Sometimes it takes the hardest fall, to know where you really stand

Ro baby. I’m back home. In your home where you should be but are not. It was strange to leave NYC without you only to wind up back at our house, without you. Your brothers were sound asleep as it was late when I got in. I went into their room and gave them a million kisses. I was thankful to have them to come home to. I woke up this morning to hearing your brothers get up and in the shower; all by themselves. I didn’t even have to wake them. They are getting so big and responsible. They are so much more responsible than most 8-year-old boys. I guess that comes with the hard lessons they have had to learn. When I came home last night, I saw a laminated poster that Liam had made for school that your daddy had helped him with. It was full of pictures of all things Liam. Along with the things about him such as his favorite place, food, thing to do, etc….. I read the words, “If I had one wish it would be _________. He had filled in the blank with, “unlimited wishes.” I looked at your daddy and I could feel the tears start to sting my eyes. I said to him, “Wait. He didn’t wish for Ronan back? Why wouldn’t he have wished for Ronan back?” Your daddy said he had asked Liam that question too. Liam simply replied that he would wish for that second, after he got his unlimited wishes. For a split second, my heart was broken over Liam’s answer but then I remembered how he is just 8 years old. How I know that he wishes for you back, everyday. But what kid wants to go to school and tell their entire class that they wish that their baby brother, who died of cancer, to come back? What 8-year-old, wants to explain that to their entire class? To me, that was even more heartbreaking. After my split second punch in the gut that I literally felt, it went away quickly and I thought to myself, “What a smart little kid.” I know how badly losing you has scarred your brothers for life. I am watching them, slowly learn how to live without you. And I can tell you everything they do is with 110 percent more effort, fire and passion. They are the best little boys in every way possible. I am so lucky, Ro. I am so proud of them.

I spent today with Dr. JoRo. We talked all about New York and how good it was for me. She is so glad I fought for that trip. I am glad too. I listened to myself tell her things that I never thought I’d hear myself say again like I feel hopeful and inspired. That I feel like I am starting to believe in myself just a bit. She had me fill out a few questionnaires that apparently, I had filled out when I first came to see her. I told her I didn’t remember filling out a thing. I stared at her questionnaire like I was seeing it for the first time. She assured me that I had filled it out before and she watched me as I checked the boxes off one by one, once again. She compared my answers to the one’s I had answered only a few months after losing you. My numbers were really high on her scale as far as PTSD and some other things go. My numbers are a little lower now. She talked about how she would never say I’m getting better because you don’t get better with something like this. But she did tell me I’m learning to cope with things a little more. I’m learning to slowly come back to life, one piece at a time. I guess this is progress. I told her she had given me this test at the wrong time….. straight from coming back from a NYC trip. I told her to give it to me next week, after reality came crashing down again. She laughed and said she would.

I forgot to tell you a totally funny story that happened on my last day in New York. I was out for my Central Park run and I had stopped at mile 4 and sent Katherine some really pretty sunny NYC picture along with some words about how lame this extra safe, Central Park daylight run was. She replied back with something even more clever and brilliant than my smart ass comment. I continued on my extra safe stupid this is not dangerous enough for me run, laughing at her words. I was a few miles back into my run and I guess I was running pretty fast, but I was totally zoned out. All of a sudden, I tripped on something and felt myself go flying through the air. And I’m not talking the kind of flying where you end up on your ass. I’m talking the kind of flying that it’s like you are running to home plate in a baseball game and go sliding in head first to score a run. Oh YEAH. That was totally me. Except I was not on a baseball field. I was on hard, black pavement. I picked myself up quickly and totally just started running again like nothing had happened. My hands, clothes, and body told a different story. My hands and clothes were covered in the black NYC streets, I had blood and asphalt, engraved into my skin, and I could feel the huge bruise on my thigh getting bigger by the second. I finished my run, in fits of giggles though, so wishing somebody would have caught my totally awesome fall on tape. I texted Kath and told her that it turns out, running in Central Park in the middle of the day, CAN be dangerous. I could be on to something here and I have the asphalt tattoos to prove it. I’ve scrubbed for 2 days now and my hands are still black. I told you NYC didn’t want me to leave. Or at least it wanted to send me off back to Phoenix with the reminder that no matter how hard I fall in life, I’m the only one that can pick my sorry little ass back up. Nobody else, Ro. There was nobody there to save me or help me when I fell yesterday. And even if there would have been, my stubborn self would not have taken their hand. Because deep down, I know that it is going to take a lot of falls, bruises and bloodied hands to get through this. I know that I am the only one that is capable of fixing my owies, as you used to call them. You are so worth each and every one or them, Ro. I love you so much.

I’m tired baby. I spent the rest of tonight doing all the things that I should be doing like helping your brothers with their homework and playing football outside with them. I missed you every single second. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. G’nite, little one. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

Adam Spofford owns a laptop. And meet Gary.

Ronan. A few things have happened since I’ve last written. I’ll start with Gary. Gary the stuffed animal that I bought for you in Starbucks. Gary who I didn’t tell anyone about, except for Dr. JoRo. I was waiting to board the plane with your Daddy and brothers. I was so sad. I didn’t want to get on the plane. I was sitting down. Quinn came and sat next to me. He saw Gary in my purse. He pulled him out and asked what he was and said he smelled like coffee. I told Quinn, that I had bought him for you. I said to Quinn, “Ronan would have liked him, don’t you think?” He smiled and said yes. I asked Quinn what you would have named him. I watched as Quinn got nervous and his little eyes started to tear up. He said he didn’t know. He didn’t want to answer me. He kept looking at the ground. I pushed him and told him just to think of the first name that popped into his head. He took a minute to answer me. He shyly looked up at me and goes, “I don’t know. Maybe Gary.” I thought I was hearing things. I said to him, “That’s exactly what I named him!” I grabbed Quinny’s face and kissed his lips. I told him I loved him. I took it as a sign from you, that I had to get on the airplane and go. During mid-flight, I could hear your daddy and Liam laughing behind us. They started handing us little post it notes that somebody had left in their in flight magazine. The post it notes said things like, “LOSER.” a game of tic-tac-toe was played. Hearts were drawn. But the best one said, “Adam Spofford owns a laptop. This is his laptop. It sucks.” xoxo- a friend. I don’t know why, but these little post it notes from a previous flyer, probably a 10-year-old girl, made us laugh. And trust me, we really needed to laugh. I made it though the flight. Quinn slept on me. Everything in my body hurt. The memories came flooding back of all the flights I taken with you and how sick you were. The memory came flooding back of our last flight together. How you could hardly move because you were in so much pain. I tried to push these memories out of my head. But they are here to stay. Forever. I know this.

We landed really late. Around midnight. It’s our first time to Nana and Papa’s, without you. Painful beyond words. But as I said before, necessary. Everything is so pretty. Nana made sure you are everywhere. Her tree is done up all purple just for you. Your stocking is hanging in between Liam and Quinn’s, just like it should be. Gifts bursting out of it. Your pictures are still all over her house, just as they have always been. Everything is the same, yet different. Nana’s house is perfectly sparkly, warm, cozy, and so welcoming. She has always been so good at this as I know, we are all her whole world. The house is full of laugher, despite you being gone. Not from me but from your brothers and Papa Jim. The never-ending goofing off and playing games that is going on is all too familiar. It’s just the way it has always been. I miss your giggles the most though. It is so obvious they are missing.

We drove to the beach yesterday to go clam digging. I slept most of the way as your Papa Jim drove us. I closed my eyes and thought of you almost the whole way there. I knew exactly where you would have sat, what you would have worn, the things that you would have said. The entire car ride would have been completely different. I know all of this. We arrived to the beach where we were greeted by the cold, wet weather. My favorite. I got out of the car and helped your brothers get all bundled up. We ran out to the ocean in our rubber boots. The tide was out really far and it was drizzling rain. I was playing with Liam. A small wave came chasing after us. A small wave that was much bigger than I had thought. We both ran but it caught up to us. I watched as Liam’s boots were flooded with water and he got soaking wet. I did as well. Within the first 15 minutes, we both had soggy boots and wet jeans. I laughed as I knew if you had been with us, you would have been drenched as well. I took Liam back to the truck and changed his socks but the damage was done…. once your boots are wet, forget about it. We toughed it out for the next hour but we were soon frozen. We headed back to the truck and watched as your daddy, Quinn, and Papa Jim dug for clams. They didn’t get a single one but it didn’t matter. It was all about the adventure and letting them make the happy memories they deserve. Our drive home was long. We played games in the car. I looked out the window and was reminded of why I love it here so much. There is something so peaceful about the Pacific Northwest. I decided that it was a really good thing, that we came here for Christmas. I needed to get away from the rat race of Phoenix. I needed a break. I needed some fresh air. I needed to breathe. I feel like I am suffocating in AZ. A change of scenery has been good, for as hard as I thought it was going to be….. it isn’t as bad as I had anticipated. We all needed this.

