There’s nothing like muddy boots on a rainy day

Ronan. I don’t know what happy feels like anymore. But being back here, is the closest thing to happy I’ve felt since losing you. It’s no secret. I’m a Washington girl at heart. I love everything about the Pacific Northwest. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I really needed to get out of Arizona and the forever bright, sunny skies and fake plastic trees. I needed some rain, gloom, and mud. I needed some down time without feeling the never-ending pressure of being busy and on the go. I needed to get away from the sociopathic “friend,” that I cannot seem to escape. I needed room to breathe. I miss it here. I’ve been hiding out though. Spending time with just your brothers, Nana, and Papa Jim. Normally, I would make time to see all the old familiar faces that I miss so much. But I’ve been too scared. I know what I look like and it’s not pretty. It’s sad and painful. I would rather keep sad and painful to myself. I’ve haven’t really left your Nana and Papa’s house. Except to run the lake. This has been my only escape. The rain has been constant, just the way I like it. I’m going to be sad to leave and get back to the sun that constantly seems to be blinding me. I am glad we came and I am glad we had the best time possible. We all missed you though. That never goes away no matter where we go.

Tonight, your brothers and I went to dinner with Nana and Papa. I’m trying to keep my meal down but I don’t think it’s going to happen. We stopped at the lake after dinner. I told your brothers how when I ran the lake today, I stopped and swung on the swings. I asked if they wanted to swing tonight in the cold, dark, rainy weather. They said they did so we had Papa Jim pull over and let us out of the truck. We ran around on the playground together. They were so excited as the playground equipment is all new and it had lots of fun things to play on. I dared Quinn to go down the big slide even though it was soaking wet. He did. Liam followed and ran around shouting how he was “The King of the WORLD!!!!!!!” as he climbed to some tall tower. We all talked about how much you would have gone crazy on this playground. I was able to put my sadness for you, away in my little back pocket for the 15 minutes that we played. I chased your brothers. I pushed them on the swings. I ran around with them. It reminded me of how much I love them. I mean, I know this Ronan. But when going through something like this, pain overshadows everything and it makes it hard to feel like you are able to feel love again. It might be the protection mode I have gone into as well. There was nobody closer than the two of us and then you got sick and died. I have put up a wall as it seems to be instinctual to me, to protect myself from getting hurt again. This wall was invisible tonight. It disappeared. I watched your brothers and seeing how happy they were, running around late at night, with just me, made everything else disappear. It was a good reminder that I have done such a good job with them so far, and I don’t want to fuck that up anymore than I already have. I want to be a better mama to them. I want to not be so sad all the time. I want to be thankful that I have them. They are everything to me. They deserve to have a mom who has fun with them. It’s been on this trip that I have found that part of myself again. Being here, changes everything. I just hope I don’t lose it again when we head back to AZ. Being here reminds me of how the simple things in life, really are the best. Childhood should not be about watching sports on T.V. and playing video games. It should be about jumping in mud puddles, getting dirty and not caring. It should be about going on trail walks, awesome playgrounds, shooting guns, playing in tree houses, learning about nature, spending time with your grandparents and a little girl named BriBri who is like my little sister. Who I have known since she was 5 and she is now 17. I was so scared to see her. She loved you so much, Ro and you loved her even more. I didn’t even try to hide it. As soon as I saw her, I jumped on her and fell into her arms. I held her and got teary eyed. She didn’t have to say anything…. I know she is broken into a million pieces too. It was hard for me to see. I was always her older sister who was going to protect her from everything in the world. And now this. She has to watch me, go through the worst thing possible. I’m so sorry for that. Our sisterly time together was always spent talking about boys, colleges, high school, make-up, movies, and everything we did revolved around you 3 boys. Now it’s just 2 and it is so wrong that we don’t know what to do. I tried my best to ask her things about her life that are going on. I used to be able to give her the best sisterly advice. Now, I know nothing because there are no guarantees in life, except for death. I am not about to sit and talk to my innocent 17-year-old sissy about that. I used to be so much fun. I used to be “cool” to her. Now I’m just the sad mom who lost the most beautiful boy in the world. I’m the sad mom who fought for 8 months taking care of her cancer baby. I’m changed. I’m different. But the bond between us two girls will always be there. Once you love someone with all of your heart, nothing can stand in the way of that. We will find our place back together again. Baby steps. It’s just so hard because I know deep down, all we want to do is curl up together and cry. And that might have to happen at some point to just get it out there and acknowledge what has happened. The most awful thing in the world that makes people so uncomfortable and sad, that they would rather just not talk about it. I get it. I love you Boo. I will forever think of you as my little sister. I will promise to try to take care of you like I used to. I won’t let this too much reality, come between us. And you are 17 now! So crazy! You are so young, beautiful, and have your whole life in front of you. I know you are going to do amazing things. I hope I can guide you the best I am capable of. I miss that so much.

