I know I need Poppy, but I truly think your brothers need her more.

Got the sweetest card today. Thanks, Noah’s grandma. Made my day. xxoo

Ronan. I am at my office on a Saturday being very productive. I am online researching all the genetic diseases Poppy is going to be born with, because clearly she is going to die. I wish I could say I was joking about my past hour of “research,” but I am not. I had to stop myself because I was getting physically sick to my stomach. I wish my dark mind did not work this way. I wish I were still the naive mom who didn’t know anything about the death of a child. My mind likes to try to go to these dark places a lot. It is a full-time job to keep these obsessive, destructive thoughts away. But sometimes, I just have to go there because I get tired of all the fighting it. I am not naive. I do not live in a bubble. I know these realities, much too well.

Your brothers had a basketball game today. I drove separately because they were going to the ASU game with your daddy right after their basketball game. I was in A.J.’s grabbing some fruit to munch on for the game. Your daddy sent me a text that said, “Liam needs you.” I threw down my fruit and ran out the door, over to The Village to see what was going on. Liam never needs me. I got to the basketball court and asked your daddy what was going on. He said that Liam had a full on breakdown in the car on the way over to the game where he was crying about you and how much he wishes you were there to watch him. Liam was warming up and I gently went over to him and pulled him to the side. “Hey, Dad told me what happened in the car, buddy. I’m sorry.” He looked up at me with his big hazel eyes and I watched as they started to form tears. It took everything I had, not to break down and cry right there in front of him. I knew I could not. I had to give him a little strong pep talk. I think it went something like this…”Ronan is always watching you. He is always right her with us. I know he is so proud of you. I know he is the reason your team in undefeated this year, Liam. He is the reason you are playing basketball so well this year, because you get your strength, from him. I know you are going to go out there, and have such a great game and Ronan is watching every single second of it. Even though you can’t see him, I promise you he is with you.” He put on his little brave face and ran back out on the court after that. He had one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play in my life. I don’t feel happy very often anymore, but watching your brothers play on the same team, high-fiving each other after one of them makes a basket or has a great assist, makes my heart skip a beat. This little Poppy that I have growing inside me, could not have come at a better time, Ronan. We all so need her. As of right now, I think it’s your brothers who need her the most. They need her more than I do, as of now. She is going to be such a gift to us all, but especially to them. I know she will make the pain in their eyes, a little less.

I have to go to Costco today. As in, I have been sitting here for the past 40 minutes, prepping myself for my Costco trip. I still don’t do well in grocery stores. I wonder if this is a “thing,” with all bereaved parents. The fear of the grocery stores. I don’t have you to push in the cart anymore, like I would always do. I don’t have you to chase around the store, yelling at you to come back because you would always run off. I don’t have you to fight with over you wanting every type of candy, cookie or popsicle in the store. I get to see all the other mom’s and dad’s there with their kids. Where are you? Why are you not with me? I used to love our little grocery store trips, so much. Now I’m just the really sad mom, doing everything I can to push my cart as fast as I can through the aisles, fighting my way past the tears so I can see enough to get our stuff. Costco blows. But being without you, blows even more. I ended up not being able to go to Costco. I sent you daddy there instead, with your brothers. I, on the other hand, aborted Costco mission and sat at my little office desk and sobbed for about 30 minutes. Saturday was not a good day. I came home after that and fell asleep for a while. I got up before your brothers got home and put on my best mama face for the night. They had a friend sleepover which was a nice treat for us all. Sometimes, a third little guy in the house helps so much. I got to be the cool fun mom on Saturday night. Your brothers came to me, “Mom! Can you take us tee-peeing?” I looked at Mandy Bee, who was here. I told them to come back and ask me in 45 minutes. They did and I told them yes. So we all dressed up in crazy outfits and I piled everyone into our car. They were all 3 so excited in the back and giggling about our little adventure. I drove them over to a very specific house with a very specific plan. We weren’t just going to teepee anyone. We went over to the Willets. Those 3 boys are always up to something fun, and I knew they would get a kick out of it. Turns out, tee-peeing at 8:45 at night is not the way to go. The boys were outside and their mom was across the street at the neighbors. I let the boys out anyway with their toilet paper and they went to town. It turned into a full on toilet paper, wresting battle between 6 boys. I got to sit and watch your brothers have fun and catch up with Gay which is always the best. I love her so much. She misses you so much. All of her boys do. I’ll never forget spending your last Halloween with them. Your favorite holiday that is right around the corner. I can’t believe it’s almost here, and I don’t have you to dress up. Somedays, I still don’t know how I am surviving this. We are going over to the Willets this year. We didn’t last year, and your brothers were so upset. Your daddy and I didn’t think we could handle it. Your daddy still doesn’t think we can handle it. I looked at him this year and said, “We are going. It’s not about us, it’s about them. They deserve to have a nice Halloween and this is what they want to do.” He looked at me and said, “You are right.” So to the Willets we will go, while missing every single thing about you, as we always do.

I’ve gotta run, little bug. Quinn was home from school today, “sick.” I really think he just wanted a day with me. I’ve got to get some things done around the house, before Liam gets here. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.


P.S. Dear New York lovies,

Please stay safe. Thinking about you all.


59 responses to “I know I need Poppy, but I truly think your brothers need her more.”

  1. Romama,
    I’m so happy for you and your entire family that you will all have Poppy soon. To love and take care of! Hope L & Q are doing better. Breaks my heart to hear of the boys crying and missing Ronan.

