Baby Danger Plan….. Activate!

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo

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

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

The Chaos and The Calm

Ronan. What have you been doing? I miss you so much, baby. I don’t know where you are, who is taking care of you, what you are up to. I worry about you so much. All day and night. I’m still looking for you, everywhere. I went to Sedona, for the grief retreat. I’m back home now. I wish you were too. It’s so strange, being here without you.

Saturday was the day of the actual seminar. It started at 9:30 and lasted until 4:30, I think. I don’t remember much of it. There were about 16 other bereaved parents there. All with different/similar stories. Nobody there had lost their baby to cancer. Some had lost their babies very early on, at birth. Others had lost their children, tragically, in accidents or just suddenly because life is not fair, and death does not discriminate. We are all part of the same club. The club that nobody wants to be a part of. The fuckthisshitinowhavetoliveonthisearthwithoutmychildandidon’twantto club. It is not a fun club to be a member of. Nobody in that room on Saturday, wanted to out live their child. Everybody in that room on Saturday, would have traded places with their babies, in a heartbeat. But the choice was not theirs. They are still here, on this earth, fighting for their loved ones that were taken much too soon.

As soon as I got there, I felt uneasy. I went into shut down mode. We had to go around the room and tell a little about our story and what we hoped to achieve by being there. I don’t remember much about what I said. I was sobbing. I somehow managed to get out a little about you, in between my sloppy tears falling everywhere. I think I said out loud that I was only there because I don’t want to live this life anymore, without you. I don’t remember seeing anybody’s faces while I was sobbing/talking. I just remember wanting to run out of the room, so badly. I didn’t want to be there, having something like this in common, with all of those strangers. I wanted to close my eyes, snap my fingers, and hop into my time machine that would take me back to living life with you. I begged for our hospital life together. I begged for our Ryan House life together. I begged for anything but being where I was, on Saturday, as long as it involved being with you. I closed my eyes, wished for those things only to open them up and see that I was surrounded by the saddest faces I had ever seen in my life. The faces of 16 other me’s. I pinched myself, to make sure I was not dreaming. I felt the pinch and was taken slam bam right back into my reality. This cruel reality of being here without you. The reality that I would trade any day, for anything but this. I’ll never stop asking why this could not have been me. You deserved to be here so much more, than I do. What a cruel world we live in, that would take the life of you. You had so much to give. You were going to be so many things. I am trying really hard to carry on the beautiful life you would have lived by trying to make a difference in this world. It is so very hard, Ro. You would have done this, so effortlessly. You would have done it with one little wink from your blue eye. Your one little wink, would have changed the world.

After we all went around the room, we moved on to something else. I think we were supposed to be meditating about something. All I could do was pull my knees up to my chest, and cry. I couldn’t focus on anything else. Dr. Jo had been watching me closely since I had arrived. She came over to me and wrapped her arms around me. I told her I wanted to leave. She said she knew and continued to hold me and let me cry all over her. I think she held me for a good 20 minutes, while I went through an entire box of kleenex, snot, and tears. I really don’t remember much about anything else except I think the times I did talk, I said the word fuck a lot. I told the group about the name I had come up for my Grief. Inferno Fuckwad Bob. I think I got some laughs out of it. I truly did spend the entire 7 hours crying. It was painful but so very necessary. I have learned that I have become very good at distracting my grief. I needed to take that day and just cry about you, without stopping. I could have cared less if I was in a room, full of people I didn’t know. I knew they could relate to my pain. They all knew that I was only 5 months out of having had lost you. I was the newbie in the group. The one who had just lost their child, a very short time ago. They all remembered what it was like, being so new to all of this. They were gentle with me and didn’t expect anything. Many of them were surprised that I was even there at all, having all of this be so painful and fresh. Many of them said it took them years to deal with what I am trying to deal with. Which is my grief, I guess. I don’t even know if this is what I am doing as I seem to be stuck on a fucking merry-go-round that I cannot get off of. Round and Round and Round she goes, where ever she stops, nobody knows! Nobody does know. Not even myself at this point. I’ve always hated that fucking ride. And that song.

