There’s Beauty in the Breakdown

Ronan. Did I say that I was in solitude last post? I think I remember something like that. Grrrr…not happening. Turns out, if I really want to go into deep hiding, I’m going to have to abort cancer fighting mission. And that’s not happening. I think I wrote to you last on Monday. Your 11 months fucking shitty asshole day. The week has flown by and I’m not even sure what I’ve done. I’ve hiked every single day, since I started my Inferno Hiking Challenge. It’s kind of sort of, AWESOME. I guess that’s where I’ve done all of my quiet time/solitude. Turns out, I really may need to go to India to a Buddhist Meditation retreat to get some serious solitude time. I don’t have time for that though, so the mountain will have to do. I’ve been thinking about your birthday, a lot. More so then your death day. I have a few ideas about what we will do. I think I remember thinking on Tuesday, as I was flying down the mountain, that Tuesday was an o.k. day. It was the first day in a long time that my head didn’t feel foggy or weighed down. It was the first day in a long time that I thought to myself, alright… this is easy. You can totally do all of this. This meaning the 1 billion ideas I have roaming around my head in regards to you/childhood cancer/bigger picture/cancer is an asshole plan. The hiking and being outside with nature seems to really work for me. That and Dr. JoRo go hand in hand with saving my life. I’ve been doing alright without her here. The best that I can do. I repeat a lot of her words in my head and try to make myself be mindful of every single thing that I am feeling. She’s been checking in on me a lot and I actually went down to the MISS office on Tuesday where I sat in her office to get some shit done. Thanks, Yasaman and Kathy for letting me crash the place for a bit. I was able to be productive for a few hours and it felt nice to get some things checked off of my never-ending list.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with your brothers. They had a friend over this week to play. It was nice for all of us. I miss doing things like that with them. I miss the days when play dates ruled our world and cancer did not exist. I took them swimming and I allowed myself to get lost in a book for a bit. I never read anymore. I’m starting to do it a little more of it. I have to try for my mental well-being… I’ve been a reader since before I could freaking read. It’s always been a part of me. For as hard as it is for me now because my concentration is shot, I really want it back in my life. Your daddy asked me a couple of weeks ago if I ever thought I would start to read again. He said to me, “Remember when you used to read a book, in a day?” Yeah, I remember. I remember a lot of the things I used to love to do that I just don’t do anymore. The self-torture is never-ending around here. I don’t like to do things that make me feel good. It does not feel good to me to feel good anymore. It just comes with a ton of guilt/demons/you should not feel happy about anything because you are gone. Even the one thing that makes me feel o.k. like exercising, comes with a heavy price tag. Don’t think I’m not beating myself up on that mountain to make myself physically feel the pain because I am. I am constantly telling myself if it doesn’t hurt or I’m not puking, I’m not trying hard enough. That nothing is good enough. I couldn’t save you, so why the fuck should I save myself? I know why. UGH. For as much as I don’t want to, I do know why. I see the shreds of happiness you leave around. I feel like I am holding on to them as tightly as I can. I’m trying my hardest not to let go, Ro. I am trying.

I had a board meeting last night. It lasted almost 5 hours. It was beautiful. It was painful. They always are. Nothing beautiful in this world, comes without pain. It’s just they way life is. But once again, sitting in that room with the loveliest little souls alive, I felt blessed. And thankful. They all love you so deeply and so much, that it sometimes leaves me speechless. We talked about a lot of foundation things. We talked about your birthday and death day. At one point, I had no choice but to put my head down on the table and sob. I was trying my best to be strong, but when it comes to talking about your one year shit, there is no being strong. There is no need to be. Especially in a room full of them. I cried. I told them all how nothing seems good enough. I told them all how I have been racking my brain, just waiting for something to come to me, to honor you. But it’s not happening. This is what I have for May, Ronan. The day you died. Your birthday. Mother’s Day. The day we had your funeral. Your Daddy’s Birthday. I mean, really world. Could you throw one more thing in there for me to deal with. May is awful. May is horrific. I wish I could bypass that month all together. I know I have to get a plain in place, otherwise I’m going to be fucked. If I don’t have a plan, May will spiral out of control. Nobody can save me from May. It’s coming and there is nothing I can do about it except try to take the days that I know are going to be the hardest, and try to deal with them, head on. What choice do I have? I can’t bury myself or slit my wrists. I just won’t. I promised two very important people this. I’m not breaking my promise to either one of them. I love them too much.

