A barefoot hike and a spicy little dragon

Ronan. Every single morning I wake up, the first thing I do is miss you. I will never be the mama that wakes up with a fresh set of eyes. My eyes are always sad, mostly bloodshot and my heart is always heavy. Every single morning, I have to make a choice to get out of bed. It’s a choice because a lot of days, I do not want to wake up at all. After a very heavily induced Ambien coma sleep last night (yeah, I totally went there), I woke up this morning saying all kinds of shit in my head. You HAVE to get up today. You HAVE to make 2 decisions today. You HAVE to check 2 things off of your list. You have to start making some decisions about Ronan’s death day/birthday that is approaching. I get up. I make my way to your brothers room the same way I do every morning. I walk past your room. My stomach drops that you are not in there. Your bed is neatly made. I go into Liam and Quinn’s bedroom. I open their blinds. “Good morning, boys! Rise and shine!” I turn on their shower. I text back and forth with Rita. We make some plans for tonight, as a family. YAY! I get to see her little dragon! I pack your brothers lunches and drop them off at school. “Bye boys! Have the best day! Try your hardest! Be nice! Be kind! Help others! But don’t take anyone’s crap! I love you!”

I decide to make a run to Target for a couple of things and one of them includes a couple of little trucks for my little dragon friend of mine. I get so excited about seeing him. I love his little raspy voice, the way he says my name over and over, just to say it, and the way I get to hear him call out to Rita, “Mama,” because that is what he calls her. I am a sucker for that mama word. I am a sucker for the way he sometimes talks about himself in 3rd person. I am a sucker for this little dragon friend of mine who makes me want another baby/child so freaking badly. I would actually just like to take him home, but I don’t his two totally amazeballs parents, would be o.k. this. I’ll just continue to take him in the doses I get him in, which totally makes my day.

It’s while browsing through the toy aisle at Target that I of course, walk past the Star Wars toys. I can’t resist. My heart flip-flops back and forth. New guys! New helmet guys that Ronan did not have, but totally would have wanted. I pick them up. I put them back. I almost walk away. I can’t. I turn around and grab the new guys and throw them in my cart. I’m buying them for Ronan. I don’t care if he is not here to play with them. I run home, look at my get two fucking things done list, I sit down and do them. Good job, you. I look around at our house. It’s so freaking clean. Everything is put away. There is not even laundry to do or windows to clean from your little pudgy, dirty hands smearing stuff everywhere. This is FUCKING BULLSHIT. I throw on my workout clothes. Well, since there is no maybe baby, I guess I can go beat myself up a bit. I drive to our mountain.

I listen to Dr. JoRo’s voice in my head telling me, no headphones… just try to be quiet. To be mindful. I run up our mountain. Except instead of taking our usual route when I get to the top, I turn the corner instead. I slip off my shoes and continue up, down, around, and around the unfamiliar trails. It’s hot. Nobody is around at all. My heaven. Inferno hiking season is almost back. My feet don’t really feel any pain. I run for a long time, barefoot. I stop after about an hour and a half of hiking up, up and up. I find a nice spot, throw my things down, sit down on a big, black rock. I close my eyes for a long time and think about you. I snap a picture to send to Rita. She responds back that the cactus I’m sitting in front of, looks like it flipping off cancer. I laugh. It totally does.

I head back down the mountain, keeping my shoes off for half of the way. I stop to put them on and start to cry. A few ideas trickle into my head about what it is, that I would like to ask people to do for your death day. I’ve decided that’s what I’m calling it. Not your passing day (that sounds too sweet) not your anniversary (i hate that too) I guess I could call it your Fuckiversary. That has a nice ring to it as well. You deathday/fucking bullshit Fuckiversary it is. I know a lot of people will want to do something. I’m creating a little list in my head of what it is, I would like to see done. Up until today, I have not been able to even think about it without getting physically ill and drawing a total blank. It was only today, during my hike of numb pain, that ideas started to spin around. I’ll write about them later, not tonight. I’m tired and I want to be able to let this all come about, naturally, and I don’t feel like I’ve gotten it all figured out yet.

My little hike lasted 3 hours. It was nice to be outside, connecting with nature in a physical way. I get in a funk when I don’t do things like that. I always feel close to you and I tend to feel the closest to you, on that little mountain of ours. I left your bracelets all over the same tree below, like I do every single time I am there. I always wonder who finds them. I always wonder if they will google your name and learn about the most beautiful little boy who ever lived. I hope they do.

