Stuck on the Top of a Mountain in the Middle of a Haboob. A Haboob. Google it. It’s real.

Ronan. I made it through today. But tomorrow has to come now, too. The 9th. 16 months. Oh, and don’t forget August 13th, your diagnoses day. It’s always something around here. What choice do I have but to keep rolling with the punches? I don’t. This fucking bullshit grief/bereaved parent/life thing is such fucking bullshit. It’s a constant struggle to feel like I can breathe on most days. How did I get through today? With your help of course. It’s always you that helps me through the most.

I got through today by trying to be kind to myself. I got through today by allowing myself to feel, whatever it is that I needed to feel. I got though today by a little help from my friends and strangers. I got through today by looking at the smiles on your brothers faces. I got though today with the little sign that you sent me to let me know that you are still with me. It was a long fucking day though. I am beat.

Who gets off a red-eye only to land straight on my door step with flowers, donuts, a card, and some silly school things for your brothers? Only our crazy, Heather Freaking Firecracker. Our spicy little friend whose heart is bigger then her body. Not like that is saying much, because she is so itty bitty. She made my morning a little brighter which helped contain my tears for the drop off that I had to do. I dropped off your brothers. I didn’t let myself sit there and sob. I peeled out of that school like my hair was on fire. Not really. I may break a lot of rules, but speeding in a school zone is not one of them. I took a deep breath and calmly left school. I ran some errands. I had a mini breakdown in a parking lot, in my car. I looked at my phone. Your Sparkly: I hope you are o.k. Me: Not o.k. I’m sorry. I can’t believe he is not here. I think I let him down. Him: Please don’t do this. You are the best mom. You did NOT let him down. Me: insert sobbing here: It wasn’t enough. How could it not have been enough? You are making me cry. Stop making me cry. He knows it wasn’t him, who was making me cry. It never is. I pulled it together. I drove through a drive through car wash, for you. Because I used to just take you to them, when our car wasn’t even dirty because you loved them so much. I met a stranger for coffee. We have a mutual friend. She asked if I could meet this week. I jumped at the chance to meet her today. She knew what today was. I told her that it would give me something to look forward to; our little meeting of strangers. I left there feeling like she could be my friend.

I went to the freaking grocery store. I hate the grocery store. I made myself get things done for your brothers. I told myself I was going to cook dinner tonight. I picked your brothers up from school. “Hi boys! How was your day? Tell me everything!” I asked 50 questions. They were so happy. They had such a good first day. I tried my best to push down my sadness. I am so glad they had such a wonderful day. I let this fill me with the little happiness that I am capable of feeling now. It’s enough. I get them home, make snacks, we start homework. I engage and help them. A treat is left at our front doorstep by one of our friends/neighbors. This melts my broken heart. It makes your brothers smile. They gobble up the deliciousness. Your daddy gets home. We cook dinner, together. Kind of. Not really. I let him cook. I shredded the lettuce. Does that count? I don’t sit down to eat. I don’t eat again today. It’s o.k. I’m not hungry. I get a text from our lovie, Kassie. “Do you want to hike? I need to for my sanity.” “Absolutely,” I say. “I’ll meet you on our mountain, at 7.” Your daddy takes the boys to The Village.

I meet up with Kass. The girl who is literally looks like sunshine, but with a bit of a dark cloud above her. I call that dark cloud, wisdom and pain. Wisdom and pain that gives her young life, so much more meaning than others. I met her through this blog. The crazy thing is, after we started up our little friendship, we both found out that you shared a room at PCH with her brother who was going through cancer treatment. He was older. I never met Kassie. I am so glad I know her now. She likes to inferno hike with me. She even goes to the inferno without me. We sat at the top for a long time. We talk about everything. We talked a lot about you. A man came up to the top. We struck up a conversation with him. It was odd. Everyone has a story. He told us he liked to hike to the top of the mountain and then say 5 things that he was grateful for. He asked if we wanted to do it out loud with him. Sure. O.k. Why not. He said his list. I went next. Deep breath. I tried to clear my head. I struggled with what to say. I need to work on my gratitude list a little more I guess. I managed to come up with 5 things. I think they were this:

1) My husband. He walks on water.

2) My twins

3) The love between myself and my Ronan. He is the reason I continue to go on. He is the reason for everything I do.

