I thought I was ready, but I’m not ready.


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Ronan. It’s normal to sit partly naked on a table at your OBGYN’s office and cry, cry, cry while waiting for her to come in a check your cervix, right? I was really trying to avoid this today. I had my nose busily buried in a book that I was reading on my iPad, but somehow it was as if my hands were not my own anymore and the next thing I knew I was swiping my fingers across all of my pictures on my iPhoto only to be staring at you and your big blue eyes while I waited for Dr. Schwartz to see me. I can usually do this and be o.k. I mean, I look at your pictures all the time, but today looking at them left me with tears streaming down my face and wet spots all over my iPad. There you were in every picture, smiling your beautiful smile at me while I traced your mouth with my little pinky as if I were actually touching you. I listened to the voices screaming in my head that it couldn’t really be this way, that my darling, sweet boy, didn’t really die of cancer. The flashbacks began. The ones that forever haunt my mind. The way I watched cancer eat away at your little body, mind and soul. The pain that set in during your last week or so that I could not rub or kiss away no matter how hard I tried. Your sunken eyes, bloated belly, cold lips and stiff little legs. The pain that I now feel every single day and the sadness that never goes away. Now the harsh stares, un welcomed judgment about the grief that I carry around with me. The grief that nobody will ever truly understand but they sure can pretend as if they do while voicing their opinions about it while judging away. The baby sister that is now almost here that will supposedly heal my broken heart according to the world around me. It’s like the outside world thinks she is the magic pill that I’ve so been searching for but will never actually swallow no matter how hard they try to shove it down my throat. Those who know me well, understand my truth. Those who know me well, know that no amount of time, love or even a new human being will ever take away my pain of having to live my life without you and they don’t judge me because of that. It only seems to make them love me more. Those are the people I surround myself with. The handful of people that are not afraid to be a silent witness to this pain and only fill us with unconditional love. They lift us up not bring us down with their words of kind compassion, non-judgemental stares, and they are just so proud of us for still being here and being a loving family to one another. There are no expectations, no whispers of he’s in a better place, or she is doing everything wrong. I hear the whispers and I am very aware of who is doing the whispering. It’s like I have a sixth sense for those things and I have learned that the whispers will always be there, but I have a choice of whether or not I hear them. I mostly choose to tune them out because I know at the end of the day the proof is in the pudding and the pudding being your daddy, your brothers, and the amazing friends that have become family. Not to mention your Nana and Papa Jim. I always say I swear I could murder someone and your Nana would still say, “I am so proud of my daughter.” I know what it is like to be unconditionally loved, thanks to her. She has taught me a very valuable lesson through all of this. One that I could never repay her for or say thank you enough for. That’s the great thing about your Nana, too. After everything Ronan, after all of her love, support, strength, sadness, help… she would never look at me and say, “You owe me for this for all I have done for you. Or you hurt my feelings because you don’t pick up the phone. Or you are being selfish, rude and need to get over this.” She would never make this about her in any way shape or form. She is absolutely the most selfless person on the planet and I only hope that I too, am silently following in her humble footsteps. I know how much she misses you and misses me. I hope one day that I can start picking up the phone more like I used to when you were here. I am thankful that she does not take any of this personally because she knows that I am just doing the best that I can and to her, that is more than enough.

I cleaned myself up before Dr. Schwartz came into the room. I know I looked like a bloody mess as my entire face was blotchy and red. I was quiet when she came in to see me today and asked me her usual questions and went on with her exam. I told her how I have been getting sick again. Mostly during the middle of the night the throwing up starts. I won’t ever know if it’s your sister or my body’s way of reacting to my grief. I have a feeling it’s a little of both. She checked my cervix and measured my belly which is still measuring a week ahead of time. “O.k. it’s not going to be much longer now. You’ve dilated quite a bit. Let’s put you back in a room to see what’s she’s doing and watch your contractions.” I headed back out into the waiting room to wait for a room to open up. There was a girl out there, waiting with her little boy. I tried my best to avoid eye contact, but she smiled so I of course said hello. I was a wreck and listening to the little boy call out, “Mama!” was enough to make my eyes well up with tears as that is what you always called me. He was so cute but I refused to look his way as I knew what was going to happen if I did. I was doing a pretty good job of reading my book until his little car came flying at my feet because he had thrown it across the room at me. This made me laugh as I bent down to pick it up as it is so something you would have done. I returned the car to his mama and she shyly looked at me and said, “You’re Maya, right?” I smiled and said that I was. The girl told me how she has been reading my blog forever and how she actually saw me a couple of weeks ago out and about but didn’t want to come up and bother me. We sat and chatted for a bit while I tried not to get lost in the blue eyes of her little boy. She could not have been sweeter and told me how meeting me had made her day. I gave here a ziplock bag full of your bracelets that I just happened to put in my purse this morning. I knew there was a reason that I packed them. I don’t always leave the house with a bag full of your bracelets, but today I felt like I might need them. I’m so glad I was right:)

I finally got back to the room where my contractions were monitored and your Poppy sister was, too. Dr. Schwartz came in and read the results and told me due to my contractions, she wouldn’t be surprised if she saw me before Friday which means I could have your Poppy sister at any time. I thought I was ready for this but I think I’ve changed my mind. I’m not ready and I’m bloody scared as hell. The only part of me that is ready for this is my body. My tired body is more than ready to have this baby girl. My heart and my mind aren’t so sure. Can I do this doubts fill my head. Your Sparkly promised me that I indeed, can do this. I know he is right, but it doesn’t seem to be making things any less scary or sad. My excitement for your sister seems to have been put on hold due to the anticipation and emotional roller coaster of tears that will not seem to stop. I can’t seem to stop thinking about the fact that you won’t be here to hold her, love her, kiss on her the way I know you would be doing if you were here. I try to calm myself about this by letting my heart remind me that although you are not here, you will forever be watching over her, guiding her and protecting her in ways that only you can do. I would give anything for you to actually be here, teaching her all sorts of naughty things and causing all sorts of trouble but as I’ve learned the hard way, beggars can’t be choosers.

