Ro…. Inquiring minds want to know. Nailpolish color is by Debroah Lippman, the color is Happy Birthday. You would have freaked over it as it is so sparkly!!! I think of you everytime I wear it!!

Ronan. Do you know that I wait all day for this time at night with you?? It has become so special to me, that it is now a major part of what keeps me going through out the day. I wait for our time together, when everyone is asleep and it is just the two of us. I wait all day so I can finally sit here at night and write to you, take care of you, cry with you, and nurture you the only way that I get to now. I do this for myself, as much as I do it for you. It’s my time with you, alone, to sit with my thoughts and share them with you. It comes so naturally to me now that I am convinced that you can hear the words that I am saying to you. I so need you to hear them. I so need my time with you at the end of the night. The silence is just too loud.

I wrote to you last night, only to have it disappear. I’m not sure what I even said. I know I filled you in on what we have been doing to keep busy. But as I sit here and try to recall what that is, my mind draws a blank. I can’t even remember the day of the week, let alone what now goes on in a day. I can sit and tell you about today though. Even if it seems like everything that happened, was so long ago. The days are still dragging on and time is still standing still. The stupid sun is still rising, every morning and just makes me angry. I’ll tell you about today, before I forget. I took your brothers to Laguna for the day. We needed to get off the island and I wanted to see my friend, Denise, before we went back to Phoenix. We left this morning around 10 and spent the day with her. We met her at her brother’s house, which is unlike anything I have ever seen. It is filled with exotic things everywhere. You would have loved it. We spent a big part of the day, exploring her brother’s house and his love for snakes, frogs, lizards, fish, fossils, butterflies, trees, plants…. it’s like a mini zoo. Liam and Quinn had the best time and Denise did such an amazing job of explaining what everything was to them. It was a very educational day to say the least. We walked into town and had lunch overlooking the ocean. We got ice cream afterwords and sat on the beach, just enjoying the simpleness of the day. We walked back after a few hours and had a little adventure by the ocean shore as we navigated our way down a cliff, through the water, over rocks and back up some stairs; to reality. We said our goodbyes and I drove off feeling so happy for the beautiful day we had just had, but also so sad that I didn’t have you physically there with us. My heart was heavy. On the way home, we got stuck in traffic. Not a surprise, but it ended up taking us twice as long to get home. I would have usually been annoyed by this, but not today. Do you know what I did for the 2 hours that we were stuck in traffic? I talked. I talked to your brothers for so long that I probably turned blue in the face. I don’t know who this person was in the car today as you know I tend to keep my thoughts to myself. I tend to be on the quieter side as I like to think before I speak and it is as if I am always processing and analyzing the things I say. Today, on the car ride home, I did none of that. I let my worlds fly out of my mouth, and I engaged with your brothers in a way that I haven’t done in a very long time. It felt really good. I talked a lot about my childhood and told them a lot of stories. I told them how I had a lot of hard things happen in my life, but how I never felt sorry for myself. I told them the importance of appreciating everything that they have and how lucky they are. I told them they are lucky, Ronan. I still feel this way even though you are gone. How is that even possible?? I really can’t explain it, except for I am so much more grateful for the little things in life that they have now. Even with you being gone. You were the most precious gift to us.

I ran on the beach tonight. I took Liz with me as I am trying my best to turn her into a runner. Olivia stayed with your brothers. I pushed Liz for her mile that I have been having her to run. Baby steps for her. I ran ahead of her and marked a line in the sand for when she reached her mile cutoff. I had her turn around while I ran a few more miles and met up with her back on the boardwalk by our condo. It felt good tonight, running on the beach, with Liz by my side. We both had our headphones on and it felt good to get out of my head for a bit. I need that break so much now. It feels good to spend time with Liz and Olivia. Olivia brings out the innocence of being a child that I feel like we have all been robbed of. Liz reminds me of my younger 21-year-old self, back when life was simple but so complicated. I sit back and watch her and the lessons she is learning from all of this. I know it will make her a better person, if that is even possible. I’m actually not sure it is. Both of those girls are unlike anyone one else on this planet. I feel so lucky to have them in our lives. You loved them so much too.

