Oh Ro….. what am I going to do without you??

JUNE 9th……………………..

Ronan. It’s almost been two months. Two months since you left me. How is this possible? It makes my head spin. It’s 1:30 in the morning…… 3:30 a.m. will be here soon. That’s around when you took your last breath. When I kissed your lips and whispered in your ear to come with me so we could get out of this place. I still can’t believe all this has happened. How my worst nightmare, really came true. I was so sure you would get better. You were going to beat all of the awful statistics and live to be a normal, healthy boy. You were so strong, so brave, and so proud. I remember how the day before you passed away and you weren’t really going to the bathroom anymore. I kept trying to get you to go. Finally, you told me in your squeaky little voice that you needed to pee. You didn’t want to go in the urinal right by your bed, you made me carry you to the toilet even though you were in so much pain that it hurt for me to even pick you up. I carried you to the bathroom and set you down on the toilet. Your little body was so skinny and frail that it took my breath away. But you were so proud. Too proud to do the easy thing and just use the potty by your bed. You always hated that thing. You held your chin high as cancer tried to take away your dignity. It never won. Cancer may have taken your life, but it never took away your pride. It would have been such an easy thing to give up and I don’t know that I know many souls in this world that would have put up such a fight like you did. I feel so privileged to be your mommy, Ro. You are so amazing in every way.

New York Miss Macy left today. Everyone was sad to see her go. Quinn and I took Olivia with us for the day as he wanted to go to a movie. We ended up seeing, “Turtle: The Incredible Journey. It was all about a little Loggerhead turtle and her journey in life. Her purpose, which ends up being to travel the paths of her ancestors, only to return home 25 years later to give birth to her offspring while fighting every odd stacked against her along the way. Only 1 in 10,000 turtles survive this journey. Throughout the movie, I felt as though the turtles journey is similar to mine. It may sound weird, but so many things that happened in this movie made me feel so vulnerable and struck such a chord. It started with the fact that these babies are buried alive after they hatch out of their shell and it takes 3 days for them to dig themselves out of the sand. Yup. I know a little something about feeling like you are buried alive just like you, little turtle. The baby, who is the size of a small child’s hand, has to leave the beach for it’s new world of the dangerous ocean. Many of them do not make it due to being eaten by crabs, birds, or the oceans waves are just too tough for them. The Loggerhead turtle, has one of the most difficult and longest migratory patterns of any marine animal. It reminds me of a bereaved mother. After you lose a child, it is almost like you are born again and thrust out into this cruel, cruel world. You are expected to survive it by everyone, you are expected to do as others think they would do, but the truth of it is….. we are all different and will follow our own instincts to hopefully return to our place of peacefulness and our home once again, when we are ready to go there. Just like the loggerhead turtle.

It is a very long journey and the turtle has to continue to fight, without giving up. They are survivors. Just like a mom who has lost her child. A mom who is just trying her best, trying to pull herself out of bed everyday;  to do what is somewhat normal for her kids so they can have days like yesterday where one of them spends time with his very special Papa Jim, and catches his first Salmon. Where the other one, spends his day with his mama and all of her amazing “sisters.” I have not heard Quinn laugh so much since he was with Ronan, before he was sick. Do I feel weird being out and about, laughing away?Absolutely. But I am not really doing this for myself. I am doing it for my children. I want them to look back at this summer and remember being surrounded by the people who love them so much and to remember all the laughing and silly bonding time we had together. I want them to be able to see that even though I cry a lot, I can still laugh. Even though it is the saddest summer that we’ve ever had. I cannot let my children drown in their sadness like I want to. I will not have them secluded and take away any more of their childhood, any more of their innocence. They deserve to have as much normalcy as possible.

