The List


People have asked, what they can do, besides the obvious which is donate to Childhood Cancer, to help make a difference in this fight. If you want to donate to Ronan’s Foundation, even if it is just a dollar; please do so. I have over 1.6 million hits on this blog. Can you imagine if every person that has read this, donated just one dollar? Or five? That could do so many amazing things in our efforts to support research for Childhood Cancer.

I’ve thought up a list. A very unconventional list, because it is not just about bringing awareness to Childhood Cancer. It is also about living a life that Ronan would be proud of. It is about living a life, that Ronan would have given anything for; to LIVE. It is about being the BEST version of yourself, that you can possibly be. This list will grow and I hope it only gets better. I’m still young. I still have A LOT to learn, mistakes to make, things to regret…. but as of now, this is my list. This is a list that has been inspired by losing the life of my son and trying to become a better human being, because of it. I hope someday, that I am able to live my life doing everything I have written below. This list, gives me hope, in my darkest hours.

1) Be thankful. For all that you have. No matter how much or how little. If you have kids, be thankful that they are healthy. Nothing else matters. If you don’t have kids, be thankful for your health or the health of the loved ones in your life. Just be THANKFUL. And know what it truly means.

2) If you’re not happy, change your life and become happy. Happiest people are the most beautiful. Become the happy person you want to be. Life is too short, not to be happy. Ronan almost lived 4 years on this earth. I’ve never in my life met a happier person then he was and look at everything he endured. Cancer never got in the way of his happiness, until the last week of his life when his life was no longer his to live. He was ROBBED of his happiness. You do not have to be; so stop complaining.

3) Volunteer. At a Homeless Shelter. At an Animal Hospital. At The Ronald McDonald House. Whatever you are passionate about. Just do something to make a difference. Volunteer at a hospital…. there are so many sick babies who need people to hold and love them. Get involved. DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING.

4) Donate BLOOD or PLATELETS. It’s not that hard. REGISTER to become a BONE MARROW DONER. You could help save someone’s life.

5) Scream about Childhood Cancer Awareness with me until people start to listen. Write to local companies, small companies, big companies, your favorite Celebrity, the Media, Congress, The President, The White House, anyone you can think of; until people start to listen. If there are enough of us screaming, they will have to at some point. The lack of awareness/funding is UNFUCKINGACCEPTABLE. Media is very powerful. We have to get them on our side.

6) Educate the people around you about how this can happen to anyone. If you want your child to get a Urine Test, ask for it. Knowledge is POWER. Learn the FACTS about Childhood Cancer, like it is your bible. Know what it is you are passionate about, and why. Educate people about this blog. Scream about Ronan’s story to anyone who will listen.

7) Rules were meant to be broken in life. Break down the doors. Don’t give up if you are told No. I don’t care if it is a hundred times. Nobody ever made history in this world, by playing by the rules. REBELS RULE. Embrace your Inner REBEL. Ronan would love this so freaking much.

8) Question everything and follow your instincts. Listen to you heart as it is more powerful than your mind. I don’t know why my number 8, has turned into a smily face. Ronan must have done this. Apparently he really likes this one.

9) Take a Holiday, once a year and do something completely selfless. How amazing would it be if everyone stopped worrying about themselves, gifts, fancy clothes, on a Holiday and took the time to go to a local Hospital to drop off toys or gift cards to the parents who are struggling/sad/lonely/or depressed because their “Holiday,” now consists of living in a hospital, fighting for their child’s life. Take our self-indulgent Holidays and bring the smile to the face of a child or parent who could use it a thousand more times than you. Take your kids with you and tell them why you are doing this and why it is important.

10) Please stop to enjoy the music in life. By blasting the music you love, the loudest it will possibly go, while having an insane dance party with yourself or your kids. They will love you more for it.

11) Be inspired and inspire other people around you. Find your inspiration. Move mountains with it. Form an army. Join an army. Make something happen.

12) Get off your ass and exercise. It will change your life. It is saving mine. Run for Ronan, because he will never get the chance to run a marathon with me, like I often dreamed of. Swim for Ronan. Bike for Ronan. Walk for Ronan. Ski for Ronan. Do it for yourself and for all the other kids who will never be able to, because they are not among the living anymore. Be HEALTHY. Eat better. Stop freaking smoking. It’s insulting. Not to mention, just plain gross. YOU are better than that, otherwise, you would not continue to read this blog.

13) Get angry. But turn that anger into something positive. Do NOT start dealing with your anger by hitting the bottle, hurting others, or doing drugs. Let your anger fuel your fire, but in a positive way.

14) Pursue your dreams. If they don’t come true, at least you know you tried. Do not be afraid to fail. You should be more afraid of not trying and never knowing.

15) Continue to talk about Ronan, his story, his fight, his beauty, his life, his death…. Help me honor him by continuing to believe in him the way you do. Take my pain, of losing him, and continue on this adventure, with me. I am humbled and so thankful by all of you who continue to want to support and love Ronan. It makes me stronger. It makes me feel as if I can really change the face of Childhood Cancer because of the endless amount of love and support.

16) Love your family and friends. Cut the drama out of your life if anybody brings it to you. Stop apologizing, but apologize when necessary. Be true to yourself, your beliefs, your life.

17) Never settle. EVER.

18) LOVE with your whole heart, soul, mind and body. Make sure the people in your life, are worth it. If they are, give them everything you have.