4) The kindness of strangers

5) My family and friends.

It took everything for me to not scream from the top of my lungs, ” I AM NOT GRATEFUL FOR ANYTHING BECAUSE CANCER KILLED THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! I WAS GRATEFUL FOR EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE, ALWAYS, BEFORE ALL OF THIS! I DIDN’T NEED THIS LESSON!THIS LESSON IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!”

If this would have been a year ago, I would have screamed all of those things and then jumped off the side of the cliff. See, I am growing! Gold star for me! That would have been my anger taking over today. I controlled it. I will work on my grateful list a little more, for you.

Kassie’s list was great. She is a good girl who is grateful for everything and just wants to help make this world a better place. I was grateful for her list.

The man left after he decided that we might be insane, due to our snarkiness about how kids dying from cancer, is not the way to learn a life lesson. No thanks, buddy. We would rather have learned it another way. But thanks for playing with us. I’m sorry your puppy died. Bye-Bye. He left. We watched. The lightning danced around us. “Where is the moon”? Kassie asked. “That’s weird. It’s not out tonight. Why is it so light out? It’s 8:00.” I said. We couldn’t figure it out. The clouds started to roll in. “Look. Those clouds came out of nowhere. It’s not supposed to storm tonight.” I said. We watched some more. The wind started whipping around us. “Crap! Kassie said. “I think we are trapped in a Haboob!”  I just laughed. “We totally are! Ronan is so pissed he didn’t get to start kindergarten today!” We sat at the top of our RoChurch tonight for a good 45 minutes and let the storm whip around us. No rain. Just a lot of dust and wind. We laughed. I might have cried for a second. I waited for it to calm down, so we could get off of the mountain. After the wind had settled, we got up and headed down. It was so bright, without the moon, that we didn’t need a light. So strange. We made it down the mountain and that’s when it happened. Only you could do this, for me. The second my foot touched the exact spot of where I have one of my favorite pictures in the world of you, a rain drop kissed my lip. “Kass! Did you feel that? It’s raining! It’s raining and I have this picture or Ronan, right here, in this very spot.” We both stopped and waited. It took a minute for her to feel it. But then, big, huge tears fell from the sky. But only right where we were standing. “That is so Ronan,” I said. “He always does this for me, when I need it the most.” We extended out our arms and let the big, sloppy wet tears fall on our faces. I smiled. “He’s the best.” We stayed for a few minutes and enjoyed the rest of your little storm. A sign from you that I very much needed today. Thank you, baby doll.

I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. I will try to do something dangerous for our danger day tomorrow. Fuck you 16 months.

xoxo

The summer of the Dolphins

Ronan. I’m not sure what I have written in these past few posts. I think they have been a little dark, scary, and sad though. I’m sorry. I had a better day today. I promise. I tried my best. We took your brothers for lunch and were deciding on going to the Zoo or to play football. They chose football. You would have loved it. You were missed by everyone. It still feels so strange, it just being the four of us. Not right at all. But we made the best of it that we could. After Football, your daddy and Liam went to run some errands. Quinny and I hung out here. As soon as they returned, I had a craving for Pinkberry. Quinn and I hopped in the car to drive to downtown San Diego to pick some up. As I was texting Liz to see if she wanted any, she told me to come over to the bench that she and her mom were sitting on, in front of the El Camino Pool. I parked and walked over with Quinn. Liz started to tell her mom to tell me what they had figured out about all the dolphins we have seen. Karen said no, not in front of Quinn. I sat and just watched the ocean. About 5 minutes later, Quinn spotted the dolphins. Liz started crying. Karen and I held her as the tears rolled down her cheeks. I wasn’t aware of what they had figured out, but I knew it had something to do with the dolphins, Ronan, and me. It has been a strange dolphin summer. Every time I am out by the ocean, they just appear. Liz told Karen tonight, if they appeared when I came over to sit down at the bench,she was going to freak out. They appeared and that is when she started to cry. I knew why. We all know why, Ro. It is your sign to me that you are o.k. That you are happy, playful, and loved….. wherever you are. When I tried to get out to the dolphins on my paddle board the other day, as soon as I got out into the water, they all disappeared. It was weird. The second I was coming back into shore, they appeared right behind me, where I had been moments earlier. It’s like you are telling me, you can see me, but you can’t get too close. You will see me again, but it’s not time yet. You still want me to know you are here, you will always be here until we are ready to go off in our own little world together. I cried on that bench today too with Liz. She then went home and looked up some dolphin symbolism. So beautiful.