And today. 12.29.2011, it’s been 10 years. 10 years since I married my best friend. A relationship that started off on a crazy night. A relationship that I knew on our first date, that I was going to marry him. We bonded over late night dance parties to his juke box. Playing Zelda for sometimes weeks when we had off breaks from school. We were both night owls and loved to sleep in late. Our love for concerts and music. His, Pearl Jam. Mine, Prince. But I ended up converting over to Pearl Jam and became just as crazy for them as he was. We were two young kids, who were crazy for each other from the beginning. Here we are 10 years later. It seems like just yesterday that I married my Woo. We had such big plans for our 10 year. Tomorrow, I’ll be in an airport coming home late at night to him. Tomorrow, will just be another day. So it is tonight that I will tell him some things. And I know I don’t talk about him a lot on here and that is mostly because this is about my adventure with Ronan and my pain and sadness. Some things are too sacred to me still….. such as him. I also know that my husband is my best kept secret and I’d like to keep him that way. Could you imagine all the hussies that would try to go after him if they knew how amazing he really is??? I am not up for dealing with skanky bitches at the moment. Because if word got out, that a real life prince charming existed, I would be screwed. But he does. It is him. I married him. He is the best thing that has ever been mine. I’m not going to lie….. this has been super hard on both of us, individually. As a couple, we are still doing o.k. Not great, but that’s just because we are always so sad. But he still opens my car doors, he still kisses me goodnight, he still tells me I’m beautiful and he loves me. I’m the asshole. I’m the asshole who pushes away as I don’t think I’m worthy of feeling his love because I feel like everything is my fault. And he is the last person in the world who deserved any of this. I have a lot of guilt and anger that I am dealing with and sometimes I take it out on my easiest target, which is the person who loves me most. HIM. He is a saint. He is a gem. He is the truest, most honest, thoughtful, caring, brilliant, charming, and witty man on the planet. I sometimes take him for granted because I get stuck in my head that I can’t feel any of the things he so badly wants to give me again because you died, Ro. I hate that I have to admit all of this shit to you all. I wish I could tell you I am just as amazing as him, but I’m not. Not even close. I’m the asshole. And I’m so sorry Woody. I’m crazy about you. I love you so much. I am so sorry we had to lose our little boy. I’ll never stop telling you I’m sorry. But I’ll never stop telling you I love you either. I know we are fine. But fine is not good enough. I know we can get back to a somewhat happy life again because we started this together, crazy in love, and that’s never changed. Not even after going through something as awful as this.

O.k. Stopping now. I don’t want to completely mortify my husband who prefers to keep things a little more quiet and private. I’m an open book and I am so glad he is o.k. with that. He must really love me to put up with me and the shit I write on here:) I don’t think many husbands would tolerate that. So thank you Wood. For after 10 years of marriage, you still make me want to be a better person. Everyday. That’s how I knew you were the one for me when we first starting dating. You made me want to be the best version of myself that I could be. That is powerful stuff right there. You know it’s true when the other person can inspire such greatness in you. I love you to the moon and back. Again, I am so very sorry. I know how much you miss him too. I would give anything to bring him back to you. We are going to be o.k. I promise to try to not be such an asshole. I promise to try to start living the way Ronan would have wanted me to. But I know when the sadness comes, you will be there to hold my hand. I will try not to push you away so much. I love you Woo. I love you Ro. We both hope you are safe. We are both sorry. You were perfect to us. You were our everything to this entire family. We are trying, baby. The stakes are high, this waters rough, but this love is ours.

