The summer of the Dolphins

Ronan. I’m not sure what I have written in these past few posts. I think they have been a little dark, scary, and sad though. I’m sorry. I had a better day today. I promise. I tried my best. We took your brothers for lunch and were deciding on going to the Zoo or to play football. They chose football. You would have loved it. You were missed by everyone. It still feels so strange, it just being the four of us. Not right at all. But we made the best of it that we could. After Football, your daddy and Liam went to run some errands. Quinny and I hung out here. As soon as they returned, I had a craving for Pinkberry. Quinn and I hopped in the car to drive to downtown San Diego to pick some up. As I was texting Liz to see if she wanted any, she told me to come over to the bench that she and her mom were sitting on, in front of the El Camino Pool. I parked and walked over with Quinn. Liz started to tell her mom to tell me what they had figured out about all the dolphins we have seen. Karen said no, not in front of Quinn. I sat and just watched the ocean. About 5 minutes later, Quinn spotted the dolphins. Liz started crying. Karen and I held her as the tears rolled down her cheeks. I wasn’t aware of what they had figured out, but I knew it had something to do with the dolphins, Ronan, and me. It has been a strange dolphin summer. Every time I am out by the ocean, they just appear. Liz told Karen tonight, if they appeared when I came over to sit down at the bench,she was going to freak out. They appeared and that is when she started to cry. I knew why. We all know why, Ro. It is your sign to me that you are o.k. That you are happy, playful, and loved….. wherever you are. When I tried to get out to the dolphins on my paddle board the other day, as soon as I got out into the water, they all disappeared. It was weird. The second I was coming back into shore, they appeared right behind me, where I had been moments earlier. It’s like you are telling me, you can see me, but you can’t get too close. You will see me again, but it’s not time yet. You still want me to know you are here, you will always be here until we are ready to go off in our own little world together. I cried on that bench today too with Liz. She then went home and looked up some dolphin symbolism. So beautiful.

Dolphins seen in Christian art are symbolic of resurrection. Some artists utilize the protective, stabilizing, compassionate demeanor of the dolphin as a message of wellbeing to the pure of heart. Some artistic renditions speak of dolphins transporting the spirits of the faithful to Christ’s side upon leaving their physical bodies. Also in Greece, the dolphin is a compatriot of both the god Apollo (sun) and the goddess Aphrodite (moon).This is a key understanding because the dolphin meaning is connected with themes of duality. It has to do with the dolphin being both fish and mammal. It is both of the water, and an air breather. Ergo, dolphin symbolism talks to us about “being in two worlds at once.” Poseidon (Greek), Neptune (Roman)
Themes of kingship, rulership, authority, strength, dominion, freedom, intelligence, compassion and fatherly protection over the entire kingdom (sea).
Eros (Greek), Cupid (Roman)
These gods contribute dolphin meaning of: Love, friendliness, playfulness, sensuality, desire, exploration, curiosity, attraction and joy.
Dionysus (Greek), Bacchus (Roman)
These deities underscore the dolphins ability to uplift, and carries themes of joviality, freedom, wildness, abandon, creative self-expression. The term delphi is noteworthy as the Greek word for dolphin is delphis and its derivative, delphys means womb. This incorporates more lunar and feminine attributes to the dolphin scene. In Celtic animal symbolism, the dolphin as a highly honored creature as it was seen as the protector of sacred wells and sacred water. The dolphin, to the Celtic mind, is the watcher of the waters, and the guardians of all things water-associated. Pirate lore also hails the dolphin as a symbol of protection.

From my love, LIZ::::::: I know you’ve want to see Ronan in your dreams, but I swear… these fucking dolphins, Maya. My mom said when you guys were talking by the pool yesterday, they were there the entire time. I have no doubt in my mind they are the sign you’ve been looking for. I hope you can sleep better tonight knowing that Ro is always ALWAYS by your side. Love you so much.

I do believe this. It’s happened too many times for me not to. I can’t think of one time that I have not been out by the beach and not had them be there too. At the exact same time I am. I know they don’t just hang out there all day and night. It’s a sign indeed. A beautiful sign from my baby boy. Thanks, Ro. You know I needed that, especially after my hard couple of days.