I’m waiting now. Waiting for this Ambien to do it’s work and force me to drift off into my black wall of sleep. I remember nothing about my nights now. No dreams, not even falling asleep. I try not to get too concerned about this and my therapist agrees. We talked about this Ambien thing the other day. She said if I weren’t processing things during the day and during the time that I write to you at night, that it may be a different story. We both agreed that as of now, I need a break from all of this reality in the form of sleep. I hate it though. Never in my life have I had trouble sleeping. I now have to fight off the demons that live inside of my head as the night slowly creeps in. Your brothers are both in bed with me. They look so peaceful and beautiful. But it is so painful to not have you in here with us too. I can just picture you snuggled up beside us. That image lasts about 10 seconds before my mind automatically goes to you, lying in your bed at the Ryan House, as you were preparing for your last breaths. I watched as your little body gave out and your heart stopped beating. How quickly your little body turned still and cold and your lips, a soft shade of blue. I think about how I gave you a bath after you died, everyday. I remember I was so mad that I couldn’t get the sharpie pen off of your body from your radiation treatment the previous day. I wanted you to be perfectly clean, but I could not get the black sharpie off of your hips. I wanted to take a picture of you so badly, but just could not bring myself to do it. I have my last picture with you before you died and it is awful. You didn’t even look like the same little boy. You weren’t a little boy anymore. Your body, your face, your eyes….. everything had evolved into a man who would have been in his 90’s. That’s why you were so wise beyond your years, that’s why you loved me so much. I sometimes think you were really an old man trapped in a child’s body. It’s the only way I can fucking justify this bullshit. I think your spirit was so much older than the physical you and your spirit was ready to go on and move on to other things as you felt like you had done your job here. Now, I feel like you are really here, still watching over us, and showing your presence in different ways. If we ever have something good happen in our life again, I know it will be you who has made it happen, Ronan. You will be the one that we thank because you are now taking care of us. I’m o.k. with this, but I’m also fucking pissed about this. I wanted to be the one taking care of you, for the rest of my life. That was my job and I totally failed. I didn’t fail in loving you because you know how deeply connected our love was. I failed because you died. I don’t care what anyone says to try to tell me otherwise. I let you down. I promised you we would get you all better, that your daddy would coach your basketball team, that you would play on a baseball team, all the places we would take you and things we would do. I broke all of my promises to you. I hate myself everyday for this, Ro. I’ll never forgive myself.

I’m sleepy now baby. Time to close my eyes. Yoga in the morning. I hope you are safe, warm, and peaceful. Sweet dreams my favorite not spicy monkey boy. I love you to the moon and back.

xoxo

My Ro. I miss you so.

 

 

 

 

Ronan. I think it’s been a few days since I’ve written. The days are still creeping along, ever so slowly. You’re still gone and I am still here. Barely. We are still at the beach. It’s getting closer to the time when we will leave this place, and return home. The thought of that makes my stomach turn. Back to reality. In a big way. Back to life going on, without you here. Your brothers will return to school and life will move forward. I don’t know how I am going to do this without you. It doesn’t seem possible.

I’m not really sure how the days have been going by; but they have. My memory is still foggy as I sit and try to recall how we’ve spent our time. A little time at the beach, eating out, seeing some movies, running….. I think I’ve slept a lot. Mostly just laying in bed, missing you. Not really living as I’m still not ready to. I had dinner with your daddy last night. It was a sad dinner. Everything with him is sad because we are both so sad about you. We talked about you a little, but dinner was mostly filled with silence and small talk. We saw a movie afterwords and it was really hard for us both to sit though it. My lack of concentration is distracting to everything I do, even trying to sit through a mind numbing movie. You would think things like that would be easy for me, but they are not. Even the simplest things have become difficult.

I think I’ve been avoiding phone calls. Crap. I haven’t called your Nana back in a week. Grandpa Steve has called for weeks and I haven’t returned his phone calls either. I’d really just prefer it if I weren’t here in this world anymore to worry about returning phone calls or having people worry about me. I just wish I were with you. Not my choice though, I know. I miss you more than ever.

I’m reading a new book. I like it so far, although I’m not that far into it. It’s called, “The Other Side of Sadness.” It’s basically about the way the mind works when losing a loved one. It is making sense to me as it’s more of a scientific approach to the way the mind and body work when dealing with so much pain. I think I’ll finish it in a few days, but it takes me longer to read books now. I used to fly right though them, absorbing everything easily. Now, I find myself having to go back and re read things and taking the words at a slower pace. It’s as if I’m becoming an entirely different person. Even the way I read a book is fucking different now. Just when I thought I had myself and life all figured out. Turns out, I knew nothing and I only really existed as the person I was, due to being your mom. I don’t know who I’m supposed to be without you. You were such a big reason to why I was the way I was. That person seems gone. I do get glimpses of her every once in a while. Certain people bring out parts of me that I miss so much. Macy is one of them. So are Liz and Olivia. I guess it’s because I feel so comfortable around them. One second I can be looking at Macy, and we will both be crying about you and a second later a song will come on and the next thing I know we are singing our lungs out together to an old school song, while laughing so hard we can hardly breathe. Thank god for those moments…. I need to be around people who make me laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine. For a few minutes a day, it makes me happy again.