G’nite my spicy monkey boy. I love you.


35 responses to “There’s nothing like muddy boots on a rainy day”

  1. Happy anniversary, Maya and Woody. It’s obvious, even from an outsider, that you have an amazing, incredible love that a lot of people search their whole lives for without finding. I’m glad you have held onto that through all of this bullshit.

    I am also glad you have found a little bit of peace away from Arizona. It made me smile to read about your playground adventures with your boys. Like you said – baby steps. I truly hope that the ‘good’ days become more frequent for you.

    Love to you all as always.

  2. Maya, THinking of you tonight and always. There is not a day that goes by that I dont think of you or Ro or Woody or the Twins. I hope you find that love again. When you get home put on some No Doubt I’m just a Girl and Rock out with Woody (: ❤

  3. I have a 2 yr old and I call her my spicy litte monster monkey girl. Just thought it was cool that our kids have similar nicknames. Im sure they could of gotten into loads of trouble together. I hope you visit Washington again soon, I know there is nowhere else I would rather be. Have a safe trip back. ❤

  4. I’m so glad you came back. Even though we all haven’t seen you I know you feel the love and support we all have for you here. Take it all in mama 🙂 Happy anniversary! Loves to all of you!

  5. That was really beautifully written.

  6. Happy 10 years Maya & Woody.. Thank you for sharing this journey with us Maya. I an happy that yo got some “respite” up in WA. Feeding one’s soul is always an important thing to do. I’m glad you had the opportunity and it was right for you this week. One Day At a Time sweetie.

  7. Happy anniversary girl…

  8. Happy anniversary to you both! I am so happy you and the boys found some happiness and hope that it won’t be lost when you come home. You are inspiring and strong and amazing!

  9. Beautiful post Maya! You make me laugh (swanky bitches-lol :)) and cry, pouring your heart out to Woody about losing Ro 😦 Gosh, I am just glad for you that you have had the time in Washington with the twins and that its been good for all of you! And happy 10 year anniversary, that’s an accomplishment now days to last and be so in love. I’m happy for you that you and Woody have each other and you are going to be okay! Love to you, pray for you guys, God bless…..

  10. I’m a first time commenter but I read your blog and my heart is broken for all of you. When I first saw Ronan’s picture he took my breath away. So beautiful.

    I’m sure that what you have written is the best anniversary gift you could give your husband. You are not alone when you take your frustrations out on the people you love the most. I have never lost a child but when I went through a painful divorce I took it out on my mother and sister, the people who loved ME the most and always and forever will stand by me. It’s just instinctive I think, lashing out at the ones who are closest to us.

    Here’s hoping for more muddy, rainy and fun days for you. Come visit the midwest. You never know from day to day what the weather is going to do.

    Becki Bohannon

  11. Happy anniversary!!! Safe travels back to the zone 🙂 so glad you had fun with Liam and Quinn. Baby steps mama!!

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

    Peace and strength xo

  12. Maya, that was so beautiful. You really do have a way with words and expressing all of the amazingness and all the bullshit in your life. You had me laughing and crying and laughing and crying through this one. Skanky bitches….. hahaha! Especially in Scottsdale- keep your guard up for Woody lol. I am so glad you have your Woo. It really is hard to find a real life prince charming. I am so glad you found him and you guys have each other. Happy 10 year anniversary to you 🙂 You guys are quite the power couple. The world is lucky to have you two in it.

