I love you on a Sunday. And all of the other days that follow.

Ronan,

They say time heals all wounds, but we know that’s not true. It’s been ten years of not having you here, and my wounds are still just as deep, and the heaviness I carry with me never goes away. I have learned to live on this earth without you, but as time goes on, life without you feels harder. You are forever with me in everything I do and everywhere I go. Take today, for example.

Poppy has been taking piano lessons for a couple of years. Her piano teacher recently retired, so she connected us with somebody new. It is a Sunday, and I am rushing your sister out the door to lessons with a new teacher. I have an idea of where we are going as I put the directions on my phone, but the location doesn’t register with me until we pull into the parking lot. Until this point, I am lost in a conversation with Poppy. She is talking non-stop in the back of the car about her theories on religion. She wants me to explain Scientology to her. I tell her I don’t know enough about it, and I need to research it a bit more before telling her the premise. She heard it’s about aliens, and she wants to know who came up with that. Mind you, she is eight, but she is eight going on 18, and I am constantly in awe of how her little mind works. As we pull into the parking lot, I feel my stomach sink. I know this place, and I used to know it well. It is the parking lot of your preschool; I feel my stomach drop. I spent a year there with you in a mom and tots class. We never got the chance to return the following school year because you got sick.

I hold Poppy’s hand as we search for the classroom where she is taking her lessons. Out of all the classrooms here, she is right across from the room where I was with you. The memories come flooding back, and I see a sixty-second movie reel of our time here together. I see your plaid shorts, your polo shirts, your mischievous smile, and the way you looked at me like I was your everything. I see you sitting in circle time. I see us reading books and playing with trucks and legos on the carpet. I see the little playground where I help you dump the sand from your tiny little shoes. I feel the tears wanting to fall from my face, but I cannot break down now. I have to meet this new teacher, so I somehow find it in me to hold on to my composure. I talk with Poppy’s teacher for a few minutes and leave Poppy with her while I make my way back to the car.

The tears are now falling, and I know there is no stopping them, so I let them continue down my face. As I am walking to my car, my mom calls. For a long time after you died, I would have ignored her phone call for one of two reasons. 1) I was ashamed of my pain. My grief. My tears. Of not being strong because, as I was told by many, strong people heal, and strong people move on. I was not doing either, and I spent many years thinking I was so fucked in the head for constantly aching for you. 2) I wanted to protect my mom from my pain, and I thought the easiest way to do so was by putting up walls and shutting her out. After a lot of therapy from Dr. Jo and a lot of self-reflection, I realized everything I had been told about grief was not only wrong but damaging to my healing.

I picked up the phone when I saw who was calling, and as soon as I said hello, my mom said, “What’s wrong, sweetheart?” She can tell from my “hello” that I am not ok. It takes me a few minutes before I can answer her because I am crying so hard. I feel horrible, knowing I am making her worry, but she sits and tries to calm me down. I am finally able to tell her where I am and what I am feeling. She talks me through things with a soothing tone and acknowledges my pain. I know she hurts so much, too, and that will forever gut me. We speak on the phone for a few more minutes, and I tell her I love her as we say goodbye. I know I have to head back to Poppy’s lesson soon, so I pull down the mirror in my car to check my appearance. I look wrecked. My face is puffy, my eyes are red, and I wonder how to explain my face to her piano teacher. It is more than evident that I have been crying. I put my face mask on and head to her classroom, telling myself I don’t need to say anything. I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my pain. Plus, awkward. I’m not ready to share Ronan’s story with a woman I just met. I thank Poppy’s teacher for the lesson and grab her tiny hand as we make our way back to the car.

“What’s wrong, mama?” asks P. Nothing gets past her, especially when it comes to me and my emotions. I consider lying to her and hiding what is going on, but then I remember, that’s not how I do life with her. I don’t keep secrets; I let her see me in my rawest, human form. I tell her what’s going on. I start to cry again. She steps up into the car, turns towards me, and wraps her arms around me.

“I love you, mommy. I remembered that Ronan went here; I knew that would make you sad. It’s ok to be sad; I’m sad, too.” I kiss her little face and tell her how much I love her. We drive home, and she proceeds to tell me about a new project she is working on at school. She knows I need a distraction from the thoughts in my head.

