Sink or Swim, Baby. What’s it gonna be??

Hi Ro baby. It’s funny how much I look forward to this time with you at night. After the house is quiet. I think of this as my Ro time. The time I get to spend with you, taking care of you now. It’s so precious and dear to me. After the days which are usually pretty busy, this is my way to unwind with you and I treasure every second of it. Thanks for inspiring me so much that I always feel like I have so much to say to you. I am lucky in that regard.

I’m trying to remember the past couple of days. I still have a hard time remembering the things that we have done. Sunday flew by. I honestly cannot remember what we did. Today I dropped your brothers off at school. I left Macy here so she could get some work done. I ran some errands and got caught up on some things. I came home later in the afternoon and picked up Macy. We went to grab your brothers from school. We took them to eat. We wore fake mustaches. It was a sad day, but I tried my best to make it light and happy for the sake of your brothers. I didn’t want Macy to leave. I was sad about it all day. We took your brothers over to Katie’s to say Hi and so Macy could say goodbye to her. We came home and I did all the normal things that normal moms do. I made dinner. I put away laundry. I did dishes. I helped your brothers with their homework. I faked the mommy role very well today. Gold Star for me!

Quinny and I took Macy to the airport tonight. Everyone was sad to see her go. Even your Daddy. I’m telling you, she fits in so well with our family….. it kills me that you are not here with us to be a part of the Macy Magic anymore. She hugged Quinny goodbye as the tears poured down her cheeks. It was my turn next. I just held her, we both cried and said we loved each other. As soon as I got back in the car, Quinn asked when Macy could come back. I told him I hoped soon, but if not we would go and see her. I am not going to let so much time pass between seeing her again. Macy is healing for all of us. Macy is our sunshine through all of this. She makes the darkest days, sunny and bright. But the good thing about Macy is…. if the days need to be dark, she’s o.k. with that too. If the days are dark, she is the little ray of sunshine peeking out behind the clouds. I appreciate that so much. Love you Macy Wood in Da Hood. Thank you for everything.

So Ro, now what? Back to this life. Back to trying to figure things out. I’m trying to make sense of so many things right now. I feel confused and sad. I had a long talk with Dr. Jo yesterday about some things that are going on. She is one of the few people I trust anymore. I’ve had so much crap going on that I actually sent her a text that said something like, ” You would tell me if I were crazy, right?? Everyone around me is making me think I am losing my mind.” She called me. We talked for a good 45 minutes. She told me that I was indeed not even close to crazy. But to the outside world, the normal world may think that I am, because they don’t get it. They may think that they do, but if they haven’t lost a child, they cannot even come close to understanding. But it’s been 6 months Ro. The whispers around me are saying, “Shouldn’t she be getting better by now?” As if there is a time frame on how much time should pass after you lose a child and then it’s time to “get better,” and “get happy” and “choose the right path!” And Grief can certainly make a person feel like they are crazy. I hate that I second guessed myself. I hate that for those few minutes, I felt like I actually might be crazy. I hate that I didn’t trust myself because of all the stupid noise around me. I don’t like noise. I know Dr. Jo and I know the things she is telling me, are not because they are the things she thinks I want or need to hear. She will always be truthful and honest with me. If she thought I were crazy, she would tell me. The thing about Dr. Jo is, she would tell me from an honest place and I would listen to her. She would tell me if I were crazy and she would embrace my crazy. She wouldn’t ever judge me. She wouldn’t ever tell me what I am doing is right or wrong. She would allow me to do this the way I felt was right, without being too overbearing or too opinionated. Or too pushy. You know how well I do with judgmental and pushy people. I don’t. I don’t and I won’t tolerate it. I’ll shut down. I’ll push away. I know who I am, Ronan. Faults and all because I do have many. I know who you are. I know what you expect of me.

