Somedays, the littlest things are too much

 

 

Ronan. Tonight, I am sad. As in, really, really, really, sad. I suppose that was bound to happen, after the build up of the marathon, the actual marathon itself, and now it’s over. I am sad, every single day, but today I just miss you so freaking much. I had a quiet day. Those are the days when I miss you the most, because if you were here, there would have been nothing quiet about my day. I hung out at the beach with your brothers and cousins for part of the afternoon. That pretty much sucked. For as much as I love seeing Liam and Quinn, soak up every single thing that they should be, it still feels wrong to me. I am still constantly still looking for you, over my shoulder. Doing normal things, is still not easy and it still stings. Today, I tried to get lost in the ocean for a bit, on my surf board. Not even that could wash away my pain today. I stayed out only for about 40 minuets. The waves were big and I  kept getting tossed underneath the water, again and again. At one point, I got tossed so hard underneath the water that I thought I might drown; but then I remembered I was wearing my wetsuit. I may have hoped to drown for a few seconds, but my headed popped up above the surface of the water where I could breathe again. Lucky, aren’t I?

After our afternoon at the beach, I brought your brothers back up to our place. I played the role of the best mama ever. I made them dinner, sat and ate with them, did laundry, cleaned up, watched a movie with them, and tucked them both away in sleep, in bed with me. The big huge gaping hole in my heart won’t go away, today. The lump in my throat, won’t go away today. The alligator tears, are never-ending, tonight. Somedays, I get tired of being so strong. Somedays, the screaming questions of why, why, why, are unbearable. Somedays, I get tired of hearing how our story has made people, better people. Somedays, it stings to hear how much of a better mama or daddy people are, because of us. They all get to tuck their kids in at night. I do not. I will not, ever again. Where is my prize? I just want you.

I’m sad tonight, so I’m going to end this now. But I’ll leave this sad little post, with something sweet down below. A little slide show of how I got though May, how I ran a marathon, without training, and how I will continue to get through this life without you physically here with me. With the help of a lot of a lot of inspiring people out there, who remind me that I am strong, even when I think I am not.

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

xoxo

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Oh Ro….. what am I going to do without you??

JUNE 9th……………………..

Ronan. It’s almost been two months. Two months since you left me. How is this possible? It makes my head spin. It’s 1:30 in the morning…… 3:30 a.m. will be here soon. That’s around when you took your last breath. When I kissed your lips and whispered in your ear to come with me so we could get out of this place. I still can’t believe all this has happened. How my worst nightmare, really came true. I was so sure you would get better. You were going to beat all of the awful statistics and live to be a normal, healthy boy. You were so strong, so brave, and so proud. I remember how the day before you passed away and you weren’t really going to the bathroom anymore. I kept trying to get you to go. Finally, you told me in your squeaky little voice that you needed to pee. You didn’t want to go in the urinal right by your bed, you made me carry you to the toilet even though you were in so much pain that it hurt for me to even pick you up. I carried you to the bathroom and set you down on the toilet. Your little body was so skinny and frail that it took my breath away. But you were so proud. Too proud to do the easy thing and just use the potty by your bed. You always hated that thing. You held your chin high as cancer tried to take away your dignity. It never won. Cancer may have taken your life, but it never took away your pride. It would have been such an easy thing to give up and I don’t know that I know many souls in this world that would have put up such a fight like you did. I feel so privileged to be your mommy, Ro. You are so amazing in every way.

New York Miss Macy left today. Everyone was sad to see her go. Quinn and I took Olivia with us for the day as he wanted to go to a movie. We ended up seeing, “Turtle: The Incredible Journey. It was all about a little Loggerhead turtle and her journey in life. Her purpose, which ends up being to travel the paths of her ancestors, only to return home 25 years later to give birth to her offspring while fighting every odd stacked against her along the way. Only 1 in 10,000 turtles survive this journey. Throughout the movie, I felt as though the turtles journey is similar to mine. It may sound weird, but so many things that happened in this movie made me feel so vulnerable and struck such a chord. It started with the fact that these babies are buried alive after they hatch out of their shell and it takes 3 days for them to dig themselves out of the sand. Yup. I know a little something about feeling like you are buried alive just like you, little turtle. The baby, who is the size of a small child’s hand, has to leave the beach for it’s new world of the dangerous ocean. Many of them do not make it due to being eaten by crabs, birds, or the oceans waves are just too tough for them. The Loggerhead turtle, has one of the most difficult and longest migratory patterns of any marine animal. It reminds me of a bereaved mother. After you lose a child, it is almost like you are born again and thrust out into this cruel, cruel world. You are expected to survive it by everyone, you are expected to do as others think they would do, but the truth of it is….. we are all different and will follow our own instincts to hopefully return to our place of peacefulness and our home once again, when we are ready to go there. Just like the loggerhead turtle.

It is a very long journey and the turtle has to continue to fight, without giving up. They are survivors. Just like a mom who has lost her child. A mom who is just trying her best, trying to pull herself out of bed everyday;  to do what is somewhat normal for her kids so they can have days like yesterday where one of them spends time with his very special Papa Jim, and catches his first Salmon. Where the other one, spends his day with his mama and all of her amazing “sisters.” I have not heard Quinn laugh so much since he was with Ronan, before he was sick. Do I feel weird being out and about, laughing away?Absolutely. But I am not really doing this for myself. I am doing it for my children. I want them to look back at this summer and remember being surrounded by the people who love them so much and to remember all the laughing and silly bonding time we had together. I want them to be able to see that even though I cry a lot, I can still laugh. Even though it is the saddest summer that we’ve ever had. I cannot let my children drown in their sadness like I want to. I will not have them secluded and take away any more of their childhood, any more of their innocence. They deserve to have as much normalcy as possible.

After 25 years, the Loggerhead turtle grows into a big strong turtle and is no longer afraid of the ocean. She develops a big, hard shell and very thick skin. If you have ever lost a child, this is a necessity for survival. Especially if you have decided to share your inner most thoughts and feelings though a blog for everyone to read. You really need a thick skin for that one. Luckily, I have always had thick skin so I’ve pretty much got that covered. The hard shell can be for my hard head, as I tend to be pretty stubborn, or so I’ve been told. My point being, that while watching this movie today, and seeing how many obstacles this little turtle had to overcome to survive, I was forced to think about my new life without you, Ro. It is so hard to go on, move forward, and not want to just give in and sink to the bottom of the ocean. This little turtle could have easily given up. So could I. But I keep telling myself I am a  survivor just like the turtle.

JUNE 11th……………….

