Working on my little Empire State Building Post… Thank you all who have been so supportive. Until I get it finished, there is this. I love you all. I miss you all. I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet on here. Just trying to keep my head above float. Wait… I think I meant head above water. I am so tired, I cannot even see straight.

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Ronan. Somehow our summer is over and I am left here scratching my head. How did summer go by so quickly? How in the world do I have 5th graders? Why isn’t Ronan starting the second grade? When is somebody going to end this sick joke and just freaking bring him back? I still think that, Ro even after all this time, that somebody is just going to knock on my door one day and hand you back to me. I want to scream sitting here at my office staring at your little picture that makes me sometimes wonder for a split second if you were really even real. That life I knew with you seems so long ago. Another lifetime ago. I am trying to cling to the life I had with you with everything that I have, but as time goes on it gets harder to remember. My old memories are being replaced by new memories as if they are in competition with one another. Nobody is going to win this fight. I want my old memories just as much as I want my new. I might just want my old memories, the good memories with you, more. The good memories are hard to come by. Sometimes remembering them is just as painful as remembering the bad, cancer baby memories. I wish I could say I have found just a little peace with all of this, but I have not. I truly do wonder how parents that have watched their child die, find peace. Do they ever truly really find it again, or just pieces of it here and there? Feeling peace about you dying is never going to be my thing and I am o.k. with that because at least I am being honest with myself and what life feels like without you which is still hell on earth everyday.

So… summer is almost officially over. We spent all of June in AZ, which we never do but with your brothers getting older they had committed to a lot of basketball and as much as I wanted to peace out AZ to get to Washington, I had to be supportive of their commitments. June sucked balls. It was really fucking hot and I was really missing my family, but I did my best to put on my fake ass smile and get through it. As soon as July 3rd came, we hopped on a plane to Nana and Papa’s house. Our time there was as close to bliss as bliss can get anymore. It is the only other place that brings me the most comfort, peace, and happiness… besides New York. I love my home. I love going back. I love and miss it so very much. I could not wait to get Poppy there and let her roam free and fall in love with it the same way you did. That is exactly what she did. We played outside from the moment she woke up until the moment she went to sleep. Usually we have a lot of down time there, but this summer I was on a mission to take advantage of everything we could do outside. Your brothers would wake up every morning and go, “What adventure are we going on today, mom?” Oh, let me see… as I would get on my phone to figure out what really amazing place I could take us to for the day. We would pack up the car in the morning and head out until Nana and Papa got home from work late in the afternoon. We did a lot of hiking. A ton of hiking where we would get lost for hours upon hours in the thick of the woods, and I appreciated the nature and beauty so much. I could literally feel my soul exhaling and the peacefulness that never exists inside of me, found me for a few hours each and everyday. I was so thankful for the time out from my life back in Arizona where I often still feel like I am suffocating to death. I’m not even being dramatic. Arizona is slowly killing me.

“Boys! Do you know how lucky you are to be spending your summers here. Look at all these beautiful trees! Look at these waterfalls! Look at all this green! All this fresh air! Isn’t it so amazing? Please tell me you appreciate this. Not everybody gets to experience things like this.”

They both looked at me like I had gone off the deep end, but are to sweet to tell me otherwise. Instead they both told me that they knew how lucky they were to be able to come back here every summer. I know they love it just as much as I do, but I think it’s the spending time with your Papa Jim that they love the most. Quinn also found a new favorite hobby which was “mowing” Nana’s field which really just consisted of him going as fast as he could on her riding lawn mower. Every night we would all find our way in my old bedroom and I would watch as all three of my babes were lulled to sleep by the fresh air that came through my bedroom window during the cool, dark nights. I sleep much better there than I do back at home in Arizona. In Washington, I sleep like a freaking baby. I think it’s the comfort of being back home with your Nana and Papa and all of the fresh air that we get that makes me fall fast asleep and stay that way for more than 3 hours at a time. It was heaven.

While we were there, Poppy had her first little accident. She has been walking for a while now but still takes the normal falls here and there. It was during the middle of the day and I was home with just Quinn and Poppy. Your daddy and Liam were at a movie and Nana and Papa were both still working. I was playing with Poppy in the living room and we were playing one of her favorite games which is her version of hide and go seek. She likes to take a blanket, cover her entire body while standing up while I go, “Where is Poppy?!” She then rips the blanket off of her head and says, “Here I am!” or more like “Ger baa mmmm” which totally means “here I am” in baby talk. We had been playing this game for about 10 minutes when all of a sudden I looked over just in time to trip over her blanket and fall on a sharp corner of Nana and Papa’s fireplace. A corner that I always knew was going to get one of you kids, sooner or later. I ran over and picked her up to make sure she was o.k. She was crying really hard. As I examined her, I saw that the corner of the fireplace had missed her eyeball by about an inch. The lower corner of her eye had turned a shade of black and blue almost instantly and it was starting to swell up. I yelled for Quinn to go and get me a first aid ice pack but he had to go outside instead. He couldn’t stand for one second seeing Poppy hurt. I grabbed the ice pack, a popsicle, and headed outside to try to calm her down while we sat on the porch. She stopped crying after a few minutes as I continued to hold her and tell her how sorry I was. Quinn came walking back over asking me if she was going to die. I wanted to die right then and there. It makes me sick that his little mind immediately goes to the worst of all places. I told him that Poppy was not going to die (the same way I told him that about you, fucking fuck fuck fuck) as we sat together and watched her little eye get worse and worse. I texted your daddy and Nana a picture of it to let them know what had happened. Your daddy joked and told me he was going to call CPS on me, your Nana flipped out. I tried to make as much light of the situation as possible (hey at least it’s not cancer) but I was silently freaking out myself. It just wouldn’t be until later that night that I would come to realize how much this little fall of hers was going to impact me.

I fell asleep that night pretty late right next to Poppy the same way I have done every night since she was born. You know, with her right by my side so I can check her breathing every hour on the hour. (insert psycho mama here) I think I dozed off only to jolt out of bed because of an old familiar feeling a couple of hours later. My eyes immediately went over to Poppy. Oh my god. Her eye now looked sooooo swollen. So black and blue. So much like yours right after you had your first surgery where they removed the mass that had metastasized right above the left orbit of your little eye. That surgery where you looked at me and without a word I could hear everything you were saying which in my mind was, “What happened? I was just running around fine a few days ago. What did you let them do to me? How could you let this happen? You are my mama, you are supposed to keep me safe.” I heard those words over and over again in my head. I curled up in a ball, grabbed a pillow to smother my sobs, and sob is exactly what I did for the next few hours. I sent an email to Dr. Jo around 5 a.m. She responded almost immediately and called my phone. I told her what had happened, the reaction I was having to it, and let her gently guide me through it. HELLO PTSD that nobody talks about after you lose a child, except Jo.  She  We made a plan which mainly just consisted of me acknowledging my grief, nurturing my grief, and getting through the day. I hung up with her once again telling myself how lucky I was to have found her and let her words sink in and prepare me for my day ahead.