At home, Poppy is busy playing with her legos, and I am busy changing the boys’ bedroom sheets. My sadness is still apparent as he walks into the room. He takes one look at me and says, “Uh-oh, my darling. What’s going on?” I look at him and then down at my feet. “Nothing. I’m just having a hard day; I’m ok.” He grabs my hand. “You’re not ok. And that’s ok. Talk me through what happened because that is what we do with one another, remember? That is why we are who we are with each other.” I start to cry again, but I know my tears and pain are safe with him. He spends the next few minutes validating my words and tends to me with a cup of tea and tears of his own.

My pain is acknowledged.

My pain is valid.

My pain is safe.

My pain is nurtured.

My heart is his.

Thankful for the opportunity to continue talking about Ronan, Taylor, childhood cancer, and the horrifically hard world of bereaved parents.

https://kjzz.org/content/1737378/you-were-my-best-4-years-scottsdale-mom-reflects-taylor-swifts-rerelease-ronan?fbclid=IwAR0enkIGpunEZ1qheo1ngCebWs7VHK59S0wR3YE7pVWlQJaviWYlMFquNSk

Loving Ro was Red

Ronan,

You are unequivocally everywhere, yet you are nowhere. My eyes still wander for you while making my morning coffee as a hummingbird appears outside my window. I still spend my days chasing glimpses of you in the grocery store as a little boy who looks to be about four years old crosses my path. I search for you in the impish eyes of Quinn, the stoicism of Liam, and the mischievous giggles from Poppy. I desperately beg for you to make an appearance in my dreams, but you never do. Instead, I find myself having the most vivid dreams about things like freeing the Orcas at SeaWorld, your old Oncologists, and situations in my life that feel very unresolved or out of control. My dreams are never about you, and I still don’t understand why when you are constantly on my mind. Last night I went to bed thinking about a phone call I received earlier in the day and the email that followed. Because the email was on my mind as I drifted off to sleep, I spent most of the night dreaming about our friend, Taylor Swift. I woke up the following day in disbelief at the reality of what had occurred the day before.

“A number I don’t recognize called my phone and left me a voicemail. From somebody named Tree. I don’t have any idea who that is.” I looked up at Mr. Sparkly Eyes, and yes, his eyes still sparkle. “My darling, call the number back.” This came from the man who answers every phone call from every unknown number that rings him up. “Ok. Maybe. I’ll call back in a bit; I’m going to look through my emails first to see if I was supposed to talk to someone that I have forgotten about.” He kissed the top of my head as I got up to get to the appointment I was running late for. I did a quick search in my emails, but nothing came up from anyone named Tree. Maybe it was a newly bereaved mom I was supposed to speak to? I’ve been doing a bit of that here and there for Dr. Jo, and a couple of them I hadn’t heard back from. I decided to call back the number from my car, and a woman’s voice answered the phone.

“Hi Tree, it’s Maya Thompson returning your call.”

“Maya! I’m so happy to hear from you; I wasn’t sure if this was still your number.”

My internal dialogue was running wild. Shit! This person knows me, yet I can’t place her. I decided to give it another few seconds to see if I could figure it out.

“It’s still my number; how are things?”

“Great! Taylor has an email she wants to send you, but before she sends it, I need to make sure your email address is still the same.”

Taylor. OMG. It’s Tree. As in Taylor’s everything, Tree. That Tree! I tried to keep my composure as if Taylor contacting me was a daily occurrence. We spoke for a few more minutes as she confirmed my email address, and we said goodbye.

I pulled my car over and called my everything, my New York City, Little Rachel. She picked up, which I was so thankful for because it was the middle of the day, and I knew she was more than likely having sessions with her patients.

“Taylor’s sending me an email,” I blurted out as soon as she picked up. “What?” She squealed with excitement. “What is happening over there?” I told her the back story, and we went over the endless possibilities of what the email could potentially say. I continued refreshing my emails, but nothing new had come through. We chatted giddily for a few more minutes, and I promised to call her as soon as I heard anything. I somehow made it to my destination safely, and as I pulled in, I checked my email.

Taylor’s email was there, but I won’t be sharing her entire email publicly. She is and will always be one of the things I hold dearest to my heart, and her beautiful words will remain private. I skimmed the email. Tears sprang to my eyes. I went back and reread her words, slowly this time as I tried to comprehend what I was reading.