I don’t know much about this life now except it is really, really, hard. Hard in a way, that I never knew life could be. Because the real world does not teach you about things like losing a child so therefor, you have to navigate this the best way you can…. without any sort of floatation device or paddle. Sink or swim, baby. Most of the time I feel like I’m sinking but then I remember the reasons why I need to try to swim. Why no matter how many people try to drown me….Inferno Fuckwad Bob being at the top of that list…… the reasons that I will continue to fight my way to the top of the water so that I can reach the surface and breathe again. Because I’m a fighter the same way you are. Because I started this blog and I’m not going to change a thing about it. I’m not going to stop writing it. I’m not going to be worried if it offends people or turns certain people off to supporting your Foundation. I’m not going to stop being me. Sad, happy, stupid, immature, angry, silly, crazy, goofy, honest, raw, scared, brave, and truthful. This is me. This is you. This is our world now. This is all we’ve got together and I’m not selling out, for anyone. I know who I need behind me. The one person that matters the most. Your Daddy. He is behind me. He supports this craziness. His opinion is the only one that matters to me. I know where we stand on this. It’s together. For now. That may change one day. If that time comes, I will sit down and listen. But now, this is the way it is. I’m not conforming. I’m not sugar-coating. I’m not going to stop being true to myself and who I am. I’ve been this way, from the beginning. It’s nothing new. It’s not as if I’ve pulled a 180 here and all of a sudden, I’m screaming from the rooftops for Cancer to Fuck OFF!!! instead of “Gosh darn you Cancer! Thanks for killing my son!” I’m not going to ever stop being true to you and the way you lived your life. I started this my way and that is how I intend on keeping it. I’m not going to let a bunch of men in black suits scare me off. I’m not conforming. I’m not here to fit in. I’m here to be me. Love me or leave me. You died, Ronan. But you still live in my heart, mind, body, and soul. You are my heart which is what I’m following here because it makes me feel like I am alive, for as much as I feel like I am dead. I don’t care what the outcome of all of this madness ends up being as long as I know I remained true to myself and what I believed in. I’m not living a life any other way. I’ve learned in a very cruel way, how short life really is. I’m going to live a life that I am proud of and if that is a disappointment to others, than so be it. I think to live a life any other way, is a very sad, sad life indeed. I think to expect anything else from a person who has just lost their baby, is just mean. There should be no expectations, no disappointments, no judgements. The only thing that there should be is unconditional love. And acceptance. Nothing else. Nothing more. It’s so simple, why make it complex?

So Ro. That’s it for tonight. Your daddy is having a really hard time right now too. 6 months of being without you is so much harder than the first month of all of this. That’s one of the many dirty little secrets nobody tells you about losing a child. It gets worse, as time goes on. Your daddy is doing the same thing I am now. He is looking for you. He thinks you are still here. The shock is wearing off for him too. The emotional anesthesia is fading away and it is pure and utter torture. It at times, can very well make you feel as if you are going insane. I think I miss you more today, than I ever have. I love you baby doll. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe. I’m so very sorry I couldn’t save you. I hope you know how hard I tried. I hope you forgive me. G’nite Ro baby. Sweet dreams.

And P.S. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


31 responses to “Sink or Swim, Baby. What’s it gonna be??”

  1. Maya, always reading, never judging, only in awe of you and that you are still truckin’ on. You are incredible beyond words. Always honoring Ronan in anyway I can. He is an amazing boy. And saying the word “fuck” way more often in homage to you, without apology, because sometimes it’s the only word to capture the emotion. I send only love your way. xo

  2. The people who want you to feel differently are probably the same people who have lost keys…I’ve lost my keys. Once. Nothing more than metal and plastic and I searched for days because I KNEW where they should have been. They just weren’t there. Irritating and bothersome. Annoyed. Pissed. Looking inside of couch seams. Blaming other people for not helping me look hard enough. Keys. And I looked for days.
    Keep yourself alive, Maya. As best as you can.
    Most people are incapable of understanding what it feels like to be you for even one moment. If they did, they would quietly shut the fuck up.

  3. Hello. Please don’t change for anyone. Your honesty is why I read your blog. I feel so bad for you and your family. It kills me to read it, but I have to keep reading….

    Your blog reminds me how important life is, how lucky we are to have it, and makes me truly appreciate my children. Thank you.

  4. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you & Ronan. You inspire me every day. Don’t listen to the haters, listen to your heart.
    Never judging, ALWAYS loving!

  5. It’s almost 3 a.m and I was just thinking how hard it will be to wake up at 6 to get ready for school. I feel so selfish now because it must be so incredibly hard for you and your family have to wake up every morning without Ronan. I am so sincerely sorry. I originally stumbled across this blog when I was looking up Taylor Swift and I read it all the time now. I think of Ro a lot. He helps me put things into perspective. He makes me want to change myself and the world. I promise I will. I’ll do my very best to make a difference and raise awareness for your cause. Unfortunately cancer has impacted my family too and I’m right there with you everytime you scream “F YOU CANCER”. You and Ro and your foundation are really making a difference.

  6. Maya I don’t always understand or agree with the things that you write but then again I have never lost a child and I have no clue what that even begins to feel like… it’s unimaginable.

    I am always listening… supporting… no judgement… unconditional… I’m here for a little boy that captured my heart.

    Almost a year ago I was forced to resign from a job that I hated… it still haunts me at times, upsets me… wow, that is after losing a job that I despised being at because I was away from my kiddos (plus it sucked). I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would feel like to lose what I love most in this world, my young son or daughter. I know that is a lame comparison obviously, but what I’m saying is that people are so strange (to be nice) to pass judgement… I know I have no idea so I don’t pretend to think I do.


