A Birthday, Smiles, and Sparkles

Ronan. I smiled today. A couple of things made me smile and it felt o.k. I started this morning by running with Samya. I’m having a hard time, finding my love for this running thing again. I am still trying to get over that mental block that I seem to be having. I asked Samya if we could not run on the Canal this morning. She sweetly agreed to trust me and I picked out a different route for us. We ran up some hills, through some neighborhoods, and past Camelback Mountain. It was much better than the dirty, dusty, canal. After our run I came home and did the usual routine. The house was so quiet as everyone was still asleep. I hopped in the shower and went through the list of things I needed to get done today. After the shower, I was thankful for the quietness, as I had something important to do. It is Fernanda’s birthday today. I bought her the same locket necklace that Macy got for me in San Diego. I’ve had it for a while and knew what I was going to do with it. I got out the glue and spread a think layer on the inside of the locket. I took your ashes into the dining room and sat you on the table. I opened up your Urn, dipped my hand into you, kissed you and told you to please take care of Fernanda, for the rest of her life. I cried and smiled at the same time, knowing that you wouldn’t let me down. I let the locket dry, wrote her a little card and sealed it with a kiss. I felt as though you were watching me today, helping me with this decision as I know it might seem strange. But it felt right. And I have been thinking about this for a long time. She was with you, right before you passed away. I knew this would be the most beautiful, special gift to her. And it was just as special to me; to be able to give her such a thing. You know I would give her the moon and the stars above if I could. The gift of you is better than anything in this world. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way today, to let my friend know how much she means to me.

I dropped L and Q off at school with the usual goodbyes, I love you’s, see you at 3:15, please try your hardest today. They make me proud everyday. I watched them in the rear view mirror, as they walked into school. I looked back at your empty seat in the car, expecting to hear you yell goodbye to them. It kills me everyday to look back there and not see your sweet little face. I drove to Taylor’s where I told Fernanda I would meet her for breakfast. I sat and ordered a coffee and talked to the waitress about her amazing Amber colored eyes. This darling girl waits on me a lot when I’m there. Her eyes, are stunning and I always tell her so. You know what a sucker I am for pretty eyes. Fernanda soon arrived and I gave her a Happy Birthday hug. We sat and caught up before we ordered our food. I told her to close her eyes as I stood up to give her our birthday gift. I took out the purple jar of glitter that I had in my purse and started sprinkling it all over her head and told her it was from you. She was laughing, and crying, and was covered in all things Purple and Sparkly. I laughed while doing this today as I thought of you and knew how much you would have loved to be a part of something like this. I then gave her the locket of you. I cannot remember what Fernanda said, but there were a lot of tears involved and a lot of words flying out of her mouth. I get easily distracted by her beautiful Spanish accent and her words just kind of flew over my head. I know she told me that it was the most special gift she has ever received, how much it meant to her and some other things. I heard her words, but most of all, I just felt. I felt something else than pain. It may have been a feeling of happiness. Just a tiny bit. The tiny bit of happiness that I now cling to like I am holding on to for dear life. Because I am. I am holding on for dear life, that happiness will once again, be a part of me.

After I left Fernanda covered in glitter and my lipgloss all over her cheek, I ran home to take care of a few things. Lots of things. Lots of important but not really important things that fill my days. There are so many of those things now. All the things that come with the responsibility that I cannot just abandon because I just don’t care anymore. As much as I don’t care, I still have a responsibility to take care of things around here. Our house is so freaking clean and organized that I don’t even have laundry to do, Ro. Pathetic. I only wish that I were going crazy because of the millions of messes that I was cleaning up after you. You drawing on the walls, you spitting your food out across the table because you knew it drove me crazy, you climbing up the refrigerator and shoving food into your mouth, you taking a bath a pouring water all over the sides or splashing so much that I would have been drenched from head to toe. I wished for those days back, so badly.

I drove out to see Dr. Rachel today. The therapist your Daddy and I see. He couldn’t make it, so I went and saw her alone. It was good. It gave me a chance to fill her in on the life before I married your Daddy. A little bit of background. She wants to know why I’m so hard on myself. Where that stems from. She wanted to talk about the guilt that I seem to be consumed with. She wanted to talk about a lot of things but also said she didn’t want to undo any of my other individual therapy that I am doing. She respected my boundaries which I very much appreciated. I have a little bit of a guard up with her and I’m not sure why. I guess it could have to do with the fact that your Daddy and I both see her. It was glad to let her in a little bit. I would like to be able to let her in more, but I think it’s going to take some time.

