Often symbols of morality (or some romantic notion of immortality - as the belief that a spiritual part of a person survives death) and power, skulls have been employed in human rituals and art since the dawn of humanity. Skulls cannot be assumed to be only a mere symbol of death, they are also used in initiation rituals as a symbol of REBIRTH, symbolizing the cabalistic tree of life, the gateway to a higher awareness only achievable through spiritual death and rebirth. Skulls express the equality of all people in the face of death and cause us to recognize our mortal nature and the transcendence of our temporal existence.
I know we have never met before but there is something that I need to tell you so I hope you will listen. A few days ago, I was having a bad day but my boss gave me a bracelet that said, “F*&! Cancer.” I laugh each time I see it when I am having a hard time… it makes me feel better. I know it sounds perverse that I laugh at cancer, so let me finish! I snap out of my bad mood because I realize how stupid I am for worrying about dumb things that are insignificant compared to cancer…Neuroblastoma....which is what you had.
Yesterday, when I met your mommy, Maya Thompson. She started the Ronan Thompson Foundation in memory and honor of you. She writes you a letter on her blog called Rockstar Ronan when she is thinking of you. She has so many hits, almost 2 million! She has started to share your STORY about how you died at the age of three and a half. She created the organization to raise money and awareness about pediatric cancer. But you already knew all of that because you are with her all the time.
Yesterday, I walked into your house. I was NERVOUS, I had never been there and didn't know what to expect, especially since your mommy is in such a sad place. But she welcomed me in, she gave me a big hug and I felt at EASE. My friend, Michael Dee asked to see your house, so I got a tour. I saw your room. I wish you were there to tell me about STARWARS since I looked at all of the wonderful trinkets you had. That is where your mommy writes about you late at night when she can’t sleep. She tells me she has so much negative energy and all she can do to get it out of her system is to snuggle up in your bed and write to you. She does not want to let go of that time where she used to tuck you into bed, even if it means getting into an argument with your daddy. She writes, cries, writes, and cries. She showed us the rest of the house, the last room was the laundry room… There were clothes everywhere. She is in so much pain and trying to come to terms with the fact that you are never coming back… if I were her, I wouldn't want to do stupid laundry either!
I followed your mom, Heather, and Michael back to the kitchen, where we sat on the counter tops, instead of chairs, and talked for hours. There were TEARS, LAUGHS, and group HUGS.
But Ronan, something happened when the four of us were talking about you. Your mommy kept fidgeting with this beautiful locket around her neck. Whenever she said your name, she would squeeze it. She told me she had put your ashes in the locket after you were cremated. I know each time she squeezed the gold locket, she was giving you a hug. That is why I know you were THERE with us. Your mommy says you are not coming back but you are HERE. You are with us, a force that drives everyone to do better. You keep your family living everyday, you keep your brothers from FIGHTING, and you keep your mommy from digging her own grave in your backyard while she wearing her purple tutu. How do you do it? I think you do it because of who you were. You were a fighter, until the end, so you will not let anyone, especially your family, give up. You want your family to fight, even if you are gone. You want your family to fight to find a cure for Neuroblastoma. You want your family to find their happiness again. You must have been with us in that room because I could feel you tell your mommy not to give up. She heard you, she hears you everyday even when it is hard. That is why she writes to you and is making such an impact in this world. Aren't you proud of her!? Keep your mommy strong, champ.
Your mommy says she is SCARED, that she is not as strong as we all tell her she is. Well, we both know she is STRONGER than any of us make her out to be. Five months after her baby DIED of STUPID CANCER, telling the world about you, changing the world because of you. She is strong; she is strong because when she writes to you, she doesn't shy away from her emotions. She is real. She lets everyone know everything she is feeling. She doesn't hide her tears; she lets them out for the world to see. She is vulnerable. No one is vulnerable anymore! People are SCARED to let their EMOTIONS out! And here is bearing her soul to the world. That is not only strong but it is courageous.
In her humbleness, she doesn't think she is strong even though everyone she meets is enchanted to be in her presence. Moreover, she inspires others to be as strong and vulnerable as she is. She wants people to take a stand, FIGHT for a cause, and live life BIG or just go “F*&^%$!# HOME!”
I know you believe me Ronan, but for the people that doubt, lets give them an example of why your mom is so resilient. Lets tell everyone why she is going to make a difference. Lets take Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift and her parents read your mommy’s blog and invited her to go backstage for a meet and greet. Taylor told your mommy, with tears in her eyes, that you were such a beautiful baby boy. There was never a mommy who loved their child more. She was changed by your mommy’s words, just like many others, before even meeting. Your mommy and I chatted with Michael and Heather about how we need to find a spokesperson for your organization. Don't you think Taylor Swift is perfect. We do, we thought she could even write a song about you Ronan…. that would get the word out there (No pressure Taylor… well maybe just a little hehe).
Well Ronan, you know how the “interview” ended. The four of us sat around in your living room, sharing our deepest and most intimate secrets while folding clean laundry and matching different color socks. I hate that you had to die and you had to be cremated on your BIRTHDAY(still thinking that's a sick joke). I hate that you had to get cancer. But in all the horrible things that have happened I know in some way or another you are here pushing your mommy forward.
By the way, I love that your mommy likes SKULLS... I knew then we were going to be friends. I think we could of been FRIENDS too Ronan. I thought we were kindred spirits when I heard you liked the band The Killers and rocking out in fedora hats!
But we never got to meet because of cancer….You had not even begun to live your precious life. So Ronan, stay with us, even though you are not physically with us, stay with us. Please help everyone who misses you continue to live. You are changing the world and getting people to listen to your story. You want to find a cure for cancer so other mommy’s do not have to suffer through the pain that you mommy did. Remind your family that you wouldn't give up so don't let them. You mommy said you fought hard before you died. She said she told you three things. The first was wait until your friend arrives so you can say goodbye. The second was to wait until Mother’s Day passes. Lastly, she wanted you to go peacefully. All three must have been hard with all the pain you were in, but you fought like hell to give your mother that last gift of accomplishing all three requests.
So Ronan, help her fight because we need to tell everyone about the fashion show next week, we need people to donate to find a cure, we need people to change the world. But even if this is all you mommy has in her, it's still more than anyone has ever made in raising AWARENESS for pediatric cancer and Neuroblastoma.