Ronan. I did not finish the post above due to falling asleep. I have no idea what was written above as I don’t go back and re read the things I write. I hope it made sense. I think I remember something about a turtle…….. Everything is blurry. I don’t even know what has happened since I last wrote. Except I am still in miserable, extreme pain. My head hurts, my shoulders still hurt, my toes hurt, my heart hurts….. everything hurts. I think I managed to run 6 miles last night though. I think I have managed to get out of bed the past couple of days…. although not until at least 11. I think yesterday was the 2 month date of you being gone. I remember staying up really late the night before and crying with your daddy. I remember waking up the next morning and my head felt so heavy that I could not get out of bed. I remember talking to Mr. Sparkly Eyes and just crying in the phone and telling him how I couldn’t get out of bed, how I couldn’t believe it had been 2 months. He begged me over and over to get up and get out of bed. I told him I could not. I laid there for an hour after talking to him and I couldn’t get the sound of his voice, out of my head. If it wouldn’t have been for his words, ringing in my ear and not going away, I wouldn’t have gotten up. I made myself get up out of bed. I think we went to the beach with Auntie Karen, Liz, and Olivia. I surfed. Quinn fell asleep in the sun. Later in the evening, as we all sat there together as the sun was setting; dolphins appeared. They always do for me. Auntie Karen said it was you. It made me smile. Last night, I fell asleep really early. Well, really early for me. I remember cuddling up with Quinny and we fell asleep around 11.

Today, I didn’t get up until 11. Seems like if I don’t have a reason to get out of bed, I’m just not going to. Your daddy was up with Quinn, playing video games. I texted Liz and asked what they were doing. They said they were going to the Farmer’s Market in Hillcrest. Your daddy, Quinn and I met them there. We walked around and ate some food. I bought some humus. That and rice pudding seem to be the only thing I can keep down. Weird combo. After the Farmers Market, Auntie Karen took Quinn home with them. Your daddy and I needed some time together. We walked back to our car and held hands. It felt nice. We decided to go and see a movie. We saw, “Horrible Bosses.” We both agreed it was o.k. We had some laughs.

Lots of signs have happened the past few days. It seems as everywhere I go…. Coldplay is on the radio. I swear, I heard it 4 times in a row a couple of days ago. We always loved to listen to them together. Something else happened today. After the movie, your daddy and I walked into Nordstrom Rack as it was right by the theater. He went off to look at ties and I was looking at shorts. There was a lady right next to me and her little girl, who looked to be about 3, was playing right by me. She was hiding underneath the clothing racks which was one of your favorite things to do. I heard her mom call out her name. It caught my attention. I looked up and said, “What’s your daughter’s name?” as I was sure I had heard her wrong. She goes, “Ireland.” I just looked at her, stunned. I told her how your daddy and I had picked that name out about 9 years ago if we ever had a girl. I then had to walk off because I just started bawling. I walked around and found your daddy. A few minutes later, the little girl and mommy walked past us. I pointed her out and told him what had just happened. He seemed a little shocked too. The fact that the name is so uncommon, that this Ireland girl just happened to be in the same spot as me, the way her mom just happened to call out her name……..it kind of shook me to the core today. I can’t stop thinking about it. I wonder if it was your way of telling me that you are still here. That you are really watching over me. I think it must be. I can’t think of any other reason that would have happened today. It had to be you.

I talked to Fernanda tonight. It has been so long since I have heard her voice. She is still in Mexico. She picked up the phone and goes, “Buenas!” I squeaked, “Fernanda…. hi….” She goes, “Who is this??” I said, “Maya.” She goes, “Oh, Maya, Maya, Maya……I miss you so.” I started sobbing into the phone. I was overcome with how much I miss her and thoughts of you. We talked for a good half an hour. She has been having such a hard time, just trying to get back to her normal life. It will never exist for her again either. We talked about you. How this feels like a life sentence. How cruel it was to have you and then to have you taken away. How if she hears one more person tell her God needed another angel she is going to fucking lose it. Fuck that saying. It’s bullshit and the only people that say that, are people who have never lost a child of their own. We talked about what we are going to do once school starts up again. How she will help me find my way because nothing that I do, if not in honor of you, will make any sense. We both want to do something more with our lives than driving freaking carpool. We both feel the need to help other babies and families. I don’t know how we will do this yet, but I promise you, something will be done. She will be here on Friday. I cannot wait to wrap my arms around her. I hate being so far away from her.

Quinn is asleep next to me. We had a good night together. I talked to Liam and he will be back tomorrow night. I can’t wait to see him. We have missed him so much. I am so proud of him for going to Washington without us. He is so brave and independent. I know he has had the best time. It meant so much to Nana and Papa.

Ok my baby boy. I’m going to try to get some rest. I miss you so much. I love you, Ronan. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

And P.S. To all the people on my husband’s flight back to AZ tonight from San Diego….. you embarrass me. A family of 4 asked if anyone would switch seats with them so that the two parents could each be with one kid, so they wouldn’t have to be separated. NOBODY offered. Except Woody. My 6’6 husband gave up his aisle seat to sit in a middle for them. WTF is wrong with you people??? There should have been at least 10 people offering to give up their seats. Such little acts of kindness are things my husband has been doing his whole life. And he, the person who deserves it LEAST in this world, just had his son die of cancer. Fuck all you mean people. As my dear Charisma would say, “RUDE.” Miss you CC. Miss you Big Daddy Woo. Love you both.

A little hummingbird told me……

Ronan. You should have been here today with us. I forced myself to have a better day today. Forced myself up out of bed, out into the delicious San Diego sunshine, out on to the beach; armed with my surfboard. I knew the only way I was going to get though this day today, was by getting my ass kicked in the ocean. That’s precisely what I did. I welcomed the angry ocean with open arms as I tried my best to get up on my board; only to miss the curl of the wave over and over again. To be ripped under the water where the salt water stung my eyes and I choked on the bitter taste of the sea. Happiness. Torture. Hurt. Pain. I felt it today out there and I wish I could say it quenched my thirst for what I am missing in life now. But it didn’t. Not even close. But I knew if I didn’t get out, and try to live….. well, that’s not going to be good for anyone. And as I’ve said before, this is not just about me. As much as I selfishly wish it were sometimes. There are other people involved. Other little people whom I have to take care of.

After I surfed for a while, Quinn came out to join me. I put him on my board and pushed him out past the waves. I carried him out as far as I could go and turned him around to wait for the right wave to come. He missed the first one, and toppled under the water. We tried again and this time, he got up easily and rode the wave all the way into the shore. Liam came out as well just to splash around. We played out in the ocean for a while until your daddy pointed out the dead Sting Ray on the shore. We decided to come in after that. I hope I never meet one of those guys in the ocean. They do not look like somebody I would like to be friends with.  After the beach, we went up to the pool and enjoyed the rest of the summer day.