  7. It is so true…the shock is wearing off. How could we as parents be over it. 6 months for us as well and as I recently said it feels final that they are not coming home. You are not going crazy, I too have felt horrible the last month and thought it should get better but it is only getting worse. We keep going because we need to for our other children. I love your blog as it hits home and I love what you are doing for childhood cancer.

  8. Maya

    The adage “first walk a mile in my shoes” seems appropriate here. I’ve never experienced the loss you continue to battle, but my what a fight you’re putting up working your way through the bitches and brambles. If Dr. JoRo says you’re not insane, you need to trust the wise doctor and not allow others judgments to cloud your self view. As for the “sink or swim”, seems you’re in for more of both until sure footing returns for you. The greatest asset you have to counter the either/or of sink/swim is your own self awareness (of which you have plenty and in spades). Meaning, you know there will be both sink and swim in some form of balance for you in this new life. Just remember, both are always with you and the swim will always counter the sink, while regrettably the sink will show up to humble the swim.

    Stay strong.


  9. Our love, thought, support and prayers go out to your entire family. Sorry that you all are part of the sad club of losing a child, not a good club to be forced to be a member. I wish none of use had to be part of the lonely ugly club. Rest assured that nothing will ever hurt you this hard again. Jobs, money etc can be lost but won’t hurt the way losing your precious son. Glad you are trying to change the world and get help to get rid of childhood cancer. I am always here for you. All our love to your entire family.

  10. Maya,
    Anyone that is trying to judge you or anything else can fuck off. We love you and your family Maya and we aren’t here to judge – ever!

    When Dana above said “don’t listen to your haters” reminds me of the preview of a movie that has been advertised called “The Babysitter” I think, anyway, it cracks me up everytime the littler girl goes “I let my haters be my motivators!”

    You are right, as long as Woody is behind you- nothing else matters.

    Anyway, thinking about you and Ronan today and everyday!


  11. I have been reading your blog for a long time and I never have any words because my heart is always heavy. I am sorry that you have people out their casting judgement. Just stay true to yourself and keep fighting. If somebody is offended by your blog then they should stop reading it. Just let you be.

  12. Maya,
    I will forever be in awe of you. No one has the right to pass judgement on you EVER. How dare they! How could they would be a better queation to ask. There is no perfect way to handle anything and definitely no time line for something like this. Remember for every person trying to push their negativity on you there is a whole mafia standing with you shouting a collective FUCK OFF! You know what matters, you know what you need to do, as far as I’m concerned they can either join the movement or kindly move the fuck on…and if anyone has a problem with that feel free to send them my way :). Just keep swimming

  13. well that sucks….i wish u didn’t have to process the outside world….but really? People really tell u these things?? ….people really think after 6 months you ‘should b doing better’?? Fuck them… of my best friends had a still born birth….that is ALL we talk about, her baby….her sweet baby….she loves that I let her cry about her, talk about her etc….she had her 5 years ago…she’s had 3 other children…she is still grieving….and that’s ok….she’s ok…she is a wonderful mommy….but she.misses her baby…..she is on her own grief timeline…..and we love her!! 😉

  14. …oh, and you don’t just sink or swim……you can paddle like a dog!! 🙂

  15. NO you are not going crazy!!!! Please stop listening to those people. The fact that you get up every day to take care of your shit list is blowing my mind…you have so much strength and I know it comes from Ronan.
    I am glad you have Dr Jo in your corner too!!!
    Gosh it is only 6 months…why must society think we should be “over” it by that point. It is so
    sick that people think you should be back to your normal self- what is wrong with them??

  16. Maya~ your words have helped me remember the pain i went thru but, kept inside me for ten years!!! Losing a child will never compare to anyones loss, I even had to deal with my mom dying when I was 9. Please dont let the whispers of people saying you should be over it .. because they dont fuckin know how hard it is for any parent to lose a child especially when you fight for them to stay alive… Love ya Maya and I am picturing your future to be full of mamas who want to stand up for there babies….

  17. Maya,
    My hope for you is that you hear the 99.9% of people who get you, who are here listening to you because of who you are and who would never want to change a single thing about you!!! The rest of the people don’t matter!!! Don’t pay attention to them and don’t let them get to you. Even for a minute. Please.

  18. Not at all in the same ballpark as losing a child, but I lost my Mom this year — 5 months ago. Just wanted to say that you are right — it gets only harder — not easier as time goes on. I loved your words ‘the emotional anethesia’ wears off after a few months and its only then that reality starts seeping in. It still seems surreal to me and hurts more now than it did at first — I was just in a state of shock for the first few months. But the strange thing is that everyone else moves on after a few weeks and they aren’t even aware that you would still be just barely starting to look at the open wound you now have that isn’t even close to healing. Not sure it will ever heal but hopefully you reach a point you can at least look at it.

    Love and blessings to you and FU Cancer!!

