Ronan. This break from Arizona, could not have come at a better time. I am seriously about to go blind from all the sunny sunshine that just does not match the way my insides feel anymore. I spent the weekend at home. Pretty much in bed. I was trying to rest up for New York and was not feeling well. I also was seriously hiding from the sun. As in, I think I may have a sun phobia. I didn’t step outside Saturday or Sunday. It was only after the sun dipped down on Sunday, that I decided to go out to the grocery store to stock up on food before my departure. Monday came and went. I kept myself busy, getting ready to leave for my flight to New York. I tackled all the laundry that I have been ignoring, paid bills and packed my suitcase. I picked up your brothers, we did homework, I made them a snack, and I took them to a birthday. It was a NFL birthday theme hence the Monday night party. I came home, talked to your daddy for a bit and drew myself a bath. Your daddy came in to check on me.
Ronan. I think I told you that I tried to “prep,” with Dr. JoRo about this whole getting pregnant thing. We spent hours upon hours talking about it. Nothing could have prepared me for what it is like to be pregnant, after losing you. I am a natural born mother. I am a good mother. The fact that I still don’t really feel all giddy and excited about this baby, scares me a little bit. I still think this baby is going to die, so therefore I am trying not to get too attached to it yet. I guess I wrote a lot about having another baby when you were still here. I know we talked about it, but I don’t remember all the things you told me. A lot of my blog readers have been posting that you said you wanted a baby sister. I don’t remember that, but apparently I wrote it so it must be true. My foggy grief brain still makes a lot of my memories of you, hard to remember. Whatever this baby is, it will be loved. I know I love it, but I also know it will never take the place of you. It will never fill the empty space in my heart that feels like a gaping hole. I can’t even begin to think about a nursery. All I know is we have 3 bedrooms in our house and yours will not be turned into a nursery. I’m not sure what we will do. There is no way I can even fathom the thought of taking down your things and packing them away. I told your daddy he needs to build a new room for this baby because it’s not having yours. I cannot part with your toys, clothes, stuffed animals, books, blankets, pictures on the walls. I cannot take the things down from your room, only to fill them with something new. I cannot get rid of your bed and the Master Yoda that hangs above it. I won’t do it.
I am still pretty sick. The thought of any type of food, makes me nauseous, except pies. What in the hell is that all about? That’s all I want to eat. Peach Pie, Apple Pie, Cherry Pie… yes please. Any type of meat makes me throw up. Any type of cooking smell, makes my stomach turn. I’ve been living off of pie. So weird, but I’ll take it. You know in my obsessive exercising eating nothing world before I was pregnant, I would have never touched a pie. Bring on the pies now. I’ll enjoy them while I can:) I was productive yesterday. Of course this left me wiped out so I had to come home and take a bloody nap. I was going through some emails. I had been going back and forth with your Sparkly on some things. He had read my last blog post about how barbaric the cancer world is. He told me he thought I was being a little harsh. This led to me sending him an email back saying in no way, shape or form, was I too harsh. This led to him calling my phone. We had a little debate that I took a stance on and refused to back down. You know how he loves to play devils advocate with me. Not because he thinks I am wrong, but I think he likes to provoke me into thinking long and hard about things from every angle, before I take such a strong stance. This is one of the things that I love most about him. The way he makes me exam everything that comes my way, with a magnifying glass. This led to me bawling on the phone. “You didn’t see everything he went through, but you saw more than most people. I won’t tell you everything they did to him, because I feel like I have to protect you. I know how much your heart is broken. Why would I want to break it anymore? Yes, it was barbaric. Yes, it is wrong. These are kids. They deserve more compassionate treatments. I lived in this world. I saw things that you don’t even know about. Someday, I will tell you.” I sobbed into the phone. “Darling. It’s o.k. You are right. You are so right. You don’t have anything to prove to me, o.k. He deserved better. You know you have my utmost respect, always. Come on, settle down. When do you leave for New York? Tell me about your trip.” I wiped away my tears and appreciated the way he tried to change the subject. We talked about New York for a bit. He always knows how to cheer me up, but I was still left a little shaken. I still feel like I have post traumatic stress syndrome over the things we went through. I will not ever forget the way you were treated like a lab rat by supposedly one of the best doctors in the world. What a fucking joke.
I have tried to be as productive as possible. I had a long board meeting last night. As always, it was good. I love our little unconventional board. I love the way we gather around our kitchen table, somebody always brings food, and we get down to business. There is a lot of business to attend to, but that never gets in the way of the love and laughter that fills our house while those girls are here. That means everything to me. We have so much going on which we are all so thankful for. We also know some changes are going to have to come, in order to start raising the serious about of money, that we want to raise. Let the strategizing, begin…
Sooooooo… New York!!! I leave soon. I have some serious business to attend to! I’m so excited. Stacy is coming with me. She needs a break and this trip is just what the doctor ordered. She will be great to have along with me to help with the business things that we are dealing with. We are also going to meet up with my friend, Scott Kennedy, from Solving Kids’ Cancer, another really great organization that is based out of New York. We will spend some time with our Fairy RoMo which is the thing I am most excited about. NYC with our Fairy RoMo is my paradise. It will be a trip packed with a lot of business, but a lot of fun as well. All fueled by everything Ronan. My favorite kind of trip. The only one’s I feel comfortable taking. As long as you are the reason I am going, to keep things moving forward with your foundation, your memory, and your spirit… I know great things will come from this trip.
A lot of you little blog readers have asked why I am calling this baby Poppy for now. It’s because when I first found out I was pregnant, it was the size of a poppy seed. I thought that name sounded cute, so that is why. It won’t be the real name for the baby. We have had those picked out for a long time. Our girl name was picked out even before Liam and Quinn were born. We think we have our boy name too. Ronan will be a part of both of their names, regardless of the sex of the baby. That is important to our family. We have all agreed on that. Anything else I need to address tonight?? Your questions are sweet. I love reading all of your comments. Thanks for writing them.
I think this is all for tonight, Ronan. I miss you so much. I watched your daddy come home from work today. I was laying in bed.(still sick and maybe a little depressed) He put his keys on our dresser, just like he always does, right in front of your urn. Watching him do this, I felt like I was sucker punched. His keys, our son, on our dresser. It is just all so wrong. You should not be sitting there. You should have been causing trouble somewhere like I know you would be doing, if you were here. I’m sorry for everything. I miss you, I love you, I hope you are safe.
