Wait… Poppy is one? How did that happen already??


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Ronan. I don’t live in a normal world anymore. I live in a world that I often feel very alone in, but I tend to do alright in this world. This world without you is so hard for me to live in, but I have done my best to make it bearable by living each day as fully as I am capable of because I know how precious each day truly is. You might say this new perspective has given me a clarity I never had before and I myself as a human being generally feel pretty fulfilled; minus the always absence of you in my life. I keep you tucked away as close to me as possible and carry you with me in everything I do which seems to get me through the toughest of times.

I was at lunch the other day and ending up sitting next to a table full of mom’s who were doing PTO stuff for their kids’ school. I knew a few of them so of course I waved, but I really wanted to just curl up and cry. I glanced their way every so often and could hear them talking so excitedly about the money they had raised and the upcoming fundraiser they were putting together. What it must be like to be able to live that life of a normal, no cancer has ever touched their kids, PTO mom. My mind wandered back and forth between “I wonder if this is what my life would have been like if cancer had not killed my baby” to “Please let Nela beat this cancer once again, Ronan, as her mom just told me she has relapsed.” You see, even when I try to do normal not cancer mom things, it’s almost impossible for my mind to just let go of the swirling thoughts I have about you, you getting cancer, you dying, all the other kids that I know are being diagnosed, the ones who are not doing well, etc… I have come to accept the fact that I cannot do it all and I’m just no longer cut out to be the PTO mom because that life as I maybe would have known it, flew out the window a long time ago and I don’t see it coming back anytime soon.

I have a 23-year-old best friend. A 37-year-old best friend. And a 68-year-old best friend. The three of them all entered my life because of you. My relationships with them are each so different, so unique and so special. Not only do we have one common denominator in our lives, which is you; but we also have another one which is this fucked up world of childhood cancer. My 23-year-old best friend sleeps in your bed a lot. She pretty much should just move in with us at this point and if I did indeed have a guest house, I would totally let her live in it. We do a lot of silly things together which mostly consists of drinking too many Kale drinks in one day and having ridiculous dance parties to really bad rap music with Poppy. We also do a lot of quiet things together, too. We hike a lot while we ponder stupid things like, “If you could come back as a boy or a girl in your next life, what would you be?” We do a lot of intense things like cry on the phone and kick and scream and cuss about things that are so fucked up but are not my things to talk about on here. She sends me poetry in the middle of the night or things she is reading out of books and I do the same for her if something really strikes me as so painfully beautiful, that only she would understand. I am watching her in the world as she walks through it and I swear sometimes I see you holding her hand. She is all things magic and beauty and makes my heart sometimes skip a beat. I thank you for her every night in my head. She is my little renege side kick in life and I am so lucky to have found her, because of you.

I also have your New York Miss Macy who you actually did know and love to pieces. She is my sounding board for everything in life and the one I probably cry the most to. She is also the one I laugh with the most. Without Macy, I’m not sure where I would be in this life without you, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be in the place I am now. She keeps me grounded and reminds me that it is o.k. to be sad with someone other then myself. She is flying in this weekend to celebrate your Poppy sister and also because I got us kick ass tickets to the Lana Del Rae concert who is my musical soul mate in life. I cannot wait to have her here and I know Poppy is so excited about seeing her other mom:)

Last but not least is your Sparkly who I can say without a doubt, saved my life. I could write a novel about him but I’ll just talk about yesterday instead. Yesterday was Poppy’s birthday. Her first birthday. Can you believe that, Ronan? I don’t know how she is one already. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be feeling yesterday, so I didn’t make any big plans. I woke up to the sweetest messages from so many people wishing her a Happy Birthday which was so nice, so thank you all. We had a quiet morning at the house just the two of us and ran down to see your Sparkly so he could see his god-daughter on her special day. We brought him a coffee, just like you used to always want to do for him. We sat and talked while your Poppy sister crawled around between the two of us while I opened up the little gift and card he got for her. I was trying my hardest not to cry and I know he could tell I was getting sad.

“Are you going to be o.k. today?” he asked me while I did my best to look him in the eyes as I answered his question.

“Yeah. I’ll be o.k. I just wish Ronan could be here.”

He responded with, “I know you do. I do, too. I’m sorry he’s not, but today is her day and I know he would want her to be celebrated the way she deserves to be, so please go and do that for her.”

Your Sparkly has such a way of being able to recognize my sadness, but can also put things into perspective for me in a way that doesn’t piss me off. He’s is pretty much the only one in my life that is capable of doing that.

I told him I would celebrate your sister and so of course I kept my word.  Of course Poppy should be celebrated, but I live in this world where the most beautiful things are also so very bittersweet.  I had to sing your sister Happy Birthday last night and you were not there to do something naughty like smash her cupcake all over the floor.  I just don’t think I’ll ever get used to that or I won’t ever be sad about that, but I could not let my sadness take away from her day at all.  That would not have been fair to her and I know it’s not what you would have wanted.