We were set to leave Nana and Papa’s house to all go on a family vacation to Bend, Oregon. Nana, Papa, your daddy, brothers, Poppy,- my amazing step-sister and niece would also be with us which we were all so excited about. I spent the morning running off of the few hours of sleep and trying to get everyone packed to leave. I completed all of my tasks, running around, feeding Poppy, making everyone shower while I just lost my shit as there was no containing what I was physically experiencing. Your brothers came and checked on me as I handed Poppy off to Nana while I went and sat on the couch and continued to sob. Quinn rubbed my back. Liam kissed my cheek. I smiled at them both and told them I loved them. Soon it was time to leave for our vacation. I hopped in the backseat of my stepsisters car with Nana and Poppy while the boys and Jady girl went with Papa Jim. I was so thankful I did not have to drive. Between my now raging headache and my tears, I would not have been able to. I spent the new 5 hours in the car feeling like I was massively hungover and when we got to Bend, I headed straight upstairs to rest. I was so thankful to have your Nana there, to help with Poppy and let me cry on her shoulder. I was so thankful for the non-judgement that came from everyone about my little episode. I guess that is why I was able to just let everything out and not feel uncomfortable doing so. I never feel judged around my family and that is the best gift they have ever given me. It means everything to a grieving mother because my grief and pain is something that will be with me for the rest of my life. I am not going to be ashamed of that and I am not going to hide it. To love something so deeply that it makes you feel so much pain is a badge of honor that I will always wear as it is a constant reminder of my love for you.

Another reason the day was so hard was because it was another family trip without you. That hurts so much and I still look for you everywhere.

I have to end this now. I have been trying to finish this post for weeks. Now I have to move on to this Empire State Building stuff. I’m sorry to cut this short, but I need to just get this posted. I feel so badly that I have not written on here in so long. I miss you and this blog so much.

G’nite baby boy. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xxoo

Wait… Poppy is one? How did that happen already??

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Ronan. I don’t live in a normal world anymore. I live in a world that I often feel very alone in, but I tend to do alright in this world. This world without you is so hard for me to live in, but I have done my best to make it bearable by living each day as fully as I am capable of because I know how precious each day truly is. You might say this new perspective has given me a clarity I never had before and I myself as a human being generally feel pretty fulfilled; minus the always absence of you in my life. I keep you tucked away as close to me as possible and carry you with me in everything I do which seems to get me through the toughest of times.

I was at lunch the other day and ending up sitting next to a table full of mom’s who were doing PTO stuff for their kids’ school. I knew a few of them so of course I waved, but I really wanted to just curl up and cry. I glanced their way every so often and could hear them talking so excitedly about the money they had raised and the upcoming fundraiser they were putting together. What it must be like to be able to live that life of a normal, no cancer has ever touched their kids, PTO mom. My mind wandered back and forth between “I wonder if this is what my life would have been like if cancer had not killed my baby” to “Please let Nela beat this cancer once again, Ronan, as her mom just told me she has relapsed.” You see, even when I try to do normal not cancer mom things, it’s almost impossible for my mind to just let go of the swirling thoughts I have about you, you getting cancer, you dying, all the other kids that I know are being diagnosed, the ones who are not doing well, etc… I have come to accept the fact that I cannot do it all and I’m just no longer cut out to be the PTO mom because that life as I maybe would have known it, flew out the window a long time ago and I don’t see it coming back anytime soon.

I have a 23-year-old best friend. A 37-year-old best friend. And a 68-year-old best friend. The three of them all entered my life because of you. My relationships with them are each so different, so unique and so special. Not only do we have one common denominator in our lives, which is you; but we also have another one which is this fucked up world of childhood cancer. My 23-year-old best friend sleeps in your bed a lot. She pretty much should just move in with us at this point and if I did indeed have a guest house, I would totally let her live in it. We do a lot of silly things together which mostly consists of drinking too many Kale drinks in one day and having ridiculous dance parties to really bad rap music with Poppy. We also do a lot of quiet things together, too. We hike a lot while we ponder stupid things like, “If you could come back as a boy or a girl in your next life, what would you be?” We do a lot of intense things like cry on the phone and kick and scream and cuss about things that are so fucked up but are not my things to talk about on here. She sends me poetry in the middle of the night or things she is reading out of books and I do the same for her if something really strikes me as so painfully beautiful, that only she would understand. I am watching her in the world as she walks through it and I swear sometimes I see you holding her hand. She is all things magic and beauty and makes my heart sometimes skip a beat. I thank you for her every night in my head. She is my little renege side kick in life and I am so lucky to have found her, because of you.

I also have your New York Miss Macy who you actually did know and love to pieces. She is my sounding board for everything in life and the one I probably cry the most to. She is also the one I laugh with the most. Without Macy, I’m not sure where I would be in this life without you, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be in the place I am now. She keeps me grounded and reminds me that it is o.k. to be sad with someone other then myself. She is flying in this weekend to celebrate your Poppy sister and also because I got us kick ass tickets to the Lana Del Rae concert who is my musical soul mate in life. I cannot wait to have her here and I know Poppy is so excited about seeing her other mom:)

Last but not least is your Sparkly who I can say without a doubt, saved my life. I could write a novel about him but I’ll just talk about yesterday instead. Yesterday was Poppy’s birthday. Her first birthday. Can you believe that, Ronan? I don’t know how she is one already. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be feeling yesterday, so I didn’t make any big plans. I woke up to the sweetest messages from so many people wishing her a Happy Birthday which was so nice, so thank you all. We had a quiet morning at the house just the two of us and ran down to see your Sparkly so he could see his god-daughter on her special day. We brought him a coffee, just like you used to always want to do for him. We sat and talked while your Poppy sister crawled around between the two of us while I opened up the little gift and card he got for her. I was trying my hardest not to cry and I know he could tell I was getting sad.

“Are you going to be o.k. today?” he asked me while I did my best to look him in the eyes as I answered his question.

“Yeah. I’ll be o.k. I just wish Ronan could be here.”

