The beautiful stranger, life, death, and life again

Ronan. 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. Is that how this is going to work? That’s how I feel today. I had one of those days, where I feel as I can’t breathe without you. It started off the way it always does. “Good Morning, boys! Time to wake up. I’ve started your shower.” (insert happy face here)

Shower, teeth brushed, breakfast made, ….. wait. Where’s Ronan? I need to make his eggies. Oh. Ronan is not here….. but continue on anyway. Lunches packed, water bottles filled, dishes done, lights off, boys in car… off to school. Where are you? Because once again, you are not here. I always know this, but some days it smacks me in the face, harder than others.

Autopilot continues on. Boys dropped off, but I knew this morning, that I could not go home to an empty house. I took all of my “busy,” work and my computer to Starbucks so I could sit and get some things done. Coffee, couch alone, laptop out, headphones on, music blaring, and I did my best to ignore all the happy people walking around like sunshine was coming out of their asses. WTF you jerks. Don’t you know that my son just died of cancer? Why is everyone so happy and bliss? Don’t they know there are hospitals all over the world, filled with kids fighting cancer? Of course they do not. Why would they? It is much easier to live in,”The Real Housewives of Scottsdale,” than in, “The Real Housewives of Childhood Cancer.”

Just as I was about to fling myself onto the couch across from me, to strangle the two happy mommies, as they sat in deep in conversation in regards to our worlds problems….. “What are we going to do with all of our free time now that our kids are back in school??? “Yoga or Tennis?” mommy # 1 said. “Tennis has much cuter outfits. Let’s take up Tennis.” mommy #2 said. “I agree, but what am I going to do without my Nanny?” mommy #1 said. “I have to hire a new one soon, because taking care of a one year old, alone, is just too much for me. And it’s interfering with my Yoga.”

Deep breaths, I told myself. No judging. I closed my eyes as the conversation continued on… the screaming started inside of my head. And then she appeared. She, as in the beautiful woman, with the bald head, and hat on. She sat down right next to me. She looked like an angel. I touched her arm. The words, “Do you have cancer?” Just flew out of my mouth. Fuck. Did I really just say that? So elegant, Maya. I wish I would have just said to her, “Are you o.k.?” She smiled, told me yes. My next words were, “Are you going to be o.k.?” I wished they would have been my first. I’m still so very new to this world. I have no idea how to navigate it; and my bluntness tends to just organically take over. She told me she was going to be o.k. That they had caught her Breast Cancer at Stage 1. I felt a wave of warmth wash over me. I told her I had a bracelet for her and handed her an F U Cancer bracelet. I had my computer screen open, and your picture was on it. I then told her about you and how you, my 3-year-old, had just died of cancer. She looked shocked to say the least. I put on my bravest face as she sat with tears in her eyes and asked all about you. I did my best to tell her some of your story. It felt like another out-of-body experience. We sat for about 45 minutes and talked. It turns out, her little boy goes to the same school as Liam and Quinn. Such a strange, small world we live in. Such a coincidence. Or not. Such another sign from you. We exchanged smiles, tears, anger, and phone numbers today. I have a feeling I will be seeing her again. This story literally leaves me with my head spinning. Babydoll. I don’t know why this happened to you; but I know there is a much bigger reason than life. You were meant for so much more than just being on this earth. As much as I hate it, and would give anything to have you back here; I know there is something else. Watching all of these little things, that you are making happen, feels as if I am watching you being born, all over again. It often leaves me breathless, exhausted, scared, and vulnerable. But the “life,” part that you are creating, is going to be so beautiful. I just know it.

After I left Starbucks, I went to visit one of our lovies. I tried my best to sit still and articulate all of the thoughts I have swarming around in my head. I couldn’t even do it. My quietness crept in and took over. I am such an easy book to read. The quietness on the outside is always when I am screaming the loudest in my head. Our lovie knows this. Conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hi. I’m just sitting here, trying to figure out how I’m going to change the world.”

Lovie: “You are going to change the world. I have no doubt about that.”

Lovie: “What is going on with you? Why are you so anxious today?”

Me: (insert smartass reply here) “Um, I don’t know…. maybe because of the fact that my child is dead.”

Lovie: “No. That’s not it. There is something else going on. These past few days, your anxiety has been really high.”

