Quinn Does Not Have Brain Cancer and I Am Not Dying

Ronan. Quinn does not have brain cancer. Thank you for that. He just suffers from migraines, like your daddy. Brain cancer worries to rest. For now. It was a busy weekend. I spent most of it, hanging out with your brothers. They had a basketball game on Saturday. I felt so proud, watching them. Basketball has become therapeutic to them. Your daddy spends so much time, practicing with them. It’s showing on the court for sure. They are strong, fast, and aggressive. You heard me right. Aggressive. This coming from the two most gentle giants, to walk this earth. As their mama, watching this fire that burns within them on the basketball court, makes me so proud. I know it comes from you. I love watching them play. I hate how my eyes wander over to the other side of the court to where the 5 and 6 year olds are playing. I always picture you out there. You would have been the best player, rocking your Nike headband for sure. I told them after their game, how proud I was. I told them how much you would have loved watching them play and how you would have been yelling and screaming for them. The not having your little squeaky screams around, will always destroy me. Always.

I was tired Saturday, after being out for most of the day. I had a date night with Liam and your daddy took Quinn to the ASU football game. Liam and I cuddled on the couch and watched a movie. It’s still hard for me to sit still and just watch a movie. I did it for Liam. I made him a pizza and popcorn. I may have burnt the pizza, but he didn’t mind. He was just happy to have me cook it for him. On Sunday, we had a nice little treat. Our friends, Robyn and Kyle, flew in for the night. Kyle asked Robyn, if she could go anywhere for one night, where would she want to go? She said to see me. I was over the moon about the two of them, coming to visit. They got in Sunday afternoon and we spent the day just hanging out and lying low. Your daddy and Kyle did a lot of guitar playing and singing. Robyn and I did a lot of trying to find me something to wear for The Gold Party (I still having nothing to wear because I refuse to spend an insane amount of money on a dress!) and talking about you and Ezra. I hate that she gets this in what seems to be the exact same way that I get this; but I love this too. I don’t feel so alone when I am around her. I swear to you, she knows my pain almost exactly. She loved Ezra, that much. She knows her perfect life will never exist again, because her perfect life was when Ezra was here. I know that, too. We feel a lot of the same dark things that I don’t really want to share on here. I can go to the darkest of the dark places with Robyn and not be scared that I am being judged or criticized. She is one of the few people I can do this with and it’s all because cancer killed her fucking kid, too. Fuckwad asshole that cancer is.

I took her on a night hike with Kassie and your brothers. I huffed and puffed all the way up the fucking mountain. Robyn laughed at me and the way I had to have my hands on the side of my hips, so I could keep my balance. It is a lot of work carrying a Poppy in my belly. My inner insane workout goddess is not happy, but what’s a girl to do? I can’t do much, so I continued to huff and puff up to the top of the mountain until we arrived at our church. It was dark, quiet and peaceful. We did our little list of the things we were grateful for. Robyn said lists like that were hard for her. They are always hard for me. I made your brothers do one, too. I told them we couldn’t leave the mountain until it was done. They said some cute things. Things 9 year olds should say. Quinn’s last one was he was grateful for his health. That got to me, in a good way and a sad way. I was proud of him for saying his health but it also made me fucking pissed at the world that I know he only knows this, due to you dying. We got down the mountain, in the dark. I didn’t fall. Yay, me. Poppy wouldn’t have been to pleased about that one. We came home and your daddy and Kyle had cooked us all dinner. We gathered around like the unconventional family we are, but nothing has ever felt so much like family since you’ve been gone. Kyle had your brothers in stitches. Kassie just looked like an angel. Robyn just feels like home. Your daddy makes everything safe. Liam and Quinn, remind me of you. Our kitchen table was filled with laugher, pain, sadness, and beauty… all in a very safe, yet dark world that we exist in. I have decided I don’t really feel like I live anymore, Ronan. I exist if anything. I can get by, existing and working the rest of my life to exist in a really, really, really good way. By helping others and opening my heart to these beautiful people, that I am so lucky to know. So lucky for being so unlucky. Talk about ironic.

