Snow Falling in Flagstaff

Ronan. Guilt is what I feel at this time, in this moment. For living this life, without you here. For the smiles that I’ve smiled, for the laugher I’ve done, for the love I’ve given to your brothers. Guilt for going on when you know, all I want to do is be with you. I wonder if the reason you insisted on being with me, almost every second of every day of the almost 4 years that I had you, is because you knew you wouldn’t be able to stay with me forever. I wonder if you miss me as much as I miss you. I wonder if you are as sad as I am because we are apart. I think that you are and it kills me that there is nothing that I can do about it. I can’t wipe your tears, hold you close and tell you that everything is going to be alright. I can’t promise you that I’ll never let anything happen to you, because it did. The worst possible thing that could have happened, did. And I will never stop being sorry for that. It is so unfair that the four of us are left here and you are gone. I constantly feel like I have forgotten you somewhere. I am constantly looking over my shoulder for you to come running around the corner. I don’t think I’ll ever stop looking for you.

I have been struggling with my sleep so much. The devil, Ambien has been in and out of my life since you were diagnosed. I try not to take it, but I’ve had a solid 3 weeks where I have taken it almost every night. Dr. Jo told me to try Valerian Root last week. She told me she takes 2 of those and she is out cold. So, I took 4 a few nights ago and nothing. I ended up taking my Ambien instead. I haven’t taken my Ambien for 3 nights in a row now. It has been horrific. The first night I fell asleep in our bed, with your daddy. I was in and out of sleep the entire night. I felt like my body was on fire. I had the most awful nightmares. I was watching myself scream your name, knowing that you were dead, but nobody could hear me or help me. Sounds like my real life. When I take Ambien, it puts me into such a heavy sleep, that I don’t dream at all. When I don’t take it, I toss and turn all night long, only to dream the most awful things. So what’s worse? I don’t know as they both seem bad. I know that I don’t want to rely on something to sleep so I am going to try to continue to tough this out. And if I need a break every once in a while, for now, it is o.k. Dr. Jo is trying to get me to meditate before bed or to try some yoga. It’s worth a shot, right??

We spent the weekend up in Flagstaff. It was another 3 day weekend and staying home just didn’t seem like an option. We tend to go stir crazy without you around. It’s like everyone is trying to overcompensate for the fact that you are not here. We headed up on Saturday and spent a couple of days enjoying the cooler weather and lazy days. Your daddy was actually able to relax. I tried too but it was hard to be up there for the first time, without you. I had a moment where I was walking into the living room and Liam was sitting down at the table on the floor. The top of his head, looked so much like the color of your hair, that I thought it was you. It was like I had the wind knocked out of me when I realized it was not. Your brothers were so kind to each other this weekend. They are such good boys. They didn’t fight at all, which seems so rare these days. I watched them as they played together, took care of each other, and helped out with a lot of the things we asked of them. We all snuggled on the couch and watched some movies, your daddy took them on an Arctic Cat ride, I took a long nap with Quinn, which I never do anymore. I snuggled up to him and let him remind me of you and the way we loved to take our naps together. Your brothers were extra sweet to me this weekend. I think they could tell I was sad about having to be without you, doing our normal family things that we loved to do. It snowed up in Flagstaff last night. I watched the snowflakes fall with tears in my eyes. You would have gone crazy over it and made me take you out in the middle of the night to play in it. I would have without hesitation.

It’s going to take a lot to heal us all. We all have some good ideas, of some things that can help. We are all being very open about our sadness and we talk about you all the time. But we are a different family now as we are all different people. Even your brothers. I keep wanting to write your little brothers. As if I feel that you were older then they are. I guess due to everything you went through and how strong you were about it all. I guess due to the fact that I now feel like you are older than them and you are the one watching out for them and protecting them. And the wisdom that you always had as you were so much wiser than your almost 4 years old of age. I always knew this about you. You truly were a gift to us all.

I have a busy week as I am leaving for New York soon. My solo trip that is much needed. I need some time to go back to our favorite city where I can just be for a little while. Some plans are falling into place which I am loving. I planned this trip without having anything to do but some very nice things are coming about. I am excited for the little adventure we are going to have together as I know you will be with me, the entire time.