I spent this morning with your daddy. I think he was a little worried that we didn’t have gifts for your brothers. He woke me up early to get out of the house. I put up a fight about going out as I just wanted to stay in bed all day. I didn’t. I got up and showered. We ran into town. There are 3 choices when it comes to shopping in this little town. The closest one being Super Walmart. It was totally a Super Walmart kind of day. We roamed the aisles. I got mad. I got sad. I think I told him everything was stupid when I turned down an aisle and saw EVERYTHING STAR WARS. I walked off. I found some 3 wheeled bike in the middle of the bike aisle that was not attached to anything. It had an awesome basket on it. I started riding it around the store. I instantly felt better. Your daddy found me and gave me one of his, “What in the world are you doing looks?” I just smiled and told him I wanted to buy the bike. He knows I’m ridiculous and told me to come with him as he had found some things for your brothers. He led me over to the weapon aisle. Weapons. Now this is something I can get behind. He showed me some Airsoft Guns he thought they would like. You would have liked them too. I think they are kind of like bb guns, only safer. Maybe. I’m not really sure but they look like fun. I told him sure. Whatever. I started roaming the aisle for other treats. I grabbed a Machete and put it in the cart. Your daddy gave me the look again. I told him I needed the machete. He told me I indeed, did not need a machete. He told me to put it back and he would buy me my own Air Gun for Christmas. Fine I said. I put it back although I didn’t want to. I could have cut down a lot of wilderness with that Machete and protected us from the zombies that lurk about. When it Rome…….
The rest of the day was spent playing. I played outside with your brothers and Papa Jim. We played hide and seek. We played basketball. We played. I laughed. I cried. I missed you. I went into town and ran the lake. Tomorrow is Christmas. Fucking Fuck. I’m still here. I don’t think I’m going to die. I wondered this last night though. I wondered if the pain from loving you so much and missing you so much, will actually kill me. Or if the pain from loving you so much and missing you so much, will get me though this. Will it kill me or just make me stronger? I don’t want to be stronger. I don’t want to be strong. I just want you back.
I have to go now. Merry Christmas Eve baby doll. I’m so sorry. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe.
xoxo
And P.S. little lovely overly concerned blog readers. No. NO. No. I’m not going to go on anti-depresents. So stop encouraging it. If it works for you, lovely. But it’s not my cup of tea. I’m doing this alone. Solo. I don’t want any help from a stupid little pill that will not make my dead son, come back. If someone can invent a pill that will bring him back, I would take it in a heartbeat. Unless this is the case, I’m not interested. But thanks for your concern. Merry Fucking Christmas!

I don’t have a choice. I have to go.

Ronan. You’re dead? You’re dead. I’m here. Still here. Because of the someone who is behind all of this. The person who behind all of this, who is not being merciful to me. So here I stay. Blurry, blurry days. A trip we must take. No. No. NO. But yes. Me, the everything must be perfect before we go on a trip. The suitcases packed perfectly to a tee. Never to forget a thing. Everything thought out and so perfectly planned. I lived for packing you and your brothers up for our upcoming travels. So perfect. Even our house. The house. All beds made. Laundry done. Dishes put away. In case we get robbed while we are away. I wouldn’t want the robbers to come into a messy house. This is how my mind used to work. The anal mind that used to control part of my life. Now your daddy, just stares at me from the bedroom. “You need to pack. And the boys’ don’t have winter coats.” But I don’t want to go and I don’t care about the winter coats, I think to myself. “I’m not packing. I’m not packing the boys either.” Your daddy, the best daddy in the world, steps up to the plate. “I’ll pack the boys,” he says. “And I’ll take them out to buy coats.” I just look at him. “I’m sick to my stomach. I think I have the flu. I think I need to go to the hospital.” Your daddy kisses my head and leaves. I lay in bed. My jewish sister from another mother appears. She comes bursting through our front door with her arms full of homemade brisket, potatoe latkes, gifts for the boys, and silver sparkly disco sunglasses on. She yells at me from the front room. I peek out from my bed. “I’m here to take care of you, feed you and to dance for you.” I smile my fake smile. “Cut the BULLSHIT smile!!” she says. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say because nothing that I say, will make this better. But I can dance for you.” She dances and jumps on my bed. She makes me put on the sparkly disco sunglasses. “I haven’t packed. I have laundry to do. I can’t do any of it.” “Well!!!!!!! That’s what I’m here for. I’ll pack you.” I say o.k. I eat some food. I watch as she grabs things to pack. “A couple pairs of jeans, your F U Cancer sweatshirt, your spirit hood, some workout clothes, some boots, underwear, pajamas, running shoes, some tee-shirts…… what else, mama?” “Nothing else,” I say. Nothing else. We sit in our living room. We watch some gun show on T.V. without the volume because I can’t figure out how to turn the sound on. That’s how much I watch T.V. now. Mandy Bee rubs my back. I let her while I listen to the 15 voice mails I have on my phone. All of which I have been ignoring. We light the menorah that sits in our window. We put your picture by it. Mandy Bee says her jewish prayer. I like it. I like the way your little face lights up in the picture from the flickering of the candles. Mandy Bee leaves. But then she comes back. “I’m not leaving you.” I crawl back into bed. She leaves. I throw up. Your daddy and brothers return. Quinn and I crawl up in Liam’s top bunk bed. We fall asleep. Ambien induced for me.

Morning comes. I ignore everything that there is to do, around the house. I shower. I throw up. I feed your brothers. Max and Ruby, comes on T.V. Fucking Fuck. Your favorite show. I throw up, again. I get your brothers in the shower. They are going to play at Cal’s house. We stop at the car wash before I drop them off. I hold their hands. I laugh and smile with them. I miss you. I drop them off. Little Heather, texts me. “Meet me at PVCC for a quick bite.” I do. I eat a grilled cheese and see all your little friends at day camp. I cry. I listen to little Heather, talk about so many things. I get lost in her world for a bit. She is good at letting me do that, without letting you get lost because she knows, it is always about you, even when LIFE is not. As LIFE, goes on for others. She embraces the you in everything that goes on and she didn’t even know you. I appreciate this. I leave little Heather but not before, Sam, her little boy, comes flying into my arms for a hug and a kiss on the lips. I smile at him and the way he reminds me of you. I drive to Dr. Jo’s but I stop at Starbucks before. I run to the bathroom and throw up everything. I brush my teeth, wipe my face and wait in line. I see a bucket full of the cutest little stuffed animals. I thought to myself, Ronan would love this. I panic. OMG. I didn’t buy Ro a gift for Christmas. I grab the stuffed animal. I start to cry. I wipe the tears and buy the little guy. I stuff him in my purse. I get to Jo’s office. I wait in the waiting room, but I really just set my coffee down and bury my head into my arms and cry. I don’t know how long I waited before she came out. 15 minutes maybe. She finds me and I make my way back to her office, only to fall on the floor and not the couch. We sit there, and I look at her. “Ronan’s dead?? Ronan died, right?? He’s dead?” She holds me and nods her head. “O.k.” I say. “Ronan is dead.” We sit. I cry. I look around her office. I see your picture. She asks if I remember her telling me that it was about 6 months after Chey passed away, that were the hardest for her. That the 6-12 months after, seem to actually be harder. I told her I didn’t remember. But I feel this way, now. I tell her I think I need to go to the hospital. I tell her how I can’t breathe. She is quiet and does not entertain my thoughts of a hospital. She doesn’t want that for me. She knows I am stronger than that; I think. We talk about what’s been going on. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Sucksgiving. Christmas. A birthday soon. The list goes on and on and on. I pulled out the stuffed animal and show her what I bought for you. She asked me what you would have named him. I tell her something silly, like Gary. We name him Gary. I look at her and say to her, “I don’t have a choice, right? I have to get on that airplane tonight and go?” She replies with, “Do you have a choice?” I tell her, No. I have to do this for Liam and Quinn. She says it is a sacrifice of love for them. I agree. I don’t want to go home. Back to the place that was our peace. Our solitude. Our paradise, without you. I have not been back, since right before you were diagnosed. It was the last place I spent with you, when you were “healthy,” but really had Stage IV cancer. I don’t want to but I don’t have a choice. I have to go back, someday. Your brothers are so excited. I tell her I’ll fake it, for them. I have to continue to fake this, for now as to not ruin their Christmas. We say our goodbyes. I ask her if her kids are coming up to Sedona. She replies with they are. “Well, all of them except the dead one.” I burst out laughing. That dark sense of humor that I so get. She tells me that Chey gets the top of the Christmas tree, every year. She tells me, that she is not a fan of these holidays either. I know why. I tell her I’m off to the airport to watch happy families everywhere, going to happy places. I’m going to ignore these families this year and pretend everyone has a dead child too. I used to be that happy family, chasing you through the airport with not a care in the world. Fucking asshole cancer. I leave her office, feeling better than when I had arrived.