    My friend sent me a link to watch a video on youtube… here I go. Second video down is Ronan. The interview you did right after SU2C and Taylor’s song. #Ronan is #everywhere!
    Rolove… always!!! Rockstar Ronan ❤ xo

    1. I don’t remember that interview at all! Who was it for??

      1. The local news. You had a flowery dress pink & green in your home.
        Rolove RoMama xo

    2. Rock the fuck on! You were so strong on Katie! I know for a fact that your little man was right there, holding your hand and helping you through it. My brave 4 year old Kaden said, ” mamma that mommy is stronger than anything, she can break thru bricks!” So what chance does cancer have, NONE!

  2. Ronan’s story is incredibly touching. Taylor Swift brought me here, but your heartbreaking stories made me stay! And just so you know, you ARE raising awareness and doing something good! In October, you and Ronan inspired me to start my own little local fundraiser through friends and coworkers baking pies to raise money to donate to your foundation. So far we have raised a couple hundred dollars, and the fundraiser doesn’t stop until the end of November! I cannot wait to donate the money and help fight this awful disease.

  3. My heart breaks for you all the time. It’s just so sad. I watched you on Katie and seeing Ronan’s little face made me so proud and terribly sad at the same time. I am always in aw about you and your strength. I think I cried more than you did. I told my Dad “Do you see this? She’s so strong. I don’t know how she does it at all.” You are an incredible mother, woman, friend, wife, and all things inbetween. I also saw on Katie how when she said she was going to play the clip of Taylor singing “Ronan” how you gave Woody the “Oh no.” look because you said you can’t listen to it without sobbing. I think of you and your family every day and keeping up with your story is heartbreaking, heartwarming, and so inspiring all at the same time. Ronan is so proud of you, I know he is.

  4. Maya you are sooo strong and thank you for posting this!!! you are great mom and i know that this little angel that you have inside is going to make you very happy and i know she wont replace RONAN!! no one WILL EVER replace him but she is going to be a beautiful reminder of him because as you said that he wanted to have a little sister…RONAN will live in her!!!
    thank you for changing my life around and making me think about what really is important FAMILY and ALWAYS being thankful for an other day we get to live

    keep rocking ROMOM!! God bless you and all your family today and every single day of forever ❤

  5. Maya, I am so glad you were blessed with Poppy. I’m so excited that she’s a girl and I know Ronan sent her to you for a reason. It breaks my heart that you and so many other families had to lose a child to cancer, but I know you will make a huge difference in this world. You already are. Thank you so much for not masking your feelings and for expressing your feelings for the world to see. Everyone needs to know the true horrors of childhood cancer so something gets done. I really believe Poppy will bring some well needed joy back into your lives, especially the boys. I wish you all the best ❤

  6. Hi, I’m 14.. Don’t go forming opinions though, I’m only telling you this because I wanted to let you know you have changed my life. I found your blog last night after hearing the song Ronan and watching the interview Glenda mentioned. I’ve never really been sure what I wanted to do with my life… I knew it would be something medical-research-related but I’ve always been the kind of person who waited to decide on something until I was positive it was the right thing to do. I was up all night last night, reading your blog from day one and literally sobbing through it all… And today I made my decision- from now I’m dedicating my life to cancer research. No child, or parent, or brother or sister or anyone should have to go through what Ronan and his family did. There has to be some way to stop it from continuing to kill children across the world. I want to spend my life finding out what that is. I love how you’ve handled what life threw on you. I love that you got Ronan’s story out to the world. I love how, even through all the pain of losing him you are still strong enough to continue fighting for the other children like him. It is the best thing you could have done.
    -Keep Fighting.

    1. That’s awesome, Brittni!!! People like YOU are what’s going to save our children in the future!

    2. You are beautiful! Stick to your guns and never give up on this dream, you can change the world! It’s rare to hear this amount of wisdom and maturity coming from someone your age – it makes my heart happy!

  7. Oh Maya, poor Liam. So hard not bring able to carry his pain for him. Glad he was able to let it out. I’m still reading my way through your blog. I was looking at April 2011 and I can’t believe that as my baby’s life as just beginning, cancer was robbing ronan of his. My little man is called Rory and the light of our lives. The day you had ronans service, I thought I had miscarried him. But he’s a fighter. He had to be, we had issues from 27 weeks and he fought his way to staying in me safe and happy till 39 weeks, 6 days:-) ronan is everywhere but when you just wasn’t him in. one place, home with you, it’s just not enough to know that is it. I hope you findd peace in the work you are doing so brilliantly and in the in little poppy who found you to be her mama. I read once about little babies choosing their parents because they are the kind of people they need to nurture them. You fought so hard for ronan, you were exactly who he needed. Hopaffighter, I spent my third trimester on breed rest and he fought his way to full term and perfect health.

    1. Apologies for the mess that is this comment, my phone went a little crazy. I’m sure you get the gist:-)

  8. What a beautiful card! It is so hard to read about your boys missing Ronan. It breaks my heart. Most posts I read, I find it hard to fight back tears. You are making such a big difference, Maya. I am so excited for your family, with Poppy on the way. She is going to be an amazing little girl. I know you are making Ronan proud. Hang in there, I know it is always hard. I have no idea how painful it must be to lose a child, I’m only 14. But I’m sure your spicy monkey boy is very proud, of you, Woody, Liam, and Quinn. I sure hope I get to meet you someday, because you’ve turned my life around. You’re a true rockstar.

  9. We had our own little baby girl after our son died. She has really helped our broken hearts. I completely understand about the grocery store thing. I hated shopping after my son died. I always ran into people who would ask questions when I really just wanted to buy food and go home. I remember my first trip on my own I went extremely early so I could avoid people. I had a major break down in the ramen noodle isle. My son was the only one who ate them – I wouldn’t have to buy them anymore. It sucked! A lot! The shopping trips have gotten easier, but there are triggers every now and then that still make it hard. Like seeing that little boy out if the corner of your eye….and you do a double take because he looks like your little boy. Then I just smile and think my son sent him to show me he’s hanging around sometimes. You are an inspiration Maya and you will move mountains!

