The Brightest Star in the Sky
Ronan. Life goes on. One thing I am learning, is no matter what happens in life, it goes on. I hate this. I want everything and everyone around me to just stop. It’s apparent that this is not going to happen. I had no choice but to wake up today. It happens to me every morning, over and over again. Like groundhogs day. I woke up to the sunny sky and the ocean breeze. I told your daddy that we should go to The Hash House for breakfast. Do you remember when we went there a couple of summers ago? I think you had just turned 2. You were at that age where you would never sit still, but I somehow managed to keep you entertained as we enjoyed our breakfast. My friend, Kelly, took us with her husband and little girl, Gracie. Seems so long ago, Ro. But it wasn’t. I sat on a bench this morning, while we waited for a table. There was a mom sitting right next to me with her baby girl who was just 6 weeks old. I didn’t even know what to feel. Normally, I would have been all over this mom and sweet, new baby girl. Instead, I sat there quietly and tried to ignore her. Today, I felt a mix of jealousy, sadness, and emptiness. I thought about you when you were that little and what a gorgeous baby boy you were. I wished I could turn back time to have you all over again, as a baby, even if it still meant you ended up dying of cancer. I would do everything we just went though with you, all over again in a heartbeat. I don’t care how hard it was; at least you were still here. At least I still got to look into your big blue eyes and hear your little voice. I can never have those moments back now because some asshole named cancer has stolen them from me. I still can’t believe you are gone. I still cannot believe things like this happen in this day in age, especially to kids. Especially to you.
After the Hash House, we ran some errands. We then came back here and had a kind of lazy day. I took a nap with Quinn and your Daddy worked while Liam played on the iPad. It was a quiet day. The days I hate the most. We went over to Mimi and Papa’s condo for dinner. Liam is sleeping over there and Quinn is here with us. I can tell he is missing you so much. We watched some videos of you on my computer tonight from when you were about a year old. You made Quinn laugh like no other. He laughed so hard tonight as you were up to your usual mischief and Quinn was your favorite target. He loved all the trouble you used to cause so much. I never thought I would complain about having boys that are so well behaved, but I am going to tonight. I miss your trouble making ways and the way you and Quinn would cause it together. Now, Quinny has nobody to cause mischief with as you know Liam is such a little rule follower and gentle soul. I cannot describe to you the absence you have left in all of our hearts Ronan. It’s like a whole new life. I life none of us ever dreamed of or wanted. A whole new, unwelcomed life where we have to struggle everyday to fill our days with something to make us smile. Today, we smiled over talking about you. Today, we cried about missing you too though. Those things seem to go hand and hand.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I actually have something to look forward to. Mimi and Papa are taking Liam and Quinn to Legoland which they are so excited about. Your daddy and I are going to drive to Laguna to meet up with Denise from Fore, Axel & Hudson. She is part of the amazing company who sent you all of your adorable hats and clothes. I have wanted to meet her for so long and we have been trying to coordinate meeting up. I can’t wait to give her the biggest hug for you. I need you to be with me tomorrow, baby. I cannot do this without you. As much as I am so excited to meet her and to tell her thank you in person, it is going to be hard not having you with me. I used to dream of the day that we could both meet her together, after we had gotten you all better. Your daddy is going with me so I will have him there to hold my hand. We will watch for your little signs all day tomorrow to know that you are with us. It will be the first time in a long time that your daddy and I have spent alone; just the two of us. I hope I’m not a wreck; it is hard for it to be just the two of us. Hard for me because I know your daddy is hurting just as badly as I am so it is like looking at myself, in a mirror, with my heart ripped out of my chest. The two of us together, alone, Ronan. It is just plain sad. The times that it is just the two of us, we basically just sit around, stare at each other and cry. I look in his eyes, and I see your eyes. Someday, I hope this will make me happy. But as of now, it’s like pouring salt on an open wound. Too much pain, everywhere.