Lots more to say tonight, but I’ve got an early morning run calling my name. Ro. Please help me out. I saw you on my run this morning; that little hummingbird that decided to show up, right when I wanted to stop. I didn’t stop. I hope you’ll be around tomorrow. I’ve got to get my running Mojo back if I’m going to kick this P.F. Changs Half-Marathons butt. Any extra push you can give me tomorrow would be great.

I love you to the moon and back. I miss you more than anything in the world. I am so lucky you were mine, for as long as I had you. You will change my life in ways that I’m not even aware of because I am stuck in this thick fog which you will help me out of, when I am ready. I know this. G’nite sweet boy. I hope you are safe. A million kisses to you. I’ll bet you miss my kisses so much you wouldn’t dare tell me, “IT’S NOT A KISSING DAY!!!!”

I love you, my not spicy, monkey boy.

xoxo

Barley Breathing

Ronan. Everything with you ended too quickly. I thought we would have so much time left together. We had so many plans to fight so long and so hard for you; until we got you better. We had plans for your brothers to spend the summer in NYC with us while we went through your treatments. I’ll never fully grasp how quickly things spiraled out of control. How quickly the tides turned and before I knew it your little life had slipped from my hands. I’d give anything to have you still here; fighting and all. Just to hear you laugh, to see your smile, to have you sleeping next to me. I still cannot fully sit back and think about our reality. I feel like a fish out of water and I have to fight for every breath I take. I’ve never had to focus on breathing in my life and now this takes up most of my day as I often feel like I am not getting enough oxygen to my brain. I now have to sit and making sure I am not going to suffocate and concentrate on getting air into my lungs. This is what it feels like to have you gone. Every second of the day I feel either numb or in so much pain that my body shakes and everything hurts.

Now that you are gone, I watch videos of you on my computer. I touch the screen, hoping that you will come out of my screen and magically appear in my room. You don’t. Instead I am flooded with hysterical sobbing that I cannot control. I don’t fight it. I take this time during the day to miss you so badly that I am inconsolable. I do this alone when nobody else is here. It’s better for me that way. I’m not ready to grieve for you in front of anyone else the way that I grieve for you alone. It is too painful for anyone else to see.

Yesterday, we did the usual stuff around here. We filled our day with errands and organizing things. I walked past your room and noticed your door was closed. I thought for a second it was you playing in your room, but then I remembered that you are gone. I opened up your door and peeked inside. It wasn’t you playing at all. It was Liam. He was sitting on your floor, alone, playing with your Star Wars guys. I cannot even think about this story without it destroying me. I asked him if he was o.k. He said he was, he was just playing. I let him be. I couldn’t even go and sit on the floor to be with him. I wish I could have, but I’m not ready for your room yet.

I went to breakfast with Tricia, Danille, Julie and Marisa yesterday. We sat at Taylors. The girls ate. I nibbled on some of Trish’s omelette and some of Danielle’s bagel. I sat with the girls and ended up crying about you, telling them that I just don’t know how we are all going to be alright. I wish I could say they had some words of wisdom; but they didn’t. And I’m glad they didn’t. That just goes to show what true friends they are. They know there are no words of wisdom for this and they know not to bullshit me. So instead, they sat and listened to me and got teary eyed instead. That was all I needed from them. After breakfast, I went with Danielle and Marisa to Kirland. All the book stores have disappeared around here so we had to go to the one out there. I wanted to get Liam and Quinn some chapter books to read for the summer. I missed you in the book store. I missed you as we walked past the fountain at Kirland. I remembered how the two of us would go there and I would let you run around in the water. I remembered how amazingly tan your skin would get from the sun. My little brown bear. So happy and carefree.

Liam and Quinn had a sleepover at Luca’s last night. Your daddy and I went out for Sushi with Uncle Jay, Charlene, Kenny and Stacy. I was sitting there, trying to enjoy the ambiance as hard as I possibly could. Good people, food, and atmosphere. I looked up and saw one of the doctors from PCH that works in the clinic. I cannot remember her name; but I’ll never forget her face. She was supposed to help us through transplant. I told you that you are everywhere. Stacy was trying to talk to me and I told her I couldn’t concentrate as I had just seen somebody from PCH. I needed a minute to compose myself and to talk myself out of running out of the restaurant screaming bloody murder. I sat and told Stacy how even sitting at dinner just seemed wrong. How could I be out, trying to do something normal like eating dinner when everything is wrong? To do something even remotely enjoyable feels like I am betraying you. I am hurting so badly inside that I should not be out in public at all. I feel like I should be standing in my imaginary hole in my backyard that somebody needs to dig for me so I can hide in it forever. I don’t want to be out, trying to eat sushi. But I know if I don’t, that is when the real trouble will begin. I know this so I talk myself into being brave and doing the things that are now so awkward and wrong to me. I do this to keep some sense of normalcy for you Daddy. So I can sit next to him in the booth and hold his hand. So I can make him feel like we are a part of something normal, together. I do this but I don’t like it. I wonder if I will ever be able to breathe normally again.  I wonder a lot of things, baby.