Alright little man. I love you so much. I hope you are safe. I miss you so very much.

xoxo

Ronan’s Table for 6

Ro baby. I guess my last post was pretty happy and upbeat. I wish I could say I have spent the past few days, feeling the same way after writing the things I wrote. I didn’t end up falling asleep peacefully like I had hoped. I tossed until 3 a.m. and had to take the devil aka, Ambien in order to fall asleep. I woke up, feeling like shit…. but I went on with my day anyway. I don’t remember what I did, but I’m sure it was a lot of all the things I’m supposed to be doing, like being productive. All the things I’m supposed to be doing, like living life taking care of your brothers, the house, paying the bills, etc…. Being present. On Saturday, I went down to ASU to participate on a panel that Dr. JoRo had asked me to be a part of. It is for a class she is teaching at ASU on traumatic death. I sat on a panel, in front of her class with about 10 other bereaved parents and a grandmother too for about 5 hours…. but it felt like 10. Dr. Jo basically asked us to tell our stories and she then asked us all question after question regarding our tragedy. I watched as her students listened, wiped tears from their eyes, took notes, and tried to process the things that we were saying. I watched the ways they didn’t have to say anything at all, as I could hear their thoughts in their heads. I know each and every one of them begged whomever it is that they believe in, for this to never happen to them. I so wished I had been one of the students sitting in that class today, taking notes. Not the one the other side, talking about you and this fucked up story. I tried my best to get my words out in regards to you, my grief, and everything else that I am going through, but it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, mentally and emotionally. I was the first parent on the panel to be asked the questions, so I had to be quick on my feet with my responses. I had so many things racing through my mind and trying to articulate the words that I wanted to say, is so much easier for me to do in my writing rather then speaking. But I did my best and I did it from my heart. It was the best I could do. It’s one thing to write about you… I could do this in my sleep and I often do. To talk about you, on the spot, hurts so badly that it is almost impossible. One day, I hope to find my voice for you…. where it’s not one where I feel like I am gasping for air. I think I did an o.k. job yesterday…. I caught myself pinching myself on and off through out the day to make sure the day was real. Unfortunately, I felt all the pinches I gave myself. I cried a lot. How weird to be so vulnerable in front of so many strangers. A gig I never wanted. I gig that I’ll have to have for the rest of my life. I think I said the fuck word a few times and I remember making Dr. Jo’s students laugh by flipping them all off when she asked the question what we, as bereaved parents, would we like to say to all the people who say stupid things to us. Things like, “Well, my cat died so I know how you feel.” “You can have other kids.” “Heaven needed another angel.” “You were given this because you are strong enough to handle it.” The list goes on and on. My response to Dr. Jo and her class was, “I like to keep it short and sweet.” I then stuck my arm out and flipped everyone off. I remember hearing everyone laugh. You would have been proud of that, Ro baby. Fuck those people of the world and the stupid shit they say. They will never get it…. they are too fucking ignorant, self-absorbed, and brain washed by society.

After the “death panel,” as I called it to Dr. Jo, I left ASU with her and we went to grab some dinner with 3 other parents and the grandmother of the group who had lost not only her grandson to death, but her son as well to the grief. Her son is still here, but you know what I mean. The grief took him away for some time. It sounds like she is slowly getting him back but, ouch. That hurt hearing her say that yesterday, on that panel. I know that is how your Nana feels. That she not only lost you, but me as well. I know that is how many people feel as I may as well be dead too, because that’s the way I have been acting. The only thing is, it’s not an act. It’s the way I feel and I can’t change that. Someday maybe. But not now. While we were waiting for our table in the bar, where I sucked down my Coke…. the waitress came in to ask for a name for our table of 6. I looked at Jo. She looked at the waitress and goes, “Ronan.” I smiled. A few minutes later, the waitress came back saying, “Table for Ronan!” I had to wonder what the lady would have done or thought if she knew she was calling out the name of a dead child. This is the strange world I live in now. Where you have to make the dead live among the living, in any way possible. Even if it means to hear their name being called out at a restaurant because your table is ready. We all sat and talked about the day, our kids, or lives before this and now. Dr. Jo pointed up at the ceiling and how all the light fixtures were in the shape of little stars. It was your way of being there, after such a brutally hard day. It was your way of giving me the little giggle that I so miss. I then told the table how I used to call you feisty. How I used to say, “Ronan, you are so feisty!” How you would then scream back at me, “I NOT SPICY!” I told them it was one of my favorite things that you used to say to me. I miss that so much. I also told everyone at the table how I feel like it should be mandatory for bereaved parents’ to carry around tasers. And when people say stupid shit to us, we should just be able to taser their asses, instead of trying to answer their dumbass questions. Oh, how everyone laughed at this idea. I think a law needs to be passed for this to happen. I have so many people I would like to taser just to make them feel a tiny piece of the pain I feel 24 hours a day. I actually wish I didn’t have to taser anyone, Ronan. I wish people would just start thinking before speaking. I wish people would just be a little more thoughtful, kind, thankful and compassionate. I actually wish you were just here and I didn’t have to wish any of this shit. I would like to tell you that I left dinner and came home to our “happy,” house and fell into a peaceful sleep. I did not. I hate what I’m going to have to tell you next.

