robyn yet because it just hasn’t been the right time. It’s only been within the last few weeks that we have started to get to know each other. Even though we have more in common than I would like. We both have dead babies thanks to that fuckwad, Neuroblastoma. We met at the NB conference in Austin, Texas. We went out afterwords as a group and I quietly sat back and watched this girl who continued to crack up the entire table with her witty comebacks, smart mouth and silent gun shooting laughter (because she says no sound comes out when she laughs so she shoots guns with her hands instead) Ummmm… who is this girl and can I please be her friend? I got to know her story a bit. I later learned that she not only has one dead child, but two as she had twins after her son, Ezra, and one of them, Price, died due to complications from a very early delivery. It took me a while to wrap my head around this. Wait, two dead babies? Her? Not possible. Not this drop dead gorgeous, funny, young thing sitting right in front of me. Not this gorgeous creature who looks like she is about 19, but has the pain in her eyes of someone who is 3 times her age. But she looks happy. And she can laugh and be carefree and funny! All of the voices in my head were saying, “Whoa. What’s wrong with you? This girl is alright. This girl can function in the normal world. And she has 2 dead babies! Why can’t you?” I left Texas being totally intrigued by this Little Miss Robyn thing. Our friendship has now developed over a series of Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Texting love. I told her that it had to be the two of you, you and Ezra, who are the one’s making our friendship blossom. Because you know we can help each other, through this. I truly think this is the case. Now that I’ve gotten to know Robyn a little better, I can see that she still hurts so badly from losing her babies. That I know she thinks about them as much as I do you. That will never change. Things will never be alright or better. They are just different. And somedays, different can be o.k. and you can still smile and laugh, but the pain never fades away. As she puts it, it moves from your skin to your bones. It never goes away. I sent Robyn that text below tonight. She called cancer, a whore! I told you we were meant to be friends!

I think we are going to make a good team, me, you, your daddy, Robyn, Ezra and her husband, Kyle. I kind of think that Neuroblastoma, doesn’t really stand a chance. I am sorry that any of us have to know this life. I wish it wasn’t this way. Robyn says to tell you, “Hey,” though. Thank both you and Ezra, for helping us find each other. Please be sure to get into some trouble together. I’ll bet you are the best of friends.

I’m ending this novel here tonight, Ro baby. Much to say still but my eyes are red, blurry and sleepy. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. I am always so sorry. Sweet dreams, baby boy. And of course it is now pouring down rain with a side of extra angry, thunder and lightening. Thank you. I hate being apart from you, just as much as you do.

xoxo

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Scrambled Eggies and a Fucking AIMS Test

 

 

Ronan. The weekend is over. I guess it was busy. It’s late now but I actually just got home. This weekend went a little something like this… A baseball game. Dropped your brothers off for a sleep over at a friends. Your daddy looks at me as to say now what? Because another date night of me staring across a table at him, sobbing so hard that I cannot eat and I will blow my fucking brains out. Luckily, we had made some kind of sort of let’s do something with Danielle and Dave, plans. We went to dinner. We caught up. We went bowling. I may have sucked really bad the first game. I may have gotten the high score the second game and redeemed myself. I may have smiled. I still felt sad, but it’s good to be with friends like Danielle and Dave. They are easy. They both love you. Sunday, your daddy went into the office. I picked up your brothers. We all then went to this place called Mike’s Big Breakfast for lunch. Oh, how you would have loved it. This was all I could think of the entire time we were there. I think Liam ate 10 pieces of bacon. And pancakes. We sat at the bar. Everyone smiled at us. It felt weird to me. I wanted to scream out, “Hey! No smiling allowed! We are not the happy family that we may look like! Don’t you know our Ronan is missing? Don’t you know our Ronan is gone? I just want him back! Why isn’t anyone bringing him back?!! But this food is really fucking good.” And I don’t even really like food anymore, so that’s saying a lot. Unless it comes in the form of Airhead Extremes Candy. Or Coke. I will love those two things, forever. Your brothers went over to a friends’ house later Sunday for another play date. It’s good for them and helps out over here so much. I can use the break and so can your daddy from the constant parenting that we are always doing. Parenting that is so exhausting when you are constantly dealing with this pain and grief. Your daddy asked what I wanted to do. It was so sunshiny and nice out. Shiny mother fucking people everywhere. Put me in a dark room please and let’s watch “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” That’s what we did. I had already seen it. Your daddy had not and I knew it was right up his alley. It was while watching this movie, that I found out about our little friend, Jaiel. The 16-year-old girl that I had told Rita about around a month or two ago, who was fighting Neuroblastoma. The girl that was the reason that we decided to go to the anti bullying press conference that Nicole Stanton had because Jai had posted something about how it was nice to know that people who you thought were your friends, really were not because they were all just waiting for you to die. Her post ripped my heart out. She is 16 and she is dealing with real life in the most horrific way. She does not have normal you are so fucking lucky to only have a boyfriend breaking up with you problem, to cry about. This girl was fighting for her life. Something that  so many people, take for granted.