    I am so happy you and the boys got to play in Washington!!! There is nothing better than rainy days, and in AZ we do not get enough of them. I get so sick of people talking about how great our weather is here…. it’s not. It’s too damn sunny and bright and hot and we don’t get enough clouds, rain or cold. I am so happy you found it back at home. A change of scenery can do wonders for your mind. And I agree- childhood should be about playing outside and being wild and free. Not being confined to the couch stuck in front of a TV all day or getting video games passed off to you by your parents instead of your parents getting off their ass and playing with you. It sickens me how many kids will completely miss out on their childhood because of this. Especially kids who are healthy and have every opportunity to get out there and be kids. The twins are lucky to have such a great mama who understands the good things in life 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with us and letting into your life.

    And F that lady who got all mean and judgy in that comment the other day…. could not have been more proud of you for ripping her a new one. You spicy ass woman. Lots of love and happy thoughts to you, Woo and the boys 🙂 And always RO!

  13. That was so beautiful, to have a love you have for your husband, even through all your pain it shines through so brighlty. I’m so glad you had a good trip with your boys, you definitly need it!! I love rainy days, they are always my fav!!! As always, my prayers are with you and your family. God bless, Maya!!! xoxo Summer

  14. Happy Anniversary to you and Woody. We love you.

  15. Maya — you’re a great momma, and a great wife. Have you seen The Help? If so, this will make sense: “You is good. You is kind. You is important.”

    You know what you should do? You should go to a local Goodwill, buy a couch, and spray paint CANCER on it. Then, beat the fucking shit out of that couch with a bat, stick, fists, feet, whatever. Beat the shit out of it until you can’t beat the shit out of it anymore. Scream at that fucking thing, go at it with a knife, and then light that bitch on fire. If cancer were a person, we could do that it him.. but because cancer is a faceless coward, the couch will have to do. You let that piece of shit know that it messed with the wrong fucking family, and you’ve rallied an army to fight it.


  16. Happy Anniversary to you and Woody!

  17. 10 years, wow, that’s really wonderful Maya. As an anniversary gift I bought a rockstar ronan t-shirt today. I can’t wait for it to come in the mail. Sending you thoughts of love, strength and calm today.

  18. So glad you can find some happy. Just found out about Ronan and I have been crying since yesterday. Funny how the internet makes me feel like I know you all and hurt for you.

    I get so pissed when people act like you should GET OVER IT, like because you have two other wonderful kids, you should just stop grieving. That is crap. You are a good mom, it is obvious, they are laughing and smiling and they are seeing you grieve and that is so important. Just because you miss Ronan, doesn’t mean you don’t love all of your boys.

    My heart aches for you and your family, especially as I watch my baby girl playing on the floor and truly can’t imagine how you trudge through it. I lost my dad 4 years ago and I remember thinking that I just needed to get up and get through that day. As much as I love my dad, I know the pain isn’t anything like losing your child. But, I would get pissed because I would hear people say that this person or that person was a fighter and that is why they survived. Bullshit, they may have been, but my dad fought his ass off and he died. He wanted to live just as badly as others, and Ronan (and you all) fought, it is obvious, just from what I have read.

    I also couldn’t eat, would try, didn’t happen. Sleep was something I could do and see my kids at school and come home and pretend until I could get through it. It has only been 7 months, your voice is so strong and I wish I really knew you. I don’t tend to comment on blogs, but after hearing your voice and reading the post from anonymous, I was pissed and wanted to let you know that person is wrong and you do what you have to and get through the day.

    Also, I am a teacher and one of my students wants to do a service project. I am going to show her who Ronan is and hopefully we can do something in his memory. Thank you for sharing him, and your life, with me.

  19. Love,love,love….i seem to fall more in love with your spicy spirit every day!! ….i say we redefine the spice girls!! 😉 …..but only if I get to be bitchy spice!! ….you are spicy spice….that gets its own definition….and if the amazing race idea ever pans out….well, I see a theme!! 😉 hows mia doin?? ….hope she got the hello kitty fedora….its too cute!! ….love,love, one perfect love…

  20. Maya,

    You are an awesome mom and an awesome wife. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should grieve for Ronan. He was your son and no one else, not even Prince Woody, knows what it is like to stand in your mommy shoes.

    Let your emotions be “free and wild”. Everyone grieves differently. Let your grief flow naturally in your own way. FUCK what everyone else thinks.

