A little seal and a hummingbird

Ronan. It’s only been a week since you left. How can that possibly be? It feels like you left such a long time ago. I think about you all the time. You are never not in my thoughts. I got through another day without you. I don’t know how; but I did. I took Liam and Quinn back to school today. We went in late and I was nervous for them to go back. As we walked in, I explained how some of the kids might ask about you, and I tried to prep them on what to say. I wanted to prepare them as much as possible. They both seemed o.k. I could tell Quinn was more nervous than Liam. Once we got to the classroom, they both seemed fine and their friends were happy to have them back. I left them there feeling like it was their first day of school; my heart was sad but I know normalcy is important for them now. We have such little of that in our life with you being gone. I have to slowly start picking up the pieces and I feel like getting them back to school for the time that they have left will be a good thing. They are such strong little boys. I know you are so proud of them.

After I dropped off Liam and Quinn, I ran some errands with your Nana. It felt weird to be out but I constantly feel the need to be busy. At one point we were at the cash register somewhere and I said out loud,  “I can’t believe he is gone.” I talk to myself all the time now. My hands shake all of the time. I talk to you out loud a lot too. We all tell you goodnight every night. I still feel like you can hear us. I took your Nana to get her tattoo today. She got 3 stars on her foot for you, Liam, and Quinn. It turned out so beautiful. Afterwords, we went to lunch. We were supposed to meet Tricia and Marisa at Wildflower, but I ended up going to the wrong location. My head is still not on straight. Fernanda called while we were sitting in a booth together. I stepped outside to talk to her for a few minutes. I ended up bawling my head off and I kept saying to her that I didn’t understand how your little heart could have just stopped, just like that. I mean it makes no sense at all; but I don’t even understand medically how it happens. How is it possible that you and your little life just stopped? You were so full of life and I will never understand how it was taken away so quickly. Just like that, in a blink of an eye. I’ll never forget when you were first diagnosed and your Daddy and I sat in a little room together and how scared he was. I remember grabbing him and saying, “Woody. If anyone can beat this, it’s him.” I had no doubt in my mind that you would grow up to be a healthy boy. I never in my wildest dreams thought this would have been the outcome. I don’t think anybody really did.

Once I returned home, I kept myself busy with stupid chores. I am putting together a hard core plan about how I am going to clean our already spotless house. How maybe if I scrub hard enough, it will pass the time more quickly. I’ve decided I will tackle the closet tomorrow. I know what this process is all about. I have already decided I am going clean every inch of this house until the only thing left to do is your room. The room that I walk past as little as possible during the days but I let me eyes drift over to your toys as I am expecting to see you in there playing. I am so scared of your room. But I know I have to go in there eventually. I will, after everything else is perfectly in place. Until then, I just simply cannot. My stomach instantly gets sick just thinking about it. I just need more time.

After Liam and Quinn came home from school, we had Luke and Lily over. We walked down to Uncle Jays and went swimming. Wesley and Laely came too. It was good for me to be around them today. I thought it was going to be hard, but there sweet souls soothed me. Well, maybe not soothed me as I don’t think there is anything that can do that right now. But it didn’t feel awful for me to be around them. Baby steps, baby. Baby steps.

Everyone around me is stumbling. I wish I could be blind to it but I’m not. Watching Liam, Quinn, and your Daddy is the hardest for me to see. Last night, after your service we were all walking out of The Desert Botanical Gardens together. There was a wishing fountain right before the parking lot. We all stopped and Liam threw in a coin. He said he wished for you to come back. I honestly thought I was going to crumble on the spot but Quinn distracted me by trying to steal the money out of the fountain. I gave him a quick talking to about how he couldn’t take the money out of the fountain because it was other people’s wishes. He then made some snarky comment about how wishes don’t come true. Fuck. I dug deep down and told him, that they indeed do come true, but I didn’t have the energy to finish the bullshit pep talk. How do you try to convince a 7-year-old who just sat though his baby brothers memorial service that by throwing a fucking penny in a fountain that what they wish for will come true. The truth is, you don’t. And if you do, you’re a better person than me. Or maybe just a better bullshitter:)