Dolphins seen in Christian art are symbolic of resurrection. Some artists utilize the protective, stabilizing, compassionate demeanor of the dolphin as a message of wellbeing to the pure of heart. Some artistic renditions speak of dolphins transporting the spirits of the faithful to Christ’s side upon leaving their physical bodies. Also in Greece, the dolphin is a compatriot of both the god Apollo (sun) and the goddess Aphrodite (moon).This is a key understanding because the dolphin meaning is connected with themes of duality. It has to do with the dolphin being both fish and mammal. It is both of the water, and an air breather. Ergo, dolphin symbolism talks to us about “being in two worlds at once.” Poseidon (Greek), Neptune (Roman)
Themes of kingship, rulership, authority, strength, dominion, freedom, intelligence, compassion and fatherly protection over the entire kingdom (sea).
Eros (Greek), Cupid (Roman)
These gods contribute dolphin meaning of: Love, friendliness, playfulness, sensuality, desire, exploration, curiosity, attraction and joy.
Dionysus (Greek), Bacchus (Roman)
These deities underscore the dolphins ability to uplift, and carries themes of joviality, freedom, wildness, abandon, creative self-expression. The term delphi is noteworthy as the Greek word for dolphin is delphis and its derivative, delphys means womb. This incorporates more lunar and feminine attributes to the dolphin scene. In Celtic animal symbolism, the dolphin as a highly honored creature as it was seen as the protector of sacred wells and sacred water. The dolphin, to the Celtic mind, is the watcher of the waters, and the guardians of all things water-associated. Pirate lore also hails the dolphin as a symbol of protection.

From my love, LIZ::::::: I know you’ve want to see Ronan in your dreams, but I swear… these fucking dolphins, Maya. My mom said when you guys were talking by the pool yesterday, they were there the entire time. I have no doubt in my mind they are the sign you’ve been looking for. I hope you can sleep better tonight knowing that Ro is always ALWAYS by your side. Love you so much.

I do believe this. It’s happened too many times for me not to. I can’t think of one time that I have not been out by the beach and not had them be there too. At the exact same time I am. I know they don’t just hang out there all day and night. It’s a sign indeed. A beautiful sign from my baby boy. Thanks, Ro. You know I needed that, especially after my hard couple of days.

I took Quinn to Pinkberry tonight. He is my little sidekick. Stuck like glue. He is sleeping between your daddy and I with you GiGi on his head. Just like the way you used to sleep with us after you got sick. I miss watching you sleep. I miss you squeaky voice so much. I’ve got to figure out how to get through this without you, Ro. I’ve got to “flip the switch,” as my friend says. I wish it were that simple, that easy. I need a better attitude?? I need to not miss you so much?? I need to find things to occupy my time?? Are those the answers? I don’t know. I hate the unknown. It’s days like today that I am happy that I got out of bed before 9 and I did my best to play with mommy role that feels so unnatural without you. But I did it. Sucked it up and did it.

I got a random text from my little 17-year-old airplane pal. I have not heard from him in forever. He said he was having a bad day, he is lonely, and he is tired of the drama with girls. This made me smile. Not to take away anything from what he is going though at 17, but what wouldn’t I give for those problems. He told me at 17 he just wants someone to share his life with. I told him the only people he needed to be sharing his life with at 17 are his friends and figuring out what truly makes him happy. I told him it could be a lonely journey, but it will be worth it. How if you take care of yourself first, everything will just fall into place. I told him how I understood, how at 17 I felt very restless and wasn’t really sure what I wanted out of my life so I took the time to leave my town and just focus on me. I never looked back. I told him how I have learned the very hard way how precious life really is, how I will forever be destroyed because I don’t get to watch you grow up. I told him that he, Bryson, has everything, right in front of him. My advice to him was not to let the petty things get him down, to take this time and live his life for him and nobody else, travel, get out of Utah, read books, run, play sports, study, fall in love 10 different times, make mistakes, learn from them, and then make them all over again. I think he liked what I had to say as he told me that I had just made his life sound 10 times more exciting. Glad I could help:) You are a good kid, B, so you will be just fine.

