Wild and free, together we will be

Ronan. Hello little bug. Guess what I did today. I spent the day doing things that I would normally not be doing; if you were still here. This happens to me a lot in this new life of mine. Sometimes, I feel as if I am living a double life. That I’m living the life of a person that I do not know at all. I’m trying to figure out who this new person is and if I like her or not. I still have not made up my mind about that. We shall see. I am thinking she is not going anywhere anytime soon. But I also know that I have no way of knowing that because as we have learned, life can be cruel and take you in an instant. And as we have learned, we have no control over when your time is up because death does not discriminate. I’m trying to remember that I am supposed to be making the most of every second, of everyday that I am “lucky,” to be alive. I don’t feel very lucky without you.

Today, I was honored at the Arizona Foothills Luncheon. It was weird. Weird in the way that people whom I did not know said things to me like, “Congratulations!” And I didn’t know how to respond so just coyly smiled and listened to the little voice in my head that said, “For what? My dead child? Oh, I know. So totally awesome!” I forget that there are people out there who think I’m inspiring as I am only listening to the way you are telling me to do this. So when I hear things like, “We are proud of you. You are so amazing!” My thought or response is usually just, “Well, he was amazing.” Because that’s all I know to be true, Ronan. That people should be proud of you, not me. People should be honoring you, not me. I’m simply just a vessel here left on earth, to carry out your mission because you were destined for greater things, right? I truly want to believe this last part. But of course, the selfish me does not want you to be destined for greater things and it pisses me off that you are gone and just not at home, cuddling in bed with me where you should be.

The luncheon was really nice though and I am grateful to AZ Foothills for not being afraid to take a chance on a girl like me as I know how sad and dark this story is. I am grateful that they can see beyond the sadness and the darkness of this story to the love that shines through, so brightly. Nobody can deny that no matter how many times I throw the fuck word out there and I scream, “I hate the world!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs. Our love story is undeniable and I am thankful that they chose to honor it today. I got to sit at a table full of our loveliest of lovelies and watch as they all wiped the tears from their eyes. Dr. JoRo got up and spoke for about 30 minutes. There was not a dry eye in the house. She talked about you a bit which I was not expecting…. but it was a nice surprise. She talked about life, death, kindness, sadness, laughter, love, and all things honest. It may have been a little too honest for some of the people in that room today. I wondered how many actually really walked away, grateful for the gift of watching one of the most beautiful souls on earth, speak. I hoped every single one of them. I wondered how many of them had taken care of their sick baby, who had cancer. I wondered if any of them knew what it was like to spend 8 months in cold, icy hospital rooms, fighting every second of everyday for a life that means more to them, then their own. Cleaning up vomit. Blood. Shit. Pee. Medicine. Spit. And feeling so grateful to do so because it meant LIFE. Not death. All while listening to the screams, cries, tantrums, of their child and other children around them. All while the rest of the world, ignores them because it can’t happen to them. I wondered if any of them knew how close a mother and a child grow, going through something like this together. How a bond is formed, unlike any other that exists in the world. I wondered if any of them could have imagined going through something like this only to have the love of their life, taken away from this world. To have watched as their child, slowly died. To have held their child as he or she took their last breath and fluttered their eyelids for one last time. I wondered if any of them, could have survived this and put on a green dress 8 months later to sit in a room full of women, who have not survived this. Only one woman in that room, had survived this today and that was me. For about .2 seconds, I was proud. But only for the reason that really matters. Because I knew you were watching over me today and I knew you felt proud. That’s all I care about as it is the only thing, that truly matters to me. Every single thing I do, every breath I take, every foot I put in front of the other, every tear I cry, smile I smile, everything I do in this life…. is for you. And I am so grateful for the gift of our love. I know I say this all the time, but it will change things. It is already changing things. I know we are just getting started, Ro baby. I know this.

So, the past couple of days have been pretty hard. But looking back, I’ve had some things happen that have made me laugh. Mostly shit that I hear myself saying or doing and I can’t believe that I am saying or doing. Sometimes, it makes others laugh which I swear to god, is the BEST medicine. When I make other people laugh, Ronan. OH.MY.GOD. You have no idea how good this makes me feel. Me, the girl with the saddest green eyes, still has the ability to make people laugh. For such a little thing, it means the world to me. These are the conversations over the past couple of days, that have given me a good chuckle. I hope they made you laugh too.