    I don’t know how to feel your loss but I know how I feel my losses, and, like you (I think), I prefer to lose my mind and body in sadness untill I finally come out of the fog.

    It has only been 7 months since you lost Ronan…no one should expect you to be even half-sane. Keep writing, keep running, throw-up, cry, laugh, be DANGEROUS! Fuck the people who don’t appreciate your openness.

    It won’t always feel this bad, Maya.

    You will always love Ronan. You will always miss Ronan (terribly)…but it won’t always feel this bad.

    Keep your head up, mama.xoxo

  21. Dear Maya,
    Greetings from Singapore!
    I have followed your blog for quite some time. This posting, like many other ones you have written, had me in tears. I do not have kids so I will never understand the degree of pain you must be feeling and Ronan is such a beautiful boy! You write from your heart and you are true to who you are and that to me is an inspiration. Thank you for not being afraid to speak up and also for letting us into your world (and Ronan’s). I lost my mom last year (F U cancer) and she was my soulmate. Grief is different for everyone – many times, I find myself nodding in unison with you when you talk about how people avoid talking to you about Ronan or feel uncomfortable. So true. I am tired of being told that ‘it’s time to move on’ or ‘she’s in a better place’ – it doesn’t help a person who is grieving. The grieving process gets easier at times (good days but bad days too) but we never stop grieving for those we love. We can move forward, but it’s hard, impossible even to truly move on.

    Your journey with Ronan reminds me to cherish those I love. And right after reading this, I woke my sleeping husband to tell him how much I love him.

    Happy 10 Anniversary, Maya. You and Ronan are always in my prayers.


  22. Hi Maya…
    I love the rain, too. The mud, the mist, the wet and dreary days. I’ve always picked up on that in your posts, but didn’t put it together that it’s because you’re a Washington girl. (Ding, ding, ding…A bit slow at times.)
    Anyway, I’m really glad for you that you were able to be at home. It sounds like you were able to rest your brain a bit, and I know that’s nearly impossible. I hope you can get home from time to time in the months that follow….whether it’s a planned trip, or just a spontaneous visit.
    Thank you, darling girl, for speaking for so many mamas–Though your pain is yours alone, there are so many mothers, who have lost children and they could never find the words to let others know just how hollow and lost they feel. The raw and ugly feelings that consume. I love you, Maya.
    Before your story, I’d never have written such personal words to a stranger. But, I’m a Mama, too and I ‘get’ the way you see Ronan. So I love you and I know many others do, too. It’s not enough, of course. But it’s real and as you know–LOVE is pretty fucking powerful stuff.
    Happy Anniversary.

  23. happy 10th anniversary to wonderful you and your prince charming!! gosh, i must sound like a freak for saying this since i don’t personally know you or your hub, but you two are two of the most beautiful, humble, true, honest, loving, deserving of all things good people who i have ever “gotten to know” thanks to your blog. you both deserve every kind of happiness there is in life. i hope that happiness can be yours’ again someday. i wish ro was with you to celebrate his parents that he loved so much. i hate cancer. i loved reading about the fun time you had with your boys on the playground in the amazing rainy weather. sounds like perfection and exactly what your heart needed. maya, you have such a beautiful heart. you are deserving of all things beautiful, wild, and free!

  24. I was sad that our record breaking dry & sunny December came to an end around Christmas….. Now I am happy that it rained. Glad you came home & enjoyed it.

  25. I got a hubby like that…even at my worst he is there. Isn’t that what true love is about, when all else is stripped away and they are still there….following you from Peoria AZ.

  26. Maya,
    I met you at the Montelucia a few weeks ago at the “Elf” showing. My boys played with your boys, and I told you that you have made me a better mom. I wish I would have hugged you and told you that I think you’re an amazing mom, amazing wife, and that you and Woody are an amazing couple. I wish I could have told you that when my son falls asleep in my arms, I imagine what it was like for you to hold Ronan breathe his last breath…and it brings me to utter hysteria. I have not stopped thinking of you and your family every day during this holiday season. I checked your blog daily to make sure you were getting through it okay, and on Christmas night I sat in front of our tree with my husband and we talked about you, and wondered how you made it through the day.