Your daddy had to head back to AZ tonight for the rest of the week. We went out for dinner and dropped him off at the airport. We headed back to Coronado and decided to walk to the Hotel Del for ice cream. Your brothers seem happy. It’s strange to watch just the two of them interact now and how their relationship is changing. It’s as if they have to get to know each other all over again. You were such a big part of them. It’s almost as if you were such a strong force between them, as you had such a different relationships with both of them. Everything you brought into this world was unique and special and that includes the bond you had with your brothers. We all feel lost and awkward. It’s hard to sit back and watch all of this. It was hard for me to take your brothers for ice cream at The Del tonight. I know you know this. I know you can feel me because at my saddest point tonight, as the sun was setting on our way back from ice cream, I looked up and there was a little hummingbird. Flying right in front of us. Quinn and Liam both started laughing and chased it. It kept fluttering away, but only to turn right back to us again. It landed on a tree right in front of The Shores and it stood still on a branch as we came over to look at it. It stood still for a couple of minutes and Quinn kept insisting that I take a picture of it. I took one on my iphone for him. This little hummingbird didn’t move the entire time we watched it. We finally walked away, and I told the little hummingbird, “Bye Ronan.” Your brothers said, “Bye, Ro,” as well. It was a sweet moment that reminds me as lonely, lost, and scared as I feel without you; that I am never truly alone.

I spent the rest of the night playing with your brothers. I caught up on a couple of phone calls that were way overdue. This whole “hiding,” thing of mine that I like to do, is hard on my friendships. Not hard in the way that I worry about losing my friends; because the one’s that have stuck around are in it for the long haul. Forever. It’s hard in the respect that I just truly miss them and the simpleness that our friendships used to consist of. Nothing is simple anymore. I’m complex and any illusions about life being easy or fair, has been ruined for them. It must be hard to be on the other side of this and to kind of be sitting back on the sidelines; watching. Watching and waiting because you don’t want to overstep your boundaries. I am aware of my little angels surrounding me though. I know they are all still there, and giving me time to grieve. I am so thankful for that. When the time is right, I will see my friends again and all of their beautiful smiles that I miss so much. I am forever and eternally grateful and thankful for the love of my friends. I am a very lucky girl in regards to them.

We finished up our night, just the 3 of us by watching a movie together. Your daddy will not be back here all week. I’ve got to find some things to do to keep everyone entertained and happy. I’ve got to be a mom, to your brothers, like I used to be without the help of anyone else. I haven’t really done this since you were diagnosed almost a year ago. It’s going to be a challenge to say the least. The things that used to come so effortlessly to me, are now the most difficult. Being a mom. Being a wife. Just being Maya. Adios to that Maya. She no longer exists. I don’t know who I am without you. I hope to find my way back someday, but as of now, I am completely lost. At the end of the day, I am just happy that I am one day closer to being reunited with you. I miss you so much.

That’s all tonight my baby doll. I’ve given up on this trying to sleep without the help of my Ambien experiment as well. The pain of having to survive the nights of not sleeping, but instead lying in bed and feeling as if every part of me is burning with pain is not something I am capable of handling. Bring on the Ambien.

I love you. To the moon and back forever and ever. Sweet dreams, my love. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Little seal

 

Ronan. Your birthday. Daddy’s birthday. Liam and Quinn’s Birthday. Next up…. Father’s Day. Tomorrow. It’s hard enough having you gone, but having these “celebrations,” without you is unbearable. Tomorrow, I will somehow manage to get myself out of bed, somehow manage to go on about the day, somehow I will let your daddy know how much you love him. I will love him for you tomorrow. I can’t believe he has to be without you, so soon on fucking Father’s Day. No.No.No.No.No. This still can’t be true. I’ve managed to get through these days without you, but I do not want tomorrow to come. I wish we could all sleep right through it and wake up on Monday. Can’t we just skip over Father’s Day tomorrow?? I’m tired of these celebrations so soon after having you gone. Talk about ripping a band-aid off of an open wound. It’s all happening way too soon. I’m so sorry for your daddy. I’m so sorry that you can’t be with us tomorrow. I would give anything to change this, Ro. I know you know that.

We spent today at the pool and the beach with Laura, Kasey, Cameron, and Baby Chase. It was a gorgeous day out. I went surfing for a couple of hours. The Coronado beach was full of seaweed today. I was literally paddling my board out to get past the waves and my hands were full of seaweed after each stroke that I took. I didn’t mind though; it was so gross and unlike anything I have ever experienced before that it made me laugh. The waves were small today but it was good for me as I am still learning how to get the hang of this whole surfing thing. I stood up a lot which also made me smile. After I had been out for about an hour, I came back in to warm up. As I was laying on my towel, I heard some guys in the group of people next to me talking about how they were out boogie boarding and a little seal was out there with them. I, of course, thought of you. I wished I had seen this little seal today but just hearing them talk about it made me smile and cry all at the same time. You are my little seal. Your name always fit you so perfectly and you always reminded me of one with your playful ways. Even more so after you got cancer with your beautifully bald head and enormous seal eyes. Was that you today, watching over me without me even knowing you were so close by? I think it was. Thanks for keeping me safe. Next time, I’ll look for you.

After our beachy day, Laura and I ran some errands and your daddy and Kasey got the food ready to grill down by the pool. They cooked up a feast and we spent the evening eating and watching the kids run around and play. Liam and Quinn are so good with the little one’s. They were both so meant to be big brothers. I am so sad that they don’t have that anymore. They were always so good to you and loved you so much. My heart breaks for them almost more than it does mine. Watching them these past few days with Cameron and Chase has been beautiful and sad. They were meant to be big brothers in life. They were meant to be your big brothers. I’ll never understand this, Ro. Never. I’ll never understand why you had to be taken away from us. Such a cruel, cruel reality.

How am I going to get through tomorrow? How am I going to be strong enough to get your daddy through it? I’m about ready to start banning all holidays from now on except Halloween, which was your favorite. If I had my way from now on we’d only celebrate Halloween, and Birthdays. Everything else seems stupid and pointless. But so does everything without you. I’m sorry I’m being such a Debbie Downer tonight. My heart hurts and I don’t know what to do or how this is ever going to get better. I just miss you so very much. I’m going to go now, Ro. I’m too sad to write anymore tonight. I love you to the moon and back baby. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

Chase and Quinn. Look how happy Quinn looks. He loved being your big brother so much, Ro.