Last night, we were driving home from my very Fucky Sucky Unbirthday. As we were driving home, up on one of the hills by our house there is the most obnoxious, huge house. It is covered head to toe in Christmas lights. I mean covered. Every inch of the house, trees, cactus, etc….. My head immediately went to……” I wonder how much electricity those people are wasting, for their God damn Christmas lights. It could be going to Childhood Cancer. Think about all the money, people waste, for Christmas lights when it could ALL go to Childhood Cancer. America is so stupid. And ignorant. And blissfully blind.” Christmas lights, in my crazy, bereaved mind, should not exist anymore. I then said to myself…. “OMG. It’s January. It’s my birthday. Christmas is way over.” I said to your daddy, “Take me to the store.” He looked at me and said, “For what?” And I said, “For some eggs. I’m going to egg those assholes house, who still have their obnoxious Christmas lights up! It’s January 11th! Why do they still have their lights blaring?!” Your daddy then told me he would in fact, not drive me to the store, to get eggs, to egg the assholes house. I actually replied to him, “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT! SO TAKE ME TO THE STORE, SO I CAN EGG THEIR HOUSE!” I quickly realized one of two things: 1), that I was acting like a bratty 13-year-old, which I often embrace, and 2) that this plan was not going to happen so I should just let it go. The thought of actually doing this, made me laugh so I let that be enough to satisfy me. I know you know I fully planned to escape during the middle of the night, to drive myself to the store to buy eggs and do this. I should have called my Mandy Bee to pick me up. We could have dressed up like real life Ninjas. Word to the wise. Take down the fucking Christmas lights. Christmas is OVER. Move on. And if you are too lazy to take them down, just don’t turn them on. You are blinding me with your obnoxious, asshole, stupidity.

I went to get the mail today and I had some random package come in it. I get a lot of these. A lot of the time, they are small things, from strangers and they always make me smile and cry. It’s the pure kindness that gets me the most. Today, I got a package and it didn’t say who it was from. I opened it up to find the best tee shirt EVER! It’s black and in bold white letters, it says, “Fuck you you fucking fuck.” It totally made my night. I proudly put this tee-shirt on, as your daddy was getting ready to take me out for a quick bite to eat, as your brothers are staying with your Mimi and Papa tonight. Your daddy once again, just looked at me. “You cannot wear that out of the house, in a public place. You need to listen to me. I do this for a living, you can get into trouble for that.” I just looked up at him. UGH. Why does he have to be such a rule follower?? You died of cancer so don’t I get a hall pass to wear/do/say/act any way I want? Turns out, that although I often feel this way, I do not. “I’m wearing it. It’s awesome. If I want to wear it, I can. I’m sorry you didn’t know what a rebel you married, I’m sorry it’s been so repressed and you now have to just get used to it.” You daddy started chuckling out loud at that one. He quickly informed me that he knew what he was in for, when he married me. Since he was trying so hard to be a good sport about it, I cut him some slack and put on a coat on over my shirt. But I only told him I was doing this because I was cold, not due to the fact that I was about to give him a heart attack. And I unzipped my coat in the restaurant; obviously Ronan. Rule breaker for life:)

While we sat in the restaurant, we sat and looked like the “normal,” couple that exists in society, everywhere I go. We ended up sitting next to this couple who had a child about your age. I tried to ignore this annoying couple tonight. I was trying my best not to let them rip my heart out because that should have been us, sitting there with you. I was doing a really good job until I noticed the toy that the little boy pulled out of his bag. It was a lego Star Wars toy. My eyes welled up with tears and I choked on the strawberry that I was trying to eat. The mom started talking really loudly about that book, “The Secret.” The Oprah book that had everyone raving a few years ago. I never bought into that horse shit of a book but apparently, when you put something out there in the world, that you want to happen badly enough…. if you want it enough, it can magically be yours, just by you putting it out there, Ro. Or it can also be said that, everything in life, is possible, nothing is impossible. There are no limits. Whatever you can dream of, can be yours, when you use The Secret.

Otherwise known as HORSE SHIT. I’m pretty sure, the people starving in Africa will not die…. due to “The Secret.” I’m pretty sure that the packed orphanages around the world, will not become empty….. due to “The Secret.” I’m pretty sure, the problem of homelessness, childhood cancer, kids dying in general, abused kids, drugged up parents who should not be fucking parents because they put their baby in the spin cycle of the washing machine….. will not disappear because of “The Secret.” I’m pretty sure, the fucking god damn Secret book, will not bring you back. But I listened tonight as this lady told her husband the power of ” The Secret.” and how it was going to bring her a new car this year, a fancier one. Your daddy watched me as I listened. Your daddy squeezed my hand. “I’m going to throw my strawberry at this ladies head, if she doesn’t shut up.” She didn’t shut up. I didn’t throw the strawberry at her head. I got up, walked past her and made sure she saw my tee-shirt instead. Her mouth dropped to the floor. I just smiled. I now know who sent this tee shirt. Word travels fast when you grow up in the smallest of towns with the biggest of hearts. Thank you, S. You truly are one of my little devils rocking this thing called life for me, when I cannot.

