Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain while jumping in some mother fucking mud puddles.


Ronan. About 3 weeks ago, Dr. JoRo said to me, “Hey, do you want to hike Mt. Wilson with me, on April 26th?” I didn’t even look at my calendar. I just gave her an, “Absolutely.” I didn’t even know what Mt. Wilson was, except for it was in Sedona and I knew it would be an adventure. I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams, the adventure it would turn out to be. I woke up this morning at 4:30 a.m. I quietly threw together my things and headed out the door for the drive up to Sedona. A drive that I have come to love so much. It started to rain on my drive up. Dr. Jo said it might rain today. “That would be the best!” I said to her. I arrived to Jo’s around 7 a.m. She was all ready to go and we called her neighbors to see if they were ready to meet us. They were, so we all piled in their truck and headed out for our little hike. I had on shorts, a tank top, my purple coat and your backpack full of water and your GiGi. This is Arizona, it’s April, and it’s been hot. We don’t really get rain in April, so my outfit seemed appropriate.

We quickly arrived at Mt. Wilson. At 7,122 feet, it is the highest of all the mountains in Sedona. It is breathtakingly beautiful. We started our hike and for the first 10 minutes, I was warm. I was a little bummed out that the sun was starting to peak through. I unzipped my jacket and went, “Here comes the mother fucking sun. Again.” I was really needing a break from the inferno today. Up we went. Dr. Jo climbed a tree to hang some of your bracelets on it. I started snapping some great pictures of her. She is such a little spicy monkey, like you. On her way down, snap went the branch due to it being all rotted and dead. She fell, but caught herself just before landing right on top of a cactus. We starting laughing and the first war wounds of the day, were earned. I noticed the clouds rolling in and the rain that started to trickle. A smile spread across my face. We continued on. Within minutes, the sky had turned and we were getting rained on like I had never seen rain before on an April Arizona day. I was snapping pictures, left and right. We both kept stopping to take in the views. Soon the thunder and lighting started up. “It’s Ronan,” I said. “He’s mad.” Pebbles started hitting us in the face. “HOLY HAIL!” I cried out. “I told you he was mad! Ouch!” It was hailing on us, hitting us both in the face, and we were laughing. The wind started howling and whipping around us. We still had a couple of hours to go up the mountain. The rain did not let up. At all. We were sopping wet from head to toe, but we still continued on, determined to make it to the top.

I felt like we were transformed to a bunch of different worlds today. I said to Jo, “I feel like we are walking to the end of the earth.” She agreed. I am quite certain, that it was you today, Ronan, whom was in charge of this weather. You know how the dreary, rainy weather is one of my favorite things in the world. You know how much I miss it. You know how much I miss you. I think this was your way of crying for me and letting me cry for you. With the millions of tears that poured down on me today. The millions of tears that will never add up to all the tears that I’ve cried since you’ve been gone. Today, the weather was your tears and my tears, combined. Together, the sky and the heavens above, wept for us.

Dr. JoRo summed up our hike like this:

Ecopsychology. Bear. Gigantic falling trees. Hail. Raining four straight hours. 40mph wind. Sloshy mud. Lightning. Tree climbing. 17 miles, and 7000+ feet. 35 degrees. Muddy falls. Drenched head to toe. Never done anything quite like this. It was good to do for a very special little boy who is loved and MISSed. Pilgrimages of remembrance don’t get much better than this. — with Maya Thompson.

It was all of those things and more. So much more than I could have ever imagined. Once we got to the top, it was so cold that we could see our breath. We were not prepared with any water proof clothes, our lips were blue, and pretty much every body part was numb. I could not feel my legs or hands. I think I may have thought to myself, “There is no way we are going to make it down this mountain. They are going to have to send a search party.” We stayed at the top but not for long. Between the rain that was coming down and the wind, it was almost unbearable. I started to lead the way down the mountain. I stayed with Dr. Jo and her neighbors for a bit but I needed to run. I felt myself getting angry and sad and needed to take out my energy on something. Soon, I started running and didn’t look back. I ran as fast as my feet would carry me. I jumped over broken down tree stumps, over boulders, through sticker bushes, slipped all over the place in the red mud that felt like quicksand on my feet. It just continued to pour down rain and did not let up at all. At one point, I had to pee so badly, but it was hailing again. “Oh fuck it,” I said. Down came the shorts and my bare ass was pelted by the hail coming down. I busted out laughing. Today may have been one of the craziest things I’ve ever done in my life, besides skydiving. Bare ass in the air, covered in mud, drenched from head to toe… so totally badass. I felt like I was on some adventure extreme sports show, roughing it in nature. I would have totally beaten all the other contestants today, Ronan…if it had been a competition. I would have beaten them all, done anything and everything, to get you back. That’s how I felt going up that mountain today. Do not stop. Keep going. You are not cold. You are not in pain. You are alive. So you don’t get to have any excuses. You don’t get to wuss out. You don’t get to give up or turn around. You can do this. Ronan would give anything to be here, living life, growing up, and doing these things. He doesn’t get to, so you have to do them, for him. I continued sprinting. I had a baggie of your ashes with me. I haven’t ever spread them out anywhere before, besides the lockets that I wear and the one I gave to Fernanda. I carry your ashes with me, a lot of places, but never leave them anywhere. I wasn’t sure if I was going to or not today. It just didn’t feel right. At one point, I was running so hard and so fast that my legs felt as if they were on fire. I turned a corner and it was out of nowhere, the most beautiful field of the brightest yellow wildflowers appeared. They were so bright, that it was almost blinding. I stopped dead in my tracks. Yellow. Bright yellow. Scatter them here, on top of these flowers. I did. I know you know why. It was the perfect spot. I kissed the top of the flowers all covered with some of your ashes. Just as I did this, the rain started pouring down so hard that I could hardly see. I started to cry. I told you how sorry I was. How much I love you. But mostly how sorry I was. How sorry I will be for the rest of my life. You should be here. I should not. I’ll never understand why this was you and not me. You did not deserve any of this, Ronan. I would have given anything, for this to be have been me. Anything and everything. Fate is cruel. Fate is not kind. Fate is a fucking asshole. Especially when it comes in the form of sweet, innocent babes getting cancer. And then dying from it. Fate can go and get fucked.