I ended tonight by turning on the T.V. which I rarely to anymore. A movie, that I used to love, “Life as a House,” was on. Oye Vey. Bad idea to watch that movie. So good, but so sad. And of course it has to do with cancer. It was like a bad car accident though. I couldn’t stop watching or turn it off. I ended up bawling my eyes out. Cancer is just awful all around which is why things have to change. We are on to something though. That event for you, The Brightest Star in the Sky, that was put together in just a few weeks, raised 50k for you foundation, Ronan. 50K! I can you believe that?!?!?! I am still in shock and I am already hoping to turn this into an annual event. Think of all the awareness we are going to raise! My friend, Carolyn, said it was because of my words and your eyes that the event was such a success. I think she’s on to something. I’ve got a message to get out there and your beauty is going to help me do it. I was talking to Mr. Sparkly eyes today and you know how he is with his words. They always hit me hard. Today, he called me powerful. I laughed out loud at that, because I have never thought of myself this way. But after thinking about it, I feel like being powerful is something that I know I can be because I do have the passion and you on my side. I will use my power to make people aware of Neuroblastoma. Something most people have never even heard of. I am going to use my “power” in such a positive way and make such an impact. I have no choice. You will forever be my inspiration, my hero, my role model in life. You have changed me forever. Thank you, little man.
I’m going to snuggle up to your brother and your blanket, GiGi. Miss you so much, Ro. Sweet dreams. Come and cuddle with me tonight. I love you.
Finally, I get to see your beautiful faces!! This picture made me smile so big tonight after I had bawled for about 20 minutes due to missing Ronan so much. This picture made me feel like I can do this and I’m not alone. THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU! I have so much love in my heart for all of you amazing women. I cannot wait to personally thank you myself after we are back from trying to heal a little bit. Love you all.
Ronan. Today started off as good as it possibly could, without you here. We woke up and Liam, Quinn, and Layne spent the morning playing together. I put on my good mommy boots and made them all a huge breakfast. Waffles, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage…… you name it, it was on the table. I thought of you the entire time as I was making the scrambled eggs, just as you would have liked them. You used to insist that I made the best scrambled eggs ever and would only eat them if I made them for you. I loved that so much. Soon, Layne went home to get ready for the day. Your daddy took Quinn and went off to Costco and to run some errands. I stayed here with Liam and we just kind of had a lazy day. I cleaned and did a lot of laundry. I had a few things trigger a lot of tears today and I did a lot of throwing up. Your dad came home to me, a wreck, just sitting on the bed, bawling. Quinn took one look at my face and sat down with me at told me he loved me and started rubbing my back. I forced the tears to stop and got up to help them unpack the things from Costco. Your daddy and Quinn came home with my very own surfboard for me. It almost cheered me up, but I mostly just couldn’t wait to get out into the water so I could get my ass kicked. I was on a mission. Mission accomplished.
I got your brothers all ready for the beach and we headed out to meet your cousins. They had their stuff in the sand, but they were all in the pool. We set our stuff next to theirs, Liam and Quinn headed out to the pool and I grabbed my board and paddled out into the ocean. The ocean seemed as angry today as I was. The waves were ridiculously big. I didn’t care. I paddled out as far as I could, which ended up being really far. Wave after wave threw me from my board and under the water. I continued out there, to try to get past them. I got up a few times, I asked for your help. At one point as I was paddling out, I looked up and a huge wave was getting ready to come crashing down on me. I think I said, “Oh shit,” out loud and ended up flying off my board and the fin ended up hitting the back of my arm really hard. I almost thought it was sliced open, that’s how badly it hurt. Turns out, it was not…. it turned into a big welt and bruise instead. No big deal, yo. As much as it’s hurting tonight, I am choosing to ignore it because all I can do is think about you and all the pain you felt, especially towards the end of your fight. This stupid welt on my arm has nothing on you, Ro. I surfed for a couple of hours and the current ended up pushing me really far away from my starting point. Tiffany was watching from the shore and when I finally got back over to her, she said she was a little concerned that I was going to end up in Mexico. I told her I didn’t realize how far away I had gone and that I was ALMOST a little scared for my life at one point. But not really because fear doesn’t really seem to exist anymore.
After my little surfing fiasco, I went to join your brothers and cousins at the pool. They are such little fish and didn’t stop swimming in the pool and the ocean until 9 tonight. We were down at the beach for 7 hours today. We met up with your Mimi and Papa, and Uncle Larry and Aunt Joan. Tiffany and her kids too, and we grilled up a big dinner by the pool while all the kids continued to swim. It was such a sweet summer night. Of course, the only thing missing was you. Quinn ended up cutting his little thumb on something in the hot tub so we had to doctor him up. I took him into the bathroom as he was very upset about his thumb. I changed him into his warm clothes, looked at his thumb that thanks to Tiffany and her first aid kit, we had it bandaged up pretty good. He was really upset about it and I just quietly explained to him that I was sorry he was hurt but he is going to get hurt in life; it’s just part of being a kid. I talked all about you and how after all the things that you went through, that were so painful, that you hardly ever cried. I don’t know if it is a good or a bad thing to make comparisons to you and how tough you were to Quinn. But tonight, it needed to be done and it felt right so I did it. I think more than anything, he was just tired and needed some mommy love. We packed up our stuff and Liam helped me carry everything to the condo while Quinn went on and on about his thumb. As soon as we got upstairs, I put him in my bed and 15 minutes later, he was out like a light. Worn out from his day at the beach and I know sad from missing you. Liam told me last night as he was crying that he was homesick. I asked what he exactly was homesick for. He told me his bed and you. I held him and told him we were all homesick for you, but now you lived in our hearts so you will always be with us. As much as I could tell you this seemed to bring him comfort, it didn’t. It didn’t help me either. I don’t want you in my heart; I want you back here with us, where your freaking belong.