Tonight, your daddy looked at me, Ro and goes, “How long until you get a devil tattoo?” I just laughed. And I thought of you. My most spicy, little devil who was all things sweet, pure and innocent. My most beautiful little devil that rules my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never understood the angel/devil role. The angel always fucking annoyed me and it still does to this day. Why can’t the devil be an angel too? Why does the devil, have to be bad? Because that’s what society teaches us. That’s what religion teaches us. That’s fucking stupid. It’s called being brain washed. It’s called letting something “bad,” control your life and fear it. I say take that something, “bad,” and make it GOOD. Take that little devil and instead of making him evil, make him spicy with nothing but the purest intentions. Make him an outside of the box kind of thinker. Make him fix problems in all sorts of different ways, just not one formula. Not just one answer when the world is full of so many different answers. Make him brave, determined, fearless, smart, compassionate, loving, crazy, independent, sweet, kind, gentle, and unique. I have a little devil that sits on my shoulder all the time and that is you. You are all of those things to me and you always will be. The little devil who knows what it means to be naughty and nice, in the best way possible.

Alright Ro. I’ll get off my soapbox now. To each his own. Respectfully so. Wild and Free, together we will be. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you. Every second of everyday. Sweet dreams little man. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

P.S. I’m too tired to touch on this subject tonight so I’ll just leave it short and sweet.

Dear Mattel,

If you do not make that Barbie, with a bald head, for childhood cancer, then you are ASSHOLES and you will be disappointing so many people who you could so easily make smile. It’s a NO BRAINER. Please do not be morons here. We have enough of those in the world, ****cough cough**** Casey Anthony and her fucking “Webcast that was hacked.” Make it. Donate the money. But please be aware, of where you are actually donating the money to. Please donate it to somewhere, that is actually invested in finding better treatments in hopes for a cure. Don’t do this, to make a profit off of it. Trust me, nobody benefits from a dead child. Well, except the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, but that is a whole different story that I’m sure you are not interested in because this can’t happen, to you. I’m here to tell you it can.

Be active in spreading awareness. Just fucking do it.

Sincerely,

RoMama

Like a Little Million Stars Spelling out your Name

Ronan. Just when I think I have a handle on something…. like my sleep, turns out I’ve spoken too soon. This sleep thing, for the past week has been awful again. I can’t unwind, when I do, I toss and turn, or just can’t fall asleep. Tonight was awful. My body is so tired that literally, everything hurts. I swear even the strands of my hair. Your Daddy was trying to get me to unwind, but I was hurting so badly, I couldn’t lay still. I sat in bed with him and just cried while he did his best to comfort me. What did I do? I pulled away and said things like he promised me he wouldn’t let you die, that everything hurts too much, that Romeo died with Juliet so why couldn’t I die with you? I am pretty sure my pain, of losing you, is way worse than their’s was. I got up, rambling something about needing to break a window. Your Daddy followed me and grabbed me to because I think he really thought I was going to. It started to storm out really hard. Quinn ended up in our bed with us, sobbing like a little puppy dog because he said he misses you. I just held him and cried too. It was all I could do. Your daddy was the one doing the talking. He told Quinn things like he bets the storm was your way of telling us, not to be so sad. I think it was your way of telling us, that you are so sad too, because you miss us so much. My head is spinning thinking of the ways we all miss each other now. Of how we were never supposed to be apart.

My body is now so tired that it just won’t sleep. I’m past the point of tired. Can somebody just shoot me in the head? Oye….. started that last night, Ro. Guess I was not in such a good place. But when am I? That’s why nights like tonight, are necessary. For as much as I want to hide and avoid people, it’s nights like tonight that show me that I cannot. Because I am capable of having a slightly good time. Good time may be pushing it, but Ro, it felt better than my nights have felt in a long time. I’ve been really good at not doing anything with ANY of my girlfriends. No more movie dates, dinners out, etc.. Nothing. Not a thing. Well, I threw a little something together, last-minute to try to break up this rut I’m in. I saw that there was a Roller Derby tournament going on tonight. You know me and my big mouth. I have blabbed about this Roller Derby thing since before you were sick. I have had your Papa Jim all psyched up about it, saying he’d fly all the way here, to watch etc, for two years now. I acted all tough and badass and told him I was going to try out. I had your Nana all worried, because she thought I was serious. I had a plan, and I was mostly kidding, but I continued on talking about it because I just couldn’t let it go. And your Papa Jim and I loved seeing your Nana all riled up; upset that her little girl, could possibly get hurt doing something so crazy like Roller Derby. Then you got sick. And all the jokes stopped. And all the teasing stopped. Nothing was funny anymore. Life became……so serious. So much more serious than I ever though was possible.