  10. Hi Maya,

    I am writing from Canada. I have been following your blog for about a month and have responded in my heart and mind many times but I find the biggest things are the hardest to find words for. So, here is my FAR too long response. I hope you might read it. At least this first part and the P.S. at the end.

    What a beautiful photo of a poppy! I have wanted to share that my cousin from Ireland named all three of her children traditional Irish names and one of the names is a beautiful girls name …

    it is Roisin… pronounced Ro sheen… and it means rose. I felt compelled to share this with you because … it is Irish, it is a beautiful flower (like the Poppy) and it has Ro in it 🙂

    Did you know that the rose is the highest vibrating scent in nature and purple the highest vibrating colour?

    I believe that your Poppy and your Ronan know each other… they are both in that world beyond the one we can see and touch here … Poppy will know Ronan and he will know her and so your whole Thompson family will be interwoven.

    Your fierce love is awesome. You are living bravely and fiercely, you are continuing one step and breath at a time and that is the bravest most immense thing. Your raw honesty and vulnerability is such a gift to yourself and all those reading your blog. You are speaking a truth that so much of society is uncomfortable with …but that doesn’t make it any less true. You and Ronan and your family are doing more than tackle pediatric cancer. You are rewriting what we know about grieving and ‘living’ after loss (ie. after your heart has been ripped from your chest).

    I have known a lot of loss at a young age (my mom, my dad, my only sibling, my grandparents as well as 2 very close friends have all died)and I have been with my mom and dad when they died but I have not known the greatest loss of all … the loss of a young child. You are SO sane and healthy. You are being honest and honouring of yourself. I was thinking today (on my run in the pouring rain up here in B.C.) that when someone or many people close or closest to us die it becomes hard to live in THIS world because part of our heart and our mind is now in another place… that other place where they are … their spirit is out there and so part of us is aware of that and out there with them. Now it is like living bridging two worlds. So, in this world there becomes less room for things that are not essential to the heart. It is a new way of living. It is uncomfortable and difficult, this living in two worlds, and it is unlike most of those around us… and there is nothing to be done but to just live this new life that we wouldn’t have chosen.

    My love of my life is my youngest child who was born 2 weeks later than Ronan on May 31, 2007. He too has the biggest eyes (green though) and melts everyone. I have always been in awe of him in my life and aware of the fragility of this life we live and because of this I am rocked to the core by the sheer magnitude of your loss. There is no scale to measure your loss. I know this. When my baby boy was born his birthday was just a few days from my younger sister’s who had died a few years before. His birth was a message for me that family, life, hope and love will prevail… but it was not without the awareness that life is so fragile… and so I have lived with more fear than is ideal for young children… of what could happen to him. Just like you wrote about with Poppy today. Your blog reminds me that while I have lost so many loved ones I still have my precious buddy with me and I keep feeding my courage and hope more than I feed the fear of losing him… but it is still a struggle to do this. I guess I’m sharing this because I believe and want to affirm for you (not that you need it I know) you are just so normal and healthy and NOT being fatalistic or morbid.

    Your Ronan is KNOWN, he is so totally KNOWN and loved, his beautiful face so powerfully in the minds and hearts of SO many … all because of you (and Taylor, and all your lovies who share your heart’s purpose).

    Maya, with your blog, you have a profound ability (Ronan magic?) to break hearts with your raw heartbroken vulnerability and inspire action with your Fuck You Cancer fierceness.

    Get all the help you can to take care of yourself and your marriage and your boys. Feed hope more than fear… I know you are doing this. Keep honouring your truth. Survive this as a family. Let that be one of your victories for Ronan.

    with much love to you Maya bravest most inspiring Mama and woman

    Valerie in Canada, just north of your family in Wash. state

    P.S. On page 276 of Cheryl Strayed’s book tiny beautiful things is a piece called
    “The Obliterated Place” about a man whose son has died. Please read it if you can. You are living her advice… you are doing what she says in 29. and 30. Go Maya. You are so brave, so fierce and so honouring your Ronan. This author also says:
    “Walk without a stick in to the darkest woods.” I think you are doing this but you are walking into the darkest woods with your family, your baby belly and maybe your purple FUCancer bracelet 🙂

  11. I have no idea how you survived that talk–my heart felt so heavy for Liam’s intense pain–and then I felt guilt as I am sure you could only wish your heart would feel heavy–when it is shattered into a cufuckingzillion pieces–heavy is not the right word. I have no idea how you have survived a single second, Maya–nor, W, L, or Q. Poppy will bring beautiful, simply joy to each of you–well at least that is my hope–that with her comes a glimpse of light. Do not forget for a single moment what a gift you and your boys are going to be to your perfectly precious baby girl as well–Ro is not gonna let anything happen to her–he is the best big brother ever (sorry L and Q!).

  12. Hi Maya, it will be 4 years since my son died come this December. I wanted to tell you that I am still walking and breathing even though I didn’t see how that would be possible 4 years ago. I walk beside you, my lovely mama. My son was big brother to my now 11 and 13 year old and he was part of who they are, especially my daughter on whom he doted. I have made it safe for them to be open and talk about their feelings – so they do. You sound like you made it safe for Liam and Quinn, too. Good for you, too, for going to Halloween at your friends’. There will be many “firsts” to get through – hold Ronan close as you batter through each one. I send all my love to surround you in a warm mama-to-mama blanket. I’ll be close by in my heart.