Me:(insert another smartass comment here) “Fine. Maybe it’s because of this list. (throw yellow legal pad across couch) My shit list of 500 nothings, but everything, things that I have to get done.”

I tried to blame my anxiety on the “Shit List,” today, which has everything on it from buying toilet paper to writing Dr. Kushner a Fuck Off letter. The “Shit List,” of 500 nothings but everythings that are bogging me down. So many things that I don’t even know where to start. Did I really just not pick up our dry-cleaning, go to the bank, to the grocery store, today because I just couldn’t?? What the fuck is wrong with me that I could not complete these simple tasks today? Those things could have been easily done and checked off my list. I went Inferno Hiking instead; just hoping to run into that Pink Rattlesnake that Tammy told me about yesterday. I actually had a full on conversation in my head today with that Pink Rattlesnake as I was running up the mountain in 112 degree heat.

In my head, it slithered in front of me, showed me it’s fangs and told me it was going to bite my leg. I told that Pink Rattlesnake, that if it tried, I would kick off it’s head off and kill it because the world took you away, so now, I am invincible to any kind of pain. I know what it is like to feel the worst pain possible, so the pain inflicted by the Pink Rattlesnakes bite, would not hurt me at all. He would be wasting his time and his venom on someone who would feel nothing. I watched as the Pink Rattlesnake, slithered away down the trail to take cover under a shaded bush. I continued on my run up the rocky trail. I was almost to the top, where most people choose to stop, at the first bench. A man was sitting there. I took out my headphones and said hello and what in the heck are you doing up here, as nobody is ever out hiking when I am, in the middle of this heat. The man laughed and told me to come sit down next to him. I told him, no way…. that if he wanted my company than he was going to have to keep up with me and continue up the rest of the hill to the second bench. He got up and followed behind me. I told him that I was running up the hill, not walking, and that he’d better keep up. He did a pretty good job, all while managing to tell me that he had just moved here from Idaho, just got a divorce, he has 3 kids, used to live here when he was little. I listened, quietly, and didn’t really say much of anything. I focused on getting my butt up to the top of our place, as fast as I could. Mountain Mike said I was trying to kill him. I laughed. We got to the top, I did my breathing, pacing, and just being. Mountain Mike did all of the talking for about 15 minutes. I kept thinking…. fuck…. I’m going to have to say those words again when he asks about me. Sometimes I don’t feel like telling strangers about you, but then I feel like I am being dishonest about you, us and what has just happened. Mike asked me what my story was.

Me: “Well, you are basically looking at a human being, living life on this earth, in Hell.

Mountain Mike: “Why? Are you going through a divorce?”

Me: “No. My 3 year old son just died of cancer, hence the reason for the Inferno Hiking.”

Mountain Mike: “I am so sorry. You know, I feel like my divorce is a death. I was married to her for 25 years.”

Me: “Mike. That sucks. But you know what, I’m sure you will fall in love again and your heart will be repaired. Mine won’t ever be. EVER.”

I gave Mountain Mike one of your bracelets, told him to look you up, and then maybe he would understand a little more. I told him goodbye, it was nice meeting him, and I would see him on the way down. He started the trek down the mountain. I stayed at the top to do my talking to you. I stayed for about 15 minutes, put my headphones back on, and hauled ass as fast as I could back down to the bottom. I passed Mountain Mike again during my run. I told him to have a good day.

I was hoping the Inferno Hike would have helped to quiet my mind today; but it didn’t. I survived today somehow, but barely. I picked up your brothers from school, took them to Doctor Beth for a 2 hour individual session. Stacy came by to try to help calm me down over my “Shit List.” We went over everything I need to get done. She settled me down. After Dr. Beth we went to dinner with Daddy. I cannot even tell you how painful that was. We to to Wally’s and the owner goes, “How many?” I automatically said, “Five.” Fuck. I than said, “Actually just 4.” I keep forgetting that you are not behind me, running off, throwing rocks or doing something else naughty that I loved so much. The 4 of us sat at a table. It was just sad and pathetic.