After 25 years, the Loggerhead turtle grows into a big strong turtle and is no longer afraid of the ocean. She develops a big, hard shell and very thick skin. If you have ever lost a child, this is a necessity for survival. Especially if you have decided to share your inner most thoughts and feelings though a blog for everyone to read. You really need a thick skin for that one. Luckily, I have always had thick skin so I’ve pretty much got that covered. The hard shell can be for my hard head, as I tend to be pretty stubborn, or so I’ve been told. My point being, that while watching this movie today, and seeing how many obstacles this little turtle had to overcome to survive, I was forced to think about my new life without you, Ro. It is so hard to go on, move forward, and not want to just give in and sink to the bottom of the ocean. This little turtle could have easily given up. So could I. But I keep telling myself I am a  survivor just like the turtle.

JUNE 11th……………….

Ronan. I did not finish the post above due to falling asleep. I have no idea what was written above as I don’t go back and re read the things I write. I hope it made sense. I think I remember something about a turtle…….. Everything is blurry. I don’t even know what has happened since I last wrote. Except I am still in miserable, extreme pain. My head hurts, my shoulders still hurt, my toes hurt, my heart hurts….. everything hurts. I think I managed to run 6 miles last night though. I think I have managed to get out of bed the past couple of days…. although not until at least 11. I think yesterday was the 2 month date of you being gone. I remember staying up really late the night before and crying with your daddy. I remember waking up the next morning and my head felt so heavy that I could not get out of bed. I remember talking to Mr. Sparkly Eyes and just crying in the phone and telling him how I couldn’t get out of bed, how I couldn’t believe it had been 2 months. He begged me over and over to get up and get out of bed. I told him I could not. I laid there for an hour after talking to him and I couldn’t get the sound of his voice, out of my head. If it wouldn’t have been for his words, ringing in my ear and not going away, I wouldn’t have gotten up. I made myself get up out of bed. I think we went to the beach with Auntie Karen, Liz, and Olivia. I surfed. Quinn fell asleep in the sun. Later in the evening, as we all sat there together as the sun was setting; dolphins appeared. They always do for me. Auntie Karen said it was you. It made me smile. Last night, I fell asleep really early. Well, really early for me. I remember cuddling up with Quinny and we fell asleep around 11.

Today, I didn’t get up until 11. Seems like if I don’t have a reason to get out of bed, I’m just not going to. Your daddy was up with Quinn, playing video games. I texted Liz and asked what they were doing. They said they were going to the Farmer’s Market in Hillcrest. Your daddy, Quinn and I met them there. We walked around and ate some food. I bought some humus. That and rice pudding seem to be the only thing I can keep down. Weird combo. After the Farmers Market, Auntie Karen took Quinn home with them. Your daddy and I needed some time together. We walked back to our car and held hands. It felt nice. We decided to go and see a movie. We saw, “Horrible Bosses.” We both agreed it was o.k. We had some laughs.

Lots of signs have happened the past few days. It seems as everywhere I go…. Coldplay is on the radio. I swear, I heard it 4 times in a row a couple of days ago. We always loved to listen to them together. Something else happened today. After the movie, your daddy and I walked into Nordstrom Rack as it was right by the theater. He went off to look at ties and I was looking at shorts. There was a lady right next to me and her little girl, who looked to be about 3, was playing right by me. She was hiding underneath the clothing racks which was one of your favorite things to do. I heard her mom call out her name. It caught my attention. I looked up and said, “What’s your daughter’s name?” as I was sure I had heard her wrong. She goes, “Ireland.” I just looked at her, stunned. I told her how your daddy and I had picked that name out about 9 years ago if we ever had a girl. I then had to walk off because I just started bawling. I walked around and found your daddy. A few minutes later, the little girl and mommy walked past us. I pointed her out and told him what had just happened. He seemed a little shocked too. The fact that the name is so uncommon, that this Ireland girl just happened to be in the same spot as me, the way her mom just happened to call out her name……..it kind of shook me to the core today. I can’t stop thinking about it. I wonder if it was your way of telling me that you are still here. That you are really watching over me. I think it must be. I can’t think of any other reason that would have happened today. It had to be you.