I went to your favorite restaurant tonight, Chelsea’s Kitchen, with that little Dragon friend of mine, his parents, your daddy and brothers. I felt like you were there with us. Especially as I watched Little Dragon, jump into the water fountain outside of the restaurant with his shoes, socks and pants on. If you were there, you totally would have done it with him and I would have laughed. I laughed and I almost heard your giggles in the distance. I laughed even harder when that Little Dragon, grabbed someone’s shoe that was just sitting near a rock by the patio (seriously who takes their shoes off, at a restaurant?? if you ask me, they were just begging to be thrown into the water by a very curious 4/maybe 5 year old) and threw it in the fountain/pond. Such a little rebel Ronan move. Your brothers thought it was hilarious. Rita, apologized profusely, but secretly /not so secretly to me, thought it was funny. I looked up at the sky and blew you a kiss. It was a great ending to an almost good day.

I love you to the moon and back my very spicy, little monkey boy. I’m so sorry for all of this. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.


12 responses to “A barefoot hike and a spicy little dragon”

  1. Thinking of you RoMama and Rockstar Ro!!! Always Ro!!! XO

  2. You sound good. Glad you are having a better go of it. You are always in our thoughts, love goes outbtomyour entire family.

  3. Hi Maya~it’s been so good to read your posts these last few days after not having heard from you for even just a little while. I was so excited to read that you are thinking of having another baby…you are such a natural in the mama department that it would be such a blessing! It is amazing though how hormones can really trick your body into really, really thinking you are pregnant. Oy. I will continue to keep you in my prayers…it’s been amazing to see how far you’ve come and even more exciting to see where you’re being led ❤. xo



  4. I feel weird saying this 1) because you’re older than me, 2) I don’t know you and more to the point you know me even less and 3) because I think it’s sounds a bit douchie, but here goes: I am so proud of how far you’ve come. When I first stumbled across this blog, you were just so, so broken and i felt so broken for you. And even though you still are, and will always be, broken, the pieces seem to slowly be coming back together again. It’s incredible to be on this journey with you. Thank you.

    1. I completely agree with Ali! You have been a brighter Maya…. even on your not so bright days you seem not so dark. Thank you for bringing us along on your adventurous journey thru life ♥♥

  5. It’s been a while since I’ve commented, but I’m still here, still reading…. Just wanted you to know that you make me cry and you make me smile, as always… My heart breaks for you and my heart smiles for you in every single post…

    You are a true Rockstar Mama Maya. Ronan is a Rockstar. And even though it was via the worst way ever, that he had to die for the world to see this, he has created the most amazing Rockstar Mama on the earth. Like Ali said above, you are picking up the pieces… and it’s less than one year since you lost Ronan. THAT is amazing. You know how many people would still be in bed, not facing the world head-on? Yes, you will always be broken-hearted and will always miss Ronan and ache & cry for him, but he is going to make SURE you also have happiness again, regularly. He’s already done so, in so many ways, by helping you pick up these broken pieces and somehow figure out a way to keep getting up each morning. Whether it’s through a new baby (yay! those posts also made me cry – happy tears – for you!), changing childhood cancer in HUGE ways, crossing off 2 things on your to-do list, or changing the way people live their lives, you and Ronan are amazing, amazing Rockstars who are making a difference in this world. Thank you so much… yet I’m still, and always will be, so so sorry.

    PS. Screw those few jackasses who keep judging you, your grief, your parenting, or whatever. They are not worth your time, energy, thoughts, ANYTHING. They are not worthy of reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your life with those of us who love and support you, especially all the hundreds (probably thousands!) of us who have never even met you.

  6. Fuckaversary- perfect word for it! Much love and best to you today Maya as always, xoxo

  7. We are all too familiar with the same pond at Chelsea’s Kitchen and the person who took their shoes off deserved to have them thrown in! That’s just too adorable. I’d love nothing more then to see some spicy kids jumping in the fountain having a great time. Hell maybe next time you should join him!

  8. Your hikes remind me of my brother (he lost his 5 yo daugher to a fucking brainstem glioma – I don’t think I’ve ever said that- it felt good- two years ago). He hikes a lot too, says he has a brief moment of feeling like he’s not thinking about his pain when he’s exhausted himself. He hikes in the dark too, like at all hours of the morning. He says he likes to only see the few feet in front of him. I’m glad for your little mountain. I agree with your friend, that cactus does seem to be standing with you in revolt.

  9. I’m glad you had an almost good day.


  10. I follow your blog and just finished reading your most recent post, after which I logged onto Facebook to find a status that read “I fucking hate my life” probably in relation to the fact that she didn’t have enough money to buy those shoes at the mall she wanted or that her boyfriend never called her back.. I couldn’t help but think to myself “Maya had to bury her almost 4-year-old beautiful baby boy and YOU hate your life?” I kindly provided a link to your blog and foundation website and logged off. Thank you Maya for sharing your amazing Ro with the world and for allowing people to take a step back and not take anything for granted. Thinking of you, Ro, and your family always. You don’t know me, but you and Ro have changed my life.

  11. Oh Maya, you are truly inspiring. I can’t tell you much I think of you and your family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your beautiful love story.

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