Your daddy asked me tonight when I was going to break. Or if I was just going to hold this all in until I finally explode. We are not in sync with our grieving process at all. I wonder, if this is normal? Am I holding it all together so he can grieve and I can be strong for him? Then when it is my turn, he will be able to be strong for me? Part of me thinks so. If we were both dealing with this, the same way, at the same time….. I don’t know how we would go on for Liam and Quinn. Don’t get me wrong. I have my moments when I sob like a baby. But I try my hardest to do this when I’m not around anyone else. I save it for the moments that I know you are closest to me and when I look to you for comfort. You are so good at comforting me, Ro. You still give me so much strength.

I have two pictures I am posting tonight. One, was taken by the insanely talented Emily Carroll. She came to capture some images from Ronan’s service last night. This hummingbird kept appearing in her camera. Do you know what they say about hummingbirds? I do. My dad taught me about he importance of Hummingbirds. They are special and the fact that this little guy was fluttering about during Ronan’s service.. well that speaks volumes in itself. Thanks for letting me know you were there, Ronan. And that you are o.k. Thank you for capturing this moment, Emily.

It is not commonly known that the fluttering wings of the hummingbird move in the pattern of an infinity symbol – further solidifying their symbolism of eternity, continuity, and infinity.

By observing the Hummingbird, we see they are seemingly tireless. Always actively seeking the sweetest nectar, they remind us to forever seek out the good in life and the beauty in each day.

Amazing migrators, some Hummingbirds are known to wing their way as far as 2000 miles to reach their destination. This quality reminds us to be persistent in the persuit of our dreams, and adopt the tenacity of the Hummingbird in our lives.

The Hummingbird animal totem is a messenger of hope and jubilation.

Hummingbird Animal Totems offer attributes like:

  • energy
  • vitality
  • joy
  • renewal
  • sincerity
  • healing
  • persistence
  • peace
  • infinity
  • agility
  • playfulness
  • loyalty
  • affection
 Need I say more? I don’t think so. The little signs are everywhere.
The last picture I am going to leave you with is one I took on my iPhone today while my mom was getting her tattoo done. I’m not crazy…. well at least not yet. Take a look at the white image where my mom is getting her ink done. I swear to god it looks like a little seal. The nose pointed to one of her stars, the flippers closer to her toes. Does anybody else see that??!!
I seriously think it was little Ronan’s spirit sitting with us today. After seeing this tonight on my camera, I am sure of it. I talked to him the entire day in my head. He never leaves my side. Thank you Ronan, for guiding me today. I know you know I am struggling with some things and how I am trying to figure out the path I am meant to take. You gave me a lot of answers today. I am going to follow your lead and listen to my heart and you. We are going to change the world baby. We are going to save others lives by finding a cure for this. I know it is our destiny. It was what we were meant to do in life. To help others, inspire others, teach others about what is REALLY important in life. Just to be better people in general. Let’s make this world a better place…. let’s find a cure for this Neuroblastoma bullshit by educating people and getting funding in place. I’m so going to be all over Yoplait soon. I am thinking they are my first target. If they can do pink ribbons for all of October on the top on their lids, the why the fuck can’t they do yellow for all of September. Mama’s mad. Mama’s on a mission. Somebody emailed me today and said they were ready to stand behind, “Maya’s Mafia.” That made me laugh out loud. I love it. I hope you are all game for this. If you stick behind my son and what we are about to do…. be ready for the most fulfilling journey of your life. Ronan had it all figured out by the almost the age of 4. I took very careful notes so I know all of his secrets, all of his tricks, and I now know what he was meant to do in this world. Just because he was so sickly robbed of his little life does not mean he cannot fulfill his dreams. I being his mama, his biggest fan, will get these things done for him. I’ll get by with a little help from my friends and all of his Rockstar Fans. I promise you. Amazing things are to come. Ronan was my gift that I am sharing with all of you and I am so thankful to do so. I know how much you all believe in him and know that he was meant to change the world. Start by helping me out anyway you can. Just getting his story out is the first step. This is going to take some time, but I want everyone to know about the most beautiful, bravest little boy, who could melt you with just one of his famous winks. FUCK YOU CANCER. You fucked up big time and you owe it to me that something good come out of this. We will start by raising awareness for your stupid ass disease that I had never in my life had heard of because I was uneducated and cocky. I’m sorry that ONLY 800 kids a year are diagnosed with this. 800 kids a year is more than plenty to fight for. So fuck you Neuroblastoma and your lack of education. I am about to blow your shit out of the water. You took my baby; so I’m not going to stop until somebody finally takes you, mother fucker.
Sooooooooo…… I think I got a little off track. Um yeah. It’s been way too long since I’ve said Fuck on my blog so I had to get a few of those out. And Ronan, you’re such a little badass now that you don’t even need earmuffs anymore buddy! I think you’ve earned your right to hear those words. I love you Ronan. We all love you so much. I told Quinn to dream about you tonight. I hope you visit him and you two play your little hearts out. Sweet dreams Ro baby. Sweet dreams my lovely friends. Hope your day tomorrow is full of all the little things my Ronan has left behind.