I ran as fast as I could down the mountain. I had painted mud war stripes on my face. I live in a war, everyday of my life. They were necessary to wear today. They made me giggle. I purposely jumped in every single huge mud puddle that came my way. I did this for all of you, of course. I laughed out loud. I pictured you watching me and what a sight I’ll bet it was. My purple jacket, against the red contrast of the red rocks, flying down Mt. Wilson today in the pouring rain, laughing, crying, screaming… but most of all feeling something other than the fucking pain I feel 24 hours a day. Feeling something other than feeling dead. Today, I felt alive and it felt alright. And I don’t need any kind of bullshit medication to make me feel this way, Ronan. You know what I need? Exactly what I’ve been doing. Nature. Exercise. Mindfulness. Pain. Honesty. Love. I will survive this, thanks to those things and nothing else. Nothing else that comes in the form of a pill anyway. A pill for grief is absurd. A pill for grief is madness. A pill for grief will only create a bigger problem. There is a simple solution, really. It’s called how about feeling, what you feel, when you feel it, and facing it head on. That’s what a brave person would do. That is what a strong person would do. Those are the two things, you kept saying over and over to me in my head today. I heard you about 50 different times. “Mama. You have to be brave and strong, because I was brave and strong.” I know, Ronan. I know. I hear this a lot from you. I’m listening.

So, today. Today was one of the best days of my life that I have had, since losing you. I learned that I am capable of so much, Ronan. I can do all of this and I know this due to having days like today, which don’t happen very often. I went back to Jo’s after our hike. We showered, ate, played some ridiculous card game, laughed so hard that at one point, her son, Josh, fell off of a chair. I would not be doing alright without her, Ronan. She is such a huge factor in this process for me. She has this grief thing figured out and the funny thing is, it really has nothing to do with science. It has nothing to do with medication. It has everything to do with love, compassion, empathy, pain, laughter, passion, and just letting one find their own way. Whatever that may be.  Without the judgements.

It’s super late. I’m so tired from today. No Ambien for about a week now. Good girl. I hate that shit. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

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11 Comments

  1. I laughed out loud at the image of you bare-assed in the middle of a hail storm. I bet Ronan did too. Love you.

    Reply
  2. Katie R.

     /  April 27, 2012

    Maya – This is my favorite post!!!! I think of you and your Ronan so much. In a way its strange b/c we’ve never met but I feel like i know you and that we’re friends! I thought of you this morning as I was putting my child (a boy – he’s 2!) in the car to drive him to his daycare. He saw some lollipops in the front seat of the car and immediately said “sucker pops, mama! Want suckerpops”. I was thinking “I can’t give my child suckers at 7:45am..that would just make me a bad mama.” I thought about what you would do and I was like “fuck it” and let him has as many as he wanted!! The smile on his face was worth it. He was so happy, he was loving being alive!! You and Ronan have touched my life in so many ways!

    I hope you are ok today!

    Hugs from a Dallas girl!

    Katie R.

    Reply
  3. What a perfect day for you. You really took that mountain, I need to take a mountain today too. I’m feel inspired by your bravery.

    Reply
  4. paula

     /  April 27, 2012

    Amazingly Beautiful! Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Maya & your little seal Ro…continue to inspire me on a daily basis. It’s funny, I have never met you but through your words that I read on a daily basis, I feel like I have known you forever. I find myself thinking of you and Ro often, especially Ro. I have his little postcard up on my board at work, the one I got when I bought my FU bracelets from Katie’s Garage in Scottsdale. I look at the postcard often, look at the little seal with the fedora and wish things were different. Your life…your story…your Ro has touched so many, I wish the circumstances were different, I wish I didn’t have to read your blog and hear your pain. Although the reality of this blog is painful, it is what keeps things in perspective for me, it slaps me in the face when I think life is tough. I have read every single post, I was first introduced to your blog on May 9th, when a mutual friend posted on Facebook…it was a horrible day…a dreadful day!!! I went back and read it from the begining. One of the many posts that stood out, was actually a year ago today…4.27.11. The last part of April and of course the beginning of May were the hardest posts to read, the kind where tears just pour down your cheeks, where you jsut want to reach through the computer screen and hold you and make things better. Maya, I know you don’t think you are an inspiration…but you are…RO is!!! You have changed my life, as well as all the others who read this daily. I hope next month is fast, is quick, and is healing.

