What doesn’t kill you, will make you a better person. Hopefully.

Ronan. I spent the majority of the day, sobbing after I held it together at your brothers meet the teacher. I wore my best mama hat. “So nice to meet you, Quinn’s darling teacher.” “Liam is so excited, this is going to be an amazing year, Liam’s darling teacher, too.” In my mind you know I was freaking out. I have no idea how I did not burst out in a puddle of tears while slipping and falling on them in front of everyone. Oh wait, I know. It’s because I had to remind myself to be strong and not to break in front of your brothers and mortify them, completely. I chatted with them the entire way home about school and everything they were so excited about. We got home and I was fine, until your daddy called. “How was today.” he asked. “Fine.” I choked out. That’s all I could say as I was crying too hard, to finish the conversation. He was home, a few hours later. Home to me making him a grilled fucking cheese because that’s all I could manage to cook for dinner tonight. Awesome wife of the year award totally goes to me. He acted like I had made the best meal on the planet. I started doing the dishes. Your daddy looked at me, my tears falling into the sink. “You don’t have to do those now.” “Yes, I do.” I sobbed. “You know I can’t ever leave a dirty dish in the sink.” We then sat at the table. “You need to eat. Have you eaten today?” I hadn’t. “I’m not hungry. I’m not eating. I need to go hiking.” You daddy just looks at me. “I’m sorry. I don’t know how this happened. It’s so wrong. He should be going to kindergarten tomorrow. I love you.” “I love you, too.” I squeak back.

I head out the door for a night hike. I think a lot on my hike. I don’t turn my music on. I get lost in the night, without a headlamp. Opps. I cry for a long time, at the top of the mountain. I tell you how sorry I am, over and over again. Thoughts fill my head like I think I let you down. I don’t want to let you down anymore. I need to work on some things because I am human and make mistakes. Some days, I get so angry that I impulsively act out. That’s not me. That’s not who I am. But some days, the anger wins. What can I do, to change this? You were not about anger, but about all things pure and love. I am not about anger, so what can I do with this fire that fills me and makes me want to lash out at people who don’t deserve it? Because things that go on in the normal world, that people think are problems, but are actually not, make me crazy. But that’s not for me to decide, what other people’s problems are. I am not the gate keeper of the normal problems of the world that I so wish I had. It all goes back to, who am I to judge? Just because you died of cancer, I get to decide what problems are real in people’s lives and what problems are not? That’s not o.k. That’s not a role I want to play. Please tune it out, Maya. Please make something good come out of it, instead.

I thought about tomorrow a lot. How are you going to make it through tomorrow. A scene played out in my head. What if I go to an AA meeting. Would they kick me out? Can I sit in a group and get lost in the problems of other people for a while? And when it came to my turn to talk I would just say, “I’m not an alcoholic. I don’t even really drink. My son was supposed to start kindergarten today, but he died of cancer and I didn’t know where else to go or what to do.” Then I got to thinking I should start up my own group of AA except I would call it Anger Anonymous. Where we could have a support group for people from all walks of life who are dealing with their pain, whatever it may be, and who don’t want to let it destroy them. Our motto could be “What doesn’t kill you, will make you a better person.” We could make our focus about recognizing your anger, talking about it, but then taking it and doing something really good with it. I try to do good, everyday. But sometimes, the little super pissed cancer killed the love of my life and I’m so mad takes over. I’m sorry for this. This is not what you were ever about. I will try to do better. For you.

I have to go now. Your daddy asked to spend some time with me. Maybe I’ll have cried so much today, that tomorrow will be o.k. I will survive, no matter how hard it is. I always do. G’nite Ro baby. I love you. I miss you. I’m sorry. I hope you are safe. Please take good care of LoRo during her surgery. I know you heard me tonight, asking you to. Sweet dreams.


P.S. You all are the BEST for your suggestions. I loved the one where somebody replied with “Drink. I know it’s not very smart, but it’s all I’ve got right now.” I almost peed over that one. Thank you all, so much. You have the most beautiful hearts. xxoo

14 responses to “What doesn’t kill you, will make you a better person. Hopefully.”

  1. I cannot imagine the pain you go through, and I think you have every right to be mad. It rips my heart out that this happened at all. My Grandma lost her youngest child to a sudden heart attack 2 years ago. She keeps his ashes in a heart necklace, I think about how she has to take it off when she showers, and have my Grandpa put it back on her because she has parkinsons, and is weakened by terminal liver cancer. I cannot imagine the pain at all. Not even a little bit. She tries to be brave, but I know that no matter how long a mother has her child, short life, long life, it is never enough time, because parents should not have to bury their children. I think about you and Ronan often, I make everything I can purple to remind myself everyday that Ronan was the bravest of the brave, and how you are inspiring (whether you think so or not.) I think it’s bullshit that I have to be writing this at all, because Ronan should be here, it makes me so mad. I just figured I’d let you know I read your blog and keep you and Ro in my heart, always.

  2. RoLove!!! Always Ro!!!
    I got a pedi yesterday. Violet Voltage. Purple. RoLove. And for my mama. Her fav color. She passed in 2004.

    Thinking of LoRo!!! Praying her surgery goes as smoothly as possible and a speedy recovery!!

    Ronan will guide you tomorrow!!!

  3. It must be really hard for you to sit there and listen/read about people’s every day problems, which we all know now are not really problems at all. I know you wish more than anything that you could have normal people problems. I’m sorry, mama.