37 responses to “A little seal and a hummingbird”

  1. Maya, thanks for sharing Rockstar Ro with all of us. I see the seal in the picture of your moms tattoo. When my mom passed I got a purple heart for her. Purple her fav color.

    Where did you get your purple star for Ro?

    I hope Quinn and Liam survived their first day back to school. I can only imagine. When my dad passed I was 13 and the first day to school was so hard! All the questions! I hope the twins were alright!

    Count me in to help you with any projects you need volunteers for. Sending you, Woody and the boys strength and hugs.

  2. Wow! He really is all around you! That is a little seal and the hummingbird is awesome. He will always be around you and I’m so happy about that. Maya I have volunteered for NB before and would glady do it again. Although I have never lost a loved one (besides Ronan) to it, I have just always thought it was a bullshit stupid ugly disease that has no right to take babies away. I will fight with you. You lead the way and your mafia will follow. Sweet Dreams and I hope you get to dance with sweet Ro tonight-

  3. Dearest Maya, you don’t know me but I have been reading your blog for months,I love you and ronan like family. I am so sorry he is gone. We need to spread awareness, and help others. There’s a little girl in England that needs everyone’s prayers, she needs to get to America before its too late. Her name is Charily,could you maybe just mention her in a blog so that our rockstars fans can pray for her? Maybe by paying it forward we can help change the lives of cancer warriors everywhere. You and your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Dearest Maya,

    You have a gift that can change the world. I never would have believed it was possible to truly fall in love with people you’ve never met, but it is possible… I know that now. I fell in love with Ro the moment I typed “ROCKSTAR RONAN” in the search window of my computer after a mutual friend of ours (Suzanne) posted something about him on facebook. I caught a glimpse of those crystal blues on the face of your darling son, and I was hooked. He is, indeed, the most precious boy I’ve ever seen. Soon after falling in love with Ro, I fell in love with you Miss Maya. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who is 100% genuine, a true blue creature who speaks from the heart~ whenever, wherever, however, regardless of the emotion at hand. You became my friend, and as a mother, I feel your heartache, I cry with you, I give you hugs and hold you tight, I cheer you on, I encourage you, I watch over you, I pray for you, I love you as if you are one of my sisters. It’s the craziest thing! The most amazing part is that you know nothing about me, yet I feel as if I’ve known you my entire life. It takes a very special soul to have this type of effect on people and this gift is exactly what you need to make a difference in the fight to raise awareness and raise the money needed to wipe this cancer shit off the map! I know, without a doubt, you have what it takes to make a difference. With Ronan’s help, with his guidance and strength, you can do it. Not just anyone can capture the hearts of thousands of people around the world, not just anyone can get people to listen when they speak. But guess who can? You and your little Ro… you can… you already have. You said in a post last week, that you don’t want this to be the end of the story. None of us do, and you’re right- it doesn’t have to be. We all want to continue on this journey with you, to honor your little ROCKSTAR sweet pea like he deserves to be honored, to be a part of your life, so keep writing about whatever you feel… just as you have since August. Write about the ways in which you’re kicking cancers ass, and let us help in any way we can. I’ve already thought of a way I can personally help, and I look forward to the day I can share my idea with you and we can kick cancer where the sun don’t shine. I know, through Ronan, and with the help of all of us who truly love you and are here for you, we can save the lives of these little ones, one baby at a time.