Ronan. I might be awesome. I woke up this morning at 4 a.m. and thought to myself, “I’m running this marathon today. It’s going to be easy.” I showered, dressed, tucked a baggie full of your ashes, inside my little carrying belt and woke up your daddy and brothers, to drop me off. I had your daddy take a sharpie and write your name all over me as well as Ava’s and our little dragon friend, too. Because you are all worth fighting for. They dropped me off at Balboa Park and off I went, alone, to wait for my race to start. While I was waiting, I sat in the grass, took my sharpie and wrote some more things on my legs like, “Fuck Cancer.” I had some girl come over to ask if I would write on her too, so I did. I put her friend, Christy’s name on her arm, her mom’s and then I asked her if she wanted your name on there as well. She said she would love that so I wrote “RONAN,” in huge letters on her arm. She told me she was only doing the half marathon and thought it was awesome that I was doing the full. She asked how long I had trained for and I told her I hadn’t trained at all. She looked at me like I had 3 heads and said, “What?! That’s crazy!” I just smiled and told her I knew. The funny thing was, I wasn’t nervous at all. I hadn’t set any expectations for myself except for I just wanted to finish, and have fun. I secretly in my head had thought to myself that I would like to finish in 5 hours, but I didn’t put a ton of pressure on myself about it.
I got to my corral and before I knew it, we were off and running. I was running, running, running. My pace felt good and I felt relaxed and almost as this was a little too easy which did not make any sense because I really have not been running at all. I kept my mind focused on you most of the time with bursts here and there of everyone who I knew, that was rooting for me. That made me smile and pushed me to run harder. Heather and Sam were waiting for me around mile 9 which I loved. Heather was all dressed up in some crazy purple outfit and they had about 20 purple star balloons for me. I carried those balloons for about 3 miles. People kept yelling at me that the balloons were slowing down my pace and to let them go. I didn’t care. They made me smile. I kept holding on to them until I found a little kid on the side of the road, to give them to. He was so excited and it made my day, to make his.
I think the first half of the marathon, I totally kicked butt. I do remember thinking around mile 10, “Shit, how am I really going to run this whole thing?” I quickly pushed that thought out of my mind which wasn’t hard when I remembered the reason that I was running. For you and all the other kids out there dying from or fighting this disease. I thought about you and all that you put up with. The surgeries, the chemo, the broviac dressing changes, the bone aspirations, the radiation, the traveling back and forth, and being torn out of your perfect little 3-year-old world and transformed into hell, in the blink of an eye. That was the only reminder I needed to shut the “oh my god this hurts,” voices off in my head. I knew that nothing was going to stop me. I hit the halfway mark and started to have a lot of fun. There are P.F. Changs photographers everywhere, I ran past one of them, flipped him off and he yelled out back to me, “HAHA, hey fuck you!” He was cracking up, which made me crack up. I yelled back at him, “That was to cancer!” He yelled back, “I like your style, Rockstar Ronan!” This got me to mile 16 and by this time, my left toes were numb and hurting. I looked down and the entire front of my left shoe was covered in blood. I pulled over, took off my shoe to reveal bloody toes galore. Ouch. I quickly decided there was nothing I could do about this, so I just put my sock and shoe back on to continue on running. I was in a lot of pain so I walked when I needed to. I had a dance party in someones front lawn. I drank a beer around mile 19. Some kids had a table set up outside their house, with cups of beer in it. Why the heck not, I thought and I chugged it. It made me laugh and think of you and how you used to love to sip on your daddy’s beers. Somebody else was passing out Otter Pops. This may have saved my life! Never has an Otter Pop tasted so good! I think I had about 3 of them, also while thinking about you as this was one of the last things that I fed you. I maybe got a little emotional at one point, but I pushed my tears aside because my sadness turned to anger which pushed me to keep running. I saw Heather and Sam again and they covered me in silly string. I stopped to talk to them for about 5 minutes. I wasn’t really concerned with my time as the fun of it all, made me care less. Around mile 20 Becca and Holly were screaming for me. I stopped to talk to them for a while, too. They asked how I was, I yelled, “This is easy! Fuck cancer!” They both looked like their eyes were going to pop out of their heads. They told me they were expecting me to be hurting and hardly walking. They were expecting to see a whole different Maya then the one who was smiling back at them. After I finished chatting with them, I ran off to finish my last 6 miles. The last six, were the hardest. I walked a lot. My left foot, was throbbing and I was limping. I had no clue of my time but I was thinking I was well past the 5 hour mark. I walked for about 2 miles, then once I knew I only had a couple more miles to do, I started to run again, but my running only lasted for bits here and there. The last mile I powered through and ran as fast as I could with my bloody and blistered toes, telling me to stop. I didn’t listen. There was no way I was walking through that finish line.
Your daddy and brothers were waiting for me. I started to tear up for a few reasons. One being because I was so happy to see them, but I was so sad that you were not waiting at the finish line for me, like you should have been. A mix of emotions, filled me. Happiness, sadness, excitement, disappointment, anger, and relief. I also felt pretty proud of myself. I looked at your daddy and said, “Worst time ever, right? That had to be well over 5 hours.” He goes, “No way. You finished at 4:51. That is a great time, for not having trained at all.” I smiled. “Really?! No way!” I could not believe my time was under 5 hours. I totally winged this marathon, stopped a bunch of times to just hang out/take it easy/drink a beer/eat some oranges/pound some Gatorades/have a dance party in some random persons yard. I didn’t take anything about this marathon seriously except for the reason I was doing it and the reason I was going to finish it. I had a BLAST. When I trained for the New York one, my time was 4:27. If I wouldn’t have spent all that time, goofing off for this one, I would have beaten my old time! But I think that would have taken the fun out of it for me. I think I will always do marathons this way, for the rest of my life. No training. Just enjoying the experience of it without any expectations or build up. After I ran the NYC one, I said I would never do another one again because I was so burnt out. After running this marathon, I am so ready to do another one! What a difference a good attitude and a little perspective can make in one’s life. This right here is proof that it really just is mind over matter. If you want something badly enough, and you have a big enough reason to go after it with all that you’ve got, anything is achievable. ANYTHING.
So today, I am sore. But not as sore as I thought I would be. Today, I am filled with a proudness within myself, that I have not felt for a while. I know you were there, with me yesterday, pushing me when I needed to be pushed, but also reminding me to have fun. I felt your spirit filling me throughout the day, whenever I would laugh, giggle, or do something a little naughty like flip off the photogs. I ran that marathon for you and all the other kids who won’t ever be able to run a marathon because they were cheated by cancer and death. I’m so sorry for that. The only thing that would have made this better, would have been you waiting at the finish line, for me. Your brothers and daddy looked so proud. I know you are proud too. That’s all I want in life, besides a cure for that asshole called Neuroblastoma; is for you to be proud. I think you were yesterday. I think this is why I know I am going to do amazing things for you in life. Just to make you proud. I promise you this.
I miss you, I love you, I hope you are safe. Thank you to everyone who helped support me with this little crazy idea of mine that turned out to be something amazing where our goal was achieved. I will be talking to Scott from Solving Kids’ Cancer tomorrow or Wednesday and we are going to get the show on the road to fund Dr. Mosse’s trial as enough money was raised. This was also for her. For her dignity, grace, braveness, and compassion that she fights for every single day in doing the work that she is does. I am thrilled to be able to support her. Love you, all. Thank you, again. None of this would have been possible, without you.
