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.
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.
Thank you, Taylor for continuing to fight for this cause and for tweeting the link to this story. I love you so much.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For remembering Ronan. You all are insanely amazing. I have literally received thousands of emails, tweets, texts, phone calls, blog comments, etc… about Ronan. I hope you all know how much it means to me. Thank you for remembering my sweet boy. I appreciate each one of you, so very much. If I could, I would kiss the ground you walk on and sprinkle you all with glitter. Thank you for helping this broken-hearted mama, get through this month of May. And an extra special thanks to my very amazing friends who are like family. The best kind of family to have. I love you all and consider myself so lucky to have you all surrounding me. Best sisters ever.
I love you all to the moon and back. Ronan does, too.
Thank you to one of my little Twitter followers for the picture above. So very sweet.