I talked to Fernanda tonight. It has been so long since I have heard her voice. She is still in Mexico. She picked up the phone and goes, “Buenas!” I squeaked, “Fernanda…. hi….” She goes, “Who is this??” I said, “Maya.” She goes, “Oh, Maya, Maya, Maya……I miss you so.” I started sobbing into the phone. I was overcome with how much I miss her and thoughts of you. We talked for a good half an hour. She has been having such a hard time, just trying to get back to her normal life. It will never exist for her again either. We talked about you. How this feels like a life sentence. How cruel it was to have you and then to have you taken away. How if she hears one more person tell her God needed another angel she is going to fucking lose it. Fuck that saying. It’s bullshit and the only people that say that, are people who have never lost a child of their own. We talked about what we are going to do once school starts up again. How she will help me find my way because nothing that I do, if not in honor of you, will make any sense. We both want to do something more with our lives than driving freaking carpool. We both feel the need to help other babies and families. I don’t know how we will do this yet, but I promise you, something will be done. She will be here on Friday. I cannot wait to wrap my arms around her. I hate being so far away from her.

Quinn is asleep next to me. We had a good night together. I talked to Liam and he will be back tomorrow night. I can’t wait to see him. We have missed him so much. I am so proud of him for going to Washington without us. He is so brave and independent. I know he has had the best time. It meant so much to Nana and Papa.

Ok my baby boy. I’m going to try to get some rest. I miss you so much. I love you, Ronan. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.


And P.S. To all the people on my husband’s flight back to AZ tonight from San Diego….. you embarrass me. A family of 4 asked if anyone would switch seats with them so that the two parents could each be with one kid, so they wouldn’t have to be separated. NOBODY offered. Except Woody. My 6’6 husband gave up his aisle seat to sit in a middle for them. WTF is wrong with you people??? There should have been at least 10 people offering to give up their seats. Such little acts of kindness are things my husband has been doing his whole life. And he, the person who deserves it LEAST in this world, just had his son die of cancer. Fuck all you mean people. As my dear Charisma would say, “RUDE.” Miss you CC. Miss you Big Daddy Woo. Love you both.

15 thoughts on “Oh Ro….. what am I going to do without you??

  1. Megan Burke

    Maya, you give me strength everyday. I hope you will continue to do the same thing you did everyday you had Ro now that he’s gone. Tell his story, your story. Let the world know that we must find a cure for this god awful killer.


  2. Stacey

    Hi Maya…

    The airline story is “bang on” as my Canadian friends might say. Have run into the same lack of cooperation, even from the airlines directly, and my kids are 2&3. Complete bullshit. Especially on that flight. Woody, too, is clearly a rockstar.

    Sending you all our best… As we do everyday. Will be here on the island through mid August, so you may still get mugged by a random hug someday soon.


  3. Laura

    Glad you made it past another mile stone. So happy your little Liam is back in your arms by now. Turtles are amazing, and so are you. I hope this week is a fabulous one for you and your entire family. All our best to you and your family.

  4. Kerri

    Your hubby is a good man, and a great example for his sons (a great example for all of our children, really). And you’re right — fuck those people on the flight. Assholes.

    Quinn and Liam will always remember this summer — especially when they’re older. THey’re going to remember that their family started the journey to healing together. They’ll look back and realize that even though their mom and dad were hurting, that they got out of bed and did what it takes to make them feel loved. When they have kids, they’ll understand the pain that you’re going through — and know that your love for them is what gave you the strength to smile and laugh. You and your hubs are wonderful parents.

    I’m also cheering for you Maya because it looks like you’re realizing that Ronan is always with you. Your posts went from wondering where Ronan was — to thanking him for his help finding the locket, for playing a song that you love, and for introducing you to certain people. He is right beside you. 🙂 Although it may not feel like your heart is making progress — the mere realization that he’s with you is a huge step.