Ronan. This is just how things work now. When things come to me, they just come. For almost a month now, I’ve been hiking my butt off. Worrying about your birthday and what it is I wanted to do. Pressuring myself to figure things out. Some days, ideas came. Other days nothing came at all. I tried not to get too frustrated with myself. Nothing felt good enough. Nothing felt right. Nothing could hold a candle to making this day as beautiful as it should be. As beautiful as you are. I stopped thinking so much. I felt instead. The Phoenix Children’s Hospital plan came together slowly. But I knew there had to be something else. I knew your birthday had to be something that everyone could share. Your love can do so much good. Your love will do so much good. Your love will change this broken world. I know this.
I sat at Dr. JoRo’s office for most of the day. She was not there but let me use her office so I could work without having to be at home. I cannot work from home. It is too painfully quiet. I sat in her office and worked away. It felt cozy and safe. I turned on my computer screen and my hands starting writing away. The words for your Ronan’s Day of Love flyer flew of nowhere. I texted your little LoRo. I asked her if I gave her the verbiage, if she could put together something for me to help spread the word about the day I was wanting to create. She said of course. She was so happy to do it. I was so thankful to have her to ask. It was done within minutes. It is darling. It is sweet. It is pure and came from my heart. It came of a place of feelings not thoughts. I didn’t have to think when I wrote out my words. I often don’t. I don’t usually think when I write on here. I feel. Your day of love came the exact same way. By feeling and that’s it. I felt alright. I felt so much that I spent much of the day sobbing on the floor of Dr. JoRo’s office. I spent much of the day, sobbing over emails, text messages, and writing in my journal. I sobbed over thinking about how wrong everything is, but how right so many things are becoming. It seems everyday I am flooded by words from people about how you have changed them for the better. It seems as if everyday, someone is out in the world, doing good because of you. It is bittersweet to see all the wonderful ways you are still here. I only want you here but as we said before, that simply cannot happen. I will take you in the only way I can now. By feeling you when I do. By watching you change things for the better. By trying harder at everything I do when I really don’t want to do anything at all. By trying very hard, to fix myself because I know that is what you would want. I know you want me to be happy. I know you don’t want me to hurt this badly. I remember your last words to me. You yelled at me. I was crying. You said, “Don’t be sad!!!!!!” I hear your squeaky little voice telling me this. It is so hard, not to be sad, without you. Do you know, every time I laugh, I feel you. Every time I smile, I feel you. My laughs and my smiles are not my own anymore. They belong to you. They will always belong to you.
I’m tired tonight. But I wanted to stay up until midnight because it is someone’s birthday. This someone’s birthday that has been one of the most unexpected gifts to come out of all of this. This someone that I often sit back and think to myself, “If Ronan had not gotten sick, I may have never met this person. I cannot imagine my life without her. I am so lucky.” I call myself lucky when thinking of her. I call myself lucky because I know it was you, that put her in my life just at a time when I thought I was drowning the most. You threw me a life raft and it was her. She likes to be undercover. She likes to be behind the scenes. So all I am saying is a big HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY, to you know who you are. Margaritas to come later over mucho chips and salsa. I heart you. And your little dragon too.
G’nite. Sweet dreams. I miss you so very much. I love you. I hope you are safe.
Ronan. I had a rough sleep last night. I think there was a lot of tossing/turning/punching pillows involved. It was 1:45 a.m. when I pretty much said FUCKTHISSHIT and popped an Ambien. Hate it. But sometimes the silence of nothingness is needed. More so than not lately. Nights have been more brutal than they normally are lately. Nights are when the cries from you to me and me to you, scream the loudest. Nights are never quiet.
I got up today, running on the little sleep I had gotten, but I had a lot to do. Too much to do so I went into tunnel vision to get everything done. Foundation things. I had a meeting at Phoenix Children’s Hospital that I needed to prep for too. Prepping came with basically giving myself a pep talk and telling myself how I would be brave today and talk about you, without sobbing like a baby. Prepping for today came with a lot of,”You can do this. For him. He would love this.” Rita met me down at PCH. I was waiting in the lobby for her, busying myself with doing things like cleaning out my purse. Busying myself with a lot of things to distract myself from crying. I don’t have a problem with being at PCH. I’m down there a lot still. I had a problem with the reason I was down there today. I didn’t want to be there, without you, asking for permission to do something for your birthday, and you are not even here to celebrate it. I wanted to be down there, with you holding my hand, doing something for your birthday and celebrating the fact that you were here and we together, wanting to do something nice at PCH because we were so lucky to still have you. I fought back my tears today and bravely did this without you. I sat in a conference room with Rita and clumsily/gracefully talked about your upcoming birthday and what it is, we would like to do, to honor you. I am used to hearing the word no a lot now. I am used to getting met by skeptical glances and it usually involves a… “Well if you want to do this, you have to check off this box and this box and this box, to have it done.” I am used to having to work/fight for everything in life. Today, none of that existed. I was met with a big fat, “We love this idea! We love everything about it. We will do whatever it is, you like. How can we help/what can we do/how would you like to see this idea, happen all the time in Ronan’s honor!” I was quite simply shocked. I think Rita almost fell over in her chair. This was not what either of us, was expecting. We left there stunned but smiling. We went for tacos afterwords and talked where we talked about your birthday and how we are going to execute the ideas that we have. We are going to make it a very special day for a lot of kids. I know it would make you smile and so happy.
After I left Rita, I drove to your brothers baseball game. I was feeling alright. I arrived to the game and just as I was sitting there, thinking about an email I was supposed to send today, in regards to an event I am trying to pull off for you in September, a little text message popped up on my phone. A little text message from the person I was going to email, but did not. I read it, sat with it, and the tears started pouring. I don’t want to go into details about what the text message said as it’s not important. I’ll sum it up with a little Taylor Swift lyric instead…one of my favorites. “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine.” I was crying for about 10 different reasons during that moment. 1) Because baseball games are hard in general. 2) Because I miss you. 3) Because this little text messaging person, blows my mind 4) Because I am so thankful that truly good people in the world, like her, exist 5) Because the stars are aligning, right before my very eyes 6) Because just when I start to doubt myself, this person always seems to know it and reminds me that she believes in me and you 7) Because I am so about letting things just come about/not push them and this was a huge reminder/sign to me to continue to do things, this way. There are a few more reasons for my tears, but I don’t want to go into them. Mostly it was just a huge fat thank you, Ronan. For reminding me that you are still here, working away during the times when I feel the most defeated. Or tired. I told your Sparkly eyes that I was just freaking tired of everything. I was quickly met with a, “So what? That’s bullshit. You’re tired? That means nothing.” He is one of the few people who I allow to slap me in the face and I don’t become defensive or feel offended. I am able to step back, assess the situation and say, “You are right. I am acting like an asshole and I need to knock this shit off.” I am learning to let myself take little breaks here and there, but I will never give up on you. I will work as hard as I can, to make some things in this mad world, right.