Robyn and Kyle left today. I was sad to see them go but so glad that they came. My phone rang from my OBGY’s office. I didn’t pick up, on purpose. I had blood work done there last week. I knew they were calling to tell me I had some deadly disease or that Poppy is dying. I listened to the voicemail and called back. My heart was racing. I waited to talk to someone. I was preparing myself, for the worst like I always do with every situation now. I had the talk in my head with Liam and Quinn about how I was dying or how Poppy could not be born. This is automatically where my mind goes and I’m not proud of it but it is not anything I can control. I think I was about ready to hyperventilate on the phone when the lady came on to tell me everything came back fine, except my thyroid looked off. “What do you mean, I’m not dying and Poppy’s not dying!” I wanted to scream. Surely something bigger had to be wrong? Surely the other shoe was going to drop, right?? Not today, Ronan. Not today. Not even today when my very special friend had her very hard surgery. One she thought she might die from. I told her I had talked to you, and she would not be dying. I was right. Everything went great. Thank you for that. You know I could not survive, without her.

I’m going to go now. I’m tired, but what’s new. Seems to be a theme around here. This Poppy pregnancy is for the birds. But I will try to be grateful for this gift that is growing inside of me. I am grateful, Ronan. Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful, but it is a lot harder than I had anticipated. I wasn’t mentally prepared for all the grief that was going to consume me, too. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xxoo

Stuck on the Top of a Mountain in the Middle of a Haboob. A Haboob. Google it. It’s real.

Ronan. I made it through today. But tomorrow has to come now, too. The 9th. 16 months. Oh, and don’t forget August 13th, your diagnoses day. It’s always something around here. What choice do I have but to keep rolling with the punches? I don’t. This fucking bullshit grief/bereaved parent/life thing is such fucking bullshit. It’s a constant struggle to feel like I can breathe on most days. How did I get through today? With your help of course. It’s always you that helps me through the most.

I got through today by trying to be kind to myself. I got through today by allowing myself to feel, whatever it is that I needed to feel. I got though today by a little help from my friends and strangers. I got through today by looking at the smiles on your brothers faces. I got though today with the little sign that you sent me to let me know that you are still with me. It was a long fucking day though. I am beat.

Who gets off a red-eye only to land straight on my door step with flowers, donuts, a card, and some silly school things for your brothers? Only our crazy, Heather Freaking Firecracker. Our spicy little friend whose heart is bigger then her body. Not like that is saying much, because she is so itty bitty. She made my morning a little brighter which helped contain my tears for the drop off that I had to do. I dropped off your brothers. I didn’t let myself sit there and sob. I peeled out of that school like my hair was on fire. Not really. I may break a lot of rules, but speeding in a school zone is not one of them. I took a deep breath and calmly left school. I ran some errands. I had a mini breakdown in a parking lot, in my car. I looked at my phone. Your Sparkly: I hope you are o.k. Me: Not o.k. I’m sorry. I can’t believe he is not here. I think I let him down. Him: Please don’t do this. You are the best mom. You did NOT let him down. Me: insert sobbing here: It wasn’t enough. How could it not have been enough? You are making me cry. Stop making me cry. He knows it wasn’t him, who was making me cry. It never is. I pulled it together. I drove through a drive through car wash, for you. Because I used to just take you to them, when our car wasn’t even dirty because you loved them so much. I met a stranger for coffee. We have a mutual friend. She asked if I could meet this week. I jumped at the chance to meet her today. She knew what today was. I told her that it would give me something to look forward to; our little meeting of strangers. I left there feeling like she could be my friend.

I went to the freaking grocery store. I hate the grocery store. I made myself get things done for your brothers. I told myself I was going to cook dinner tonight. I picked your brothers up from school. “Hi boys! How was your day? Tell me everything!” I asked 50 questions. They were so happy. They had such a good first day. I tried my best to push down my sadness. I am so glad they had such a wonderful day. I let this fill me with the little happiness that I am capable of feeling now. It’s enough. I get them home, make snacks, we start homework. I engage and help them. A treat is left at our front doorstep by one of our friends/neighbors. This melts my broken heart. It makes your brothers smile. They gobble up the deliciousness. Your daddy gets home. We cook dinner, together. Kind of. Not really. I let him cook. I shredded the lettuce. Does that count? I don’t sit down to eat. I don’t eat again today. It’s o.k. I’m not hungry. I get a text from our lovie, Kassie. “Do you want to hike? I need to for my sanity.” “Absolutely,” I say. “I’ll meet you on our mountain, at 7.” Your daddy takes the boys to The Village.