When I started looking into the Roller Derby thing again, I thought to myself, this could actually be really good for me. I really think this is something I could check out. What a great way to get some of this aggression out. So, I decided to grab a couple of girlfriends, to go and watch. A night out? Yes. It’s time. A night out with just a couple of girls, is way overdue. So, I asked my new friend, Mandy Bee to go with me. She’s from Canada, Eh, and we seem to have some sort of connection. Oh yes… this little Mandy Bee. The one who drops bags full of candy off for me as well as kick ass leg warmers. The one who stalked me and I liked her from the second I laid eyes on her. The one who cusses like a sailor and has a dark side which sings to my soul. This new little Mandy Bee of mine feels like someone who I have known in a past life or something. I like this girl. A lot. I asked her to come with me. She was game, right away. I also asked my dear friend, Melissa to come as well. My dear Melissa whom I never get to spend time with, but she is someone I always want to be around. She makes me feel safe. And sad. And happy. And it feels good to be safely sadly happy, around her. Because she knows. She sat with us so many days at the clinic. You used to laugh when her cell phone would ring and chirp like a bird. She loves you. She misses you. She’s never gone away. She hadn’t met Mandy yet. I thought the 3 of us, together, would make a good team. I was right. Melissa picked us up at our house. We hung out for a few minutes and then we headed out to the West Side of the Valley. The chatter was easy in the car. Honest and true. Just the way I like it. A little dark too. We got to the Roller Derby Rink. Lots of tough looking girls skating around everywhere. We found some seats and got up to talk to some of the Roller Derby girls in the booth behind us. We threw lots of questions their way. Turns out, every Wednesday, you can come and get familiar with what exactly goes into this Roller Derby thing. Turns out, every Wednesday, they have try-outs. Radness. Mandy and I locked eyes. Sign us up, please. Melissa laughed and said she would come and watch. I told Mandy, after this Fashion Show awesomeness, you will find me on the rink. We shall see. What have I got to lose, Ro? NOTHING. What have I got to lose, if I don’t try this out? Regret. Regret is an awful thing to be chained down to in life. I won’t do it. I want to try this, so I think I will. Go Big or Go Fucking Home.

After we watched the match, which is totally confusing by the way. They really have a strategy down, those girls. It’s not just girls in badass outfits, skating around, pushing and tripping each other. There is a reason behind the madness. I wonder if those girls, have a reason behind their madness, like me. I’ll bet not. I’ll bet nobody’s reason behind their madness is because their almost 4-year-old, died of cancer. I have a feeling, I’ll be solo on this mission. It’s o.k. I like being the lone wolf. I always have. I work best this way. So, Ro. After the match we headed out and decided to grab some dinner. We stopped at St. Francis to grab some food. I was wearing my purple F U Cancer sweatshirt and as we made our way through the restaurant to sit outside, so we didn’t have to wait an hour and a half to be seated….. a lady at a table yelled at me that she liked my sweatshirt. I told her thanks and she asked where I got it. I told her my friend had made it for me. She then told me that her sister had just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and that she would love my sweatshirt. I told her then she had to have my bracelet and I took my Fuck You Cancer bracelet off of my arm for her. She read it and looked up at me, smiling. I knew I was going to have to tell her, about you. So I pulled out one of my little cards, with your picture on it. I started to explain your story. Then man next to her, interrupted me. “What was your son’s name?” He asked. I simply said, “Ronan.” His eyes welled up with tears and he stood up. “Oh my goodness. I am (crap I cannot remember his name) the Chaplin over at The Ryan House. I have prayed for your family, since I heard about Ronan. I’ve read your blog. FUCK YOU CANCER!” He grabbed me for a big hug. “I’m so sorry about Ronan.” My heart sank. But my heart, also fluttered too. The Chaplin of the Ryan House, just said, “Fuck You Cancer!” It totally made me laugh. We stood and talked for a few more minutes. The girls and I then went to sit outside to enjoy some beers and food. YUM. Beer, Food (I ate!) and new and old friends. It felt good just to be sitting outside, on a crisp night, with this new friend of mine and this old friend of mine. And to watch the way the 2 of them, got along. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE, Ro. You know how I love to watch relationships form. It’s like a science experiment to me. The 3 of us, mesh well together. The night ended around 10:30. Your little stalker brother, Quinny, was getting worried. That’s the new nickname, I’ve given him. I was supposed to be home (or I told him I’d be home around 9:30) When the clock turned 9:31, I looked down at my phone and had 8 missed calls from him.(or so we figured out after about 15 minutes of us girls freaking out that 8 missed calls had come from some creepy unknown phone number( our house phone which I don’t even know the number to because we don’t use it) Turns out, it was Quinny, wanting to know where I was. I told him I would be home soon. I then gave him the nickname, Little Stalker. I thought that was pretty PG rated of me. It could have been Little Fucker. The girls and I laughed about the phone thing, forever. It felt nice.