I’ve got to run, Ronan. Your Bri Bri aka, my little sissy is in town for orientation at ASU. Can you believe that? I don’t know where the time went as it seems like just yesterday I was bouncing her on my hip, watching her grow up and bounce Liam and Quinn around and then, you. Now she is all grown up and is finally going away to college to ASU. I’ve listened to her talk about ASU since she was 8 years old and how she would go to school there someday. That someday is almost here and I am so excited to have a little piece of our family in Arizona with us. Your brothers are thrilled. I know she is nervous but we are going to take such good care of her. I so wish you were here to be a part of this with all of us. You loved your Bri Bri so much. You two and your big blue eyes were quite the pair. I can’t wait for Bri to meet this Poppy girl. I know she is going to be so helpful with her the same way she is with your brothers. Best little sissy ever;)

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little one.

xoxo

P.S. I just wanted to say a thank you to all of you lovely souls who have been sending the sweetest little gifts, cards, and even a few Poppy things. I even got a little Poppy headband and matching socks all the way from Ireland a couple of days ago. You all are the most thoughtful creatures on the planet. Thank you for loving my little boy and our family so much. Thank you for letting Ronan make you the most beautiful people. It makes my very broken heart, skip a beat. I love you.

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98 Comments

  1. Susan Tinsley

     /  April 2, 2013

    If there is one think I believe after reading this blog for ALL this time is you CAN do this and will do an awesome job!!!!!

    Reply
  2. Ashleigh

     /  April 2, 2013

    Best wishes with Poppy and lots of love to you and your family mama Maya! I’ll always be so sorry that you lost Ro, and it breaks my heart over and over again thinking about it. I wish with my whole heart that I could bring him back to you, but I hope that Poppy will be the spiciest little girl ever, and will bring you tons of smiles :) Love always, Ashleigh

    Reply
  3. Jasmine

     /  April 2, 2013

    Maya, you are wonderful. Can’t wait to get more Ronan bracelets and hand them out to anyone and everyone. I can’t wait to see Poppy’s beautiful face! xoxo

    Reply
  4. warninghugeass

     /  April 2, 2013

    In the words of Anne Lamott “take it bird by bird.”

    Reply
  5. Pat Foullois

     /  April 2, 2013

    Hi: I wanted you to know I read your blog and think of you and your wonderful family (especially Ronan), every day. Can’t wait for your baby girl. Love, Alexandria’s grandma

    Reply
  6. tori

     /  April 2, 2013

    Love and hugs to you, sweet Maya, from the East Coast! I just wanted to let you know (another sort of random chance thing…).. I saw an announcement today that your Dr. Sholler is giving a seminar (as part of a pediatric research day) in my town this month!!! I plan to attend and wear my Ronan bracelet in support of you and Ro. (I work in a medical field, and I’m so excited to hear her talk). I’ve been following your blog for 2 years now, and I’m so amazed by you (and, like so many others, I have a mommy crush on your sweet Ro). I am so, so sorry for the pain you live with every day. I truly hope researchers like Dr. Sholler continue to make progress in solving this. My love and forever hugs to you.

    Reply
  7. Jessica

     /  April 2, 2013

    I just wanted to say that your going to be a great mom to this poppy. Every time I read your blog, my heart breaks from the pain you should have never known. I have four boys of my own and could never imagine my life without them. You have been an inspiration thru this tragedy for me, to enjoy every little moment and not take things for granted, cause we never do know what tomorrow brings. I would like to get a fu cancer bracelet, if you could let me know where. I hope you get sleep tonight and that Ronan is right by your side.

    Reply
  8. Katie A.

     /  April 2, 2013

    I know Ronan will find a way to convince your little girl to be naughty and even misbehave in the most beautiful, spicy ways ever!

    Reply
  9. When I don’t know what to say I just tell you I love you……soooooo I love you & love ou too Ro and baby poppy and Quinn & Liam & Woody!!! Love love love! Xoxo

    Reply
  10. Glenda

     /  April 2, 2013

    RoMama,

    You are Romazing and you will do this… you CAN do this with your spicy badass attitude. Ro will guide you along the way. He will be right there to greet his PopStar.

    You are an inspiration to so many. Wishing you the best as your journey through your labor and delivery. I can’t wait for you to hold and love Poppy, and for your beautiful family to enjoy the love that sweet Poppy will bring to you, W, L & Q! xo

    Rockstar Ronan captured my heart with his blue eyes Dec. 2010
    When I put my lip gloss on I think of you and Ro (how he loved your sparkly shining lips)
    I got my nails done today (purple) I thought of Ro (and my mama – her fav color too)

    Thinking of you & Rockstar Ro
    Always RoLove
    xoxo

    Reply
  11. Linda Torquato

     /  April 2, 2013

    Hugs to you my dear. Your Poppy darling will not erase your grief. However I envision a scale with grief on one side and joy on the other. My hope is that your new love will add weight to the joy side, and give balance to you, giving your days more joy than sadness.

    Reply
  12. carie whitebirch

     /  April 2, 2013

    Have you seen this amazing story about Ronan the Seal?
    WHEN it comes to keeping the beat, Ronan the seal has it signed and delivered.

    In a study published in The Journal of Comparative Psychology , researchers declared they had accidentally found “the first non-human mammal to be able to keep a beat”.

    Ronan was being trained to follow a repetitive sound with her head.

    But the swingin’ seal surprised put his best flipper forward and shocked researchers with his groovin’.

    Specifically, Ronan started boppin’ to Boogie Wonderland, by Earth, and Everybody, by the Backstreet Boys.

    “Once she had learned, without any further training, Ronan was able to find and keep the beat in complex stimuli, including music,’ a researcher explained.

    And don’t accuse Ronan of being a simple mimic.

    “These findings show that the capacity for entrainment of movement to rhythmic sounds does not depend on a capacity for vocal mimicry, and may be more widespread in the animal kingdom than previously hypothesized,” researchers reported.
    Ronin

    Ronin the seal surprised researchers by catching the beat and moving with the groove.