Let’s back up for a bit. In 2019 it became public knowledge that Taylor was being screwed over in the worst way possible by Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records and the disgusting Scooter Braun, who must be from the pits of hell. I watched from afar as her life’s work, her blood, sweat, and tears, were stolen from her by vile men because, at the end of the day, when you have an unscrupulous soul, greed is the ultimate decision-maker. You can read Taylor’s public letter below as the cliff notes to the unraveling of the painful betrayal.

“For years, I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead, I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.
Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.
Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked. Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.
This is my worst-case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term’ loyalty is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says, ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.
When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually, he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words’ Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.
Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create. Thankfully, I left my past in Scott’s hands and not my future. And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make.
I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, Lover will be out August 23.”

Sad and grossed out,
💔
Taylor

I remember reading Taylor’s words and how nauseous I felt after. I had so many sleepless nights during the next few months. I worried about Taylor’s heart. I wondered what would happen to you. You are my life’s work. You are my blood, sweat, and tears, and now somebody other than Taylor “owned” you. I vented on my social media accounts about the unfairness of it all, not knowing if anyone was listening to what I was saying. There started to be chatter on the internet of Taylor re-recording all her old albums so she could own her OWN music again, which was such a bloody smart move. Taylor soon confirmed she was going to do so. I felt so proud of her upon hearing this news, and I let the happiness of that carry me through my grief of letting our song belong to people who didn’t deserve it. ‘Ronan’ was always going to be a charity single, never attached to an album of hers. In my mind, there was no way she was going to re-record it, and I understood why. Knowing that Taylor had taken the most horrific situation and had found a way to get her art back made my wounds hurt less. I was just thankful she had done the most incredible thing for us in the first place. That was more than enough. It was always going to be more than enough, and I had let go of wishing it could be any other way.

Now back to a part of her email that I received.

“I’ve recently completed the re-recording of my 4th album, Red. It’s really exceeded my expectations in so many ways, and one of those ways is that I thought it would be appropriate to add ‘Ronan’ to this album. Red was an album of heartbreak and healing, of rage and rawness, of tragedy and trauma, and of the loss of an imagined future alongside someone. I wrote Ronan while I was making Red and discovered your story as you so honestly and devastatingly told it. My genuine hope is that you’ll agree with me that this song should be included on this album. As my co-writer and the rightful owner of this story in its entirety, your opinion and approval of this idea really matters to me, and I’ll honor your wishes here.”

It took me an hour to absorb the words in front of me. I shared the news with your brothers, Poppy, your daddy, Mr. Sparkly eyes, and a couple of my dearest friends. I cried while sharing the news. I called Tree back and spoke to her for a few minutes about what had just occurred. I told her of course, Taylor had my permission to put ‘Ronan’ on Red. I tried my best to articulate how much this meant to me through my tears, but there are not enough words in the English language that will ever be able to appropriately convey my feelings about this. Taylor has anchored you to this world so you will never be lost, and now she has ensured you will forever be safe in a new, permanent home. She is once again giving a voice to the often voiceless, bereaved parents of the world as well as childhood cancer which deserves so much more funding than it gets.

“Red (Taylor’s version)” will be out November 19th and on that album, there will be you. It is the most perfect album for you to be on as it represents so much heartbreak, love, and pain.

I have so much more I want to talk about and so much more I want to write about, but I’m under a book writing deadline that I need to get back to.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

My dearest Taylor,

I love you.

My words of thank you will never be enough. Thank you for keeping Ronan safe. Thank you for never forgetting him. Thank you for breaking rules and breaking free. Thank you for that heart of yours that is made of pure gold. You are a constant source of inspiration to me in so many areas of my life, and there is nobody in the world I would rather have Ronan with than you. I’m going to write to you separately about this but for now, thank you.

Taylor, you will forever have my heart. Thank you for continuing to be such a voice for these kids. I love you.

ad3d80a23626de2dc4b611fb59f49f00

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/24/taylor-swift-visits-cancer-patients_n_5021039.html

A Very Merry Christmas???