After a long day, I ended it with talking to Stacy. What a perfect way to end my night then with a phone call from her. She had a lot to tell me about meeting with the busy little bees today in regards to the event that they put on at The Biltmore for you on Friday night. I sat, cried, and listened as she told me about meeting with the girls and how amazing they are and how much love they have in their hearts for you. I am still in awe of how quickly they put on this event and how many people came out to support it. We talked about how after the summer, I would like to sit down and pour all of my energy into making this an event something we do every year for you. For others, because as I’ve said before, we have to raise awareness. I cannot believe the army of people that we already have lined up to help us with this. I don’t even know how this happened. Actually, I do. It is all you, Ronan. You are changing lives everywhere. I cannot wait to personally meet all the people who helped with this event and give them all the biggest hug from you. The passion that you have created is astounding and once again, I am so proud to be your mama and your best friend. I miss you, Ronan. I know you are here though. Thanks for the little sign tonight that comes from my Pandora. Right now, as I’m writing this, your song came on. The song that we played for you every time you were left alone in the room for your radiation. The Killers, “Human.” You are such a special little soul. G’nite best friend. Thank you for visiting your daddy so much in his dreams lately. I know you will come to be when the time is right and I can get off of this damn Ambian. Love you to the moon and back, baby.
Ronan. I really tried to have a good day for you, but everything seemed to hit me so hard today. Your brothers slept in late and so did I. I tried to dream about you, but instead I had mostly dreams of nothing of importance. I woke up sad from not being able to see you in my dreams. It is something I hope for every night. I tried to get the day off to a good start. I kept getting emails about the event that was being held at The Biltmore for your Foundation and each one continued to put a smile on my face. I thought today was going to be another o.k. day without you. It was not. It all started with opening my wallet and there was your little social security card. Ouch. I then looked inside my purse for something and found your little I.D. band from the hospital that you used to refuse to wear, so we would break the rules and I would attach it to your pole or onto my wrist instead. You used to throw such a fit about wearing it. The straw that broke the camels back was I was trying to get your brothers ready for the beach and Liam, as always, was giving me a hard time about letting me put on his sunscreen. I was chasing him around to get it on him and I finally just looked at him and said to him angrily, “You need to think about how you are acting, your brother would give anything to be wearing sunscreen right now.” He looked back at me and said, “Who, Quinn?” I then looked back at him and said, “No, Ronan.” I was filled with such anger and sadness that I just started crying right then and there. Right in front of your brothers, and I am supposed to be the mom who is holding all of us together. At that moment, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I broke down right in front of them and there was no stopping it. I sobbed and they both just sat and watched me. Quinn came over to hug me, and Liam just kind of went off into the other room. I quickly packed up our beach things and threw on my big sunglasses so they could not see that I was still a wreck. I took them down to the pool and to let them be distracted by their cousins whom they spent the next few hours with playing in the pool and at the beach. I went down to the beach with them and sat on my towel and just watched them play while I cried and cried and cried. I called your Nana because I have not spoken to her in weeks. I couldn’t really talk to her so instead I let her listen to me cry. She cried with me and we said as much as we both could, which ended up being not a lot. It was good just to have her be on the other end of the phone with me though. I just needed her to be there so I could cry to her. After I got off of the phone with your Nana, I joined the boys in the ocean. At one point, I was playing with Quinn in the sand. He was standing up and there was a little shadow next to him. He said it looked like it was a little mini version of you. We pretended it was you, and he reached down to hold your hand. I took some pictures of it, because it really did look like a little you. We sat and played with the little shadow for about 10 minutes. It was something so simple and sweet but it made us both smile and laugh. These days, we will take any little sign of you that we can get.