    It is with much love in my heart, that I think of you, Woody, Liam, Quinn, and your precious Ro. I will continue to pray for you, and hope that the Lord gives you peace so that you may continue to honor your boy in the most beautiful way possible. I hope you can feel the love surrounding you, Woody and the boys.

    Sweet dreams beautiful lady… Xoxoxo

  5. Maya,
    You’re awesome, even though you don’t feel like you are! Ronan is shining down on you and you ARE DEFINTELY showing everyone what Neuroblasoma is~ stupid f’n cancer!

  6. 100% proof that he is here with you! Amazing to see and breathtaking that your love and commitment to him is so evident in his little signs to you! So many of us are here for you Maya, as you already know. Cancer will have nothing on what you will bring to the table! Know that you’ll have nothing but love and support from so many to kick some ass and find a cure!

  7. Maya’s Mafia…. LOVE IT! That’s definitely a seal. ♥♥♥♥

  8. I see it!! Amazing!!!!

  9. So glad that he has his wings. Such a beautiful boy, I’m glad you truly feel his presents. He will live forever in everyones hearts, he made such an amazing impact. I’m so glad that you are taking so many amazing strides forward. Our love is always with your entire family.

  10. Dear sweet Ronan, Just want to thank you Ronan for guiding your sweet momma! seeing is believing (and from those pics) i know you are more present then you ever have been, i truly believe you come to you momma,hold her hand, and lift her head high and give her the strength to push forward and YOU Ronan your sweet soul is what gives your momma strength, to keep fighting to find a cure,(and shes on a mission to kick cancer ass) so no other child has to go thru this bcuz of all the lifes youve touched, that SOON great things are to happen! Your momma is one lucky woman to have had a son like you and your soo lucky to have her! Shes pretty freaking amazing! Ronan plz come to your momma in nothing but good dreams, always hold her hand! ( for she is forever holding urs) I just want to thank you Ronan for making me a better mom and better understander, more patient and more loving! You have forever touched my heart! I will be getting a purple tat of a star in your Honor, and on my days i struggle i will look at that star and remember a little boy names Ronan Sean Thompson who has forever touched my soul! let your momma know i love her potty mouth, i think its great! (as i have one to) F-bombs all day! Well Ro i guess i should get now i gotta get my kiddos up for school, so you have a kick ass day Ronan in the skys above and if you could can you say a hello to my granny i really miss her! Thank you Ro-baby! you will always live on! Forever!
    ps come to your momma in nothing but comforting dreams she really wants to see you play at the beach together! Come on you can do that, itll be fun! xoxoxoxo

  11. Oh hell yeah, Maya. Maya’s Mafia. Love it. Count me in – count all of us in. You know we will be in for you, and for Ronan. And I see the seal too. He is everywhere, Maya, in everything you do, in everything you feel, in every place you go. But you know that already. He’s always with you. Love, Jen

  12. I am so glad you are getting hummingbirds and seals!!!! How amazing your little man is!!!! My Annie sends me rainbows and ladybugs! We are lucky Mommas! Count me in for any help you need for raising money and awareness. Perhaps you have seen “Gold the new pink” You can check it out on facebook.
    God bless you and your family.

