The signs and The stranger

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!

Alicia Joseph
This last email came to me tonight from a stranger but it was such a gift to me. I talked earlier about how I have been wrestling with the perfect heaven world. I swear to god, this is a sign from Ronan as my therapist, Sarah and I had a long talk about this subject today and then this email came in tonight. I cried to Sarah on the phone because I told her I’m having a hard time feeling Ronan around me. All I want is to know he is here and I’m not getting any kind of a vibe. I think right now, Ronan is trying to let me know he is here, but he is doing it through other people. Sarah had a dream about him the other night and he was smiling and waved to her. I know he is here still, I think I just have to get though this deep sadness before my mind and body will be more open to letting him in. Anyway, back to the email from the stranger that I got tonight which by the way, made me cry like a baby. Here goes….
Dear Maya:
I am just another person sucked into your blog. Yes, writing from a ridiculous unrecognizable email address.  I chose to email you privately versus posting this to your blog because I hope this message gets to you and resonates.
I lost 2 friends to cancer, sisters.  1 this past September 2010, as your baby’s fight was beginning, and her younger sister 8 years prior. Every day I ask myself how their parents go on. My friend was 38 when she passed, and her younger sister just 26. The baby and middle daughter of 3 girls.
This email is not going to ramble on about my friends but give you some brief insight on why I want to deliver this message to you. Your writing, your thought process, your profanity and your honesty reminds me so much of my dear friend and I cannot help but feel connected to you because of it.  She fought cancer for 22 years having her first diagnosis as a teenager, and bravely battling recurrence after recurrence. Her younger sister suffered for 4 years, before losing her battle.
The one thing I know my friend loathed more than anything was having others bring up comparisons of their 60 year old aunt bessie’s cancer battle, or their uncle joe’s who was 50 something, and so I do not make any comparison of their cancer, to childhood cancer, whatsoever. It would seem everyone who met her or knew her story felt compelled to discuss a friend or family members cancer fight. Enough already with it. This is your life, your reality, and your pain. There will never be any fitting comparison. Live has handed you the most cruel dreadful burden.
I am not a bible beater. This is also not a religious talk…  I get your whole dismissal of God, and though I was raised Catholic I have had so many doubts about why God would allow things like this to happen in the world.
Now that i’ve told you all of the things this email isn’t – please let me tell you what it is… I am hoping to deliver but one simple message, one which was passed onto me about “heaven” – After my friend passed away, I happened into a church where strangely enough there was a priest talking about death. Something he said, sat with me and I share it with you.
He said… heaven isn’t out there… its not up in the clouds or in some imaginary paradise. Heaven he said is a place filled with love and where you are with God. He went on to say that God is in each of us. When you lose a loved one, they are with you in the truest sense every waking hour and resting hour. I will never think of Ronan as being somewhere out there, but with you. With you Maya.
Everytime I read one of your posts about the girl from the store who said shit and caught your attention, recurring songs on your ipod, your need to run up the mountain alone to find solace, or your trip and fall on your recent run, or a flannel clad girl in the end of May who runs back and stops you in the street, I keep saying to myself… he’s there Maya, he is trying to get your attention to let you know he is right there. No one on earth has more moments of serendipity as you have since Ronan passed away.
He lives inside you, in a place where he can feel every bit of love that you could never express to him through mere words, or even actions on this earth. The place you unknowingly created for him, heaven.  Everything inside you that aches from loving him that is where he is. He is not hurting, not suffering. That priest also said that you can go so deeply into meditation that you can talk to that loved one … in the place where you truly can share your feelings, fears, unspoken words, and you will feel them communicate back with you if you get better at meditating deeply, and finding them. When you take your runs and midnight swims and you’ve beaten your body to a pulp so that your mind is sort of blank, you are getting close to that place where you can find him, at least I think you are. Its a place where you can meditate and be alone with him and ask him to talk to you. Do you think I am crazy? Perhaps.
When you worry that Ronan is out there and you cannot think he is safe or is he wandering around without you.. never never never believe that.  Ronan is trying so hard to get your attention… perhaps even through emails, postings, and blogs from random people.  Every time I read something new from you, I believe it even more. I think I have to point it out to you.