Dear overly concerned blog reader

I read your long comment today. I thought about it a lot. I just want to clear up a couple of things. First of all, a lot of the things I write, I write during the middle of the night, when I cannot sleep and my feelings come flooding out and rightfully so. I write without much thought, but with feeling instead. I understand how this may be misconstrued and sometimes I may be overly dramatic, but my feelings are always honest and true. The whole “no fear,” thing that has gotten a lot of people pretty concerned, is nothing to be worried about. I promise you all, I will not be jumping off the Coronado Bridge anytime soon. Am I less scared of things in life now that I have just lost my son? Absolutely. It would be one thing if I was shooting up heroin in the streets of a back alley, playing chicken with a train or even skydiving…. but come on peeps… I don’t even drink wine. I’m channeling my fear into doing things like surfing, which I’ve wanted to try my entire life, but was always too scared to. My running at night… what a stupid thing to be scared of before all of this. I’m always aware of my surroundings and it just happens to be at night when I am my most restless and taking my energy out on the pavement is my way of keeping myself in check. The living without fear thing anymore is coming more from a place of not being afraid to speak up, trying new things, and living a life that is worth living by putting fear aside and living with passion; as you never know when your time will be up. It is not about hurting myself, but more about pushing myself to be the best version of myself that I can be. To do that, a big part comes of letting go of fear. I am sorry if my posts sometimes get a little too dark, but darkness is a part of my life right now. I hope it won’t be forever, but it is here and as long as it is, I’m going to deal with it and not sweep it under the rug. I am hurt and I am sad. But I also have a conscious and a little chip programmed in the back of my head that tells me that I cannot get too crazy, because I have a family to live for. You know when you can all become officially concerned?? When I stop writing. When I stop speaking the truth. When I stop running and being active. When I stop being a mom. When I start doing every drug known to mankind and when I lock myself in my room and don’t come out for days. I just watched my son die and I did none of the things above. I’m pretty sure that I’ve hit the all time low that I’m going to hit and none of those things happened. So, overly concerned reader. You can relax. I am not going to let anything happen to Liam and Quinn’s mommy. This mommy was a mommy first to those to boys and I plan on staying that way.

I understand where you are coming from, but I can’t say I agree with much of it. There was a lot of judgement in your comment and you know I am not a huge fan of that. The fact of the matter is, you are just a reader. You don’t know me, my life, my family, and what goes on in our lives every second of the day. You are making judgements from an outsider looking in, by a blog that I am putting out there and that’s not fair. But it’s to be expected. It is my choice to write this blog, and I know judgements are everywhere and I’m o.k. with that. I am secure enough within myself to handle the daggers thrown my way. Are the things you said something that I would ever say to a stranger whom just lost their son? No way. Have you lost a child?? I am thinking not. You said you have lost loved one’s before, but I’m sensing not a child. That is like comparing apples to oranges and it has no relevance to a bereaved mother. Something in particular you said, was really out of line. You are putting words into my mouth and that is not o.k. with me. This was your lovely line: “you make it sound very clear that Ronan was your favorite child, and Liam and Quinn are being forced to live in his shadow. i dread the day they read your blog for themselves, because as much as you do love them – and it is clear you love them dearly – you state flat out that Ronan was your soulmate, your best friend, your partner in crime, your *everything*.”

So, lady….Wow. I’m not sure where to even start with this one. All I know is that I had no idea that I wasn’t allowed in my life to have all 3 of my children be my favorites, all three of them be my soul mates, all three of them, my everything. Because they are. If this had be Liam or Quinn, I would be feeling the same things I am feeling with the loss of Ronan. I love all three of my boys equally. Do I have different bonds with them? Of course. Was my bond with Ronan deeper? Yes, as of now, it is. But I think that is just a part of life, and bonds change due to time and circumstance. If you had just spent the last 8 months, fighting for your baby’s life, 24 hours a day, there is no doubt in my mind that the bond would be deeper and stronger than anything that has ever existed. To say that Ronan was my favorite is absolutely true. But so are Liam and Quinn. I love them just as much as I love Ronan and that will never change. I owe my life to Liam and Quinn because they have saved it. They are saving me every second of the day by reminding me of why I have to get out of the bed every morning, why I have to engage and interact with people when I really don’t want to. Those two little boys and my husband are the only things healing me right now. You really shouldn’t be afraid of the day that they read this blog; because they know in their hearts the truth. They will never doubt my love for them and if anything, I hope that this teaches them about the importance of living a life that is true and real. If you knew my twins, which you don’t, you would understand that they will not be scarred for life from this. You would understand that the things that they are learning from going through this are to always be proud of who they are, and they are both so different from Ronan. We embrace and encourage them to be who they are and always have which is why they are such amazing little guys. They will never live in Ronan’s shadow because to us, Ronan will never be a shadow. He will forever be a light that burns like the sun, he will forever be the most beautiful star in the sky. He will forever be the reason that Liam and Quinn hold their heads up high, love life, help others, and embrace all the beauty that they get to experience in a day, while learning never take things for granted. He will be the one helping as we push them to try harder and to become the best human beings that they are capable of. I, as there mother, will accept whatever this may be, whatever mistakes they make, by guiding them the as best I can and letting them learn by just loving them unconditionally.

I don’t re read what I write, but I don’t remember ever writing anything about telling the twins that they cannot express their fear. Am I missing something? If anything, I am pushing them to talk about their fear and whatever else they are feeling during the day. We spend a lot of the day talking about how they are feeling, what they are feeling, and I am teaching them that everything they are feeling, is normal and natural due to what we have just gone through. They cry when they are sad, laugh when they are happy, and are for the most part, are just trying to be little boys who are smothered with all the love in the world. Yesterday, when they were complaining about being cold in the ocean, not because they were scared, I made them suck it up and continue on. And I am so glad I did because you should have seen the waves they stared to ride and what a good time they ended up having. For just losing their brother, they are as happy as they can possibly be. They smile, laugh, fight, cry…. they do all the normal things that 8 years olds should be doing and Woody and I deal with it all by keeping our minds open and rules in place. We are taking this time at the beach to completely engulf ourself with each other. I feel like this is the best medicine. Not to shove therapy down their throats. What would you do? Keep them in Arizona all summer, throw them in a ton of therapy, all while they get to be reminded every second of the day that Ronan just died? No thanks, lady. I met with someone from New Hope in Phoenix who deals with grieving families for a living. She is very well-respected, educated, and this is what she does everyday and she has been doing it for a very long time. She loved the idea of us getting away together as a family, to take this time to heal, and to come back after the summer and start something together; as a family. She thought that was the best idea for us and I couldn’t agree more. This is our choice, not yours. This is working for us and as much as I may sound like I am not healing, I am. I have said before that I am broken into a million little pieces. But each day I can feel a piece being put back together and I believe a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are here, together.