I go home to a quiet house. I go into crazed mode, packing, cleaning, laundry, beds stripped, dishwasher unloaded. Robot mode. Survival mode. Instinct. Memory. This is what you do, so suck it up and do it. We get to the airport. 4 not 5. Where are you? Bags checked. “Woody, can you watch my things? I have to go to the bathroom.” I go. I throw up. I am so fucking nauseous.

I gotta go baby. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Baby Danger Plan….. Activate!

Ronan. I know you know when I’m quiet on here, it’s when I’m at my worst. Dr. JoRo keeps telling me to be kind to myself. I haven’t been. I’ve been downright mean to myself. I say I’m not depressed as I feel it is so unfair to diagnose one with depression when they are going through something like losing a child. It’s just another thing that is wrong with this oh so not compassionate world we live in. It is much easier to diagnose somebody and walk away. It is much easier, to label them. Or put them on a pill and not deal with the real issues at hand. I’m not depressed. I’m just really, really sad. I guess this is probably what it feels like to a normal person who suffers from depression. I wish I were just a normal person, who was depressed. I wish I wasn’t this way, because you died. I can hardly remember what I was like before all of this. I’ve been hiding out a lot. I didn’t go to the holiday party with my small group of closest besties on Saturday night. Little M hosted it like she does every year. I miss her so much. I’ve now missed our holiday party, two years in a row. I went for a run in the dark instead after I had been in bed all day long on Saturday. But Saturday wasn’t my fault. I was hit with a 100 pound brick when all I was trying to do was be a normal mama. Liam and Quinn had a basketball game early on Saturday morning. I didn’t want to go, but I sucked it up and I did. I wasn’t prepared for what I walked into. A gym. Full of I swear, what was 200 people. That’s what it felt like to me. An encounter where I felt like a deer in headlights and I swear all eyes were on me. An encounter that has been a long time coming, but I wish it had been anywhere but there. A basketball team that all of your friends from preschool, were playing on. Mommy friends that I have not seen in a very long time. A basketball game that you should have been playing in. You weren’t. But everyone else was. I think I blacked out for much of this encounter. Or at least I left my body. I was hysterical. I ended up on a bench, trying to focus on your brothers but all I could do was look around at all the empty faces in the gym, waiting to see you. I didn’t find you. You didn’t come. I was left there, alone, to pick up the pieces as always. I wanted to run away. At one point, I almost bolted. I tried but it felt like my feet were glued to the gymnasium floor. I stayed. But I didn’t clap and cheer. I cried instead.

After I got home from Liam and Quinn’s basketball game, I crawled into Liam’s bed. I passed out. I stayed there, until 6:00 at night. I only got up when Danielle called to ask if I wanted to meet her for a dark run on the canal. How could I turn down a run after the day I had? I couldn’t. We ran. We talked. We parted ways after about 4 miles. She ran to her house. I walked on the dark canal alone. I stopped to look up at the moon. I stood and looked at the water. I stood and contemplated if I would really drown if I jumped into the canal. I stood for about 15 minutes playing out the scene in my head. I decided that death would probably not be the outcome, so it wasn’t worth it. I would have ended up wet, cold, and lord knows what kind of creepy crawly dirty rodents live in the canal. My fear of those things, stopped me. I finished up my run and came home to your daddy and brothers. I fell asleep with Quinn in his bed. I decided that Sunday, I was in a funk in a bad way. I gave myself a pep talk to try to get myself out of it. I decided that a hike was necessary. Mandy came over and we went. I told her that we needed to hike the mountain, barefoot. She is crazy enough that she didn’t even look at me twice. I think her shoes were off, faster than mine. We hiked. I ran. I got a lot of weird looks. It felt good to feel the pain beneath my feet. It made me feel alive. I came home and we had Kenny, Stacy and their kiddos over for dinner. I played with Kennedy. Oh, that little spicy girl. She reminds me so much of you. She let me paint her nails all pink and sparkly. We ran around outside. We played a let’s scare the boys game. We played your hot lava game, outside. I tried to feel happy. It only made me miss you more.

I spent today, Monday, being productive. I woke up to the pouring down rain. My favorite days. Our favorite days. I dropped your brothers at school and was determined to get in a hike. I ran up our mountain in the cold, windy rain. I stood at the top and let the wind whip around and slap me in the face. I watched the gray skies as they came pouring in and the rain and wind got more and more angry. I headed down the mountain, running as fast as my legs would carry me. I didn’t see another soul there. Only Inferno Fuckwad Bob met me. I wasn’t happy to see him but I did my best to pour my energy into myself and you. I tried not to give in to him. I got a lot done today. I got a lot things crossed off of my list. I survived. I’m here. I’m trying to be happy about it, but I’m not. Oh! But I know a nice thing that happened today! I stopped by Katie’s to check in. I actually hung out in the back of her store and worked on some foundation things. I had my headphones on and I was on a mission to get some things done. As I was getting ready to leave, I headed to the front and I saw a lady buying some of your bracelets. She looked like the nicest grandma and I wanted to hug her the moment I saw that she was holding your Fuck You Cancer, bracelets. I sat and watched her for a minute before I said, “Hi, I’m Maya.” She looked so surprised. She gave me a big hug and told me she was buying the bracelets for her granddaughter who lives in New Jersey. She said her name was Ally. I knew who she was talking about right away. I try my best to keep up with your lovies, Ro. The ones who are always reposting about you, who talk about you, who Facebook, and Twitter about you. I try my hardest to always be thankful for these lovies as they are all going to help change this disease. She told me her granddaughter would be so excited to know that she had met me. She told me all about the essay she wrote about you for the college she was applying to. She got accepted and she’s getting a scholarship too. Her grandma called her while I was in the store and put me on the phone with her. It was the sweetest thing ever, Ro. This sweet Ally girl, couldn’t even talk, she was crying so hard. I told her how thankful I was, for her support. How excited I was for her college opportunities. I told her I hoped I would get the chance to meet her someday. It made my day. See Ronan. You are changing the world. Look how inspiring you are, to all kinds of people everywhere. It’s such a good thing to be wild and free.

I need to start being wild and free. I told my Mandy Bee this yesterday. That we needed to do something dangerous this week. I told her to come up with a plan. She did. We will execute, tomorrow. As for now, I’m keeping it a secret. I will tell you more tomorrow. I need to blow off some of this steam. I’ve decided that something, “dangerous,” needs to happen every week in order to give me something to look forward to. I’ll be accepting suggestions from you all. Don’t disappoint me:). I know you won’t. I’m going to create a Ronan’s bucket list and live it out, for you. I’m game for anything. I like a challenge. I like to try new things. This could actually turn into something really fun. We should all be living our lives doing new and exciting things. Even if it means, spending the day in a library or going to a movie alone. As long as it’s something that you normally wouldn’t do. Ronan, we didn’t call you Baby Danger, for nothing. I’m going to start embracing this Baby Danger of mine. It was my favorite nickname for you. Get busy living or get busy dying. I’ve got one foot stuck in both worlds right now. It is beyond confusing. It’s beyond sad. I need to make some plans, otherwise I’m going to sit here and just drown in these tears. You would be so mad at me and the way I’ve been, Ro. I know this. I’m sorry. I’m making plans, baby doll. Lots and lots of plans.

I’m going now baby. I love you. I’ll be extra spicy for you tomorrow. Sweet dreams beautiful boy. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe. Oh, Ro baby. I need you to watch over Mia for me. Please. I talked to Sandra tonight. Mia is trying so hard to get better. I need you to help her, please. This is so not fair, for any of them. It is killing me. They need a break. They deserve a break. Please. Send Mia the strength to get better. I know the way Mia is fighting, is because you are helping her. I know that is you. Keep going baby. She needs you more than ever.