I left dinner, got into my car, and started to drive home. I wish I could tell you what happened for the next 40 minutes, but I can assure you I left my body for that time. I can swear to you that I should not have driven. I can swear to you, that I felt scared which is something that I never feel anymore. I somehow ended up out at Wildpass Resort, which is nowhere near our house. It’s on the east side of the valley. I was crying so hard that I had to pull over at a gas station where I sat, cried, felt my heart racing so fast that I thought it was going to explode. I almost called an ambulance. I had to make myself breathe for I knew if I didn’t, I was just going to suffocate to death. I ended up calling Dr. JoRo….. which is something I never do…. and she’ll be the first to tell you that. I hate to bother her, even though she is so good at making sure I know I am never bothering her. I called her last night as I knew if I didn’t, I would have been in big trouble. I tried to get out my words to her as to where I was and what had happened. I told her there were fireworks going off in the sky and how the fuck can fireworks even exist anymore. I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. She made sure I had pulled over somewhere safe. I told her I thought I had, but how lost I was. I said to her, “If I can’t find my way home, how am I supposed to find my way through life?” What a perfect metaphor, Ronan. I don’t know the answer. But I eventually ended up finding my way back home. Dr. Jo texted me so she could know I was safe and asked if I needed to talk. I told her that I was o.k. That I had made it home…. 2 hours after I had left her. I told her a hot bath and the reeses peanut butter cup that she had given me earlier in the week, had saved my life. For tonight. I fell asleep. I dreamed of you and your little bald head. I got to hold you but I knew you were going to die. I am just thankful that I got to see you.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is your 8 months since you’ve been gone. I’m so sorry for that. I miss you so much. I know you know what I’m doing for you tomorrow, but I’m not saying too much about it now. If I’m meant to see you, to kiss your little lips, and feel your soft skin, I will. It’s not up to me, it’s up to you. I’m not scared. I love you so much. Sweet dreams, my not spicy little boy. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Pain is my Peace

Ro baby. Hi my spicy boy. It’s time for my love letter to you tonight. I’ve missed a couple of days of writing. I always hate when I don’t get to write to you. I’m learning that this writing thing is like a beautiful, tragic, love story. One that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop writing because I never want it to end. It’s my way of keeping you somewhat alive, I guess. It helps me, even though it may seem like nothing is helping. I think today is Monday….. I think. Crap. I’m wrong. It’s Tuesday. The days are still blurry and the things that go on in my days are all jumbled together. I remember yesterday…. somewhat. I didn’t wake up for boot camp. Sorry Tammy. My sleeping is still out of whack. I stopped taking my Ambien and started trying Ristoral. We shall see. The first night I took it, I still tossed and turned and had very vivid nightmares. So I went to basically not dreaming at all for the past few months to having such excruciating nightmares that I woke up 5 or 6 times during the night drenched in my sweat. I wandered around the house. Looked outside at the moon for a while. Sat in your room. I fell back asleep around 4 a.m. There was no way I could get my booty to boot camp. I dropped your brothers off at school after sleeping until 7, then I went hiking at 9 a.m. It was bloody hot. I was determined to sweat all of the demons out of my body from the night before. Sweat them out I did. It must have been about 104 by the time I got to the top. It felt good. I did the same thing today. Same time, same place, with nobody else in sight. I love how empty the mountain is. Once I get to the top, I sit there for about a half an hour and cook in the sun. I talk to you out loud a lot. I always cry. I tell you, hi. I tell you I miss you. I ask you where you are. I tell you I’m sorry. That I need your help to get me through this. I tell you I don’t know what to do without you and I always tell you I hope you are safe. It’s become therapeutic to me. As I was running down the mountain today…. full speed with Katy Perry blasting, it dawned on me. This exercising is the ONLY thing that gives me some sort of relief from all of this pain. It is during this time that I have to focus on not breaking my neck as I plow down the hill as fast as I can. I focus on my body and pushing myself so much that the physical pain hurts. I don’t stop no matter how tired or out of breath I get. I want to stop sometimes, but then I think of you. I like the physical pain as it gives my mind a break. It is my church, my meditation, and it is slowly becoming my peace.

Oh, Ro. You made me smile tonight. Just as I am writing to you, the thunder starts, the lighting, the buckets of rain. You know how I love the rain. I’ll never forget that one day with you. We had just moved into our beautiful house. It was your nap time and it was pouring rain. We made a bed on the floor in my room and sat and watched out the french doors in my bedroom as the rain flooded everything. We sat and watched and listened. We rolled around and laughed and I don’t think you ended up taking a nap. You little rule breaker, you. It was pure bliss. I remember that moment, and how happy I was. I felt like the luckiest mama in the world to be there with you, watching the rain. It was one of the sweetest, most simple moments of my life. I have Quinn here with me now. We made a bed on the floor in the same spot the two of us did. We are watching the rain, together. We are missing you, together.