  13. Not sure if you know about this organization. They are a wonderful group working to fund research and to find a cure for neuroblastoma.

  14. My heart breaks for you and your family. The Deserick Family, in Cincinnati, has turned their energy in memory of their daughter into The Cure Starts Now Foundation for Neuroblastoma research. They have donation cans at businesses, Graeter’s Ice Cream has a flavor, blueberry pie, and for every pint they sell a donation is made to their foundation. With your energy, passion, and support amazing things can happen.

  15. Maya,

    I have been following your story and Ronan’s fight and I have wanted to say so much to you but honestly, I didn’t know what to say. I have thought about you and Ronan so much that it seems almost impossible to get you out of my head, even for a second, but honestly, I don’t want to. I am hoping that if I can feel some pain from you that maybe some of your pain will be lessened. I always thought that I was an amazing mother to my two year old son, I try to take nothing for granted, and I never miss an oppertunity to cuddle or love on him, however, I am ever more aware of how lucky I am because of your blog and Ronan’s story. I imagine your heartache and I don’t know how you do it, I don’t know how you stay so strong. You are an inspiration and a beautiful woman, wife and mother, inside and out.

    You speak today of all the little things that show you Ronan is around. I have never met you, and I live in Canada, but since hearing of you guys I have “seen” Ronan all around. I am reminded of him when I see a huge sign for 30% off star wars, a little kid wearing paul frank clothes, and countless other things. I am glad to be reminded of Ronan, I will never forget the impact he has had on me and the tears I have shed hopeing and praying for him to get better and now for you to be at peace. On Sunday it rained here all day. Then just as the sun was setting, there appeared a beautiful rainbow just as I was thinking of Ronan. It was amazing, big and beautiful like I had never seen before. I know it was for Ronan, it had to be. I cried alone for awhile and went home to my son who I hugged a little tighter because of you.

    I will join “Maya’s mafia” in any way that I can. Tell us how to help and I will. I am already sharing Ronan’s story with anyone who will listen. I also know of someone (on facebook) who owns a company called “The midnight orange” She does gorgeous sculptures of angel babies/children and they are a beautiful tribute to the ones who could not stay here. I was thinking that you might like one, and I would like to have one made for you if you are willing. Contact me if you would allow me to have one made for you and Ronan, I bet she could do one in purple for you.

    I will continue to follow your blog and hope that each day gets a little easier for you. Lots of love all the way from Toronto, Canada.

  16. I am a mom to a NB angel as well (it has been almost 4 years). I never did break down. Probably because, like you, I have two other children, but also because I had almost 4 years of dealing with the stupid cancer to grieve, to some extent. Sometimes, I wish I did just take to bed, freak out, get to that very low point soon after he died because it is too late now. Instead I just had to deal with everything, funeral, obit, etc and take my daughter to her first day of kindergarten a week later, care for my 1 year old – it just never did happen. I know many other angel moms and I think you will here the same thing from many of them. Deal with things, the way you do – there is no right or wrong, no one has the right to judge your grief, even those closest to you – it is yours alone.

  17. Maya, TeamRonan is fighting for you too!!!! You sharred your precious boy with the world and we are so grateful for you letting us in……you are not alone in your fight against neuroblastoma…we WILL kick this cancers ass in the name of Ronan Sean Thompson!!!

  18. Maya I can totally see the seal. He is definitely with you and watching over you. I just want to thank you for sharing your story with us and continuing the blog. You are amazing. Like I said before I will help spread awareness of this awful disease and do whatever i can to help.


  19. The services were amazing! Remember this, NORMAL is just a setting on your washing machine!!

  20. You and Ronan have changed the world, my world and for that I will be forever grateful. I am truly a better parent, daughter, sister and friend since reading Ronan’s journey. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us.

    Fuck YOU Cancer for taking the most beautiful boy. Lets stop this horrible disease….

  21. Spreading the word about Rockstar Ronan. We will all help to fulfill his dream and calling! Maya’s Mafia is going to be one powerful force to reckon with!