I meet up with Kass. The girl who is literally looks like sunshine, but with a bit of a dark cloud above her. I call that dark cloud, wisdom and pain. Wisdom and pain that gives her young life, so much more meaning than others. I met her through this blog. The crazy thing is, after we started up our little friendship, we both found out that you shared a room at PCH with her brother who was going through cancer treatment. He was older. I never met Kassie. I am so glad I know her now. She likes to inferno hike with me. She even goes to the inferno without me. We sat at the top for a long time. We talk about everything. We talked a lot about you. A man came up to the top. We struck up a conversation with him. It was odd. Everyone has a story. He told us he liked to hike to the top of the mountain and then say 5 things that he was grateful for. He asked if we wanted to do it out loud with him. Sure. O.k. Why not. He said his list. I went next. Deep breath. I tried to clear my head. I struggled with what to say. I need to work on my gratitude list a little more I guess. I managed to come up with 5 things. I think they were this:

1) My husband. He walks on water.

2) My twins

3) The love between myself and my Ronan. He is the reason I continue to go on. He is the reason for everything I do.

4) The kindness of strangers

5) My family and friends.

It took everything for me to not scream from the top of my lungs, ” I AM NOT GRATEFUL FOR ANYTHING BECAUSE CANCER KILLED THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! I WAS GRATEFUL FOR EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE, ALWAYS, BEFORE ALL OF THIS! I DIDN’T NEED THIS LESSON!THIS LESSON IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!”

If this would have been a year ago, I would have screamed all of those things and then jumped off the side of the cliff. See, I am growing! Gold star for me! That would have been my anger taking over today. I controlled it. I will work on my grateful list a little more, for you.

Kassie’s list was great. She is a good girl who is grateful for everything and just wants to help make this world a better place. I was grateful for her list.

The man left after he decided that we might be insane, due to our snarkiness about how kids dying from cancer, is not the way to learn a life lesson. No thanks, buddy. We would rather have learned it another way. But thanks for playing with us. I’m sorry your puppy died. Bye-Bye. He left. We watched. The lightning danced around us. “Where is the moon”? Kassie asked. “That’s weird. It’s not out tonight. Why is it so light out? It’s 8:00.” I said. We couldn’t figure it out. The clouds started to roll in. “Look. Those clouds came out of nowhere. It’s not supposed to storm tonight.” I said. We watched some more. The wind started whipping around us. “Crap! Kassie said. “I think we are trapped in a Haboob!”  I just laughed. “We totally are! Ronan is so pissed he didn’t get to start kindergarten today!” We sat at the top of our RoChurch tonight for a good 45 minutes and let the storm whip around us. No rain. Just a lot of dust and wind. We laughed. I might have cried for a second. I waited for it to calm down, so we could get off of the mountain. After the wind had settled, we got up and headed down. It was so bright, without the moon, that we didn’t need a light. So strange. We made it down the mountain and that’s when it happened. Only you could do this, for me. The second my foot touched the exact spot of where I have one of my favorite pictures in the world of you, a rain drop kissed my lip. “Kass! Did you feel that? It’s raining! It’s raining and I have this picture or Ronan, right here, in this very spot.” We both stopped and waited. It took a minute for her to feel it. But then, big, huge tears fell from the sky. But only right where we were standing. “That is so Ronan,” I said. “He always does this for me, when I need it the most.” We extended out our arms and let the big, sloppy wet tears fall on our faces. I smiled. “He’s the best.” We stayed for a few minutes and enjoyed the rest of your little storm. A sign from you that I very much needed today. Thank you, baby doll.

I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. I will try to do something dangerous for our danger day tomorrow. Fuck you 16 months.

xoxo