I met two mama’s in our group. Mama’s that both lost their kids to horrific car accidents. Mama’s who did not know each other, before losing their babies. Mama’s who now have a bond so deep and strong, it is as if they are twins. I didn’t talk to them much, except to learn that one of them had emailed me about wanting to do something for your Foundation. Very random that we both happened to be at this retreat. This mama, does a yearly Tea for her Ellie, who was killed by a drunk driver. She wanted to talk about how she had heard about your story and was wanting to hold the tea in your honor, this year. We exchanged phone numbers and hugs. I wanted to talk to these two mama’s more but I was so emotionally drained that I am surprised I was even able to peel myself up off of the floor and into my car to drive back to my hotel. Before I left, Dr. Jo asked if I wanted to do something with her later. I smiled and told her I would love that and I would call her after I got back to the hotel and rested for a bit. I somehow made it to my hotel, changed clothes and washed my face. I send Dr. Jo a text that said I was ready when she was. She offered to come and pick me up. I gladly accepted.

We went to her house to hang out. It is so perfectly her and I fell in love, instantly. She showed me her home office and her built-in bookshelf that I swear had thousands of books in it. I said to her, I’ll bet you’ve read all of these. She smiled that humble smile of hers and said she had. The brains inside of that woman’s head are something not of this world. Because it is not only her brains that she uses to think with, but her heart and soul as well. That is a very rare combination to find in a person in this day and age. We sat outside, underneath some twinkling lights, and the fresh Sedona air. My brain was pretty much fried but we talked for a couple of hours. About everything, but mostly you. About you and me. Me and you. Us. It was peaceful. I think I even laughed a couple of times. I never laugh anymore and it felt so nice. I don’t have any of my walls up whatsoever with Dr. Jo. There are only a few people in this world that I am able to be like this with anymore. She is one of them. She is the puller, not the pusher. She knows what to do with me, when nobody else, does. I trust that. I trust her. She trusts me. That right there, is everything to me. Plus, the fact that she is a super bad-ass, like the two of us, Ro. Brains, beauty, and badassness. That is a combo not to messed with. If not for her, I can guarantee you, I would not be functioning at all.

Dr. Jo dropped me off back at my hotel around 9:30. As I got out of her car I looked at her, smiled and said, “JoRo.” Her name and yours. A perfect fit like it was always meant to be. Like you have been leading me to her, this entire time. I left her car feeling more peaceful than I have since you left me. Even if the feeling, only lasted for a couple of hours, I was still so grateful. As soon as I got to the room, my head hit the pillow and I was out like a light. I did not even take my Ambien. In fact, I have not taken it in 3 nights. I’ve been able to sleep alright, without it. I have been dreaming, very vividly. I have been dreaming very vividly of everything except you. This makes me so very sad. I just want to see your face. I just want you to tell me you are all right. I just want to hear you tell me, you love me and miss me. You are visiting everyone, but me. Dr. Jo thinks it’s because I want to see you, so much that I cannot. I am fearful that I will never see you in my dreams, because I wish for this all the time. I would give anything to have you visit me. I know you know this. I think I am too caught up in this pain, to let my head clear enough for you to get to me. The pain that is only becoming worse, Ro. Everyday is harder and harder without you.

Sunday was our barefoot hike day. It was just me, Dr. Jo and a Daddy. We headed up the mountain, in silence. At one point, Dr. Jo and I stopped to wait for our other warrior Daddy friend and I whispered to her, that I never did things like this. Like hiking in silence. I told her that I always had my music blaring and loud. She told me it was much easier to be in chaos than calm. She is so spot on. It is so hard to be in the calm for me. Distractions everywhere. The louder the better. The busier the better. It takes courage to be in the calm. I have no idea, what it truly means to be courageous yet. I have a lot of work to do, little man. I have a lot to learn from Dr. Jo. I know you will help me. The barefoot hike was amazing. I felt nothing except for very connected to the earth and I was reminded of my capabilities as a human being. As your mama. I cried for you on that hike. I thought about how much you would have loved coming up that mountain, with me. The thought of not having you there, destroyed me. I looked for you anyway.

Ro baby. I wish I could write to you, for 2 more hours. I have so much left to tell you but I can hardly keep my eyes open. I’m going to have to finish the rest of this tomorrow. It is then that I will tell you the rest of my stories. About how much your brothers miss you. About how I sat and held Quinn as he sobbed for you last night. About how I sobbed with him and told him over and over how sorry I was. About Ellie’s mama. About my Fry’s Shopping experience today and how I was a mad woman crying all over that damn store and then had a “talk,” with the manager about the NO CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS anywhere for September. She must have thought I was a lunatic. I don’t care. She gave me the phone number, to someone higher up than her. I’m on a freaking mission, baby.

I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.