Not a life full of beauty but one full of beautiful moments instead

Ronan. Today was one of those days where I just could not stop crying. I cried after I dropped your brothers off at school, I cried over every single Taylor Swift song that came on the C.D. I was listening to, I cried when I ran over to the mall looking for a very specific gift which I could not find, I cried when I went over to the baby girl section and tried to look at the clothes. I had a flashback to the days of when I used to ohhhh and awwww over baby girl clothes. Today, I didn’t see anything I liked and I just wanted to rip everything off of the racks. What is wrong with me? Then I remembered. Grief. Hormones. Pregnancy. Stress. Not sleeping well. Missing you. A lot is wrong with me, actually. WTF asshole mother fucker who thought I could handle all of this. All of this is way much for one person to handle. I left the mall, upset and sent my little Mandy Bee a message. “I need your help. Call me.” I told her about the gift I needed to find. She of course made a ninja plan to help me tomorrow, go and find it. She called around to a few places. Tomorrow will be better with my sidekick in tow to help out with my crisis which is actually not a crisis at all. It felt like it today.

I got a text from your Sparkly. I went down to his office. I picked up Starbucks. A coffee for him. A water for me. We shared some fruit and nuts. We sat and caught up. Our weekly little catch up that means everything to me. “Why are your eyes so red today?” He asked. Fuck, I thought to myself. I was not going to mention to him, how I had been crying most of the day but apparently my bloodshot eyes were not cooperating. “Oh, that would just be because I’ve been crying all day.” “Why so much today? Just the usual?” he asked. “Yes. Just the usual. I just miss Ronan so much, all the time, that’s all.” He knows that. He always knows that. We talked about some other things. He was proud of the advice he gave me that I listened to. I told him how he was pretty much the only person I listened to in this life anymore. He knows that too. You know what I told him today? That my life without you is full of so much pain, sadness and hurt. That all I get now are beautiful moments in life. I don’t get a life full of beauty, only moments. Those moments mean so much to me. They are like the air I breathe and I inhale them as much as I can. This is why it is so important to me, the people we surround ourselves with and the life we choose to live. The moments of utter beauty and bliss that I only feel by being with certain people. I soak them up whenever I can, as much as I can. They help me to survive this life I live now, without your sparkly eyes, little laugh and sweet lips. A life full of moments is what I am left with, Ronan. I’m afraid this is the best it is going to get. I will be thankful for those moments. I am trying my best. But I miss the days when life was always beautiful, always joyful, always full of such love and laughter. Back when you were healthy and here. Everything was so simple and so easy. I was always so thankful for what we had. It’s hard to have the all ripped away and still look on the bright side of things. Mother fucking asshole cancer. I hate you.

We went out to dinner tonight to one of our favorite restaurants, Tarbell’s. We sat, just the 4 of us and I tried to let myself relax and enjoy our dinner. This never happens for me. My mind is always wandering to where you would be sitting, what you would be eating, how beautiful your little face would have looked lit up by the flickering of the candlelight. We talked about Poppy for a while. I told your brothers once again, how I really want to name this baby girl, Poppy. They are so not cool with it. Quinn looked at me and said, “Why do you want to name her Poppy? That is basically like naming her Wooddawg.” I had to laugh at that. I told him about the story that somebody told me about the Poppy flower.

Flanders is the name of the whole western part of Belgium. It saw some of the most concentrated and bloodiest fights at the first world war .

There was complete devastation. Buildings, roads, trees and natural life is simply disappeared. Where once there were homes and farms there was now a sea of mud, a grave for the dead where the men still live and fought.

Only one other living thing survived and that was the poppy, flowering each year with the coming of the warm weather. It brought life, hope, color and reassurance to those still fighting.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
John McCrae 1915

I’ve am living in a war zone every single day. I am surviving, just like the Poppy flower. If I wasn’t sold on the name Poppy, I sure am now. Who am I kidding? I think the name is darling and it truly makes me smile. It makes me feel happy. I don’t think there is any deciding until we actually see this baby girl. Even if we name her something else, she will be called Poppy as a nickname. It is already her name, and she is not even here. Now if I can only get those brothers of yours on Team Poppy. I think you would have liked the name. I think it would have gotten the Ronan seal of approval.