Babydoll. This is all I can do tonight. It’s late. I’m tired. I have a busy day tomorrow. I have a busy day, but I’ll still get my ass up on that mountain, to have some time with you. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

Dear 11 Fucking Months. I think I hate you.

Ronan. This solitude thing… it’s alright. It’s necessary. I’m doing it as much as possible. As much as I can for still being among the living, while really being dead. That’s what I feel like lately. It’s o.k. It’s part of this process for me. For as much as I’m checking out, I am still checking in when I can with the people who love me the most. With the people who I love the most too. I’ve been spending most of the days, solo. Hiking for many hours. Trying to be mindful of the way I’m feeling and not trying to distract with busy, busy things. There is a time for that. It’s not now. Right now, it’s time to check in with myself and that’s about it. Right now is not the time for the business that usually consumes me. Thinking about the past few days I know a lot of things have gone on. I woke up this morning to an empty house due to your brothers staying the night at your Mimi and Papa’s. They were going to be gone all day long which I knew was more than I could handle… you know, the whole being home alone until the evening. I woke up and thought, “Fuck. This is not going to be a good day, if you are home until 5 or 6 tonight, in this quiet, empty house. I threw some things in a bag and headed out the door. I sent Dr. Jo a text that simply said, “Coming up there for the day to go hiking.” Up there being Sedona. Why not? It sounded like the perfect thing to do instead of a sad/lonely day at home. She told me to just come to her house when I got up there and we would go hiking, together. Even better.

I arrived around 11 to the one place that now feels like one of the safest places in the world to me. A place that fills me with solace and gratitude. The comfort of Dr. JoRo’s house and that beautiful place of Sedona that she lives. I am no fool. Without her I am quite sure I would not still be here. I’m not too proud to admit that she has pretty much saved my life. In a weird way I feel like she’s been waiting for me for a long time. Or rather, we’ve been waiting for each other. I’m quite sure we were supposed to meet in this life. Just fucking sucks it had to be this way. I’m just thankful I found her when I did because if I did not, I am sure I would be in a mental ward, doped up on 20 different drugs, because don’t you know, a pill makes everything better/go away. Fucking emotionally irresponsible bullshit that medication thing is. More on that later…

Dr. JoRo grabbed her expert friend/neighbor in all things Sedona/nature/trails to take us on a little adventure. It was a good 2 hour hike where we talked but in a quiet/respectful way. It as nice as nice can possibly feel. Much better than being at home, lifeless, in bed where everything hurts so much that I think the pain alone is actually going to kill me. We returned to her house where I gave her one last hug before she leaves for her trip to NYC. So wish I were going with her. Missing our favorite big city so much. After I left Jo’s I decided I was not ready to go home yet. I drove through Sedona to go on my own hike, with my non existent map. I found myself hiking through the trees, fighting with a lot of sticker bushes/ branches, and scaling the side of some huge rock to perch myself up on a cliff where I settled into a couple of hours of reading/writing/sitting with your blanket while the hot sun poured down on my shoulders. My own therapy for the day, I guess. I left Sedona and drove way too fast with the music blaring way too loud during the entire drive back to Phoenix. I let myself get lost in the world of Pearl Jam for a while which always makes me drive faster/miss you so much more.