You know what else you are doing for me? Or should I say, this grief is doing for me? It’s making my heart bigger than ever. I did not know that was even possible, but it is. There are things now that I just cannot look away from. I want to save/help everybody. It’s helping others, that is saving me. Dr. JoRo told me this after a few times of seeing her. She talked about how my heart, would eventually start to turn outward again. I remember being in a fog, listening to her words, but not really understanding what she was saying. My heart would turn outward and grow bigger? Not possible. It is black, broken and shattered into a million pieces. I am starting to understand what she has told me, from the beginning. I’ve always believed her, but I think until now, I wasn’t truly ready to hear what it is, she was telling me. She is so freaking humble. I talked to her today. She is still on her trip and just found out she is getting some huge/really big deal award for being what I think should be called, “The Most Amazing Woman Alive on the Planet Award.” I listened to her talk about it like it was not really a big deal, even though it is. She would never come out and say that because that is just how she rolls. I tried to tell her it was a big deal, that she deserves this for everything she is doing. I was met with a, “Maya. That’s the thing. I’m not really doing anything except just being with you. Just holding your hand as you do this. All I am doing is sitting with you while you feel this, while you go through this, while you find your way.” I wiped the tears off of my cheeks. I told her that what she was doing, was walking through this with me in a way that nobody had done before. By truly listening. By speaking for me when I cannot, even if it’s not saying anything at all. By NEVER judging. By NEVER pushing. By NEVER expecting. By NEVER telling me I am doing this wrong. By NEVER lessening my pain. By never trying to numb my pain by shoving 10 different pills down my throat. By never saying, “Oh, I lost a child too, so I TOTALLY get it. By never telling me it’s time to get over this/move on. By never comparing her pain to mine. By NEVER using the words, “Well at least you have these things/people to get you through this. By never using the words, “You should be grateful for the things you do have.” By never telling me this gets easier. By never giving me false hope. By being brutally honest about how fucking awful this all is and she cannot fix it. She cannot fix it, but she will forever be here to watch me as I do, as I am the only one that can. And finally, by believing and me and trusting me, even when I do not believe or trust in myself. She always does. I know she always will too. She is one of my biggest reasons for continuing to fight as hard as I do. When I grow up, I want to be just like her;) She is beyond inspiring, Ronan. She reminds me a lot of you. She reminds me a lot of me, too. So much some days that I can see my pain, in her eyes. But the thing with her is it never hurts to look at her eyes, full of all of my pain. When I look into her eyes, I see a quiet strength that makes me feel the most at ease. It’s like I can breathe for a bit.
Guess what I did tonight? I did not get to hike today due to my busy day of getting shit done. I was quietly panicking in my head about it. I took Liam out tonight to grab a bag of ice for your daddy. It was dark. It was late. I drove the two of us, to our mountain. “Liam. I didn’t get to hike today, buddy. You want to go with me really fast?” I was met with an, “Ok mom. But I don’t have shoes.” I quickly told him no problem, that we could just go barefoot. He was so excited. “Good thing I have tough feet, mom.” Tears sprung to my eyes. “Yeah buddy. Good thing. I do too, so we will be alright.” We hiked, barefoot, in the dark together. He talked the entire time. We didn’t go to the top but that was not the point. We went as far as we could with bare feet/no flashlight like we didn’t have a care in the world. We bonded. We laughed. We missed you. It was a very sweet hike with a very sweet boy. I bawled like a baby over it and the fact that we were simply doing that crazy thing, because you are dead. If you were here, I would have never been on a mountain, holding Liam’s hand with bare feet and a broken heart. But I was. And I am. And I will continue to be for the rest of my life. This is just the way it is now. This is just the way it will always be. This grief/pain will never leave. I can’t have you anymore so this is what I am left with. A beautifully, painful life. I am noticing that the amount of beauty that I see in the world is endless but so is the amount of pain. They both seem to go hand in hand, everywhere I look. They are never without each other. It is as if they are best friends/worst enemies. You cannot have one, without the other. I wonder if other people notice this or if it is just a bereaved parent thing. I think my friend Rita sees it all the time, as well. Maybe this is one of the reasons I like her so much. That and she is funny as a mo fo. I cannot contain laugher/her snarky ways when I am around her, kill me. Like in an I almost pee my pants kind of way. Laughter truly is the best medicine. I need a lot of it. She is good at providing it. Plus, sometimes she makes me feel like I am being funny and making her laugh, too. So sometimes I feel like it’s just not a one way street;) YAY ME! I can still be kind of funny, when it comes out naturally. I only do this with the people I feel most comfortable around. It’s a weird introvert characteristic of mine.
Alright babydoll. Turing in for the night. Ambien I hate you but I have to sleep is here. G’nite baby doll. G’nite sweet friends. I miss you, Ro. I hope you are safe. I love you.
Ronan. I am wondering if I will go to sleep now. It’s 12:10 a.m. on March 9th. In just a few hours, you will have been gone from this earth for 10 months. It seems that I am having a hard time with this 10 month date. It seems as this 10 months is harder than a lot of your past months have been. I am thinking it may be due to all the chitter chatter surrounding your upcoming 1 year date of being gone, along with your 5th birthday that we were supposed to be celebrating. It seems as if everywhere I go, people are talking about it. I’m hearing a lot of, “You guys need a plan. What are you going to do for Ro’s one year? You need to go on a trip. I’m worried for you. Let’s plan something special. Just plan something please. Do not let it sneak up on you. May will be here, before you know it.” I am like a little kid who is choosing to cover her ears and hold her breath. If I don’t listen or breathe, maybe this whole one year thing, won’t happen. Maybe it won’t come true and maybe you won’t really be gone. I am covering my ears, eyes, holding my breath, kicking, screaming and crying to protest your death. I will do everything I can to not make it real. I have tried in my mind, so many times to make a plan as far as what we will do. I just cannot wrap my head around it. My mind won’t do it.
Today was a hard day. I spent the morning crying/trying to work/entertain your brothers. After our board meeting on Wednesday night, I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done. I sat down at our kitchen table with every intention of getting some things checked off my list. Total fail. I sat and cried and could not focus on a thing. Your papa Jim is here visiting. I left him with your brothers so I could run out to grab a coffee and hit up Sprouts to grab a couple of things. On my drive home, I was mentally trying to plan out what I had going on next week. I remembered I had an event to go to in March for the Beth and Friends show. A few people had nominated me for Beth McDonald 99.9 KEZ Woman of the Year. I texted Margarita on the drive home and asked her if she could look up the date of the event for me because I couldn’t remember when it was. She called me back. “Girlfriend. It’s tonight.” she said. “Shit! Tonight?” I exclaimed. “What am I going to do? I’m a wreck today! I don’t think I can go!” I tried to talk Rita into saying it was o.k. not to go. She did not. She told me in no way, shape or form was it acceptable not to show up. I knew it was not o.k. either, but I had literally been crying for hours upon hours and I was mentally beat. I took a second to logically play out the scene in my head and all I could think of were the women who nominated me. The women who took the time out of their day, to write in about me and how passionate they were about us. Badass mother fucking boots on. Suck it up, Maya. Make them proud and stop your crying for the day. You are going. You are going and you are so thankful for these strangers who love and believe in you so much. You are doing this for them and for Ro. That’s the bottom line. That’s the only thing that matters.