He responded with, “I know you do. I do, too. I’m sorry he’s not, but today is her day and I know he would want her to be celebrated the way she deserves to be, so please go and do that for her.”

Your Sparkly has such a way of being able to recognize my sadness, but can also put things into perspective for me in a way that doesn’t piss me off. He’s is pretty much the only one in my life that is capable of doing that.

I told him I would celebrate your sister and so of course I kept my word.  Of course Poppy should be celebrated, but I live in this world where the most beautiful things are also so very bittersweet.  I had to sing your sister Happy Birthday last night and you were not there to do something naughty like smash her cupcake all over the floor.  I just don’t think I’ll ever get used to that or I won’t ever be sad about that, but I could not let my sadness take away from her day at all.  That would not have been fair to her and I know it’s not what you would have wanted.

I ran and picked up Brianna from ASU. We took Poppy to Toys R Us to get her some gifts. I got home and wanted so badly to just throw in the towel and order a pizza instead of cooking the spaghetti dinner that Quinn had requested. I kept hearing your Sparkly’s words in my head. I cooked dinner and we spent the evening outside playing basketball and watching Poppy have a dance party because that is her favorite thing to do in life. Kassie and Brianna stayed the night and we gathered around to sing your sister while a purple star balloon floated behind her, just to remind us all that you are always here. Always. It was a very sweet and simple day as that is all I think any of us could handle.

Today is 35 months without you and today was not a good day at all. I cried a lot. Your daddy cried a lot. I felt extra lost without you today and I don’t know how next month is our hell month of May already and 3 years since you’ve been gone as well as your 7th birthday. God, what I would give to see you as the beautiful 7-year-old that I know you would be. We are going away for May because being in Arizona is never a place that I want to be on the day you died and your birthday. We all need a little time out together so we are going to the Hamptons for a bit where we will see some dear friends, but also be together as a family.

I have to say goodnight now, Ro baby. I’m tired and need to try to get some sleep as I am beyond ready for today to be over.

I miss you so much. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

 

 

Thank you for her.  She is such a gift to us all.  Happy 1st Birthday, Poppy Roo. We love you, Ronan.
Thank you for her. She is such a gift to us all. Happy 1st Birthday, Poppy Roo. We love you, Ronan.

 

 

Poppy didn’t die and the SpiritHoods already SOLD OUT!!!!

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Ronan. This is seriously my life. Last night, I was cooking dinner and I had Poppy in the sink. Let me back up a bit. Every morning and every night, when Poppy eats her solid food, I put her naked in her Bumbo chair in the sink. She gets so messy, so I feed her in there as it makes perfect sense because she is SO messy and I can just wash her off afterwords. (Hi, that’s me OCD clean freak) She likes to sit in her little chair, play with her rattles, and suck on this mesh thing that I put avocados or bananas in. Last night, while I was cooking dinner, Poppy was playing away and sucking on her little mesh holder with her mashed up avocado in it. I turned around for about 30 seconds to tend to my tacos and when I turned back around, Poppy was slumped over in her little Bumbo seat with her head down. I dropped my spatula, screamed her name, and ran over and ripped her out of her chair. The water wasn’t on or anything, but my mind instantly went to, “She’s dead, she’s dead, she’s dead.” As soon as I ripped her out of that chair, she started to cry because I scared her so badly. She wasn’t dead. The poor little babe had fallen asleep, probably because she was so worn out from our very busy day of putting her in a pumpkin and taking pictures.

I felt so bad for scaring her and making her cry because I am a raging lunatic. I felt so badly, yet I know this is the way I will always be. My mind will always go to the worst place possible. I said to my friend, Katie today as we were hiking, “It takes everything I have not to take all 3 of my kids down to PCH to have them scanned from head to toe.” And I’m not kidding. It’s a fight I have with myself everyday in my head. Just because this has happened to us once, does not mean it cannot happen again. That’s not the way life works. I am fully aware of that. I live in a world where all of my kids are going to die and everything they touch or eat, is going to give them cancer. I’m so freaked out by anything that Poppy puts in her mouth, food wise. It was pretty much only organic for you and your brothers. I mean, I even made all of your baby food from scratch. Now, I’m positivly a freak about it with Poppy. And if you think I have issues there, you should see the way I pretty much refuse to leave her with anyone. I mean, I even worry when I leave her with your Daddy for a bit. The separation anxiety I am having with her might become a problem. I can’t leave her and when I do, I’m a ball of nerves. This is my life and as of now,  this is just the way it is. Maybe it will change or maybe it won’t. I don’t know how you ever go back to anything ever feeling o.k. and safe again after you’ve watched one of your children, die from cancer.

So, I started this earlier today… before the amazingness of the SpiritHoods Spicy Monkey SELLING OUT happened! Are you guys serious?! I mean, I expected them to sell, but not that fast! You all are amazing. Don’t worry, our friends at SpiritHoods will be making more. I don’t think anybody expected them to sell out so fast. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! This is beyond rad. Tonight, I can go to sleep feeling so proud because this is proof that my little guy is changing the world with the help of all of you. I really, really needed this today, so thank you all again for being so supportive. And another HUGE thank you to my brother from another mother, Alexander from SpiritHoods, who shot this video and has been working along my side through this whole thing. He is going to change this world with me and help save some kids’ lives, just you all wait and see. This is just a little taste as of what is to come.

I’m signing off for tonight. More book writing to do. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe, Ronan. I love you to the moon and back

xoxo

I love you all, too. Thank you for helping in this fight and for being better people because of my son.

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Instagram is where it’s at

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I know you all worry when I go radio silent for a while. The best way to keep up with me when I’m not writing on this blog is via Instagram. I’m pretty much obsessed and think it is the best social media invention ever. Poppy and I just posted our first video. No carrots for Poppy. Sorry, Pops.

So, follow me if you want to keep up with me and this insane life I live without my Robaby, while trying everyday to make sure he is a part of everything I do.

Love you, Ronan. Miss you so much.

 

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This book on the brain…

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Just wanted to check in. I’ve been writing, just not on this blog. I’ll update soon but between foundation things, Poppy things, the twins being home for summer, traveling, and working on this book, things have been a little crazy.