OK baby boy. Ambien nights are here. I love you to the moon and back. You are my heart, my soul, my everything, forever. Nothing can take that away. Sweet dreams, I hope you are safe.

xoxo

You speak in every curling wave

 

 

 

Ronan. Today started off as good as it possibly could, without you here. We woke up and Liam, Quinn, and Layne spent the morning playing together. I put on my good mommy boots and made them all a huge breakfast. Waffles, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage…… you name it, it was on the table. I thought of you the entire time as I was making the scrambled eggs, just as you would have liked them. You used to insist that I made the best scrambled eggs ever and would only eat them if I made them for you. I loved that so much. Soon, Layne went home to get ready for the day. Your daddy took Quinn and went off to Costco and to run some errands. I stayed here with Liam and we just kind of had a lazy day. I cleaned and did a lot of laundry. I had a few things trigger a lot of tears today and I did a lot of throwing up. Your dad came home to me, a wreck, just sitting on the bed, bawling. Quinn took one look at my face and sat down with me at told me he loved me and started rubbing my back. I forced the tears to stop and got up to help them unpack the things from Costco. Your daddy and Quinn came home with my very own surfboard for me. It almost cheered me up, but I mostly just couldn’t wait to get out into the water so I could get my ass kicked. I was on a mission. Mission accomplished.

I got your brothers all ready for the beach and we headed out to meet your cousins. They had their stuff in the sand, but they were all in the pool. We set our stuff next to theirs, Liam and Quinn headed out to the pool and I grabbed my board and paddled out into the ocean. The ocean seemed as angry today as I was. The waves were ridiculously big. I didn’t care. I paddled out as far as I could, which ended up being really far. Wave after wave threw me from my board and under the water. I continued out there, to try to get past them. I got up a few times, I asked for your help. At one point as I was paddling out, I looked up and a huge wave was getting ready to come crashing down on me. I think I said, “Oh shit,” out loud and ended up flying off my board and the fin ended up hitting the back of my arm really hard. I almost thought it was sliced open, that’s how badly it hurt. Turns out, it was not…. it turned into a big welt and bruise instead. No big deal, yo. As much as it’s hurting tonight, I am choosing to ignore it because all I can do is think about you and all the pain you felt, especially towards the end of your fight. This stupid welt on my arm has nothing on you, Ro. I surfed for a couple of hours and the current ended up pushing me really far away from my starting point. Tiffany was watching from the shore and when I finally got back over to her, she said she was a little concerned that I was going to end up in Mexico. I told her I didn’t realize how far away I had gone and that I was ALMOST a little scared for my life at one point. But not really because fear doesn’t really seem to exist anymore.

After my little surfing fiasco, I went to join your brothers and cousins at the pool. They are such little fish and didn’t stop swimming in the pool and the ocean until 9 tonight. We were down at the beach for 7 hours today. We met up with your Mimi and Papa, and Uncle Larry and Aunt Joan. Tiffany and her kids too, and we grilled up a big dinner by the pool while all the kids continued to swim. It was such a sweet summer night. Of course, the only thing missing was you. Quinn ended up cutting his little thumb on something in the hot tub so we had to doctor him up. I took him into the bathroom as he was very upset about his thumb. I changed him into his warm clothes, looked at his thumb that thanks to Tiffany and her first aid kit, we had it bandaged up pretty good. He was really upset about it and I just quietly explained to him that I was sorry he was hurt but he is going to get hurt in life; it’s just part of being a kid. I talked all about you and how after all the things that you went through, that were so painful, that you hardly ever cried. I don’t know if it is a good or a bad thing to make comparisons to you and how tough you were to Quinn. But tonight, it needed to be done and it felt right so I did it. I think more than anything, he was just tired and needed some mommy love. We packed up our stuff and Liam helped me carry everything to the condo while Quinn went on and on about his thumb. As soon as we got upstairs, I put him in my bed and 15 minutes later, he was out like a light. Worn out from his day at the beach and I know sad from missing you. Liam told me last night as he was crying that he was homesick. I asked what he exactly was homesick for. He told me his bed and you. I held him and told him we were all homesick for you, but now you lived in our hearts so you will always be with us. As much as I could tell you this seemed to bring him comfort, it didn’t. It didn’t help me either. I don’t want you in my heart; I want you back here with us, where your freaking belong.