I took Quinn to Pinkberry tonight. He is my little sidekick. Stuck like glue. He is sleeping between your daddy and I with you GiGi on his head. Just like the way you used to sleep with us after you got sick. I miss watching you sleep. I miss you squeaky voice so much. I’ve got to figure out how to get through this without you, Ro. I’ve got to “flip the switch,” as my friend says. I wish it were that simple, that easy. I need a better attitude?? I need to not miss you so much?? I need to find things to occupy my time?? Are those the answers? I don’t know. I hate the unknown. It’s days like today that I am happy that I got out of bed before 9 and I did my best to play with mommy role that feels so unnatural without you. But I did it. Sucked it up and did it.

I got a random text from my little 17-year-old airplane pal. I have not heard from him in forever. He said he was having a bad day, he is lonely, and he is tired of the drama with girls. This made me smile. Not to take away anything from what he is going though at 17, but what wouldn’t I give for those problems. He told me at 17 he just wants someone to share his life with. I told him the only people he needed to be sharing his life with at 17 are his friends and figuring out what truly makes him happy. I told him it could be a lonely journey, but it will be worth it. How if you take care of yourself first, everything will just fall into place. I told him how I understood, how at 17 I felt very restless and wasn’t really sure what I wanted out of my life so I took the time to leave my town and just focus on me. I never looked back. I told him how I have learned the very hard way how precious life really is, how I will forever be destroyed because I don’t get to watch you grow up. I told him that he, Bryson, has everything, right in front of him. My advice to him was not to let the petty things get him down, to take this time and live his life for him and nobody else, travel, get out of Utah, read books, run, play sports, study, fall in love 10 different times, make mistakes, learn from them, and then make them all over again. I think he liked what I had to say as he told me that I had just made his life sound 10 times more exciting. Glad I could help:) You are a good kid, B, so you will be just fine.

OK baby boy. Ambien nights are here. I love you to the moon and back. You are my heart, my soul, my everything, forever. Nothing can take that away. Sweet dreams, I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Just say no to death do us part…….. time to update wedding vows people. What if your child died? Did you ever think about that while saying them???

Ro

Ronan. Hi my love. I hope you had a good day. That sounds so weird to say, because how could any day possibly be good when we are apart?? I miss your giggles so much. The world is so empty without them. I know I say this all the time, but I would give anything to have you back. I tell you all the time to please take me with you. I know you can’t, as you wouldn’t do that to your daddy or brothers but I miss you so much.

Today was a long day. The kind of days that I seem to have pretty often now that you are gone. I managed to keep Quinn busy though. We hung out at our place and then I took him and Olivia for lunch. We came back to the condo after and hung out. Olivia helped me clean everything as we needed to get ready for Liam and Papa Jim’s arrival. She is such a big help to me. Quinn looks up to her like a sister and she is a really good playmate for him. He gets lonely when she is gone as he loves having her around. I do too.

After we cleaned, we got ready and met up with Liz. The 4 of us walked and had sushi. It was a nice dinner but it always feels weird to be doing things without you. Between, Quinn, Olivia, and Liz, I was able to keep it together as they all provided much laughter. We walked around the island a bit and started making our way back to The Shores. As we were crossing the street, I looked up at locked eyes with a mama who was pushing her little boy in a stroller. I was dying inside because of her little boys amazing, curly, red hair. I smiled at her and she looked at me and goes, “Maya!” She approached me and introduced herself and gave me a warm hug. She follows this blog as does her sister whom I had the pleasure of meeting as well. We have mutual friends and the friends we are all friends with are GEMS….. so I know these two women must be as well:) We chatted for a few minutes and I managed to only get choked up once. It was so sweet, so rewarding, and it just felt good to hear them say that they think about you everyday. How I will never be without you because you live in each and every one of them. How you’ve inspired them to do something more with their lives. Nothing will ever be worth losing you for, Ro. But in losing you, people are finding what it truly means to live a life you are grateful for. Do I hate that it has to be you and me teaching this lesson? Absolutely. But we cannot control our fate, our destiny, what is being set out in front of us. It is not up to us so we have to just give in and trust that this is what our purpose in life is supposed to be. To help others see their way, to help them be more grateful and kind, to let them help us by raising awareness for you and Neuroblastoma or childhood cancer in general.