We came home, played a board game as a family. We all got ready for bed. I tried to just sit and watch T.V. with everyone. I hate the T.V. now. I got up, headed into your room and just wanted to be alone so I could sob into your pillows, stuffed animals, and let your bed swallow me whole. I don’ t go into your room very often and tonight I so just wanted to sit in there, alone. But Quinn followed me. GODFUCKINGDAMNIT. I could not break down in front of him, I could not sit and sob for you, the way I so wanted to and needed to. Instead, I sat with Quinn quietly in the dark, held it all inside, and listened to him talk about how he used to love to sleep in your bed with you. I talked to him about you, let him love on me when that is so the last thing I wanted. I loved on him back, told him what an amazing little boy he was how I am so lucky to be a mommy to both him and Liam. None of it felt good or comforting to me. But as of now, very little things do. This is a hard pill for me to swallow. I am still so numb, sad, and in shock. Your daddy said to me tonight that he thinks the sadness from us of missing you is only going to get worse. I told him I agreed. For once, I didn’t try to argue back. He’s right. He knows too. We are all broken, Ro. I don’t know what to do with all of these broken pieces. Are they fixable? I don’t know. All I know is the pain today, was too much because I sat by and watched as all of us had a tough day. I can deal with my pain, but sitting back and watching your brothers and Daddy is so overwhelming sometimes. Just when I think I am strong, that I can get through this; it’s days like today that have me wanting to just throw in the towel. It’s days like today that I have to remind myself of you and how you lived your life. You never gave up. I have to use that strength from you, to survive days like today.

I have to go now, babydoll. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. I love you, Ro.

xoxo

The beautiful stranger, life, death, and life again

Ronan. 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. Is that how this is going to work? That’s how I feel today. I had one of those days, where I feel as I can’t breathe without you. It started off the way it always does. “Good Morning, boys! Time to wake up. I’ve started your shower.” (insert happy face here)

Shower, teeth brushed, breakfast made, ….. wait. Where’s Ronan? I need to make his eggies. Oh. Ronan is not here….. but continue on anyway. Lunches packed, water bottles filled, dishes done, lights off, boys in car… off to school. Where are you? Because once again, you are not here. I always know this, but some days it smacks me in the face, harder than others.

Autopilot continues on. Boys dropped off, but I knew this morning, that I could not go home to an empty house. I took all of my “busy,” work and my computer to Starbucks so I could sit and get some things done. Coffee, couch alone, laptop out, headphones on, music blaring, and I did my best to ignore all the happy people walking around like sunshine was coming out of their asses. WTF you jerks. Don’t you know that my son just died of cancer? Why is everyone so happy and bliss? Don’t they know there are hospitals all over the world, filled with kids fighting cancer? Of course they do not. Why would they? It is much easier to live in,”The Real Housewives of Scottsdale,” than in, “The Real Housewives of Childhood Cancer.”

Just as I was about to fling myself onto the couch across from me, to strangle the two happy mommies, as they sat in deep in conversation in regards to our worlds problems….. “What are we going to do with all of our free time now that our kids are back in school??? “Yoga or Tennis?” mommy # 1 said. “Tennis has much cuter outfits. Let’s take up Tennis.” mommy #2 said. “I agree, but what am I going to do without my Nanny?” mommy #1 said. “I have to hire a new one soon, because taking care of a one year old, alone, is just too much for me. And it’s interfering with my Yoga.”

Deep breaths, I told myself. No judging. I closed my eyes as the conversation continued on… the screaming started inside of my head. And then she appeared. She, as in the beautiful woman, with the bald head, and hat on. She sat down right next to me. She looked like an angel. I touched her arm. The words, “Do you have cancer?” Just flew out of my mouth. Fuck. Did I really just say that? So elegant, Maya. I wish I would have just said to her, “Are you o.k.?” She smiled, told me yes. My next words were, “Are you going to be o.k.?” I wished they would have been my first. I’m still so very new to this world. I have no idea how to navigate it; and my bluntness tends to just organically take over. She told me she was going to be o.k. That they had caught her Breast Cancer at Stage 1. I felt a wave of warmth wash over me. I told her I had a bracelet for her and handed her an F U Cancer bracelet. I had my computer screen open, and your picture was on it. I then told her about you and how you, my 3-year-old, had just died of cancer. She looked shocked to say the least. I put on my bravest face as she sat with tears in her eyes and asked all about you. I did my best to tell her some of your story. It felt like another out-of-body experience. We sat for about 45 minutes and talked. It turns out, her little boy goes to the same school as Liam and Quinn. Such a strange, small world we live in. Such a coincidence. Or not. Such another sign from you. We exchanged smiles, tears, anger, and phone numbers today. I have a feeling I will be seeing her again. This story literally leaves me with my head spinning. Babydoll. I don’t know why this happened to you; but I know there is a much bigger reason than life. You were meant for so much more than just being on this earth. As much as I hate it, and would give anything to have you back here; I know there is something else. Watching all of these little things, that you are making happen, feels as if I am watching you being born, all over again. It often leaves me breathless, exhausted, scared, and vulnerable. But the “life,” part that you are creating, is going to be so beautiful. I just know it.