This is the end of your story for tonight, baby doll . I am as always, wiped out. I’ll fall asleep quickly as I have been doing so easily lately. Only to wake up around midnight to toss and turn for the rest of the night. I kind of miss my Ambien is the devil days. The devil was kind of fun to dance with. Sometimes, I miss it. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little one.

xoxo

Ro baby takes Philidelphia and New York City

I am so happy to tell you tonight that I haven’t updated things in a few days due to a very busy, but fun weekend. It’s the first time that I can remember since before Ronan was diagnosed with cancer, that things around here felt very normal. We spent the weekend hanging out at home, enjoying family time. Woody and I snuck out for a date on Saturday night while Auntie Karen and Olivia watched the boys.’ We had an amazing dinner at Tarbell’s even though I ended up crying a bit in the middle of a conversation between Woody and myself. I tried my hardest to just be a normal couple on a Saturday night…. but the harder I try, the harder things become. We will never be that normal couple again. It’s just not in the cards for us anymore. Everything has changed; nothing is the same.  Not even a Saturday night date will be like the old days. Maybe it is for the better…. because I am so much more aware of the reality of the world around me. But it still stings. I now sit in restaurants and watch the people around me and wonder if they have the sadness in their lives that I do, but in a different form. Or maybe they are lucky enough to be blissfully happy. I know that the world is full of sadness, but as I sat at dinner with Woody, the feeling of complete aloneness washed over me. I sat and thought things like, I bet their baby doesn’t have cancer, or I bet their Grandbabies are totally healthy….Then the guilt washes over me for having these thoughts…. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I was once blissfully happy but also blinded by ignorance. Now, I truly know the meaning of ignorance is bliss. What a bullshit way to find that out.

On Sunday I met Fernanda at Hava Java for some coffee. I love that when I was on the phone with Tricia right before Fernanda picked me up and I told Trish how I was going for coffee, Trish goes, “What part of the world is Fernanda saving today?” So adorable. I told her she was saving me:) We sat and had our coffee and she helped me write down all of my questions for the doctors at Chop. We talked about my upcoming week, but the thing I enjoyed most was listening to my new friend talk about the things in her world. Her kids, her funny family stories, the things she’s done in her life. One of the biggest gifts of all of this has been getting to know this beautiful woman. Through this crises, comes the gift of her. I will be thankful for the rest of my life for all the beauty that has shown it’s colors during the darkest time. Fernanda is one of the most colorful things that I have ever seen in my life. I so need color now. This black and white stuff is getting a bit dull and scary. Life is not black and white, Ronan is not black and white, and I wish the doctors in this world would start thinking this way too. I’m about to take all the crayons out of Ronan’s Crayola box and scribble up and down all of their stupid papers and statistics. They do not know my Ro baby.

Woody and I also spent the weekend figuring out our plan for the week. Since Ronan’s ANC counts don’t seem to be dropping and he looks great, we decided to take him out to Philadelphia to Chop. Ro and I are flying out tomorrow morning on a Corporate Angels flight. Woody has a court appearance he cannot miss, so he will be flying out tomorrow late afternoon. We are meeting Dr. Mosse on Wednesday to go over our list of questions with her and to just get another opinion and feel for the place. We decided since we were going to be in Philly, that on Wednesday we would take the train to New York and meet with Dr. Kusher at Sloan Kettering on Thursday. We will fly home Thursday night. It’s going to be a whirlwind of a trip, but one that we both feel is necessary. We have to be prepared as much as possible for what we have ahead of us. Arming ourselves with as much knowledge as possible will only help us decide on what path to take for Ronan. I think we both know in our hearts; but we are keeping our minds as open as possible.

Today, Ronan and I headed to the clinic to have his levels checked. Dr. Eshun thought he looked great and saw no need to transfuse him. Ronan was so excited about not having to get blood, he practically skipped out of the clinic office and to our car. We went home and played out in our backyard and got everything ready for our trip. Liam and Quinn came home soon after and their cousins, Luke and Lily came over to play for a couple of hours. It’s always a treat to have them spend time with us. Ronan especially loves it. It was a good way to get him ready for his upcoming travels. He is a little sad about having to leave Liam and Quinn behind once again. He’s not the only one. I wish they could come on these trips with us but I understand how important stability is in their lives right now. I also understand how important it is to be able to just focus on Ronan, the doctors and get the job done. I cannot wait to get back home to them already though. So glad we will have the weekend together. Ronan is set to start his 8th cycle of Chemo March 14th. Hopefully we will stay hospital free until then. It would be so nice to continue to be at home. There is no place he would rather be.

Woody said to me tonight, “Aren’t these supposed to be the happiest times of our lives?” How do you even respond to that?? I just nodded my head and gave him the best smile I could, which wasn’t much. Fucking cancer. Thanks for robbing all of us of this precious time in life. I HATE YOU.

Hope you all have been well. Wishing you a night full of sweet dreams. Happy Birthday to my Little M today too. I hope you go my message and are having a wonderful time in NYC. I miss you so much and can’t wait to celebrate you when we both get back from our trip and things settle down as much as possible. I love you, Marisa <3

Safe travels for us tomorrow! It’s going to be a very busy next few days!! G’nite friends!!

xoxo


A warning sign
I missed the good part then I realized
I started looking and the bubble burst
I started looking for excuses

Come on in
I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
I started looking for a warning sign

When the truth is, I miss you
Yeah the truth is, that I miss you, so

A warning sign
You came back to haunt me and I realized
That you were an island and I passed you by
And you were an island to discover

Come on in
I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
That I started looking for a warning sign