As far as me calling you names for stating your opinions, that’s not going to happen. I don’t know you, so that would be totally unfair. I’ll just tell you to stick it where the sun don’t shine instead. Don’t even get me started on the not telling Liam and Quinn that Ronan is watching over them. What the hell is scary about that? If anything, while they are going through life, making mistakes and causing trouble.. if they choose to do so…. they will think of Ronan and know he would be laughing with them and right there by their sides. I am not going to turn this into a “OHHHH, you’d better not do anything wrong because Ronan “The Watcher,” will be there and he see’s everything you do.” Um, no. That is just creepy. I don’t think I’ve ever told them that Ro is up in heaven, looking down on them. It’s just been more of a Ronan is always with us, even though he’s not kind of a thing. He will forever be a part of our family and we intend to live with him in our hearts for the rest of our lives. They know he will be watching over them though. Guiding them, keeping them from harm, because now, he is their guardian angel.

So, overly concerned stranger. I probably should have just ignored your comment but I just wanted to set the record straight. We are doing the best we can and the choices we are making, are ours. All I’m asking is for a little respect and I have no doubt that mistakes will be made; but such is life. This is a learning process for all of us, but we are a very strong family. We are very strong individuals. We are going to be o.k. and we are going to heal, together. As much as I write things that are hard to read, it is my truth and I will not be denied of it. As much as I say I’m not going to survive this; I know I will because I refuse to let cancer have the final say.

The last little “proof,” that I am going to be o.k…. An email from my bestie today. She knows me better than anyone and she know what her role is right now. To love me and support me the way she always has and will always do. I love you, TT.

Just wanted to send you a note this morning to tell you how much I love you. I miss you. and how much I miss Ronan. Marisa and I got to have a little dinner together last night and we talked about him for a long time. I feel like I haven’t gotten to talk about him with people as much, they are scared to talk about it. But not me and Ris, it felt good and made us happy to remember. We talked about him as a baby, how he was a little devil, how he was the most beautiful baby we’ve ever seen and mostly how we still feel him around all the time. Marisa says she sees him in so many things that are beautiful, everyday. I told her about the hummingbird and how I don’t normally believe that but I couldn’t help it this time. I’m sending you a big hug and letting you know my heart is with you every second of the day. I’m thinking about you and Woody and the boys. I am with you in the no fear living…nothing will ever be the same. You are doing an amazing job, getting out of bed and being a strong mom for the boys. No one will ever question where Ronan got his fighting spirit. Continue to fight for each day , for him and the boys. I love you and miss you more than you know.

To everyone else who is concerned or worried. Thank you. Thank you for being worried and for good reason. But that you for doing it in such a way that you make me feel loved and not judged. Thank you for saying the right words, even when you say nothing at all and for respecting my space. I love you all so much. G’nite to you all. Sweet dreams. G’nite Ro baby. I missed you today. I missed you every second of today like I will do everyday for the rest of this long life without you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Just you and me

Ronan. Just another day without you. I wish I could tell you that I am o.k. But, I’m not. I’m just sad. I’m swimming in a sea of sadness and am barely staying afloat. This morning, I took your brothers to surf camp. I sat and watched them for the 3 hours and pushed them as they both complained about the ocean being too cold, etc….. I was the mean mommy that told them to suck it up. My tolerance for their complaining today was at an all time low. At one point, Quinn came in and didn’t want to go back into the ocean. He wanted to stop surfing for the day. I brought up you and how hard you fought for every second of your life. I talked to him about life and how important it is to not give up and to keep fighting. I told him how you would give anything to be living still and if you were having a hard time at something, that you would have never have given up. But life is not fair and now you don’t get to run around, never taking no for an answer, all while pushing every limit, every boundary that came your way. You were just born different from most people, Ronan. Your daddy and I say it all the time. You had a fire and such strength in your soul. That’s  why we were so convinced that you would beat your stupid fucking cancer. I’ve never met a boy stronger than you and I still can’t believe that everything ended so quickly.

After my “get your ass back into the water,” pep talk….. but in a much nicer way, Quinn finished up his class. I don’t know if I’m pushing too hard, but that’s just the way it goes. Your brothers need to learn a little something about fighting to become the best people they can be. To appreciate everything that they are able to do. To never take a second of life for granted. I have no tolerance for whining and complaining anymore. I know what it’s like to watch a little boy go through treatments for cancer and how you never once complained about anything. Except for missing your brothers and just wanting to be home. Complaining about things in our life now just won’t exist anymore, unless it has to do with missing you. That’s the only thing any of us should every complain about. Anything else can be fixed, problem solved, or worked through.

After the boys’ surf lesson, we hit up the hot tub and than came up for lunch. Liam crashed out for a nap, Quinn rested as well and I took my surfboard and headed out for a couple of hours. It was cold, but I welcomed the angry ocean with open arms today. It felt good to be out there and I got tossed around a bit. Coronado is a great place to learn how to surf and the quiet time out in the ocean, when I paddled past the waves to think about you, was nice. After I surfed, I came back up to the condo and hung out with your daddy and brothers. Later in the evening, we went out to our usual spot so your daddy could cook up our dinner. There were a bunch of dolphins out in the water this evening. We spotted about 5 or 6. They were so beautiful and I of  course thought of you. I was than overcome with anger and thought to myself that it was bullshit that a sign from you, had to come in the form of a dolphin. I don’t want any signs…. I just want you. Back with us, the way things should be. I tried to be happy about seeing those dolphins tonight, but it only made me sad and miss you more. You did leave me a lot of signs today, which I am thankful for. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, Ro. I love all your little signs, but it doesn’t make me miss you any less. Sometimes it hurts more.

After dinner, we came back up to the condo and although it was late…. 9:30, I headed out for my run. (sorry Mr. Sparky Eyes) I promised him I wouldn’t run late at night anymore, due to an encounter I had with some creepy man a few nights ago; but I had to go tonight. It’s the restlessness in me that never goes away. I ran 7 miles…. all the way over to the Coronado Bridge and back. It felt good, it hurt, and I of course thought about you a lot. Sometimes, when I am thinking about you, it hurts so bad that I cannot even cry. I was thinking about being at The Ryan House with you and I felt like I was going to stop breathing as I still can’t come to the realization that you are gone. I think I have Post-traumatic stress disorder. For real.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you’ve seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur soon after a major trauma, or it can be delayed for more than 6 months after the event. When it occurs soon after the trauma, it usually gets better after 3 months. However, some people have a longer-term form of PTSD, which can last for many years.