I ran and picked up Brianna from ASU. We took Poppy to Toys R Us to get her some gifts. I got home and wanted so badly to just throw in the towel and order a pizza instead of cooking the spaghetti dinner that Quinn had requested. I kept hearing your Sparkly’s words in my head. I cooked dinner and we spent the evening outside playing basketball and watching Poppy have a dance party because that is her favorite thing to do in life. Kassie and Brianna stayed the night and we gathered around to sing your sister while a purple star balloon floated behind her, just to remind us all that you are always here. Always. It was a very sweet and simple day as that is all I think any of us could handle.

Today is 35 months without you and today was not a good day at all. I cried a lot. Your daddy cried a lot. I felt extra lost without you today and I don’t know how next month is our hell month of May already and 3 years since you’ve been gone as well as your 7th birthday. God, what I would give to see you as the beautiful 7-year-old that I know you would be. We are going away for May because being in Arizona is never a place that I want to be on the day you died and your birthday. We all need a little time out together so we are going to the Hamptons for a bit where we will see some dear friends, but also be together as a family.

I have to say goodnight now, Ro baby. I’m tired and need to try to get some sleep as I am beyond ready for today to be over.

I miss you so much. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

 

 

Thank you for her.  She is such a gift to us all.  Happy 1st Birthday, Poppy Roo. We love you, Ronan.

Thank you for her. She is such a gift to us all. Happy 1st Birthday, Poppy Roo. We love you, Ronan.

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. AliBee

     /  April 9, 2014

    Poppy’s birthday on the 8th followed by the 9th is such a reminder that whilst life inevitably goes on, in some ways it never will. Ronan will never be forgotten…he will always be here and there will be things every single day to remind the world of that. Love you xo

    Reply
  2. Happy Birthday beautiful little Poppy. Much love to you all – thinking of you always, thinking of Ronan.

    Reply
  3. sam

     /  April 10, 2014

    Bless you, Maya.

    Reply
  4. RoMama,
    I’m so happy you have those 3 best friends but especially for sparkly eyes. His wisdom is what keeps you grounded. I’m glad you were able to celebrate miss PoppyRoo. I’m glad you will get to go away in May! We will never forget Ro! He’s always all around. When I see a purple flower, a hummingbird, Julius the monkey items, Star Wars items…those things remind me of a spicy lil monkey boy I didn’t have the honor of meeting but holds a space in my heart. Rolove always…always rolove xo

    Reply
  5. K

     /  April 10, 2014

    Maya,
    You are such an inspiration to me and have recently become such an inspiration to my friend.
    Her mother recently suffered her third relapse of breast cancer. She was struggling coping with this terrible fact one day and asked me if I could talk to her about it and understand. But I do not think I could ever understand, as cancer has never come into me life as it has into yours or hers. So I showed her your blog, and she recently emailed me saying her mother is getting remarkably better and that your blog has helped her push through all of this. I am so blessed to have such an amazing, kind friend and I know she is so blessed to have a mom who never stops fighting.
    We both love you, Maya, and thank you for inspiring my friend.

    Reply
  6. Bobbie

     /  April 10, 2014

    Maya – I shared your story with a whole group of ladies where I live last night. Several of them were directly touched by the passing of Lacey Holsworth (another tragic victim of childhood cancer). She made the news quite a bit during the NCAA tournament because of her friendship with Michigan State player Adreian Payne. I’m guessing you will have a bunch of new followers here in IL. Happy Birthday to Poppy and FU Cancer!

    Reply
  7. Happy happy birthday Poppy!! 🎈🎊

    I hate 35 months and cancer!! Safe travels to the Hamptons. Sending hope, hugs and a giant FU Cancer. xo

    Reply
  8. Your children, all of them, have such an amazing, strong, honest, powerful and loving Mama. Sending you lots of love, calm and even some spicy thoughts from the PNW.

    Reply
  9. Brittany

     /  April 17, 2014

    “This hole in my heart is the shape of you and no one else can fit in it” made me think of you

    Reply
  10. Monica Stuve

     /  April 18, 2014

    Happy belated birthday to Poppy! And while you may (or may not) see/read this, I’m thinking of you and Ronan on this uncharacteristically dark, gloomy, and rainy April day in AZ. Much love to you Maya!!
    P.S. I still want to bring you a pie from my favorite little local pie shop called Piefection. Let me know when you are ready for a pie! :)

    Reply
  11. Wow! Your words are strong and I feel your smiles and the sadness of your heart and your deep love. You make me want to fight for Ronan and all the children being diagnosed with cancer. Because of you I will fight for a cure and research for the rest of life. Lots of unconditional love to you and Poppy, Ronan and your family.

    Reply

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