As I was talking to those two beautiful ladies today, I honestly felt you there by my side. It was weird. At one point, I looked down at my feet to see if you were there. That is how much I felt your presence. I then looked over at Liz and gave her a teary smile. Liz is my home, my heart, part of my soul. She gets it. She knew you were there today too….. I could tell just by looking at her. I was honored to meet both of you today and just wanted to tell you thank you again for loving and supporting strangers whom you didn’t even know, until today. I can’t wait to see you again.

After our “meeting random strangers,” whom I don’t know but they pretty much know everything about me…. which is weird but I’m oddly comfortable with it….. we went back to our condo. It as time to get ready to pick up Liam and Papa Jim at the airport. It’s been nice having some one on one time with Quinn. He’s really opened up to me and we had some pretty intense conversations. He is like a little sponge and never forgets anything I do or say. I got to watch him open back up to me again and he told me how hard it was on him to not have me around to take care of him when Ronan was sick. I told him I knew, and that it was hard on everybody. But we didn’t have a choice. We had to take care of Ronan the best we could and I’m sorry that I had to be away from him for so long. I hope he will forgive me. I would have done the same thing for him and I tell him this all the time. I just hope he really believes it. An 8 year olds mind is such a fragile thing when dealing with a tragedy. I don’t have all the answers and this is when the therapy will come into play when we get back. I recognize that we all will be needing it pretty intensely.

I was thinking about this the other night on one of my runs. For some reason I started thinking about wedding vows. The whole, “Until death do us part.” I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I thought to myself, I’ll bet when people say those vows, they don’t take into consideration if the child would be the one to die….. would death do them part?? I think people say that vow just thinking of one another, as man and wife; never a child because that is just too horrific and does not happen. WRONG. BIG FAT LIE. It happens. And I am so freaking glad Woody and I did not say those vows to each other. Not that they are awful…. but we are just different. We had E.J. Kotalik marry us because it was important to us to make them a part of our family. I never knew how much we would truly need them. We now need them more than ever. We didn’t read the traditional vows. We read a poem by E.E. Cummings, instead. One of my favorites:::::

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

It was perfect for us and still is. And whomever is telling my mom the statistics for people who divorce after the death of a child….. Seriously needs to stop. This is not something a grandmother who has just lost her grandson and who is worried sick about her daughter, needs to hear. I know the statistics, Woody knows them. We know who we are. We know that throughout all of this, we’ve stayed on the same page with pretty much everything. We know we are each others best friends. He has my heart and I have his. Forever. End of story. We don’t do drama, we don’t do hurt, we don’t do fighting (unless you count the time I threw a slurpie at his head) We do love. We love our twins. We love each other. We are not going to let cancer ruin anything else for us. MOTHERFUCKERCANCER. You’re not taking anything else away from me. You took the most precious thing that has ever been mine and I will fight you until you die and exist no more. YOU FUCKWAD.

Oye! Ronan! I’d better be signing off now. Before I get too bloody out of control! I love you my not spicy favorite monkey. I hope you are safe. I hope someone is taking good care of you. I just want you back here with me. Please. This life is too hard without you. I LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK RO.

xoxox

A little hummingbird told me……

Ronan. You should have been here today with us. I forced myself to have a better day today. Forced myself up out of bed, out into the delicious San Diego sunshine, out on to the beach; armed with my surfboard. I knew the only way I was going to get though this day today, was by getting my ass kicked in the ocean. That’s precisely what I did. I welcomed the angry ocean with open arms as I tried my best to get up on my board; only to miss the curl of the wave over and over again. To be ripped under the water where the salt water stung my eyes and I choked on the bitter taste of the sea. Happiness. Torture. Hurt. Pain. I felt it today out there and I wish I could say it quenched my thirst for what I am missing in life now. But it didn’t. Not even close. But I knew if I didn’t get out, and try to live….. well, that’s not going to be good for anyone. And as I’ve said before, this is not just about me. As much as I selfishly wish it were sometimes. There are other people involved. Other little people whom I have to take care of.