I started Liam and Quinn in a camp over here today. They desperately need something to keep them busy, especially Quinn. He’s been really clingy to me which is understandable, but also not healthy for either of us. They both seemed to think it was o.k. and the will go back all week. I am hoping they will like it a little more tomorrow. I think it looks like a really fun camp, but I know for Quinn it’s just that he is separated from me and worries about where I am, what I’m doing, and if I’m coming back. He seems unsure about everything no matter how much I try to convince him that nothing is going to happen to me. What I really want to do is scream that he is absolutely right, that he is so fucking smart, that there are NO guarantees in life, and something could happen to me, as they could happen to any of us at any time of the day, because they can. Look at you, baby. My healthy, strong, baby boy who had this fucking cancer eating away at his body and nobody knew it. Quinn is completely right, completely intuitive, but that is not proper knowledge for an 8-year-old to know. It’s my job as his mom, to reassure him that everything is going to be o.k., when I know this in fact, could be a fucking lie. I am trying my best to protect the shred of innocence that your brothers have left. They have had to learn such a very hard lesson, one that a child should never have to learn. I have to make a choice with this lesson. I can either let it destroy them, or make them in to better human beings because of it. I am working on making them better human beings, trying to take losing you and the lessons that have come with it and turning it into something positive. It feels like such bullshit to me though because it’s not the truth. The truth is this is totally fucked and they shouldn’t have had to learn such a hard life lesson this way. All I really want to do is hide in bed, cry, and scream and let your brothers do the same. I can’t though. I have to go on, I have to give them what tiny pieces of me that I have left. I am giving them everything I have, but it is not much. They really are amazing little boys though. Such good, sweet, funny, smart, boys. Liam has the mind of a 30-year-old and Quinn and his memory that blows me away. I do find myself blown away during many points of the day over things that they say or do. Life has so quickly gotten ahead of me and it’s as if I cannot catch up, no matter how hard I try.

O.K. baby. I think I’m tired now. It’s 2:30 a.m. Ambien is kicking in. UGH. Once again I had so much more to say to you but just cannot do it tonight. Just know I miss you so much. I love you to the moon and back and hope you are safe. G’night my Ro baby. Love you forever.

xoxo

 

Love and the Locket

Ronan. It’s days like today that give me just a sliver of hope that I am going to be o.k. That being without you, won’t kill me. I know this because today….. I felt something that I haven’t don’t feel very often anymore. Almost happy.

The morning started off as usual. We woke up around 9 and Quinn had asked to have a day at the beach. We texted Auntie Karen to see if Olivia could meet us. She sent her over and we headed out to enjoy the San Diego sun. We went down to the beach and spent a couple of hours there, being lazy and then we swam in the ocean for a while. We headed up to the pool after we got tired of the sand and the flies that seemed to be everywhere. We spent the next couple of hours at the pool and Quinn and Olivia played their little hearts out. Auntie Karen joined us for a bit and we sat and talked about you. She misses you so much. It felt nice to talk about you with her though. She told me how you will always be with her. I know this. You are part of her and always will be. She will forever be your favorite crazy “old lady.” We still giggle all the time about how you would call her this.

After our pool time, we got ready for the evening. Susie drove over from Mission Beach to see us. Macy, Quinn, Susie, Olivia, Liz and I all walked into town to have dinner. All I have to say is your New York Miss Macy is like chicken noodle soup for my soul. She makes me laugh like no other. Somehow, when we were with Liz a few nights ago, Macy started talking in her fake British accent. It caused Liz and I to crack up because it came out of nowhere and it was so awful. We have been teasing her about this for days now and it has turned into a huge joke. Tonight, we spent most of the evening being loud and laughing, while we all talked in our fake British accents. It was an evening full of taking silly pictures, British accents, laughing until our sides hurt and just having wonderful, innocent, fun. Quinn was in heaven and joined in and soaked up everything that we were saying and doing.