After a long day, I ended it with talking to Stacy. What a perfect way to end my night then with a phone call from her. She had a lot to tell me about meeting with the busy little bees today in regards to the event that they put on at The Biltmore for you on Friday night. I sat, cried, and listened as she told me about meeting with the girls and how amazing they are and how much love they have in their hearts for you. I am still in awe of how quickly they put on this event and how many people came out to support it. We talked about how after the summer, I would like to sit down and pour all of my energy into making this an event something we do every year for you. For others, because as I’ve said before, we have to raise awareness. I cannot believe the army of people that we already have lined up to help us with this. I don’t even know how this happened. Actually, I do. It is all you, Ronan. You are changing lives everywhere. I cannot wait to personally meet all the people who helped with this event and give them all the biggest hug from you. The passion that you have created is astounding and once again, I am so proud to be your mama and your best friend. I miss you, Ronan. I know you are here though. Thanks for the little sign tonight that comes from my Pandora. Right now, as I’m writing this, your song came on. The song that we played for you every time you were left alone in the room for your radiation. The Killers, “Human.” You are such a special little soul. G’nite best friend. Thank you for visiting your daddy so much in his dreams lately. I know you will come to be when the time is right and I can get off of this damn Ambian. Love you to the moon and back, baby.

xoxo

 

The signs and The stranger

Ronan. I had a hard day. I was missing you extra much today; if that is even possible. We woke up late as we have been doing during these lazy, beachy days. I had a phone appointment to talk to my therapist, Sarah. I walked down the boardwalk and sat on a bench to have our session. I told her how it was easier in some aspects to be here, away from home, but hard as well because of all the memories I have of you here. As I sat and talked to her, there was a little boy about your age playing in the sand right in front of me. He kept taking the sand and throwing it everywhere. So something you would have done. I sat and watched him and cried and told Sarah how much it hurts me to see things like this. How much that deserved to be you playing in the sand and throwing it everywhere. We had a good talk. We talked about how I worry about you and how much guilt comes with having you gone. Guilt for doing silly, normal things. I told her I wonder if you are watching me and can’t believe that we are all trying to do things that make us happy. I wonder if it hurts your feelings. It hurts my feelings, Ronan. I don’t like doing all the things we are doing without you. I told her as much as I would love to believe in the picture perfect world of heaven, with you dancing with angels on clouds with harps playing in the background; that I don’t. I’m having a hard time with the not knowing part. We ended our conversation much like the way friends do. She worries about me and told me to call for anything. I will talk to her next week unless I need her sooner.

After I returned back from my talk with Sarah, your Daddy took your brothers over to the Rec Center to play basketball. I crawled back into bed and slept for a couple more hours. I cried and slept and cried and slept some more. I did not want to leave my bed today. I wanted to stay in bed with your blanket and think about you. Right when I was trying to talk myself into getting out of bed, Mr. Sparkly Eyes called. I swear it is always you who tells him to call when I need a good kick in the ass. As soon as I answered he asked what was wrong. I told him, nothing, but everything. He asked if I was o.k. and then said he knows I’m not, that I’m hurting like hell. I cried for the few minutes that I talked to him but he then made me laugh by asking me if I was crying because the ocean from surfing kicked my ass yesterday. I then make some remark that it was the other way around and I kicked the ocean’s ass. He then said, “That’s my girl.” It was something so little but it made me feel better. For about 2 minutes anyway but that’s better than nothing.

Your brothers came back from basketball and were begging to go down to the pool with Jake and Carter. I said I would of course take them so we spent the afternoon down there. I absolutely love being with all 4 of those boys, Ronan. I love to watch them play and laugh and Liam and Quinn are so happy with them. I was watching them run down the boardwalk tonight and I pictured you running behind them, trying to keep up like you always did. You were always so much older than your little 3 years as you could hold your own as well as your brothers. At one point, I looked over and Carter had his arm around Quinn as they were walking together. Such a big brother thing and it made me tear up because that is so something Quinn would have done to you. You would love being here with all of your cousins. They are the sweetest kids.