Also, lovies….. if you want to do something sweet, send Mia some mail. I’ll bet this would brighten her day. She is in Philly now, at Chop. What little girl, doesn’t love getting mail?? She loves kitty cats, sparkly things, hello kitty, princesses….. all things girly and fun. Have your kids, draw her a picture or write her a sweet note. I know she is missing home. I know she is missing her family. I know this would make her smile. Here is her address. They will be there, for awhile. At least another month. Thank you so much. For something so little, it means so much.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Seashore House
Patient: Mia Foutz, Room 300
34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104 – 4399

xoxo

Ro baby. Super Nate’s mama sent me this picture tonight of him, by your tree at PCH. She said his jaw dropped when he saw it and thanks for making their day. This picture made me so happy but then I ended up on our bed, tears pouring. For so many reasons. For you. For me. For us. For Nate. For Nate’s parents. For everyone out there, dealing with cancer in whatever way, shape or form. For anyone who has ever lost a child. The reasons were endless. I miss your bald head. So very, very much.

I know you’re yelling out to Nate, “May the force be with you, Super Nate!” You’ve got to help him too. I know you will. Thanks baby. I love you.

New obsession. Inferno Hikes. My physical Hell.

Ronan. The Sunday Blues. I hate Sundays. Always have. I woke up in an awful mood due to the dreams I had all night long. They were long, intense, and I was mad at everyone in them. I fought with your daddy in my dreams. Quinn and all of your cousins were smoking cigarettes in front of me. I was crying, screaming, and yelling. Everyone in my dream, knew you were dead and it was all they talked about. Is it too much to ask for a little peace in my life? Apparently, yes. To say I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, is an understatement. I woke up, vividly recalling what I had just dreamt about; and then I remembered that I was really waking up to you not being here. I walked around in a zombie state of mind for most of the day.

Hi baby. I started that yesterday, but didn’t finish due to trying to go to sleep. I passed out around 10, but tossed and turned all night long. My dreaming is out of control. I could be sick just thinking about it. I saw you in my dreams last night. Yes, indeed I did. I wish I could tell you it was amazing, but it was awful. I had a dream that I was holding you. You were still alive, but you were being cremated in my arms. Your skin was burning off and it was so hot, that I could feel it. I was supposed to just wait it out and watch you burn. I woke up, barely being able to breathe. I got up, walked around the house, went into your brothers’ room, and tried to go back to sleep in there. I did, but didn’t. I slept for a couple of hours and got up early to start my day. I was so tired of trying to sleep so I just aborted mission. I got up, showered, made your brothers breakfast, got them ready, got myself ready, made myself a list for the day of things to do and headed out to take your brothers to school.

I filled my day with errands. I went over to Gay’s house to give her a hug. I have not seen her since your services. I miss her and her little guys so much. So do Liam and Quinn. We are planning a play date with them tomorrow. It will be so bittersweet without you. After I left Gay’s, I finished up the things on my list. I came home, threw on my workout clothes, and decided to do hike at 1:00 in the afternoon. The temperature on my car read 114. Screw it. I’ve hiked the mountain everyday for a week now. Tricia hiked with me Saturday and Sunday. We are OBSESSED. Inferno hiking is our new Hot Yoga. As I was getting ready to head up the mountain, I decided I’d better tell someone where I was. I texted Trish and told her if she didn’t hear from me, it was because I had died; hiking. I made sure she knew where I was in case I didn’t make it back down. I had a moment of hesitation before I started. An empty mountain, the thought of rattlesnakes, the heat, and god knows what else; was enough for me to think twice about braving it today. But then I thought of you and everything you went through in your little life. All the pain and suffering. My fear subsided and I ran, as fast as I could for 35 minutes, up, up and up. I got to the top, started to dry heave, and threw up the only thing I had in my stomach the entire day which was coffee and water. No biggie. I took about 20 minutes to feel the sun burn my skin and I did my talking to you. I can’t remember if I cried or not as I was in a daze. I headed back down and just as I was thinking in my head, that I must be really be crazy; because nobody else in their right mind would do what I had just done….. a man appeared. I thought I was hallucinating at first. I took out my headphones and watched the man who must have been about 75, with his walking stick, approach me. He was carrying a spray bottle mister full of water in his hands. I smiled and told him I couldn’t believe that he was hiking today as I thought I was the only crazy person on the mountain. He told me to take off my sunglasses so he could spray me down. I laughed and thanked him and he told me it would keep me cool for about 10 seconds. I told him that was better than nothing. I think that 75-year-old man, hiking today, was clearly an Angel. It was a little sign from you to let me know that no matter how alone I think I am, without you… that you will never be far from my side. I really needed that today, Ro. Thank you.

I picked up your brothers from school, came home and we did their homework. The rest of the night has been pretty low key. Everyone is tired from the heat of today. Tomorrow, I have a busy day full of therapy appointments. I’m seeing Sarah and Dr. Joanne. I am going to try to go to boot camp at 5….. so please let me get some sleep. I need the rest, emotionally, physically and mentally. I miss you so much. We all do. We spent last night all crying about you. Quinn was hysterical, sobbing so hard that he couldn’t even talk. Liam was crying in your bedroom with your door closed, playing with your Star Wars guys. I cried most of the night as your Daddy tried to take care of all of us; but he was just as sad. I just don’t know what to do with days like yesterday. I almost can’t handle them. We survived somehow. Quinn is watching your favorite movie, “Home Alone,” now. I really can’t handle that. The little boy in the movie is you to a tee as far as the way he acts. You used to quote this movie every other day as you loved it so much.  I so badly wish we would have went on a vacation, and left you at home alone. At least this movie has a happy ending. I don’t see how our life can possibly have a happy ending without you here.

I’m going to go now baby. I’m so tired I can hardly see straight. I love you to the moon and back and hope you are safe. I miss you so much. Sweet dreams, my “not spicy, little monkey.

xoxo

I would like to dream about these sparkly shoes tonight. Something crazy, gorgeous, and girly.

Breaking rules, changing Holidays

Ronan. Hi baby. Another day done. Looking back on todays events, although nothing major happened, it seems like forever ago. If I were to write a handbook on losing a child, because there seems to nothing out there about this subject, one of the things I would write about is how slowly time passes by. How the hours just drag on, and so do the days, months and I am assuming years as well. By the time I die, I’ll bet I’ll feel like I’ve lived hundreds of lives. As of now, I don’t really feel like this is a good thing. I’m just tired. And sad. I think I’m also starting to realize that I don’t think I will truly be happy again. I don’t think I will ever know pure bliss again like I knew before all of this cancer shit. Before the loss of you. My life, at best, will be filled with moments of happiness here and there, but the happy that once existed before all of this will never be again. Maybe this will change as time goes on, but I just don’t see how that is possible.

What did I do today?? No clue. Woke up. Didn’t want to. Texted Liz to see if she wanted to walk down to the Del to grab a coffee. She did. Quinn came with us. We got coffee and some yummy but very bad for you pastries and sat and ate them at a table outside. A girl named Katie came up to me with her little boy to introduce herself and to say how much she thinks of you. It was so sweet. They both were wearing their Rockstar Ronan bracelets. It made me smile and my heart melt all at the same time. Everybody loves you so much. Even strangers whom have never met you. It really is amazing all the love and support that has come of this. I will forever be grateful and humbled.

After our coffee, your daddy wanted me to grab him some bagels in town. Liz headed back and Quinn went with her. As much as I love being with your brother, the time to walk alone was nice. But then something weird happened. Something that I should probably get used to, but it still annoyed me. I was paying for our bagels and I felt like a hole was being burned in the back of my neck. I glanced to the side and there sat a family. A mom, dad, and three older daughters. They were staring with their sad eyes and talking in low voices. The girls had their backs to me, but were turned around in their seats while they all gawked. I don’t know if gawked is the right word here, but I’m using it anyway because that is what if felt like. At first, I thought is was my imagination so I just went on with my business and paid for our things. I could feel them all still staring, so as a natural reaction, I glanced their way to see if it was indeed true, and not just me making things up in my head. It was true. Once they saw me look back again, their eyes fell to the floor and they avoided anymore eye contact with me. I quickly rushed out of the bagel shop after that feeling very sad. I get it. Coronado is a very small place, a mini Phoenix. I know people know about you and just don’t know what to say. I know a lot of people just choose to say not say anything and that’s fine. But just a smile would have been nice. That way, maybe I wouldn’t have felt like a zoo animal on display. I hate the looks of pity. I understand the looks of sadness, but the pity looks only make everything even more painful. The looks of pity followed by awkward silence. I’m not a fan of that at all.