    Reply
  13. melissa

     /  April 2, 2013

    No thing or person will ever be enough. Just know that so much love and no judgement is coming from this reader. And should you ever stop writing, please know that Ronan and your story will live in this heart always. Bless the beautiful souls around you who fill you up with only good stuff. ((Hugs))

    Reply
  14. Aw Maya! I have tears streaming down my face. Of course not one thing or person will ever heal your broken heart. Poppy isn’t going to replace Ronan. Sometimes I feel like a fuckwad commenting on here, b/c I have never lost a child. But through your blog (and a few others) I got a glimpse of it…pure hell. I am in total awe of you. You are nothing short of amazing. You are stronger than what you think…look at all the shit you got and are getting done for Childhood Cancer. Poppy girl will be amazing and beautiful and healthy and she will have part of Ronan with her, always. I think of you and your family often. My girls know of Ronan and what he went through. Everytime I see purple anything, I think of him. Please know you have huge fans here in PA. We are always pulling for you, routing for you and sending you strength/positive vibes. Take care of you!! And if you need to sob in some random place, then by all means, do it damnit. Fuck the whisper-ers. You are a trillion gazillion times better than they are anyways! PS. I know nothing I say is too important…but I dont always know what to say, b/c how would one console a mother who lost her child???!! I just think you should know how many ppl love you from all over the US (or world)!! xoxo

    Reply
  15. @gendissw

     /  April 2, 2013

    I wish all the love and joy to your Poppy. I hope everything will get better. We’re gonna have a Popstar! I love you, Maya. Thank you for teaching me so many lessons to be thankful for what we have. I’m sending lots of love from Indonesia :)

    Reply
  16. Jaime H.

     /  April 2, 2013

    I can only imagine all of the emotions you’re feeling right now. I’m so sorry about Ronan. I feel happy for you about Poppy! So much mixed emotion. I’m glad you have wonderful friends in your life and a wonderful, loving family. And yeah ASU! My oldest son will start there this year as a freshman also! God bless Maya, xoxo

    Reply
  17. Phaedra

     /  April 2, 2013

    I’m so sorry you are so sad and you don’t feel like everyone in your life is able to support you. I think the reason they think you need to “get over it” or handle yourself differently is because it is hard to stare grief in the eyes. They realize the ferocious thing that has taken you could take them as well and it scares them! You are passionate and you aren’t afraid to express yourself. And you must be so scared. Poppy isn’t going to fix things for your family but she is going to love you so much! Maybe Poppy has a great big job to do that you can’t even yet imagine. Just be okay with whatever it is you are feeling. I can’t wait to see her little face! Take care Maya. No one will ever forget the little boy we never got to meet!

    Reply
  18. Lisa

     /  April 2, 2013

    I love you and I’m glad you’ll get to see your vagina really soon….and that Poppy girl. :)~

    Reply
  19. Nicole

     /  April 2, 2013

    Maya, you and Ro have changed my life. I will be forever grateful for your honesty and strength in sharing your journey with all of us. Poppy is one lucky little girl! Hugs and love to you. Xoxo

    Reply
  20. Penny Grissman

     /  April 2, 2013

    Hi Maya,

    Thurs is my birthday, so I’m hoping Ronan gives me a little bday surprise! I know you hear this from the majority of people, but I can tell some people must be bringing you down. Please know that your blog has touched the heart of millions and is making things happen. If there happens to be some ignorant assholes voicing stupid opinions to you, just tell them to kiss your ass! No one has the right to judge, whether they’ve been in your shoes or not.

    Last week, a friend’s daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. 14 years old. Just like that, their world has changed. Thank you for doing everything in your power to bring awareness to this awful beast. We have to save our children. Good luck this Thursday when you have Poppy on my bday!! :)

    Thank you for changing the world!
    Penny

    BTW, purple is the color for HL. Is there a place I can order some of your bracelets to hand out to show our support to this family?

    Reply
  21. Memee

     /  April 2, 2013

    Hi, I am hoping you guys can help me. In April will be 3 years since my best friend passed away (she was 26). I bought a picture frame and framed a picture of her – my wish was to send this to her parents for the “anniversary”. Is this appropriate? :(

    Reply
    • Daniella

       /  April 3, 2013

      I think so! Reminding her family that you have not forgotten about their daughter (I’m so sorry by the way) is a gift in its self.

      Reply
    • Charee Harrison

       /  April 12, 2013

      Absolutely. Its after time passes when the family needs to know their loved one is still remembered and that you still care. Agree with Daniella full heartedly.

      Reply
  22. Chelsea

     /  April 2, 2013

    I am so excited that poppy might come this week, but I completely understand why you are not ready. Mr sparkly eyes is right though, you can do it. You are the strongest woman I know and with Ro behind you, supporting all of you and working his lil Ro magic, you will do great

    Reply
  23. Charee Harrison

     /  April 2, 2013

    Where can I get a naughty Ronan bracelet? I’ve somewhat searched and come up empty,and I’m ready to show the world Ronan(I’ve too everyone I know, so now I need a braceket to spark others curiosity)
    P.S, best mom of the century, you are. You’ve helped so, so many with your words alone. I think you’re pretty spicy yourself. I wish you the best during, and after, miss Poppy comes rushing into your life. I have no doubt it will be hard, but Maya….youre a badass mama. Have as much faith in yourself as we have in you. You is kind, you is smart, you is important.
    Love you!!

    Reply
  24. Amy

     /  April 2, 2013

    Where can I get some of these Ronan bracelets I keep hearing about?

    ♥, Amy

    Reply
  25. Rosie

     /  April 2, 2013

    Patiently waiting for you to say she’s here! The words you write about how you feel are the words I wish I could say out loud. Thank you for helping me.

    Reply
  26. Summer

     /  April 2, 2013

    I know there are no words to console you, but I just wanted to tell you that I am so thankful that you let us read your journey. It has changed me in every way. I love my family more and more, because of you. You are a great mom to your boys and soon to be baby girl!! Hugs and kisses!!

    Reply
  27. Michelle H.

