You and Ben. Ben and You.

Ronan. I have had so much go on the past couple of days but all I can think about is Ben died today. Those are the words that jolted me out of my Ambien induced coma last night at 12:11 a.m. I was asleep, in Quinn’s bed and you know once I take my Ambien, World War II could be going on in our house and I wouldn’t know it. Last night, I was ripped from my sleep and straight up in my bed, not knowing why. I reached for my phone because something just felt not right. That’s when I read the words, “Ben died today.” My stomach dropped. I immediately sent your Mr. Sparkly Eyes a text that simply said, Ben died. Fuck. Fuc (which is our code word for Fuck You Cancer) I got up, I kind of remember going into our bedroom and just saying out loud to your Daddy, “Ben died. FUCK!” I don’t remember what happened next except my face was very wet. I woke up in the morning, back in Quinn’s bed praying that I had only dreamed of Ben dying. I grabbed my phone and read the words, once again. No. No. No. No. Not Ben. I got up, showered, got your brothers up as we were running late. I was in the middle of making lunches. Your brothers came out to grab some breakfast. Your Quinny was complaining about the shorts your daddy had picked out for him to wear to school. They were just normal, corduroy shorts and I told him how handsome he looked. He started to say how he didn’t want to wear them, how it wasn’t fair. I stopped in the middle of making his sandwich, looked at him and I said, “Ben died. Ben died and you are going to complain about the shorts you are wearing? You are not allowed to do that.” Was this too harsh for an 8-year-old? I don’t fucking think so. It’s real life. It’s real life where I’m sorry but we don’t get to complain about things that don’t fucking matter anymore. There are bigger problems in life. I refuse to let your brothers, forget that. I refuse to let them grow up in a world where they are ungrateful that they are alive and get to wear stupid shorts that look nice when all they want to do is wear Nike Basketball shorts. It’s not happening when you and Ben would have given anything to wear nice corduroy shorts.

So Ro. I knew that day I saw Ben at America’s Taco Shop that it was really you that I was seeing. It was not just a coincidence. It was a very well orchestrated plan thought out by you. I knew that day, that Ben probably was not going to be around much longer. I knew that this was your way of telling me this, but it was also your way of telling me that you were going to take care of him. I knew this then, but I know this now for a fact. I have not told his mama this. I talked to her today. I wanted to tell her this, but I could not find the words. I was the one, crying on the end of the phone while I listened to her tell me that she was fine. How she was cleaning the house, but she was fine. What do you say to that? I did the only thing I know how to do. I simply said, “Barb. You are not fine. You are in shock. You are having a physical reaction to Ben being gone and your mind and your body are trying to protect you.” She said she wasn’t sure, that she really felt fine. The tears slid down my cheeks. “O.k.,” I said. “Please just know that I am here when the shock wears off. I’m much further down this road, so I kind of get it. Not entirely, but kind of.” All I wanted to do was reach through the phone and wrap my arms around her. All I wanted to do was to bring Ben back so she wouldn’t have to be fine. I felt so useless and so helpless. I tried to think back to what happened right after I lost you. I don’t remember much but I think I wrote to you. I’m sure there were so many people out there going, “Has she LOST her mind?!! Who writes a blog post, not even 24 hours after their child dies?!!!” I guess that was my version of being fine. Everybody deals with things differently. There is no right answer. You know what else, makes me love Ben’s mom even more? The fact that when she did do her update (I’m assuming it was her) that she simply titled it, “Ben died yesterday.” That was very Maya like if I do say so myself. Regardless if they are religious or not, it was so fucking refreshing not to read, “HALLELUJAH! Ben is with our Lord Jesus Christ! We are so happy!” The next caring bridge that I have to read, that says something like that, I’m going to punch my fucking computer screen. I don’t care how much you believe in God…. stop fucking lying. No parent is happy and rejoicing that their child is dead. Let’s call a spade and fucking spade. I don’t care if God is your fucking BFF. The fact of the matter is your child is gone and let’s just be honest for .2 seconds and be honest about it like Ben’s mom. Ben died. That says enough. That says everything and more. It is enough. Just let it be enough and nobody needs to scream Hallelujah about it.