I walked back to the Shores trying not to get too sad about that I didn’t have you following behind me. I pictured you running on the boardwalk, doing something naughty like stepping on all the flowers. I pictured myself chasing after you, laughing, but trying to be stern about teaching you to respect nature. As tears started to form, I saw a woman walking in front of me, carrying a Paul Frank monkey bag. The tears stopped. I smiled instead. Then I got to thinking about life and how what if everything that happens is carefully orchestrated. That woman, that stranger, was put in front of me, in that single moment because I wasn’t supposed to be sad. She was put there to make me smile and think of you in regards to something that reminded me so much of you, in the form of happiness. My head starting spinning then and I took a deep breath and thanked you.

I came back upstairs and did my best to get on with the day. I failed. I sunk into bed and fell asleep for an hour. After kicking my own ass in my head, I got up and agreed to go to the beach with your brothers and daddy. It was warm out there today. We played beach darts, football, and I snapped a bunch of pictures. After a couple of hours, your daddy and brothers headed back up to the condo. I stayed down on the beach to finish my book. I now get to read books about sadness and grief. I am looking for answers that I am never going to find. What I wouldn’t give to have some trashy novel in my hands instead. What I wouldn’t give to be completely consumed in a summer beach read. I finished, “The Other Side of Sadness.” It was actually pretty good and interesting. It talked about surviving grief and how there is no step by step guide, which I am slowly figuring out. It talked a lot about different cultures and how death is perceived differently in each one. If anything, the book was informative in that way. I got a few good things out of it. A mother talked about losing her daughter after 9/11. She said one of the things she worried about most was forgetting the memories of her. After a few years passed by, the author asked her what bereavement felt like, years after losing her.She said, “It’s a bit like a fading light. It grows dim, but it never goes out, never, not completely anyway. I find that enormously ressuring. I used to worry that someday the light would disappear that I would forget, and then I would really have lost Claire. I know, now, that doesn’t happen. It can’t. There is always a little flicker there. It is a bit like the small glowing embares you see after you see a fire dies down. I carry that around with me, that little ember, and if I need to, if I want to have Claire next to me, I blow on it, ever so gently, and it glows bright again.”

I thought this was really beautiful. What a simple, non-complex way to bring peace to your heart. I know your little light will never flicker out, Ro. But it was nice to hear it from someone else, who has lost a child. Which I have also decided, is the worst thing that can ever happen in life. I’ve honestly thought about this for some time now, trying to throw in other losses that could even come close to comparing. There is nothing. Losing a child takes the cake. Losing you is like losing a million cakes all at once. I cried on the beach today at a lot of things said in this book. I took the time to sit, reflect, and watch the oceans waves all while being engulfed in the sound of two little girls building a sandcastle right beside me. Their dad apologized for their loudness. I wanted to say to him, it wasn’t loudness at all, but music to my ears. I watched them play for a while and then was determined to finish my book, which I did. Mr. Sparkly Eyes would have been proud that I actually finished it. I was proud of myself. For something so little, the fact that I am actually able to finish a book now is a big deal. Who cares that it takes me twice as long now. I did it, felt emotions from it, and now I can put it behind me. Check mark, please!

I came back upstairs, showered and got ready to go to dinner. We went to happy hour on the island and sat in the bar with Liam and Quinn. We had a really fun dinner. There seemed to be a lot of laugher, talking, and engaging. We have talked a lot about holidays and what are favorite and worst are and why. We have decided to make up a new holiday to celebrate on Easter. Woody says we should call it Feaster and make it all about food. I agreed as long as we could worship a giant chocolate Easter Bunny and not have to dress up in fancy clothes. Liam wants chocolate covered everything, including bacon and Quinn wants to play games. Sounds like we are on the right track to turning this into a lot of fun. I think I’ve said before that most holidays seem meaningless now. Easter is one of them for us. Down with Easter; Feaster is born. I would like to take it and put your spin on it of course, buddy. We’ll have to come up with some things that you would have wanted to have. I’m imagining huge glass bowls filled with your favorite, Candy Corn. I may have some funny shirts made up to and anyone wants to come is invited. Feaster is the new Easter at our house. We will not be giving thanks to Jesus Christ. Sorry folks. That’s not the way this holiday is going to be celebrated. If you are offended, sorry. If you are cool, come over:) We have decided after losing you, Ro…. that life is too short to do things you really don’t want to do. It’s time to start making up our own fun rules and traditions as a family. The Thompsons march to their own beat and we are going to embrace that now more than ever. You earned that right, you loved to break all the rules, so that is what we are going to do. Some rules really are meant to be broken in life, only to be put back together, much better than they had ever been before.

After dinner, we walked around and the boys got cupcakes for desert. I stayed away from those due to my stomach issues. All of my favorite things, sweets, cupcakes, frosting…. destroy me. It’s as if my body is rejecting them. Oh well. I’ll take rejecting them rather than scarfing them down. At least my pants will still fit:) We came back to the condo, I got dressed for a dreaded run. It was chilly out but I did it anyway. Just 4 miles up and down the beach. I sat down for a while and talked out loud to you. I like to talk out loud to you. I did a lot of talking and crying to you. It felt good to listen to my voice say those words to you tonight, alone on the beach. After our little pow wow, I got my sandy butt up and finished my run. I showered and Quinn had asked to watch, “The Cove,” on my computer. I thought about it and said it was o.k. Why not educate him and his  young mind on how corrupt this world really can be. He’s already had the worst thing possible happen to him, he loves to watch, “Whale Wars,” so let’s do it. I watched it with him and explained this is why I have a hard time going to Sea World and swimming with Dolphins. It is one of the saddest movies ever and those Japanese “Fishermen,” need to be stopped. Watch the movie if you haven’t seen it. You will be so appalled that you will want to help expose what is going on. They are slaughtering those beautiful creatures left and right. It is beyond sicking and maddening. Especially to me now, Ro. After all the time we’ve spent watching the dolphins here, it makes me even more upset. What is wrong with people in this world?? Are they that selfish and greedy?? The slaughter of these poor innocent mammels has got to stop. How am I supposed to take on Childhood Cancer and this Dolphin slaughtering together?? I feel like it is my second calling in life. I felt that way when I first saw this movie. I am totally passionate about it and I think it is a beautiful thing for my boys to learn about. They have already learned about death in a way they should have never known, but now they can take this and turn it into nd learn how we need to respect these beautiful mammals, and how if you are passionate enough about something, that you can change the outcome. Sign me up! I’ll kick cancers ass and the japanese fisherman’s as well!! Bring it on, yo!!!

It’s going to take shit like this to get my ass out of bed in the mornings. I am planning on jumping back into boot camp next week. I need to email Tammy to tell her if I don’t have a reason to get up, I’m just not going to. She needs to be my reason for a while. Until I find a new reason. Although, waking up for her boot camps were always my favorite reasons to get up and exercise in the mornings. I hope she’ll save a spot for me:) Phoenix Adventure Boot Camp is by far, the best one in AZ. Tammy rules!!!!

Do you all see what I’m doing here? I’m slowly planning little things so that I don’t barricade myself in Ronan’s room and never come out. Ro, I can not, not, live for you. God. You would be so mad at me for my sadness and anger these past couple of weeks. You would be so mad at me for laying in bed. I’ve got to get up and do things for you. I don’t have a choice. I’m not willing to go down so easily and just die. Then what? Then everybody loses. I’m going to stay in this fucking fucked up world without you, and try to change some things. You would want this. You would be proud. As much as I want to escape into a non reality world, which means hiding in bed, ignoring everyone, not taking care of your Daddy, your brothers, our house…… I just can’t. I can’t have your brothers remembering me as that mom. They’ve been through enough already. I can do this, Ro. Just promise you’ll always be right by my side. I feel like you are, I really do feel you during the day. Please don’t ever go away, Ro. I already miss you so much.

Alright little buddy. My favorite not spicy monkey boy. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. I hope it’s a kissing day because I miss your sweet little kisses so much. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

You push, I pull

Ronan. Where are you? It’s the question I ask myself a hundred times a day. How did I get here? To the place I don’t belong. Will I ever belong again? I’m seriously starting to doubt it. Do I even want to belong? I’m thinking not. Do you see me? Sitting in the dark, sobbing on the beach? It’s been a few days since I’ve written. I’m sorry. I always miss you so much more when I don’t write to you. As I go through my day, my mind does it’s best to try to make me focus on other things, besides you being gone. I think it’s a defense mechanism…. to get me to function, to get me up and doing things such as trying to be a mom to your brothers. My mind pushes the pain of missing you so much, away. Stuffs it down inside so that I am still numb for most of the day. It’s only at night that I am able to sit and process everything. It’s my quiet and alone time that I need with you to go on. It’s our special time, together. Just you and me, baby. Like you would always tell me.