I’m going to be honest here. I do not love the limelight. That may be shocking to some, due to how vocal I am on here, but it’s just not me. I would rather be the one, behind the scenes just quietly doing things in the spiciest way I know how. That mainly means by working quietly with people who I am closest to. Blabbing about ideas. Watching them play out, but I’d rather watch them play out while at home, in my pajamas. Being honored feels weird to me for many reasons, but the biggest one of all is mainly because I am so sad. I don’t want to be inspiring due to your death and the way I have chosen to go on. In my mind, I haven’t chosen anything. You have chosen it for me. Why are people saying I am inspiring when it’s really not me? It’s all you, Ronan. All you. I would very much like it if the next time I am honored for something, it is not Maya Thompson who is being honored. It is Ronan Thompson. That might make my smile a little easier. How do you get up in front of an entire room full of people and smile that fake smile when all you want to do is curl up on the floor and drown in your puddle of tears? I’m really, really bad at the fake smiles, Ro. But it is actually something that secretly makes me a little proud. An unauthentic smile is one of the worst things in the world. It feels bad and everyone can see right through them.
I didn’t have a date to the event due to my grief brain completely forgetting about it. I swear if I don’t have things written with a Sharpie on my arm, I won’t remember them. Your daddy had plans to take your papa Jim and brothers to the Suns basketball game. I was not going to have him miss that. I had a vision of going all by myself, solo…totally badass, right? I am so glad I did not. I grabbed Stacy and she was kind enough to put up with my last-minute shit, act like it was no big deal and she could totally make it happen. This coming from a mom who works full-time and has two little ones at home. UGH. I knew she was frantically doing whatever she had to do, to step in and be by my side to support me. I know Stacy. She is my organized task master who is always prepared. I was not. I often am not. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants while she tends to keep her seatbelt on at all times. I love her for this.
Stacy picked me up and we headed out for the banquet. “Where are we going, what is this for and are you o.k.??” she asked. “I don’t really know what is going on at this event. I think I am nominated for women of the year. No. No I am not o.k.” I said with tears rolling down my cheeks. “Tomorrow is 10 months. 10 months. I don’t like 10 months.” The rest of the car ride we talked softly as Stacy did her best to keep my mind off the 10 months since I last kissed your lips date that was approaching. We arrived just in time to slide into our chairs around a table full of people. There was my name on the table, just in case I made it. I did by the skin of my teeth.
Crap. I am so unprepared for this. I looked around at the room full of amazingness. Stacy gave me the look of I am going to mother fucking kill you. One of the girls who I was supposed to RSVP to was sitting right next to us. She could not have been sweeter. She kept saying how glad they were that I had made it, how they didn’t think I was coming, etc… I had RSVP’d yes… I just didn’t call them back to give them the name of the 3 people I was bringing with me. Ugh. Grief brain/your memory sucks so you HAVE to write everything down. This is all new to me peeps. I used to have the memory of an elephant. I never had to write anything down. Now, I have to write down the 2 items I need at freaking Walgreens or I will forget them. It is so frustrating. Beth said a little something about each of the women there, and how Maya Thompson was not able to be there. SHIT! I looked at Stacy again. She once again gave me the I am seriously going to kill you look. A woman got up to speak named Nicole Stanton. I couldn’t place why the name sounded familiar, but I knew it did. She started talking about how honored she was to have been invited to speak among such an amazing group of women. I heard something about her being the Mayor’s wife. That’s how I knew her name. I grabbed my program to read up about her. Just as I did that I heard her say, “I was really looking forward to meeting Maya Thompson tonight and was sad to hear she was not able to come.” Um, what? I thought to myself. Did she just say my name? I shot Stacy a, what in the world is going on glance. This woman did not stop there. She went on for a good 4 minutes about me, about you, our story, how she’s an attorney but my writing is some of the most powerful writing that she has ever read. How everyone needed to read Rockstar Ronan… I don’t know what else she said because I literally left my body. She singled me out, made it a point to talk about me, even while thinking that I was not even in the room.
I thought Stacy’s eyes were going to pop out of her head. It was so unprompted. It was so organic and real. This woman is inspired by me? This woman reads this blog? I swear Ro, I honestly really think that other people don’t really read this. I honestly think I am writing to you and that’s really it. I often forget that I do indeed have a very big audience. Maybe that’s why I am able to be so real on here. Because it just feels like this is for you and only you. I often forget that other people are listening. I like to forget and just let things come out as they do. I looked over and Stacy was wiping tears from her eyes. I was still in shock. It was so surreal and I felt as if I were dead, attending my own funeral and watching it from above. I could not believe all the kind things this lady was saying about me. I felt so proud and honored and I could not wait to meet her to tell her thank you. She made my entire night and she took my awful day and made me smile. A real, genuine, true smile. A smile just for you.
I did not win. I was so thankful for that. I like to be the underdog. It just shows me I have to work harder to prove myself. It was just as good to be nominated. It was just as good to be sitting in a room full of such beautiful women in the community who really are doing wonderful things. I am baby at all of this. I don’t know what in the hell I am doing. But I am doing it and that is all that matters. I am doing it and I am doing it in a big way. I may not have all the answers to this, Ronan but you are showing me the way by gently holding my hand and guiding me. You know I am the most patient person on the planet. Most days, I feel like I do a good job. Most days, I know you are proud. I know you were proud of me last night. I was proud but sad. I really missed you last night. You would have told me in your squeaky little voice how cute I looked. Or you would have told me, “Mama. You pretty. You so pretty, mama.” I miss your squeaky little voice so much. I tried to listen for it last night but I think all of my tears got in the way.
After the banquet, I got a chance to meet this lovely Nicole Stanton. We sat and talked for a good hour. Wow, Ronan. I can tell you that not many people surprise me in my life. This lady blew my socks off. What a classy, lovely soul. We talked about everything from you to my visions and dreams. We talked about her anti- bullying initiative that she has worked furiously on as it is very personal to her. Her brother was gay and died of AIDS in 1991. He was bullied and beaten up in high school. Hearing this brought tears to my eyes. I know the issue of childhood cancer is something that I will stand up for, for the rest of my life, for obvious reasons. But you know what? I have other things that I am completely passionate about too. Being bullied for being “different,” when all you are doing is being yourself if fucking infuriating. It is infuriating and wrong. What is wrong with this world, that people choose to hurt others, for just being themselves? I’ll never understand this. I’ll never be o.k. with this. I am so grateful for someone like Nicole, who I know will make a difference in this very wrong world. She will fight to make it right. That is such a beautiful thing to see. How lucky are her little ones to have such an strong mom. They will grow up with such an amazing perspective on the world due to her passion and voice. I love that so much.