    I emailed you a while ago about how you and Ronan have made me a better mom. That still rings true.

  5. Glenda


    Your strength this summer will show the kids that you’re a family in this together. Quinn and Liam will realize that even though you and Woody were grieving you got up every morning to tackle the day. To do fun things with them so that they can still have their childhood.

    Rockstar Ro will alway be right there with you. In your heart and soul…in every step you take.

    I hope today you’re enjoying the sun..the beach…the pool…enjoying every minute of every day with Quinn and Liam. Even though you’re hurting inside…you put on that smile for the boys.

    Peace and strength mama bear!
    Thinking of you and Ronan.

  6. Katie

    Hi Maya, Thinking about you every day and especially today… well especially every day! 🙂 I fell asleep on the couch last night and had a dream that I lost my almost three year old boy to a tragic accident. I went to California to start the healing process. I even remember seeing dolphins and thinking they were a sign from my lost precious one (much like the dolphins that Ronan sends you in real life). In my dream I was in shock and utter depression, even though I had (and have in real life) another little one to care for. When I woke up in the middle of the night I cried, it felt so real and so strong. I also realized that my nightmare is one that you don’t get to wake up from. I felt only a small portion of what you experience daily in one dream and it was unbearable. I love Ronan, I miss Ronan, I didn’t personally know you or your family but he is in my heart and so are you. I don’t know quite what to make of my “nightmare” but my soul feels deeply that Ronan is guiding you and and that your family will continue to give you strength (even if you are not sure you have it, everyone who knows you and reads your blog can see it).

    1. Katie

      Maya, I re-read my comment and just wanted to correct myself… ‘I felt not even the tiniest sliver of what you experience daily’… and it was unbearable as a dream… just didn’t want you to think that I’m comparing my dream to your reality… obviously there is no comparison whatsoever… it just made me want to hold you and your family close to my heart even more.

  7. Jaime Harris

    I think of you so often and sometimes tears come to my eyes. I can be at work or the gym and feel like crying. I have such empathy for you! I agree, it’s so lame when people say that about “becoming an angel” when we die. They must need a lesson in theology because when we die, we are still who we always were! Our spirit is the same person we always were while we were alive. That’s what makes us who we are! Ronan is the same little spirit now that he was on earth only without any pain and he is probably even more beautiful up in Heaven (if that’s even possible for him to get any better looking 🙂 ) Anyways, angels are not dead people, we are seperate entities. Angels are angels and people have spirits but that doesn’t mean we become angels! Ok, I’m done rambling, sorry. It’s just insensitive of people to make those uneducated comments! Anyway, I hope you know how much your precious baby boy has touched my life and so many others as well. I hope and pray to meet him myself someday 🙂 I pray for you and Woody and your twins every day! I think of you often. I was in Target today and the coconut water and Paul Frank I saw made me think of you guys and pray for you. God bless you! Wishing you the best always…xoxo. If I ever cross your path, I may run up and give you a big ol’ hug and you’re gonna think I’m a crazy person 🙂 (but really I’m not, I just care!) Hope you’re having a good day today!!!

  8. Christine

    I was just going through Mommy blogs randomly and came across your blog and have been stuck to it ever since. You and your family look so familiar to me, as if we have crossed each others paths before or something. You are an amazing mother and your children are very lucky to have you. I love the honesty you have put into this blog, I won’t even pretend to know what you are going through I could not even imagine. Just the thought of anything like this happening to my daughter who is only 3 is sheer torture and that is your reality, you are so strong to even get out of bed each day, I know you have to for you boys, but I just don’t know if I would have your strength. I always tell my daughter that Mommy’s are like your personal super hero and thats exactly what it sounds like you were to Ronan and still are. After reading so much of your blog I can not seem to get your family out of my mind, your strength and courage has made me appreciate life and being a mom that much more, I’m just so sorry that its fucked up realities like this that make people step back and appreciate what they have. I’m am so sorry that some people feel the need to write rude comments on your blog, I have not looked for any but I see you write about some of them and I just think to myself how do people like this exist? I just will never understand people who feel like they are the all knowing of how you are suppose to handle every situation, especially losing a child, so a BIG F U to all those people who want to tell you and your family how to handle this is looks to me like you are all handling it the best way you know how and you are doing it as a family, what more can people expect?? Anyway I just wanted to comment to let you know you are amazing and honest and those are qualities others should really learn about!! I will keep you all in my prayers!! F U CANCER!!!!