I miss you all. Missing my Ro most of all, always. I’m working hard to make my little man proud. Here are some new pics of Poppy. She is still the sweetest little thing and we are enjoying her so much. Hope you all are having a great summer! Love you much!

xx

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Turns out Maybelline Great Lash Mascara isn’t so great when you’re a bloody mess

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Ronan. Finally, I can sit down and have some time with you. I hate that I haven’t been able to write, let alone breathe lately. I’ve been so unbelievably busy that I swear by the time my head hits the pillow at night, I am out like a light. Such a change from how things used to be. I miss my insomnia nights where I used to stay up and write to you. Poppy has been keeping me incredibly busy. I forgot how time-consuming this whole breast-feeding thing is and your little sister has such an appetite that I swear I am feeding her around the clock. I know it’s what’s best for her and I love spending the time with her doing it, but it does leave little time to get things done around here. I’m just trying to soak it all in still because I know how quickly this time passes. Things are still going amazing with that little sister of yours. She is still a happy girl and is sleeping at night like a champ. None of us can get enough of her. I won’t let her out of my sight and she goes everywhere with me. She even went to her first board meeting the other night and didn’t make a peep as everyone passed her around to love on her. The amount of love for this baby girl blows me away. It’s like she’s getting double the dose from everyone due to the impact you’ve had on all of us, Ronan. She is so lucky to be surrounded by the most amazing souls. I can only imagine what an amazing little human being this will make her. Tomorrow, she will already be 2 months. It has flown by so fast and she is changing so much. She’s now doing really cute things like smiling and cooing at us all. Macy swears she can understand everything we are saying and she trying to have a conversation back with us. The way her eyes look at all of us while we are talking to her makes me think she is right. This Poppy girl already seems to know so much.

Your brothers are out of school. Normally, we would be in San Diego by now but this year we decided to take a little break. Your daddy was burnt out on it and I don’t blame him. One more year of going to the same spot where we always took you, without you was going to be too much for me to handle. I almost had a nervous breakdown last year. Too many almost 4-year-old blond-haired boys running about. Too many swimming pools without you in it. Too much of everything I pretty much never care to see again. It wasn’t therapeutic and it wasn’t healthy for me to be there last year and I have no interest in returning back to a place that I so desperately want to be the same, but it never will be the same again. So we are still in AZ. Your brothers have started a basketball camp which they love but it’s only for a couple of hours a day. The rest of our days have mostly been spent just hanging out having play dates, swimming, and they have helped me with a lot of things around here. We have our little, Rachel, in from NYC. I love having her here so much. We all do. Just another one of those amazing things to come from this blog and from you. She is our family and I love seeing her with your Poppy sister. Now, if I could only get her to move in and be our nanny;) Something tells me that would not be enough to keep our little smarty pants I just graduated NYC and now am working at Columbia University entertained. I am so proud of her and all she is doing. Macy calls her Saint Rachel because she is that amazing at 22. I feel so blessed to have come across this soul who is now a part of our family. We are all going to miss her so much when she leaves. Hopefully she will come out to Washington and visit us when we are there this summer.

That is what we are doing this summer. I am taking your brothers and sister to Nana and Papa’s house. It’s all your brothers have been talking about for months. I’ve been having to listening to them begging to go out earlier, but we had some things to take care of around here first. Believe me, I am just as excited as they are. I miss my parents and my childhood house where I always feel so safe and sound at, even under the shittiest of circumstances. It will be nice to have help with your sister and brothers. Washington is my place of peacefulness where I feel like I can actually breathe for a little bit. And no almost 4 year old blond boys exist. It will be nice to take a little break from the rat race that I often get caught up in here. I have lots of plans that mostly consist of no plans at all, besides spending a ton of time with your brothers and Papa Jim doing our favorite things like fishing, hiking, playing hide and seek until dark, and enjoying all the beauty the pacific northwest has to offer this time of year, including hopefully many days of rain. Please, please, please Washington rain gods, work your magic. I have been missing our rain so much, Ro.

We had a board meeting the other night. We have so many things in the works and so much coming up. A few top secret things that involve a kick ass rockstar. We still have not heard back on the petition to light the Whitehouse Gold for September. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I am still hoping for the best. After the board meeting, I told your daddy I would have Fernanda drive me home because I needed to spend some time with her. We had a lot to talk about and as always, it circled back around to you. I know you know how I am. I don’t let my guard down in front of many people. I much prefer to do all of my crying alone, and don’t often do I do it in front of others. There are only a handful of people who I am comfortable enough with to let everything out. I’ve never had a guard up with Fernanda which is why after our little pow wow, I could barely get my ass back into our house because I was seriously blinded by my tears and the fucking cheap ass mascara I wore that day. Remind me never to wear a different brand of mascara than I normally do. I came into the house, my eyes were black and stinging so badly from the mascara running in them, that I had your daddy in a complete panic. I ran to the bathroom to take out my contacts and wash my face while your daddy hovered over me begging me to tell him what was wrong. It’s the same thing it always is, Ronan. You are dead, I would give anything to have you back, I sometimes still don’t want to be here, because I just want to be with you, where are you? who is taking care of you? and why can’t it be me? Everything in my body still yearns for you, screams for you, begs for you in the worst way. Sometimes your daddy and I sit and bed at night and whisper secrets.

“Do you ever think Poppy has parts of Ronan?” he asked me the other night.
I quietly said, “Yes.”

“Me, too.” he said. “Is that wrong?”

I just told him through my tears, “If it gets us through this, does it really matter?”

I don’t think that it does, Ronan. She is parts of you without a doubt. Just like Liam and Quinn are, too. Many days I catch glimpses of you through your brothers and it helps me in a way. I see you in Quinn’s still sometimes with his mischievous ways. I see you in Liam’s strength and the way he carries himself so proud, like you always did. Poppy feels like you. She reminds me of you. I know you sent her to me to give me a little piece of you back. And some days I think you sent her to me to give me a lot of you back. I don’t care how whack-a-doodle that sounds. Thinking that way helps me to survive this insanely painful life without you here. I can’t tell your baby pictures apart. I can’t get over that she has the same little secret dimple that you had only when you smiled in the same exact spot. It gives me goosebumps and butterflies at the same time. I like living in this Poppyland. It feels o.k. again. Some days it even feels good.

Alright little man. I miss you so much. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams baby doll. G’nite.

xoxo

P.S. Please keep our Kassie safe while she is away on her amazing African adventure. I know she took you with her. Thanks, baby.