    Reply
  6. Laura

     /  April 27, 2012

    Glad you are finding what you need. As always you and your entire family are in our loving thoughts.

    Reply
  7. Glenda

     /  April 27, 2012

    Beautiful post! You had me at your bare ass being bombarded by hail lol and it reminded me of Ro! You posted a pic of him with his bare lil butt :)

    Thinking of you RoMama and Ro! Always Ro! xo

    Reply
  8. Danielle

     /  April 27, 2012

    Your self realizations take me on a journey. I have followed your post since last May and have felt extremely connected to you, your feelings and the universe. I am inspired by you as a mother and advocate for justice and resolution. You are one of a kind and stop at nothing. You say and feel things that most don’t know how to express or just don’t allow themselves. You are courageous, powerful, deep, wise beyond your years and passionate. My sincerest compassion goes out to you and your incredible family. I wish you peace, spirituality, love, light and laughter. I live vicariously through your adventures and think your posts are a grand expression of genuine, authentic love for your son.

    Reply
  9. Sara Maurer

     /  April 28, 2012

    I finaly sat and read this….OMG I was so moved!!! I laughed…I cried for you. teying to even imagine what this must be like. I can’t. You are so strong..and such an inspiration to me. You and Ronan both inspire me. I AM SO GLAD YOU HAVE Dr.JoRo. What an amazing gift. Thank you Maya for always writing and sharing. I am so sorry Maya..that you have to fight this war everyday. We’re all here behind you.!!!

    Xoxox
    Sara

    Reply
  10. Daniella

     /  May 3, 2012

    WOW! What an incredible post! I am so moved by you. Your power, your love, and your honesty. I am so happy that Ronan was able to visit you today in all those diffferent forms. Sending you thoughts of BIG love today!

    Reply
  11. Isabelle

     /  December 1, 2012

    I cried when I read the part where you saw those yellow flowers, and gave them the best gift those damn flowers will ever get– Ronan. The words that you wrote at that part were so beautiful. They made me think of this part from the second Hunger Games book, Catching Fire, when Katniss is making a speech about her friend , Rue. “But I feel as if I did know Rue, and she’ll always be with me. Everything beautiful brings her to mind. I see her in the YELLOW FLOWERS that grow in the Meadow by my house. I see her in the mockingjays that sing in the trees. But most of all, I see her in my sister, Prim.” ~Katniss Everdeen I know that I didn’t know Ronan, or you, but that is how I feel. Everything beautiful brings your Ronan to my mind and puts a smile on my face.

    Reply

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  • Instagram is my BFF

    #Repost from @ronanfoundation If you've been tagged, you're it!!! It’s time to… ‪#‎BeBoldGoGold‬! Get your glitter on! We’re kicking off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with a bang & a sparkle! Throughout September, we’re turning ourselves into spicy, gold human billboards for childhood cancer awareness and want YOU to join us! Welcome to the #BeBoldGoGold Challenge! 
HOW IT WORKS:
You deck yourself out in your gold bling or glitter—jewelry, clothes, facepaint, you name it, you rock it. You head out into a public place. Talk to at least one person about childhood cancer—tell them a fact, like that 46 are diagnosed with cancer every day. The goal is to raise awareness, so talk to as many people as you can & encourage them to take the #BeBoldGoGold Challenge

Film/photograph your adventure, and tag us in it! We’re reposting submissions to our new #BeBoldGoGold Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. When you post your video/photo, nominate 3 people to carry out the challenge by tagging them. They have 48 hours after being tagged to get their gold on! Make sure to hashtag #BeBoldGoGold and ‪#‎RTF‬

At the end of September, we’re giving a prize to whoever goes all out and makes the biggest impact (aka raises the most awareness)! We’ll also have #BeBoldGoGold shirts available to purchase (link coming soon). If you would prefer to donate instead of (or in addition to) the challenge, visit: http://www.theronanthompsonfoundation.com/ & share the link. 
The Challenge starts…NOW! #Repost from @firedaughterclothing
It's almost September! Childhood Cancer Awareness Month- this is my I think 4th year working with my absolutely amazing girlfriend @mamamaya to raise awareness for Childhood Cancer, which brutally stole her son Ronan.  I was introduced to Maya when my close girlfriend Sandra's daughter was also fighting for her life, alongside Ronan.  Mia beat her cancer but has severe radiation injury.  This horrible horrible thing brought us all together and we are determined to make a difference for all of our babies.  Keep an eye out over the next week or so.  It's time to Go Gold 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 "And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate...I shake it off, I shake it off." #pearl #gettingreadyfortimessquare #nycorbust #nycgoesgold #beboldgogold #rtf #shakeitoff @taylorswift @knjoy
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