Fuck this life that you cannot kiss his sweet lips and hug him and giggle with him, or cry with him. Fuck life that you never had the chance to fight on for years even when you were prepared to. Life is wretched and miserable and I hate your families pain. FU Cancer. I am not one of these people who thinks Ronan wanted to be “with God”. When you said he wanted to be in AZ with his family. I believe that wholeheartedly. I believe that is why he is still with you. He is not about to leave. He will always be your perfect gorgeous baby boy, and I know you will always mourn and grieve his loss as long as you shall live.
For years my friend had dreams of her sister who passed away before her. The day before she died she told me that she had the most vivid dream that her sister was well, and running and laughing, and asking her to catch her and come with her. She was chasing her sister in the dream, and couldn’t catch her. Her sister told her nothing was hurting anymore.
My friend told me it was the most beautiful dream and the one she couldn’t shake because it was so real. None of her prior dreams she said had felt so real. Even the dreams that for years had her walking up with tear soaked pillows. My friend passed away the very next day. I pray those sisters are together and have no pain, and no suffering.
I am sure you are sick of cliché’s and BS. If you decide this is the biggest load of crap and you want to post it and tell others to keep this shit to themselves then I get that too.  But there is a part of me that hopes and prays you will be able to find my message makes sense to you.
When you told Ronan, to come with you and leave that place, he did it. He went with you and that is where he has stayed and where he will stay. Your soul and his will be locked together for eternity. Keep doing what you are doing. Keep writing to him, keep working towards your goal with his foundation to keep him alive, to bring hope to others, to teach everyone about undying love and devotion. You and Ronan speak to masses of people and can make a difference in this world. He has impacted more people in his short life than I could dream of in my 40 years on this earth.  I wish you so much inner peace and the ability to connect again with Ronan in a much deeper spiritual way. I hope you feel him with you, truly feel his presence. I hope he keeps giving you little signs and that you can recognize them.
-A stranger
Well dear stranger… I wish I knew who you were because your words hit me harder than anything that I have been told so far. I believe everything you just said to me and it makes absolute sense. Ronan’s heaven is with me, with his family, and even with all of you. He has left me little signs everywhere, I just didn’t know how true they were until now. The hardest part of this is not being able to physically see my baby boy anymore, not to be able to touch or hold him. I will never get over that but I have to believe his spirit is still here right next to me and someday, I will meet him on the other side. When it is my time to go. Until then, I will be sad for the rest of my life but I know that I will find a new happy as well. In the kindness of strangers, the love from my family and friends, and pushing forward to keep Ronan’s story alive so we can help other children. I want Ronan to be the voice for children with cancer everywhere. He would never give up this fight so I will do whatever it takes to support him. I couldn’t do this without all of you and I do believe the more people we have on our side, the more we are going to be able to do. So thank you again, for believing in my baby, for loving your beautiful, “perfect,” lives enough to know that Ronan deserved to have that too. And since he was robbed of it, the fact that you are all willing to continue to fight so hard for him with me says so much about the kind of people you are. I am honored to have you with us so we can continue on Ronan’s journey. I love him so much. I miss him so much. And I would give anything to have him back. Somedays, I swear I am going to just die from sadness but then I force myself to think about everything I have that is so beautiful in my life. I have to make a difference for everyone around me; not just Ronan. Liam and Quinn deserve to grow up and watch how if you live a life full of fight, passion, and love…. you can survive and do anything you want. I promise to make them proud of me too, by living our life as if Ronan is still here. By laughing about him, by talking to him, by celebrating him, by loving him forever.
Alright my sweet friends. I’m a snotty mess who needs to calm herself down. I wish tonight what I wish for every night. Blessings for all of you and sweet dreams of Ronan. He is safe… I know this now thanks to the stranger:) Tonight, I will fall asleep knowing that he is not roaming the streets of Vegas. Although, he would have made a very nice newest member of “The Wolfpack.”
G’night my sweet boy, Ronan. Tonight and every night, I’ll fall asleep with you in my heart.
xoxo