The days are still blurry. Filled with keeping your brothers busy. Trying to shield them from all the screaming sadness in my head. I cracked tonight. They saw it all. It was bound to happen and I feel terribly guilty about it. But even I cannot control when I am overcome with sadness and just need to cry for you. It just comes and once the floodgates open, there is no stopping it. I should know the warning signs by now. I know the cause. It happens when I don’t do my daily running, when I don’t get 5 minutes alone to cry about you, when I don’t write to you. It all piles up. Tonight, I just gave in and bawled until snot was dripping out of my nose. Sobbed on this bed in front of everyone. I decided I needed some air so I left for a walk to try to clear my head. It didn’t really help, but I could at least feel like could breathe a bit, instead of feeling like I am walking with a plastic bag over my head, suffocating. The fresh air, dark sea, and cold sand was where I needed to be so I could sob, alone about you tonight. Without the watchful, worried eyes of your brothers. They don’t need to see me at my worst any more than they have to. So, here I sit at 12:00 at night, on the beach, writing to you. Screaming at the universe that I hate it. Because I do. Nothing will ever make sense again. Ever.

I sat today and talked with a dad. A dad who lost his son. And it seems as if I have somewhat relived losing you all over again today. Every single thing that came out of his mouth are all the things I think in my head. For the first time since you have been gone…… bingo. Everything this dad said to me made perfect sense. And that is huge because I have decided that nothing will ever make sense again and most people don’t know what the fuck they are talking about. He didn’t sugar coat anything, he didn’t tell me that the pain will become less or go away, because it won’t. He did tell me how he had to make the decision to not become bitter and angry, and how to keep it together for his younger son who was 4 at the time. How he didn’t have a choice and he had to figure out a new life. How is happy again. He told me happiness will come again to me. He of course cannot tell me when…. 3 months, 3 years….. nobody knows the answer to that. As I sat and watched this dad today we both got pretty teary eyed. The pain in his eyes is almost indescribable. Except they look exactly like mine. All day I walked around thinking about this dad and why in the world such a thing could happen to him and to his son. He’s a really good dad and person and this makes no sense. I’ve come to the conclusion that there will probably never be an answer. And I’m pretty convinced that there is not a God. Shocker. I’ve struggled with this for a while now. If there was a god, shit like this just wouldn’t happen. A god wouldn’t have taken you away, Ronan. The love for you in this world should have been enough to save you. End of story, Ro. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It was bad fucking luck and doctors that just didn’t have the answers.

Everything is broken now, and I don’t want to fix it. I want time to sit and be sad and cry for you until I am ready to heal bit by bit, piece by piece. I’m not ready to be put back together yet. And anyone that pushes me to do this before I am ready can just sit back and watch as I pull away. Because pulling away is just second nature to me. It takes A LOT for me to let people in just in my normal life. Letting people back in now, after losing you, is going to be very difficult. I don’t mean this in a hurtful way, but it’s my way of protecting myself. Just like that little turtle that I spoke of a couple of posts ago. I will take my little head, peek out to see what’s going on, and pull it back into it’s shell, only to come out when I feel that it is my time. I may lose people in the process, but now, my only concern is survival. Survival for me, my marriage, and my kids. Those 3 things right there are what I am trying to focus on to keep our family together. I know the statistics on the families who lose a child. 90% end up divorced. Lovely. As if our pain isn’t enough. Tonight, as I was looking up at the sky, I actually wished for it to suck Woody, Quinn, Liam, and I up into it. To swallow us whole. At least we would all be pain-free and we would all be with Ronan, together. Fuck this world. Life is overrated after you lose a child.

After I sat on the beach forever, Woody came down to find me. We met up on the boardwalk and he wrapped his arms around me. I snuggled into his warm chest and just cried. He held me for a long time. We then sat down on a bench together. Talked a bit and I just told him how I just really miss you so much today. He said he knows. He gets it. He told me that for as much as he is hurting, he cannot imagine hurting more. And he knows that I am hurting even more than he is. He knows my pain is so much deeper than his. Not many fathers would admit that. But this is not any father, Ro. You know that. He is the most amazing man that has ever existed, besides you little one. I love that daddy of yours. Even though he is the one I push away the most because he is the one who will take it and I know this. It is so much easier for me to push away than it is to let people in. Obviously I’ve got some underlying issues that probably need to be discussed in therapy.

Your daddy and I sat on a bench for a long time while I just cried. The sky was all cloudy and dark. Pretty soon, the clouds started parting ways and I could see the little moon trying to peek it’s head out. A few minutes later, a full moon was reviled. It was gorgeous and lit up the whole sky and beach. I told the moon that I loved you to the moon and back Ronan. Your daddy and I held hands and walked back to our condo to tuck everyone in.

I’m so tired tonight. I have so much more to write about but better stop here. I love you, Ro baby. So much. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, my love.

xoxo

Just say no to death do us part…….. time to update wedding vows people. What if your child died? Did you ever think about that while saying them???

Ro

Ronan. Hi my love. I hope you had a good day. That sounds so weird to say, because how could any day possibly be good when we are apart?? I miss your giggles so much. The world is so empty without them. I know I say this all the time, but I would give anything to have you back. I tell you all the time to please take me with you. I know you can’t, as you wouldn’t do that to your daddy or brothers but I miss you so much.

Today was a long day. The kind of days that I seem to have pretty often now that you are gone. I managed to keep Quinn busy though. We hung out at our place and then I took him and Olivia for lunch. We came back to the condo after and hung out. Olivia helped me clean everything as we needed to get ready for Liam and Papa Jim’s arrival. She is such a big help to me. Quinn looks up to her like a sister and she is a really good playmate for him. He gets lonely when she is gone as he loves having her around. I do too.

After we cleaned, we got ready and met up with Liz. The 4 of us walked and had sushi. It was a nice dinner but it always feels weird to be doing things without you. Between, Quinn, Olivia, and Liz, I was able to keep it together as they all provided much laughter. We walked around the island a bit and started making our way back to The Shores. As we were crossing the street, I looked up at locked eyes with a mama who was pushing her little boy in a stroller. I was dying inside because of her little boys amazing, curly, red hair. I smiled at her and she looked at me and goes, “Maya!” She approached me and introduced herself and gave me a warm hug. She follows this blog as does her sister whom I had the pleasure of meeting as well. We have mutual friends and the friends we are all friends with are GEMS….. so I know these two women must be as well:) We chatted for a few minutes and I managed to only get choked up once. It was so sweet, so rewarding, and it just felt good to hear them say that they think about you everyday. How I will never be without you because you live in each and every one of them. How you’ve inspired them to do something more with their lives. Nothing will ever be worth losing you for, Ro. But in losing you, people are finding what it truly means to live a life you are grateful for. Do I hate that it has to be you and me teaching this lesson? Absolutely. But we cannot control our fate, our destiny, what is being set out in front of us. It is not up to us so we have to just give in and trust that this is what our purpose in life is supposed to be. To help others see their way, to help them be more grateful and kind, to let them help us by raising awareness for you and Neuroblastoma or childhood cancer in general.

As I was talking to those two beautiful ladies today, I honestly felt you there by my side. It was weird. At one point, I looked down at my feet to see if you were there. That is how much I felt your presence. I then looked over at Liz and gave her a teary smile. Liz is my home, my heart, part of my soul. She gets it. She knew you were there today too….. I could tell just by looking at her. I was honored to meet both of you today and just wanted to tell you thank you again for loving and supporting strangers whom you didn’t even know, until today. I can’t wait to see you again.

After our “meeting random strangers,” whom I don’t know but they pretty much know everything about me…. which is weird but I’m oddly comfortable with it….. we went back to our condo. It as time to get ready to pick up Liam and Papa Jim at the airport. It’s been nice having some one on one time with Quinn. He’s really opened up to me and we had some pretty intense conversations. He is like a little sponge and never forgets anything I do or say. I got to watch him open back up to me again and he told me how hard it was on him to not have me around to take care of him when Ronan was sick. I told him I knew, and that it was hard on everybody. But we didn’t have a choice. We had to take care of Ronan the best we could and I’m sorry that I had to be away from him for so long. I hope he will forgive me. I would have done the same thing for him and I tell him this all the time. I just hope he really believes it. An 8 year olds mind is such a fragile thing when dealing with a tragedy. I don’t have all the answers and this is when the therapy will come into play when we get back. I recognize that we all will be needing it pretty intensely.