When Nicole was telling me about her brother, so many things rushed through my mind. I felt her pain. I felt her parents pain. I hurt for all of them. I thought about Leo and how he passed away from AIDS and how he was also gay. But in our family, those two things never defined him. He was just this amazing, carefree soul who was sadly taken away from this world, too soon. Just like you and just like Nicole’s brother. I had a moment when I paused and thought to myself, this was the reason you came tonight. For this moment, right here. Seeing the fire behind Nicole’s eyes made the sadness of the day, a little less sad. It inspired me and reminded me that there are bigger reasons why moments in time don’t just happen. There is always someone or something behind it. I smiled to myself thinking last night that you and Nicole’s brother, were the reason that the stars above, aligned.
Your 10 months, came and went. I am too tired to talk about todays events. I drove a race car for you. I hit a few baseballs over a fence. I laughed with your brothers and Papa Jim, so hard my stomach hurt. I cried tears over missing you. I missed a call late tonight from Charisma. I called her back after hearing her message. I called her back before it turned March 10th and now I know why. You wanted to tuck me in tonight. You are so unbelievably magical. I cried at the story she had for me. We sobbed in the phone together for the amazing things you did for her today. We sobbed in the phone over missing you so much and the pain that she knows I feel.
The script that she just got a job for, today, was all you. Right down to the child that has cancer. I talked to my friend today who is so worried about me. I talked to my friend whom I miss so much. I hope I made her worry less. I think she understands now why I continue to write this even though to many it seems so painful and hard. I talked to Charisma outside while looking up at the full moon. I told her the thing I have been wanting to tell her for so long, but it never felt like the right time. I told her about how being at the Ryan House was so blurry to me during your last few days but the one memory, the one GOOD memory that always sticks out in my mind is watching her bend down to kiss you and the way I watched her whisper something into your ear. I remember the way a peaceful feeling washed over me and I thought to myself, he is going to take care of her, for the rest of her life, too. You are doing just that. She knows it. She is so thankful. She thinks you are safe and in a much better place, than we all are, but she knows your soul is still here and with us. I really needed to hear those words from my friend tonight. I think I will be able to sleep a little better after hearing her voice and words.
This has turned into a novel tonight. I’m so tired. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you so much and I am so sorry. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, babydoll. G’nite.
Ronan. I saw your Dr. JoRo today. It’s been way too long. It was a catch up session and a pow wow session combined. She wanted to know what’s been going on, if I’ve had quiet time, how I’m feeling, etc….. I told her today that I think I have decided that I’m not going to kill myself. She hardly flinched when I told her this as I think she already knows this. I guess I’ve known this for a while too….. but sometimes I think it would be nice to take the easy way out, so I wouldn’t have to deal with any of this pain. I get tired of it. But then I think of your face and how unfair that would be to you…. not to mention your daddy and brothers. And Dr. JoRo and Sparkly. And a whole lot of other people who love me. I could never be so selfish to actually do something like that. But I do think about it. Not a lot, but it does comes up. I’ll bet you it comes up with any parent who has lost a child. I’ll bet it is just part of this process. It almost seems natural due to being left here, expected to survive such extreme circumstances while everyone else goes on with their day-to-day lives. I won’t ever be able to go back to the day-to-day normal life that existed before all of this. Every single thing I do involves thinking about you, missing you, and hurting for you. Whether it be folding the laundry or how I am plotting to take over this world with my evil plans that often involve the fuck word that I love so much and seems to offend so many people. Bahahahahaha!!! That was my best, evil laugh. Fucking fuck little dude. People are sick and want to see me fail. I fully get that. It’s just the way this world works. I don’t have much to say to that because it’s not really worth my words. I just feel sorry for them and the things in life that they choose to HIDE behind. What a pitiful life. All I’m trying to do here is spread the RoLove and maybe help save some cancer babes lives while I’m at it. But I understand how that could seem so evil as I am not doing this the traditional route. I’m choosing to do this my way or the highway and anybody who has a problem with that can SUCK IT MOTHER FUCKERS!!!!!!!! Traditional is not my style when it comes to, “Oh, I’m sorry, but my son died of cancer so let’s just sit back and be nice about it while I shut the fuck up and don’t be vocal about it so things don’t ever change.” Gag me.
People are scared of different. They would rather sit back and judge and hide instead. Uhhhh…… hate to break it to ya, but nobody normal, ever really changed the world. It’s always the rule breakers, the outside of the box thinkers, the passionate ones, the one’s who don’t take NO for an answer, the one’s who FIGHT back not slink away, the “crazy,” ones. It’s not the let’s play it safe guys and do everything the same exact way, that everyone else is doing, or let’s just not do anything at all. That won’t change a thing. I’m not here to follow anyone’s else’s lead, unless you are a rule breaker too, then we can talk. I’m here to listen. I’m here to be inspired. I’m here to watch the way some other very inspiring people are doing things differently in life. I’m here to grab onto the hands of the people who are willing to do things differently as well. It will take an army to change things, I know this which is why I am sitting back and quietly observing a lot. It’s as if I’m seeing a whole new world of people out there. They are so beautiful that it’s blinding. In a good way. It’s feels so good to be blinded by the sparkling lights of the human soul.
Do you wanna know one of the sparkling lights that I am blinded by every single day? So much so that she is in my daily thoughts because I love her that much. My Dr. JoRo. In my dream of all dreams, and I have many, she is in each one of them. I would walk through fire for her. If money were no object, I would give childhood cancer funding and her MISS Foundation, everything I had. The fact that she has to work so hard, for the funding she gets, which is not a lot for all she does, is such bullshit. Everyone should be supporting her. She is saving the lives of all these parents in the world who are just tossed out into the streets, so scared and vulnerable. She is fighting the good fight and how in the world isn’t EVERYBODY supporting her? She is not doing this to make money or line her pockets like so many other organizations out there. Ummm, hello…. Dr. JoRo does not even take a salary from the MISS Foundation. She is THAT kind of a human being. She is an anomaly in this world. She could give a flying fuck about making money for herself. She wants to help others and that’s it. There is no hidden agenda. What you see is what you get and what you get. And what you get is one of the SMARTEST, KINDEST, PASSIONATE and BADASS souls that I swear to you Ro, has ever existed. She is my Gandhi. I need you to watch over her. I need her to be here with me for a very long time because we have a lot of work to do, together. I know Chey is watching over everything she does so she really is in the best hands possible; but I know you are helping out now too. I know you are the one who led me to her. Yes, I got your little sign. The JoRo sign. It’s not a coincidence that her middle name is ROse, baby. I know that. Thank you.