After our day at the pool and brrrrrr it was freezing, we had Kenny, Stacy, Mac and Kennedy over to grill again. We all sat outside and the kids swam and we enjoyed our time together before we were all frozen solid. The 4 boys continued to jump in and out of the pool and hot tub despite the cold air. It was a good night after a hard day. Everyone is asleep now and your Daddy goes back to Phoenix tomorrow. We are going to miss him. I’ve got to figure out how to keep your brothers entertained. They are pretty easy to please so it shouldn’t be too hard:) I am lucky to be able to take such good care of them.

So, after a hard day I can tell you a few things got me though it. One being this silent auction that is going on at The Biltmore this Friday. I cannot believe all the community support and love that has come of all of this. I am in awe, speechless, and so incredibly proud of the way my son has inspired you all. This all came together in such a short amount of time and the donations and people offering to help in any way they can brings me to tears. I want to be there so badly, but I’m not sure if I can. One of the biggest reasons is emotionally I just don’t think I am ready. Ronan passed away such a short time ago and I feel as if the most important thing I need to be doing right now is just trying to mourn him, respectfully, and to take care of my twins. There is also that whole guilt thing I am dealing with. This is a totally new emotion for me, as I’ve never really felt guilty for anything in my entire life…. and I’m having a really hard time learning what to do with it. I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t feel guilty for being at this event when it feels like such a celebration for Ronan; which it should be and  I am so thankful for that. But, I, as his grieving mama, am just not ready to celebrate him in this way yet. Please know that I would love to meet all of you who are doing so much to support Ronan’s cause and there will come a time when I can mentally be in that place, but it is not now. Everything is too fresh and raw. I will be thinking of all of you though as you all have impacted my life in a huge way. I now hear all the time about how Ronan has made you review your way of life, but please know all the love and support coming from each and every one of you is changing me as well. You make me believe in the power of selfless love and what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself. You all make me believe that Ronan and I can change the world into a much more beautiful place. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this event happen all of you little busy bees out there. I just know the sky is going to be filled with the brightest stars that night.

A couple of other things that helped me though my day came in the form of some emails that I would like to share. One, I got permission to share. Her email was so sweet and I loved what she had to say. Thank you, Alicia for this. I loved hearing how your day ended. Here goes…..

Maya, Sorry to disturb your family time but I HAD to let you know what I experienced today. After a hectic day, I had to rush to pick up my girls (6 & 4 in 2 weeks) from school, rush home to get them dressed & to a reception for the team my husband coaches during his off season. We made it to the Botanical Gardens with minutes to spare. I got the kids out of the car & they took off running. Taylor (6) ran towards the venue, Ashley (3) ran straight to & through a giant mud puddle. There was mud everywhere, all over her white dress, face, hair. I was PISSED. We’re already late. Now I have to go home & change her. All that was running through my mind is how our being late would look & what people were going to say/think. I ran over to Ash & as I reached to grab her, a HUMMINGBIRD flew between us. My hand was inches from her arm & there couldn’t have been a foot of space between our chests & all of a sudden there it was. I jumped back. It hovered there for a few seconds, flew around Ash 3 times & flew off. It honestly took my breath away. I instantly though of you & Ronan & how selfish I was being. You’d do anything to have Ronan dirty some clothes & make you late. When we released the balloons for Ronan, I promised I was going to be a better mom, wife & friend. Now, here I was worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter, about people who don’t matter. I honestly believe that hummingbird was your son reminding me of that promise. With tears streaming down my face, I picked up Ash squeezed her tight & kissed her all the way back to the car. We never made it to the reception, instead we grabbed some ice cream & walked along the bay front, muddy clothes & all. Thank you, to you & Ronan for opening my eyes!