Ro baby. Started all of this a couple of days ago. It’s Sunday Funday now. Or Sunday I Fucking Hate you day. Except today, wasn’t a bad day. I was gone all day, helping out with Fashion Show things. It’s this week! Can you believe that, little man? All because of you. Bittersweet to say the least. But we are doing everything, just the way you would have liked it. Just the way, you would have rocked it. If only you were here, to enjoy it. I so thought you would still be here. Remember how I thought we would still be going back and forth between New York and here? How I was so ready, to pack up my life, to live with you in New York? How I wasn’t scared because I knew the two of us would be together so that was all that mattered. How New York, quickly felt like our second home. As if we had lived there together, in a former life. Remember how we used to spend the days, roaming the streets, not caring that you had cancer because we knew New York was going to heal you? It was going to save you. How the fuck were we so wrong?? How did that not happen, baby? I’m so sorry, Ro. You know I would give anything to change this. I miss you so much. My whole heart feel like it is missing, without you. But I’m still here, fighting for you. Because as I told Michael Dee, Sarah Love and Heather while they sat in my kitchen last week…. what choice do I have? You, Ronan Sean Thompson came into this world, kicking, screaming and crying. I had to watch you leave this world, silently. Not being able to do any of those things because cancer robbed you of that. So now I am fucking left here; and it is my job to kick, scream and cry for you until the world starts to listen. Until this little army of mine, turns into a REALLY FUCKING BIG ARMY and Childhood Cancer starts to get the attention it deserves. Because I refuse to just sit back and watch as these poor innocent children are fucking MURDERED before our very eyes but nobody cares. Because it’s not their child, right Ro? It may not be their child but what if it is someday?? Or what if it ends up being their grandchild or cousin or niece or nephew or Godchild? What assholes, will all these people who have chosen to IGNORE Childhood Cancer, feel like? Fucking Douchebag Assholes, I’m sure. Guess what Ro? I know a whole bunch of people who did not even know you, who DO NOT want to be Douchebag Assholes. They want to help. They want to be a part of something because they know this is something REAL. In a world full of SO many FAKE PLASTIC TREES. The Fake Plastic Trees in life will only get you so far, right Ro. The Fake Plastic Trees will leave you with an icky taste in your mouth that will never go away. No matter how often you CHOOSE to look away. Because guess what Douchebag Asshole People???? Now that you’ve read these words….. It’s a CHOICE now. You CHOOSE. I hope you can sleep well at night. With his big, blue eyes, piercing into your soul. Because they are that life changing. And trust me. I now know a lot more about life, than I ever hoped to. And I had to learn the hardest way possible. As of now, you DO not. So fucking do something. Or do not take his gift. Go on. Carry about your days until you Louis Vuitton luggage, becomes too heavy and your Xanex becomes to weak to numb your pain. Are you still going to look the other way????? That makes me sad. I’m so, so very sorry. Ronan deserved to be here. Do you?????????? If so, make it worthwhile. Because to be any other way, is just not enough. And I know deep down, we all want to be more than enough.

Um, Hi, Ro. Are you still there?? I’m sorry baby. I think my post got hijacked by Inca tonight. Apparently, I had a lot to say. I’m not even sure what just went on up there. Oh well. Fuck it. Most of the time when I write to you, I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience. I feel like I get so lost in my writing that I am watching from above, while I’m really off somewhere else, playing with you. I love this time, so much. I’m sorry it has to be this way for now. I am trying so very hard to do this. To make you proud of me. You push me and you give me strength. You are a gift to me every second of my life. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little one.

xoxo

This is now on the John Lennon Wall in Prague thanks to the raddest girl who has ever lived in NYC. Miss Rachel Goldman. Thanks Dolly. You made my day with this.

xoxo

Sarah Love outdid herself. Thank you, dolly. Thank you Arizona Foothills. It’s Beautiful. It’s Perfect. It’s Real. I’m Honored.

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/features/people/2934-dear-ronan-we-miss-you-.html

 

The Silver Lining in the Clouds. I Wonder What it’s All About.