  22. Maya, you are an amazing, strong, determined & loving mom. Thanks so much for sharing your story with all of us. It is really neat to see all the places Ronan is still making his marks on your life. Thinking of you and your family!

  23. Marquita Ward Avatar
    Marquita Ward

    All people are not expected to grieve/mourn the same. This also concerns the amout of time it takes to go through the process. I am taking a class on this as someone very close to me has passed away. We are told to share what we learn..to help others. I see in your heart you are wantig to help others and Ronan can be so proud of his mama.
    What a beautiful thought about the hummingbird! The Lord is good in helping you get the understanding you need..I ask for more Lord. In Jesus name amen.

  24. Michelle Lewis Avatar
    Michelle Lewis

    I love the pictures! Thanks for continuing to post. I think about your family everyday. Your story has touched my heart and life forever. I try to put myself in your shoes which is impossible to do, but I think It would be hard to wake up, get ready everyday, smile and even breath. I am so glad to hear that you are doing these things and more. Your a wonderful mom and person. Thanks for teaching me whats important in life and to not take things for granted.

    Ronan, please continue to surround your mom with love and beautiful signs your near. Keep holding her hand and guiding her through each day. You are her rock and she needs you badly!

  25. Great to see your spirit shining through on today’s post. Your world has been rocked beyond reason, but you being able to see how to turn the experience into something powerful and positive is just a reflection of how brilliant you truly are.

    I honestly think the first million you could make for research can come as a result of you simply compiling these posts and making a book from your blog. You are a gifted and compelling communicator.

    I am looking forward to supporting your future efforts, Maya. Rock on, Ronan’s Mom!!


  26. I’m 100% behind Maya’s Mafia. FUCK CANCER!

    I see the seal too. Baby Ro was def there with you guys and he is with you everyday Maya.

    You are an amazing woman.

  27. Dear Maya,
    I am only a kid/teenager but I found your blog about 2 weeks ago when I was on google images and I searched “most beautiful boy” and a pic of Ronon came up and I clicked on it and was like “Oh my god he is adorable and stunning” and I read over some of your posts and you should know, your writing is extremely heartfelt, emotional and inspirational. I literally broke down into tears within minutes after reading “where is Ronan?” and I felt really guilty for taking m life for granted and thinking I have it hard ever when here is an innocent, beautiful child who doesn’t have a choice, and from how you described Ronan, he is so much more incredibly strong and possative spirited than most of the 14-16 year olds I know! I think your strength is beyond words because the way you are trying to keep moving forward and keep your family together is not something I or many others could do. I feel like I know Ronan and I feel incredible pain for you and your family, and I’m not just saying that, like sometimes I feel depressed and angry that some stupid fuckig disease can take away the lives of children. The song let go by frou frou makes me think of him at the moment. I really hope that you know I and thousands of others adore your strength and courage and will stick by you and support you and Ronan as much as possible. I am thinking of making a speech about this at chapel in my school, and definitely having lemonade stands in the summer for this. Know that you are loved and you and Ronan have touched my life forever.
    Grace ❤

  28. Hey, if you’re starting a mafia, I want to be an enforcer! You just let me know…I’ll break thumbs. 🙂

    Love…lots of it.

  29. Maya’s Mafia..love it, count me in..let’s Fuck Cancer once and for all!! xoxo

  30. I’ve been reading for a few days, getting caught up. The words “I’m sorry” are so trivial but that’s all I have. I’m so sorry that cancer exists. That it doesn’t have a cure. That it makes angels out of children.
    My son Jackson doesn’t have NB but he does have cancer. I couldn’t even tell you what kind…it’s so rare that it doesn’t even have a name. Just kind of lumped together with other similar, uncommon cancers. I hate cancer so much. When we drove to Dallas every day during October for radiation I would see all of the pink–it was EVERYwhere–and instead of feeling proud of my city for raising awareness….I was angry. Where was the gold in September? Do people even know that gold is the color and September is the month for Childhood Cancer Awareness?? No. But like you said…I was uneducated and cocky and I didn’t either. Unfortunately, through first hand experience, now we do. I’m so with you on Yoplait. Let’s get gold everywhere in September. I told my husband I want people to associate gold+September=Childhood Cancer Awareness. Just like we do with pink and October. I love that you are pouring your heart out every day to your sweet Ronan. He is such a beautiful boy. Breathtaking.