I not only go into Dr. JoRo’s office to talk about death, grief and all things painful. We also talk a lot about life things, which was probably one of her biggest clues that I had decided not to off myself. I guess when you are talking about the future, it means you are less likely to kill yourself. At least in my case. I’m not the grief expert or anything, but this would seem to make sense. Today, I went in there and we discussed an email I had shared with her that I had written out. Today, I went in there with “I have an idea. A really, really big idea….” I have a lot of these ideas in my head that I am so excited about, I want to scream them from the rooftops and go jumping right in, but I understand it is easier said then done. In my mind, everyone should just hear my ideas and say, “Yes! You are a genius! Here is your 100 million dollars! Let’s start saving all these cancer babes!” Dr. JoRo quickly brought me back to reality in the most tender, caring way. By saying, “I absolutely think you can get this done, but let’s cross off X,Y, and Z to get there first and I will help you. This has to be a really well, thought out plan. So, let’s sit down with this dream of yours and figure out what it is we need to do, to make it happen.”
I like a plan. A plan says your serious. And I am serious in the most serious way possible; with everything I have. With everything that is you. But I understand there has to be logic, rules and structure in place as well. I can play by the rules with some things, but I will keep it extra spicy for you too of course just to put your little spin on things. Lots of big dreams all inspired by you and all the other kids and families we’ve been touched by. Cancer peeps and non cancer peeps. It’s amazing to see the movement you are creating.
There is no dream that is big enough for you, Ronan. I promise you that. I promise you, we will get this done. This is what you want. I know it. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. I’m going to try to get some sleep. My new motto is, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” I said this to your favorite lovie the other night. He didn’t laugh. He didn’t like it. He thinks I need my sleep. I will try to listen to that voice of reason of his that seems to be the one I listen to. And yours. Although, I feel like yours is always pushing me not to listen and to break the rules. You are so spicy. G’nite baby doll. I love you to the moon and back. G’nite little RoFriends. You are the best for believing in us and for letting Ro make you better people. I love you.
Ro baby. What in the world happened last night and today that I can exist on only 4 hours of sleep, like it’s no big deal? Oh, I know….your death. This coming from a girl who used to easily sleep 8 to 10 hours a night. Sometimes 12. I was totally that girl, that mom, that me. Not anymore. The peacefulness of sleep is hard to come by, especially on nights like last night where nothing out of the ordinary happens; just reality. Last night I fought sleep until 6 a.m. I did a lot of talking to myself, played a lot of musical beds, sent some emails, posted some stuff on FB about zombies and how 4 a.m. sucks. 4 a.m. sucks, but 6 a.m. when the birds start to chirp, is even worse. 6 a.m. and you know enough is enough, so you pop an Ambien because nothing else works. I slept from about 6:20-10 a.m. I got up, showered and my mind was racing with things that I needed to do, for your foundation. So much stuff that it was making my head spin. I went to my little Starbucks office and worked away not even feeling the hangover from the lack of sleep. I was really productive during my hours at the Starbucks office, despite the extra annoying, really bad soft porn music that blared from the speakers. I got recognized by a RoFan of yours which I was really surprised by because I only go to this Starbucks for the reason that I won’t run into anyone. It’s my secret Starbucks office where nobody knows my name. Or so I thought. Today, this girl was sitting by me for a while with a boyfriend or boy friend of hers. They got up and left and I was so into what I was doing, that I hardly noticed. A minute later I noticed the girl as she came walking back through the doors and headed straight for me. I looked up just as her soft eyes asked if I was Maya. I smiled and said yes. She told me she reads this blog. I asked her how long she had been reading it for and how she found out about you. She said she heard about you when we were on Channel 12, about needing an airplane to get you to New York. Whoa. What a sweet, loyal dolly. She’s been reading for a long time. She told me how sorry she was. I tried not to get choked up as I looked into the eyes of this girl who I swear could have been 17. I gave her a bunch of your bracelets and RoCards. She seemed so nervous and shy. I told her thanks for saying hello. I meant it. She made me smile.
Margarita stopped by the F U Cancer Starbucks office to say hi and help me with some things. Turns out, by the time she arrived my brain had turned to mush. I’m pretty sure she was looking into the eyes of a zombie but she still managed to make me laugh. A real laugh too which only a few people in my life seem to be able to make me do anymore. She being one of them. I had filled out an application for something (which will remain TOP SECRET classified information until more comes of it) and my application totally sucked balls. I filled it out last night during my insomnia marathon. Margarita looked it over and goes, “Yeah… I think we can do better than this.” HA! There is nothing I appreciate more than someone who can tell it like it is. She may have saved our secret mission today because if I would have actually sent in what I had filled out, I can guarantee you it would have went right into some fancy NYC recycling bin. Thanks, Rita. Rawr! You are a RoSaver! The rest of the day/evening was spent with your Luke, Daddy and brothers. We all went to the batting cages and hit some balls. I tried to enjoy it but as you know, when going to places like this I am constantly looking over my shoulder for you to appear. I don’t think I’ll ever stop looking for you. I watched your brothers as they ran around full of so much love and life, just like they should be. I closed my eyes and imagined you were there with us and for a split second, everything in the world was perfect. Simple perfection was ripped to shreds by the reality of Hell when the giggles of a child nearby forced me to open my eyes, just to make sure it wasn’t you. It wasn’t. Fucking fuck.