I know I worry about you being safe, Ronan. But I don’t worry about Ben, because I know he is with you. Does that make sense? I may not know that you are safe, but I know you are now watching after your little buddy and I know that you two are together and so I know you have a little friend to pal around with. I pictured you two, today playing with each other and running all around. I actually pictured you both on this earth and how you would have been great friends. You don’t get to be here together so you being somewhere else, will have to do. It was easy for me to picture the two of you, together which is weird because we didn’t even know Ben that well. We only had a few interactions with him but they were always one’s that I could not forget. I never could get his little mischievous smile, out of my mind. It was so much like yours.

Words failed me today with Ben’s mom. There are no words that could ever be good enough. I’m so sorry was all I could really do. If I had to tell her some things, it would be this.

This should not have happened. It should not have and you don’t ever have to be o.k. with this. You won’t ever, “get better,” or get over this. And you should not. He was your Ben. Your one and only sweet Ben and this just proves that life is not fucking fair. Nobody will ever have a Ben like yours. This is o.k. You are the only one that was special enough to have him. People will try to understand but they won’t. This is o.k. too. He is your best kept little secret. Your love is your best kept little secret. The best kept little secret that nobody can take away from you because it lives closest to your heart and your heart, ONLY. Nobody else’s. Ben knows how much you loved him. Ben knows you would have traded your life for his in an instant but it was not your choice. You will learn to accept this and let his love, guide you for the rest of your life. Don’t question your heart. Ever. With anything you do anymore. Even if that just means deciding what to cook for dinner. Everything will eventually mean so much more than it did before because Ben will be behind everything you do. Not that he wasn’t already before, but now his light will become that much stronger even on your darkest of days when you don’t want to get out of bed. Don’t fight this. Stay in bed and have lots of dark days. He is worth every single tear. He is worth your shattered, broken heart. He will help you put it back together when it is time. There is no time frame for this. Don’t listen when you hear this gets easier as time goes on. Time is irrelevant. Time means nothing. Time has stopped. You were his teacher for an amount of time, that was cut way too short. Let him be your teacher now. I know he has so much he wants to teach you. I know he has so much he is going to teach you. He will keep you safe. I promise. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry and I wish I could bring him back. I can’t so Ro will watch over him. I don’t believe in much these days, but I believe in this. I don’t just believe in this, I know this. I love you. I love Ben. I love the love you two have for one another. Not had. HAVE. You will always have that. Always.

Alright Ro baby. It’s been a long day full of too many tears and homemade potato latkes. I peeled the fuck out of the potatoes today while I cried for you, me, our family, Ben, and Ben’s family. I made some pretty kick ass potato latkes. You would have loved them. I’m sorry that cancer is an asshole, therefore you couldn’t be here to eat them. I’m sorry. I’m sad. I love you and I hope you are safe. Thanks for taking good care of Ben. I love you both to the moon and back. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

Did I die? Nope, it was just the flu.

Ro baby. It was bound to happen sooner or later. The way I run myself ragged, I’m surprised it took this long. It started Wednesday night. I was getting ready for our little board meeting and I should have suspected something….. but I just chopped it up to being tired. I went to our meeting, did my best to formulate my thoughts with this heavy fog that was hanging over my head (tiredness or so I thought), came home 4 hours later (meeting very productive) crawled into bed and by that time, every inch of my body was aching. I threw off my clothes, washed my face, and curled up in your bed. I don’t think I moved for the next 24 hours. I slept for about 16 hours straight. When I did finally wake up, I felt like I had been hit by a truck; several times. I spent the next couple of days, wishing for death just due to how physically awful I felt and for the first time, it was due to something else then the loss of you. It was official. I had the flu. And there was nothing I could do about it. I gave into it. I let my body break down like it has been wanting to do. After about the second day of being extremely sick, I started to come about and realized my surroundings again. Grief, reality, Inferno Fuckwad Bob, were all there waiting for me. I woke up to a quiet house. Alone. A heavy wave of sadness washed over me. I’m alone. I’m sad. Why is the house so quiet? Where’s Ronan? Ronan’s gone. Ronan’s dead. You are alone. Nobody wants to take care of you because you’ve been so mean. Because you’ve pushed everyone away. I started to cry. My phone rang. Of course it did. You always make sure of this. I pick up and say hello to our favorite lovie and I give him my best I’m not crying or sick voice I can. It doesn’t work.