After I left Starbucks, I went to visit one of our lovies. I tried my best to sit still and articulate all of the thoughts I have swarming around in my head. I couldn’t even do it. My quietness crept in and took over. I am such an easy book to read. The quietness on the outside is always when I am screaming the loudest in my head. Our lovie knows this. Conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hi. I’m just sitting here, trying to figure out how I’m going to change the world.”

Lovie: “You are going to change the world. I have no doubt about that.”

Lovie: “What is going on with you? Why are you so anxious today?”

Me: (insert smartass reply here) “Um, I don’t know…. maybe because of the fact that my child is dead.”

Lovie: “No. That’s not it. There is something else going on. These past few days, your anxiety has been really high.”

Me:(insert another smartass comment here) “Fine. Maybe it’s because of this list. (throw yellow legal pad across couch) My shit list of 500 nothings, but everything, things that I have to get done.”

I tried to blame my anxiety on the “Shit List,” today, which has everything on it from buying toilet paper to writing Dr. Kushner a Fuck Off letter. The “Shit List,” of 500 nothings but everythings that are bogging me down. So many things that I don’t even know where to start. Did I really just not pick up our dry-cleaning, go to the bank, to the grocery store, today because I just couldn’t?? What the fuck is wrong with me that I could not complete these simple tasks today? Those things could have been easily done and checked off my list. I went Inferno Hiking instead; just hoping to run into that Pink Rattlesnake that Tammy told me about yesterday. I actually had a full on conversation in my head today with that Pink Rattlesnake as I was running up the mountain in 112 degree heat.

In my head, it slithered in front of me, showed me it’s fangs and told me it was going to bite my leg. I told that Pink Rattlesnake, that if it tried, I would kick off it’s head off and kill it because the world took you away, so now, I am invincible to any kind of pain. I know what it is like to feel the worst pain possible, so the pain inflicted by the Pink Rattlesnakes bite, would not hurt me at all. He would be wasting his time and his venom on someone who would feel nothing. I watched as the Pink Rattlesnake, slithered away down the trail to take cover under a shaded bush. I continued on my run up the rocky trail. I was almost to the top, where most people choose to stop, at the first bench. A man was sitting there. I took out my headphones and said hello and what in the heck are you doing up here, as nobody is ever out hiking when I am, in the middle of this heat. The man laughed and told me to come sit down next to him. I told him, no way…. that if he wanted my company than he was going to have to keep up with me and continue up the rest of the hill to the second bench. He got up and followed behind me. I told him that I was running up the hill, not walking, and that he’d better keep up. He did a pretty good job, all while managing to tell me that he had just moved here from Idaho, just got a divorce, he has 3 kids, used to live here when he was little. I listened, quietly, and didn’t really say much of anything. I focused on getting my butt up to the top of our place, as fast as I could. Mountain Mike said I was trying to kill him. I laughed. We got to the top, I did my breathing, pacing, and just being. Mountain Mike did all of the talking for about 15 minutes. I kept thinking…. fuck…. I’m going to have to say those words again when he asks about me. Sometimes I don’t feel like telling strangers about you, but then I feel like I am being dishonest about you, us and what has just happened. Mike asked me what my story was.

Me: “Well, you are basically looking at a human being, living life on this earth, in Hell.

Mountain Mike: “Why? Are you going through a divorce?”

Me: “No. My 3 year old son just died of cancer, hence the reason for the Inferno Hiking.”

Mountain Mike: “I am so sorry. You know, I feel like my divorce is a death. I was married to her for 25 years.”

Me: “Mike. That sucks. But you know what, I’m sure you will fall in love again and your heart will be repaired. Mine won’t ever be. EVER.”

I gave Mountain Mike one of your bracelets, told him to look you up, and then maybe he would understand a little more. I told him goodbye, it was nice meeting him, and I would see him on the way down. He started the trek down the mountain. I stayed at the top to do my talking to you. I stayed for about 15 minutes, put my headphones back on, and hauled ass as fast as I could back down to the bottom. I passed Mountain Mike again during my run. I told him to have a good day.