I came home and your brothers were still gone. I jumped in the shower and decided I would meet Rita for a dangerous night out. We went to see “The Hunger Games.” This was totally dangerous for 3 reasons. 1) I never go to movies anymore. I have a hard time sitting still. 2) We went to some totally sketchy theatre (o.k. so not really… just downtown phoenix) 3) We went to “The Hunger Games.” A movie about kids killing kids. Or kids dying. Or if you have a dead kid, you should maybe not watch this movie. I didn’t really think about this, going into it. I didn’t really think about it until there was a scene where a little girl dies and they do such a good job making you feel it that I actually felt like I was the girl in the movie, kissing your lips for one last time and crying out like a mother who just lost her child. Feeling like the mother that I am who watched you die. I know what happens. I actually know what it really feels like in real fucking life and not just by watching it on a movie screen. Rita grabbed my hand and asked if I was o.k. I nodded yes as the hot tears slid down my cheeks. She held my hand until the scene was over and then asked if I wanted to leave. I told her no, that I was alright. I lied, but I really wanted to see the ending. It was a pretty good/entertaining in a Lord of the Flies kind of way, movie. One that I’m sure I would have loved before losing you because the reality of it would have never touched me, right? Yeah right. So we all walk through life, thinking. So thankful I don’t have that problem anymore, Ro. So thankful that I get to have you dead so I no longer know that I or anyone around me is immune to death. I fucking knew that before you. I talk to Jo a lot about how I always had a feeling that you were not going to be mine, forever. How I was never worried about you learning how to count to 100, how I never pushed education stuff on you the way I did with your brothers. I tell her I was always so happy and thankful for the exact moments we lived in. Not the next day moments. Not even the future. Just the present. Just when you were mine and I was yours in that exact second of the day. It made for the best/funnest life in the world. It made for the happiest life I’ve ever felt by just being with you. JUST BEING. There were no expectations. Everything was so pure and organic and real. It was just us and we really did whatever you wanted. You wanted to wash your trucks outside, naked, in the mud? Done. You wanted to rub your little dirty muddy hands all over our windows? Done. You wanted to spray our sliding glass doors with the hose? Totally! You wanted to color on them too? Alright! You want to stab our leather couch with a pen and make big holes in it, big deal, Ro. You were leaning/exploring/pushing boundaries the way you should have been. I was never going be the one to contain you creative mind. A mind that always seemed so much wiser than even mine. You knew what you were here to do. I truly believe that. I know you are still here, baby doll. It’s just the physical part of you that I miss so much.

Ronan. Holy shitballs I think I hate Easter. Actually, I don’t think I hate Easter, I know I hate Easter. Easter without you this year, sucked balls. And not in a good way. We didn’t celebrate Easter at all this year. We celebrated Feaster instead and it was awesome, for being not awesome. We spent the weekend hanging around the house. I cooked a Brisket and and taught your brothers about all things Passover. You cannot have a proper Feaster, without a little religion. So, we talked a lot about Passover and what it means. We went to our own church on Sunday which was in Sedona, at Oak Creek Canyon. We spent Sunday hiking, getting dirty, playing in the water and your daddy even jumped off the side of a cliff. We spent Sunday doing all things that you would have loved. I tried to have the best day possible by getting lost in the world of your brothers who seemed to have a wonderful time. I’m not going to lie. It was an exhausting day, for being as relaxing and peaceful as it was. There was not a better way for us to spend the day, but it was still brutal to spend our first/last holiday with you, without you. I was glad when the day was over and I was able to lay down and fall into my Ambien induced coma. I didn’t have a choice. Sometimes I just have all I can take during the day and fighting with my sleep last night would have thrown me over the edge. I fell into a black oblivion instead.

So, today is 11 months of fuckery. I spent it alone, on a mountain and at the car wash. I found myself at the car wash today and looking back now, as I sit here writing tonight, I can actually laugh at myself and the shit that happens to me on a daily freaking basis. Case in point, victim one today, Danny’s car wash dude.

-Danny’s car wash dude- “How was your Easter, Miss?

Me- “Shitty.”

DCWD- “Really? Why?”

Me- “Because I have a dead kid. Because my son is dead.” -insert flow of snot/tears here/dripping everywhere

DCWD- uncomfortable silence, “Ummm… what? Really? Well, um…. o.k. Well, are you o.k.? Like for real? Because you don’t seem o.k.

Me- “Oh my gosh. Um, yeah, totally o.k., I’ll really be fine.”

DCWD- “O.k… do you want your floor mats washed?”

Me- “Yeah, please. Thank you so much.”