74245201289bfd6361865f36660d2cb2

 

 

Ronan.  It’s nights like last night when I really wonder if you can see us.  You know how much I struggle with the whole heaven, white fluffy clouds thing and where exactly you are.  Late at night when I’m writing, I often have your urn sitting in front of me and sometimes I take a picture of it and through my writing tears, send some random message to your Mr. Sparkly Eyes about how wrong this is, how much I miss you, etc… This always leads to the next time I see him, him bringing up the picture as looks at me so intensely and says, “I promise you, those ashes are just ashes, he is always with you, always surrounding you.  I know he never leaves your side.” He says it in such a way that I without a doubt, believe him and truly do think that I am never without you; spiritually that is.  Still, it doesn’t make my pain any less.  So, on nights like last night, if you truly are around me I think to myself, This must be so hard for you to see. We were just having a normal, family night in our kitchen and your daddy and Quinn had just returned from playing basketball at The Village. Poppy was sound asleep and we were chatting away.  Liam came walking into the kitchen, visibly upset.  I asked him what was wrong.  He just stood there, fighting back his tears, trying to be so brave and strong but he couldn’t continue to hold anymore of his emotions in.  Your daddy grabbed him as he choked out the words, “I miss Ronan.”  This led me to stop what I was doing, which was busily cleaning up the kitchen as I watched your daddy hold Liam as he buried his head into his chest.  I surveyed the room and we all looked so… helpless.  Quinn was sitting at the kitchen table, and he kept looking down as if he didn’t know what to do.  Your daddy was holding in all the screams and cries that I knew he wanted so badly to let out.  Liam was sobbing.  I grabbed something and threw it as hard as I fucking could at the wall.  I then went over and grabbed Quinn and held him. I told Liam that he needed to get his feelings out, how that it is all too much to keep in.  I asked him to elaborate on the “I miss Ronan.” He told us how he misses playing with you and just wants to see you again. I could say nothing except for I was so sorry and I would give anything to bring you back. We talked about the importance of sharing our pain and our feelings.  Your daddy told Liam how sometimes he parks his car before going into a court appearance and just screams at the top of his lungs.  I told your brothers how I pretty much cry everyday still and that it’s o.k. to still be so sad that you got sick and cancer stole you away.  Your daddy reassured your brothers that we as a family are safe and will always be together. I took Liam and we went and snuggled on top of his bunk bed where he cried some more.  It was a rough night for everyone and Liam asked to see Dr. Rachel again so I made him an appointment.  I am so proud of him for knowing when to ask to see her and not being ashamed or afraid of it.  I started this post a while back, Ro.  We are doing alright and some really wonderful things have been happening, all because of you of course.

I really don’t even know what to say about all the beautiful things that keep happening except for I continue to be blown away by people’s beautiful hearts and the way they just want to do good things in the world, while expecting nothing in return.  Last week was one of those really, really amazing days.  The kind of amazing day that after it is all over, I can do nothing but bury myself in my bed and sob like a grieving mother who just lost her child, all over again.  It all started with a normal, “let’s collect toys for Ronan’s Candy Cart to take to the kids at PCH on the oncology floor.”  And you all were amazing to donate so many awesome things.  My friends, Katie and E, started collecting toys as well at their stores.  I was all set to go to PCH on Wednesday, but then my friend sent me a little text message. Her text said that her friend, Adrian Wilson, who is an NFL player, wanted to help with the candy/toy cart and was wondering if he could go to PCH with us on Thursday to deliver some things. I was of course over the moon about this so I sent an email over to PCH to ask if the day could be changed to accommodate Adrian’s schedule.  They were more than happy to do so for us.