I was hoping the Inferno Hike would have helped to quiet my mind today; but it didn’t. I survived today somehow, but barely. I picked up your brothers from school, took them to Doctor Beth for a 2 hour individual session. Stacy came by to try to help calm me down over my “Shit List.” We went over everything I need to get done. She settled me down. After Dr. Beth we went to dinner with Daddy. I cannot even tell you how painful that was. We to to Wally’s and the owner goes, “How many?” I automatically said, “Five.” Fuck. I than said, “Actually just 4.” I keep forgetting that you are not behind me, running off, throwing rocks or doing something else naughty that I loved so much. The 4 of us sat at a table. It was just sad and pathetic.

We came home, played a board game as a family. We all got ready for bed. I tried to just sit and watch T.V. with everyone. I hate the T.V. now. I got up, headed into your room and just wanted to be alone so I could sob into your pillows, stuffed animals, and let your bed swallow me whole. I don’ t go into your room very often and tonight I so just wanted to sit in there, alone. But Quinn followed me. GODFUCKINGDAMNIT. I could not break down in front of him, I could not sit and sob for you, the way I so wanted to and needed to. Instead, I sat with Quinn quietly in the dark, held it all inside, and listened to him talk about how he used to love to sleep in your bed with you. I talked to him about you, let him love on me when that is so the last thing I wanted. I loved on him back, told him what an amazing little boy he was how I am so lucky to be a mommy to both him and Liam. None of it felt good or comforting to me. But as of now, very little things do. This is a hard pill for me to swallow. I am still so numb, sad, and in shock. Your daddy said to me tonight that he thinks the sadness from us of missing you is only going to get worse. I told him I agreed. For once, I didn’t try to argue back. He’s right. He knows too. We are all broken, Ro. I don’t know what to do with all of these broken pieces. Are they fixable? I don’t know. All I know is the pain today, was too much because I sat by and watched as all of us had a tough day. I can deal with my pain, but sitting back and watching your brothers and Daddy is so overwhelming sometimes. Just when I think I am strong, that I can get through this; it’s days like today that have me wanting to just throw in the towel. It’s days like today that I have to remind myself of you and how you lived your life. You never gave up. I have to use that strength from you, to survive days like today.

I have to go now, babydoll. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. I love you, Ro.

xoxo

The Birth of Maya Inca Thompson

Ro baby. I feel like I have a lot to say tonight. Although my mind is tired, but restless. Bad combo. Today was a blur. I got by with A LOT of help from my friends. I have so many “life,” things to get caught up on, that it leaves my head spinning. Melissa and Marisa came over to help go through everything I needed to do. They went through mail, organized receipts, Melissa did my calendar and helped me make all the appointments that our family needs…. Dentist, Eye Doctor, Hearing Doctor, Check-up for me, counseling appts, booked me for the Sedona Grief Retreat, etc…… It was never-ending. Thank GOD for those two. I feel like we made a pretty good dent in getting things under control around here. Fernanda and Heather stopped by too. It felt good to have them here as I was pretty shaken up. Before anyone arrived, I pulled into our driveway and just started bawling, knowing that I was coming home to an empty house without you. Marisa arrived soon after and I opened the door as she was holding baby Max and just grabbed her and started crying. I told her I couldn’t believe this was my life now. A quiet, empty house. She got all teary, but I distracted her by grabbing her little love bug out of her arms and holding on to him, while kissing him everywhere. I got felt such a wave of happiness wash over me as I loved on her baby boy. He is so sweet and came right to me, no question asked. GOSH. Babies are so good for the soul. I’ve always been obsessed with them. Max healed my heart for the hour and a half that he was here. Aren’t babies just he most amazing things in the world??? So innocent, pure, and healing. Little Max will have my heart for the rest of my life. It may have a little to do with his amazing mama too. And Gracie Boo. Hearing Marisa talk today, about you and Gracie was so painful. She was your first girlfriend. I’ll never forget your first play date. You must have only been about 6 months old. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

After the girls left, I threw on my hiking shoes and headed out for The Inferno Hike. It was hot, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I ran up that mountain, screamed your name for a while, and than took an entire bottle of water and dumped it all over my body. It felt so good. I sat with you and nature for as long as I could withstand the heat. I threw my headphones back on and hauled ass back down the mountain. Every time I am there, I always leave about 10 of your F U Cancer bracelets on a random tree. Just hoping someone will find it, take one, be curious, and read your story. I like to leave pieces of you everywhere I go, so I often leave your bracelets in random places. It makes me feel like you are with me and you are with others. It makes me feel like you will help someone by making them aware of your story. It makes me feel good. I always wonder who finds those bracelets and if they are respectful and curious enough to Google your name to find out who you are. Or if they just look at them, ignore them and throw them on the ground. I would like to think not… but you never know. It is a chance I am willing to take.