After dinner, Susie had to head out and the rest of us headed down to watch the sunset at the beach together. As we were setting our things down, I took off the locket that Macy bought me last week. She found it at a shop in North Park while we were waiting for our table at a restaurant and fell in love with it. She bought one for herself and one for me. It’s gold, long, heavy and we talked about how we would put a beautiful picture of you in it. It is so gorgeous and has become one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. Just knowing that you are close to my heart and inside of it, brings me such a feeling of peace. I took the locket off tonight and set it in one of my shoes. I ran off and forgot about it as we spent the next couple of hours playing on the beach, doing hand stands and silly things.

As it started to get dark we decided to head up to the Hotel Del to get ice cream. As we got there, Quinn asked to go into the toy store instead. We all agreed as the line for the ice cream was really long and it was hot and stuffy in there. We played in the toy store with him for the next 30 minutes all while still talking in our very loud British accents. We were getting ready to leave and I noticed my locket was not on my neck. I immediately went to my purse to see if I had put it in there. No dice. I panicked and told the girls that I had a slight emergency as I remembered I had set the locket in my shoe at the beach. Macy and Liz stayed with Quinn and I grabbed Olivia to come with me. We rushed back to the beach and tried to retrace our steps as best we could. Luckily, we sat and played by a very big hole in the sand which is how I got us back to the spot to where we were sitting. Turns out, this hole was not as helpful as I had thought because we did set our things down kind of far away from it. I knew was at least a starting point and it was better than nothing. We started searching for my locket and I could feel myself starting to panic. It was pitch black and the beach just looked so big; like it could have swallowed us whole. That is how I felt and right as I could feel the tears to begin to pour down my cheeks, Olivia yelled, ” I found it!” I could not believe my ears. The locket was half buried in the sand, it was dark, but somehow Olivia found it. A wave of happiness washed over me. I hugged Olivia and told her thank you. That sweet girl saved me today. It was such a good day and if she would not have found my necklace, the day for me would have completely been ruined. I know it is only a material thing, but the fact that Macy bought it for the both of us, to keep you closer to our hearts means so much to me. Thank you too, Ro. For helping Olivia tonight. I know that was you. I know you wanted me to have a good day today as you know how much I need that every once in a while.

We all came back up to the condo and I headed out for a quick run. It was late, so I didn’t do my usual route of 6 miles. I did a fast 4 instead. Macy wouldn’t have it any other way because of the fact that it was so late but she knows how I am if I don’t get my run in. She let me go but not before I gave her an exact time of when I would be back. I’ve given her the name of “wife,” now. She is my surrogate Woody. I am going to be so sad when she has to leave tomorrow. I know Quinn will too. He loves her so much. We will see her next week though as she has to be in Newport for a work trip.

This morning Papa Jim sent me a picture. It was of Liam and his first Salmon that he caught. They went out fishing on Papa’s boat early this morning. What a great way to start off my day. He looked so happy and proud of his fish. I was sad that I wasn’t there to see it, but I am so thankful for the happiness that I saw in his eyes today in that picture. He will remember that for the rest of his life.

O.K. baby. I’m going to try to get some sleep. I didn’t fall asleep until 4 a.m. last night and I promised Macy I would try to get to sleep earlier tonight. Quinn is snuggled up tightly in between the two of us. I will kiss him goodnight for you. I miss you so much. Thank you for the love and laughter today. Thank you for Macy. I would have never found her if it wasn’t for you. Your little gifts are everywhere. Sweet dreams my gorgeous boy. I hope you are safe. I love you, Ronan.

xoxo

The Saddest Hour

Ronan. The night is finally creeping in. Another day done without you here. The days still drag on and on without you, no matter how busy I keep myself. We all woke up this morning and I walked into town. Your brother, Liam, has swimmers ear so I had to pick up his prescription. When I returned back to the condo, your brothers were all ready to hit up the beach. We packed up our things and headed down to the beach. We took a big bag of your little Star Wars guys with us and decided that we would build them a fort for you. Liam was in charge of the “bad guys,” area and Quinn and I were in charge of the “good guys.” It was so hard for me to keep it together for your brothers while we did this today. You would have loved it so much. I took pictures for you so you could see how it turned out. We had fun doing this together in your honor today. Or as much fun as we could without you being here with us.