  13. FUCK! this post makes me so mad because your boys, you and Woody just don’t deserve this. From what I have gathered from this blog, Liam is such a stoic little boy who doesn’t share his feelings as easily as Quinn…the thought of him being so sad is just too much. I can’t even imagine how you feel, as his mother who is also grieving the loss of Ro, and how you were able to hold it together. I nearly broke down just reading about it.
    I hope that when Poppy comes along, your supermarket trips become easier…baby steps. You have come so far xo

  14. My wife had our first born at 39 and I would drive myself crazy with all the possible things that could happen with a high-risk pregnancy. The Internet can be evil but as cliche as it is I found comfort in letting go and letting God. Best thing is to do what I am 100% sure your doing, regular check ups and taking those vitamins no matter how disgusting they are, try to keep your stress down….from there on out it is out of your hands. My perspective is you, Ronan and your family have endured enough pain for a a 100 lifetimes, all the bad stuff already happened, you’re going to have a healthy baby.

  15. Maya – wishing you & Woody strength & peace as you traverse halloween. you’re the best parents to do something that will be so hard for yourselves because you know how much Liam & Quinn need it. kudos for putting those sweet boys first. you probably missed my comment yesterday (about 3 posts back, i think it’s the last comment on your posting of someone else’s comment – lisa, i think?)… hope you’ll read if you haven’t, as fucking cancer also took my little boy!! your saying that while you all need Poppy but you think Quinn & Liam need her the most, just brought back something i said in that comment that you may not have seen. i was just voicing an opinion that i think it would thrill Liam & Quinn & be SO good for them if you give Poppy THREE awesome names in honor of ALL THREE of her wonderful big brothers! 🙂 something like Poppy Rose (PoRo!) Ireland Thompson is both sparkly & spicy, cute & kick-ass! 🙂 i’ve heard other grieving parents say that it really helps to include all your kids when naming a new baby after losing a child & not focus too much on just honoring the child you lost that, inadvertantly, the ones you still have can feel left out. i am NOT saying that you are doing this, so please don’t misunderstand! no judgment from me, another grieving mom, at all. ever! i’m saying that you’re doing SUCH a great job putting Quinn & Liam first that this idea might interest you – of giving Poppy 3 names instead of the typical 2 so she’ll always know she has the best THREE big brothers! your talking just now about how badly Liam & Quinn need Poppy made the idea of giving her 3 names seem even better – a name to honor each brother! from all you’ve said, i bet Quinn & Liam would be so tickled & honored to be included in this way – if & only if you & Woody think it best of course!! just a judgment-free idea i’ve heard from other parents having a new baby after losing a child. pure intentions, i promise!

    i truly hope you know & feel that Ronan will continue watching over you all, just as you told Liam, from his spiritual “home” – not as some cheesy hallmark angel with a nonexistent god, but his spicy lil self in his new (& at the same time, old) happy place. a place where of course he remains forever a part of all 4 1/2 of you & all you do! i believe this about my baby boy i lost to cancer too… that he’s in a heavenly spiritual realm, but not what most people call “Heaven” with the stupid capital H with stupid unicorns or harps or other bat-shit crazy ideas, including any kind of god. i know that my baby boy is always with me in my heart & my very soul, & i also know how much it fucking sucks that – even tho he’s at peace – i’m in hell because he’s not in my arms. maybe it’s partly because of my celtic/irish heritage, but i firmly believe life is cyclical – just as the ancient celts did – meaning that our spirits have always existed & WILL ALWAYS exist. you can even look to physics on that, as it’s a basic law of the universe that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, merely altered. i believe – as the celts & countless other pre-christian societies did/do – that we move from a peaceful spiritual realm into this world upon our birth, & then we return to this same spiritual plane of existence at the moment of death… meaning when our little boys died, they went back to their first “home” (in what i call “lower-case h heaven”). that’s so reassuring to me because i know my baby’s spirit went back to its place of origin, a therefore familiar place for him that is also the safest place in the universe. i hope one day you’ll find the peace you seek & need so desperately in knowing Ronan is in fact safe & that you will have him in your arms again one day – never again to be parted! i had long known about this beautiful cyclical universe, this eternal cycle of life, from studying the celts & my irish heritage… but i do admit that as a grieving mom myself, it took me a VERY long time to peel back even a few of the gazillion layers of not only grief but all-out kicking & screaming motherfucking ANGER & RAGE i felt at having my one year old son ripped from my arms & my life on this side to finally let myself feel something else – HIM! in letting go of/fighting tooth & nail through even a tiny bit of my anger, i finally allowed myself to feel my little boy… to feel his presence in me & around me & know we were still forever connected, as are all things in this universe – but NOTHING more so than the souls of a mother & child!! i do find great peace in this, & i wish you the peace of knowing Ronan is safe too, Maya. but i also understand from one grieving mom to another that you’ll have to come to this realization in your own time & your own way… the last thing you want or need is for someone to force their beliefs down your throat. i think we’re enough alike that this just makes us want rip out those people’s throats! people who push a grieving mom (or dad) to think or feel something just because they do need to learn to shut the fuck up! so know that is NOT what i’m doing to you – you believe what you do based on your own heart & head… i was just sharing a snippet of my story with you hoping it might help you, but if not that’s your right!! i’m the last person who’d push you or any other grieving mom, i swear! support us & listen to us without judgment, & DO talk to us about ALL our children – never leave out our child who’s passed on! that hurts far worse than talking about them! talking about our precious babies & letting us know you’ll never forget them is what we want – at least what i want! to think you’ll hurt me if you mention my son or make me think of him when, in your mind, i wasn’t already??? again, just bat-shit crazy!! it’s when you pretend he didn’t exist that hurts & pisses me off! & i’m ALWAYS thinking of him, so why not join me & share memories of him even if tears (& hopefully some smiles) come with it?? yes, my darling daughter i adopted in a very magical unexpected way after i lost my son IS indeed beautiful, smart, etc. – but please don’t forget about my son! my daughter is of course the light of my life, but she’s not the only one – my son will always be too! to everyone reading this, please don’t forget that for ANY grieving mom out there, please!!

    wow, soapbox kinda got me there… sorry, climbing down now! hope you & Woody find some halloween magic through Liam & Quinn – & of course through Ronan who will probably be decked out in an awesome star wars costume doing some “lower-case h” heavenly trick-or-treating! Ronan will be with the 4 1/2 of you, trying to help you see the magic in the day that he sees! my little boy never got to wear a costume or trick or treat since he passed at just a year old… helping my daughter choose her first “real” costume the other day & prepping for her first trick-or-treating is definitely bittersweet since my son didn’t get this chance. i’m thrilled for my daughter’s excitement & we will have a halloween celebration with some friends for her sake – she deserves it, just as you & Woody are pushing through your pain to do what’s best for Liam & Quinn! you’re such an inspiration, although i know all too well how you’d give anything to have Ronan back in your arms… i also know there just are no words of comfort, especially from a stranger, but i do hope soon that you’ll find the peace of knowing Ronan is safe. we’ll both have our precious little boys back in our arms in “lower-case h heaven” one day. until then, continue to lap up every moment with Quinn & Liam – & Poppy soon! 🙂 love & peace to you & your family, Maya.

  16. Sabrina Maldonado Avatar
    Sabrina Maldonado

    Hi maya 🙂
    I know poppy (which is seriously the cutest name) will be the best to all of you! Why? Because Ronan picked her out especially for you guys 🙂 she will be a little part of him he gave you the best gift ever! It’s not a coincidence that your having a girl Ronan had it all planned out 🙂 I am a big fan of Theresa from the show Long Island medium and the episode from this past Sunday had a husband and wife who lost their little girl to a very rare disease and they were asking her why she had to leave why a innocent little girl and Theresa said it was because of their son (which Theresa had no idea before hand that they just had a boys year ago) Theresa said that their daughter picked out their son just for them and that she visits him and that’s why he talks (babbles) so much to himself because he’s talking to her 🙂 I hope you find comfort that when poppy is babbling (when she’s old enough:) that she’s talking to Ronan 🙂 and also I hope you don’t mind but I wrote Theresa asking if she would try to contact you and Ty’s mom and maybe you guys can be on her show I told her that by having you guys on the show it would help more people realize how many innocent babies are dying because stupid ass people funding all this cancer shit is giving our babies the blind eye! I mean I don’t know if she’ll even read it just like I don’t know if you will read this but hey it worth a shot right? Lol also I signed up for Run like a rockstar 🙂 and to help me raise money I’m making gold ribbon pearl braclets and selling them and I would love to send you a special one (of course I would but it lol) and I drawing a special picture for Ronan and I would love for your fily to have it 🙂 I’ve been trying to find a address to send it to but not having any luck 😦 so if you can please send me a address I’d really really appreciate it 🙂 sorry for going on and on my husband is right next to me and saying ok you can go to chapter 2 now lol! I wish your family nothing but the best 🙂
    Love one of Ronan’s soldiers
    Sabrina Maldonado
    P.s my email is sabsmaldonado@gmail.com if you ever read this and can send me a address 🙂

  17. Hi Mama Maya,
    I just wanted to let you know (perhaps you know already) but in the west of Europe, even Ireland, if an area get’s wiped out from some freak natural disaster or even a man made disaster, poppies are the first plant to grow again. For me a poppy symbolises new life and happiness in a place where you can remember everything but hold a little bit of joy in the beauty of new life. I hope you might think that too because your beautiful little girl is going to be amazing and sassy, just like the colour red and one of her beautiful brothers. So much love being sent to you and your family.

  18. Maya,

    I have been following your story since about a week before Ronan passed away. So many times I’ve written and then erased comments that I was going to post but just didn’t feel like I had the words to really express how horribly sad I feel that this happened to your beautiful boy! I’ve cried at many of your posts. As a mother of 4 I could only imagine and like you, do imagine and fear all of the horrible things that could happen to my kids and how absolutely destroyed I would be. I am a twin myself. I am now 36 but when I was 12 I lost my brother to cancer. To say that it was “fucked up” is an understatement. My mom completely checked out for a couple of years. She was consumed in her grief and couldn’t really function. My sister and I were left to kind of sort things out on our own. I was angry at her for many years until I had my first child. The moment they placed my baby girl on my chest for the first time, I, in an instant understood and instantly forgot any anger or resentment I had for my mom. One look into my daughters eyes and I knew I was done! If anything happened to her I would never be the same again. The fucked up thing about losing a child or anyone really close to you is that you know you aren’t “immuned” to death! People walk around every day taking life and their loved ones for granted. Not thinking for a second that in an instant their whole world could turn upside down. When you told us how Liam broke down it literally broke my heart. I know his pain. I always put on a brave face even at 12 but even now 22 years later I hurt and miss him and get really pissed off when I hear of yet another CHILD dying of cancer! Thank you for sharing your story and your pain. I Believe it helps those who have never experienced a loss of this magnitude to appreciate their loved ones even more.


    1. Btw on the really cool side I had twins myself 6 months ago. Pretty amazing that I losty twin but had twins of my own. My mother was beside herself as was my whole family when they found out that I of all people was having twins. 🙂

  19. My dear dear Maya, don’t be sad. Everything is going to be OK. Poppy is going to be the most beautiful baby girl and she’s going to be healthy as an oak.

  20. Oh Maya! I’m so sorry you cannot be that innocent and naive expectant mommy you deserve to be. I so get the dark side and the searching and the waiting for something to go wrong. Not a fun thing, not an easy thing….but a thing all the same. People literally thought I was insane. Hell, who am I kidding? I was fucking insane, for sure!!!!! I wish there were words of advice to help you get through that phase, but there aren’t. As you mentioned, you just fight it until you have to give in and let it take over. It sucks and i’m sorry you are there.

    I, like many of us out there, have faith that your beautiful poppy will be all that your family dreams and hopes for. Including healthy and a breath of fresh air. And she will have the bestist best friend and brother of all watching over her shoulder. One lucky girl.

    Loved you on Katie, love you everywhere you are. You and Ronan are doing amazing things!!!!

  21. Maya,

    I know you are crazy busy incubating humans and running Ronan’s foundation, but I was hoping you’d have a second to look at these and give me your stamp of approval on selling them. I have used almost all repurposed/recycled materials so I can give 100% of proceeds to Ronan’s foundation.

    I have quite a few more, I was thinking I could just put them on an etsy page and just adding more as I keep making them.

    I also have some very bold “F*CK CANCER” drop necklaces. Those are not to sell, but for you to give out to your special warriors. I will mail them out to you this week.

    Be kind to yourself, Maya.
    Love & RoLove,
    L King

    1. I should have noted- those are all necklaces except for the last one which is a bracelet.

  22. i dont know what to say. I lost m baby Alanna little over 2 months ago. I have 3 other living children. your story inspires me, same as you i started blogging, it helped me because i get to meet people who has similar experience. i get to write freely what I feel even though i cry all the time when i write. I dont like going to groceries either, i guess bec i dont want to see people and ask me how im doing? i always end up crying. sorry to bore u with me. but thanks for sharing ur post.

  23. This has nothing to do with yesterday’s post, but I convinced someone yesterday to donate to cancer charities other than ACS!!!


  24. I know you are hurting. I know you cannot stand life without Ronan. It is something no parent should ever experience. But, PLEASE, stop and think…Liam is the reason Liam is having a successful basketball season. Maybe that little guy needs to hear that. I say this with love and compassion because it doesn’t seem that anyone else says this to you. Liam needs to experience you seeing him and his achievements. He needs to own his own place in your world.

    1. Grace,
      Not sure if you have children or experienced the kind of paralyzing loss that Maya has. When I was 12 I losses my 12 year old twin brother to cancer. The devastation to my family that followed was un-fathomable. Maya already knows how to be a good mama to her boys. It really isn’t your place to judge or give your opinion on something you really don’t know anything about. You don’t know what her daily interactions with her family is like. How do you make assumptions and then give “unsolicited” advice? I’m sure this didn’t come from a bad place but next time reconsider before you give “parenting” advice to a grieving mother. It’s hard enough to be a parent much less be a parent that lost one of the loves of her life and have to still function everyday as best as she can.

    2. Grace, I say this with compassion to you and as tactfully as I can…nobody says those dumb ass things to Maya because it’s not their place to dear. Are you seriously insinuating that Maya has NOT stopped to think. Damn shug, that’s all she CAN do is think! The fact that she has the wherewithal to be at that game for those boys without rolling around under the damn bleechers, foaming at the mouth and speaking in fucking tongues, tells me that, hey, she’s doing better than most folks would be! And how do you know how or why Liam is winning his games? It could be some “angels in the outfield shit” going on. BTW, I know that was a baseball metaphor, but I don’t really know basketball for shit! How do you know that little Ronan is not in that gym, and everywhere, helping his brothers? Ummm, you don’t! You may need to read back a bit about the little dates that Maya takes her boys on, so that they CAN have their place in her world. And I bet my girl is loud as hell cheering those boys on, pure acting the fool and shit, which tells me she must see their achievements. Hell, maybe she even has some damn pom poms! (If not Maya you should get you some of them girl, some fat ass glittery ones!) Now Grace, I didn’t mean to sound rude, and truthfully, for me, this IS tactful. You might have meant well, I just thought I should say these things to you because it doesn’t seem like anybody else does. Maybe in the future you should just read, and pipe down on the dumb ass, unwanted advice. FYI, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings when I kind of called you a dumb ass; based on your comments, I really thought you probably already knew! My bad!

  25. Maya, I first heard Ronan and your story when I was watching the Stand Up 2 Cancer show. I cried when Taylor sang about Ronan, and seeing his pictures. He was a very handsome little man, and those blue eyes…so beautiful. I have been reading your blog as well. I am so inspired by you. You are a excellent mother, and I know Ronan is watching over your family. I also have 3 boys, there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for them. I wish you all the very best.

    Love, Caroline

  26. Robin Frederick Avatar
    Robin Frederick

    Maya, I’ve been out of the country for a week and just got back, caught up on all of your posts and have cried through all of them. It is tough to bear witness to your raw and brutal grief and tears are the only way to let the hurt we all feel for you escape, but today, I’m also smiling. You may not even realize it, but you are already in such a different place than you were a few weeks ago. You are learning to love this new little Poppy and it is a beautiful thing to watch unravel. It’s just all so bittersweet and I know that I speak for everyone when I say, “Thank you for sharing Ronan’s life, his story, your family, and yourself with us and the world. You are keeping your promise to your beautiful son and helping all of us learn that one person really can make a difference.”

  27. Well, I tried to comment last night and my shit has slam disappeared. Apparently my “smart phone” is a dumb ass.

    Anyway, I’m so sorry you have to go through this. You continue to inspire me, even in your darkest hours. I’m not gonna blow smoke up your ass and sugar coat things and tell you that tomorrow will be a brighter day, blah blah blah. I sure hope that’s the case, but who knows. Life has already proven to you that it’s not made up of fairy dust and unicorns and shit. (But unicorns are cool!)

    You keep taking it day by day, or hour by hour, and do what you need to do to get through your pain. Tee pee a house or egg a car or choke a bitch, whatever it takes. If you need to scour the internet about all things Poppy, etc, do your thing girl. Beware of what you find on the internet though…apparently yesterday I won a million dollars, got a PhD, and qualified for a free trial to enlarge my penis. As I am a 43 year old WOMAN, enlarging my penis is some important shit shug! Of course with my new PhD I can probably figure out a way to use my new million dollars and just buy a damn penis; I’ll keep you posted on that 🙂

    Liam and Quinn are young now, but when they get older and realize what it took for you to put on your brave Mommy face for them, they are gonna be amazed at what a BAD ASS you really are!

    Next time you decide to tee pee somebody’s shit, say the word girl and I’ll be at the post office like a hair in a biscuit to send the toilet paper all the way from NC. That, my dear, is the very least I can do 😉

    1. This is Lisa, your biggest fan, and I don’t know why the above post used my WordPress log-in info. Guess my lap top is also a dumb ass 😉

  28. I’ve always loved this song and now it reminds me so much of Ronan…. it’s a heartbreaking sad song…I sob listening to it now… Ronan was really something special.. and without knowing him at all – I miss him every single day. I miss him for you…and your family. If I could see you Maya, I’d give you the tightest hug… you’ve changed my views/feelings towards childhood cancer completely. I wish the best for you and your family…Please stay strong.

    Song is called “in my arms” by Plumb…

    Your baby blues
    So full of wonder
    Your curly cues
    Your contagious smile
    And as i watch
    You start to grow up
    All I can do is hold you tight

    Knowing clouds will rage in
    Storms will race in
    But you will be safe in my arms
    Rains will pour down
    Waves will crash all around
    But you will be safe in my arms

    Story books are full of fairy tales
    Of kings and queens and the bluest skies
    My heart is torn just in knowing
    You’ll someday see the truth from lies

    Knowing clouds will rage in
    Storms will race in
    But you will be safe in my arms
    Rains will pour down
    Waves will crash all around
    But you will be safe in my arms

    Castles they might crumble
    Dreams may not come true
    But you are never all alone
    Because I will always
    Always love you

    Clouds will rage in
    Storms will race in
    But you will be safe in my arms
    Rains will pour down
    Waves will crash all around
    But you will be safe in my arms

  29. Maya, I have been reading you blog and crying and at times laughing at your blunt assessments of things. I lost my son Jack when he was 3 1/2 to a seizure disorder. I know enough to know that I do NOT know exactly what you are feeling because everybodies experience is different and is as unique as the children we are missing. Yet I do know the feeling of seeing your surviving children be sad and know a pain that a child should not know exist at that age. I was instantly thrown back to the weeks, months,year following Jack’s death when you discussed not wanting to go to Costco. I dreaded going to the store, Wal-Mart, mall, chruch anywhere that I used to have my partner in crime with, my “errand buddy”. It has been 6 years since Jack died and I have been able to return to running errands…and survived. Sometimes not very pretty, but survived. I have also had a beautiful little girl, who is now 3. Joy comes in many different forms, as does sadness. Just like when a mother is pregnant with their second child they can’t imagine loving that baby as much as their existing child and once you have that baby you are head over heals in love. The same thing is true for me with my daughter, I couldn’t imagine how this was going to work, loving her and missing Jack and her not even knowing him! My experience has been wonderful, I have the joy of telling her all about Jack and so does my older son, getting to tell her about his brother!
    Happiness is like starting a workout program the first couple of weeks are rough, and your sore. But after awhile it starts feeling good and you miss it if you can’t workout. Happiness is the same after a heart break. It hurts at first and it seems as though you are doing something weird. But after a while it starts to feel nice again to be happy and feel joy….then you can’t imagine life without it. I pray for your days to be filled with more and more minutes of joy everyday, until the joy out weighs the tears. God bless you and your family…poppy too.

    1. Well said, Lynn! I agree that no one can know exactly how the other feels. I hate when people say that! I understand quite a bit about this ugly thing called grief, but I never claim to know what others are experiencing. We are always telling our baby about her oldest brother and she will know him well! And I like how you compare this to a workout – makes total sense to me! April

  30. Love, love, and more love for you today and tomorrow. You’re a warrior for being there for your sons tomorrow, no matter what the personal cost. It’s a really good thing that Liam and Quinn have enough faith in you, woody, and each other to share their feelings. So many boys their age would just shut down. Another sign that you’re doing right by them and that Ro is with you always.

  31. Maya, another precious one lost the battle yesterday. He was only 13 months old. Holy FUCK!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, GOD?!! This baby wasn’t even old enough to talk, and he’s gone. If THAT is your will, you don’t sound all-loving to me. You sound pretty damn fucked up.

  32. Maya,
    I find out about you blog through Taylor Swift and I have fallen in love with it. Every word you write, every feeling you share, every blog you post, is very true. You don’t post any things like “I’m fine” or “I’m coping.” You write how you really feel. I think it takes a lot of courage to be able to go through life every day with the pain you are feeling. Ronan was a very special person and you have changed a lot of the things that I feel. I used to get upset over little silly things, but now I think of you and Ronan and how this is truly the bigger picture. I am so glad that you are making a difference in this world. You and Ronan are truly my heroes. I am so sorry about everything, but know that there are so many people supporting you. Your words are raw and that’s what the world needs to see. They need to see that this is not okay, that they need to give their money to worthy causes. You have made a difference in my life. I will make a difference in others. I really hope that you see this. I will help you make a difference in this horrible world of childhood cancer!

  33. WTF did I just read?? that is all that cross it my mind right now. I am here because of the Ronan Song, I heard it yesterday, and all I got to tell you is that you just changed my life and they way I was looking at it. I am a mother of a 10 month old baby boy. and I wouldn’t know what to do if I was in your shoes. Loosing someone is hard enough, I lost my dad, my grandma.. but I can only imagine loosing my little man and tears start pouring down my face.. Ronan and you are changing this world we need to find a cure for pediatric cancer no more of this bullshit cancer!!.. It is sad that to change history unforgetable souls have to suffer so much as he did!! Strong little man.. strong family!!. I wish the best to you Maya and you Family and also the new addition God Bless!

    ps. FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!!

  34. Maya,

    I am not sure if you have seen this website yet, but check it out… right up your ally!
    RoLove xo

  35. Maya,

    Very sad to hear about Liam missing Ronan and the continued feelings of loss and sorrow. You are right about Poppy being a blessing, and not because it will help them forget about Ro… we all know that is not going to happen. But being able to dote on a baby sister and be “big brothers” again will help them out greatly.

    To everyone else, please send some prayers to those that were affected by the freak triple storm that devastated New York, New Jersey, along the East Coast, and even reaching as far west as Wisconsin. People have lost everything, including those that lost their very lives, and it has brought the Big Apple temporarily to its knees.

  36. Im so sorry for your years of pain ahead of you and behind you. Life/ death is such a mystery. I believe everything will make sense and you will be fully happy again in…like 50 (?) years when you are reunited with your Ronan,

    At this point, I usually backspace and delete my comment because what could I say to help you in anyway?? But Im gonna post it.

    Im so sorry your son died. I hope your family’s suffering lessens with time. And more joy comes day by day. Ronan won’t let your Poppy die.

  37. I have to ban myself from the Internet at times. After our first son died I could not stop myself. I had decided that me being on the pill for too many years had killed Jake (he was premature but lived in the nicu for 2 weeks). Now that we have another son who has died from what is believed to be a heart defect I have researched and researched it makes me crazy to not have the answers.

    I am so happy that Poppy is on her way too you, Liam, Quinn ad Woody. Sending hugs an hope to you all. Fuck You Cancer!!

  38. Know that you all are in my heart and prayers as you make this Halloween amazing for your biggest boys. You and Woody are literally the best. Hope you see and feel Ronan everywhere tomorrow–always really, but especially tomorrow which will be harder than any of us could ever begin to imagine. Sending love, unending amounts.

  39. Hi Maya. I want to start off by saying that your an amazing person. I know you get your strength from Ronan, which is beautiful. He’s beautiful, and so are you. I first found out about Ronan through Taylor Swift’s song, which I gotta say, I cried like a little kid when I first heard it, and even now when I listen to it I still cry. I’ve been trying to go through and read your blogs, but they’re so sad that they seem to make me sick to my stomach. I want you to know though, that I’m not just reading them and then going along my merry way. I read these, I close my eyes, I cry, for you and for everything Ronan went through, I pray for you and Woody and Liam and Quinn. And it doesn’t stop there. I talk to people about Ronan and about Taylor’s song for him. I tell people to buy it. I tell people that they should support gold instead of pink or yellow for once. I tell people that childhood cancer only gets 3.8% of all funding, and how much that sucks! I tell people to stop complaining about small stuff. I find me giving myself the same lecture. I post about your blog on FB so my friends will know about it and hopefully pass it on. I tell people that when I donate to cancer charities, my check will be going to a childhood organization. I always wish I could give more, but I’m broke :/ (joys of going to school full time, driving a new car, but only working 15 hours a week). I also want you to know that whenever I’m at school, and see stuff for breast cancer awareness, I want to scream at the top of my lungs. Why don’t people care about the kids that get cancer? This is RIDICULOUS! I bet people will start to care if their kid got sick (which I pray never happens, but it just sucks that that is what it takes to get people to listen and speak up). Every time I see stuff turning pink, I wanna take a gold sharpie and color it in and write “ya know this happens to kids too, right? How about a little support for them?” Ok, I think I’m ranting now, but I want you to know that you and Ronan are making a difference, I hope you know that. I will continue to read your blog. I’ll continue to cry for you and your family. I’ll continue to pray for you guys. I’ll continue to tell your story. Stay strong Maya! You and Ronan are doing wonderful things and I believe you will continue to do so!

    Also, my last name is Thompson as well, and I told my husband if we have a son I want to name him Ronan (at least his middle name). I want people to ask where we came up with that name, and I’ll tell your story all over again.

  40. Shining star's mom Avatar
    Shining star’s mom

    Maya,  I hope tonight is a night filled with more laughs and fun than tears.  I hope this is a good Halloween for you family.  Ours ended early due to rain and cold  but definitely the best part of our day. My shining star was a cheerleader. She was decked out in last year’s uniform – shiny purple and glam glittery!

  41. Noah's Grandma Avatar
    Noah’s Grandma

    Love your sweet message, Maya. And wowie on those gorgeous red nails!

  42. Lots of love to you and your family.

  43. You are my idol. You are a tough mom for going through all this. Ronan, your family and the who world misses you.

  44. My son died almost 3 weeks ago. I went to the grocery store for the first time yesterday. It was terrible- I was able to hold off the tears until I got to the door. I didn’t, and still don’t, know why it was so hard. At least I know I am not the only one- thank you.

  45. I think you are right about the bereaved parent/ grocery store thing. My friend lost her only son 5 yrs ago and still struggles to go. There are times she just sends her husband or her teenage daughters. There are times where as a family they have to tackle through the hard crap that seems so normal to everyone else. But nothing is normal when your whole is only part.

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