Ro baby. I haven’t been avoiding you. But I’ll admit it. For the first time ever, since starting this blog…..I’m scared. Scared because of the weakness that I gave into. Scared because I’m NOT as strong as everyone is always telling me I am. Scared because of the many days that I don’t think I can survive this. Scared because of the reality that I had to wake up to, after truly trying not to survive this because the pain is sometimes just too much. Scared because I came closer to the dark side than I ever have, and it was so easy to do. Just like that. No thought. Only impulse. Consumed by the pain of my reality, that you are never coming back. NEVER. I know I talk about you dying all the time, but do you want to know the truth? I still think in my heart of hearts, that you are going to come home again. That your Daddy is going to one day, walk through that door, carrying you in his arms. That is how delusional I am. This is how deeply I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that you are never coming back. I cannot accept your death. I cannot accept our pain. I cannot accept our life, without you. I just want you back. I want you back, so badly that I feel like it should so easily be able to happen. This is how my delusional mind works now. Nothing is real, so your death can’t possibly be real, right?

I told Dr. JoRo that so many nights, when I’m out running, all I think about is some van pulling up next to me, grabbing me and pulling me inside of it. Do you know what I see in that van? A bunch of men in white coats and masks. They are holding you and you are alive. They explain to me that you really are not dead. I see your face, your smile, your tears of joy because you are back in my arms, where you belong. These men tell me that this was just an experiment to see how strong a mama’s love, really is. To see how much pain a mama could handle, before she could handle no more and did something really crazy. Like the skydiving I am planning to do on Thanksgiving. I’m just trying to decide if it will be with or without a parachute. If you would have asked me last weekend, I would have said without a parachute. If you ask me tonight, I would say with one, please. Dr. JoRo and I joked about this tonight. The skydiving thing. We laughed as she said I should throw a turkey out of the plane before I jump. Then our dark sense of humor took over as we giggled about the headlines of the news that day. “Runner killed by a flying turkey, on Thanksgiving Day.” And they said turkeys couldn’t fucking fly. Oh, how wrong they were about that.

So, Ro. After the weekend of the dark side…. it was very highly recommended that I go to Sedona on Monday, to see Dr. Jo. I drove up there, happy to do so. I like that time alone in the car, driving to the place that makes me feel a little peaceful. I had a lot of people offer to drive me but I politely said no thank you. I needed to clear my head, before I bared my soul. I was greeted by Dr. Jo, like always except for her hug was a little tighter this time and I had to listen to her apologize for being out-of-town, for work, during my little crises. Nonsense I told her. It wouldn’t have mattered. I knew that we were in for a long session, to figure out what lead up to this. Besides the obvious.

We talked about my week. Shit. I had a lot of shitty shit shit, happen. Too much shit that I wasn’t even aware of, because I had let everything build up and roll off my back. Trying to be the Superwoman, that I so am NOT. I need to remember this, more often. And Halloween. I was not prepared for how hard it was going to be, but I had tried all week to prepare myself for the worst. Our favorite holiday, without you. NO. All of your “friends,” dressing up in their costumes. NO. Thinking about what we would be doing, if you were here, like you should be. What would you have worn? I spent most of the week thinking about not being able to dress you up. I spent most of the week, crying about it. I went to PCH to help Sandra. I ran into a girl there who used to work at the front desk of the clinic. “How’s your baby!?” She said. “My baby?” I replied, puzzled. Do I have a baby?? I couldn’t remember. I said, “You mean Ronan?” She said, “Yes, I haven’t seen you guys in a while.” I must have looked like a deer in headlights. “Oh. He passed away.” I said as the tears formed puddles at my feet. She felt so bad. She hugged me and told me how sorry she was, that she hadn’t heard as she had been out on maternity leave. I told her thank you. I asked how her baby was and did my best to get myself under control. I had to put on my best game face so I could go and try to help my friend. I did an o.k. job. Helping out Sandra, is one of the few things that makes me feel o.k. in life. It reminds me of why it is that I am going to keep fighting this fight when there are so many days that I do not want to anymore. Seeing the way cancer has destroyed Mia’s little body and robbed her of her childhood pisses me off so badly and it is exactly the kick in the ass I need to carry the fuck on. Or so I thought, but it didn’t save me during my weekend of death.

Back to my Dr. JoRo session. It was long. Grueling. We made a plan because I cannot have another weekend like last weekend. My plan does not include any sort of hospitalization. Sorry to all of you out there, who think you know best. You don’t have a fucking clue. I know you mean well, I know you care, but please don’t act like you truly knows what this feels like for me so therefor, you know what is best for me. Because you don’t And I hope to RO, that you never do. I do not need to be in an institution. That is not the answer. What would that solve? My safety? No. A hospital cannot save me. Dr. Jo cannot save me. My husband cannot save me. My living children, cannot save me. Only, I, myself, or the self I have left, can save me. ME. ME. ME. ME. Not you. Not my friends. Ronan? Yes. Of course, Ronan. Can you bring him back to me? That is the only thing that would 100% guarantee that I will be able to survive this life. I know I have to keep going, but sometimes I just want a break from all of this pain, this life, these tears, this heartbreak. I have to find that break, without breaking myself and everyone around me. I am thinking of trying out for a fucking roller derby team. I’m thinking I had my little break over the weekend and it was the wake up call I needed. I think I need to figure a lot of things out, so I can start to put myself back together again. I think I need to start letting my husband back in a little more and stop pushing him away so much. I think I cannot do this alone, like I have tried so hard to do. I think this life is totally fucked but it is my life to live now. I think I’d better start figuring out how to do that, sooner, rather than later.