The rest of the day was kind of a blur. We spent the evening with Kenny and Stacy and their kids. We went to dinner and had a good time. They both make me so happy and I love them like family. We are so lucky to have them as friends. I then got a text message from our cousin, Tiffany who said to meet them at the beach as they wanted to do something special for you tonight. We met them down there at 8:30 and all of the kids ended up lighting off sparklers and running around for you. It was so beyond when sweet. Bittersweet. I sat back and watched all of your cousins running around so happy and carefree. I wanted you there so badly. I could have sworn I heard you laughing in the background.
All though the night I kept getting text messages about the event at The Biltmore. Everyone said it turned out so beautifully. I almost have don’t even have words for how many people came together for this in such a short amount of time. The love that surrounds us is almost as beautiful as you, Ronan. These people, most of them whom we don’t even know, have come together because of you. That is what an impact you have had on their lives and I know you will continue to do so. All while holding my hand while I let your little soul guide me. We will make a difference, together. Thank you again, to everyone who worked so hard to support my sweet baby boy tonight. Your love means everything to us. Someday, when I am feeling a little stronger, I will be able to be a bigger part of this and turn it into something huge. As I’ve said before, this is just the beginning. Childhood Cancer has know become my passion in life and I am going to work so hard to raise awareness and make a difference. Ronan deserves this as do all of the other children who are fighting this in the world. They need a voice and I have no doubt this is now my calling in life.
Off to try to sleep now as it’s been a very long day. I can’t wait to hear all about the event tomorrow. Thank you all again. Thank you for allowing Ronan to be your brightest star in the sky. I love you all.
Sweet dreams my little man. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you so much. G’night Ro.
Ronan. I had a hard day. I was missing you extra much today; if that is even possible. We woke up late as we have been doing during these lazy, beachy days. I had a phone appointment to talk to my therapist, Sarah. I walked down the boardwalk and sat on a bench to have our session. I told her how it was easier in some aspects to be here, away from home, but hard as well because of all the memories I have of you here. As I sat and talked to her, there was a little boy about your age playing in the sand right in front of me. He kept taking the sand and throwing it everywhere. So something you would have done. I sat and watched him and cried and told Sarah how much it hurts me to see things like this. How much that deserved to be you playing in the sand and throwing it everywhere. We had a good talk. We talked about how I worry about you and how much guilt comes with having you gone. Guilt for doing silly, normal things. I told her I wonder if you are watching me and can’t believe that we are all trying to do things that make us happy. I wonder if it hurts your feelings. It hurts my feelings, Ronan. I don’t like doing all the things we are doing without you. I told her as much as I would love to believe in the picture perfect world of heaven, with you dancing with angels on clouds with harps playing in the background; that I don’t. I’m having a hard time with the not knowing part. We ended our conversation much like the way friends do. She worries about me and told me to call for anything. I will talk to her next week unless I need her sooner.
After I returned back from my talk with Sarah, your Daddy took your brothers over to the Rec Center to play basketball. I crawled back into bed and slept for a couple more hours. I cried and slept and cried and slept some more. I did not want to leave my bed today. I wanted to stay in bed with your blanket and think about you. Right when I was trying to talk myself into getting out of bed, Mr. Sparkly Eyes called. I swear it is always you who tells him to call when I need a good kick in the ass. As soon as I answered he asked what was wrong. I told him, nothing, but everything. He asked if I was o.k. and then said he knows I’m not, that I’m hurting like hell. I cried for the few minutes that I talked to him but he then made me laugh by asking me if I was crying because the ocean from surfing kicked my ass yesterday. I then make some remark that it was the other way around and I kicked the ocean’s ass. He then said, “That’s my girl.” It was something so little but it made me feel better. For about 2 minutes anyway but that’s better than nothing.
Your brothers came back from basketball and were begging to go down to the pool with Jake and Carter. I said I would of course take them so we spent the afternoon down there. I absolutely love being with all 4 of those boys, Ronan. I love to watch them play and laugh and Liam and Quinn are so happy with them. I was watching them run down the boardwalk tonight and I pictured you running behind them, trying to keep up like you always did. You were always so much older than your little 3 years as you could hold your own as well as your brothers. At one point, I looked over and Carter had his arm around Quinn as they were walking together. Such a big brother thing and it made me tear up because that is so something Quinn would have done to you. You would love being here with all of your cousins. They are the sweetest kids.