Mr. Sparkly Eyes: “Why do you sound like that? What’s wrong? Why are you not at your F U Cancer Starbucks office today?”

me: “I’m sick. I think I’m dying. I’m sick. I’m alone and I have nobody to take care of me.”

Mr. Sparkly Eyes: “Well, how are you going to Fuck Cancer if you are sick?” the chuckling begins. “I’ll bet you are the WORST sick patient ever. You being sick, unable to do things, just does not go hand in hand.” the chucking continues.

me: UGH. I’m too sick to laugh. But I laugh anyway. “Why are you laughing. It’s not funny. I’m really sick and alone and nobody wants to take care of me.”

Mr. Sparkly Eyes: “You are not alone. You have plenty of people who would love to take care of you. I know how stubborn you are and I know how you won’t let ANYONE take care of you.”

me: “I hate that you know me so well. Not really. I love that. Thank you.”

Mr. Sparkly Eyes: “I miss him. I’ll check in with you later. Please rest. This does not suit you at all.”

me: “Fine. Agreed. How are you always right? It’s starting to annoy me. I love you, Sparkly.”

I hung up and listened to your Sparkly and went back to sleep for the next 8 hours. I let the tears, sweat, and vomit take over my world for 3 days straight. I almost made your daddy take me to the ER as I thought I was massively dehydrated. The thought of the ER and the reality that would come with it, kept me at home, chugging Gatorade. Finally, late last night, I started to feel better. I poked my head up out of bed to get a peek at your daddy who was stripping sheets, washing blankets, and tending to your brothers. Thank RO for that daddy of yours. I tried to get to sleep at a decent hour last night but my achy body and the thoughts of you, were consuming me. I found myself, on my phone, looking at pictures of you. Starting from before you diagnoses to the months after. Oh, there’s perfect infant Ronan. Then perfect baby Ronan. Then perfect toddler Ronan. Then perfect little boy Ronan. Then perfect your baby has cancer Ronan. Then perfect your baby has cancer Ronan, but we will fix him. Then perfect your baby has cancer, Ronan but we can’t fix him……. Then the pictures just stop because no more can be taken. So I shoved the phone away and rocked myself as I sob and cry and cry. What do you mean, no more pictures of Baby Ro? He was mine, how can that be? What do you mean, I can’t talk to him anymore? He was my best friend, the love of my life….. this can’t be real. It cannot be real because it is too awful. Things like this don’t happen in real life, right? Things like this don’t even happen in the fucking movies so how can they possibly happen, in real life? Fuck this FUCK THIS FUCK THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! I just want my best friend back. Please!!!!!!! Somebody make this not real because it is too horrific. I’m up out of my sickness coma. I’m better. I’m pacing the house now. I’m looking for you. The screaming won’t stop now. I grab my Ambien that I now only take due to emergencies. It was an emergency last night. I was like a wild animal out of control. I needed the blackness of the night that only exists due to this little frienemy of mine. Swallow pill. Sheets drenched. Pillow case soaked. Clutch phone to look at your face. Your sweet little face. Blackness engulfs my forever painfully aching body of grief. Lights out for the next 7 hours.

I wake up to the fucking sunlight obnoxiously screaming in my face. Dude. Can’t a vampire/zombie catch a break around here? Would it be too much to ask for the happiness of the world to just go on vacation for a day? Not today. Today you will be slapped in the face with the reminder that everything is AWESOME in AZ because it is a perfectly sunny happy fucking day. Even when you have a dead kid, life just goes on. Or so the outside world seems to think. Even the weather agrees.

That’s all for now little man. I miss you so much. SO much that I somedays think this still cannot possibly be real. But then I see your Urn staring back at me and I am quickly reminded that it is and there is nothing I can do about it, to bring you back. For that, I’m sorry. I am so very sorry. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Please keep watching over Ben with the Bald Head for me. Thanks for making it rain on him the other night while he was out for a walk with his mama. I love you, Ro. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