     /  April 2, 2013

    Thinking of you and just know you will get through Poppy’s delivery beautifully! You have shown how much of a warrior you are and having Poppy will be no exception. ❤

    Reply
  28. Shelly Ellis

     /  April 2, 2013

    You and Ro are a blessing to this world as you have put your personal life out there! Y’all have made an impact to all your followers, what a blessing of the lives you and Ro has change and the commitment to never stop to make a difference for those that go through y’all’s experience! Poppy will not replace Ro by any means but I know she to is coming into this world to fulfill her purpose and love! Your boys are amazing and the support of friends and family is to be commended! Your husband has been there every step of the way being one of your rocks in life!
    You are approciating a new life and she to will make her own purpose here on earth but Ro will never be replace or forgotten, he is embedded into your heart always and he is giving you the strength to make extraordinary difference to our world, its not fair to loose a child but his beautiful face and your love has impacted the world! He and you have made a milestone to our world, that is a blessing he lived within all of us and embedded our own heart!! As his mom, which you will always be gave you the bridge of strength to cross to make so many awarness to others and a foundation that is only growing stronger!!
    He would be so proud of you, he is proud of you and your strenght and determination to make a differnce!! he will always be in your heart always and forever to the moon and back!
    God Bless and much love always!
    I would love and honored to help in any way!!
    Much Love
    xoxoxo

    Reply
  29. Maria R

     /  April 2, 2013

    Hi Maya!
    I found your blog about a year ago thanks to T Swift and I’ve been reading ever since. Ronan’s story broke my heart and reminded me what things are really important to fight for.
    I so hope the whole thing with Poppy goes great, she’s goingo to bring a lot of smiles even she will never take Ronan’s place!
    Keep your work up, you and Ronan are gonna move mountains in the childhood cancer world! Cancer won’t win at the end.

    Lots of hugs from Spain!
    Fuck you cancer!

    Reply
  30. Maya, obviously Poppy is coming no matter what but don’t forget you will have Dr Jo with you every step of the way. You have an amazing husband who will help you every step of the way. You have twins who will be AMAZING big brothers. You have friends who will never let you fall. And you have Ronan who will never let you down. it’s okay to feel this way…Poppy isn’t going to heal you heart – nothing ever will. But she will bring some light into your very very dark world. And she will be yours. And she will be loved. And so will you xo

    Reply
  31. deb

     /  April 2, 2013

    I understand your pain & grief. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now. The quote you posted on grief sometimes never alleviates is true. I also get tired of the people who use their quips about arrow such as time heals all wounds. Those people have never experienced profound loss. I have had to eliminate people from my life who thought I should be just fine by now. I know you’re tired. Please know you’re not alone. We are the walking wounded. Much love to you & your family. And Poppy!

    Reply
  32. You are so ready to have this baby. Maybe it’s a bit like running where you keep pushing through the pain and there’s a natural high at the end?

    P.S – sex is known to induce labor, just sayin’

    Reply
  33. Hilary

     /  April 3, 2013

    Maya, I’ve not written to you for a while but I’ve read all of your posts and felt I wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you as you wait for your Poppy to make her appearance. Of course her arrival will be a confusing time – a mixture of joy and sadness that your beautiful Ronan is not here to shower her with his love. You will always feel that loss and that will never go away. How could it? But Poppy is part of Ronan and forever will be. May love and brightness surround you all and every good wish for the safe arrival of your precious girl. x

    Reply
  34. Frances Kurtz

     /  April 3, 2013

    Oh Maya. What a beautiful girl you are inside and out. I hate so much that you have to deal with such tremendous pain in your heart. It is the most wrong thing in the world. Yet, you manage somehow to keep moving and continue to be simply amazing. I am just so very thankful that you have the most incredible people in your life who embrace you with the most unconditional love imaginable. Though I do not know these dear ones of yours, I can tell you that my heart fills with happiness knowing they are surrounding you with so much
    love.

    Reply
  35. Karin

     /  April 3, 2013

    I’m just glad I found u. my son.Maor, also died from NB while being in sloan- NY.
    He also called me MAMA, very not hebrew word (we r from israel), than I found one day a chapter of Dora where the little bird calls her mom “MAMA” in the same way he used some times, its so cute, I hope u saw it….
    Neshikot
    Karin

    Reply
  36. FU cancer

     /  April 3, 2013

    i wish you and your family all the best. i love all of you. xoxo <3

    Reply
  37. Noah's grandma

     /  April 3, 2013

    *****************hugs******************
    From Noah’s grandma

    Reply
  38. Jenna

     /  April 3, 2013

    Rolove will always be in Poppy’s heart<3 May she bring some spiceyness back to your pack:)

    Reply
  39. Jenn

     /  April 3, 2013

    Lots of love sent your way Maya. I’m so sorry, I cannot imagine being you. The thought of losing one of my kids makes me a crying mess, so I cannot imagine any of what you go through. It’s going to be hard with this new baby, but I hope she can bring some light into your home. I have no judgement towards you what so ever, as I cannot imagine being you for one minute. You are stronger than I could ever be, and you have such an amazing family. I think of you all on a daily basis, you have forever changed my life. I think about how unfair it is for you and all those sweet babies that aren’t able to grow up..it’s not fair and it’s not right. I wanted to go to DC to the “Roll for the Gold” event…but couldn’t make it. I think I would have just cried the entire time…it is too heart breaking. I wish you the absolute best and I hope this baby is born perfect. Lots of love to you and your family as always. You can do this, you’ve made it through the absolute worst, you can do this. Love you Maya.

    Reply
  40. I am so proud of you!!! We love you and we talk about your boy in our house a lot:)

    Reply
  41. Cheryl

     /  April 3, 2013

    Dear RoMaya,
    Big hug from Singapore! You’re in my thoughts and prayers a lot! You are a wonderful mama, with such a sweet and kind heart and I pray that each day will bring with it more joys and beautiful moments for you, and give you more things to smile about despite all that you are going through. I have no kids but I cannot imagine what pain you have endured. Thanks for sharing Ronan with us!

    You continue to inspire me with your courage and strength. Best wishes with Poppy. Have a safe and smooth delivery.

    Hugs,
    Cheryl

    Reply
  42. No one is able to replace anyone. Poppy will be at least one miracle that has happened for your family since the day Ronan was born! Enjoy!