After I surfed for a while, Quinn came out to join me. I put him on my board and pushed him out past the waves. I carried him out as far as I could go and turned him around to wait for the right wave to come. He missed the first one, and toppled under the water. We tried again and this time, he got up easily and rode the wave all the way into the shore. Liam came out as well just to splash around. We played out in the ocean for a while until your daddy pointed out the dead Sting Ray on the shore. We decided to come in after that. I hope I never meet one of those guys in the ocean. They do not look like somebody I would like to be friends with.  After the beach, we went up to the pool and enjoyed the rest of the summer day.

Your daddy had to head back to AZ tonight for the rest of the week. We went out for dinner and dropped him off at the airport. We headed back to Coronado and decided to walk to the Hotel Del for ice cream. Your brothers seem happy. It’s strange to watch just the two of them interact now and how their relationship is changing. It’s as if they have to get to know each other all over again. You were such a big part of them. It’s almost as if you were such a strong force between them, as you had such a different relationships with both of them. Everything you brought into this world was unique and special and that includes the bond you had with your brothers. We all feel lost and awkward. It’s hard to sit back and watch all of this. It was hard for me to take your brothers for ice cream at The Del tonight. I know you know this. I know you can feel me because at my saddest point tonight, as the sun was setting on our way back from ice cream, I looked up and there was a little hummingbird. Flying right in front of us. Quinn and Liam both started laughing and chased it. It kept fluttering away, but only to turn right back to us again. It landed on a tree right in front of The Shores and it stood still on a branch as we came over to look at it. It stood still for a couple of minutes and Quinn kept insisting that I take a picture of it. I took one on my iphone for him. This little hummingbird didn’t move the entire time we watched it. We finally walked away, and I told the little hummingbird, “Bye Ronan.” Your brothers said, “Bye, Ro,” as well. It was a sweet moment that reminds me as lonely, lost, and scared as I feel without you; that I am never truly alone.

I spent the rest of the night playing with your brothers. I caught up on a couple of phone calls that were way overdue. This whole “hiding,” thing of mine that I like to do, is hard on my friendships. Not hard in the way that I worry about losing my friends; because the one’s that have stuck around are in it for the long haul. Forever. It’s hard in the respect that I just truly miss them and the simpleness that our friendships used to consist of. Nothing is simple anymore. I’m complex and any illusions about life being easy or fair, has been ruined for them. It must be hard to be on the other side of this and to kind of be sitting back on the sidelines; watching. Watching and waiting because you don’t want to overstep your boundaries. I am aware of my little angels surrounding me though. I know they are all still there, and giving me time to grieve. I am so thankful for that. When the time is right, I will see my friends again and all of their beautiful smiles that I miss so much. I am forever and eternally grateful and thankful for the love of my friends. I am a very lucky girl in regards to them.

We finished up our night, just the 3 of us by watching a movie together. Your daddy will not be back here all week. I’ve got to find some things to do to keep everyone entertained and happy. I’ve got to be a mom, to your brothers, like I used to be without the help of anyone else. I haven’t really done this since you were diagnosed almost a year ago. It’s going to be a challenge to say the least. The things that used to come so effortlessly to me, are now the most difficult. Being a mom. Being a wife. Just being Maya. Adios to that Maya. She no longer exists. I don’t know who I am without you. I hope to find my way back someday, but as of now, I am completely lost. At the end of the day, I am just happy that I am one day closer to being reunited with you. I miss you so much.

That’s all tonight my baby doll. I’ve given up on this trying to sleep without the help of my Ambien experiment as well. The pain of having to survive the nights of not sleeping, but instead lying in bed and feeling as if every part of me is burning with pain is not something I am capable of handling. Bring on the Ambien.