A Birthday, Smiles, and Sparkles

Ronan. I smiled today. A couple of things made me smile and it felt o.k. I started this morning by running with Samya. I’m having a hard time, finding my love for this running thing again. I am still trying to get over that mental block that I seem to be having. I asked Samya if we could not run on the Canal this morning. She sweetly agreed to trust me and I picked out a different route for us. We ran up some hills, through some neighborhoods, and past Camelback Mountain. It was much better than the dirty, dusty, canal. After our run I came home and did the usual routine. The house was so quiet as everyone was still asleep. I hopped in the shower and went through the list of things I needed to get done today. After the shower, I was thankful for the quietness, as I had something important to do. It is Fernanda’s birthday today. I bought her the same locket necklace that Macy got for me in San Diego. I’ve had it for a while and knew what I was going to do with it. I got out the glue and spread a think layer on the inside of the locket. I took your ashes into the dining room and sat you on the table. I opened up your Urn, dipped my hand into you, kissed you and told you to please take care of Fernanda, for the rest of her life. I cried and smiled at the same time, knowing that you wouldn’t let me down. I let the locket dry, wrote her a little card and sealed it with a kiss. I felt as though you were watching me today, helping me with this decision as I know it might seem strange. But it felt right. And I have been thinking about this for a long time. She was with you, right before you passed away. I knew this would be the most beautiful, special gift to her. And it was just as special to me; to be able to give her such a thing. You know I would give her the moon and the stars above if I could. The gift of you is better than anything in this world. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way today, to let my friend know how much she means to me.

I dropped L and Q off at school with the usual goodbyes, I love you’s, see you at 3:15, please try your hardest today. They make me proud everyday. I watched them in the rear view mirror, as they walked into school. I looked back at your empty seat in the car, expecting to hear you yell goodbye to them. It kills me everyday to look back there and not see your sweet little face. I drove to Taylor’s where I told Fernanda I would meet her for breakfast. I sat and ordered a coffee and talked to the waitress about her amazing Amber colored eyes. This darling girl waits on me a lot when I’m there. Her eyes, are stunning and I always tell her so. You know what a sucker I am for pretty eyes. Fernanda soon arrived and I gave her a Happy Birthday hug. We sat and caught up before we ordered our food. I told her to close her eyes as I stood up to give her our birthday gift. I took out the purple jar of glitter that I had in my purse and started sprinkling it all over her head and told her it was from you. She was laughing, and crying, and was covered in all things Purple and Sparkly. I laughed while doing this today as I thought of you and knew how much you would have loved to be a part of something like this. I then gave her the locket of you. I cannot remember what Fernanda said, but there were a lot of tears involved and a lot of words flying out of her mouth. I get easily distracted by her beautiful Spanish accent and her words just kind of flew over my head. I know she told me that it was the most special gift she has ever received, how much it meant to her and some other things. I heard her words, but most of all, I just felt. I felt something else than pain. It may have been a feeling of happiness. Just a tiny bit. The tiny bit of happiness that I now cling to like I am holding on to for dear life. Because I am. I am holding on for dear life, that happiness will once again, be a part of me.

After I left Fernanda covered in glitter and my lipgloss all over her cheek, I ran home to take care of a few things. Lots of things. Lots of important but not really important things that fill my days. There are so many of those things now. All the things that come with the responsibility that I cannot just abandon because I just don’t care anymore. As much as I don’t care, I still have a responsibility to take care of things around here. Our house is so freaking clean and organized that I don’t even have laundry to do, Ro. Pathetic. I only wish that I were going crazy because of the millions of messes that I was cleaning up after you. You drawing on the walls, you spitting your food out across the table because you knew it drove me crazy, you climbing up the refrigerator and shoving food into your mouth, you taking a bath a pouring water all over the sides or splashing so much that I would have been drenched from head to toe. I wished for those days back, so badly.

I drove out to see Dr. Rachel today. The therapist your Daddy and I see. He couldn’t make it, so I went and saw her alone. It was good. It gave me a chance to fill her in on the life before I married your Daddy. A little bit of background. She wants to know why I’m so hard on myself. Where that stems from. She wanted to talk about the guilt that I seem to be consumed with. She wanted to talk about a lot of things but also said she didn’t want to undo any of my other individual therapy that I am doing. She respected my boundaries which I very much appreciated. I have a little bit of a guard up with her and I’m not sure why. I guess it could have to do with the fact that your Daddy and I both see her. It was glad to let her in a little bit. I would like to be able to let her in more, but I think it’s going to take some time.