After our day at the pool and brrrrrr it was freezing, we had Kenny, Stacy, Mac and Kennedy over to grill again. We all sat outside and the kids swam and we enjoyed our time together before we were all frozen solid. The 4 boys continued to jump in and out of the pool and hot tub despite the cold air. It was a good night after a hard day. Everyone is asleep now and your Daddy goes back to Phoenix tomorrow. We are going to miss him. I’ve got to figure out how to keep your brothers entertained. They are pretty easy to please so it shouldn’t be too hard:) I am lucky to be able to take such good care of them.
So, after a hard day I can tell you a few things got me though it. One being this silent auction that is going on at The Biltmore this Friday. I cannot believe all the community support and love that has come of all of this. I am in awe, speechless, and so incredibly proud of the way my son has inspired you all. This all came together in such a short amount of time and the donations and people offering to help in any way they can brings me to tears. I want to be there so badly, but I’m not sure if I can. One of the biggest reasons is emotionally I just don’t think I am ready. Ronan passed away such a short time ago and I feel as if the most important thing I need to be doing right now is just trying to mourn him, respectfully, and to take care of my twins. There is also that whole guilt thing I am dealing with. This is a totally new emotion for me, as I’ve never really felt guilty for anything in my entire life…. and I’m having a really hard time learning what to do with it. I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t feel guilty for being at this event when it feels like such a celebration for Ronan; which it should be and I am so thankful for that. But, I, as his grieving mama, am just not ready to celebrate him in this way yet. Please know that I would love to meet all of you who are doing so much to support Ronan’s cause and there will come a time when I can mentally be in that place, but it is not now. Everything is too fresh and raw. I will be thinking of all of you though as you all have impacted my life in a huge way. I now hear all the time about how Ronan has made you review your way of life, but please know all the love and support coming from each and every one of you is changing me as well. You make me believe in the power of selfless love and what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself. You all make me believe that Ronan and I can change the world into a much more beautiful place. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this event happen all of you little busy bees out there. I just know the sky is going to be filled with the brightest stars that night.
A couple of other things that helped me though my day came in the form of some emails that I would like to share. One, I got permission to share. Her email was so sweet and I loved what she had to say. Thank you, Alicia for this. I loved hearing how your day ended. Here goes…..
Maya, Sorry to disturb your family time but I HAD to let you know what I experienced today. After a hectic day, I had to rush to pick up my girls (6 & 4 in 2 weeks) from school, rush home to get them dressed & to a reception for the team my husband coaches during his off season. We made it to the Botanical Gardens with minutes to spare. I got the kids out of the car & they took off running. Taylor (6) ran towards the venue, Ashley (3) ran straight to & through a giant mud puddle. There was mud everywhere, all over her white dress, face, hair. I was PISSED. We’re already late. Now I have to go home & change her. All that was running through my mind is how our being late would look & what people were going to say/think. I ran over to Ash & as I reached to grab her, a HUMMINGBIRD flew between us. My hand was inches from her arm & there couldn’t have been a foot of space between our chests & all of a sudden there it was. I jumped back. It hovered there for a few seconds, flew around Ash 3 times & flew off. It honestly took my breath away. I instantly though of you & Ronan & how selfish I was being. You’d do anything to have Ronan dirty some clothes & make you late. When we released the balloons for Ronan, I promised I was going to be a better mom, wife & friend. Now, here I was worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter, about people who don’t matter. I honestly believe that hummingbird was your son reminding me of that promise. With tears streaming down my face, I picked up Ash squeezed her tight & kissed her all the way back to the car. We never made it to the reception, instead we grabbed some ice cream & walked along the bay front, muddy clothes & all. Thank you, to you & Ronan for opening my eyes!
And a very special thank you to my Silent Auction Fairy Godmother. Yes, you know who you are. I’m telling you right now, that Ronan is going to watch over you everyday, for the rest of your life. Your generosity and pure love for someone you’ve never even met is unheard of in this day and age. It’s people like you that make this world such an amazing place. Thank you, my dear friend that I hope to meet someday 🙂
I have some busy little bees surrounding me. The most busy little bees in the world. Somehow, they have managed to throw together an amazing event for Ronan. I am beyond moved, inspired, and touched by this amazing community I live in. We are so thankful for all of the love and support surrounding us. I know first hand what an amazing little boy Ronan was, but many of you don’t. I feel compelled to carry on his story and let the love I have for him, live through all of you. The way you have accepted him into your lives, like he was one of your own brings tears to my eyes. I will never be able to thank you enough. Please check out this event; as I know it is going to be amazing and one of many to come. Thank you to everyone who is donating and pulling this together. Together, we can make sure Ronan’s spirit shines on forever.