  31. Jessica Radovic Avatar
    Jessica Radovic

    I can absolutely see the little seal! That’s pretty amazing! He was right there with you! 🙂

  32. Hello, I have been following your site for some time. I stumbled on it as I was following someone on carringbridge. First, absoulutely I see “it”. That is Ronan for sure! Secondly, your story has absolutely changed how I progress through my day. I have always known that life can change in a minute but for some reason your HONEST diary of your adventure has REALLY opened my eyes. As I was pulling weeds in my flower bed the other day I was thinking “This is STUPID” I should be spendng this time with a loved one because, well just because! There has been many times I wanted to post but today I just had too. I just yesterday had someone tell me if there is a “blob” in a photo-“well, that is a sprit” :o) So today I decided it was time to write. And please keep posting how you intend to fight this fight because I sure would like to do what I can. The posting you had about handing Ro’s card to someone that was “having a bad day”-I sure would like to hand a few people those cards!

  33. I have seen hummingbirds a lot this week and one just this afternoon…..Ronan is everywhere!!

  34. […] A little seal and a hummingbird Ronan. It’s only been a week since you left. How can that possibly be? It feels like you left such a long time ago. I […] […]

  35. You’re right, the needle movement totally looks like a seal. I saw it without you even having to explain it. It freaked me out at first because I thought her foot was smoking (ha ha), but then I realized that no, he hadn’t burned her, and that it was the movement of the needle blurring. It scared me for a minute though!

    I wish I could tell you that it gets easier, but it doesn’t. I think you get better at hiding it though. My friend’s son was killed by a drunk driver a few years ago. He was just shy of turning 5. The guy who hit them had already had 3 DUIs and somehow still managed to be out on the town that night, and still had no qualms about drinking and driving. Sean wanted ice cream, and she decided to treat him for being “big boy” and passing pre-K. She said they had just pulled out on the highway and she looked in the rear-view at him in his booster and smiled as he was bee-bopping to the music with his little feet bouncing. She looked back down and saw headlights speeding directly towards her. Before she could react, she was waking up in the hospital asking for her son. The force of impact forced her seat back into him, and his little body just never had a chance. They told her that it was probably instantaneous and he didn’t suffer, but that’s not good enough for her because he DID suffer. His life was taken away from him, and what could possibly be worse than that?

    I’ve heard her tell the story so many times, at so many locations, that I literally could recite every word. She tells them how one guy’s CHOICE ended her son’s life, and a whole line of heirs. She tells them how he killed not just her son, but some little girl’s future husband, and countless children who’d never be born because he’d never have the kids to make the family that would’ve been his legacy. She tells them how one judge could have changed all that by locking the driver up the second time and throwing away the key, or placing an alcohol monitor on his car, something, anything that would’ve prevented this monster from driving that night. She tells this story many times over and every single time, I see the pain on her face. The sorrow in her eyes, and see that it’s just the same today, as it was years ago for her.

    Her day-to-day life has went on. I asked her once how she coped and her simple response was “I don’t”. She said some days are harder than others, but the best thing that she can do is to educate others. She has joined every single organization (such as MADD) that she could get her hands on I think, and that helps to keep her busy. She even started a community program that offers to drive drunk people home, free-of-charge, if they don’t wish to take a cab. She does many, many things in Sean’s name and I think it helps her feel that his short life had a big purpose, and you know what? It did. I’ve seen the faces of some of the kids she’s spoken to about drinking and driving. I’ve seen the tears, the sheer horror as they viewed the pictures of the smiling family, the little boy who was so proudly pictured in his pre-K graduation, and then in a pic that was just a couple of days later, a car that was so mangled that it was almost unrecognizable, and pictures of a coffin so small that most people wouldn’t even know they came in such a size.