Lots more to say tonight, but I’ve got an early morning run calling my name. Ro. Please help me out. I saw you on my run this morning; that little hummingbird that decided to show up, right when I wanted to stop. I didn’t stop. I hope you’ll be around tomorrow. I’ve got to get my running Mojo back if I’m going to kick this P.F. Changs Half-Marathons butt. Any extra push you can give me tomorrow would be great.

I love you to the moon and back. I miss you more than anything in the world. I am so lucky you were mine, for as long as I had you. You will change my life in ways that I’m not even aware of because I am stuck in this thick fog which you will help me out of, when I am ready. I know this. G’nite sweet boy. I hope you are safe. A million kisses to you. I’ll bet you miss my kisses so much you wouldn’t dare tell me, “IT’S NOT A KISSING DAY!!!!”

I love you, my not spicy, monkey boy.

xoxo

No sugar coating necessary

Ro baby. Today has been a very long day, with no end in sight. Here it is, 1 a.m. and I’ve almost been awake for a full 24 hours. I don’t really know what is going on, but this week has been really, really, hard. I do know what is going on…. you are not here which makes everything feel wrong. Your Daddy is right next to me, out like a light. I envy his sleep. I hope you are bringing him good dreams tonight as he has had awful dreams about you. That makes me sad.

I didn’t sleep well last night at all. I remember trying to fall asleep and my pillow was soon soaked with tears. Silent tears which are the worst. The tears that I am so good at hiding, as I don’t need anyone trying to comfort me because I am o.k. Right, Ro? Nobody needs to worry, because I am going to be alright. Everybody seems to know this, except me. I’m starting to think that everyone is crazy. And here, all along, I thought I was the crazy one. I am learning that I am in fact not. Everyone else is for thinking that I can survive this. Because as of now, I really, really, don’t want to. I just want to be with you and I’m not shy about saying so. I tried last night, to fall asleep in bed with your Daddy like the good wife that I am supposed to be. I couldn’t do it. I kept thinking to myself, how can I possibly sleep, without kissing you goodnight. I wanted more than anything to sneak into your room and find you sleeping in your bed. I got up, went out to the living room and had a flash back of finding you on the couch late one night. I found you, crying softly as you tried to stop the bloody nose that you had. I swear I saw you last night, sitting there again. You are haunting me but not in a good way. In a way that makes me feel so guilty and scared. I replay the images of you at your worst over and over in my head again. It’s like a movie I am watching, where you know the ending is going to be bad, but you just have to keep watching anyway. There is no shutting it off.

Little one. I passed out after starting that last night. Passed out cold. I crawled into the bottom bunk bed where Quinn sleeps, except he was up top with Liam. I curled up in Quinn’s bed, with your GiGi and fell into a deep, dreamless, sleep. I’m sure I had dreams, but I cannot remember. I woke up groggy today and really, really, sad. I put on my best smile, got showered, dressed, and put on my best mommy face for your brothers as I took them to school. After drop off, I came home and now here I sit. In bed. I’m wearing the “Fuck God,” shirt that I had made. Yup. I did. “Fuck God,” on the front and “Fuck Cancer, too,” on the back. Deal with it. If you are up there, Ro…. playing on your white, fluffy cloud, while chasing around Master Yoda, and hanging out with “God,” can you ask him a few things for me?? I have some questions that he needs to answer. I really don’t think “he,” exists, but humor me because everyone else seems to believe in him. Can you ask him, if he is really the one in charge of this world, then why he would have allowed this to happen?? What makes him think that he loves you more than I love you?? Because that is not fucking possible. Then can you please give him a swift kick in the balls for me for taking you away to be with him. What a selfish PRICK. Can you please ask him, if he is real, than what makes him think that you were supposed to be the “chosen one.” I highly doubt you wanted to be the lucky one, to leave this earth, so you could go and do something better with your time. I know all you want is to be here with me. With your Daddy and brothers, playing football or Rockband. Causing trouble every where you went, all while melting everyone who came into contact with you, with your big blue eyes and beautiful, perfect face. Can you ask God, what mother deserves to go thought this?? And how he decides this?? How in the world can he justify the Hell he is putting me through? If he gives you some bullshit answer, such as heaven needed anther angel, can you please kick him in the balls for me again. You are indeed an angel, baby. But not the kind that needed to go to heaven. You were my angel and were meant to be here on this earth, for a very long time. I am really pissed at “God,” and his fucking plan for you. I am your mom, I am the one who was supposed to make a plan for you. My plan, never in a million years, would have involved you getting cancer and dying from it. If God gives you some justifiable answers…. which is bullshit because there are not any…. than I guess you can give him a hug for me. You can also tell him, the only way that I will forgive him is if this life is not truly the life we were meant to live together. That after this Hell of a life that is now mine, the next life I live will be spent with you and we will be together for a thousand years. I will survive this Hell of a life, holding on to that little sliver of hope that you are waiting for me on the other side and we will get to come back to live happily ever after, the next time around. God has a lot of fucking making up to do. Fucking Asshole.