Alicia Joseph
This last email came to me tonight from a stranger but it was such a gift to me. I talked earlier about how I have been wrestling with the perfect heaven world. I swear to god, this is a sign from Ronan as my therapist, Sarah and I had a long talk about this subject today and then this email came in tonight. I cried to Sarah on the phone because I told her I’m having a hard time feeling Ronan around me. All I want is to know he is here and I’m not getting any kind of a vibe. I think right now, Ronan is trying to let me know he is here, but he is doing it through other people. Sarah had a dream about him the other night and he was smiling and waved to her. I know he is here still, I think I just have to get though this deep sadness before my mind and body will be more open to letting him in. Anyway, back to the email from the stranger that I got tonight which by the way, made me cry like a baby. Here goes….
Dear Maya:
I am just another person sucked into your blog. Yes, writing from a ridiculous unrecognizable email address.  I chose to email you privately versus posting this to your blog because I hope this message gets to you and resonates.
I lost 2 friends to cancer, sisters.  1 this past September 2010, as your baby’s fight was beginning, and her younger sister 8 years prior. Every day I ask myself how their parents go on. My friend was 38 when she passed, and her younger sister just 26. The baby and middle daughter of 3 girls.
This email is not going to ramble on about my friends but give you some brief insight on why I want to deliver this message to you. Your writing, your thought process, your profanity and your honesty reminds me so much of my dear friend and I cannot help but feel connected to you because of it.  She fought cancer for 22 years having her first diagnosis as a teenager, and bravely battling recurrence after recurrence. Her younger sister suffered for 4 years, before losing her battle.
The one thing I know my friend loathed more than anything was having others bring up comparisons of their 60 year old aunt bessie’s cancer battle, or their uncle joe’s who was 50 something, and so I do not make any comparison of their cancer, to childhood cancer, whatsoever. It would seem everyone who met her or knew her story felt compelled to discuss a friend or family members cancer fight. Enough already with it. This is your life, your reality, and your pain. There will never be any fitting comparison. Live has handed you the most cruel dreadful burden.
I am not a bible beater. This is also not a religious talk…  I get your whole dismissal of God, and though I was raised Catholic I have had so many doubts about why God would allow things like this to happen in the world.
Now that i’ve told you all of the things this email isn’t – please let me tell you what it is… I am hoping to deliver but one simple message, one which was passed onto me about “heaven” – After my friend passed away, I happened into a church where strangely enough there was a priest talking about death. Something he said, sat with me and I share it with you.
He said… heaven isn’t out there… its not up in the clouds or in some imaginary paradise. Heaven he said is a place filled with love and where you are with God. He went on to say that God is in each of us. When you lose a loved one, they are with you in the truest sense every waking hour and resting hour. I will never think of Ronan as being somewhere out there, but with you. With you Maya.
Everytime I read one of your posts about the girl from the store who said shit and caught your attention, recurring songs on your ipod, your need to run up the mountain alone to find solace, or your trip and fall on your recent run, or a flannel clad girl in the end of May who runs back and stops you in the street, I keep saying to myself… he’s there Maya, he is trying to get your attention to let you know he is right there. No one on earth has more moments of serendipity as you have since Ronan passed away.
He lives inside you, in a place where he can feel every bit of love that you could never express to him through mere words, or even actions on this earth. The place you unknowingly created for him, heaven.  Everything inside you that aches from loving him that is where he is. He is not hurting, not suffering. That priest also said that you can go so deeply into meditation that you can talk to that loved one … in the place where you truly can share your feelings, fears, unspoken words, and you will feel them communicate back with you if you get better at meditating deeply, and finding them. When you take your runs and midnight swims and you’ve beaten your body to a pulp so that your mind is sort of blank, you are getting close to that place where you can find him, at least I think you are. Its a place where you can meditate and be alone with him and ask him to talk to you. Do you think I am crazy? Perhaps.
When you worry that Ronan is out there and you cannot think he is safe or is he wandering around without you.. never never never believe that.  Ronan is trying so hard to get your attention… perhaps even through emails, postings, and blogs from random people.  Every time I read something new from you, I believe it even more. I think I have to point it out to you.
Fuck this life that you cannot kiss his sweet lips and hug him and giggle with him, or cry with him. Fuck life that you never had the chance to fight on for years even when you were prepared to. Life is wretched and miserable and I hate your families pain. FU Cancer. I am not one of these people who thinks Ronan wanted to be “with God”. When you said he wanted to be in AZ with his family. I believe that wholeheartedly. I believe that is why he is still with you. He is not about to leave. He will always be your perfect gorgeous baby boy, and I know you will always mourn and grieve his loss as long as you shall live.
