Sedona Grief Retreat. Here goes nothin, Ro.

Ro babe. Ro baby. My little monkey man. I’m here. In Sedona. I drove alone. I looked for you in the backseat. I didn’t see you. So I turned up the stereo even louder. Pearl Jam, Prince, and Madonna, blasted through the car. I drove even faster. I didn’t die. I didn’t drive off of the side of the road like I imagined myself doing so. I wanted to. But then a flash of your Daddy’s face appeared. And your brothers. And our lovies. Can’t do it. Won’t do it. Could do it. But WON’T do it. WON’T is the key word here. A handful of people that would miss me too much. And a mad little boy you would be at me. At least I try to tell myself you would be mad. But maybe not. Maybe you would be so happy to see me, that you wouldn’t care. I can imagine that because in our real life together, you did used to hog me. You would get so upset when I would give my attention to your brothers. “My mama!” You would scream as you would latch yourself onto some part of my body. “My MAMA!!!” You would squeak out if anybody else tried to get near me. You always wanted me, all to yourself. I secretly loved every second of it, although I would try to be fair. I felt so privledged to be your mama. Your one and only. The one you wanted 24 hours a day. I happily played that role. I miss it so much. I know you miss me taking care of you.

On my drive up here, I got stuck in the usual Friday evening muddy traffic. Nobody is moving but everybody is in such a hurry. They all seemed to have such important places to go. I wondered where. Probably home to their families. Heathy families or sick families I wondered. Are they happy or unhappy? Does anybody else stuck in this traffic jam, have a child who has died? Is anybody else, driving up to Sedona to attend a grief retreat because their child, is dead? Probably not. Lucky me. I feel like I am one in a million. And not in a good way. Guess what else happened, Ro? Ring Ring!!!!!!!! Went my phone. A number I didn’t recognize. I didn’t think and I just picked it up. This coming from the girl, who won’t even answer the phone when my best friends call. But don’t worry. If you are an unknown number, I’ll pick it up to chat. After today I have decided not to make that mistake again. I am thinking about disconnecting my phone, entirely. O.K. a little drastic. But that is what I felt like, after I hung up my phone today.

“Hello,” I said as a wave washed over me and my little voice said, uh oh. Here we go again.

“Yes, is this Maya Thompson?” the voice on the other end said

“Yes, it is.” I replied

“Yes, Mrs. Thompson, this is Nick from such and such collections agency. I have a debt here due to Phoenix Children’s Hospital that I am trying to collect. Can you verify your home address?”

Fuck. Really fuckwad. I thought to myself. Fine. Just deal with this.

Jesus. Fine. “It is xxx-xxx-xxx-HELL. O.K. What is this in regards to? I thought I handled this. I have insurence. Is this something new??”

“Well, Mrs. Thompson. The amount is 193.42. How would you like to take care of this today?”

“I would not like to take care of it today. I would like you to send me something so I can see what exactly this is for. Can you do that for me? Just send me something in the mail.” I replied.

“Mrs. Thompson. It would be easier if you just handled this today. Can you verify Ronan’s Birthdate??”

“Fine. It’s 5.12.2007.”

“Oh, wow! He’s 4 years old now, that is great!” The Mother Fucker said on the other end of the phoneline.

“What did you just say….??” I said.

“I said, he just had a birthday and he’s 4, actually he is older than 4 now…”

“Actually, he is not, you MOTHERFUCKER. He is dead.”

“Uh, oh. I..uh…I had no idea…. well. O.K. then…. Do you want to take care of this debt? I can take a credit card or a check over the phone.”

“How the fuck would you, know, Nick… that my son is dead?! You are a fucking debt collector! So you wouldn’t fucking know! Hey, Nick…..guess what?? I am a little overwhelmed with things, because my son just died…. but thank you for your concern. You can take that 193 dollars, and shove it up your ass!!”

Click. I hung up. I almost pulled over to throw up. I screamed out loud instead. I didn’t just scream. I screamed out, “MOTHER FUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I could have handled this lovely debt today. The lovely “debt,” that PCH thinks it is necessary to send me to collections for. This lovely bill, that somehow slipped through the cracks so now I get to deal with an asshole worker who is just trying to do his asshole job. An asshole job, that this asshole, probably really needs, to put food on the table. Or maybe not. Or maybe it is to support his drug habit. Because there are bad people out there, who do shit like that, and who have kids and take their kids forgranted by doing shithole things, like drugs. They do shithole things like drugs and abuse their kids and then the worst thing that happens to them is they maybe go to jail for a few days….. for the asshole choices they have decided to make in their lives. The asshole choices they make, while having heathy, beautiful kids, who they could give a fuck about.

And then there is you. And me. And I didn’t do asshole things to you like abuse you or drugs. I only loved you with every bone in my body. I gave you every ounce of happiness and love that I had, because that is what you gave to me. And we were happy. But for some reason, we had to have it all taken away because I loved you too much??? Because I was a good mom? Because I didn’t do asshole things?? Only really, really, really, amazing, pure things. I have yet to read that book, “Why bad things happen to good people.” I think I threw it in the garbage when the author started talking about God.