I was thinking about this the other night on one of my runs. For some reason I started thinking about wedding vows. The whole, “Until death do us part.” I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I thought to myself, I’ll bet when people say those vows, they don’t take into consideration if the child would be the one to die….. would death do them part?? I think people say that vow just thinking of one another, as man and wife; never a child because that is just too horrific and does not happen. WRONG. BIG FAT LIE. It happens. And I am so freaking glad Woody and I did not say those vows to each other. Not that they are awful…. but we are just different. We had E.J. Kotalik marry us because it was important to us to make them a part of our family. I never knew how much we would truly need them. We now need them more than ever. We didn’t read the traditional vows. We read a poem by E.E. Cummings, instead. One of my favorites:::::

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

It was perfect for us and still is. And whomever is telling my mom the statistics for people who divorce after the death of a child….. Seriously needs to stop. This is not something a grandmother who has just lost her grandson and who is worried sick about her daughter, needs to hear. I know the statistics, Woody knows them. We know who we are. We know that throughout all of this, we’ve stayed on the same page with pretty much everything. We know we are each others best friends. He has my heart and I have his. Forever. End of story. We don’t do drama, we don’t do hurt, we don’t do fighting (unless you count the time I threw a slurpie at his head) We do love. We love our twins. We love each other. We are not going to let cancer ruin anything else for us. MOTHERFUCKERCANCER. You’re not taking anything else away from me. You took the most precious thing that has ever been mine and I will fight you until you die and exist no more. YOU FUCKWAD.

Oye! Ronan! I’d better be signing off now. Before I get too bloody out of control! I love you my not spicy favorite monkey. I hope you are safe. I hope someone is taking good care of you. I just want you back here with me. Please. This life is too hard without you. I LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK RO.

xoxox

Fiesta of Tears

Ronan. Hi little man. I missed you so much today. We had a lot of things going on that kept us busy at the beach. I packed the car full of your favorites; Quinny, Liam, Macy, and Nana. We ran a couple of errands and stopped at Costco on the way back home. It wasn’t very exciting, but it was nice to be out. We had to hurry back to get your brother, Liam, packed to go to Washington to see Papa Jim. It was kind of a last-minute decision, but he really wanted to go. I’m trying to look at this as a positive thing, but I am mostly just upset about it. I’m upset in the respect that if you would have been here, we would all be there together. I am upset in the respect that we have to be separated from Liam. It makes me most upset that our family is now broken, damaged, and so sad due to losing you. This is the first time in Liam and Quinn’s life that they have ever been away from each other on a vacation. It all feels weird and wrong. Thank GOD I still have Macy here as well as the Kotaliks. Quinn is getting a lot of time with the girls in and he is eating it up with a spoon. I talked to Liam and he arrived safely. He sounded so excited to be there. Papa Jim will bring him back Sunday night and the will stay a few days with us. That will be fun. I only wish you were here to play with all of us. For a split second, I thought that you would be and I imagined you playing outside with him. But then I remember. The fucking one thing I want not be true…………is.

I hate cancer. I texted that to Mr. Sparkly Eyes tonight. Blubbering about how this is the first time in 14 years that I have not been home during the summer, how it is the twins’ first time being separated during a Washington vacation. How I hated cancer and how I was having a pity party. He replied back he does too and I am allowed to have as many pity parties as I need. He was so sorry. Everybody is sorry and sad. I hate that too. I hate the sadness that people now feel for us. I don’t want people to be sad around us. I want happy back before all of this existed.

Ro. I have to cut this short tonight as my Ambien is really kicking in. Also, that I have Macy and Quinn asleep beside me and they both seem so snuggly. I am tired. I miss you so much, boo. I hope you are safe. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Please give Esther a kiss for me. Her mommy needs her tomorrow as it has been 2 months since she passed away. Make sure she spends some time with her tomorrow, o.k. Ro. I love you to the moon and back my sweet baby. Time to go into my Ambien coma now. The numbness is the only way I can fall asleep.

xoxo

Ronan. Hi baby boy. I think I started this yesterday. Last night maybe. I can’t really remember. Everything is blurry. I’m not sure how the days have been filled, but somehow they have been. I think a majority of my time is being filled with keeping Quinn busy and happy. Macy is doing a great job of helping me while your daddy and Liam are away. She is here with me still. I am so glad; she makes everything better. Today, we woke up a little late to the blaring sun. We decided to take Quinn out to Carlsbad to go Strawberry picking. We go there every time we are in San Diego during the summer. We were on our way, almost there, but I had to stop for gas. I decided to get a car wash too so we just ran through a little drive through one. We were sitting there and I was telling Macy how you used to love to go to the cheap drive through car wash in Phoenix with me. I remember it like it was yesterday. I started to cry and so did she. Quinn just sat in the back quietly and watched us. Thank god we were distracted by a very minor “the car wash just ate the gas cap of my car emergency,” otherwise, I think we would have both sat there forever, crying. We took care of our situation and headed off to pick our Strawberries. It felt so wrong to be there without you today. I remember the last time we were there, with you. I snapped pictures of you and your brothers in the Strawberry fields together. Today, Quinn was an only child and I watched him as he wandered through the day without you and Liam. It made my heart heavy.

Quinny is stuck to me like glue. And not in a good way. Poor little guy. He cannot leave my side for 2 minutes. This has been going on pretty much since your funeral. It has gotten really bad over here though. I am doing my best to be patient with him as I know he is so scared. I am trying to talk to him about everything as much as possible, but I have mostly just been smothering him with love and attention that he seems to be craving so badly. He worries so much about everything… especially when I leave to go on my runs which is pretty much the only time that I am away from him. We have a lot of work to do when we return back home as far as getting us all into therapy. I am trying my best while we are here to work though things with him, but there is only so much I can do. Having Macy here for as long has she has been has been really helpful with everything. She is so good with me, the boys, with the Wooddawg. She is scared for us though. She told me last night about how hard it is for her to watch us all try to go on with our lives. How unfair this whole thing is and how she see’s the toll it is taking on our entire family. She is watching me struggle to breathe every second of the day. She is watching as I continue to push everyone away. She is watching as I continue to drown. I know what I look like. I know what it looks like from the outside because I often feel like I am watching myself from above my own body. I see myself, from above, all the time. I see myself under the water, trying to get to the surface for air, but I never do. I watch the bubbles reach the top, but never my body. I watch my eyes and I can tell you that I can see them crying the tears I cry, while I’m trying to get to the surface for air. It never happens. I see my eyes, and the bubbles and the dark, black ocean. I see Ronan. I think about this a lot during my runs when I am having a hard time breathing because I am running so fast. It makes me run faster. So does the thought of my “slayer,” attacking me. I daydream about that…. about the day that someone will come out and grab me on one of my runs and they will kill me, but not before I have the time to send Woody a text message saying how much I love him, Quinn and Liam, how they are all my soul mates but I have to go and be with my other soul mate now. Which is you, Ro. I daydream about the day I will be reunited with you all of the time and I go over all the different ways in which it could happen. I’m not scared of it. Even when I picture my eyes as I am drowning in a sea of black water…. my eyes are still vibrant green and they are happy; even though they are filled with tears. I’m not scared of death anymore. I watched you die right before my very eyes. I know when my time comes, it will be a beautiful thing and you will be waiting for me on the other side. I cannot wait for that day, until I see your little face again. To kiss your sweet lips and to hear your squeaky voice. I miss you so much.

After the Strawberry fields, we had nowhere special to be. We decided to drive down PCH and enjoy the scenery and sunshine. We opened the sunroof, blasted Pearl Jam, and watched the ocean come alive with surfers, people, birds, and sparkling sand. We stopped for lunch at a little Mexican food place as none of us had eaten today and Macy said she could not take being on the “Maya diet,” for one second longer. We sat and ate and started to talk about you. We talked about Dr. Kushner and have decided that the way he was with us, is just his personality. He cuts off all emotional ties when he knows the outcome is not going to be good. He has had to desensitize himself so he can do his job, the best way he knows how. Unfortunately, that means often making people feel more awful about their situation and leaving them feeling let down, helpless, and regretful. He is like a robot as I’m sure he decided a long time ago this is how he was going to be when he decided to become a Pediatric Oncologist. That still does not make it right and I will  have my sit down with him and he will look me in the eyes. I promised Ronan and myself. I will get this done. Sooner, rather than later. I want to go out there in the Fall. I’m not going to put this off.