    Can I say that every person will remember her story? No, I can’t. I can say that I believe many, many people have and will though, and that many folks will never drink and drive because of it. I know one judge was kind enough to seek her out for a personal apology and vow to her that he would impose harsher punishments for offenders. I know that Sean’s life HAS made a difference because of her living on in his memory, and I know that Ronan’s will too because you’ll do the same. You can’t change what happened to him, but you CAN change what happens to other children because of it. You can change the future and ensure that other parents don’t have to feel your pain. You’re such an amazing woman, and I know that you will.

    I won’t leave you with any of the silly sayings that people use such as “time heals all wounds”, or “it was his time”. It’s never a child’s “time”, and I wouldn’t insult your intelligence by telling you that this is something you’ll ever get over because anyone who’s ever loved and lost anyone close to them knows that isn’t the case; to lose a child, well, I can’t even fathom the pain of that at all.

    What I can tell you, Maya, is to fight. Fight for Ronan like he’s still here because through your words, and your works, he is. His spirit will live on, and so will his memory. His legacy will go on and he will change lives, the lives of little children who need a cure just as he did. Through you, I believe that cure can be found. I’ve seen through this blog what a fighter you are, and I know that you will do amazing things in the name of your sweet boy. I know that you will not let his death be in vain, and I am so excited to see what you will accomplish in time.

    Hold on, Maya; just keep holding on because that’s all you can do. Remember the saying from Nemo “just keep swimming”. Fight the current and don’t let it pull you down. Go on for your twins, your husband, and your sweet little Ro. Go on and fight the good fight and “don’t stop believing”. Ronan may not be here in body, but he’s with you in spirit. He will always be with you.

  36. Your family does not know me but I have been following your blog through a friend and I cannot tell you how totally heartbroken I am for you as a mother but also how impressed I am with your strength and determination for your sweet little boy. I have tried many times to get through one of your blog post but your writing which is so real (you should really think about a career in writing, you are AMAZING!!) actually makes me feel as if I was in your shoes. I have 2 older daughters 14 and 10 and then I had my sweet boy who is 10 months now and I am 4 months pregnant with my last child which we just found out is a girl. Well I’m sure my hormones haven’t helped in trying to get through your blogs but every time I even see a picture of your handsome little man Ronan, I have to close out your blog and walk away and try to occupy myself with something else but at the end of the day, I am back here thinking of you and your family. Thank you! Thank you for telling your story and being so open and honest. I want you to know that you have made a difference in the way that every mom who reads this wakes up earlier than they may want a little more grateful in order to get their child up for breakfast, dressed and out the door for school. Thank you for making us realize that when we just want to finally veg on the couch at night, that we can turn that show off and just go do something that we know our kids would enjoy and remember more than we would, spending it with them.
    I live 1 state away. I am in Las Vegas. Please Please get in touch with me and let me help spread your cause across the states! erinsbeck@yahoo.com
    You are an impressively strong women, mother, and wife and I would be honored as a mother wife and women to contribute in your crusade. This horrible disease could happen to any of our children and I would hope that I could count on the same support if I was put in the same position. Keep being strong!
    If you feel up to it listen to this song. “Our Farewell” by Within Temptation. The ending is the most significant to me.

  37. My god! You are an inspiring woman! Truly! I had cancer myself 3 times and watched my Mama deal with it but I have never felt so deeply sorry for a family in my life! You are incredibly brave! While not wishing your situation on a single soul I do wish more people would bring awareness like you! You are doing an amazing thing for Ronan, you need to be really proud of yourself! You have single handedly brought an incredible amount of neuroblastoma awareness to the world!! I’m from Ireland and proud to be part of the ‘Mafia’. Much love and support from Ireland!! Caroline

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