I’ll tell you why bad things happen to good people. It is very simple, Ro. It’s not fucking rocket science. There is no reason. There is no fucking reason, why. I have fucking learned to accept at least this part, of losing you. There will never be a reason, a justification, an answer. It just is. Fucking plain and simple. It’s fucking fucked up. It’s fucking bullshit. It’s fucking not fair. There is no answer. A book does not need to be written, on this subject.

Guess what else, Ronan. On my drive up to Sedona, I decided a few major things. Are you ready for my mind blowing, life changing revelations?? Here it goes.

I’ve decided I can live on these things, alone, for the rest of my life because I think this is pretty much all my diet has consisted of for the past few weeks.

Mango/Peach Coconut Water
Coca Cola….. or even better…. Fountain Cokes
Extra Hot, Non Fat, Vanilla Lattes
Sugar Daddies
Extreme Airheads Sweetly Sour
String Cheese
Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups
Rice Pudding
Salt and Vinagar Pototo Chips

I hate food. It all tastes blah and makes me throw up or totally nauseas. But I could not live without the things above. Thank you processed junk food mania. In some respect, you are keeping me alive. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Babydoll. I’m tired. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.


24 responses to “Sedona Grief Retreat. Here goes nothin, Ro.”

  1. Maya,
    Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you. Hang on to that vision of your Woody and Quinn and Liam….and the jewels that they are in your life..I am sure you are stronger than you realize. I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your precious Ronan. I continue to pray for you each day for the strength it takes to continue to just breathe and live.
    Much love and a gentle hug through this note to you….loving mama

  2. Maya, thinking of you while your on your retreat. Your absolutely right about fuckers being able to have kids and then do drugs and could give a flying fuck about their children, while you lost the most precious boy that you deeply, deeply loved. It’s just not right or fucking fair! BTW, congrats on being chosen for one of the most inspirational woman, bc you are….bc of Ronan….and that’s awful for me to say…that this tragedy happened for all of us to realize we need to be better people. I’m going to San Diego in November and ok, I know this might sound strange, but I wish it was the summer so I could give you a big hug. THAT would make my trip, instead of the basketball game on the navy ship, and I fucking love basketball! 🙂 Stay strong, breathe and know you and your family are being thought of constantly. Hugs and kisses from Ohio.

  3. Oh Maya, I’m so sorry for the thoughtless, dumb things you keep having to deal with that have such a huge impact. It’s so unfair. My heart breaks for you all over again when I read how cruel even the smallest details can be. ((((((((((((HUGE HUGS))))))))))

  4. Lovely Maya,

    My heart is heavy for you all the time. I think about you & your family daily. I do not know you personally, but you and your family have become a part of my every day life. Not a single day goes by that I don’t read your blog and think about what I can do to help. I am starting to look into volunteering at the Seattle Childrens Hospital. I’m sure there are lots of sweet babies that are sick who would love company, and I have lots of love to give– this is where I’m starting. I never before, until being introduced to your story, ever THOUGHT about childhood cancer. And I am glad I know now and am not afraid to talk about it. I will do what I can to help. I will also continue to keep you, Woody, Quinn, Liam and Ronan in my thoughts and prayers every single day.
    You are an absolutely amazing woman, Maya and I admire your strength. I know you probably do not feel strong, but you are. And you are so very inspirational. I cannot believe how much I have learned from you and from Ro, when I haven’t even met you… That’s amazing.
    I hope you have strength this weekend through your retreat in Sedona.
    What a beautiful place Sedona is… I went there for the first time last month. Absolutely amazing!

    Stay strong Maya, can’t wait to hear how the retreat was…. Thinking of you always ❤ ❤

  5. I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through Maya, truly! I hope this retreat today gives you a little peace, maybe some answers. Praying for you…

  6. I’m so sorry Maya. I hope this weekend brings you something you need. I don’t know what, but something. Keep being strong, and mad, and awesome, and real.

  7. Big hug to you Maya–next time you get to sit down with folks at PCH maybe you should have a little talk with them about NOT trying to get $193 from a parent that’s child just died or at the very minimum making such phone calls with the knowledge that they are collecting a bill for a patient that is no longer living. F Cancer, and F PCH……

  8. Maya,

    I truly hope this grief retreat will give you guidance and help you to heal. I read your blog every time you post and it is heart wrenching to read. You are so open and honest with your feelings and I know it is a good thing you are. I’m sorry you meet people who do not know your story and your incredible pain and grief. Yes people are insensitive but realize they are this way because they do not know about you or Ronan. They are not in the loop. Prayers always for you and your family

  9. I was reading Parents magazine and came across an article called ‘Frank Floats!’. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is adding a new face this year. Paul Frank’s famous monkey! Looks like Ronan is pulling some strings wherever he may be. I just thought you might like to know!
    I wish you the best for this weekend and pray it can help you in some way, even if it is just a little way. Thinking and praying for you always.

  10. Maya,

    Hope this retreat is everything you imagined it to be!!!