P.P.S. Does anybody know anybody high up at our local cable company Cox Communications?? Woody went to tour one of our Ronanld McDonald Houses here today because we are looking to help them with some of their wish list items. We would like to make some things better for the families that have to stay there. Turns out, they don’t have the place wired for cable because Cox wants to charge them full price and won’t give them a discount. Seriously? That makes me so mad. I love it when people try to make money off of people who are going through a hard time. It’s a freaking non-profit, Cox Communications. Give me a break. I might like to write them a little letter or speak to somebody who is higher up over there. Thanks, lovies for anything you can do.

xx

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You make beautiful things happen

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Ronan. You make beautiful things happen and last night was proof of that. Taylor Swift was in town for the Red Tour. We were invited to go as a family and could have not been more excited. Last minute plans were made, plans were changed, plans were made again. Brianna was in town staying with us and Macy had just left after being here for almost a week. The time with Macy here or as Poppy is going to call her, “Auntie M,” was so special. I watched Macy fall head over heels in love with your sister the same way she did with you. We did a lot of nothing except live in Poppy world. We celebrated your Daddy’s birthday which was a hard day, but as always, we just go through it the best we could. Tears were shed, but for the most part we tried to make it a fun evening by having some dear friends over. We all just mostly sat around and cooed over your sister. She truly does make many days better, but days like special occasions are still pretty hard. Macy knew this and just sat and played with my hair while I rocked your sister and the tears fell silently to the ground. She just looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I know.” She knew what I was thinking, as she always does. How I wished so badly you were there with us to celebrate your wonderful daddy. How I wish every day you were with us to not celebrate a thing, but to just live this life with us that was so unfairly taken away from you. I will never stop wishing this.

It’s taken me a few days to figure out why I am having such a hard time writing this post. I’ll start by saying two years ago when I was first invited to meet Taylor and go to her concert, I was in a completely different place than I am now. 2 years ago I remember trying to get ready for her concert and how I could hardly peel myself up off the floor to go. I was destroyed back then and wasn’t so sure I’d be around to survive this life much longer without you. I was in such a sad place that I didn’t think I deserved to go to a concert, meet this amazing girl or feel any sort of happiness at all. I went because I had a message to share, because of my manners, and I knew how rude it would be not to go after I was so kindly invited. Little did I know that Taylor already knew all about you and our hauntingly sad love story. She already knew the message I was wanting to share and welcomed it with open arms. Fast forward 2 years later and I am now in a very different place.

I spent the day with Liam, Quinn, and Bri Bri, hanging out and getting ready for the concert. I felt excited and happy, and as always, a little sad, too. I knew Taylor was going to be meeting your Poppy sister and for me, that was the best part of everything. To me, it was like she was going to get to meet a little piece of you and I can’t even put into words how much that meant. We as a family, all went to the concert. We ended up splitting up as your daddy, Liam, and Poppy sat backstage with Taylor’s dad for most of the show. Even though we had protective ear coverings for Poppy, it still made me nervous to have her out in the loud arena with everyone. Your daddy was whisked away by Taylor’s lovely assistant and taken back stage where all was safe and sound. Liam went with your daddy also, as the concert was a little too loud for him. He’s never been a fan of anything too loud and crazy. I stayed down at our seats with Bri, Quinn and your Sparkly. There was a lot of dancing, singing, laughing, and maybe a little crying. I sat back and watched the most amazing performance and was of course blown away by the talent before me. She always manages to out do herself that Taylor girl. I felt so blessed to be a part of it. It was a night where I got a chance to put my pain on hold for a few hours and just get lost in the magic and beauty before me. Between Taylor’s beautiful voice, the smile on Quinn’s face, and the insane dancing that I did with Brianna when Taylor sang, “22,” everything about the night was perfect. Almost freaking perfect. You know the one little thing missing was of course you. I tried my best to remind myself that you were there with us, somewhere. Even though I couldn’t see you, I know you were there and I let that be o.k. for a few hours.

After the concert we got to spend a lot of time with Taylor and her dad in the most intimate setting. I’ve now realized why it is that I’ve had such a hard time with this post. It’s because of the way this relationship with Taylor has changed and evolved. It’s because I feel insanely protective of her and the way she’s opened up her heart to us. People try to exploit this girl all day long and I’m just not going to do that. I won’t do that. I’ve felt that way since day one of meeting her, but my protectiveness has only grown over time. I’ve had all of these news stations calling me, wanting to do interviews about Taylor’s concert, what it’s like to have her here in the Valley, wanting to know if she was going to sing, “Ronan,”etc… I politely declined doing any of them. It almost felt yucky to me. To me, the time we spent with Taylor was so sacred and special that I would just like to keep most of it between us and our family. At one point during our time together as I watched her holding Poppy, I asked her a certain question. She looked at me to answer it and said, “I hope I made the right call.” I told her as my eyes filled up with tears that I believed she did. I hope tonight, with this post, I made the right call, too. I don’t mind sharing most of the night, but not all of it. Some things just feel too sacred to be shared. This girl feels like a part of our family now, not some big celebrity. It’s funny because she’s never felt like some big celebrity to me. To me she’s always just felt like a normal girl who fell in love with you and who just happened to be in a position to make something really beautiful happen because she took a chance on us and followed her heart. To me, that has saved me in a way and I will forever be grateful to her and her old, wise soul. I have no doubt that many more beautiful things are to come.

As far as me not wanting to share much about our night, I hope you all understand. To me, the picture below explains everything.

I love you, Ronan. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little man.

xoxo

P.S. Taylor, Thank you for EVERYTHING. You know I have 50 million things I want to say to you, but all I’m going to say is you my friend, could give Hallmark a run for their money. I love you so much.

photo 2

I love your Poppy sister to the moon and back.

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Ronan. Sometimes I just sit here at this computer screen, wondering what to write because the only words I can think of are… I just miss you so much. That’s it. I just miss you so much plays over and over in my head like a broken record that I will never turn off. Tonight, I guess I have a little story for you that is mostly about your sister. I’m not going to lie, Ronan. I was a little unsure of how things would be once she got her. All of my usual doubts filled my head. The thousands of questions. Will I be able to love her enough? Will she love me as much as Ronan did? Can I still be a good mom? Am I worthy of loving another child? What if we don’t connect, bond, etc… What if I am still so numb, that I feel nothing? Am I betraying Ronan? Would he be mad or sad or jealous? Am I hurting his feelings by having another baby and loving it? The things I worried about in my head seemed to be never-ending and oh so dramatic, but they were my real life thoughts about all of this.