I have something I’ve meant to tell you. A funny something. I had the chance to meet Tricia’s brother, Travis, a few weeks ago. He has been in the Peace Corps and has just left for Costa Rica to go and work on an Apple Farm. I tell you, those Tinney kids. I told Tricia I was so proud of her and all of her siblings. They are all doing amazing, wonderful things with their lives. Traveling, helping others, exploring, and finding out who they really want to be in life. I love that. When I was hanging out with Tricia and Travis, we were telling Travis about our “Gangster names.” Tricia is T-Lash, Quinn is Q-Dub, etc….. It’s just something silly we make up. Tricia told Travis I needed one. Out of nowhere, within seconds, he pulled out Inca. It was such a beautiful, crazy, funny name to me that it has totally stuck. I’ve decided that “Inka,” is going to be my bad-ass alter ego. Inka will be who I summon within me when I need to make something happen, but feel a little nervous or scared to go about it. Inca will make everything I want to happen, happen. Or she will at least try her hardest and not give up. Inca is going to give me the strength to kick ass when I feel like I cannot kick ass anymore. I love it. Thank you, Travis. Everyone should have an alter ego name. I’ve always longed for one, but never felt like anything was right. I am glad I was patient enough and your gift was given to me; not forced. It was organic and pure which I LOVE.

Just to give you an idea of the amazingness of Travis… I’m going to share with you some things he has written. I hope it’s o.k. with him. If not, Tricia said I could do it!! Love you, Travis and Tricia.

Inka,

Had fun hanging out with you Liam, and Quinn. I know I would have loved the rockstar. “The past is always there, May it be beautiful”  Arti (This not a long e sound at the end, more just a really hard T.) Kiriloo (first i is long like eye, second one is short) Bulsoon. Arti Kiriloo Bulsoon. Be well and feel free to drop an email anytime.

your friend,
Travis
Here is the next one he sent to Tricia about his Costa Rica adventures:
Hey yo,