    Reply
  43. Oh Maya, I am sending as many positive thoughts and as much positive energy your way as I can muster! I was right were you are now just over 7 years ago. When our sweet boy Riley was just 9 months old, we discovered we were expecting again (which was quite a surprise, as the first one took 2 years of fertility treatment). I’m not sure if you remember me, but Riley is a twin, and we lost his brother, Colin, when they were just a week old. My boys were born about 7 weeks early due to a ruptured placenta. They were small but fine, until Colin contracted an infection in the NICU and died of sepsis just a little over a day later. Needless to say, I TRUSTED NO ONE! Not my doctor, not the hospital, not the nurses – NO ONE! That was the most stress-filled, terrifying 9 months of my life, which really sucks, as I didn’t let myself enjoy the miracle of bringing a new life into the world. Instead, I just worried that she would die almost every day. My most common emotions during that time were fear, dread, and the occasional tiny bout of joy, followed by guilt (that I let myself feel that tiny bit of joy instead of grieving for Colin). By some miracle, my sweet Samantha was able to wade through all of the negativity I was brewing, and blessed our lives just as perfect as can be. We were blessed by her sister, Olivia, just 18 months later (that pregnancy wasn’t quite as tortuous, as my doctor pleaded with me to understand that my placenta ruptured because I had been carrying twins, not because something was wrong with me). By some cruel twist of fate (or a blessing, however you want to look at it), Samantha’s newborn pic looks EXACTLY like Colin’s. Talk about messing with my mind, I have spent hours staring at her, just wondering if that is what Colin would have looked like, if he would have had those curls, if he would have had the same mannerisms, if he would have been that sweet. I have found some comfort in that, but it has definitely triggered some raw emotions as well. There were definitely days that I would just hold her and cry, which then made Riley cry, so we all just cried. I get where you are and what you’re feeling – I struggle with it every day (and I’m sure it will be there until the day I die). However, I’ve finally come to the point that although my heart aches for Colin, I have been blessed with 3 other pretty amazing kids , and I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot – I’m not missing out on any more. I finally agreed to some pharmaceutical help (reluctantly) again, and I am “coping” much better. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the right therapist yet – hopefully one day I will. I know that you’re a wonderful mom and that you love your kids more than life itself. I also know that you will be carrying around the pain of losing Ronan for the rest of your life. I have no idea how to balance the wonderful, and the very, very horrible, but I am trying so hard. I’m trying harder than I ever have in my life. I guess I just want you to know that you’re not alone. I just hope it doesn’t take as long for you to experience some sunshine as it did for me (over 8 years). As for those stupid a-holes who whisper and try to pass their judgement on your life, let ‘em go! You don’t need that negativity in your life – I had to make that decision a while ago. Life is too freakin’ short to have to entertain stupidity & ignorance, and someone’s unsolicited advice on how you should live your life. If you ever need to vent or unleash, please always know I’m here. If anyone will understand some of the crazy thoughts you’ll have over the next few days, weeks, months, and years, I certainly will. Much love to you and your family – please give that sweet little Poppy girl kisses from Texas :)

    Reply
  44. Kiara

     /  April 3, 2013

    ahhhhh, I remember having my little girl after I lost her big brother, that was the scariest thing ever! I just want to hug you and tell you that your Poppy girl is going to be just fine. She will never replace her brother or take away your pain but she is going to bring you so much happiness and laughter and ribbon and lace and you will end up loving pink and Ronan already kissed and hugged his Poppy and he is sending her your way now, it’s your turn to kiss and love on her. Can’t wait to see pictures of her.

    Reply
  45. Nora

     /  April 3, 2013

    Maya,
    I know that Poppy will bring joy to your family. I know she will never take away your pain but she may make it more bearable. We are all excited for little Poppy to get here! Ronan is so proud of you, Mama Maya. My love goes out to you, Poppy, Ronan, Liam, Quinn and Woody.
    xoxo

    Reply
  46. baldauf Murielle

     /  April 3, 2013

    Hello. Hug from a little town in France. I read your blog once a week and think at Ronan once a day. Can I Found Ronan’s bracelet here ?
    You are a wonderful mum and we have to learn from you… sorry for my bad english.

    Reply
  47. Cole

     /  April 3, 2013

    Just sending you some best wishes and a lot of love here from NYC! You can do this girl, look at all you have done already! You are a strong woman and you have a strong family keeping you up, Ronan will guide you! Lots of love to you, your family, Poppy and Ronan!

    Reply
  48. DreamOnAStar

     /  April 3, 2013

    Dearest Maya your words are so powerful,they hit straight to the heart and let you think about that endless pain you have to deal with;its very strange but i recently thought of that situation,how is it possible to look at a little child play with his mother,i was thinking how impossible it could be for you to live such situation and thinking of this i got tears in my eyes but i said to myself i know she has treasures inside her heart that will help her deal with this.I was thinking about that situation and it happened that you wrote about it in your last post.That situation just represents a very little part of what that endless pain has to look like.Only you knows how that endless pain is like but i have faith in your heart and those treasures of your heart which are the keys of your strenght,i know you have millions treasures inside your heart that will surprise you.These treasures of yours represent hope;hope for little Poppy who is coming,hope for that love between you and Ronan.They all need you and the strenght of your heart,what could they do without you?Everyone has faith in you and believes in the magic of your heart. Sending love and hopes for you and your lovely family.Feeling Ronan’s love,always.

    Reply
  49. sandra

     /  April 3, 2013

    Dearest Maya.

    I agree with you about those sorrows that never fade.
    There are wounds that are so deep, not even Heaven can heal. There are wounds that make our soul bleed for eternity.

    I wish for you and your husband that you can find peace for your hearts. I’m very sorry for your immense loss. You will always be in my heart and payers.

    Reply
  50. Rebecca

     /  April 3, 2013

    I would be lying if I said I wasn’t so excited for Poppy to get here. We’ve grown to love her as one of ours, the exact why we feel about Ronan.