Then that day came that your sister was placed in my arms. I can honestly tell you that I was so overcome with so many different feelings, that it was hard for me to feel a thing. So I just stared at her while she stared at me. The first thing I whispered in her ear was something like, “Ronan loves you.” Then my mommy mode adrenaline rush of I can do it all kicked in. So it was a constant stream of auto pilot everything. Feed baby. Change baby. Sleep baby. Tend to mama just pushed out a baby war wounds. Eat mama. Sleep mama. Drink mama. Shower mama. While taking care of other kids, laundry, people wanting to meet her, phone calls, emails, a few blog posts, foundation things, don’t forget to grieve mama, the questions of “how are you really doing from my friends and family seemed constant. But with all that adrenaline rushing, I was able to keep a safe distance away from really feeling that deep connection with your Poppy sister. Oh, I knew I loved her, but I had been keeping myself so busy as if to not let myself fall in over my head. My guard was still up I guess you could say. My mind was still trying to go to that place of don’t get too attached, in case something happens. So, I guess you could say at first, I was dating Poppy in a way. Testing her out to see how things were going to go.

I’ve spent the past few weeks, slowing everything down. I’ve spent the past few weeks, letting myself and my relationship with Poppy unfold a little more. We spend much of our days, sitting quietly. Her constant need to be fed has helped us to bond. We do everything together. I can’t even put her down in her crib to sleep, so she has been sleeping in our bed. For as slowly as I’ve watch things unfold, I can’t stand the thought of being separated from her. I talk to her a lot, even when she is sleeping. My favorite part of the day is when I lay her down to be changed and she just stares at the big picture we have of you in her room and while she is staring, she smiles at it from ear to ear. She’s been doing this from really early on, when babies aren’t supposed to smile at all. She started this at about 2 weeks when babies are supposed to be blind as a bat. I watch her and say things like, “Is Ronan telling you secrets again?” I scoop her back up, rock her and then sometimes look down at her and think to myself, “Are you really Ronan? Because if you are not, I had no idea I would be able to feel this way again. This close and this strongly connected to a new baby after losing my everything. Either you are Ronan or Ronan sent you because he could not take how sad I was anymore. He sent you to try to help fix my heart and soul. He could not have picked a more perfect baby girl to heal my heart.”

The past few days, I’ve felt nothing but this euphoric happiness. Happiness that has only come because of your sister. I see it through everybody, but it’s through myself that I can actually feel it. I am not dating Poppy anymore. We are full on in a crazy, love affair, forever will be married, marriage that I am over the moon about. I without a doubt know, none of us could have really survived this life and lived this life in the way we should be living it, if it were not for your sister being born. Everything has shifted in such a good way. The energy in our house has changed. I’m getting more of those beautiful moments in life that I often talk about from the simplest things. Beautiful moments seem to be everywhere I look, Ronan. I am no longer fighting them or scared of them. I feel so lucky and blessed and this is all due to this gift you have given us which is her.

Dr. Sholler has been in town and you know I am always crazy happy when she is here. Your daddy, Poppy and I picked her up from the airport on Sunday. Before she got in our car, she sent me a text. “Can we hike?!” I laughed out loud. I said to your daddy, “Giselle wants me to take her inferno hiking. She is such a badass.” I told her of course we could. Your daddy said to me, “Are you sure about that? Did you tell her how you almost killed your intern, inferno hiking?” I told him to hush, that she didn’t need to know that. I did warn Dr. Sholler that it was going to be hot, but she was totally game. I was feeding Poppy in the backseat of the car when she arrived. Your daddy parked and went to walk to get her. As soon as she got in the front seat, she scooped up your sister into her arms so she could hold and love on her. I was blown away. Watching the two of them meet was something that will stay in my mind forever. They sat and stared at each other for a long time and Dr. Sholler was such a natural with your sister in her arms. That’s what makes her so different from other doctors, Ronan. She doesn’t have that compassionate chip missing, for being such a bloody freaking genius that a lot of people do. She doesn’t have a fucking ego or agenda. She cares so much not only about her patients, but the family’s as well. Even the one’s with the dead kids. That is so beyond rare. She is such an anomaly in this world. She is my hero and I am so proud to be a part of the things she is doing and will be doing in the future for these kids fighting Neuroblastoma. I will forever be sorry that we didn’t find her sooner.

I took Dr. Sholler hiking. We talked a lot about cancer things, but other things as well. I asked her the million dollar question which was, “What do I need to do to make sure Poppy doesn’t have cancer?” I said, “Do I do nothing and just trust in the Universe that completely screwed me over? Do I start having her urine tested? Do I get her blood tested? Scanned? Please, just tell me.” We talked about how a urine test after 2 would be a non invasive way to just make sure everything is o.k., but ultimately Dr. Sholler wants me to just trust in you. She told me that your sister is fine and is going to be fine. I tried my best to listen and trust in that, but it’s really hard to do so when your entire world has been shattered. Fast forward to today to prove my point on that.

I fed Poppy this morning. I burped her after. I set her in her bouncy so I could pack Liam and Quinn’s lunches. I heard Poppy coughing a bit so I picked her up. Bright yellow vomit/spit up goes flying all over my shirt, not once, not twice, but three times. I go into show your daddy. I see Poppy looking a little pale. In my mind I’m freaking out and everything in me is screaming, “SHE HAS CANCER!” Your daddy makes light of it. I do not. I text our pediatrician. She texts me right back and says it’s probably curdled milk, but if I want she will check her out and feel her tummy. I of course, ask her to make me an appointment to bring her in. So, I sit and wait at home for our appointment. My mind goes to all of those awful places while the tears pour down my cheeks. This is my life now. This will always be my life now. I’ll never escape this world where a little thing is just a little thing. A little thing to me, will always mean cancer. I know I have to learn to let some things go, but today, this lesson was lost on me. Today, it was all I could do not to run down to the hospital demanding to have her scanned. Dr. Campbell calmed me down and told me everything it could be, none of it being cancer. She pushed down on her tummy and told me it was soft. She told me your sister is fine. Your sister is fine, Ronan but I will never be fine again. Not when it comes to normal things like yellow spit up, tummy aches, aching muscles, headaches… I will always think the worst. I thanked Dr. Campbell and she told me she would do tummy checks on Poppy everyday if I wanted her to. That she would come by our house even and to text her whenever I was feeling uneasy about something. I smiled and thanked her again. Once again, I am so lucky to have such an amazing doctor who truly cares, taking care of our family.

We are home. I am exhausted from not sleeping well last night. I guess I was also a bit wired from the amazing night I had with Dr. Sholler and some great peeps from T-Gen. I took Poppy with me. She goes everywhere with me and didn’t make a peep. Best baby ever. So many wonderful things are in the works and I am so honored to be able to be surrounded by such amazing people, who share the same dreams and visions as I do. Together, we are going to do extraordinary things.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

I thought I was ready, but I’m not ready.