The tears are endless today and I’m not leaving bed until I have to get your brothers from school. I’m hiding today as I deserve to. It’s been a while since I’ve done this and I am feeling really beat down from all the constant going, going, going…..that I have done. Yesterday, I met with Dr. Joanne. I was crying before I even got to the elevator to go up to her office. She had me do some homework that I finished and brought to our session. It involved sitting with the words I had written, 2 days after your diagnoses. I took those words, and wrote myself a letter from you. I read it out loud to her and cried while doing so. We talked a lot about my letter from you. I told her how you always called me, Mama… never Mommy or Mom. I loved hearing the way you called me Mama, so much. It was one of my favorite things about this life. We talked a lot about you, me, and my grief, Inferno Fuckwad Bob. The work I do with her is always hard, but it is worth it as I leave there feeling as if I am making progress. I am surprised how easily is has been for me to just let the floodgates open with her. I know a big part of this is because when Dr. Joanne works with me, she does not push me… she pulls me. There is a big difference and we both know I don’t do well with people who push me. I will instantly throw up a big block wall and you will never get in. It’s my defense mechanism. I like to be pulled; I am o.k. with that. I can handle that.

We sat and talked about how everything I am feeling is normal. She told me that she has worked with a lot of people in her time, but not many choose to face the darkness head on like I am. I appreciated that. Darkness is inevitable in all of this. I don’t want to be afraid of it which is why I am choosing to embrace it, be open and honest about it. I often feel like I am a 10-year-old little girl again, who is lost in a big, black, dark forest. I know I have to keep walking and I cannot stop. I know there will come a time, when the thickness of the trees will clear, a bit of sunlight will peak through, and what awaits me is a huge, open field of flowers with you running through them to get to me. I’m not giving up on that picture, Ro. But I have a lot of walking to do, before I am going to get there. I am not afraid of the dark as long as I have you by my side, in any way shape or form. I know you loved me too much to have left me alone in this world without you. Our love will survive the darkness that surrounds me. You are my little light that will guide me through.

Last night, I went to a concert. Foster the People. FTP. Or as my lovie, who shall remain nameless, called them, “FTP….. yeah, it stands for Fuck the Police.” Dying laughing right now. Her words were in response to some guy that was hitting on her and he asked her if she knew what FTP meant. That was her smartass, genius response. I had a beautiful night, surrounded by amazing music and girls. You would love this band, Ronan. They are freaking amazeballs. If I were 18, I would totally abandon whatever I was doing and follow them around the country. Mark my words, they are going to be HUGE. We saw them play in a really small venue last night which is always the best. I’ll bet the next time that band tours, they will be playing in huge Arenas as I know they are going to blow up. Everybody needs this C.D. in their life. Oh, Foster. How I love you so. Monica…. thank you for swinging that extra ticket my way last night. It was just what the doctor ordered. You are a doll. As for you, FTP….. do you live inside my head? Your C.D., is the soundtrack for this hellish life that I live. Thank you for understanding, thank you for being Rockstars…. I hope you always stay true to your preppy, nerdy, smart, and passionate ways. You will forever own a piece of my heart because your music is such an escape for me. Thank you for being awesome. A band that Ronan would have LOVED. He had the best taste in music.

Alright little man. I’m going to cuddle up to your brothers now. I am tired after my day of crying and being angry at the world. It gets to be exhausting, feeling so many deep emotions that I have no control over. Please visit me tonight. Please let me know you are o.k. I miss you so much. I love you to the moon and back, baby doll. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

Ronan. This picture haunts me. Those eyes say it all. Did you know? Did you know you were going to leave me all along? Did you know that Mama wasn’t going to be able to save you, even after I promised you I would. I broke my promise to you. I failed you. I let you down. I’m sorry I couldn’t fix you. I sorry I couldn’t keep you safe. I’m sorry for everything. I know you forgive me. But I will never forgive myself. Your eyes say it all, Ronan. You knew.