I met E at Toys-R-Us this morning and a shopping we went.  I let E tackle the girl things as she has 3 of them and I took on the boy things as I don’t know a lot about the girl world of toys, just quite yet. Poppy is slowly teaching me but as of now, she is most interested in my car keys and anything else she an chew on like the teething little babe that she is. We loaded up cart after cart after cart… about 20 of them, packed full of the most amazing toys possible.  I made sure to grab a ton of Star Wars stuff and just about fell over when I found the Clone Trooper that stood about 3 feet tall.  Hot tears splashed down my cheeks as I grabbed him and told Poppy to move over for her new friend.  Ronan would have loved him was all I could think in my head.  As it came time to checkout, I helped to bag up the toys while E stood over the cash register with the biggest smile on her face.  I swear I saw freaking rainbows, fairies, and mother fucking unicorns flying over her head as it was that magical of a moment.  Adrian had offered to pay for EVERYTHING.  I was doing such a great job at keeping my shit together but then some random lady stopped me and said, “Are you the one doing this amazing thing for the hospital?” I told her I wasn’t, that it was NFL player Adrian Wilson and I was just lucky enough to be a part of his generosity. Well, I almost got all of those words out before the tears started splashing all over the Toys-R-Us floor.  There was no keeping my composure over this act of kindness at all- it was just too bittersweet and beautiful.  On my way to PCH, I called your Nana, sobbing.  I told her what I was doing, who it was that was this amazing thing and how sad I was that you were not here to see any of it or be a part of it.  We talked for a few minutes before I hung up and officially had to pull it together before stepping foot on the hospital floor.  We loaded all the toys into wagons, went and met Adrian at the front of the hospital and off we went to the 7th floor of PCH.  We were there for about 2 hours and everyone was so excited to see us and even more excited that Adrian had taken the time to come and do such a kind thing.  We got to go into most of the rooms and Adrian was so sweet and kind, offering pictures and autographs to all the kids and even their parents.  There were a lot of older kids on the floor who were sweet about all the dolls and toys that we brought, but were not really that in toys as many of them were older teens.  Adrian took care of that problem by getting their shoe sizes and told them the next day, we would deliver Jordan’s and Van’s to them from his sneaker store, High Point.  How crazy generous was that?  He stayed true to his word and the next day I met E at his store and we pimped those kids out with not only new shoes, but hoodies, stocking hats, socks, and watches, etc… Poppy and I dropped everything off and got the nicest phone call a few hours later about how excited the kids all were.  It felt so nice to be able to know that we were a part of making those kids smile for at least a few hours.  Adrian Wilson will forever go down as a hero in my book and I will forever be grateful that I was able to be a part of it.

I had a really hard time on Christmas Eve.  I picked your daddy up at the airport and was a total mess.  We ended up going into town to finish  up some last minute things and all I could really do was sob in the car while he tried to have some what of a conversation with me.  “Who is coming up to your parent’s tonight?” he asked me at one point.  I named out, “X, Y, and Z… and not Ronan!!!” I was sobbing, panicking, and not really breathing very well.  At some point while he was in a store that I could not go into because of my grieving mother of madness appearance, I got on my phone and started distracting myself with my Instagram feed.  The first thing that popped up was Taylor’s account as I guess she had just posted a new picture.  Through my red, swollen eyes I looked at the picture of her and her brother, in their matching Christmas pajama’s. Talk about adorable. Upon closer inspection I saw she was wearing something on her head.  It wasn’t just something, it was your Spicy Monkey Spirit Hood that I sent her.  I smiled though my tears and as your daddy got in the car I showed him the picture.  “Look, Taylor is wearing Ro’s hood.” He squeezed my hand and said something about how that had to make me feel a little bit better.  I told him it did and the timing of seeing that picture could not have been better.  It came just when I needed it most. To me such a simple thing served as a little reminder that there is so much good in this world, even during the hardest of times.  It also gave me that little extra push I needed to get through the rest of the day and night because Liam, Quinn and Poppy deserved to have a beautiful Christmas, Ronan, despite the always empty chair at the dinner table that will never be filled.  Thank you, sweet Taylor.  You make the most beautiful little spicy monkey and you have no idea how much seeing that smile on your face meant to me.  I hope you and your family had the most beautiful Christmas. I love you so much.

Christmas is over and we all survived.  I went out in the early morning before everyone got up to have some time to myself.  I talked to your Sparkly before I had to face the reality of you were not coming downstairs to unwrap the gifts we had bought for you.  He was working on Christmas of course and I gave him my best, “Are you busy saving the world today,” before I decided to sit on the phone and let him talk me through my tears.  I pulled over and listened as he did his best little pep talk which mostly consisted of “I’m so sorry and you know there is no good reason for this… Ro should be here with you.” I told him I knew, I loved him and thanked him for calling me as I knew his words would help carry me through the rest of the day like they always seem to do. They did and I let myself get as lost as I could in your brothers and that Poppy girl.  Watching them and seeing the smiles on their faces made Christmas some what bearable this year.  Poppy’s energy seems to be infectious to us all in such a good, positive way.  Thank you so much for her, Ronan.