When the truth is, I miss you
Yeah the truth is, that I miss you so
And I’m tired I should not have let you go

Ooooooooooooooooo

So I crawl back into your open arms
Yes I crawl back into your open arms
And I crawl back into your open arms
Yes I crawl back into your open arms

Truest intentions, purest of hearts

I need to get my shit together today. My house looks like a bomb went off in it, I can’t stop crying, and I think I just picked my nightgown up off the floor and beat the crap out of my bedroom wall with it. Don’t worry. Ronan didn’t see this… he was playing in the other room. He did hold me though, while I cried in his lap. He patted my head and held me. I needed to let some things go today, and I did. Everyday is so different from the next. I never know waking up what the day will consist of, how I will feel, or how Ronan is going to act. The inconsistency in my life makes me nervous and anxious. Today, I have had a pit in my stomach the entire day and I can’t seem to get rid of it. The reality that surrounds us is overwhelming at times. Thank god for good friends who I can call on. My friend, Gay, called me right when I needed her most. My friend, Pamela White (who has been a GODSEND) let me vent and gave me advice…. Little Jack’s mom, Laurie, always puts me at ease. Just hearing her voice and the updates on Jackers helps me get though the days. To people who are walking to the end of the earth and back for us, to the people who refuse to let go of my hand, to the people bringing dinners and helping with Liam and Quinn, to the people who know just how to make me smile…. Please know how thankful I am for you. The fact that you are walking though this with us and supporting us so much, means the world to our family. We are so lucky and thankful for all of you. It speaks volumes about the kind of people you are in the way you choose to live your life and I will FOREVER be thankful, humbled, and amazed<3 You all have changed my life and the way I view the beauty of family, friends, and strangers. You have taught me to question everything and accept nothing but the best for me and my family.

Last night I went out for dinner with 3 of my dearest friends. I was able to let go a little bit and live in the moment surrounded by strength and love. I went to the best restaurant in town, Tarbell’s, with my friends, Niki, Jen, and Lindsey. The place was packed, food was amazing as always, and the service was above and beyond. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I was with the bosses wife;) I sat with my 3 darlings, for 3 hours. We shut the place down and I left there feeling extremely blessed to have spent the evening surrounded by those 3 incredible women. They are more than friends to me; they are my sisters. I would trust them with my life and the life of my children. They are the type of friends who would never let me down or let me fall without picking me back up. I need them more than ever at this time in my life. I get that I am asking a lot from my friends right now…. but my true friends, are the one’s I have to ask nothing of; they just give and do because  they have the inner strength to see me through this. Their intentions are true and pure… there is no bullshit or superficialness. I worship them and if the tables were turned, I would be there for them in a heartbeat. They know this of me… they get the bigger picture of all of this.

Once Liam and Quinn got home I put everything that has been going on inside my head, on hold. I made them a snack, took them for shaved ice, and we went outside and played in the backyard for 2 hours. We took every ball in our house and put it in our big, grassy yard and played soccer and dodgeball. Ronan had a BLAST. He ran, kicked and threw his balls for an hour straight. The strength and power that boy has when it comes to anything physical is insane. He is so coordinated and fast. We took a bunch of glow sticks when it got dark and shaped them into frisbees and threw them up in the air and at each other. It was an evening full of laughing and playing. Woody came home, scarfed down some dinner (thanks Jules) and took Liam and Quinn over to The Village for basketball practice. My poor, tired, husband. He worked so hard today.. and I can tell he is exhausted. But he will never let us down or complain about anything. He came home with a smile on his face and a big kiss for me and off to practice they went. Love that man.

I feel like a kept woman with Ronan. Seriously. The little man decides my every move. I’ve got to get some control back with him. My sweet Sarah, whom Ronan LOVES… came over to peel me off my floor today. Ronan threw a fit about having her here. I can’t win. I need help, want help, ask for help…. but Ronan is so territorial of “his house.” He wants nothing to do with visitors and ends up slamming doors and screaming in his room the entire time someone is here. And Sarah is like family to us. He let her stay for a little bit after I bribed him with a toy and we played Star Wars with him. Sarah took over with the playing and I was able to get a few things done around here. Then we “locked” Sarah in the laundry room (that was the only way he would let her stay) so she could fold my laundry. Sarah the Saint. She has been so helpful to me and I know she would do whatever I needed her to, if Ronan would just relax a little. I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done before we check into the hospital for Round 4 of chemo on Monday. Tomorrow, we go to the clinic and I am hoping to help in Liam and Quinn’s classroom for their Halloween party. That leaves me Friday to get everything done. The weekends are usually pretty busy around here and I don’t want to spend my time getting caught up when I could be spending it with my boys.

So tired tonight… but one last thought….All of his kisses mean that much more. Every smile, laugh, hug, I love you, that come from Ronan, wash away all of the sadness and anger that I feel… for a few moments. It doesn’t last long, but it is oh so sweet.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Dr Seuss (Thanks Dana)