PTSD can occur at any age and can follow a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or events such as war, a prison stay, assault, domestic abuse, or rape. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in the United States may have caused PTSD in some people who were involved, in people who saw the disaster, and in people who lost relatives and friends. These kinds of events can produce stress in anyone, but not everyone develops PTSD.

The cause of PTSD is unknown, but psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved. PTSD changes the body’s response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters). Having been exposed to trauma in the past may increase the risk of PTSD.

Having good social support helps to protect against PTSD. In studies of Vietnam veterans, those with strong support systems were less likely to get PTSD than those without social support.

People with PTSD re-experience the event again and again in at least one of several ways. They may have frightening dreams and memories of the event, feel as though they are going through the experience again (flashbacks), or become upset during anniversaries of the event.

Symptoms

People with PTSD re-experience the event again and again in at least one of several ways. They may have frightening dreams and memories of the event, feel as though they are going through the experience again (flashbacks), or become upset during anniversaries of the event.

Symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories:

1. Repeated “reliving” of the event, which disturbs day-to-day activity

  • Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again
  • Recurrent distressing memories of the event
  • Repeated dreams of the event
  • Physical reactions to situations that remind you of the traumatic event

2. Avoidance

  • Emotional “numbing,” or feeling as though you don’t care about anything
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Less expression of moods
  • Staying away from places, people, or objects that remind you of the event
  • Sense of having no future

3. Arousal

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exaggerated response to things that startle you
  • Excess awareness (hypervigilance)
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Sleeping difficulties

You also might feel a sense of guilt about the event (including “survivor guilt”), and the following symptoms, which are typical ofanxiety, stress, and tension:

  • Agitation, or excitability
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling your heart beat in your chest (palpitations)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • PalenessYup. That pretty much sums me up. Except for the paleness, but that is only due to the sunny Cali weather:)

I thought about the lecture I was going to get from Mr. Sparkly Eyes about running so late at night and thought about how I would tell him that I was sorry; but fear is a word that doesn’t exist in my vocabulary anymore. I have already lived through the thing I was most scared of in my life. So now what? What else do I have to fear? Nothing. Of course, I worry about your brothers and Daddy, but when it comes to me… I just don’t give a fuck. I’m not going to live my life being scared of anything anymore because I know whatever else is thrown my way, will be nothing compared to losing you. So , I will run my runs when I want, say the things I feel, swim in the ocean at night, and not be scared. It’s actually very freeing and liberating. To live a life of not being scared of things is how all people should live, otherwise what’s the point? Before all of this, I don’t know if I would have ever taken up surfing, because I was scared of sharks. And forget about running the dark. I used to make up things in my head to be scared of. Well, I’m done with that. At 33 years old, after losing you, I’m done with fear. I’m going to live my life the way you would have lived yours. Head on, embracing every adventure and pushing the limits for the most beautiful outcomes. I will live my life this way for you, because I know as an adult, this is the way you would have grown up to be. Life would have been scared of you.

I came home to your daddy and brothers watching a movie and soon Quinn was ready for bed. We came into our room and as soon as we turned on the T.V. guess what was on, Ro. “Zombieland.” One of our very favorite movies that we used to watch all the time. That’s where you got the saying, “Just you and me,” from. Another one of your little signs. That was one of our favorite things to do in the hospital was watch that movie on your iPad. Quinn watched it for the first time tonight and laughed a lot. It’s a little mature for him, but he has had so much of his innocence taken away that I let him watch it anyway. We cuddled up and watched it together. I held him extra tight for you.

We say goodnight to you every night. Do you hear us?? I hope you do. I’m going to say goodnight now baby. We have an early camp tomorrow again, hoping those brothers will pick up a little more passion and zest for the opportunities that they are given. I just want them to be thankful for being on this earth everyday, with 2 parents who are so broken, but are somehow managing to make this summer as good as it can possibly be. It’s a lot of work, but as a family, we have to do this. For all of us. I know it is what you would want.

I love you little man. I love you to the moon and back. As I was running tonight, I stopped and blew a kiss up to the moon and said, “I love you, Ronan.” I hope you heard me. Life is so precious and I know it doesn’t’ seem like it now, but I am not going to let it swallow me whole. I promise I will start living it again when I am ready. But ready is not now, and I don’t know when it will ever be. I need more time to pass between your death. I still cry all the time, but mostly over being with you that final night and saying goodbye to you. I still tell myself it just can’t be true. You were true and all I wanted was you. Forever. What am I supposed to do without you my little bug?? As of now, I don’t want to do anything except survive and not totally fuck up your brothers with the crazy shit that goes though my head. All I can do is be present for them and do the little things for them that I know mean so much. I will deal with them first, and myself later. I can wait. The damage done to them cannot be undone, which is why when we get back to AZ, therapy will become a big part of our lives. I have to be proactive about this and it is something we are going to have to do as a family, together.

I also forgot to tell you a funny story from last night. I took Quinn to dinner, on a date. We had finished up and we were walking out of the restaurant and there was a family of 5 sitting on the bench and standing up, smoking. I was holding on to Quinn’s had and I looked at them, straight in the eyes, and said, “Smoking causes cancer,” and kept walking. I thought Quinn was going to fall over. It’s like I have no censor anymore and he wanted to know if we were going to get into trouble for saying that. I said for what, “For speaking the truth? Ronan got cancer because he didn’t have a choice.” The fact that people in this day and age, take it upon themselves to smoke, knowing what the risks are, pisses me off. I’m sensitive to this, especially now. I wanted to say, “You should get cancer, not my 4-year-old child who didn’t do a thing wrong in this world.” You make the choice to suck on those freaking cancer sticks, then suffer the consequences. My child had to suffer for not a god damn reason at all except for bad luck. If anyone deserved to live, it was you baby. I will never stop thinking that. This whole things turned out so unbelievably wrong. For everyone involved. Everyone misses you Ronan. Even though you are gone, you are still changing lives. I promise you, a cure for this will be found before I die. I know I made you a lot of promises, but I promise to keep this one. I owe it to you and all the other little babies out there. Give me some time. Some time to mourn you, but when I feel ready….watch out cancer world. You’ve fucked with the wrong mommy and baby team. You are going to be sorry, but it will never be sorry enough for having to lose you over Ro. I will be sorry about that everyday for the rest of my life. Your fire now burns in my soul, you live with me, in my body. I know you may go away now and again, but when you want to come home, I know this is where your soul rests. I feel you all the time.