Dr. JoRo is checking in with me everyday. Your Daddy and I went to her support group last night. Together. It was the first time we have done something like that, the two of us. I tried to tell him he didn’t need to come, that I could do it alone. He insisted. I am so glad he did. I arrived first. I sat down, in my chair and immediately felt myself retreating into my dark, alone place that I often tend to go when put into a new group setting. The room soon filled with other parents, all there for the same reason as me. Because we all belong to the same fucking club. The club I like to call My kid fucking died and I don’t want to be here anymore club. The worst club to be a part of in life. Dr. Jo was leading the group which is the only reason I went. She arrived and things got started. Everyone took turns going around to tell their story. It was almost my turn to talk about you. Your Daddy walked into the room, late and sat down next to me but not before kissing my lips. I just looked at him and buried my head into his chest. I couldn’t talk last night so he talked for me. He told a little piece of our story, to this room full of sad strangers. I hid my face in the side of his neck. Dr. Jo asked if I wanted to say something. I told her No. I couldn’t stop crying. I told her I didn’t want to be there. She said she knew. I stayed though. We stayed. Together. For as bad as it felt, it felt good too. The group lasted 2 hours. It was full of so many different people. Young, old, black, white, Believers and Non Believers…. once again I am reminded that death does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone. Everyone is at risk of losing a child. No matter what choices you make in life. Good or bad. It doesn’t fucking matter. After the group broke up, we talked with Dr. Jo for a bit. I was so glad to introduce your Daddy to her, and vise versa. It was like watching 2 parts of my soul, connect. It was magical. Your Daddy talked to some other parents. I sat with Dr. JoRo and watched him. She looked at me and goes, “He has quite a presence, doesn’t he.” I looked at her and told her I knew. He’s always been that way. I am so fucking lucky to have him. I am so fucking lucky and thankful that he loves me so much, that he is willing to put up with me and all of my craziness. That when push comes to shove, he’s not leaving. Ever. And how I love to push buttons. I think it was Sunday night that your Daddy grabbed me and told me enough was enough. That I needed to stop because no matter what I did or what hurtful things I said, he’s not going to walk out on me, the way that my dad did. That when he married me, it was forever so the self-destruction that I am engaging in, needs to stop because he’s not going anywhere. His words slapped me hard. His words shook me to the core. Sometimes I need to shut the fuck up and just listen to him. I did on Sunday. I need to do it more often. The truth of the matter is, we are in this, together. Forever. He lost you too. He can’t lose me as well. I won’t do that to him. You loved him too much. I love him too much. My grief often blinds me of this. I needed the little wake up call I had over the weekend. It had to happen for me to realize a lot of things that I have been forgetting.

After our support group last night, your Daddy and I had a late dinner out. It was the first time, in so long, that we have went out, just the two of us. We sat at Hillstone, in a cozy booth, and tried to act like the normal couple that we no longer are. The normal couple that I would give anything to be again. The normal couple that we used to be that felt so blessed and thankful and proud of the life we had created which revolved around us and the three of you. We shared the artichoke dip and a burger. We talked quietly but I was soon distracted by the early 40 something couple who was sitting in front of us, making out and feeding each other apple pie. I started stabbing my burger with my very sharp knife, over and over again. “Really people. WTF. Who is THAT happy? At 40? They are either having an affair, or they are having an affair. Nobody is that happy. I think I am going to throw this burger, across the room at their table.” Your daddy looked panicked as he now thinks I am so out of my mind, that I may actually do it. He grabbed my hand. “Stop stabbing your burger. Calm down.” But I didn’t want to calm down. I wanted to really chuck my burger across the table at them. And I wanted to tell them how I used to be that happy, until you died. But I think it is gross to make out in public and that they needed to get a room. And feed each other apple pie, elsewhere so I didn’t have to stab their eyes out with my knife. Your Daddy and I got up and left there, holding hands, as it was the best we could do. We are doing the best we can do, which at this point only seems to be surviving. But surviving together.