I love you. To the moon and back forever and ever. Sweet dreams, my love. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

I miss you. But I smiled though my tears for you.

 

 

Ronan. Hi baby. Missed you today. I woke up your brothers early. Well, early for us since we have been lazy beach bums sleeping in on most days. 8 a.m. was early for us today. I was tempted to let them sleep in as they looked so cozy and sleepy. They had to be at surf camp at 9 a.m. though, so waking them up was necessary. They so did not want to go. The both of them have been complaining that I signed them up for surf camp since I told them about it a month ago. Too bad, so sad, is what I basically told them. They kept insisting that they were not going to like it. I told them they wouldn’t know until they tried. It’s all week from 9-12. I got their cozy little buns out of bed, dressed and fed, and we headed down to the very cold beach this morning. They put on their little wetsuits and before I knew it they were off and running into the water. Most parents just dropped their kids off. I stayed and watched, took pictures, helped them and even got my sweats soaking wet as I was helping a little girl named Brooke, get out into the ocean. She was sooooo cute that I couldn’t resist. It was the best 3 hours I’ve had in a very long time. I was surprised how much I enjoyed just sitting and watching them and I was so impressed at how easily they picked up on it. Especially Liam. He really took to it and was really far out in the ocean with the instructor. He surfed up until the 3 hours were up. I am so proud of both of your brothers. They ended up loving it and can’t wait to go back tomorrow. I saw you while I was watching them. Those two little dolphins I saw the other day were out really close to Liam. I told Quinn it was you watching over Liam, to make sure he was safe in the ocean. He smiled and agreed with me. Thanks for that today, baby.

After the surf lesson was over, the boys were freezing so I took them over to the hot tub to warm up. Your daddy came down and brought down lunch to BBQ. We spent the next couple hours at the pool and the hot tub. After that, we headed back up to the condo. The boys were wiped out, but Quinn really wanted to rent one of those Surrey bikes that are in front of the Del. He has begged for weeks. Liam had no interest in going, and Woody had to work, so I headed off with Quinn to rent our bike. We rode all over the Island and ended up the school here. Quinn got a big kick out of my crazy driving and jumping the curb with our bike at the school. He was cracking up and I explained to him the importance of doing “boy,” things like that. I told him if you had been there, you would have made us do it over and over. In your honor, we took our Surry bike and jumped the curb 4 more times. We laughed the every time. It made me miss you so much, but it felt good to laugh with Quinn. I could tell the day meant a lot to him and it meant a lot to me as well. When we finished with our bike, we walked over to the Hotel Del to get him some ice cream. After our big day out, Quinn came back here and 20 minutes later, he was passed out cold. He slept for a few hours and woke up starving so I took him to get dinner. Liam, once again did not want to go. He is such a little homebody.

I have not had a day like today in a very long time. One where I almost enjoyed myself. Spending time with your brothers, watching them do something new, is the closest I’ve come to almost feeling happy since you left us. Happy, but I missed you a lot too. I know those two things will go hand and hand for the rest of my life now. I’ll always picture  you with us, in everything we do. I know today, you would have been out on that beach with me, with your boogie board, watching your brothers and mad that you couldn’t be out surfing with them. You were always trying to keep up with them and I was always amazed at how well you did. Your fire and zest for life was something I have never seen in anyone in my life. You took everyday by storm and that is something that I miss doing with you. Together, we were unstoppable. I miss having you everywhere with me so much. If you can’t tell, I have a  new little shadow now and his name is Quinn. He is stuck to me like glue and I am really trying to embrace him as much as possible. I can feel myself reconnecting to your brothers again, but Quinn is working extra hard to be by my side 24/7. Liam is so independent, that he is happy anywhere and has been spending a lot of time with your daddy. They are such similar creatures. I love watching the two of them together.

That is all for tonight my little monkey. I’ve got to try to get some sleep as we have another early day of surf camp tomorrow. I miss you more than words could ever say. I love you to the moon and back, baby. I hope you are safe. I still worry about you so much. I would give anything to be able to kiss those sweet little lips of your.  Sweet dreams, Ro.