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Ronan. It’s normal to sit partly naked on a table at your OBGYN’s office and cry, cry, cry while waiting for her to come in a check your cervix, right? I was really trying to avoid this today. I had my nose busily buried in a book that I was reading on my iPad, but somehow it was as if my hands were not my own anymore and the next thing I knew I was swiping my fingers across all of my pictures on my iPhoto only to be staring at you and your big blue eyes while I waited for Dr. Schwartz to see me. I can usually do this and be o.k. I mean, I look at your pictures all the time, but today looking at them left me with tears streaming down my face and wet spots all over my iPad. There you were in every picture, smiling your beautiful smile at me while I traced your mouth with my little pinky as if I were actually touching you. I listened to the voices screaming in my head that it couldn’t really be this way, that my darling, sweet boy, didn’t really die of cancer. The flashbacks began. The ones that forever haunt my mind. The way I watched cancer eat away at your little body, mind and soul. The pain that set in during your last week or so that I could not rub or kiss away no matter how hard I tried. Your sunken eyes, bloated belly, cold lips and stiff little legs. The pain that I now feel every single day and the sadness that never goes away. Now the harsh stares, un welcomed judgment about the grief that I carry around with me. The grief that nobody will ever truly understand but they sure can pretend as if they do while voicing their opinions about it while judging away. The baby sister that is now almost here that will supposedly heal my broken heart according to the world around me. It’s like the outside world thinks she is the magic pill that I’ve so been searching for but will never actually swallow no matter how hard they try to shove it down my throat. Those who know me well, understand my truth. Those who know me well, know that no amount of time, love or even a new human being will ever take away my pain of having to live my life without you and they don’t judge me because of that. It only seems to make them love me more. Those are the people I surround myself with. The handful of people that are not afraid to be a silent witness to this pain and only fill us with unconditional love. They lift us up not bring us down with their words of kind compassion, non-judgemental stares, and they are just so proud of us for still being here and being a loving family to one another. There are no expectations, no whispers of he’s in a better place, or she is doing everything wrong. I hear the whispers and I am very aware of who is doing the whispering. It’s like I have a sixth sense for those things and I have learned that the whispers will always be there, but I have a choice of whether or not I hear them. I mostly choose to tune them out because I know at the end of the day the proof is in the pudding and the pudding being your daddy, your brothers, and the amazing friends that have become family. Not to mention your Nana and Papa Jim. I always say I swear I could murder someone and your Nana would still say, “I am so proud of my daughter.” I know what it is like to be unconditionally loved, thanks to her. She has taught me a very valuable lesson through all of this. One that I could never repay her for or say thank you enough for. That’s the great thing about your Nana, too. After everything Ronan, after all of her love, support, strength, sadness, help… she would never look at me and say, “You owe me for this for all I have done for you. Or you hurt my feelings because you don’t pick up the phone. Or you are being selfish, rude and need to get over this.” She would never make this about her in any way shape or form. She is absolutely the most selfless person on the planet and I only hope that I too, am silently following in her humble footsteps. I know how much she misses you and misses me. I hope one day that I can start picking up the phone more like I used to when you were here. I am thankful that she does not take any of this personally because she knows that I am just doing the best that I can and to her, that is more than enough.

I cleaned myself up before Dr. Schwartz came into the room. I know I looked like a bloody mess as my entire face was blotchy and red. I was quiet when she came in to see me today and asked me her usual questions and went on with her exam. I told her how I have been getting sick again. Mostly during the middle of the night the throwing up starts. I won’t ever know if it’s your sister or my body’s way of reacting to my grief. I have a feeling it’s a little of both. She checked my cervix and measured my belly which is still measuring a week ahead of time. “O.k. it’s not going to be much longer now. You’ve dilated quite a bit. Let’s put you back in a room to see what’s she’s doing and watch your contractions.” I headed back out into the waiting room to wait for a room to open up. There was a girl out there, waiting with her little boy. I tried my best to avoid eye contact, but she smiled so I of course said hello. I was a wreck and listening to the little boy call out, “Mama!” was enough to make my eyes well up with tears as that is what you always called me. He was so cute but I refused to look his way as I knew what was going to happen if I did. I was doing a pretty good job of reading my book until his little car came flying at my feet because he had thrown it across the room at me. This made me laugh as I bent down to pick it up as it is so something you would have done. I returned the car to his mama and she shyly looked at me and said, “You’re Maya, right?” I smiled and said that I was. The girl told me how she has been reading my blog forever and how she actually saw me a couple of weeks ago out and about but didn’t want to come up and bother me. We sat and chatted for a bit while I tried not to get lost in the blue eyes of her little boy. She could not have been sweeter and told me how meeting me had made her day. I gave here a ziplock bag full of your bracelets that I just happened to put in my purse this morning. I knew there was a reason that I packed them. I don’t always leave the house with a bag full of your bracelets, but today I felt like I might need them. I’m so glad I was right:)

I finally got back to the room where my contractions were monitored and your Poppy sister was, too. Dr. Schwartz came in and read the results and told me due to my contractions, she wouldn’t be surprised if she saw me before Friday which means I could have your Poppy sister at any time. I thought I was ready for this but I think I’ve changed my mind. I’m not ready and I’m bloody scared as hell. The only part of me that is ready for this is my body. My tired body is more than ready to have this baby girl. My heart and my mind aren’t so sure. Can I do this doubts fill my head. Your Sparkly promised me that I indeed, can do this. I know he is right, but it doesn’t seem to be making things any less scary or sad. My excitement for your sister seems to have been put on hold due to the anticipation and emotional roller coaster of tears that will not seem to stop. I can’t seem to stop thinking about the fact that you won’t be here to hold her, love her, kiss on her the way I know you would be doing if you were here. I try to calm myself about this by letting my heart remind me that although you are not here, you will forever be watching over her, guiding her and protecting her in ways that only you can do. I would give anything for you to actually be here, teaching her all sorts of naughty things and causing all sorts of trouble but as I’ve learned the hard way, beggars can’t be choosers.

I’ve got to run, Ronan. Your Bri Bri aka, my little sissy is in town for orientation at ASU. Can you believe that? I don’t know where the time went as it seems like just yesterday I was bouncing her on my hip, watching her grow up and bounce Liam and Quinn around and then, you. Now she is all grown up and is finally going away to college to ASU. I’ve listened to her talk about ASU since she was 8 years old and how she would go to school there someday. That someday is almost here and I am so excited to have a little piece of our family in Arizona with us. Your brothers are thrilled. I know she is nervous but we are going to take such good care of her. I so wish you were here to be a part of this with all of us. You loved your Bri Bri so much. You two and your big blue eyes were quite the pair. I can’t wait for Bri to meet this Poppy girl. I know she is going to be so helpful with her the same way she is with your brothers. Best little sissy ever;)

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little one.

xoxo

P.S. I just wanted to say a thank you to all of you lovely souls who have been sending the sweetest little gifts, cards, and even a few Poppy things. I even got a little Poppy headband and matching socks all the way from Ireland a couple of days ago. You all are the most thoughtful creatures on the planet. Thank you for loving my little boy and our family so much. Thank you for letting Ronan make you the most beautiful people. It makes my very broken heart, skip a beat. I love you.