    Reply
  51. sarah

     /  April 3, 2013

    I stumbled upon your blog a few months back while searching for pediatric cancer treatment options. I am going to be starting my senior year of nursing school in the fall and my heart is in pediatric oncology -I never believed people had a calling, until I experienced mine. The first time I read your blog I,(like many others), immediately fell in love and sobbed for a good long time. Your story has only further fueled my fire to get involved, to raise awareness, and to be the best damn peds oncology nurse I possibly can. I have two children of my own who are my world. I cannot fathom the pain you live with daily. I can only say words I know you’ve heard hundreds of times before- you are an incredible woman. An absolute inspiration. To take your experience and your pain and do something bigger with it, it takes guts. I admire you tremendously for that. I also admire your raw-ness, you should never feel bad for saying exactly what you feel. Ever. You are a beautiful person who has given so many people hope just by telling your story and allowing us to love your little boy (without ever meeting him). I wish you all the luck in the world with your new Poppy. If anyone can push through the pain, confusion, and emotional roller coaster you must be on, and be an amazing mommy in spite of it all, it’s you. Thank you, for being you, and sharing your beautiful Ronan with the world. And know that you’ve got a whole army of people yelling FUCK CANCER right along with you.

    Reply
  52. Rachel

     /  April 4, 2013

    Thinking of you during this time! I keep checking back to see how you’re doing and how close you are to having sweet little Poppy. I saw a hummingbird recently in our backyard in Texas and thought of Ronan and you guys. Hoping all goes well with the delivery and you do everything YOU need to do in the process. You will know what you need to do and how you’re feeling and no one else. I’m also hoping all the judgmental looks/words will go away from you – you do not need that and a lot of people just need to mind their own business. I know everyone thinks they are an expert when it comes to parenthood, I just hope they hush and don’t bother you with what they “know”. You empower so many people and I know you will work through the hardness and sadness of this situation and you will be an incredible mama to this new little babe. I hope this transition goes as smoothly as possible for you and your family. Promise you’ll post a picture after she arrives? ;)
    Take care.

    Reply
  53. Jenny

     /  April 4, 2013

    i would love to send Poppy something where would i send it too??

    Reply
  54. Looks like poppys gonna be taller than her peeps later on :). I cant wait for her to come to this little world. I love you maya, my thoughts and prayers are with you! F U CANCER. Take care maya… u too POPpy POPstar! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

    Reply
    • Yup poppy is gonna be vry tall! Cnt wait till the word gets out till shes here!

      Reply
  55. Heather from Utah

     /  April 4, 2013

    I have been following your blog for awhile now and I am so very glad that you have a group of supportive people around you. For those that aren’t…well just SCREW THEM (okay not literally) but, they should just not even register on your radar. I haven’t met you but, from your blog I can tell that you are a loving, kind, forgiving mother and I have no doubt that you will continue to do so! I think as mom’s we are all hard on ourselves and question if we are doing a good job. Try not to be so hard on yourself cause really in the end the only thing that matters is that your children know you love and support them UNCONDITIONALLY!

    Reply
  56. CC

     /  April 4, 2013

    I followed a link to your blog from the Facebook page of a little girl with FA that I follow and spent the last hour and a half reading and crying. I went back and read the posts from when the song Ronan came out. That was the same week that my ‘pal’ passed away (I volunteer at a pediatric oncology clinic and spent a lot of time there getting attached to this very special girl while she fought her cancer). That song reminds me of her and of course the image of Ronan’s beautiful blue eyes that I don’t think I will ever forget. I just wanted to let you know how much I admire you and your family.

    Reply
  57. Jessica

     /  April 4, 2013

    This makes me so sad, knowing that Ronan will never get to hold Poppy or touch her. But who said sad was bad, sad is what motivates people to do stuff. We need to make sure that all the future big brothers and sisters get to meet their new siblings. This is beyond unfair, it’s some cruel joke that nobody will ever find funny. I wish we could throw ropes up to heaven and help Ronan and all the other kids who lost their battle, climb down from heaven. I really do, I wish we could. They’re just children, they need to be here in their parent’s ar,s getting kisses and baths before bed. They don’t deserve to be in heaven. They don’t. They did nothing wrong, why’d they have to get taken away from their families. Fuck you cancer. Fuck you.

    Reply
  58. Maya – you are so right, there is nothing and no one that will ever take the place of Ronan or make you stop missing him. Two years after our first son, Jake, died we had boy/girl twins. Someone said to me “oh, how wonderful you got your boy back.” I feel so lucky to have the twins but they did not and will not ever take the place of their brother.

    Thinking about you, Poppy and Ronan. No judgment ever just a bit FU Cancer!!

    Reply
  59. I know you can do this Maya. How do I know? Because you are the strongest, bravest person I know. You have dealt with more shit than anyone and you can do anything. Ro is gonna take care of that Poppy girl from wherever he is, I’m sure of it (even though he should be here to take care of her). A big fucking congratulations to a little asshole named cancer on that front. I can’t wait for the day when we can finally beat cancer once and for all. For Ty, Ronan, Teddy, and Phoebe, and all of the other kids who have to suffer. And for you and Woody, and Liam and Quinn, and Cindy and Lou, and Gavin, and Clarence and Jim, who lost someone so very special to them.

    Hugs and kisses to you and the Poppy baby, can’t wait for her to get here. xoxo

    Reply
  60. DessaLinn

     /  April 5, 2013

    Dearest Ronan,
    Look what your Mama has done little lovey? She built an army. For you. With you. All her supporters, followers, dreamers- from ALL over the world. They know you. They feel you. They love you. Because you, my dear, have the best Mother. & brothers. & daddy. & soon a princess Poppy. Your family has a rocky foundation, but damn- your Mom can rock it & make it work. FU Cancer for taking you from them. But bless your amazing, & very extended, family for living in your shadow & never erasing your footsteps.
    Much Love from Wa,
    Misty, Rhodee & Rave

    Reply
  61. Melissa V

     /  April 5, 2013

    Well it is Friday love–and suddenly you and Poppy are stuck in my head. Wondering if today is the day?! I am so sorry that Ronan can’t hold his gorgeous baby sister in his arms. Sending you all so much love.

    Reply
  62. “The only people who think there’s a time limit to grief, have never lost a piece of their heart. Take all the time you need.”

    The love you convey for Ronan is limitless and endless. That makes him AND you a special sort of individual.

    It’s clear that you carry his energy with you, and the flame of his life stays lit with your vivaciousness.