This is all for tonight my little monkey man. I love you to the moon and back a million times over. Just you and me, baby:) Sweet dreams. Go and visit some of your favorite people. Nighty Night baby boy.

xoxo

“Take away a man’s son. You’ve truly given him nothing left to lose.” Quote from Zombieland

Sunday, bloody Sunday

Ronan. Sunday has always been my least favorite day. Sundays to me are depressing, sad, and I’ve never liked them. Why should today be any different? Let’s start with the fact that I didn’t fall asleep until 6:30 a.m. I had an awful night last night of worrying about you, about life, and I couldn’t get myself to wind down. I ended up popping an Ambien at 5:30 a.m. I was being stubborn because all I wanted last night was to fall into a blissful, non medicated sleep, and dream of you. Instead, I fought off the demons that now live in my head until I could take no more. Ambien induced sleep soon came and as I was halfway between being awake and sleep, I was holding my phone looking at pictures of you. I remember falling asleep and I was touching the screen on my phone with a picture of you smiling. I swear the picture came alive and you were moving, laughing, and smiling at me. I played with your face on the screen of my phone until I finally went into my coma. I don’t remember dreaming of you at all, but I played with you before I drifted off for the next five hours. When I finally woke up, I told your daddy that we should get out and go grab a late breakfast somewhere. We headed off to some restaurant a lady on the airplane had told him about. I don’t even know where it was, except we had to leave the Island of Coronado to get there. It was a really cute restaurant, and I sat on the patio with your daddy and brothers. We all ordered breakfast and I was just sitting there, looking at home handsome your brother, Liam is. I stared at him for a few minutes and then the crying started. I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring, your daddy just looked at me and brushed them away, and I put back on my sunglasses. There was a table of people right next to us. I nicknamed them “The pretty people,” in my head. They must have been in their 30’s and they were celebrating a birthday. Their table was full of so much happiness, laugher and love. I used to know what it felt like to sit at a table like that. Not to have a care in the world and everything was so carefree and pure. Now, the table I sit at is full of tears and sadness with a reality that I never wanted, but will always be mine. I will wear these scars for the rest of my life and they will never fade, because you are missing. Because you didn’t get to be a breakfast with us today, nor will you ever be again. I pictured you with us though. You would have loved the gooey cinnamon roll Quinn and Liam had. You would have gotten the frosting everywhere and probably wiped it all over Quinn. You would have taken the pure sugar chunks they had sitting out to sweeten the tea with and chucked them across the table at one of your brothers. I would have done my best “Ronan Sean Thompson! Use your manners!” to you as I tried to scold you but I would have ended up in a fit of giggles. Your naughty ways were always my weakness. Your carefree spirit, freed my soul.

I was writing last night to Mr. Sparkly Eyes and my exact words to him were, “Ronan completed everything in my life. Everything. After I had him, I finally for the first time in my life felt complete, whole, and perfect. He tied our whole family together in a big, pretty bow.  Now what? What do you do after that is gone? Survive I guess. Float, so you don’t sink. Swim, so you don’t drown. Go on. Move forward. Continue to fight. Fight to stay alive, to get out of bed, for that glimmer of happiness that I sometimes get to feel during the day.” Those were my words last night and you know it’s my truth. I’m fighting baby. I’m fighting every second of the day to hold on to you, to me, to your brothers, to your daddy. I won’t let go no matter how much I want to give up. I won’t let you down.

After our breakfast of tears, we explored the streets a little. Walking down the sidewalk, did you see the 4 of us? I know you did. We were all walking down the sidewalk, holding hands. All of us, linked together. I turned around to find you, expecting you to be running behind us. When I realized you weren’t there, I had to let go of your daddy’s hand. I couldn’t  hold on without you. The tears burned my eyes, but the pain in my heart was worse. Everyday seems to be getting harder and harder. I did forget to tell you about something so silly that happened last night though. Something that made me happy. After the crazy ocean swimming night I had with your brothers, we all went to the hot tub. When we returned back to the condo, Quinn realized he had forgotten his flip-flops down by the pool. I took his hand and told him we could walk back to the pool to get them. We got to the pool, but it was after hours so my card that lets us in, wouldn’t work. Quinn was devastated but I tried to tell him we would come down in the morning to get them and it was no big deal. His eyes got all teary as you know what a little worry wart he is and he was upset that they would be gone in the morning. I told him there was nothing I could do, but the look on his face  told me I had no choice to somehow get into the pool and rescue his darn flip-flops. So you know what I did?? I looked around to see if there was any way I could scale the concrete wall that surrounds the pool. I told Quinn to hold my things and I somehow managed to hoist myself up and over the wall, and I landed on the other side where his flip-flops were waiting for me. You should have seen the smile on your brothers face. I smiled at that and the thought of you and how I knew you were watching me, “break the rules,” as we used to love to do. Quinn told me that I was the best mom ever and now he understands why I like to run all the time and why it’s important to me. He said it’s so I can do things like that and he bets no other mom would have done something “so cool.” It made me giggle. He’s been talking about it non-stop to me since it happened last night. Sweet boy. The smile on his face was priceless. It made my night.

I ended tonight with my late night run and a movie night on the couch with your daddy and brothers. I’m going to say goodnight now baby. My most favorite movie in the world is on, “Lost in Translation.” I’m going to try to unwind while watching it in hopes for some sleep. It’s a movie I will never get tired of, no matter how many times I see it. It’s a good way to end just another painfully hard day. I miss you so much. I hope to see you soon. Sweet dreams, my blue eyed boy. I love you.

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

 

Fuck you fucking world

Ronan. I’d guess I’d better get used to these days of not knowing how I’m going to feel and what to expect. I guess I’d better, because yesterday was so hard, that today had no choice but to be better. The Frakes came over this morning to tell us goodbye as they had to head back to Phoenix. We were all sad to see them go; we loved having them here with us. After they left, we walked into town and had some breakfast. It turned out to be a sunny and nice day over here at the beach. Liam and Quinn were so anxious to get down to the beach with your cousins. We spent about 4 hours down there today. They had so much fun boogie boarding, playing in the sand, and running back and forth from the beach to the pool. I spent most of the day in the ocean, trying to surf. The waves were small today and they were breaking really close to shore. It was still nice to be out in the ocean, alone, thinking about you. I felt peaceful out there, a feeling that I never get to feel anymore. I guess I feel closer to you when I am closer to doing things more associated with the earth and this big world. Being in the ocean makes me feel vulnerable which in turn allows for my guard to come down and I have no choice but to sit back, open up my mind, and try to push away the pain to allow myself to feel something for you other than hurt and sadness. I like this surfing thing so I think I’ll stick with it. After our afternoon at the beach, we came back up to our place and got ready to head into town for dinner. Quinn was so cute and wanted to wear his “fancy Ronan” clothes to dinner. Little Fedora hat and all. It reminded us all of you so much. You loved the way I would dress you up in with your matching hat and clothes. The entire time we were at the pizza place, all I could think about was how much you would have gobbled up all of the pizza and loved it. It was strange sitting there without you. Too quiet and Liam and Quinn are too well behaved. I was missing your mischief so much tonight. Some kid at the table next to us was screaming and crying. It was music to my ears.