19) Stop freaking out because your kid colored on the wall, with a black Sharpie, and then peed all over the carpet. Be glad you have a kid to create such a little creative piece of Art for you. Embrace their Inner Spiciness.

20) Teach your Children. Educate them on how lucky they are. Teach them to be kind to others. Don’t lie to them. Let them make mistakes. Guide them, push them, pull them, engage with them. Be present. Life is hard. Let them know this, without having to teach them the way that Liam and Quinn have had to learn.

Alright lovelies. This is my list for tonight. I’ll add more as I think of things. Don’t thank me for it. I had nothing to do with it. Thank Ronan. Kiss your babies. Love yourself for being so beautiful, that you want to be a part of the change.

I love you all. Ronan loves you all. I know he would be proud of this list.

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24 thoughts on “The List

  1. Suba Dhinakar

    MY Life is a work in progress..and this list makes me want to push harder .Joinning Team in Training with Leukemia Society to fight cancer is one of the best things that has happened in my life… I Hope to go on to honor lives of Ronan and many others..thx for your positivity and endurance and courage. You help so many. God Bless you and your family. Ronan will always be part of my thoughts..

  2. karina

    Maya, You and Ronan inspire me everyday and make me a better person. I am SO thankful for my babies and that they are healthy. I also stop and catch myself when I get upset over the silly little things that they do. I think of Ronan and redirect my frustration. You are such a strong and beautiful person. I am so sorry that you and your family have to go through this horrible thing. I cant wait to join in the fight with you and help find a cure for this crappy disease that took that beautiful boy away from you and your family. You and your family are in my prayers always.

  3. nance harris

    Maya, what a wonderful list and how much better the world would be if we all lived it. It seems we get caught up in the busyness of life and often forget how truly blessed we are each day, thanks for reminding us.

    Every time I pass Children’s Hospital, usually twice a day, I still pray for you and each member of your family. Using this terrible hurt for good and for others will surely honor Ronan.

  4. Jennifer

    Absolutely beautiful! Every word. From dance parties to running…moments that I am so thankful for my kids…you and Ronan and my dear friend Nate inspire me to enjoy life more, to be a better person, to appreciate everything, and look absolutely ridiculous enjoying it sometimes. I will carry their stories with me always and make sure the world hears them. Fuck cancer!

  5. Hilary

    I love your list Inka lady bad ass.You are just kick-butt -tastic.You sure know how to make people like me sit up and listen. I want you to know that I know how lucky I am to have my gorgeous baby boy and that I will never take one single moment with him for granted. Not ever.

    I have been thinking of you lots these past few days and I just hope today is a day when more smiles fill the hours, when fewer nightmares cloud your skies and when Ronan shines round you brightly and makes more of your numbers/tasks on your sh*t list into smiling faces. I hope you dance today and always. Big hugs xx

  6. Linda O'Connell

    Thank you for taking the time to share the childhood cancer stats – absolutely infuriating!!! I’m one of those people who had no clue how little funding was going to finding a cure. Your “unconventional” list for living is a wonderful guide – have printed it and will do my best to follow it every day!! Your mafia has reached TN. Have followed your blog for months and have ordered bracelets (a few naughty and a few nice) from Katie who was great! Your honesty and frank expression inspire us all!! Your family remains in my thoughts and prayers!

  7. Laura

    You inspired me while in Phoenix Childrens hospital. The day I came to visit you and Ronan when I left I went to their volunteer meeting to sign up, which I’m glad I did. For me it was a big hurdle, since my child died at PCH. You inspire everyone. Love to you and your entire family.

  8. Glenda

    You and Rockstar Ronan are awesomeness!!!
    You both Rock!
    You both are an inspiration!
    I think of you both daily!
    Peace & Strength!
    xo

  9. Cheska

    I didn’t get to read this before class/work, so I am just reading it now, but WOW!! I am in tears — you have come up with a FABULOUS list!! Oh, and I so love that number eight turned into a cool smilie. Very awesome.

  10. Sandi Muhonen

    MAYA – You have such a way with words! Such a beautiful list. Some day you should write a book about this journey of yours and you could donate the proceeds to Childhood Cancer. I can see the books flying off the shelves already!! Take care and continue to be the great mom and wife that you are.

  11. Lisa

    My baby is almost 1 years old and family and friends often tell me she is uh.. difficult! I now have a word for them! She is my spicy baby! She def has that love for breaking rules as your Ronan does! She is the most beautiful gift I have ever been given and I love her spicy side as well as her happy, loving side! I love your list and can’t wait to add more of your ideas to my life!

  12. Stefanie

    Now that I read these other comments I see motivational speaking in your future. You would rock at it. You could talk to schools and such and pass out your bracelets (the “nice” ones LOL). You could do it to promote a book like Sandi above has talked about. The sky is the limit lady and you are gaining momentum whether you feel it or not:-)

  13. Kim

    Maya, I am so proud of you and what you are doing for others, for children and for the fight against childhood cancer in the midst of unspeakable grief. You are the personification of HOPE! I hope to meet you someday, as it would be an honor to be in the presence of such strength.

  14. Abby

    I am a new reader of your blog. I love your list. You are an inspiration to people, like me, who don’t even know you personally. I agree with the other commenters above, you are on the road to being a motivational speaker.

    God bless you and your family.

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