It is good that we are away in Washington State for Christmas.  I was really needing a break from the never-ending sunshiny state that sometimes drains my soul.  I don’t think I can ever spend a Christmas in Arizona again.  I mean, of course I would if Liam and Quinn wanted it that way, but they are always so excited to come here.  Here it is dark, damp, dreary, and I can run for miles while getting lost the thickness of the fog that forever feels like home.  Here, I can breathe and I don’t have to constantly be wearing sunglasses to hide my tear soaked eyes.  Here, it just looks like my face is covered in the raindrops that are spilling down from the sky but we both know the truth, right Ro? And here that truth feels o.k. I’ve missed this place so much.

Sorry for the massively long update of everything and nothing. So much more to say, so sad I haven’t been writing, but I promise to get back to this once my book is finished.  I love you.  I miss you.  I hope you are safe.  Sweet dreams, little man.

xoxo

P.S. A HUGE thank you to Adrian Wilson again for the beautiful thing you did.  You are the definition of a beautiful soul.  Now, if only we could get that NFL to go GOLD for all the kids during the month of September…

P.P.S- Tyler Knott, you are the bees knees. Now please marry Ally. Thanks so much.

 

 

This is truly a beautiful thing. Thank you, Isabel. I am honored, humbled and so very inspired.

3848ea167325d878623ba40d4ef696f2

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Taylor for continuing to fight for this cause and for tweeting the link to this story. I love you so much.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/isabel-song/taylor-swift-ronan_b_3926485.html

“A little fishy just told me, just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” Talia Joy Castellano

tumblr_mku6p81JBy1qd4f7bo1_500

Ronan. I got though the 4th of July alright. Mostly just by being distracted which is the only thing that ever seems to get me through anything. I went through the motions and tried to be as “present” as I possibly could. This means playing croquet without you, baseball without you, watching fireworks without you, etc… Macy is still here and that always helps so much with everything. I only had one little sob fest melt down in front of a few people. I couldn’t help it. I was watching one of our family members, hold your Poppy sister for the first time. I don’t know her at all as she is related to us through marriage so this was the first time I had met her. She is young, sweet, and also a bereaved mom. Not too long ago, she lost her first baby girl to still birth. I was surprised she wanted to hold Poppy at all and honestly felt a little guilty about her having to be around a new baby at all. She scooped her up in her arms and just sat and held her while she smiled and cooed at her. Your Uncle Shawn was right there and said, “Do you guys have any kids?” She quickly said, “No, not yet,” while she fumbled with her words a bit. I thought to myself, “Yes you do” but I didn’t say it out loud. It’s not up to me to decide how one talks about their dead babies. I quickly looked up at her and said, “I’m sorry about your baby girl.” She said, “It’s o.k. I’m sorry about Ronan.” That’s all it took and there was nothing I could do but let the tears roll down my cheeks while I helplessly looked for someone, anyone, to wipe them away. I was mostly just looking for you. I cried for her and me and for this fucked up club that we are in that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I pulled myself together within a few minutes but not before Quinn came bouncing in the room just in time to look at my red, puffy eyes. That kid is always so aware of everything that is going on especially when it comes to my feelings. I sucked it up and got up to play in a little boys vs girls baseball game. Girls won of course:)

We spent the rest of the day together missing your Daddy and you. The 4th of July will never be the same again, much like all of these holidays. This one isn’t as hard for me as the others though and I enjoyed it as much as a mom could who has had the love of her life, ripped from her arms. Your brothers had a great day and at the end of the day the smiles on their faces are what gets me through these retched holidays without you. But it’s hard to watch the entire world celebrate a day when you are in constant pain yourself and also so aware of all the pain in the world as well. For me, the pain consists of all of the bereaved mom, dads and siblings and for all of these kids battling cancer. I now live a life where every single firework seems like an absolute waste of money. Every time a firework went off I thought to myself, “There goes another kids’ life and another parent’s broken heart.” I had a vision of what it would be like if just one year, fireworks didn’t exist on the Fourth of July and instead the money was donated to a childhood cancer charity. Imagine how much good that could do. That would sure make me smile much bigger than watching some lights in the sky. A girl can dream, right Ro?

Things around here have been busy, but in a calm and peaceful way. Poppy is still breastfeeding like mad so it still feels like I am feeding her around the clock. She is still sleeping through the night which I’m so amazed by. She seems to want to make my life as easy as possible; for the moment anyway. I’m sure she’s got some good tricks up her sleeve and I can’t wait to see all she has in store for me.