You know what else happened? For the first time today, when some other dude at Danny’s Car Wash asked me how many kids I had, I said 2! I about threw up. I went to correct my mistake, but I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth and I did not feel like explaining myself because I knew I would end up in hysteria. So, I freaked out in my head instead and just walked away, in a daze. That’s when I was approached by the other guy and that’s when the “I had a shitty Easter and I have a dead kid,” came flying out of my mouth. I am surprised I was able to drive my car after that whole incident today. I came home, threw myself in our bed, and sobbed. Then I put on my clothes and went inferno hiking in the hot, hot heat of the day. After my inferno hike, I came home, showered and picked up your brothers from school. I took them for a snack and off to the batting cages where we practiced baseball and all things fun. I didn’t know trying to have fun, would be so freaking hard Ronan. I just want to bury my head in the sand. But I continue to keep trying, for the sake of them and nothing else. Because those little boys’ deserve to have a mom who has not checked out, for as much as I want to, I just can’t. We came home and I was so tired. I helped them with their homework and after having all I could take, I found myself in my freaking bed, once again. Crying. This time, Quinn found me. He cuddled up next to me, and asked me what was wrong. I told him I just missed you. He sat with me as I cried for a few minutes (no mom guilt here at all) and I then made myself get up. We spent the rest of the evening at Uncle Jay’s house (lifesaver) swimming, eating pizza, and watching the Suns game. Thank GOD for that Uncle Jay of yours. Your daddy joined us and this shitty 11 month day is coming to an end.

I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of all of this shit in this fucking crazy world. It truly is insane, Ronan. I cannot watch the news/read the paper because of all the things that I just cannot believe are going on. Some lady flushed her baby down a toilet. Facebook just bought Instagram for a Billion dollars. Everyone and their mothers are getting their own “reality” shows. Nothing out there, makes sense to me. It all makes me angry. None of it matters. It’s all “stuff,” getting in the way of real reality like kids dying and parents struggling to stay alive and survive. And wait… why are all these kids with cancer still dying and still being over looked? Shouldn’t this problem be getting a little better? See what happens, when I take a break? A whole lot of nothing gets done. I did hear that Mattel is going to make the bald Barbie though. I have not read the details, due to being unplugged from everything but I hope it is true.

Dr. JoRo is in NYC now. She asked for a little list of some things she could for me, during her one day off. These are the things I told her to do.

1) Run in Central Park at night. Thinking she probably will not do this.

2) Visit Sloan Kettering and kick Dr. Kushner in the balls for me. (she could totally dress up like a Ninja and do this)

3) Eat Fro Yo at 40 Carrots inside Bloomingdales. (this might be a little safer and was one of our favs)

4) Eat Pizza at Delizia’s for us. (another one of our favs)

I miss her so much already. She is not a very big fan of our favorite little city. I am doing my best to make her into a New Yorker, without being there to actually do it. Next time:)

Alright baby boy. This is all for tonight. Yes, I’m still in hiding and I have still been hiking every single day for our month of mother fucking madness. And today, I was EXTRA dangerous and did not wear sunscreen. My inner rebel was loving it. I love you. I miss you. I’m so sorry. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

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30 day challenge of mother fucking madness

 

Ronan. The 30 day yoga challenge. I have a friend who is crazy enough and actually did this. Kudos to D. She is crazy in all the best ways. And she loves her yoga. I do not love yoga. I am quite sure, if I were to try to contain myself in a calming, peaceful environment of yoga, that I would go all turrets on their asses and start freaking out/screaming/crying/puking about how I have a fucking dead kid so NOTHING is Zen, NOTHING is Ommmm and I would like to beat the bloody hell out of the Chakras that surround me. I’m pretty sure I would get kicked out of a yoga class, while offending everyone which does sound pretty badass and dangerous… so it’s a little tempting. If I didn’t respect the whole yoga thing so much, I would totally do this. But I secretly love yoga. I’m envious of those who do it, love it, and are better people because of it. I used to love it, Ronan. Before all of this. Now… I’m just not ready to go back.