These are the things I’ve seen in the past 24 hours that I just can’t deal with because it is as if salt is being poured into an open wound. The real world. The real, non bereaved, I didn’t lose a Ronan and you did world. A lunch in the middle of the day at your favorite restaurant. A lunch with the best company in the world. A new friend and an even newer friend on the most delicious day (sunny. breezy. chilly. not rainy. sunny was delicious before you died) We sat outside as the breeze whispered in my ear and I swear I could hear your voice. My eyes gazed up from the menu only to fall on the table nearby. A mom. A dad. A little boy, around 3. A new baby. The little boy, roams carelessly around the tables. Almost in a mocking sort of way that only a grieving mother would feel. The parents look on, and drink their bottle of wine in the middle of the day. A whole big bottle of red wine. Another one is ordered. They pay no attention to the little boy as he wanders off, far off. Not far enough to get swiped up, but maybe….. it could happen. But the mom and the dad are so calm, so clueless, so free that they don’t mind. They trust in the world that the fates will be kind as they let their child wander about. They look as if they don’t have a care in the world and their big bubble looks oh so delicious. I watch with my blood-shot eyes, worrying……..over what? I’m pretty sure the cancer grim reaper does not live at Chelsea’s Kitchen. Hey! That’s too far! Hey! He’s talking to strangers. But the strangers just smile and laugh. He’s so cute they say. The mom and the dad don’t really reply, they look up and smile instead at the strangers almost in a conceited sort of way. They gaze into each others eyes as they’ve just had the best sex of their lives and now they are going to drink more wine and do it again. Their children certainly don’t cramp their style. They are so mellow and laid back. I’m pretty sure the VW bus strapped with surfboards on the hood and the California license plates, belonged to them. They continue to drink the wine. The little boy returns to the table. The mom orders dessert. The little boy goes back up in his high chair. So high. I watch as he eats the whipped cream with his mama. I watch her kiss it off of his lips, they way I used to kiss it off of yours. She asks for more wine. She is tiny, I think to myself. How can she drink so much wine? Don’t they have to drive home? Oh, how I hope they walked. But even that scares me. They have a brand new little baby, too. I’m confused. Wine. Toddler. Baby. Middle of the day. Smiles all around. Is this really real? Who lives this reality? It certainly isn’t mine. Is it everyone else’s, but mine? The little boy finishes his desert. He isn’t strapped into his high chair. He stands up in it and nobody cares. Or maybe it is that thing they seem to have going on where they trust in the world so much so they just know everything will be o.k. What’s that like? I can’t remember. He stands up and I start to count. 1,2,3,4,5…………. Hey! How is that allowed? He could fall! 45 seconds later and he almost does. But his mama swoops in to catch him right before the waitress does. The waitress gives a nervous giggle. The mom does not. She giggles as if something was truly funny. How is she so carefree, I wonder? Must be the flower in her hair. The long, flowy childlike hair. My lunch dates watch this interaction as well…. but not as closely as I do. I am borderline, obsessed. I would have never been so carefree with Ronan in a restaurant, I think to myself. I would have never let him wander without keeping my eye on him every single second. I would have never let him stand up in a high chair for 45 seconds only to catch him right before he fell. I would have never drank 2 bottles of wine, in the middle of the day. Or ever. What’s their secret? Because clearly they have the key to happiness. It was all over their smirky faces that were saying to me, you have a dead child and we do not! Sucks to be you! Or maybe they really do but I’ll never know. I know I cannot truly know the story of this family by my 60 minute observation. But in my mind, the story that I had made up in my head, was too much to take. After the almost high chair falling incident, I looked up at my 2 new friends like a deer in headlights. I’ve gotta go. This is giving me way too much anxiety. They both knew it and we quickly up and bolted. After paying, of course. Thanks, Rita;) I left your little restaurant, and that family behind yesterday. But not without feeling the stings from the open salt wound that is now my heart.
That’s my story tonight baby doll. It’s late. I’m tired but not really. I will try to sleep. I love you so much. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams. G’nite.
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.
Ronan. I think I thought last year was a hard birthday for me to celebrate. I’m pretty sure I bitched and complained about it. I wish I would have known then, what I know now. That last year, was the best birthday of my life. I know we were in the hospital. I know we spent the day, in your bed, cuddling and playing Star Wars. I would have given anything, for that day today.
My birthday is almost over. Thankfully. I expected it to be hard. It was a day full of ups and downs. You would not believe all the beautiful things people did for me and said to me. It was a day where I had so many people try to make me smile. I smiled over a few things. It was a day full of lap dances, Miranda dances, Purple, Skulls, kisses, hugs, tears, phone calls, text messages, FB messages….. and so many beautiful people. Want to know some of my favorite things that I got told? I have a few that I can remember. Someone told me how it was just another day, right? And 2011 was officially the worst year ever. I exhaled when I read that. YES. THANK YOU. I’m being serious too, Miss J. I so appreciated your honesty. Somebody told me, “Happy Fucky Birthday!!” I laughed over that one. Thanks Sarah. Somebody wrote to me, “Happy RObirthday!” I loved that one. I got a lot of “Happy Fucking Birthdays!” I of course, loved those too. The card above is from one of the sweetest souls I’ve never met but I hope to someday. Her card made me smile from ear to ear. Thanks, K.
I spent the day trying to be kind to myself. Something that is hard for me to do now. I spent the day, just trying to get through the day, without you. I couldn’t believe I had to spend my birthday, without my best friend. I worried about you a lot today. I missed you so much. I cried a lot. I just wanted to today to be over. I told your daddy that I was so mad that I was having another birthday, and you were not. Dr. JoRo texted me to see how I was doing today. I responded back to her, “Bloody fucking fucking mother fucking awful. Shaking a lot. Going to try to run some of this off.” She said her birthday was always hell for her too. She said she was going to do some sort of kindness act for you tonight. That made me smile. I went for a run. It didn’t stop the shaking of my hands. Nothing does.
The whole not celebrating my birthday did not work either. It turns out…. the lovies in our lives were not having it. So the day and night was filled with more I love you’s, than ever. Your daddy picked up your brothers from school for me. My mind was in one of those moods today where it played tricks on me. I had myself convinced that you were going to come running through our front door yelling, “Happy Birthday, mama!” I sat and watched out the window for your daddy’s car to appear with you and your brothers in it. I imagined how you would all tell me that this was indeed a sick joke and you were alive and well. I imagined your daddy telling me he had brought you back to life, for my birthday. I know you know how this turned out. None of this happened. Not any of this, came true. Your daddy and brothers took me to AZ88, one of my favorite restaurants for dinner. I blew out my birthday candle. I made one wish. The same one that I make 50 times a day. I hoped, wished, and begged that you were safe. I put on my best face and thanked your brothers and daddy for such a nice birthday. We came home and we all snuggled in our bed and watched part of a movie. Quinn asked if the two of us could sleep in your bed again tonight. I told him o.k. We snuggled up, I kissed him goodnight, we said goodnight to you, and he soon fell asleep. I’ll sleep with him in your bed again tonight. It makes me sad that your bedroom is so empty now. I feel so guilty that it is so sad and lonely. I have been sleeping in your room just to mess up your little bed and to cuddle with all of your Master Yoda‘s and monkey friends.
I ended tonight with a phone call from one our favorites, New York Miss Macy. Fucking fuck I miss her. The phone call started off with me crying so hard, that I couldn’t even talk. It ended with us both in fits of giggles. Her ability to bring the laughter and sunshine out in me is a gift that nobody else has the capability of doing. She asked me what I was going to do in NYC. She asked me if I was going to visit Sloan Kettering. I told her I didn’t think so, unless I wanted to end up in jail. I told her I was pretty sure they had me on a watch list, after the letter I sent to Dr. Kushner. We cracked up at the thought of me wearing disquises, in order to get into the hospital. She said she knows I could pull off some awesome mustaches. We cracked up at the thought of this. She misses you so much too.
I’m going to end this tonight now, Ro. I miss you so much. I’m so sorry. I hope you are safe. G’nite, sweet dreams, I love you.
Dear Loveliest of Lovelies,
Thank you all. For being so kind, sweet and thoughtful. Thank you for taking the time out of your day, to wish me a Happy Birthday, Unbirthday, Fucking Fucked Birthday, not a birthday, a Wild and Free Birthday, a RoBirthday, and all the other creative things you came up with. You made me smile through my tears. You made me feel loved. You made me actually feel which is hard for me to do though all the numbness. You all are the best RoFriends a girl could ever ask for. I know Ronan is so thankful for all of you. So am I.
I love you all.