For years my friend had dreams of her sister who passed away before her. The day before she died she told me that she had the most vivid dream that her sister was well, and running and laughing, and asking her to catch her and come with her. She was chasing her sister in the dream, and couldn’t catch her. Her sister told her nothing was hurting anymore.
My friend told me it was the most beautiful dream and the one she couldn’t shake because it was so real. None of her prior dreams she said had felt so real. Even the dreams that for years had her walking up with tear soaked pillows. My friend passed away the very next day. I pray those sisters are together and have no pain, and no suffering.
I am sure you are sick of cliché’s and BS. If you decide this is the biggest load of crap and you want to post it and tell others to keep this shit to themselves then I get that too.  But there is a part of me that hopes and prays you will be able to find my message makes sense to you.
When you told Ronan, to come with you and leave that place, he did it. He went with you and that is where he has stayed and where he will stay. Your soul and his will be locked together for eternity. Keep doing what you are doing. Keep writing to him, keep working towards your goal with his foundation to keep him alive, to bring hope to others, to teach everyone about undying love and devotion. You and Ronan speak to masses of people and can make a difference in this world. He has impacted more people in his short life than I could dream of in my 40 years on this earth.  I wish you so much inner peace and the ability to connect again with Ronan in a much deeper spiritual way. I hope you feel him with you, truly feel his presence. I hope he keeps giving you little signs and that you can recognize them.
-A stranger
Well dear stranger… I wish I knew who you were because your words hit me harder than anything that I have been told so far. I believe everything you just said to me and it makes absolute sense. Ronan’s heaven is with me, with his family, and even with all of you. He has left me little signs everywhere, I just didn’t know how true they were until now. The hardest part of this is not being able to physically see my baby boy anymore, not to be able to touch or hold him. I will never get over that but I have to believe his spirit is still here right next to me and someday, I will meet him on the other side. When it is my time to go. Until then, I will be sad for the rest of my life but I know that I will find a new happy as well. In the kindness of strangers, the love from my family and friends, and pushing forward to keep Ronan’s story alive so we can help other children. I want Ronan to be the voice for children with cancer everywhere. He would never give up this fight so I will do whatever it takes to support him. I couldn’t do this without all of you and I do believe the more people we have on our side, the more we are going to be able to do. So thank you again, for believing in my baby, for loving your beautiful, “perfect,” lives enough to know that Ronan deserved to have that too. And since he was robbed of it, the fact that you are all willing to continue to fight so hard for him with me says so much about the kind of people you are. I am honored to have you with us so we can continue on Ronan’s journey. I love him so much. I miss him so much. And I would give anything to have him back. Somedays, I swear I am going to just die from sadness but then I force myself to think about everything I have that is so beautiful in my life. I have to make a difference for everyone around me; not just Ronan. Liam and Quinn deserve to grow up and watch how if you live a life full of fight, passion, and love…. you can survive and do anything you want. I promise to make them proud of me too, by living our life as if Ronan is still here. By laughing about him, by talking to him, by celebrating him, by loving him forever.
Alright my sweet friends. I’m a snotty mess who needs to calm herself down. I wish tonight what I wish for every night. Blessings for all of you and sweet dreams of Ronan. He is safe… I know this now thanks to the stranger:) Tonight, I will fall asleep knowing that he is not roaming the streets of Vegas. Although, he would have made a very nice newest member of “The Wolfpack.”
G’night my sweet boy, Ronan. Tonight and every night, I’ll fall asleep with you in my heart.
xoxo

And a very special thank you to my Silent Auction Fairy Godmother. Yes, you know who you are. I’m telling you right now, that Ronan is going to watch over you everyday, for the rest of your life. Your generosity and pure love for someone you’ve never even met is unheard of in this day and age. It’s people like you that make this world such an amazing place. Thank you, my dear friend that I hope to meet someday 🙂

A change of plans

Ronan’s counts are not high enough to start chemo this week. What does this mean?? It means a lot… his surgery date will now have to be changed, as well as our flight out to New York. Trying not to stress too much… everything happens for a reason, right?? We will now get to spend Thanksgiving together as a family at our dear friends’, The Kotaliks. We will go back into the clinic on Monday to have his levels checked again. They have to be up…. we need to get his chemo started as soon as possible. I am going to relax and try to stay calm about this. Things will work out. I am going to take this as a very good sign that we were meant to all be together on Thanksgiving and I am very thankful for that alone.

On a good note, Ronan has gained 2 pounds this week! That is huge for such a little guy:) Mama has been feeding him well!!

Have a beautiful and blessed turkey day!! xoxo

P.S. I heart Tina Fey and this made me laugh.