I Don’t Know What To Expect When I’m Expecting

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Ronan. My week has kind of gotten away from me. I’ve had your brother home sick 3 days this week. He’s had a sinus infection (Yay! Not cancer) which you know I am always thankful for. Your brothers get the flu, awesome! An ear infection, counting my blessings! You will never hear me complain about fevers, strep throat, throwing up, etc… Those things to me, are blessings. Having Quinn home makes me do things around here which you know I’m not a fan of. I don’t like being in our house, without you. I don’t like when I have to stay cooped up all day, not running around doing 50 million things. But staying home this week has made me realize that I am beyond wiped out, carrying a real life baby, and almost starting my 3rd trimester. WTF. It’s like I’m just now getting the memo, “Hi, you’re pregnant!” No wonder I have been feeling like crap lately. This pregnancy/growing your baby sister is hard freaking work. I got to see her on an 3-D ultra sound on Tuesday. She is so beautiful already. Her little face is all filled out. Her pump, full, lips look just like yours. She has a ton of hair already. The ultra sound tech could not get over her long, long legs. She obviously gets those from your daddy.

I saw my OBGYN as well. We went over the ultrasound and all of Poppy’s measurements which look perfect. Everything looks perfect, just the way things looked with you, too. You know that I will never stop worrying about this baby having cancer, ever. I worry about it with your brothers, too. That will never go away. Dr. Schwartz asked how I was feeling. I told her alright for the most part. Then I went down that road. One I would have never went down before if you had never died. That oh so fun place only mom’s get to go that have had a child who has died.

“Can we talk about when you can induce me. Because you know the world I live in now, and you know I am scared she’s going to die if you let me go to my due date. I am so scared of having a still birth because that’s the world I live in now and it’s all I hear about, besides cancer.”

Dr. Schwartz calmly talked about when she could induce me and told me that she would not let me go to my due date because she knows the fear I have. She told me she would keep a close eye on me, strip my membranes again, like she did with you if I wanted Poppy to come out a little early. She did not make me feel like the crazy person that I was feeling like which was so nice of her to do. She is a wonderful doctor. I left there feeling like I am somewhat in control of this even though I know I am not. I am doing the only thing I know how which is leaving this all in the hands of you. I have to trust in you that your Poppy sister is going to be alright.

I’ve had to start thinking about things like what it is going to be like, when Poppy arrives. Your Mr. Sparkly Eyes, and Poppy’s Godfather, said to me a while ago, “You know it’s going to be a circus.” I just told him in no way shape or form did I want that. I told him I wasn’t going to let it be that way and he said something like, “Well, you’d better start figuring out how to control that.” I’ve slowly been doing that. I had the talk with Stacy and Fernanda this week. I told them what I have been thinking. I don’t want anyone at the hospital, except your daddy and your brothers when the time is right and she is here, safe and sound. It took me a minute to explain all of this to them, but by the end they were both a little teary eyed and said they agreed with me and understood why. To me, this is a private time for our family. I have been so public with everything and after everything we have gone through, I want this little girl to enter this world as peacefully as possible. I don’t have a clue as to how I am going to feel, once she arrives. What if I totally freak out and lose it? I have no way of gauging my feelings because I never know how I am going to feel on a day to day basis. I do know this. I am going to need some time with her. Alone. To bond. To cry. To feel happy. To feel sad. To feel everything I know I am going to be feeling. Having a baby is emotional under normal circumstances. Throw in a traumatic death of a child on top of it and it’s a freaking party now! I am doing this to protect myself because I already know I am going to need the time. I’m not doing this to be hurtful or mean. I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but this is the decision I have made. Maybe after she gets here, my mind will change but as of now, it has not. I even had to tell your Nana, not to come. My own mother whom I love to the moon and back. That about broke my heart right then and there. I asked her to just give me some time and to come in, after we get home from the hospital. I could tell your Nana was a bit sad about this but I just said, “Mom, I don’t know how or what I am going to be feeling and I just want to be able to be, without having the pressure of having to fake like I am feeling one way, if I am not.” She just gave me a squeeze and told me, “Of course, honey. I understand.” I feel like it’s taken a long time for the 4 of us to find our rhythm again here, without you. It’s taken a lot of work to get us to go on in our day to day lives, together, as a family, with such a huge void that never goes away. We have days that we still trip, stumble and fall. It never feels totally right, but we have worked very hard, together, to get where we are today. I know Poppy is going to help us find our way a little more, too. Having her here is going to be an overwhelming mix of everything and I know, we are each going to need some time with her, just the 4 of us. Although this is a happy time for us in our lives, the sadness of not having you here, to meet your baby sister is almost at times too much for me to even fathom. I remember with all of you, I read that book, “What To Expect, When You’re Expecting.” I carried that thing around with me like it was my bible. It seemed to have all the answers. Now, going back to try to read that book is like a sick joke. They don’t have a clue as to what they can tell me about this time around. Everything is different. I have yet to find a good book about what it is like to have a baby, after going through something as traumatic as losing a child to cancer. Seems nobody wants to take on that topic. I don’t blame them. Maybe I’ll take in on in my free time. Maybe I’ll call it, “What To Expect After Losing A Child And Having Another. How About No Expectations Because Nobody Knows.”

This weekend is a busy one. The P.F. Changs Marathon is this Sunday. Dr. Sholler gets in Friday night to me my surrogate runner and I am so excited to see her and have her here. That woman humbles me like no other. I guess it was good that I had a fairly quiet week because I am going to need to find my energy for this weekend. Thank you to all of you who are running for Ronan and who have raised so much money for us. I can’t wait to see you at the finish line!

I’m tired tonight, Ronan. Did I forget to mention the fact that I know your sister is going to be extra spicy, just like you? She never slows down in my tummy and it always seems like she is having a party in there. I swear I feel her moving, kicking, punching, twirling around all day long and most of the night as well. I am so excited to meet this beautiful gift you have given us. Thank you. I know you know how much we all need her. I promise to be the best mama to her.

I love you, Ronan. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.

xoxo