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 🙂

Do you know if this hotel is pager friendly?? I’m not getting a sig’ on my beeper.

It’s days like today that make me really angry at cancer. I pretty much sat and held Ronan the entire day. We snuggled in bed and on the couch and watched movies. He won’t let me leave his side; not that I would want to. We watched “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and the ever so appropriate, ” The Hangover.” (hence the title of my post tonight) I seriously think that is one of the funniest movies ever and I don’t think I could ever get tired of it. Ronan laughed a lot during the movie in spite of his pain. I’m not censoring much these days from him, especially if it makes him laugh. He is feeling awful and has been fighting a low grade fever most of the day. I’m pretty sure he’s developing Mucositis, just like he did with Round 4 of his chemo. He’s telling me his throat hurts, he’s not talking much, he doesn’t want to eat. He’s in pain and just wants to be held. I’m pretty sure we will end up at the hospital if I can’t get his fever to go away. I am positive his ANC counts are at 0. That means no immune system at all. Poor baby. I would give anything to take his pain away.

Our Saturday should have been spent at the twins’ basketball game and at our dear friends son’s 2nd Birthday party. I was so sad to miss both of those things today but I am glad Woody was able to go and take the boys. As my Niki said tonight… next year we will all be together to celebrate her little one turning 3. Thanks my friend, for checking on me the entire day even though you were in the middle of your son’s birthday. You are so amazing to me. Woody and the boys’ had a blast and came home so tired. They are now all snuggled up in bed while I sit here and will stay up as long as I can to watch Ro and his fever. I spoke to the on call doctor tonight and she said as long as his temp does not go above 100.4; we don’t have to come in. Hoping we make it through the night.

I still hate the nights. The nights where if and when I fall asleep, my dreams are filled with such vivid nightmares that I toss and turn all night long. The nights where I no longer get to sleep with my husband because Ronan refuses to share our bed with anyone but me. My poor Woo… what kind of a man would allow a child to kick him out of his own bed? Only the kind of man who has a heart of gold and who would give up anything and everything for his son. I feel awful. I miss Woody and our precious time we used to have together staying up late and laughing at silly things that we would talk about at night or watch on T.V. while the boys’ slept. I feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me in so many ways. I’m tired and we still have such a long road ahead. Will this nightmare ever end???? Will I ever get my normal life back??? Everything is forever changed; and it better be with a very sweet outcome. All of our blood, sweat, and tears will save our baby. I swear to god on my life. Fucking cancer.

That is all for tonight. Going to try to unwind while watching my sweet lil’ man sleep. G’nite, sweet dreams my loves.

xoxo

Do you know if this hotel is pager friendly?? I’m not getting a sig’ on my beeper.

It’s days like today that make me really angry at cancer. I pretty much sat and held Ronan the entire day. We snuggled in bed and on the couch and watched movies. He won’t let me leave his side; not that I would want to. We watched “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and the ever so appropriate, ” The Hangover.” (hence the title of my post tonight) I seriously think that is one of the funniest movies ever and I don’t think I could ever get tired of it. Ronan laughed a lot during the movie in spite of his pain. I’m not censoring much these days from him, especially if it makes him laugh. He is feeling awful and has been fighting a low grade fever most of the day. I’m pretty sure he’s developing Mucositis, just like he did with Round 4 of his chemo. He’s telling me his throat hurts, he’s not talking much, he doesn’t want to eat. He’s in pain and just wants to be held. I’m pretty sure we will end up at the hospital if I can’t get his fever to go away. I am positive his ANC counts are at 0. That means no immune system at all. Poor baby. I would give anything to take his pain away.

Our Saturday should have been spent at the twins’ basketball game and at our dear friends son’s 2nd Birthday party. I was so sad to miss both of those things today but I am glad Woody was able to go and take the boys. As my Niki said tonight… next year we will all be together to celebrate her little one turning 3. Thanks my friend, for checking on me the entire day even though you were in the middle of your son’s birthday. You are so amazing to me. Woody and the boys’ had a blast and came home so tired. They are now all snuggled up in bed while I sit here and will stay up as long as I can to watch Ro and his fever. I spoke to the on call doctor tonight and she said as long as his temp does not go above 100.4; we don’t have to come in. Hoping we make it through the night.

I still hate the nights. The nights where if and when I fall asleep, my dreams are filled with such vivid nightmares that I toss and turn all night long. The nights where I no longer get to sleep with my husband because Ronan refuses to share our bed with anyone but me. My poor Woo… what kind of a man would allow a child to kick him out of his own bed? Only the kind of man who has a heart of gold and who would give up anything and everything for his son. I feel awful. I miss Woody and our precious time we used to have together staying up late and laughing at silly things that we would talk about at night or watch on T.V. while the boys’ slept. I feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me in so many ways. I’m tired and we still have such a long road ahead. Will this nightmare ever end???? Will I ever get my normal life back??? Everything is forever changed; and it better be with a very sweet outcome. All of our blood, sweat, and tears will save our baby. I swear to god on my life. Fucking cancer.

That is all for tonight. Going to try to unwind while watching my sweet lil’ man sleep. G’nite, sweet dreams my loves.

xoxo