    Reply
  63. Maddie B.

     /  April 6, 2013

    Your Ronan was so special, and he will never be forgotten. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Ro made sure to give Poppy lots of spice, and maybe in some way, they’ve already met. Either way, she will grow up knowing all about her wonderful big brother. She will by no means erase your grief. She is not the magic pill that eliminates sadness. But she will be a fiery, spicy little girl that will bring so much joy. She is already special, and she doesn’t even know it. She’s so lucky to have you.

    Reply
  64. Julie B.

     /  April 7, 2013

    I believe it is absolutely appropriate give a framed picture of your friend to her parents. The most horrible feeling after losing someone is this feeling that the rest of the world has moved on and you are alone in your grief. You don’t talk about it very much because you don’t want to burden others or be a buzz kill but the hurt, the ache, the sadness, the tears and the lonliness is always right there. Her parents will love to be able to have another new pic if theirchild and the opportunity to talk about her with someone. My mother died unexpectedly 3 months ago at the age of 66 and I am broken. Life goes on around me I feel as I am just a spectator. I could only hurt more if it was my child instead of my mother.

    Reply
  65. Todaays sunday. Im keep thinkin bout u and poppy! O gosh i really want to know if you took the chance and if shes here already!!! Cant wait to see her…. i know she came sadely if she did ronan is with u and ur new family! LOOOOOTS of LOOOV,
    A 12 year old girl

    Reply
  66. Kim

     /  April 7, 2013

    Is Ireland Roe here yet? The suspense is killing me. I can’t wait to see her beautiful face.

    Reply
  67. Danielle

     /  April 7, 2013

    Its been nearly a year since I commented, but I read constantly. I was pregnant with you, sort of. I had my little girl in february. You made me a better mother. You made me a better person. You and Ronan, you made me, me. I love you forever, even if we dont know each other in real life. My heart knows yours, my heart knows Ronan. <3 Hugs Maya, dearest.

    Reply
  68. Tammy

     /  April 8, 2013

    I started reading your blog after seeing Taylor Swift sing “ronan’s song”. Honestly, it has changed me. I am a mom to 2 and a nurse. I used to work in oncology and would get soo angry over cancer and now every time I see you write “FU” to cancer I can’t help but smile and wish that more people were fed up with cancer. I have never responded to your blog and I don’t know if you even read these, but I wanted to tell you that I pray for you and your Poppy and your family and for Ronan. I do believe in Heaven and I know that Ronan is there. I do have many questions to ask God when I get there, but I wanted to tell you that because of your blog I stop to appreciate the health of my children. I hope that Poppy’s birth goes smoothly………….Take care, Tammy  

    ________________________________

    Reply
  69. Jenn

     /  April 8, 2013

    Thinking of you and your family. Hope you are doing as good as you can be. Lots of good vibes sent your way.

    Reply
  70. Jen

     /  April 8, 2013

    To Maya, Woody, Liam, Quinn, & Ronan:

    CONGRATULATIONS on the safe arrival of Little Miss Poppy!!! :D Saw the news & photo on twitter, Gah-or-geous!! She’s so pretty & so perfect. That hair!!! & Oh that (sparkly!) glimmer in her eyes!! She so totally sees Ronan!! He was there, Maya. Not the way it should have been, but he was there. That look in her eyes… Wow. She’s staring! Newborns aren’t supposed to do that! She’s saying “Thanks for getting me here safely, big brother Ro!” & He obviously told her to immediately be spicy & sparkly for you :) You can tell how full of love her little heart is already. Perfect Popstar Princess :) Congrats BIG time, Mama Maya & Daddy Woody!! & Super Congrats to the world’s best big brothers, Liam, Quinn, & Ro!! :) Welcome to the world, Sweet Baby Poppy!! :) Sending hugs!! Xoxo

    Reply
  71. kbanister

     /  April 8, 2013

    Maya,
    I write to you as I sit by my son Noah’s hospital bed watching him sleep. He is five and has the most gentle soul that is wise beyond his time. I am so proud to be his mother. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience with such raw emotion. We have a wonderful support system, but nobody can understand how I feel. Then I stumbled across your site and I came to some peace. I am not crazy. I read your words and it is if they are coming out of my heart. I can’t even begin to vent or cry for I know I may never stop. I watch him be soo courageous even when I know he is hurting. How resilient he is, No matter how many times they hurt him he is still a happy goofy little five year old boy. Nobody can tell us what Noah’s future holds, but thank you for making me feel so NORMAL!!!
    Kim

    Reply
  72. I just saw this post below… I could not believe this young man is fighting to survive and telling kids out there to stop committing suicide! I can see how upsetting this is to him.
    http://emeraldpie.wordpress.com/
    Title “live another day”

    It was just heart breaking to read his passion. Cancer and disabilities and diseases are so unfair. Yet these kids want to live…

    Reply
  73. Alicia VanValkenburgh

     /  April 8, 2013

    Maya, I have been following your blog for just a short while, over the last six months or so, and I’ve downloaded “Ronan” from itunes. It is a song I listen to everyday and I cry. I don’t have any children yet, but I feel so close to you because of your story. Ironically enough my birth name was Thompson before I was adopted. I just wanted to say that I love Ronan and you. And, I wish you all the strength, love, support, and hope that God can give. I miss your little boy and I never even knew him… I pray every night for him and children like him; the lost and the ones that are still here. I am looking to go back to school. I want to get my doctorate in Biotechnology so that I can hopefully help in discovering a cure for not only Neuroblastoma but other cancers as well. Keep on trooping (as they say in the military. I am a military wife) and hold your head high. Don’t let the whispers get to you. You are so loved by many and NO ONE has a right to judge you negatively in anyway. You are a great mom and I hope that I can be as great a mother to my children, when I have them, as you ARE to Ronan, Liam, Quinn, and the soon to be here, Poppy.

    Reply
  74. Jessica

     /  April 9, 2013

    Maya-
    Your honesty with your emotions is a bessing to people in many ways. So many people expect those who grieve to “move on/get over it” and all sorts of other crazy things. I think you are bringing awareness to childhood cancer and the reality of grief. That’s a helpful thing to people supporting someone they care about after the death of a child. I worked with a woman a long time ago who lost her son. Looking back, you have made me realize I could have acted so much differently.