That is all I can write tonight as I need my mind to shut off tonight. I’m having lots of anxiety getting your brothers ready for summer. I have to pull it together for them as they need me more than ever. I know this.

G’nite my little man. I love you. I miss you. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

Magic Medicine…. Day 3, Round 7

Ronan and I started off the morning bright and early. He was up around 7 and was asking to go to breakfast. I needed an excuse to go and get him his Slurpee anyway to mix his chemo in, so we left the house and went over to one of my favorite breakfast spots, Taylor’s, for some grub. I ordered oatmeal, and Ronan asked for pancakes and scrambled eggs. He ate almost all of his breakfast, along with half of my oatmeal. He was so happy to be out and about and was loving how windy and stormy it was today. After breakfast we stopped at 7-11 and then went home. Woody and the big boys’ had already left for baseball and I spent the next hour getting us ready for our hospital stay. Sharon called around 10 and said they were ready for Ronan so to bring him in. Ronan was not happy about having to pack up and leave and kept saying how much he was going to miss his brothers. I told him it was only for a couple of nights and we would be back home before he knew it. Once we arrived to PCH he was in a much better mood and was so excited to hear Sharon was in the hospital working today. We only really ever get to see her at the clinic so having her on the 2nd floor today was a treat. As soon as he got off the elevator, Sharon was walking down the hall and saw us coming. Ronan ran up to her and she scooped him up in his arms and gave lots of kisses to her “boyfriend” as she calls him. He was tickled to death. Arica was also working today so it was a double surprise for Ro! He was in heaven and was in an extra happy and silly mood.

Woody came by to bring us lunch and soon after that we finally got the chemo started. It only took a few hours and then our nurse was able to unhook Ronan from his tubes so he could run free for the rest of the evening. With this chemo they only give him 2 hours of hydration afterwords so he doesn’t have to be attached to the pole 24/7. It really makes such a difference in his spirits if he is “hooked up” as he calls it, or not. We had lots of visitors today. My friend, Lisa, whom I have not seen in forever came by for about an hour. Ronan fell asleep while she was here and we sat and talked quietly. She tried to get me to take a nap with him but my mind wouldn’t let me relax even though I am mentally beat. Niki came by to give me a much-needed hug and Ronan let her stay for about 20 minutes before he kicked her out. Hey, it was better than nothing. Jen and Olivia came by late this evening and Ronan was still wide awake. He cracked them up with his little voice and bossy words. “Gilllllyyy….” “Sorry.” LOL. So funny. He was totally showing off for them with his sassiness. The girls stayed for about 45 minutes and then Mr. Boss man said it was time for them to go. He wanted me all to himself and I think his exact words were something like, “Just you and me, mom.” He was being adorably funny tonight. After the girls left, he insisted that we go down to the cafeteria because he was hungry. Off he went running out the door to our room and out to the elevator. He kept saying he was going to beat me because he is so fast. Geez! That kid had a ton of energy tonight and ran all the way to the new cafeteria. We were laughing the entire way. The hospital was really empty and quiet, but I’m pretty sure everyone could hear our giggles. Ronan has such a way of making the worst situations, beautiful and fun. As long as he is happy, and as long as we are together, you could put us anywhere and we would have a good time. I loved watching my child running around and being care free. This has been one of the best hospital nights that we have ever had.

The doctor on call said that we can go home tomorrow after Ro finishes his chemo and then just do the last day in the clinic on Monday. Yay for that! Only one night in the hospital!! Ronan is going to be so excited to be able to see Liam and Quinn tomorrow. The amount of love he has for those boys’ amazes me everyday.

Today, I had so many people send me pictures of all the amazing rainbows we had in Phoenix. It meant so much to me as Ronan and I watched the rain from the inside of our hospital room. Thank you all for the beautiful pics and for thinking of us. And Bethany, I too have such a peaceful feeling; glad you are feeling the same. I love you.

G’night all of you. Sweetest dreams and we hope you are having a lovely weekend.

xoxo