  19. “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is working night and day to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” -E.E. Cummings

  20. Seriously crying in a parking lot in my car reading this. Hate that people are getting it so wrong and you are feeling abandoned and misunderstood by people that you need support and love from. The sobbing came when you started in about Woody, his unconditional love and support, his pain. May the deep love you have for one another carry you to a beautiful place of peace one day. Sending ONLY love, Maya…always.

  21. IF you were crazy, you’d probably be Lisa Rowe in Girl Interrupted. 🙂 Bad ass! Rule Breaker!! I love that movie! (My favorite part is when they start barking in the ice cream shop!!) LOL

  22. i love you maya. i admire your strength, courage, tenacity, your “take no shit from anyone” attitude, your beautiful heart, and the way you loved ronan. i love how no matter how much saddness you feel in your heart from losing ronan, you absolutely refuse to give up and throw in the towel even though that is the first thing many people would do or want to do. your strength is fueled by your love for ro and your love for woody and the twins. you are an incredible, beautiful, and amazingly strong, mama who is doing the very best she can. please dont let the negative people discourage you because you are too good for them. clearly ronan’s story hasnt truly changed their hearts if the are able to point their judgemental finger at you. some people just dont get the BIG PICTURE here. i miss ronan and i wish he here here. i hope you know how loved you both are!!

  23. Lots of love from Texas for you and your sweet family! Keep rockin and keepin on keepin on.

  24. Maya, I am behind you all the way. Never judging, always thinking of you and your family and trying to even imagine your pain. Almost every post brings me straight to tears, but I will always keep reading, and keep telling Ronans story. I wear my Fuck You Cancer bracelets to work, and I work at a Sheraton. I love my bracelets, and everytime I look at them its just another reminder for me to always be the best version of myself I can, and the best mother, wife, and friend possible.

    I am so very sad for all of you. It just isn’t fair that Ronan is gone.

    Thank you for being you, and for never giving up!



  25. Friend of our family lost her two year old daughter to cancer many years ago. She had to lean on one special friend who would listen to her grief, because too many of her friends and family just couldn’t listen anymore after a certain period of time. They didn’t need to grieve as long as she did, or maybe they just couldn’t. Her marriage survived, too, by the way. And all these years later she still thinks about and talks about her daughter quite frequently and so lovingly.

  26. Maya, luv u and would never judge you. Do not listen to others unless they support you. Listen to Dr. Jo. I have been reading your blog for a while now. I cherished my boys so dearly and always have been great full for their healthy lil bodies. I cherish them even more after reading your blog and laugh at the craziness more now because of you. My heart breaks for you and your family, especially that lil Ro. You are bringing awarness that it is not okay for children to suffer like this. Do not stop.

  27. No judgement here. I am sorry that I never wrote you that 6 months is excruciating – at least it was for me. I was hoping that it would be different for you. 6 months after our first son died I really did think I was going crazy. I thought I should be committed. I would still get up in the morning but there were days that I could not function and crawled right back into bed. The only thing I could think to do was to try to talk to other parents that were living every day without their children. I had to see how they did it. I searched endlessly for steps to get through the grief – turns out that there are not any. I am so glad that you have MISS and Dr. Jo.

    It has been 6 years since Jake died and almost 2 since Sawyer died I am still trying to figure it out. I send you peace, hugs and an extra big fuck you to cancer.

  28. Maya, the fact that you get up everyday, put one foot in front of another, take care of all three of your children: Quinn, Liam and Ronan is amazing in and of itself. Please know that I am here if you would like to talk, scream, share. I gave you my digits @ the Evening of Kindness. Thinking of your precious Ronan. What an amazing little man 🙂 Much Love, Shawn

  29. No judgement! Only love. Sending you love.

  30. Ronda Butterfield Avatar
    Ronda Butterfield

    crazy? It’s been 9 months since i lost my husband in the worst way. I wonder why I don’t feel done’ with the grief. Keys? I searched all morning for mine, my son late to school. “Mom you have got to do something about your memory.” he says. It’s grief. It stays for as long as it needs to. I feel crazy sometimes, but I am normal for what I have been through and you are too! I told s myself that I would raise awareness of mental illness to honor my late husband, I have done nothing yet. Look at you! You get up every day, you are amazing and don’t ever listen to those who tell you anything different.

  31. Thank you for being so open and honest on here and sharing your love and pain with the world. I look at a lot of things differently now because of Ronan, you don’t have to share your life with us but you do and you share the one thing that matters most to you, your sons, I am sorry people judge you for the way you are grieving, it is no ones right or place to tell you how you are supposed to feel about anything. I know this blog post is older but I wanted to thank you and apologize for the asshats out there judging something they have no idea about.
    I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo on my foot that said “Ps I Love You” now I am thinking “Ps Fuck You Cancer” sounds better.

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