I was telling Macy about your amazing hair color and how I was so sad she never knew you when you had hair. We started looking at pictures on my phone of you and the tears started again. At one point, I was so consumed by guilt for being in San Diego, at the beach, when there are so many sick kids with cancer right now. I felt like running right to the nearest hospital just so I could be in the presence of all of those amazing kids. I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing something for them, at that moment. A lot of the guilt came from knowing I was sitting there with Macy and Quinn, with the sunshine on our backs, the memories of you flooding in, and how many kids are trapped in hospitals and do not have the freedom that we do. I don’t like this freedom I have without you, Ronan. It gives me major anxiety and I will never be able to enjoy it again. I look at people around me, who have no clue, and they are just so happy. Happy at the beach, happy together as a family, happy because they all still live in their little bubble of a world. It makes me want to throw up. In fact, I did throw up tonight after we came home. Just driving through the town of Coronado is enough to do me in. I get so sick to my stomach that we are here and you just died almost 2 months ago. FUCK. July 9th is coming up soon. It will have been 2 months since you passed away. That is not going to be a fun day. Please watch over me on that day, Ronan. I know you do everyday, but especially on that day. I hope you were with Esther last night. I wish I would have dreamt of you two, together. My dreams are black and empty. Just like my heart.

After our fiesta of tears, we hopped back in the car and continued on our way. We ended up pulling over in Del Mar to enjoy the amazing beach. Quinn, Macy and I all held hands and ran to put our toes in the sand. It was such a gorgeous time of day and the beach was breathtaking. Quinn took off, alone, and went to find some rocks. He never does things alone and I could see the sadness on his face as he had to do all of this without you and Liam today. He soon came over and asked if I would help him. I said of course and off we went. We ended finding some really pretty rocks for his collection which he is so into right now. He was so proud of them. Macy and I could have eaten him up with a spoon today. He really is everything, kind, sweet, and full of nothing but love. As I was getting my purse out to pay for parking at the beach today, Quinn goes, “I have money in my wallet, mom. I can pay for it.” Cutest thing ever. He has saved up his money and has offered to pay for anything  and everything. I keep telling him no, to save his money, but I know how proud it would make him to buy a little something for me. I’ll let him leave the tip at a restaurant or buy me a coffee soon. What a gentleman. Some girl is going to be very lucky one of these days.

We finally got home around 7:30 and everyone seemed pretty tired. We put in “The Wedding Singer,” and watched it together. Now, Quinn is in the middle of Me and Mace. They are snuggled up together so sweetly. Macy is like the sister I never had; but I should have. I totally have that sisterly connection with her and it has always come so naturally to us. I swear I’ve know her in a past life as well. Maybe we were sisters then. There has to be something….. the way we met, and had an instant bond. The way Ronan loved her so much and we all know how picky he is about people. He took to Macy instantly too. He knew Macy in a past life too; I’m just sure of it. I feel like the new people I’ve really, truly, deeply connected to since all of this, are people that Ronan and I have both known before. I’ve got my list….. there are about 10 people on it. I will forever hold these people close to my heart as I consider them family now. It’s as if I have a whole new family, thanks to Ronan. Just another one of his little gifts he has left behind. You, my son, amaze me everyday.

Alright my little man. It’s late and Macy told me I needed to go to sleep early tonight. Early means 2 a.m. not 4 a.m. I’m going to snuggle up with them now. I wish you were here to snuggle with us. I miss you baby. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams my favorite blue eyed boy. I love you, Ro.

xoxo

  

New York Miss Macy takes on Coronado!!! Watch out Navy Seal boys!

Ronan. I’m trying to remain calm and quiet tonight. Today was hard. WTF is going on? I thought things were supposed to be getting easier as time goes on. Time heals all wounds. Who is the dumb ass that made that up? All time is doing is taking me further and further away from you and this time I had with you on this earth. It just makes me miss you more. I don’t even really remember today, except it was another one of those longest days ever. I woke up late with Liam and Quinn. Made them breakfast, talked to you Daddy about some things, cried, all while Quinn sat and wouldn’t leave my side. UGH. You know how much I love your brother, but sometimes, I just need my space whether it be when I’m on a phone call or just trying to freaking go pee. Your brother refuses to leave my side. This breaks my heart, as I know the reason why and I tried to calmly talk to him about privacy today as he grabbed my phone to read a text message out loud that Macy had sent me. Little eyes! I handled the situation appropriately I guess, but I think he got his feelings hurt. After spending the past 3 days with your brothers, I’ll bet you Quinn has been away from me for maybe 10 minutes. I love how much he loves me. It’s as if he is trying to give me a double overload of love because you are gone and he knows I need it and he needs it too. But fuck. I do need my space every once in a while. Thank GOD for NY Miss Macy arriving tomorrow. Not only am I in desperate need of how she makes me laugh like no other, but she can take some of the pressure from this Quinn situation. Mama needs a break and a very long run to get out some of this restlessness.

Today, simply just sucked. Bad day. Bad headache. Bad mood. Bad everything. You know you are going to have a bad day when you wake up to the ocean and sun shinning and you feel pissed off. Liam and Quinn were still tired from yesterday and last night. We attempted to go down to the beach and pool for a while, but they were soon board as none of us were feeling it. Liam was tired, Quinn was tired, and my headache was out of control. We came back upstairs so I could make them lunch. I knew it was going to be one of those lazy bum beach days. Liam plopped himself in front of the T.V. and Quinn said he wanted to take a nap and wanted me to lay down with him. I couldn’t tell him no. We snuggled up in bed together and he grabbed my hand to hold while he fell asleep. I just watched him and tried not to cry. Remember our naps together? Almost everyday we would take one, it was part of our little routine. I loved those napping days together so much. I dozed off with Quinn but my sleep was restless as it always is, especially without my Ambien. I don’t think it would be such a good idea to take that stuff in the middle of the day. I wrestled with my sleep, tried to be peaceful, but woke up angry at everything still. Quinn slept for a few hours. He was beat. I got up and took out my aggression on the laundry, dishes, and cleaning.

After Quinn woke up, we got ready and decided to go out to dinner. We went to Old Town for some Mexican Food. I shared Carnita’s with Quinn and Liam ate a huge thing of chicken nuggets and the homemade tortillas that they make at the restaurant. He of course, dipped them in his ketchup. Your brother and his eating habits…. I swear he could live off of ketchup alone. It was a nice dinner but as always it was a big reminder that you are not here. We used to take you to that restaurant all of the time and it was as if there was a video playing inside my head of the last time we had been there with you. It was all I could focus on as I tried to hold a conversation with Liam and Quinn. I did my best.

It has not even been 2 months since you left me and already I can feel myself panicking about what I am going to do in August when your brothers go back to school. I am now panicking even more because your daddy brought it up today. He knows I will go crazy if I don’t have something to stay focused on. You were my soul focus for 4 years. Now what, Ro? I am scared to death as I don’t have a plan at all. I like a plan so much but a part of me wants to rebel against this “plan,” and just see what comes my way. Fuck the plan of life because I now know there are never any guarantees if you do have one. I had a plan with you. It was the most perfect plan and now look. I’m left alone, in a house, without you to take care of, while your brothers go back to school. I know I will figure something out, I have to. Otherwise, I know I will end up seriously doing something crazy like barricading myself in your room and never coming out.

I talked to my Bryson friend via text messaging tonight. Your spirits are so similar. He loves Star Wars, just like you. He is really passionate about living his life full of fun; just as you were. He has crazy pictures on his FB wall of the skiing he does, jumping off cliffs, etc….. That is so how you would have been. Nothing in life would have stopped you and I know you would have been extra fearless especially when it came to things like skiing, surfing, cliff diving, etc….. It was just something you were born with. Bryson is this way too. The more I learn about him, the more I am finding out how much alike you really are. I don’t know what this means, but I am intrigued. He is a very sweet boy. He told me he thinks we met so he could help me heal. I just told him that is a big job for such a young kid. Way too much for him to take on. He has already helped me by what he did for me on the airplane. Sitting alone without you for the first time…. I very well could have lost it. He distracted me and let me tell him the beautiful story about you. I am so thankful for that. That first flight was going to be hard on me.

I’ll smile tonight thinking about how you used to always say, “Mama.” and I would go, “Yes.” and you would say, “You’re cute.” and I would go, “You’re the cutest!” and then we would start our wrestling tickle party telling each other that the other one was cuter. I loved that so much. It was so fun to be so silly with you. So simple.
Alright my baby. You know our conversation that we had tonight? The one where I stare at the pic of you on your iPad and I swear you are staring back at me. I kiss you and whisper what I need you to do, which is take me with you. I told you to tell whoever it is upstairs, that I need to be up there with you. I am you mom. I am the one who is supposed to be taking care of you! I am fine with leaving here. You make them make it happen for me, Ro. We belong together. Just you and me. Just like we always said. I know you can hear me. Make it happen because I can’t take this much longer. Ambien is kicking in. I miss you so much and although I still had so much to say tonight….I’m tired. I love you so much. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Where’s Macy??? Where’s Ro????