After we came home from dinner, we met up with your cousin, Layne, who is just a little bit older than Liam and Quinn. We met him in the grass with his mom and sister and they all came up to drop Layne off for a sleep over. After I got them settled, I headed out for a late run. I only did 4 miles, but it was fast. I sat after my run for a long time and talked to you and looked up at the stars. I kept going back to the last couple of days before you passed away. You weren’t really talking to me anymore, but I must have asked you 50 times, where you were going. I knew you were going away, and I wanted so badly to know where you were going. Every time you I would ask you this, you would yell at me that you were going “NOWHERE!” That brings me comfort now. It makes me think you didn’t really leave me, that you are still here, right beside me. I so wondered what was happening to your little mind, what things you were seeing, and all that unknown stuff scares me so badly still. I still get sick to my stomach when I think about you having to die, to go through all of that and I couldn’t go with you. I still can’t get over that you are not mine to take care of anymore. I promised you that we were going to get you all better, I promised you so many things, and now I am left with empty promises that I didn’t get to keep to you. I know this was all out of my control, but it doesn’t stop the guilt from taking over. Your dad and I used to have the conversation all the time about how we didn’t know what we would do if anything ever happened to you or your brothers. We would go over all the crazy things that could happen, like a car accident, one of you getting hit on your bike, getting kidnapped. We NEVER thought about one of you getting cancer. It was never even on our radar because in our world, that just didn’t happen to kids. We didn’t even choose to really look the other way about it, because we were so uneducated, that it just didn’t exist. And now look, Ro. You, the most precious gift to everyone in our family, are gone. Just like that. Poof. How can this be? Were you really mine? While I was sitting at the pool today, watching the 3o kids all run around, I actually thought this to myself in my head. Were your really real? How could I have had 3 such blissful years with you and then in a heartbeat, it was all taken away? What did I do in my life to deserve this? Was it because I cried when I found out that you were not a girl, but you were a boy at our ultrasound? I think about this all the time. How fucking stupid was I? After you were born though, the whole wanting a girl thing flew out the window. People would always ask if I wanted to try for a girl and my response was that I was so happy to have my 3 boys that I couldn’t picture it any other way. You three boys were the best thing to happen to me. Having 3 boys was a dream come true. I’m so lost without you, Ro. The last few days, I remember asking you what in the world I was going to do without you. I don’t think I’ll ever figure that out. Life is broken beyond repair. But somehow, I have to hang on to the little that we have left, not for myself because I could care less about me….. but for your brothers and your Daddy. They are all that matter now. I can survive living like I’m buried alive. This is the burden I will carry with me for the rest of my life and I will do it for you. You will forever be burned into my soul and I hope someday that the sadness will fade away just a bit and I will learn how to smile without it being so fake. Because of now, every smile that comes from my face is so forced and not real. I have to smile to keep the tears from falling and there is nothing natural about my smile now. It hides all the pain that I am feeling. I can put on an o.k. show to get me through the days, but it is exhausting.

Ronan. You should be here. All 3 boys are out in the livingroom now, chatting away and watching a movie. I cannot tell you how much having your cousins around this summer is saving us. Your brothers are enjoying them so much. It’s times like these when you find out how much family truly means. We are so blessed to have them all surrounding us. It worked out perfectly that they just happened to be here at the same time we are. We are so lucky to be so loved.

Do you know what else we did tonight? After we walked home from dinner, we went past the Hotel Del where your Daddy and I got married. Quinn took a picture of us in the exact spot where we said our wedding vows. Almost 10 years ago, Ro. Who would have known our happily ever after would have ended up with us having to watch one of our children die. FUCK YOU FUCKING WORLD. Why was somebody so pissed that we did have the perfect life, because we did. And I’m not ashamed to admit it because we worked hard to make it that way, although the perfect life did come easily to us. It was all based on being a good family who loved each other so much. A mom and dad who were best friends, 3 healthy boys, no drama, no stupid nonsense like drinking, drugs, lying, cheating….. we were just so happy and content with all of our little blessings. We were so content and felt so blessed. You know your dad would tell me every other day how lucky we were. We knew this, we embraced it, and we didn’t take it for granted. I’m so angry at how you were taken away from us and now we are left with all this pain and sadness. Complete bullshit. I know you know this. You, most of all, did not deserve any of this, Ronan. I love you and I miss you and I’m scared of the person I’m going to become without you. What if I can’t do this? What if this is all too much and I just end up pushing everyone away? Because as of now, I don’t like the person that I am. I’m ignoring all of my friends…. my best friend, and your Godmom, Tricia, included. Who does this? I do. Because I hurt so much that I don’t want anyone else to have to see me suffer. I would rather do this alone but I know that is not going to get me through this. I know this, but you know how stubborn I am. You were the same way, little man. I think I just need time. Time to be alone and grieve for you by myself. You lived inside of me for 9 months and after that you really didn’t leave my side for almost 4 years. Having you just gone, I feel like I am dead too. I just need some time to slowly come back to life and my independent self knows it is going to have to be on my terms. Guess it’s the Capricorn in me. I will let you help me though. When you know I am ready, I will be waiting for you. I’ll wait for you for eternity, my love.

That is all for tonight, sweet baby boy. Please don’t leave me. Please stay by my side. I need to know you are here. I need you to help me get through this because no one else can. I love you to the moon and back, Ro. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

P.S. To all you lovelies who came out last night. Thank you so much. My post was a little angry tonight, but only because of my heart that is broken into a million pieces. I cannot even describe to you how much I miss Ronan and how shattered our world is without him. I am so thankful for you all and how many of you that love us; please know that. I am so inspired by the event last night that I really want to turn it into a yearly thing. Next year, I know we can make it even more amazing although I heard from so many people how wonderful everything was. Next year, I will be strong enough to be there and I hope you can feel in my heart how beautiful I think you all are. Thank you again, a million times over. Ronan’s story has to continue on, our love story cannot end just because he is gone. It is because of all of you, that I know we can do this. His love, his beauty and his life will continue on because of all of you and the way I know his soul will be there guiding not only me, but you as well. Ronan had so much love, fire, and fight in his heart that I cannot wait to see what becomes of him and his story. Thank you all again. I love you so very much; even the people whom I don’t even know, but cannot wait to meet. Sweet dreams my dear friends. May your dreams be peaceful and full of love.

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 🙂