    I was so relieved to read this post just now. It’s wonderful to hear that you had a happy day with the twins, and that you are celebrating 10 years of a rock-solid marriage that has survived the ultimate test. You are doing so much with this blog, Maya. Not only are you sharing Ronan with the rest of the world and kicking cancer’s ass, but you are setting an example for mothers, wives, and families. I’m so thankful to come across your blog; it’s a gift to all of us readers who have become better mothers because of your gut-wrenching honesty and fiery passion. Your boys are so lucky to have you as their mom.

    Thanks for the bracelets. My husband works at Trader Joe’s, and he wears his “naughty” bracelet for all to see, hoping to have the chance to share Ronan’s story with customers. My kids love their glow-in-the-dark ones, and when my Quinn wears it he talks about “the other Quinn” who he played ball with.

    Keep fightin’ the good fight. And happy anniversary.
    Tiffany XOXO

  27. ….i wonder if you are as fascinated as i am with all of these women, including myself, that have grown to love you and feel as if they know you… seems so pure….motherly almost….interesting….it is very interesting to me….your energy is intense! 🙂 ….o.p.l.

  28. You are amazing, and your writing is so amazing. What a special bond you have with your hubby… Woody is a lucky man to have YOU! My husband and I celebrate our 11-year anniversary tomorrow, Dec 30th. After reading this post, I’m going to wear my new Rockstar Ronan t-shirt all day, for so many reasons… Thank you for inspiring us all, even though it’s through such terrible pain…

    So glad you had that moment in the rain, at the park, with your boys… You will have more of those to come, you will, because you so deserve them!

    Thinking of you every day.

  29. Happy Anniversary – 10 years is very impressive! So glad that you got away.

    I read an article by Alice Wisler, “Parenting Through a Glass Partition — After the Death of a Child.” Her son Daniel, died from cancer treatments in 1997 at the age of four. She wrote:

    “At the fast food restaurant, my children laugh in the play area as I sit drinking coffee behind the glass partition that separates the play area from the dining section. While I have hugged them so tightly their tonsils could pop out, I am still, much of the time, finding myself watching them from a distance. They are mine but so was Daniel, and in the course of a moment I know they could be gone, as he is.”

    I think parenting is hard no matter what – but being a bereaved mother makes it excruciating at times.

    Sending you peace, hugs and a big Fuck You Cancer!

  30. May peace be with you.
    Happy Anniversary!

  31. Maya, I am so sorry. I wish Ronan was still here with you. I am so sad and just so, so sorry. I know you don’t know me but I think of you often. I am going through my own grief process and while I definitely don’t know what you are going through, I do understand a mother’s grief and loss. God bless you.

  32. Maya,

    This was such a beautiful post. I wish you and Woody a Happy Anniversary. You are both such an inspiration to me, and my husband.

    I am so glad you got to be with your family in Washington. It is truly an amazing place. So green, and beautiful.

    I’m rooting for you Maya, behind you all the way. I am so sorry Ro is gone. I’m so sorry for all of this pain.

    Lots of love,


  33. Thinking of you and your family…so sad that you are starting a new year…without your precious boy. That will never be right, fair or just. Hugs, love, and healing to each of you as you conquer 2012.

  34. Dear Maya, your post on 29/12 Dec touches me greatly. Sorry year 2011 is your ever worst year for losing beautiful Ronan, I will never come close to feel what you went and are going through. I have 2 boys age 8 and 4 in 2012 and it kills me to even think if they unwell. Thanks for openingly sharing your love for your twins and husband and it touches me. Please get stronger and happier for them. Though I know you are still angry with God but I have still said a prayer for you and Cynthia Lim who has also lost her daughter this year to the same horrible disease, pray that the pain will get lesser (I don’t think pain is the correct word to use but i can’t think what other word) and the going for you will get smoother out for you. Happy Anniversary to you and Woody

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