  9. sara maurer

    Maya…I cannot even comprehend what you are going through. I can’t imagine holding my child for his last breath. I am so heartbroken for you…I just wish every tear I cried for you could take a ittle bit of pain away from you all.

    I will take my kids to see that turtle movie…I will think of you and your journey to peace …..I know you will find it again someday, Ronan will help you.

    Thinking of you every day hoping for peace and strength to get through each day. You are an amazing mother..and just know you are loved by people whom you don’t even know!

    I hope tomorrow is a better day…..and your baby gives you another beautiful sign.


    ps: I can’t believe what assholes some people can be! All those people on that plane should read your blog! Sorry they are so inconvenienced….by moving to a new seat so a family can sit together! Woody is amazing…..what a sweet man. They have no clue what this poor man is going through. We all need to start caring for one another in this world! It starts by crying for a total stranger and becoming involved to make this world a better place!

  10. Jera

    I have been avoiding this last post in my inbox because life has been getting me down. Not my life, but others – death. But, I cannot avoid you Maya, you are unavoidable. You deserve everyones attention. I think this is my favorite post. I have been reading since the end of May and went back as far as April. I did not grab a tissue and just let the tears roll. The story at the end gave me a huge smile. I used to be a flight attendant for SWA, I would have bitch slapped those passengers and accidentally (of course) spilt some drinks, hell maybe the entire tray. Crop dusting would have been mandatory and Woody would have had as many free drinks that he wished! People and life are unfair. Please let us all know when you are up and running and want to do something big. I would love to help you in Denver. Fuck, I would just love to help you!

  11. M

    as I was driving home today from downtown Phoenix in the five o’clock rush hour traffic, I saw a car with a sticker that said Jesus loves Ro—instantly I though of you Maya–I pray that you are able to get thru tomorrow and the next day!! this just makes no sense to me!

  12. Lynn Evans

    When you least expect it, your purpose and manner in which to immortilize Ronan will come to you…….. beyond the foundation, and it will lift you up.
    Luv and hugs to you and Quinn. ox

  13. MK

    You continue to amaze me with your courage and honest expression. Everything you feel, every moment, is true, real, and undeniable. And, yes, I think Ronan is sending you signals all the time. To let you know that he’s okay and that he isn’t hurting anymore. I received so many messages from my daughter after she passed that at times it was overwhelming. I didn’t know what she was trying to tell me and there were times that I just wanted it to stop. I thought that she should have taken me with her because all I was living for, at that time, was her. I would have given my life to save her. All I knew was that I wanted her back home with us – where she belonged.
    My daughter was supposed to be able to survive what happened to her and she did NOT. I can’t explain why some get better when others don’t, especially when the “doctor” treating your child is “the best in the business.” Really????? It pisses me off to even think about that and it’s been 16 years for me!!
    Here’s what is true…love knows no boundaries. I have not a spec of doubt that your love is carried forward to him. Every morning that your toes touch the ground is a victory. I know you feel completely defeated right now, but to me, you are amazing and I wish you knew how much reading your thoughts during this process brings hope and healing to others, especially myself.
    Just be, Maya, and the rest will evolve over time. You are doing better than you realize…

  14. lorrie

    I read and cry and have to re-read for the tears blur the lines. I wish I was so loved as a child in life. You are a remarkable person.

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