Ronan. I started this a few days ago and I can’t really concentrate on what I am saying to continue on with this post for a few different reasons. One being that Macy left today and I hated so much seeing her go. Who would have guessed that this girl who came into our life in the middle of your diagnoses, because of you and this blog, would be one of my greatest treasures in life? We won’t see each other for a few months and dropping her off at the airport this morning was just awful. We both cried, parted ways, and I hated every second of it. Macy is the sister I never had and my ray of sunshine that is never blinding to me. We all had the best week with her and I know Macy brings out the version of me, that I used to be. I miss that me and it’s nice to see her once in a while. I do wish I could see her more often, but for the time being I will just enjoy her when I’m in the presence of our Macy girl. Nobody makes me laugh and smile the way she does. I know this is the reason you chose to put her in our life. You always pick the best for me and I am so thankful for that.

The second reason I can’t concentrate is because of a girl named Talia who has been on my mind since I found out about her shortly after losing you. I’ve followed her updates, cheered from the sidelines, admired her bravery and attitude while dealing with the shitty hand she was dealt. Talia was diagnosed with that same mother fucker that killed you. She has been fighting non-stop for 6 years, developed a secondary cancer, but still she held on to that beautiful smile of hers. Once Talia the secondary cancer, I knew what the outcome was going to be, but that didn’t stop me for begging for things to turn out differently for her. I found out via social media today that things aren’t looking so great in terms of Talia getting her “miracle.” I want to scream from the rooftops, “WHY NOT? WHEN IS ENOUGH GOING TO BE ENOUGH? HOW MUCH OF THESE KIDS BLOOD HAS TO BE SHED?” My screaming from the rooftops really just leaves me bloody exhausted and drowning in a pool of my tears on the floor. When is this going to get better? When will these kids get an actual real fighting chance? You didn’t deserve this, Talia doesn’t deserve this, none of these babies, toddlers, kids, deserve this, yet it keeps on happening over and over and over all while people continue to look the other way. Ellen DeGeneres had Talia on her show and I am praying that she will do the right thing and help Talia continue to be a voice for childhood cancer.

I’m sad and scared for her parent’s. I made your brothers say a prayer tonight for Talia which really consisted of us all talking to you, Ronan. We asked you to let Talia just fall asleep the way you did. We asked you to help take away her pain. Liam asked you to help her to get to her happy place where she no longer will be sick. Quinn covered up his face and I watched as his eyes filled with tears and he buried his little head into his pillow. This is our life now. A life full of suffering for not only our own pain, bur for the pain of others as well. I know I will be falling asleep with tears on my pillow not only for you, but for Talia too. It shouldn’t be this way, Ronan and I will forever be sorry for everything.

I’m going to go little man. Your little Poppy is stirring. She must hear my tears and know that I need to snuggle into her. Please take good care of Talia and show her the ropes.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

tumblr_mpj67i6Zjf1sulxcxo1_500

A live version of your song for tonight, Ro.

tumblr_molpz1Stbp1r3e62yo1_500

I spy some cuties in the audience!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3dgXkumKEQE#!

Your song for the night, Ro Baby

This is one of my favorite songs off of Taylor’s Red album. I sing it to your Poppy sister all the time and I’ve been waiting for this video to come out. One of my favorite moments during Taylor’s concert was watching her from the sound booth perform this song and looking over at her dad who was singing it along with her. I swear my heart melted right then and there.

Taylor and Ed. Everything has changed. Love, love, love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1oM3kQpXRo

You make beautiful things happen

tumblr_mmtn616XlG1rtu8xbo1_500

Ronan. You make beautiful things happen and last night was proof of that. Taylor Swift was in town for the Red Tour. We were invited to go as a family and could have not been more excited. Last minute plans were made, plans were changed, plans were made again. Brianna was in town staying with us and Macy had just left after being here for almost a week. The time with Macy here or as Poppy is going to call her, “Auntie M,” was so special. I watched Macy fall head over heels in love with your sister the same way she did with you. We did a lot of nothing except live in Poppy world. We celebrated your Daddy’s birthday which was a hard day, but as always, we just go through it the best we could. Tears were shed, but for the most part we tried to make it a fun evening by having some dear friends over. We all just mostly sat around and cooed over your sister. She truly does make many days better, but days like special occasions are still pretty hard. Macy knew this and just sat and played with my hair while I rocked your sister and the tears fell silently to the ground. She just looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I know.” She knew what I was thinking, as she always does. How I wished so badly you were there with us to celebrate your wonderful daddy. How I wish every day you were with us to not celebrate a thing, but to just live this life with us that was so unfairly taken away from you. I will never stop wishing this.