After the beach, we headed to the pool. It was really nice out today so we played in the pool and the hot tub for a couple of hours. Your brothers are missing you so much. They get so board with each other and without having you around to play with. My entertainment pales in comparison to the way you would have entertained them for hours. I did my best, but they were soon ready to come back up and they were tired from the sun. The rest of our day slowly went by and Mimi and Papa called to see if they could take your brothers to the movies. They both wanted to go and this was a good chance for me to have some quality time with your Daddy. Your brothers left with Mimi and Papa and your Daddy and I went out for our date. We sat at a little restaurant in Coronado for their Happy Hour. So much for that. Happy Hour should have been called  the Saddest Hour because that’s what it turned into. I sat with your Daddy, and pretty much cried the entire dinner. We talked about you the whole time, went over again and again, what we could have done differently. I told your Daddy how much I worry about you and I can’t stop thinking about where you are. The whole time I kept thinking in my head, how I was your mommy and I couldn’t save you. I was supposed to protect you and I will always feel like I failed you. I was supposed to keep you safe, baby. But there was nothing I could do and I’ll never understand how that wasn’t enough. How our love for each other wasn’t enough. Wasn’t anybody listening? Couldn’t they see how much we loved each other and deserved to be together for the rest of our lives? Who would be so cruel to take that away? The love we had for each other was so powerful I was sure it was going to save you. The love you had for me was the same….. something beyond this earth even, Ro. Where are you?!?!?!?! Why did you have to go?!?!?!?!? I will never stop questioning everything, Ro. I will beg for you to come back for the rest of my fucking life.

I didn’t eat much at dinner, but instead I sat and watched how sad your Daddy is too. At one point, the waitress came up to us while my tears were pouring. She quickly walked away. I wondered what she thought I was crying about. I am pretty sure she thought something like a failed marriage, an affair, one of us losing a job. I’ll bet you in a million years she would have never guessed my tears were for you. My tears were because our beautiful boy just died of cancer. Our reality is just too awful to be reality. I still can’t believe all of this and I swear I am still waiting to wake up from this nightmare.

After dinner, we came back to our place but it was so nice out we decided to go on a walk. We walked to The Hotel Del and then down to the beach. We climbed up on some rocks together and looked at all the crabs crawling about. Your Daddy was looking out to the ocean and all of a sudden, a fin appeared. The next thing we knew we were watching a bunch of dolphins jump about. One of your little signs, baby?? I’ll take it, but it still doesn’t make me miss you any less. I grabbed your Daddy from behind and wrapped my arms around him as we stood for a long time together and watched them play about. It was peaceful and I wished so badly that we could just be that normal, happy, couple that we used to be. Back when you were here and we had nothing to be sad about. Now, we will be branded for life as the couple who lost a child. Sadness will always be a part of our togetherness. All innocence we once had will never be again and therefore, we as a couple will never be the same. Will we come out of this stronger? I don’t think we have a choice. We have to as we have too much to lose if we do not. But the sadness that now exists in our world hurts so much, Ro. Nights like tonight though are important to the both of us. Grieving about you, together is something I haven’t been ready to do yet but I can slowly feel myself coming around. I can’t do this all alone and I feel like I can heal better by letting my guard down a bit. As much as I want this wall up, keeping everyone out…. that isn’t going to do anyone any good and I really need to stop just thinking of myself as there are other people hurting just as badly as I am. Your Daddy being one of them. The bottom line is, he needs me and I need him. I need to be better about remembering that as it is very easy to get wrapped up in my own little world where nobody else exists except me and my pain for you. Sometimes I prefer it that way, but this is not healthy. I will try harder for you, baby. For our family.

After our date, we came back to our condo and I slipped out for my run. UGH. I was so not feeling it tonight but I pushed through my 6 miles at a sluggish pace of a 9 minute mile. What the heck is that?? I’ve been pretty consistent with my 8:23 minute mile. Tonight was brutal. At one point, I wanted to stop and walk but I heard you in my head so I refused to stop. Thanks for that extra push tonight when I needed it most. The rest of the evening was spent playing with your brothers and Daddy. We played PS3 together… something I don’t do very often but it ended up being pretty fun. We played Call of Duty: Black Ops. I was on a team with Quinn and we beat your Dad and Liam. There was a lot of laughing and I think your brothers were surprised at my mad shooting skills. Never underestimate the power of your mama… video games and all.

This is all for tonight my love. Until we meet again, hopefully in my dreams tonight. I love you, Ronan. Forever and Ever. Just you and me, baby. I hope you are safe.

xoxo