4 Months feels like 4 Years. Thanks, Cancer. You’re AWESOME.

Ro. I can write tonight. I need to write tonight. It’s been a couple of days I think. I don’t know that I’ll be able to sleep tonight. It’s creeping up. The 9th of every month date. 3:30 a.m. will be here soon. I’ve been dreading it all week. Consumed by it. 4 months is almost here. What was I doing at this time, 4 months ago? Laying with you, while Fernanda sat and watched you so we could get some sleep together. I was cuddled up beside you, which was always my favorite place to be. I’ll bet you Fernanda was rubbing you, trying to sing, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” but she didn’t know the words, so she had to Google them on her phone. I love that story. She watched you because she knew that I needed the rest and I wouldn’t sleep if someone wasn’t keeping their eye on you.  She knew when it was her time to go and I think she left around 2:30 a.m. She kissed us goodbye and left the two of us in the room, alone together. She knew that it was time for you to go. She knew that we needed to be alone. She knows so much. I remember watching you. Your little breaths got so shallow. I remember The Ryan House nurse standing over us and how fast my heart was beating. I looked up at her and asked if you were gone. She told me not yet, but it was going to be soon. I remember thinking how unfair it was that my heart was rapidly beating, yet yours was getting ready to stop. I kissed you all over. I told you I loved you and whispered to you, “Come on baby. Come with me. Let’s get out of this place.” I asked her to go and get your Daddy. You waited for him to come in and kiss you goodbye. Then your little heart just stopped. Just like that. I go over this night in my head, at least 10 times a day. I pray that you know how much I love you, I pray that you were not scared as I worry about that so much. I still can’t believe you are gone and that I am still here, living this life, without you.
I had a mini freak out today. Panic took over after I dropped your brothers off at school. I knew I could not go home to an empty house. I went to Starbucks and sat with my computer and went through emails and paid bills. I emailed somebody at www.spirithoods.com and told them about you and asked them if they had ever thought about donating their amazing “hoods,” to kids with Cancer. I told them how much you loved yours and how many cancer kids would comment on it, but probably couldn’t afford to buy one. I asked them to consider donating some. I actually got a response pretty quickly and I was very impressed. I’m working on them and I have a feeling they won’t let me down. Could you imagine how many smiles their Spirit Hoods would bring to the faces of kids everywhere. Hospitals are notorious for being cold. Remember how much we loved wearing ours together. You looked so cute in yours. I could have gobbled you up and am sure I tried. I miss your little face so much.

One of our favorites met me for a bit today. I was a wreck, but tried my best to remain calm. I don’t think I put on a very good show. It’s fine. I have never been one to pretend with our lovie. No reason to. I talked about how this date is hard for me every month. I tried not to cry and just listened to the words that came my way. I tried to keep an open mind and to not be angry at the fact that you are not here. Our lovie sat and told me that you are not really gone, that you are everywhere. That you will never be gone. I know this deep down, but it does not take away the pain of your physical self not being here. It does not take away the pain of not being able to hear your squeaky voice or look at your beautiful face. Our lovie asked for a smile. I refused as my smile seemed nowhere to be found today. I’ll bet you I went the whole freaking day without smiling. And I always smile for our lovie. That’s how you know it was a really, really, bad day. I know you know. I know it’s on my really bad days, that you find some way to make me feel a little happy. I found that today when I went to visit my new friend, Katie, at her boutique. Her kind heart and kick ass music playlist made me feel good. I joked with her that she must secretly have access to my iPod because I swear she always has my favorite songs playing while I am in her store. Tom Petty’s “Last Dance with Mary Jane,” was on when I was telling her that. Oh, Tom Petty…. how I love thee. And Miss Katy…. this new gorgeous girl you have put in my life, Ro. Thank you. I can tell she is going to be a big part of this new, strange, life without you. Another one of your little gifts. Thanks baby.