It’s taken me a few days to figure out why I am having such a hard time writing this post. I’ll start by saying two years ago when I was first invited to meet Taylor and go to her concert, I was in a completely different place than I am now. 2 years ago I remember trying to get ready for her concert and how I could hardly peel myself up off the floor to go. I was destroyed back then and wasn’t so sure I’d be around to survive this life much longer without you. I was in such a sad place that I didn’t think I deserved to go to a concert, meet this amazing girl or feel any sort of happiness at all. I went because I had a message to share, because of my manners, and I knew how rude it would be not to go after I was so kindly invited. Little did I know that Taylor already knew all about you and our hauntingly sad love story. She already knew the message I was wanting to share and welcomed it with open arms. Fast forward 2 years later and I am now in a very different place.

I spent the day with Liam, Quinn, and Bri Bri, hanging out and getting ready for the concert. I felt excited and happy, and as always, a little sad, too. I knew Taylor was going to be meeting your Poppy sister and for me, that was the best part of everything. To me, it was like she was going to get to meet a little piece of you and I can’t even put into words how much that meant. We as a family, all went to the concert. We ended up splitting up as your daddy, Liam, and Poppy sat backstage with Taylor’s dad for most of the show. Even though we had protective ear coverings for Poppy, it still made me nervous to have her out in the loud arena with everyone. Your daddy was whisked away by Taylor’s lovely assistant and taken back stage where all was safe and sound. Liam went with your daddy also, as the concert was a little too loud for him. He’s never been a fan of anything too loud and crazy. I stayed down at our seats with Bri, Quinn and your Sparkly. There was a lot of dancing, singing, laughing, and maybe a little crying. I sat back and watched the most amazing performance and was of course blown away by the talent before me. She always manages to out do herself that Taylor girl. I felt so blessed to be a part of it. It was a night where I got a chance to put my pain on hold for a few hours and just get lost in the magic and beauty before me. Between Taylor’s beautiful voice, the smile on Quinn’s face, and the insane dancing that I did with Brianna when Taylor sang, “22,” everything about the night was perfect. Almost freaking perfect. You know the one little thing missing was of course you. I tried my best to remind myself that you were there with us, somewhere. Even though I couldn’t see you, I know you were there and I let that be o.k. for a few hours.

After the concert we got to spend a lot of time with Taylor and her dad in the most intimate setting. I’ve now realized why it is that I’ve had such a hard time with this post. It’s because of the way this relationship with Taylor has changed and evolved. It’s because I feel insanely protective of her and the way she’s opened up her heart to us. People try to exploit this girl all day long and I’m just not going to do that. I won’t do that. I’ve felt that way since day one of meeting her, but my protectiveness has only grown over time. I’ve had all of these news stations calling me, wanting to do interviews about Taylor’s concert, what it’s like to have her here in the Valley, wanting to know if she was going to sing, “Ronan,”etc… I politely declined doing any of them. It almost felt yucky to me. To me, the time we spent with Taylor was so sacred and special that I would just like to keep most of it between us and our family. At one point during our time together as I watched her holding Poppy, I asked her a certain question. She looked at me to answer it and said, “I hope I made the right call.” I told her as my eyes filled up with tears that I believed she did. I hope tonight, with this post, I made the right call, too. I don’t mind sharing most of the night, but not all of it. Some things just feel too sacred to be shared. This girl feels like a part of our family now, not some big celebrity. It’s funny because she’s never felt like some big celebrity to me. To me she’s always just felt like a normal girl who fell in love with you and who just happened to be in a position to make something really beautiful happen because she took a chance on us and followed her heart. To me, that has saved me in a way and I will forever be grateful to her and her old, wise soul. I have no doubt that many more beautiful things are to come.

As far as me not wanting to share much about our night, I hope you all understand. To me, the picture below explains everything.

I love you, Ronan. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little man.

xoxo

P.S. Taylor, Thank you for EVERYTHING. You know I have 50 million things I want to say to you, but all I’m going to say is you my friend, could give Hallmark a run for their money. I love you so much.

photo 2