    I’m assuming your Poppy is here. I’ll be thinking of you and yor family as you go through this really exciting, but really emotionally difficult time.

    Reply
  75. Patty

     /  April 9, 2013

    I just read on Taylor’s website that Poppy is here!!! She is beautiful and I love her name.
    Congrats and I hope you’re feeling joy and happiness amongst your conflicted feelings at this time. Big hugs!

    Reply
  76. Selina

     /  April 9, 2013

    I just wanted to say I’m thinking of you, Ronan, Poppy & the twins & your husband too – I can’t even begin to understand the emotions you are going through right now!
    F-U cancer!!

    Reply
  77. Every day I am checking back in hoping and praying that your blog absence is due to good news for you, sweet Poppy, and your entire beautiful family!

    I have never commented before and I feel like I would lose a wonderful friend if you ever stopped blogging but I wish more than anything you had never had the reason to begin and I had just met you, Ro, Poppy, Liam, Quinn, and Woody by happenstance on some beautiful day. No children myself at this point in my life, but you inspire me everyday with your beautiful Rospirit. Thank you for educating us all on the appalling reality of pediatric cancer and the most unspeakable grief.

    Reply
  78. Melissa

     /  April 9, 2013

    I would never doubt your sorrow or judge how your grieve. I do know the feeling of people not understanding. I don’t compare my level of sadness, pain and despair to yours. I lost my only sister 8 years ago to a brain tumor. I still feel like it was yesterday. She was my best friend. A lot of my sadness comes from her being my only sister and now I’m so lonely. However, I do often get the feeling from other people that they think I should move on and let it go. I don’t think that will ever happen. I have my kids and my mom but nothing will ever take the place of my sister. You should never let what other people think get to you. Only you will ever know how you feel and I don’t think it’s ever healthy to hide away feelings. Especially sad ones. Take care of yourself and that beautiful baby girl.

    Reply
  79. Megan

     /  April 9, 2013

    Love you, you’re amazing, keep fighting! You motivate me and others to do something ( at least donate) about freaking cancer taking innocent babies!

    Reply
  80. Katie

     /  April 10, 2013

    Just thinking of you Maya…..

    Reply
  81. Ashli in AZ

     /  April 10, 2013

    How insensitive some people can be to think a spirit can be replaced- that the entrance of a new (albeit inevitably brilliant) spirit into your world will heal your wounds and take your pain away. I hope your new Poppy Girl brings some sunshine to your days. I’m so sorry for what happened to Ronan- what happened to you and your family. I think about Ronan every day- his story- your story- has changed my life.

    Reply
  82. Sofie

     /  April 11, 2013

    I believe Poppy and Ronan has already met. I read the book Lessons from the light and went from a nonbeliever to a believer. There is more than what we see.

    Reply
  83. donna

     /  April 11, 2013

    Maya…..I’m hoping we haven’t heard from you in a week and a half because you’re loving on your new baby girl, and not for any other reason. Please give us an update when you can!!! <3

    Reply
  84. Ella

     /  April 11, 2013

    Hi Maya
    I just wanted to let you know how happy I am that you are fighting Childhood Cancer. But I was looking at The Ronan Thompson Foundation Website and I realized that all of your funding is going just to Neuroblastoma. This is understandable, but at the same time, there are a lot of other childhood cancer that will take lots of lives too if not better researched. My younger brother actually battled one of them and I was wondering when/if this was going to benefit other kids fighting other kinds of cancer as well.
    Please do not think me accusatory, I really admire you and all you do to raise awareness and I’m sorry for your loss and happy that Poppy is healthy.
    Love,
    Ella

    Reply
  85. Ryley

     /  April 11, 2013

    While reading this i was crying. I wanted to know about Ronan… Taylor swifts beautiful tribute has broken my heart over and over again. I have listened to this song three times today and I did not miss shedding a tear once while listening to this song. I did not like Taylor swift before listening to this song…
    But I do respect her now. She is so completely amazing for creating a song for you.
    Ronan, is an angle now…. Bless your heart

    Reply
  86. Hello, Maya. I’ve been following your blog for a few months, and i’m so sorry for all the bad things that happened to you and your family. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with skin cancer, and I remember how much scared me and my family was. Now I’m OK, but I just can’t stop thinking about your little wonderfull baby Ro. He was a very lucky boy to have you as his mother.
    Last month I lost my aunt to skin cancer, and I think to ask you, if you could send some fu cancer bracelets to Brazil, to me. I will be so gratefull.

    Oh, and I’m so sure that you’ll be the best mom ever with Poppy girl. Ronan will love her, and you will to. The pain that you feel, because a part of you is here anymore will never end, but things will be alright again.
    I’m sure you will feel happy again, you deserve it. And I’m sure baby Ro wants it to.

    Sorry for my english :(

    Brazilian hugs.

    Reply
  87. Stephanie Rivera

     /  April 11, 2013

    Congratulations!!!!!She is so very beautiful Maya! I have been waiting all week for you to update us. I’m so happy that you shared these beautiful pics of baby Poppy!!She is such a cutie pie :-)

    Reply
  88. Haneen

     /  December 23, 2013

    I can never imagine the pain you went through/still going through. I’ve never met you, or Ronan, yet I cry when I think of your story. The fact that I don’t even know you and I feel this way, I just can’t comprehend your pain you go through every day. I don’t have any kids yet, but my sister does. And her love for them is outrageous. If one of them were to be taken away, I don’t know what she would do…I don’t know where I’m going with this. I guess what I’m trying to say is stay strong! Even though it’s not easy. Ronan will live forever with the legacy you’re leaving behind for him. You keep doing what you’re doing because you’re amazing and you’re bringing awareness to the monster named cancer. I found out about you through Taylor Swift and I will forever respect her for the things she’s done for Ronan and all other kids going through cancer. I had a cousin who passed away from cancer at the age of 4, so I kind of do feel your pain and maybe that’s why your story touched me so much. Anyways, stay strong mama!! You are an amazing woman!

    Reply

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