  4. Dear Maya,
    I have been following your blog for a very long time and like many of your supporters, my wish for you is that everyday is better and a tad easier than the last, that you have more things and moments to smile about, however small, (despite all that you are going through) and that you are filled with love and peace.

    I try to come online every few days to check in on how you are doing and I just want to share a very unique experience with you. A couple of nights ago, I fell asleep while reading your last post (about leaving Nana/Papa’s home) and I had an dream. I was in a hospital waiting for someone to treat my injured wrist when a beautiful little boy appeared and came to say hi. His eyes just sparkled with the bluest of all blues, there was a golden light that enveloped him. He wasn’t wearing a shirt but he had on a pair of blue beach shorts (with a flower print on it).He asked me what I was doing at the waiting area. I told him my wrist was injured and my thumb was crooked from a sprain (?!). And he said, ‘Can I touch it??’ That little boy came forward, put his little finger on my thumb (!!) and I held it. ‘Does it hurt?’. And he smiled and disappeared and that’s when I woke up and I sleepily thought to myself, ‘Wait a minute…wasn’t that Ronan??’ What a beautiful boy your precious son is!! It is a blessing that I got to meet him, even though we’ve never met in real life.

    I think you are a wonderful mother to your boys, a loving wife to your husband, and a lovely person with a good heart. It comes through in your writing. I’m sorry you’ve gone through such a hard time – I won’t ever understand your pain because it is yours alone but thank you for sharing it with so many people. It’s a reminder to me to be ever grateful for all that I have, to love deeper, to hug a little tighter and to say thank you for every breath I take. Thank you for that.

    I think of you and Ronan a lot – may you be filled with peace and lots and lots of love. I hope I will one day have the privilege of meeting you!

    Big hug,

  5. Therese in Ireland Avatar
    Therese in Ireland

    The pain comes through your posts and it’s a slap in the face to the likes of me, to remind me that my “problems” aren’t problems at all. How I wish I could ease your pain but I know that’s not possible. This is beyond fucked up and unjust. I think about you and Ro often, my husband doesn’t even have to ask anymore if I’m reading one of your posts, he can see it in my face. “Is that a post from Maya?” You don’t even know it, but you’re reaching out to people and making them realise what they have, making them realise that they should be very thankful. And your sassisness knows no bounds, which is just as it should be. Keep doing what you’re doing, one step in front of the other, taking no shit. I saw a post on FB the other day and I immediately thought of you and smiled. It was an old picture (I’ve no idea how to copy it here) but it was basically a woman waving and smiling and the caption read “Good luck and take care. And by good luck I mean go fuck yourself. And by take care I mean go fuck yourself”. There’s a lot of people out there who could do with hearing that! By the way, if you ever decide to make the trip to Ireland, don’t worry about accommodation. You can have our house with a heart and a half. We’re in the South West, easy access to the rest of the country. And you can have our car too. No probs. Thank you for sharing Ro with us, he’s in my heart and soul and always will be, as are you and your lovely family. Stay strong. Always Ro.

  6. Think about the peace and wholeness you are bringing to Liam and Quinn. Think of them when you are feeling low and self-deprecating. They are full of life and love, inquisitive, learning and enjoying not only for themselves but for you. They are your here and now..
    Take a meditation class to clear your mind for just a few moments.
    Breathe ❤ ❤

  7. Maya, you are just like Ronan…pure and love. Pure love. Remember that. xxoo…Lori

  8. I love you! That’s all I can say. I love you for being so real and so human and for changing the world in ways you cant even possibly imagine.

    A stranger

  9. I love you Maya your writing is so raw. I am in love with a little boy i never met. Cancer sucks ass, YOU my dear are free to feel anyway you want at anytime for you have had the greats lost. You and Ronan inspire me everyday.

  10. I would definitely join your AA group and drink with you. Thinking of you and Ronan.
    FU Cancer!!!

    1. Ditto!
      P.S. Maya,
      I am so down for a night hike. AA meetings on top of Camelback! One of my bff’s turned me to this blog, we both worked for Dr. Lindsay Campbell for around 6 years. I quit in January 2012, I remember Dr.C talking about Ronan. It makes me angry because parents should never have to bury their children. I love your writing!

  11. Just wanted to stop in so you know I have thought about you all day long. ((Maya)) and Lori is right on–Ronan came by it honestly…you are pure and you are love as he was and ALWAYS will be. xoxo

  12. I read all your posts, i quietly sob alotvand i have only commented a few times. I want to reach into my phone as I read your pain and hug you. I am so so so sorry. You are going to do big things, Maya but i really wish it wasn’t you who had to do it. No mommy or daddy should have this burden, Kids and cancer do NOT belong in the same sentence. It makes no sense, so it is complete fucking nonsense. I shake my head in complete disbelief and lose my breath every single time another child dies. Your Ronan is so perfect and I sincerely admire the love you have for your children…Liam and Quinn are so blessed to have you as their mom, even on the worst day imaginable for you, Maya you are still one of the best, most unique moms I’ve ever listened to. Hug yourself tight because you are incredible:) and you are loved.

  13. Bless you. I don’t know how much it helps (if at all) to know you are in my heart and in my prayers. I read what you write- thank you for sharing your soul. It is rare to be so candid, and it is beautiful and refreshing. I think of you all the time and lift you up in prayer. I wish, I wish, I wish I could bring him back and take away your pain, but of course you know, I cannot. But I can love you and pray for you.
    Bless you sweetheart!

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