    Thinking of you, Rockstar Ro, Woody, Liam and Quinn.

    Peace and strength!!! Keeping doing what you’re doing!!! Keep being YOU!! Real and raw!!! An inspiration to other women, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends!!!


  11. I hope this is a good strengthening weekend. Hopefully this weekend will be very benifitual for you, Sedona is such a spiritual healing place.
    I remember a similar phone call within 24 hour of my sons death, and the person seemed heartless and totally not caring.
    Love to you and your entire family.

  12. maya you are so brave and awesome for going to a grief retreat! and with an open mind too! you amaze me! hope your time in sedona is just what you need!!

  13. I think you showed amazing restraint with the bill collector. I would have unloaded a spew of venom that he would have reeled from for days:)

  14. Maya,

    I just recently fought with PCH over billing. I lost my son to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome in March 2011. My surviving son gets medical treatment at PCH. I called incessantly to get this issue resolved. Every time I called I thought of families like yours, families that were/are going through hell watching their children suffer; trying to find a way to live life after their precious child has so unfairly been taken from them. I fought for my son and every parent that doesn’t have the energy to call these crooks out. I like you resorted to shouting at, John Ferry manger of cardiology, telling him that the way he handles business is disgusting and he should be ashamed of himself. I let him him know that this is a formal complaint and he said would you like the address to send that to? What a cocksucker. I continued to fight until they made it right and with the help of my insurance they did make it right.
    I love your spitfire attitude. It sounds like Ronan is cut from the same cloth. I am happy to hear you went to Sedona to continue to heal yourself. Thank you for being so honest about wanting to drive off the cliff, I think we all can relate to that. There just aren’t many people who will. I don’t know why my son had to die and I don’t know why yours did too. I always tell myself it wouldn’t be this way if it weren’t suppose to…Faking it until I make it? I guess so.
    Remember, when you’re standing in a room full of people and your feeling so alone. Ro is with you, latched on to you like he always did.


    Another Mommy who misses her Son.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, too. Prayers are with you and your family.

  15. Oh, wow. That so totally sucks! Terrible timing. I am so sorry. 😦

  16. Rooting you on Maya! I hope the retreat helped you. I hope someday, somehow you find some sort of peace. Keep on fighting, you will make it through this for Ronan, and change the face of cancer. Behind you all the way. Believing.



  17. I am so sorry that you got that call. After Jake died doctor’s offices called my cell. They would ask, “how is your son?”. “He is dead, thanks for asking.”

    I hope that the retreat went as well as it could. Sending you hugs and peace. Take care.

  18. Maya, I think about you and your sweet boy every day. I can hear his little squeaky voice and see his bright beautiful eyes, even though I never met him. I know its very little, if any consolation, but he lives in my heart and thousands of others in a way that feels very real to me. I wish that my sorrow lessened yours.

  19. Thinking of you and hoping that you made it back ok. We miss you!

  20. So so sorry Maya that you have to keep experiencing things/phone calls/etc like this… as if you don’t already have enough pain & reminders every day…. so heartbreaking. I wanted you to know that so many of us, who don’t even know you, are still out here reading, supporting, thinking, feeling, praying, crying, for you and your family EVERY day. You are amazing, so strong, so inspirational. I hope the retreat was helpful for you…

  21. Hi Maya,
    I just read an article by a woman Emily Rapp and she refers to herself as the dragon mom. She has not lost her son yet but her ferocious dedication to her dying son reminds me so much of you. I don’t know if this is appropriate to tell because I have not had to suffer like you do. I just think you could appreciate her view of going through what you have! I found her through a boy name Will Lacey, who has neuroblastoma in our area. I am sorry for what you have been through. I think of you and Ronan constantly. It is amazing how 2 beautiful people that you never met can change the way you look at life. I hope your day is better today!

  22. D. Murray Armitage Avatar
    D. Murray Armitage

    Hi Maya,
    Wow! When shit happens… it really happens. I don’t think you are being overly sensitive either, I think he was being overly insensitive which is what collection schmucks are taught to be – class A pricks.
    In spite of that particularly unsettling episode, I hope the retreat was rewarding for you personally and that you get a little something to take away with you, if that is what you are ready for.
    I read somewhere above that Dawn saw an article about the Frank’s Monkey being in the parade. She may be onto something there that Ronan is “pulling strings” somewhere. I saw somewhere else that somebody thinks he has latched right on to you even now. I don’t think the essence of our loved ones ever really totally leaves us. It is eternally entwined with us with the strength dependent on the strength of the connection we had with them – or them with us.
    I hope your days continue to be slightly different each day so someday you can live with the pain of his loss – not that you “get better” or “get over anything” – just that you can live with it. That the newness and the rawness wears off just a little bit.
    Here’s to less shitty days.

  23. I can’t believe it I’ve been following your Story and reading this post my Daughter was born 5.12,94, my Baby shared a birthday with Ronan!!! I love Ronan he was Rockstarronan. I love so with all of my heart FUCKYOUCANCER XXX

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