The rest of the day was spent in therapy. Therapy with your Daddy and than I went off to therapy alone with Sarah. I felt like my head was spinning most of the day. Than I decided that it should feel that way, as I have many hats that I am wearing right now. I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing; but it is where I’m at. You want to hear all of the hats I’m wearing? I’ll tell you.

The Maya Hat- Trying to take care of me. Whatever that means.

The Ronan Hat- Trying to connect and still trying to take care of you. It’s all I want to do.

The Mama Hat- Trying to be a good Mama to your brothers. I’m naturally a good mom, so this is not hard. But it still takes a lot more effort than it used to.

The Wife Hat- Trying to be a wife to your Daddy. Failing.

The Therapy Hat- Sarah, Dr. Rachel, Dr. Joanne, and Dr. Beth with Liam and Quinn. FUCK. That is a lot of therapy, but so necessary.

The Friend Hat- Trying. Failing. I miss my friends.

The Foundation Hat- My busy work. Trying to get everything figured out. I like this hat. It gives me HOPE that I am keeping  you alive; even though you are gone.

The Not Slitting my Wrists Hat- Want to. Everyday. Everyday I survive without doing this is a fucking miracle.

The Grieving Hat- I’m doing this. In my way, alone. Or in the presence of therapists. I’m working hard to do this. I don’t want to stuff away any pain because it will all come back to haunt me later if I do.

So baby. What do you think about all of that? That’s A LOT of stuff. Remember back in the day, when all we had to worry about was naps and grocery shopping? That life does not even seem real anymore. I feel like I’ve been living this life now, forever. What a stupid, spoiled brat I was. I’ve got a lot of making up to do for being such an ignorant human being. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. It’s fine, baby. I’m not scared. I know you are going to help me, therefore, I can do anything. Fuck You, Cancer. Right, Ro?

My new friend, Heather, also stopped by for a visit. She is the Queen of random, surprise drive-by’s. I just happened to be home and was so glad to see her face. We sat in the kitchen today and talked for awhile. She is another one of those peeps with such an amazing heart. She always seems to appear when I need  a bit of cheering up. When I need a little kick in the ass to remind me of how strong I am. She told me that she tells someone, at least once a day, that I am going to do for Childhood Cancer, what Lance Armstrong has done for Cancer in general. WOW. What a compliment. Talk about picking a girl up, when she is down. I took a minute to think about what she told me. I started to get overwhelmed, but a calmness washed over me. I think she is right. I think she is right because I have you to fight for and the strength you give me will help me change things, in a drastic way. Everything I used to be scared of, Ro…. no longer exists. I am here, on this earth, to change things for you. Because you know that you did not deserve to die, nor does any other child suffering from Cancer. Somebody has got to take this fucker down. Super Ro to the rescue!!!!! I know we can do this, little man. Heather, knows we can do this. She lit up like a little Christmas Tree when she was telling me this today. It was so stinking adorable. It was so beautiful. It was so you.

Oh, Ro. Nice song pick tonight as I was just getting to end this post. Seriously! That just got you the BIGGEST SMILE! I love you to the moon and back, baby. I hope you are safe. You are so right, this is absolutely not the end.

THE BRAVERY

Tell me
Come on tell me what you can
Even as you wait for death your wiser than I am
Tell me what does it mean to exist
I am not a scientist I must believe there’s more than this
And I can not accept
That everything that’s real
Is only what our eyes can see
And our hands can feel

[chorus]
Not even earth can hold us
Not even life controls us
Not even the ground can keep us down
The memories in my head
Are just as real as the time we spent
You’ll always be close to me
My friend
This is not the end

I see
I can see you’re still afraid
Weathered like the silver moon, on you even fear looks good
I wish, I wish I had some words to give
But all that I can think to say
Is I’ll be with you everyday

[chorus]
Not even earth can hold us
Not even life controls us
Not even the ground can keep us down
The memories in my head
I just realized the time we spent
You’ll always be close to me
My friend
This is not the end

La la la la la
This is not the end
La la la l al la
This is not the end

I don’t care
I don’t care what you believe
As long as you are in my heart
You’re just as real as me
Maybe
Maybe even more
Someone who’s touched so many lives
can never, ever die

[chorus]
Not even earth can hold us
Not even life controls us
Not even the ground can keep us down
The memories in my head
I just realized the time we spent
You always be close to me
My friend
This is not the end