I’ve come up with my own 30 day challenge, instead. I started it on Monday. It’s called Maya’s 30 day challenge of mother fucking madness. And the weather is getting hotter, which makes it even better. I spent 3 hours on Monday and 3 hours today, hiking/running/puking/crying/spitting/tripping/getting a rad tan. Skin cancer here I come!!!! I’ve decided to have 30 days of hiking for 3-5 hours a day in complete and total silence. I’ve already told your daddy, that it’s 30 days of solitude. 30 days of not talking to anyone because I’m really on a retreat to Italy/India/Indonesia like that Elizabeth Gilbert wah wah wah, my life is so bad, chick. When in reality, your life is freaking awesome lady. Plus, you got to travel to all of those places, solo, and figure your shit out. Unfortunately, I cannot do that, due to having a thing back here called 2 babes to take care of and a husband. This is my modified version of your little trip, Elizabeth Gilbert or whatever your name is. I think I totally have a one up on you though, due to having a dead kid, so kudos’ for that! One of those little silver linings in life that just makes everything o.k.! I am being sarcastic. Because I am in a pissy/sarcastic mood.

So, I started this on Monday and so far, I have not died. I have visions of dying out there though due to the heat/rattlesnakes/weird scary men that appear out of nowhere! when I am in the middle of nowhere!, alone! Rita! I freaking told you I needed a machete! You are going to be really upset if I get attacked and have nothing on me, to protect myself! I have many reasons as to why I am doing this. One being because if I don’t, I quite simply will stay barricaded up in my house, in my bed, crying. Two being because I need to be with you, Ronan. And being alone, hiking is where I feel closest to you. Three being I need the quietness in my head, or to deal with the screaming in my head by talking to Inferno Fuckwad Bob, alone. My head feels foggy. It feels less foggy when I am out, being active and dealing with this grief but in my way, the solitude way. Isolation. 30 days of intense hiking/isolation/how the fuck am I going to get through this? You’d better start figuring this out. You’d better start taking some control of some things. You’d better start because Ronan, as you told Dr. JoRo, in her dream…. “I can’t get to my mom, because she’s too angry. Tell her that, please.” She couldn’t tell me that for a while. She just told me that, last week. She has watched me struggle with this anger. I told her I was less angry and just more sad now. She decided that it was the right time, to tell me the last thing that you said to her, in her dream. FUCK. We both figured out when it is that I hide the most. It’s when I’m angry. It’s because to me, anger is shameful. It makes me feel dirty, like I need to take a shower and scrub, scrub, scrub. I’ve never been an angry person. I don’t know how to handle it. I’m pretty sure I have done/said hurtful things while being angry. I don’t want to hurt anyone so when I am feeling super angry, I hide. If I hide, I cannot hurt anyone with the stupid/mean things that may come flying out of my mouth. I’d rather just deal with my anger and take it out on myself, like on a mountain where I can beat myself up. Where I can find moments of quiet. Where I can scream, cry, bloody my knuckles and nobody has to see me. This is what I am doing, every single day until May 2nd. Plus, Dr. JoRo is freaking leaving me for 2 weeks! Um excuse me! If I don’t do this/and she is gone I am going to go bat shit crazy!

So, this is what I’m doing. I have no doubt that I will be up that mountain for hours upon hours for the next 30 days. I don’t know what I am looking for. All I know at this point is I kind of want to die but I also want to kind of stay alive. I’m just leaving it in the hands of the fates at this point. The exercise feels good to me. The not listening to music, feels good to me. The just being with my grief/sadness hurts like hell but it’s not going anywhere. I’m going to go and join it and truly join it, alone. I’m not filling my days with things/lunches/nail parties/all things I need to take a break from. I’m going to fill my days with silence/dirt/nature/barefoot hiking/blisters/cut feet/sunburns/isolation and solitude.

This is my plan. It’s not much but this is what my heart is telling me I need to do if I want to survive this next month that is coming up. Power through April and maybe it will help you to figure out May.

I’m sleepy, Ro. You would be so proud of your brothers tonight and their baseball game. They looked so great and happy. We all miss you so much. Tonight Quinn got blamed for doing something by your daddy that he says he didn’t do. I looked at him and said, “Just blame it on Ronan.” He giggled. We both yelled out, “Ronan did it!” That made us laugh even harder. And then we got sad because you weren’t here to do it, so we snuggled up together and I just held him and we quietly talked about you.

Your Sparkly said it best. Nobody deserves this. But especially not you. Especially not me. Especially not us. I told him it was you I am saddest for. You deserved so much better. You deserved so much more. You were robbed of living the most beautiful life. I am the saddest for you, always. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo