Breaking rules, changing Holidays

Ronan. Hi baby. Another day done. Looking back on todays events, although nothing major happened, it seems like forever ago. If I were to write a handbook on losing a child, because there seems to nothing out there about this subject, one of the things I would write about is how slowly time passes by. How the hours just drag on, and so do the days, months and I am assuming years as well. By the time I die, I’ll bet I’ll feel like I’ve lived hundreds of lives. As of now, I don’t really feel like this is a good thing. I’m just tired. And sad. I think I’m also starting to realize that I don’t think I will truly be happy again. I don’t think I will ever know pure bliss again like I knew before all of this cancer shit. Before the loss of you. My life, at best, will be filled with moments of happiness here and there, but the happy that once existed before all of this will never be again. Maybe this will change as time goes on, but I just don’t see how that is possible.

What did I do today?? No clue. Woke up. Didn’t want to. Texted Liz to see if she wanted to walk down to the Del to grab a coffee. She did. Quinn came with us. We got coffee and some yummy but very bad for you pastries and sat and ate them at a table outside. A girl named Katie came up to me with her little boy to introduce herself and to say how much she thinks of you. It was so sweet. They both were wearing their Rockstar Ronan bracelets. It made me smile and my heart melt all at the same time. Everybody loves you so much. Even strangers whom have never met you. It really is amazing all the love and support that has come of this. I will forever be grateful and humbled.

After our coffee, your daddy wanted me to grab him some bagels in town. Liz headed back and Quinn went with her. As much as I love being with your brother, the time to walk alone was nice. But then something weird happened. Something that I should probably get used to, but it still annoyed me. I was paying for our bagels and I felt like a hole was being burned in the back of my neck. I glanced to the side and there sat a family. A mom, dad, and three older daughters. They were staring with their sad eyes and talking in low voices. The girls had their backs to me, but were turned around in their seats while they all gawked. I don’t know if gawked is the right word here, but I’m using it anyway because that is what if felt like. At first, I thought is was my imagination so I just went on with my business and paid for our things. I could feel them all still staring, so as a natural reaction, I glanced their way to see if it was indeed true, and not just me making things up in my head. It was true. Once they saw me look back again, their eyes fell to the floor and they avoided anymore eye contact with me. I quickly rushed out of the bagel shop after that feeling very sad. I get it. Coronado is a very small place, a mini Phoenix. I know people know about you and just don’t know what to say. I know a lot of people just choose to say not say anything and that’s fine. But just a smile would have been nice. That way, maybe I wouldn’t have felt like a zoo animal on display. I hate the looks of pity. I understand the looks of sadness, but the pity looks only make everything even more painful. The looks of pity followed by awkward silence. I’m not a fan of that at all.

I walked back to the Shores trying not to get too sad about that I didn’t have you following behind me. I pictured you running on the boardwalk, doing something naughty like stepping on all the flowers. I pictured myself chasing after you, laughing, but trying to be stern about teaching you to respect nature. As tears started to form, I saw a woman walking in front of me, carrying a Paul Frank monkey bag. The tears stopped. I smiled instead. Then I got to thinking about life and how what if everything that happens is carefully orchestrated. That woman, that stranger, was put in front of me, in that single moment because I wasn’t supposed to be sad. She was put there to make me smile and think of you in regards to something that reminded me so much of you, in the form of happiness. My head starting spinning then and I took a deep breath and thanked you.

I came back upstairs and did my best to get on with the day. I failed. I sunk into bed and fell asleep for an hour. After kicking my own ass in my head, I got up and agreed to go to the beach with your brothers and daddy. It was warm out there today. We played beach darts, football, and I snapped a bunch of pictures. After a couple of hours, your daddy and brothers headed back up to the condo. I stayed down on the beach to finish my book. I now get to read books about sadness and grief. I am looking for answers that I am never going to find. What I wouldn’t give to have some trashy novel in my hands instead. What I wouldn’t give to be completely consumed in a summer beach read. I finished, “The Other Side of Sadness.” It was actually pretty good and interesting. It talked about surviving grief and how there is no step by step guide, which I am slowly figuring out. It talked a lot about different cultures and how death is perceived differently in each one. If anything, the book was informative in that way. I got a few good things out of it. A mother talked about losing her daughter after 9/11. She said one of the things she worried about most was forgetting the memories of her. After a few years passed by, the author asked her what bereavement felt like, years after losing her.She said, “It’s a bit like a fading light. It grows dim, but it never goes out, never, not completely anyway. I find that enormously ressuring. I used to worry that someday the light would disappear that I would forget, and then I would really have lost Claire. I know, now, that doesn’t happen. It can’t. There is always a little flicker there. It is a bit like the small glowing embares you see after you see a fire dies down. I carry that around with me, that little ember, and if I need to, if I want to have Claire next to me, I blow on it, ever so gently, and it glows bright again.”

I thought this was really beautiful. What a simple, non-complex way to bring peace to your heart. I know your little light will never flicker out, Ro. But it was nice to hear it from someone else, who has lost a child. Which I have also decided, is the worst thing that can ever happen in life. I’ve honestly thought about this for some time now, trying to throw in other losses that could even come close to comparing. There is nothing. Losing a child takes the cake. Losing you is like losing a million cakes all at once. I cried on the beach today at a lot of things said in this book. I took the time to sit, reflect, and watch the oceans waves all while being engulfed in the sound of two little girls building a sandcastle right beside me. Their dad apologized for their loudness. I wanted to say to him, it wasn’t loudness at all, but music to my ears. I watched them play for a while and then was determined to finish my book, which I did. Mr. Sparkly Eyes would have been proud that I actually finished it. I was proud of myself. For something so little, the fact that I am actually able to finish a book now is a big deal. Who cares that it takes me twice as long now. I did it, felt emotions from it, and now I can put it behind me. Check mark, please!

I came back upstairs, showered and got ready to go to dinner. We went to happy hour on the island and sat in the bar with Liam and Quinn. We had a really fun dinner. There seemed to be a lot of laugher, talking, and engaging. We have talked a lot about holidays and what are favorite and worst are and why. We have decided to make up a new holiday to celebrate on Easter. Woody says we should call it Feaster and make it all about food. I agreed as long as we could worship a giant chocolate Easter Bunny and not have to dress up in fancy clothes. Liam wants chocolate covered everything, including bacon and Quinn wants to play games. Sounds like we are on the right track to turning this into a lot of fun. I think I’ve said before that most holidays seem meaningless now. Easter is one of them for us. Down with Easter; Feaster is born. I would like to take it and put your spin on it of course, buddy. We’ll have to come up with some things that you would have wanted to have. I’m imagining huge glass bowls filled with your favorite, Candy Corn. I may have some funny shirts made up to and anyone wants to come is invited. Feaster is the new Easter at our house. We will not be giving thanks to Jesus Christ. Sorry folks. That’s not the way this holiday is going to be celebrated. If you are offended, sorry. If you are cool, come over:) We have decided after losing you, Ro…. that life is too short to do things you really don’t want to do. It’s time to start making up our own fun rules and traditions as a family. The Thompsons march to their own beat and we are going to embrace that now more than ever. You earned that right, you loved to break all the rules, so that is what we are going to do. Some rules really are meant to be broken in life, only to be put back together, much better than they had ever been before.

After dinner, we walked around and the boys got cupcakes for desert. I stayed away from those due to my stomach issues. All of my favorite things, sweets, cupcakes, frosting…. destroy me. It’s as if my body is rejecting them. Oh well. I’ll take rejecting them rather than scarfing them down. At least my pants will still fit:) We came back to the condo, I got dressed for a dreaded run. It was chilly out but I did it anyway. Just 4 miles up and down the beach. I sat down for a while and talked out loud to you. I like to talk out loud to you. I did a lot of talking and crying to you. It felt good to listen to my voice say those words to you tonight, alone on the beach. After our little pow wow, I got my sandy butt up and finished my run. I showered and Quinn had asked to watch, “The Cove,” on my computer. I thought about it and said it was o.k. Why not educate him and his  young mind on how corrupt this world really can be. He’s already had the worst thing possible happen to him, he loves to watch, “Whale Wars,” so let’s do it. I watched it with him and explained this is why I have a hard time going to Sea World and swimming with Dolphins. It is one of the saddest movies ever and those Japanese “Fishermen,” need to be stopped. Watch the movie if you haven’t seen it. You will be so appalled that you will want to help expose what is going on. They are slaughtering those beautiful creatures left and right. It is beyond sicking and maddening. Especially to me now, Ro. After all the time we’ve spent watching the dolphins here, it makes me even more upset. What is wrong with people in this world?? Are they that selfish and greedy?? The slaughter of these poor innocent mammels has got to stop. How am I supposed to take on Childhood Cancer and this Dolphin slaughtering together?? I feel like it is my second calling in life. I felt that way when I first saw this movie. I am totally passionate about it and I think it is a beautiful thing for my boys to learn about. They have already learned about death in a way they should have never known, but now they can take this and turn it into nd learn how we need to respect these beautiful mammals, and how if you are passionate enough about something, that you can change the outcome. Sign me up! I’ll kick cancers ass and the japanese fisherman’s as well!! Bring it on, yo!!!

It’s going to take shit like this to get my ass out of bed in the mornings. I am planning on jumping back into boot camp next week. I need to email Tammy to tell her if I don’t have a reason to get up, I’m just not going to. She needs to be my reason for a while. Until I find a new reason. Although, waking up for her boot camps were always my favorite reasons to get up and exercise in the mornings. I hope she’ll save a spot for me:) Phoenix Adventure Boot Camp is by far, the best one in AZ. Tammy rules!!!!

Do you all see what I’m doing here? I’m slowly planning little things so that I don’t barricade myself in Ronan’s room and never come out. Ro, I can not, not, live for you. God. You would be so mad at me for my sadness and anger these past couple of weeks. You would be so mad at me for laying in bed. I’ve got to get up and do things for you. I don’t have a choice. I’m not willing to go down so easily and just die. Then what? Then everybody loses. I’m going to stay in this fucking fucked up world without you, and try to change some things. You would want this. You would be proud. As much as I want to escape into a non reality world, which means hiding in bed, ignoring everyone, not taking care of your Daddy, your brothers, our house…… I just can’t. I can’t have your brothers remembering me as that mom. They’ve been through enough already. I can do this, Ro. Just promise you’ll always be right by my side. I feel like you are, I really do feel you during the day. Please don’t ever go away, Ro. I already miss you so much.

Alright little buddy. My favorite not spicy monkey boy. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. I hope it’s a kissing day because I miss your sweet little kisses so much. Sweet dreams.

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