I started writing to you last night. I couldn’t finish it. I was so tired that I fell into a deep sleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. Your Daddy asked for time with me. For me to put the computer away. I snapped at him and instantly felt guilty. I should have explained to him about the anxiety I was feeling, from not writing to you, for a few days. How I want him to understand and respect that although you are not here, I still need my time to take care of you and now, that comes in the form of writing to you. Without this, I don’t know how I would cope at all. How important this is to me, to still nurture the relationship between a mother and a child. My dead child. How guilty I feel, during the times that I don’t write to you and how that guilt builds up because I feel like I am betraying you. Like you will think I have forgotten to tuck you in at night. My writing is my version of tucking you in, bathing you, kissing you, feeding you, holding you, wiping your tears, fixing your ouchies, and loving you. It is so important to me to continue this, for you. And for me. So, I started this last night, but should have listened to your Daddy because the fight I tried to put up, insisting that I needed to write to you, didn’t even pan out because I was that tired. Without the Ambien. You know what I’ve found is a natural remedy for sleep? Tears. Lots of tears. Endless amounts of tears that never stop so that when the night comes now, I am so tired that sleep is just begging for me. Such a far cry from the insomnia that consumed me for a good year.

I woke up today with a fuck ton to do. I woke up late. 8:00. I was so tired I felt like I could have slept for days. I took your brothers to school and got ready for someone to come over to the house from AZ Central to take my picture. Weird. It was actually fine. But something that I’m obviously not used to in my regular mama/cancer mama/bereaved mama life. I threw on a wrap dress that I have had forever. I took the time to blow dry my hair and throw on some red, spicy MAC lipgloss that I love. Because I heart red lips for everything. Red lips make everything better. As soon as the photographer got here, we settled into an easy chit chat. He was super sweet and I told him to make this picture thing as painless as possible. He laughed and said no problem. I also told him I really wanted to wear my purple TuTu and my Fuck You Cancer shirt, but I was thinking that the Arizona Republic would not embrace that. He laughed and said I should have, but I was probably right. Can’t win em’ all but it was the thought that counted, right? He took some pics outside. I tried to smile but I told him how hard that is for me now. He said he was sorry told me that I didn’t have to. So I didn’t. I didn’t feel like faking it today. I didn’t have the energy to force a smile. No big deal, yo. Just another day in the life of being here. Or just being.

After the AZ Republic guy left, I wrote a little, and tried to get a handle on the overflowing mounds of laundry that I have been avoiding. It is all clean, but has just been sitting in our laundry room, piling up to be folded. UGH. I had an interview with Arizona Foothills Magazine at noon so I was trying to chill before that. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had no idea of the major AWESOMENESS that was in store. My friend, Heather, came over for to hang out for the interview. She knows Michael Dee well, and is really good about breaking the ice and bringing about a positive, crazy energy. She also brought me Starbucks which I was in desperate need for as my weekend of death hangover still seems to be looming about. We hung out and soon Michael Dee and his communications director and amazingly talented photographer, Sarah Love, arrived. As soon as I opened the door, I let out a sigh of relief. I felt the love and connection, instantly. Good people. These are really good people who are here to hear our story because they truly care and want to help. I gave them a little tour of our house. I joked with them about the mounds of laundry and asked if they knew how to fold. They laughed and said they would do it in a heartbeat. I didn’t think they meant it. It turns out they did because that is how our amazingly almost 3 hour interview/therapy/crying/laughing/feeling you everywhere, ended. With the 4 of us, folding my laundry. Our house for 3 blissful hours, was filled with an amazing raw and organic energy as I talked about you and this crazy painful adventure that is beginning. Michael asked how I feel about being an inspiration to others. I told him I honestly didn’t think about it because all I see is you, inspiring me. And if that turns into inspiring others, than that is such a beautiful thing. If others are ready to embark on this ride with us, I hope they are prepared to hold on tight. Because it is going to no doubt be bumpy, rough, scary, and at sometimes, it is going to feel like death. But I know the end result is going to be something out of this world. Something so different, special, and strong…. just like you. Something that is unlike anything this world has seen. Because never was there a boy, as beautiful as you, Ro. The beauty of your physical self and soul combined was so powerful and I as your mama, know this. Guess who else is figuring this out? The whole wide world. The whole wide world who wants to be a part of this change. Not only in the world of childhood cancer, but in the bigger scheme of things as well. They all know, because of you, that there is more to life, than just THIS.

Ro baby. I am so tired. I miss you so much. I know I don’t have a choice. I HAVE to do this. Thanks for reminding me of this.

To my Arizona Foothills Family- Michael Dee and Sarah LOVE. I love you. Thank you for loving me. For loving, Ro without even knowing us. Until now. After today, you will forever be a part of our hearts and souls. I cannot wait for our monthly laundry folding therapy sessions. GO BIG OR GO FUCKING HOME! You are now, family forever.

xoxo