Last night, we had Curriculum night at your brothers’ school. Holy anxiety attack. I about lost it. It was way too stuffy in the cafeteria, way too many people, and way too long to stand still. At one point I whispered to your daddy that I had to leave. He just grabbed me tight and told me it was o.k. That I could do this. I stuck it out. Melissa was there, close by. She knew I was about to flip out. She said she almost grabbed me and ripped me out of the cafeteria. I so wished she would have. But I survived. Don’t ask me how, but I did. We had to go to your brothers classrooms after the cafeteria. I went to Quinn’s, your Daddy went to Liam’s. I did o.k. there. I was strong and fought back the tears as a picture of you popped up on my phone, randomly. My mind started racing about how I would never be taking you to school again, how I would never get to meet your teachers, your new friends, etc….. I quickly wiped the tears away and tried to get back to focusing on the task I was there to do. I left the classroom quickly when the talking was over. I didn’t stay to sign up for things with the other mom’s. I couldn’t mentally do it. I went to find your Daddy but he was still in Liam’s classroom. Just as I was getting ready to sit down outside, Melissa came and found me. My sweet saving grace. She didn’t want me to sit alone, so she sat and waited with me for until your Daddy came out. Thank god. I had the chance to say hello to some moms that I really like though. That was nice. It is always nice to get a hug from some friendly faces. It’s funny though all of this, you really see who are genuinely, good-hearted people. I feel like I have a gift for this now. I had the chance to give somebody a big hug that I have wanted to do for a long time. One of my busy, little bees. It felt so nice to hug her and tell her thank you. I want to do that with everyone who helped and I am going to set something up, as soon as I get myself a little more organized and my head on straight. I am hoping that day will come sooner rather than later.

Today, I hiked again. Bloody hot but worth it. I don’t mind the heat the way I used to. As long as it involves an escape for me, I’m down with it. Bring it on, Mo Fo. I am getting my butt up for boot camp tomorrow though. I have my alarm set. I have to otherwise I know what happens if I don’t. I sit and obsess about it all day long. Add it to my list of things I’m fixated on now. Boot camp or Bust. Who’s going to start joining me???? Hello my friends…. I’ll take all the motivation I can get to get there. If I had you all, counting on me, I would be less likely to skip days. www.phxbootcamp.com. Get your butts there with me. Stop making excuses. I promise, it will change you life:)

So, Ro baby. I’m nervous to tell you this…. but I actually had an o.k. day. Just o.k. but it was a better day than I’ve had in a long time. I had lunch with one of my busy bees. It was lovely. We talked about The Brightest Star in the Sky event next year. I got to know her a bit and loved every second of it. Pure heart, smart, caring, and no hidden agendas and passionate about making a difference in this world. She had me at hello 🙂 I’m so thankful to have had so many people step up to the plate, to teach me that they care more about shopping, vacations, and wine drinking. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but adding a little something more to your life in such a meaningful way is good for everyone. It’s good for the soul. And a good soul can make all the difference in the world. After our lunch, your daddy picked me up so we could go to our therapist together. I was honestly dreading it. I feel so disconnected to everything now. Having to reconnect with your daddy, in front of a stranger, gave me a lot of anxiety. But once we got there, within 10 minutes, I knew this was going to be a good thing and something we desperately need. It was hard and we didn’t even get into the hard stuff yet. It was mostly an introduction and then she wanted a background on us and what we had just been through. There were a lot of tears, a lot of not being able to speak because having to re tell the story of you is so unbelievably painful. But we did it as best we could. And we did it together. I am proud of us. I liked this lady too. She knows stuff and I liked her honestly. We will go back together, I’m sure for a long time, as this is not something we can work through overnight. This is also something we cannot do without outside help. We both know this. Afterwords, we spent some time together and it ALMOST felt good to me. ALMOST. My pain is not capable of letting me feel good about anything now, but it is the closest I’ve come in a long time to feeling this way around your daddy. He is the most amazing man on the planet. I know this. As hard as all of this is, I think we will be o.k. I know there are no guarantees in life, but what we have is too amazing to throw away. He is my best friend, despite my brattiness that I often display to him. I don’t mean to, which is why I have to figure out how to deal with all of this pain, instead of taking it out on him. He is my easiest target and does not deserve any of it. You don’t get a better man/father than the Wooddawg.

Alright my little man. I’m tired. I’m going to try this Ristoral tonight We shall see. I love you to the moon and back, my blue eyed boy. I miss you so much and hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, my dear.

xoxo

                                                   I LOVE US….. FOREVER TOGETHER.