Well. Let me begin by saying that things are well, and I am feeling great. Things went perfectly as planned my travel days, and I arrived with little to no problems at my ultimate destination, which was a farm near a surfing town called Dominical. As you all probably know I was planning on volunteering at this farm for as long as possible. I had corresponded with the owner of the farm, Brian, since March. He advertised his farm as an Ashram where him and his wife live with a couple other members. There were to be a series of discussions concerning spiritual topics ranging from courage or acceptance to god itself. I arrived to the farm on Thursday. Brian picked me up from the surfing town, and I immediately was a little surprised that he did not seem friendlier. Not asking so much about my travel. We arrived at the farm, and it was awesome. It is literally in the jungle. He lives in a tiny cabin in the jungle, and has for 36 years. On the website I found him on he said that volunteers work as much as they like depending on how they are feeling, and true to that when I arrived he said that he wanted me to rest. However the first thing we did was make juice. I was exhausted from traveling 30 hours straight, but energized to be there so I made some juice with a smile on my face. The juice was really good. Made with all fruit on the farm. The inside of the hut was dim, no shortage of bugs and mosquitoes. The two other volunteers that were staying in the guest cabin came down for dinner. We had a nice salad, but the other volunteers were surprisingly tense, and I was really the only one trying to drive any conversation at dinner. Those 2 left, and it was just me and Brian. It gets dark around 630 and by this time it was about 730 and I was ready for bed. Brian started playing dissident minor chords on his electric piano that was directly under the shelf-ish bed I was to sleep on. I waited for a few minutes. He kept playing so I hopped onto the bed and waited a couple minutes. Then I figured he wasn’t going to stop so I just decided to lay down and give it a go. While I was laying there I began to get really scared and feel very xenophobic. I wanted to tell him I was going to leave the next day, come home, and never leave a small space that I would pick. It didn’t help that I was exhausted, but I was thinking that I didn’t really know this guy. I am in the jungle. There are really poisonous snakes on the property. Look up the Fer de lance. I had no phone, or internet, or even a pocket knife. Eventually he stopped playing and I managed to get to sleep.
  The next morning I felt great. I knew that I wouldn’t respect myself if I backed down to my fear, so I decided to just take it as it was and go for it. That day I was up at 5 maybe 5:30 at the latest. I told Brian I had a crazy dream, and that I am really interested in dreams. He replied that dreams are useless expressions about our confusion. I thought, that didn’t go well. I worked that day all day. until sundown. Of course I rested here and there, and we all ate lunch together. Saturday I woke up at 6:30, when the other volunteers were to come down for breakfast. We all ate breakfast and at some point brian said to me, “You do need to get up earlier.” I thought that it was strange, but I thought not problem. I was excited to get up earlier because it meant I got to go outside and chop down jungle with a machete, which is awesome to do. I was still feeling good and brave, and I had slept much better that night. I went out and worked all day. Until sunset. With occasional rests for a couple minutes, but the other volunteers went to sleep at noon and I worked until 6.
   I swear to you that I am not exaggerating any of this. In fact Brian said, ” I wish I had three volunteers like you.” There was another guest cabin under construction that I was going to start sleeping in because his “wife” Paty was coming for the weekend. On his profile he said that they were married and at least insinuated that the marriage had been for a long period of time. They in fact were not married, but planning to get married in December and just recently had there one year anniversary. So I set up my tent in the unfinished cabin that was basically just outside in the jungle. We had found a family of scorpions in there earlier when cleaning the cabin. Huge cockroaches the size of mice. It was basically outside. At some point that day I was walking down the steps to the cabin and the step broke. I told brian, and was very surpised how upset he was. Since he claimed to be a yogi, and anger is not really something that yogis like to dwell in. Anyhow he said it wasn’t my fault and that it was the other volunteers bouncing up and down the stairs, then scolded them later. That night I slept in the tent in the unfinished cabin. I woke up at 530 and did yoga with paty and the other volunteers. She was so nice and open, and really just a gentle and caring person. After yoga I began painting a roof high above the rocky ground under the very hot sun. (No one falls don’t worry). It was really hot and I was working very hard. I painted for about 3 and a half maybe four hours straight until I was very faint. I didn’t feel well and decided I had to go lay down. While walking across the roof I stepped on a sky light that was made out of some other material and cracked it making a hole about 5  inches long. I knew he was going to be pissed. I went down and told him, and he told me “guy you don’t watch where you are going, go away and think about your responsibility, get out now.” He said a couple other things that were along the same lines. So i showered up and decided to tell him I was confused about how angry he seemed to be. I would pay for the damage without a problem, but I wanted to say that I cam there to be his friend and learn from him and his farm. I really thought the whole talk was going to end in a hug. I got out of the shower and approached him. This is more or less exactly what was said. Probably less.
“Well what do you have? What did you come up with?”
“Well I think that…”
“Ya, what”
“Well.”
“Ya what, huh what.”
This was him interrupting me and mocking me. I told him I would like to say somethings and would appreciate it if he could listen. I started by saying that I really thought the farm was great and that he had done something special there. That is about as far as I got and he told me “you are a heavy footed loud mouth….and you eat too much! You need to leave”
and that was that. I was pretty upset, but just packed up my stuff, said goodbye to the other volunteers, who were absolutely astonished, and left.
Now I am in the surf town! Tomorrow I am going to start surf lessons. What a crazy few days. Love you guys write me whenever. I should have more regular internet now.
Travis is only 25, but he has done and seen so much in his life. I love that he is following his heart, which will eventually lead him to his destiny. I love that he is helping others while feeding his soul. I love his free spirit. Ronan would have loved him. I am so glad I finally got to meet one of the many Tinney siblings. They are all so unique.
LIttle one. This is all I can write tonight. I’m keeping your Daddy up and I need to be respectful of him and his sleep tonight. So much more to say, but he puts up with so much. I’ve got to try to simmer down, but I feel better having talked to you. Love you so much my “not spicy,” little monkey boy. Miss you every second of the day and I always hope you are safe. G’night my love.
xoxo

INFERNO HIKE. F U CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!