Somebody posted something on Facebook saying she had passed away yesterday. Impossible, I thought to myself. I had just been messaging back and forth with her a week or so ago. She had just had another surgery, so she could continue to fight. I thought she was doing o.k. I should have known better. Because I know first hand, how evil and unpredictable this disease can be. I sat in my bed, in shock. Your brothers came home soon after that. I had to keep it together for the sake of them. Your daddy asked if I wanted to play outside with them. “No,” I quietly said. I would not. I played catch out in the parking lot today of Matt’s Big Breakfast. That’s enough for today. That’s all I can do, for today. Unless Ronan is there too. Then I would like to play. You were not. So I left. I went for a very dangerous, night hike instead. But before my little hike, this is what I did. I parked. I sat in the car and sobbed. I sobbed for Jai. I remember thinking to myself poor Jai. And her parents. I cannot imagine what they are feeling. I cannot imagine what it feels like, to be them. Then I had visions of your little face, your little voice, your little lips and how lucky I was to be able to have all of those things. But then I remembered that you are dead. I had forgotten. My head started spinning and I thought I am never going to see him, again. At least not in this life. How is that even possible? How can this even be real? I bolted out of my car. Luckily, I had decided to wear my FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCK tee-shirt while hiking up the mountain today. I do not think my fellow hikers appreciated it very much. The amount of dirty looks I got was actually quite humorous. Quite a few people gave me dirty looks. I gave them dirty looks back while the black tears poured down my cheeks. I’m pretty sure I looked mad. Like in a Mom’s Gone Mad sort of way. I’m pretty sure I didn’t really fucking care today. I am glad nobody said anything out loud to me because I might have punched them. Maybe not punched, because I don’t do physical violence, but I totally would have assaulted them with my middle finger instead.

I came home and your daddy just looked at me. I had snuck out of the house without him seeing what tee-shirt I was wearing. Score 1 for secret operation ninja Maya plan. Score 0 for OH MY GOD NO YOU DID NOT WEAR THAT Woody. I did. And I’m not sorry. Cancer can be sorry, for killing my child. And this is how I feel about cancer, so I’m wearing it. Plus Jai died. And all of these babes are dying, so yeah, fuckyouyoufuckingfuck, was appropriate. I don’t care who says otherwise.

This is what Quinn said to me about 10 times today. “Mom. We have an AIMS test tomorrow. Can you cook us a really good breakfast??”

“Ummm…. of course I can, Quinny.I will cook it and you will do awesome on your test.”

He asked me this, about 5 more times tonight.

I thought to myself, don’t I always cook a good breakfast before school? Then I remembered that no. No I do not. I used to. I used to ALWAYS cook a good breakfast for all of you. Your eggies. Your scrambled eggies. Bacon. Sasauge. The works. I would feed you all, scoop you up in your P.J.’s and throw you in the car. We would drop your brothers off at school and come back home to play for the rest of the day. Now eggies only really happen, on the weekends. During the week, it’s every man for himself here is some cereal and shove some yogurt down your throat if we have time. Eggies pretty much kill me, without having you to feed them too. Tomorrow, I will cook eggies on about the 4 hours of sleep I am going to get tonight. Tomorrow, I will get up extra early to cook the eggies without you. I already hate tomorrow.

This is the other conversation that has gone on for months now. May. May consists of telling your daddy, I think we need to go away.  I do not think it would be a good idea for us to be here, in May. Your daddy wants to know, where I want to go. China. Thailand. Vietnam. Australia. I think it may be a little late for those places. I don’t think I can plan a trip like that. I cannot make a decision to save my life. Why can’t I plan a freaking trip? What is wrong with me? This is easy! Turns out, it’s not so easy. I think I am having major mental block out May issues. If you block out May, it won’t come. It’s coming. I cannot be in Arizona for it. East Coast. I think it’s going to be an East Coast trip. I told your daddy this tonight. Maine? Boston? All of it? “Whatever you want,” was his reply. Just please plan it. Fuck. A plan? How can I plan this let’s get the fuck out of here, because Ronan’s 1 year of everything is coming up??? Because if I do not, I know what will happen. And it is not good.

I tucked your sweet brothers in tonight and sent Rita a text. “Hey. Do you have HBO? I do not. And “Girls,” is premiring on HBO.” It’s our fairy RoMo’s good friends show. I don’t watch T.V. but I did tonight due to Rita’s response  that she did indeed have HBO and she lives close by. We sat and watched, laughed, and LOVED it. I stayed over there late. We talked about May. She has been trying to help me make a decision for weeks now. I’ve been ignoring her. I thought she was going to fly off the couch with happiness when I said, “I’m thinking East Coast…” She seemed to think that was great idea. Maybe tomorrow will be the day that I can make your daddy proud, by figuring this shit out. Maybe tomorrow is already here and it looks bleak. We shall see.

Eggies to cook in the morning, Ro. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo