RoTay Magic Everywhere

Ronan. These past few days have been a whirlwind in the most amazing way. I took the red-eye on Saturday with Melissa to New York. We arrived at about 4 a.m. east coast time and a car from The Katie Show was waiting to pick us up. We got to our studio pad, a.k.a. the only place that I find peaceful, and crashed out in the bed that feels like you are laying on one giant marshmallow. It truly is something out of this world. After sleeping for a few hours, we got up and prepared for the day. Melissa ran downtown to meet a friend and I met our little, Rachel, at Bloomingdale’s for some lunch and of course, fro yo. After that, I parted ways with Rach and headed back to the upper east side, where I was staying. Melissa returned soon and we met up with your Fairy RoMo and her husband at the MET. We spent the day in the most glorious way, with not real plan. We enjoyed art, friends, laughter, and a ton of good food while we waited for the other girls to arrive. Later that night, Stacy and Fernanda arrived. We had made plans to meet up with our Fairy RoMo for dinner and I was dying for some good chinese food. Stacy, Fernanda, Melissa and I hopped on the subway and made our way to China town. We met up with our friends and I was so excited to introduce everyone. The introductions were way overdue and we had such a great night enjoying each other and the most unbelievable chinese food that I’ve ever had in my life! Poppy was very pleased to say the least. It was late by the time we got home and I crashed out in our bed with Fernanda. We were so tired, but we were determined to stay up until midnight to download Taylor’s new album from iTunes. We kept falling asleep. Fernanda would shoot up out of bed, “10 more minutes!” and fall back asleep. I dozed off and woke up right around midnight. “It’s time! We can download it now!” I felt like teenagers who were having a slumber party, waiting to get the new album of our most favorite artist. We both downloaded “Red,” with one eye open and quickly fell back asleep. We had to be up really early in the morning to be at the Katie Couric show.

Monday morning quickly came. We got up really early, got showered, dressed and ready. We met all the other girls, at the studio. Stacy, Melissa, Becca, Carolyn, Rachel, and Fairy RoMo. Everyone looked beautiful and the producers put us all in the green room where we snapped pictures and enjoyed the moment that we were in. Soon, we were swept off to take our seats in the studio audience. We had great seats and were treated like gold. Every single person on Katie’s staff is an absolute delight. We watched the studio fill up with the audience. There was such a buzz in the air. The Swifties were there, in full force and so adorable. I sat on the edge of one of the rows and felt more nervous for the show I was going to sit and watch, then the one I had taped just a week earlier. I wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Maybe it was because for the first time, I was going to see Taylor and I had no idea how I was going to hold it together. Carolyn had asked the producers, if I could say hello to her and they said they would try to make it happen, but they were not sure as the day was packed. As far as I was concerned, I was just happy to be there, watching the show with my beautiful board members.
Katie Couric soon stepped out on the stage. Everyone went crazy. She is so darling and so good at what she does. She made some remark about how she knew who the audience was really excited to see, that being Taylor. She did a great little introduction and soon out walked Taylor herself, in the most adorable little goldish/yellow dress and sweater. She looks like Bambi. So tall, graceful, and young with a little bit of awkwardness about herself as if she truly does not know how beautiful she is. That only makes me love her more. The interview started and we were soon transported into Taylor world which is this world of all things sweet and salty. As in, the best combination of something ever. We saw the sweet Taylor who said things like, “I never want to be the girl who walks out on stage and says, Here I am! For me it’s always, Here they are.” Meaning her wonderful fans. I was floored when she said this. The self-awareness and the humbleness this sweet soul has, truly is remarkable. The salty/sassy side of Taylor played out as well. During a commercial break, Taylor yawned and Katie goes, “Did you just yawn?” Taylor quickly bounced back with, “No.” She has this totally adorable dry and spicy sense of humor that is so refreshing. It cracked us all up. My entire board was blown away by this girl who is so full of obvious brains, beauty and wit. She is one of the rare commodities of the world who truly deserves everything that has happened to her and who will never let it go to her head. In the world she lives in, that is so rare.
During one of the commercial breaks, I heard Katie Couric say to someone, “Where’s Maya?” They didn’t know where I was, but luckily Katie spotted me and I gave her a quick wave and smile. Katie whispered something to Taylor and they went on to the next segment. As soon as that segment ended, Taylor jumped out of her chair and came running up the stairs to me. I got up and gave her the biggest hug where I pushed back my tears with everything that I had. I just looked at her and said, “Thank you, so much.” We stood for a few minutes and talked softy about some things. She rubbed my belly and knew all about the baby girl that is growing in my tummy. She hugged me again told me she loved me and was so proud of me. I told her I felt the same way, that I was so grateful for what she had done. She asked how all the media was going and how I was handling it. We talked for a few more minutes about some other things. She knew about one of my secret plans that I have in the works that I have only told my inner circle about. It didn’t dawn on me, “how in the world did Taylor know this?!” until I sat down and had time to process our conversation. She said she was going to come back for some pictures. When I sat down, I noticed everyone looking my way and pretty soon everyone was whispering, “That’s Ronan’s mom!” They were waving and making hearts with their hands the way they always do for Taylor. It was such a sweet moment that I will never forget. Taylor did another segment with Katie and as soon as she was finished with that, she ran back up to me to take some pictures. We talked a little more. I asked her how she knew about my secret plan. She smiled and told me who had told her. She said, “You HAVE to do it.” I told her I knew and that I would. I love that she knew my secret plan and was on board with it. We talked about Poppy and she goes, “You totally have to name her Poppy. You’ve called her that since the beginning.” That made me smile, too. That Poppy name makes happy. I have definitely fallen in love with it. I told Taylor to tell her mom hello for me. She goes, “She is floating around her somewhere. I know she would love to see you.” I told her I would love that so much. She went back to the stage to get ready for the song she was performing. Everyone in the audience was so excited to hear her. She came back out and sang, her hit, “We are never ever getting back together.” It was absolutely adorable. Soon, the show ended and the girls and I sat in our seats, waiting to be told what to do next. Somebody from the show came over to me and said that Andrea Swift was wanting to see me. I was ushered off backstage where I waited for Taylor’s mom. As soon as I we saw each other, we embraced for the biggest hug. I couldn’t hold back the tears, seeing that woman. I thanked her for raising such an amazing daughter. We talked back and forth about everything. It was so strange as I felt such a strong connection to this woman who I just met, but felt like I had known forever. At one point, after she was thanking me for everything, she goes, “If I were in your shoes, I would be doing the exact same thing. We are all so proud of you.” Right then and there, it clicked. I understood why I loved this woman that I don’t even know. It’s because I know, she would die for her kids, the way I would have died for you. It’s because she has spent her entire life, after her children were born putting them first. It’s because she has fought for Taylor and her dreams, with everything she has. She loves her children with the same undying love, that I love you and your brothers and this Poppy. I could see all of that, just by looking into her eyes. That moved me in a way, that I will never forget. I will never forget the look in Taylor’s mom’s eyes and the kind words that came from her lips from one mom to another. At the end of the day, Andrea Swift, if in my shoes, would be doing the exact same thing that I am doing. Fighting with everything that she has for the rest of her life because there in NOTHING more important in your life than your children, dead or alive. I hugged her one last time and thank her again. I will never be able to thank that family enough for what they have done for us, Ronan, which is ultimately helping me to keep you alive. I will forever be eternally grateful for them and that amazing daughter of theirs that is wise beyond her years. One of the last things that Andrea Swift told me was that she thinks Taylor and I make a great team. I couldn’t agree more. I think many more beautiful things are to come.
After the show, Fernanda and I had a little adventure to tend to. We ran off while the other girls went and grabbed lunch. We were out for a few hours, having our eyes opened to an amazing world and we were so thankful to be a part of it. We returned back to the apartment, absolutely beat. It had been an emotionally exhausting day and we were both wanting to take a nap before the dinner that our Fairy RoMo had organized for the night. We laid down. Our plan was for a nap, but it took a very different turn. We ended up having about an hour sob fest over everything that has gone on, everything that we have went through. All of the love, pain, hope, suffering, and devastation of this entire fucked up journey of childhood cancer. She talked about how she she still can’t believe you are not here. How she thought even during your last hour, that you were doing to pull through. We talked about our day with Dr. Kushner and our pain and regrets with that. The why didn’t he tell us, you were dying? Why did he send us away with such a sense of blind hope when he knew, that you were going to die? She apologized over and over for not being there for the past year, but said she has been trying to process your death as well as my pain. She said she knows she has let me down. I tried to tell her, how she is one of the few people who has never let me down. How thankful I will always be for all she has done and how that I know when we are apart or when we don’t talk for a while, she is constantly thinking of us. I know this and I have always known this. Never in my life, have I had a moment of feeling let down or disappointed in that woman. She gave up everything to walk through hell with us and not once has she ever let go of my hand. I am so grateful for the time she had with you and the bond you two formed. I will always look at that as such a gift. We composed ourself, got up, washed our faces as our makeup was everywhere and got ready for the evening ahead of us.
We met up with Fairy RoMo, our board members, our “little ninja” Rachel, and Scott Kennedy from Solving Kids’ Cancer. It was a 3 hour dinner where my board got the chance to fall in love with Scott, the same way I have. He is the kindest, gentlest soul with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen, besides my own and a few other parents I know, who have gone through this as well. I sat at the other end of the table from Scott and placed him near Fernanda and a few of the other girls as I wanted them to get to know him. It was only at the end of the night that we played musical chairs and I went down to sit by Scott to catch up with him. Our conversations are always intimate, sad, and deep. At one point, I had fought back my tears way too long and it was no longer working. I sat, listening to Scott while I wiped away tear after tear after tear. I never feel vulnerable crying around him. He gets the reason for my tears, more than most people. That breaks my heart so much. I wish none of us knew this pain. I wish that none of us knew this pain but I cannot change that. All I can do is sit here and form my army, to try to change this for all these other kids who are going through this or will go through this. I am so glad to have Scott as a part of my army. He is invaluable to me. We all left dinner and the girls were going on and on about Scott and how wonderful he is. I smiled and said I knew it from the very time I met up with him in that little NYC coffee shop. I’ve got a great intuition about people. Some might say it’s a gift;) I certainly think it is.
I’m back in Phoenix now, where everything seems to be moving full speed ahead. It was a great trip in so many ways. As a board, we got to bond in a way that we never have before. It was nice to get out of the business side of this and enjoy each other and all Ronan beauty that is everywhere. Everyone is so proud of one another, which makes me so very proud. You are doing such beautiful things, Ro. Thank you. I’ve got some secret side stuff to take care of right now. Blowing kisses to you, fingers crossed because once again, I am just following my heart to where I think it is, you are taking me. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.
xoxo
P.S. If you have not bought Taylor’s new Album, RED, you need to. It is breathtakingly beautiful, as is everything she does. I have not stopped listening to it, since I bought it. I have informed Liam and Quinn, that is Taylor month at our house and that is all we are listening to;) Team Taylor FOREVER!
P.P.S. Taylor- Thank you. For everything.For letting him live on through you and all the beauty that you are surround with. For being such a wise free spirt who is truly grateful for every single minute of this thing we call life. For letting the boy with the most beautiful blue eyes, touch you to the core. You have helped this mama’s heart to heal. I love you so much.

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Going Back to New York

Ronan. I am leaving tonight to go back to New York. Melissa, Fernanda, Stacy, Becca, and Carolyn will be joining me. It will be a wonderful very busy few days and nights with my awesome board members (minus 2:( We’ll miss you T and T). We all are very much looking forward to seeing our Fairy RoMo, Katie Couric and that sweet girl named Taylor. I can’t wait to get back to our favorite city. I have so many wonderful memories with you there that will never be overshadowed by our last day at Sloan. I won’t let that day ever get in the way of all of our adventures, laughs, smiles, and happy times where it was just you and me against the world in that great big city.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Thank you for all of the lovely people you have put in my life. I am so thankful to be sharing this with them. I love you, baby doll.

“From what I can see here, it looks like you are having a baby…”

Ronan. Today, was not a day I expected at all. I had an early appointment at The Fetal&Women’s Center of Arizona. I had to take your brothers because the appointment was so early. Mandy Bee offered to come and sit with them while I went back for my appointment. As we were sitting there waiting, Mandy goes, “You know you can find out the sex of the baby here, right?” I told her I wasn’t aware of that as I thought I had to wait until I saw my OBGYN in a couple more weeks. She told me how she found out at 12 weeks here with both of her boys. I am further along than that, but not much. As soon as my name was called, I got up and asked if it was o.k. if everybody came back in the room with me. The sweet lady told me it was. Your brothers sat playing on their iPads and I was on the table, getting my little belly lubed up. Pretty soon, Poppy was on the big screen. My heart started pounding. So loudly I was sure that everyone in the room was going to hear it. The lady started measuring some things. Mandy chirped up, “Can you tell the sex of the baby today?” The technician told her she indeed could. She asked me if I would like to know. I said, “Sure!” Of course you know I am so impatient when it comes to all things being pregnant. She put the little wand over my belly. I felt myself panic. Oh god. Ronan really wanted a girl. Please. I really wanted a girl. For as much as I can say all I care about is a healthy baby, the truth is, a little girl would mean so much mainly for the fact that you wanted a baby sister. The picture came on the screen. I heard her say it was a boy, before she said anything at all. “From what I can see here, it looks like you are having a baby girl.” “Really? Are you sure?” The technician told me she was about 90% sure. I could not believe my ears. I started bawling, tears falling everywhere. Mandy came over and grabbed my head and kissed the top of it. I buried my head in her shoulder trying to control myself. It was no use. Mascara and snot everywhere. I don’t think I have stopped crying, the entire day. Quinn was over the moon. Liam chirped up that there was a 10% chance that is was not a girl. So typical. So funny. I tried to call your daddy. He didn’t answer. I had Quinn call your Nana. She thought we were all lying to her. No way could it really be a girl.

I finally got your daddy on the phone. As much as I hated to tell him this on the phone because he is in Vegas, there was NO way I couldn’t tell him. “Guess what?” I said, tears still falling everywhere. Your daddy never knows what he’s going to get with me. It could have been everything from “I’m leaving for Tibet to I bought a dog.” I think he was really relieved when he heard me say, “We’re having a baby girl.” He was so happy. He said he knew it. I think deep down, I knew it too, but the confirmation was nice today. I spent the rest of the morning calling and texting our closest peeps. Fernanda. Stacy. Becca. Macy. Liz. Dr. Jo. Melissa. Gay. Tricia. Danielle. Marisa. Carolyn. Charisma. Kass. Rach. Robyn. Rissy Girl. Katie. Meg. Our Fairy RoMo. It is her birthday today. Can you believe that shit?! I found out on her birthday, which was not planned at all! This appointment just happened to fall on her birthday! Talk about another huge sign! There was one person I had not told yet. Your Sparkly. He is the last person I told today. This was not something I was going to tell him over the phone. I had to tell him I was pregnant with this baby, over the phone. I NEVER get to make him smile with happy news, because all the news I sit and share with him is usually so fucking sad or me venting. I sent him a text. “Where are you?” He responded with “In a meeting. Are you o.k.?” I said I was o.k. That I needed to see him today. “I’ll see you in 20 minutes. Come to my office.” I met him there. I was in the middle of sending an email when he came down to get me. I didn’t see him walk up, I only heard him barking some smart ass remark to me, like he always does. He sat down. I told him to hang on, that if I didn’t send this email, I would forget to do it.” He sat. I kind of crawled over to him and gave him a big hug. He laughed at that. “What’s going on? You look pretty today. You know what the baby is, don’t you.” I smiled. “Yup. It’s a baby girl.” I watched his eyes light up in a way that his often do, when he is truly happy. I was so glad I got to tell him my news in person. “I knew you were having a baby girl. I told you that. Ahhhh! You with a baby girl. Finally, someone you can do all those girly things with that you love doing. You two are going to be something else.” I laughed and talked about you a little bit. How much you wanted a baby sister. I am still trying to absorb this all. I cannot believe all the little blessings you are putting in our lives. I left your Sparkly and as I got in the car, I sent him a quick text. “You are going to make the best grand poppy ever. She is so lucky to have you.” He responded back with a simple, “I will.” I said, “I know. Thank you.”

The rest of my day, played out in a way that I don’t think I can take much more. I got a text from Carolyn saying to call her that she had some news. I, of course went to, “Oh fuck. It’s got to be something bad, because too many good things are happening lately.” I texted her back, “Is it good news or bad news?” I was expecting the bad from my friend and foundation president. She responded with, “It might just be the BEST news ever.” I called her. I did not think anything else could happen today, that would leave me speechless. I was wrong. Tears all over. As of now, I can’t talk about our news. All I can say is I cannot believe all of this. I am overwhelmed. I am floored. I cannot believe how truly hard you are working, Ronan. I have never believed in something more in my life, then you. You are making so many amazing things happen. I ended the day with Stacy at Fernanda’s house. I told her the Carolyn news. She could not believe it. A baby girl and now this?! She looked at me and said, “How are you not so overwhelmed?! Aye! Maya! You know this is all Ronan. You know that you could have been in bed for the past year, and we would have all been o.k. with that. Because that would have been totally acceptable! But you chose not to do that, and look at everything is happening.!” I started to cry. I said I knew. I knew but I also knew from day one, that I couldn’t do that. I have to make you proud, Ronan. Lying in bed for the past year, would not have made you proud. But I appreciated Fernanda saying that. I know she meant it because she is such a true friend like that. All of my friends are. I am so lucky to have them all. They stuck by me during my darkest of days. Even on my darkest of days, when nobody knew what to do with me, they stood by me. They didn’t judge me. They may have gently slapped me here and there, but they didn’t talk ill or abandon me or whisper behind my back. This is why they are still in my life. Because they never gave up on the you and me part of this. They just let me be, trusting in me to come around when I needed to come around. For that, I will forever be so thankful. For that, they will forever be my sisters. This baby girl, is going to have so many beautiful aunties. With you watching over her, with a daddy like yours, and your big brothers, too. This baby girl is going to be the most loved little baby girl in the world. Thank you, Ronan. I so badly wish you were here. More than anything. She will be a part of you and I cannot wait to meet her. Please make her extra extra spicy.

Today, was a really happy day full of never-ending tears. Tears of both happiness and sadness. Today, my tears were more happy. I’m soaking that up, because it doesn’t happen often. I miss you so much. I love you so much. I hope you are safe. Please keep this baby girl safe for me, Ronan. I know you will.

xoxo

Happiest Birthday ever to our Fairy RoMo. You are pure magic and are totally going to make the best fucking godmother ever. Poppy is so lucky. We all are. I love you.

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Oh, Hey Cancer! Fuck you! Seems like an appropriate title tonight.

Ronan. Your daddy left for Vegas. This means I get to hold down the fort while he is away. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem in the pre Ronan is not dead days. Now, doing things like keeping your brothers entertained on their fall break, solo, is hard fucking work. Don’t get me wrong, they are easy boys. And if you were here, I have no doubt we would be off doing things like going to the Pumpkin Patch, shopping for Halloween costumes, and having lots of adventures. You know what is right around the corner. Your most favorite holiday. Halloween. It used to be my favorite holiday, too. Now it just makes me extremely sad. Last year, I dressed up like a dead zombie because that is how I felt. This year, I’m not feeling like doing anything except burying myself in a big hole in our backyard. I have not carved pumpkins with your brothers yet, or gotten their Halloween costumes. We have been talking about what they want to be. Of course I always wonder what you would have been. In my mind, you would have been a different Star Wars character every year for the rest of your life. I don’t think you would have grown out of your Star Wars phase just quite yet.

Today, Liam and Quinn’s fall break consisted of therapy. It was Liam’s day to be with Dr. Rachel. It’s been a while since he has seen her. I went in and talked to her before hand. I told her that I have been having to talk about your last days a lot, with everything that I have been doing. I told her I was worried because we had not really talked about it in depth with your brothers. We agreed that she would dig deep today, without pushing Liam too much. I waited in the waiting room with Quinn. My mind was racing and of course my heart was breaking thinking of the conversation that was taking place in the next room. What a great way to spend fall break, huh. Liam came out after an hour, his little eyes all red. I got up and left him out in the waiting room with Quinn while I went to talk to Dr. Rachel about how the session went. I listened to her tell me how Liam talked very openly about the sadness he feels over losing you. How during the time when you were dying he told himself to be a good brother, to be brave, to be strong, and how he wanted to be somewhere else. He told Dr. Rachel he told you the same things. He cried a lot when talking about all of those things. She told me he has a higher emotional intelligence than most kids his age. How well he was able to verbalize everything that he was feeling. I wiped away my tears while listening to this. I felt like punching the wall and screaming, “WHY THE FUCK DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN?!! TO THE BEST BIG BROTHERS IN THE WORLD?!!!” I got up and told Dr. Rachel thank you. We decided that it was best for now to let Liam talk about these things in his safe space with Dr. Rachel. I asked Liam in the car if he wanted to talk about anything. He told me he did not, so I left it at that. I am just thankful that he is opening up to someone.

I picked up a friend of your brothers so we could have a play date. I took them over to The Village to play basketball, football and swim. I was sitting outside, under the shade of course with my dark sunglasses on because I have developed an allergy to the sun called, “I fucking hate you.” I was watching your brothers and their friend swim. I was trying not to get too sad that there were 3 boys in the pool and one of them wasn’t you. Just as I was sitting there, a little hummingbird came flying right up to my face. It stayed there for a few seconds. I smiled. I thought of you of course because little hummingbirds don’t happen often in my life, but when they do it is always when something really important or sad has happened and I need a little sign that you are around. 3 minutes later, my Twitter alert went off. Somebody had tweeted me that our friend, Super Ty had passed away. My stomach dropped to the floor. I sat there for a few minutes. I didn’t cry right away. I thought about the hummingbird and how that was your way of telling me you were going to take care of Ty now. Hot tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched your brothers laugh, splash and play. I sent your Sparkly a text about Ty because he knows how he was our roommate at Sloan. I told him that he had passed away and how cruel life was. I told him about the hummingbird too and how I knew it was a sign from you and how you would now watch over Ty forever. He told me that he knew that you would, too. My tears didn’t stop for a few minutes. I’m so sorry to Ty’s mama, daddy, little brother and to all who knew and loved him. I’m so sorry to Ty. Will this cruel world ever get better, Ronan? How many kids is it going to take, before people start paying attention to the point where everyone finally says, enough is enough? When is this sick cycle of kids dying over and over and over from cancer going to end? When are people going to stop looking away because it can’t happen to their child, right? I know I am making a lot of headway with everything we are doing, but some days I feel like how long is this going to fucking take? And what is it going to take for everyone to wake up and join in this fight with me? Am I going to have to organize a freaking protest or something? When will our government really step up to the plate and what can I do to make this happen? Somebody get me on the phone with Obama. Seriously. Too many parents are losing kids. Too many kids that are still here, will suffer for the rest of their lives. They deserve to stop being overlooked. They deserve better treatments and options. I don’t want another mom to have to sit down with their other children and let them look at the ashes of their dead brothers body. I am beyond heartbroken and if things continue to stay this way, I just don’t know what I will do. Really, how hard do I have to fight? I feel as though it is all I am doing, 24 hours a day. Will things ever get better? If my post seems hopeless tonight, it’s just because I am so very sad over Ty, Ronan. I hope you two are both playing together in your super hero capes. Take good care of him sweet boy. It shouldn’t be this way.

I’m going to end this here. Your brothers had a good day. I tried my best but as always I carry so much sadness around in everything I do. I miss you so much. G’nite Ro baby. Sweet dreams. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

P.S. Hey Cancer. Fuck you.

All Good Things Happen, in New York

Ronan. The night before the Katie show, your daddy arrived. As soon as he arrived, we hopped on a train and made our way to the SoHo area. There is a record store there that he insists we hit up, every time we are in New York. I was tired, but I sucked it up  for him. We also met up with our friend, Ally M and a girlfriend of hers. We had some dinner and did a little record shopping. It was a nice way to end our New York trip and I know it made your daddy happy. We got back to our place, kind of late, packed and went to sleep. I tossed and turned most of the night. I was nervous for the next day. I woke up early, got ready, and tried my best to calm my nerves. A car picked us up and we headed over to the ABC studios. I had a long talk with you in the car ride over. It went a little something like this. “Ronan. I need you today. I cannot do this without you. Please, help me get through this. Make me calm and relaxed. I need to feel you, everywhere.”

Once we arrived, we were taken into our dressing room where we sat and waited. I had already done my make-up and blown out my hair, so I was good to go. I wore my special magical sparkly shoes that remind me so much of you, because of your love for your sparkly toe nails. Our Fairy RoMo showed up just in time, to take my mind off of everything that was about to happen. We sat and caught up. We had some laughs and she sat back and snapped some pictures. Katie’s lovely team came in and briefed us a bit. I just kept telling myself to breathe. We were soon taken downstairs to where the segment would shoot. Our Fairy RoMo went off to the green room, which was really green. Your daddy and I sat and watched Katie do her thing from the monitors. We hadn’t met her yet. She finished her segment and came bouncing off the stage over to us. “Hi, I’m Katie it’s so nice to meet you.” We chatted for a few minutes. I had a moment where I thought I might pee myself, but thankfully I did not. She ran off to change and we went to sit and wait for her. She came back to us once again and started briefing us on what she would be asking us. I was still a little nervous but I slowly felt things start to shift. We were taken out to her stage and sat down on the couch. I was closest to Katie, your daddy on the other side of me. I smiled at the audience. I felt a switch flip. It was as if all of a sudden, you were sitting right there next to me. My nerves were entirely gone. What in the world? This is not me. I have stage fright. I freak out over public speaking. I sat back, the cameras turned on and Katie started right up with our story. I started to tear up, almost instantly. They were showing pictures of you and playing some videos we had sent them. Katie handed me a Kleenex. I looked into the audience. Tears everywhere. Katie started talking. One of the first things she said, was Neuroblastoma was a brain tumor. “SHIT!” I thought to myself. “What do I do? Do I correct her on national television?” I had no choice. I had to. That is a big misconception with Neuroblastoma and rightfully so. The name makes it sounds like it has to do with the brain. I think I said something like, “Actually, it’s not a brain tumor…” Then I let your daddy explain it in a way that I hope everyone could understand. From that point on, the entire interview flew by. I felt so at ease and so proud to be up there, telling your story. Katie has a gift of just making you feel as if she has known you for years. She was very choked up, for most of the show as was everyone. Katie does what she does best, which is being a true journalist with this amazing heart of gold. After a very hard topic she had us all in giggles when she said, “I’d love to have you back on the show after you have the baby. Baby Katie.” The entire audience laughed out loud. It was a great way to end things. We walked off the stage. She came following a few minutes later. We talked and she kept thanking us over and over for sharing our story. I wanted to pick that tiny thing up and thank her from the bottom of my heart. She is a wonderful human being for caring about so many others than just herself.

We left there and grabbed lunch with Fairy RoMo. She was blown away. She watched the entire thing from the green room and kept saying how brilliant and lovely it was. I smiled as hearing that from her, means the world. We sat there, eating our lunch. I looked at Woody and I looked over at Fairy RoMo and said, “I have something else I want to ask you.” Your daddy and I have been talking about this for a while. I looked up. “We want to know if you will be the GodMom of this baby.” Tears sprang to her eyes, instantly. “Oh my god. Yes! Of course! I would be honored. I’ll be the best fucking god mother ever.” I wiped away my tears and your daddy and I chuckled at that. “I know that,” I said. “That’s why I asked you.” It was one of the most beautiful moments that will forever be frozen in my mind. She is your Fairy RoMo and loves you so much, Ronan, even without ever having met you. Imagine how she will be, with this little one. She is such a gift. You are such a gift. Thank you for bringing her into our life.

We got home last night. I am going to try not to be dramatic here, but I’m going to be dramatic here. Not once did I throw up in New York City. After we got home and I hugged and kissed your beautiful brothers a bunch of times, I started to get really nauseous. I ran into our bathroom and threw up everything I had eaten for dinner. I honestly think I had a physical reaction from being gone, coming home to our house, and not having you here. This house that I once loved so much, makes me sick. Your daddy told me to change my attitude. I didn’t argue. I shut my mouth instead. I wish it were something as simple, as changing my attitude. I wish that you in fact were still here, and I was coming home to you and your two brothers. Not your two brothers and you sitting on an urn on top of my dresser. Fucking cancer.

It’s today. I just had a 3 hour phone interview for something that is coming up. Something that I will talk about when the time is right. I was told after our interview that I was the bravest woman alive. I smiled with tears rolling down my cheeks and just said, “Ronan was brave.” I am throwing everything I have into everything I do, all for you. It will be this way for the rest of my life.

Also, for as much as I cannot listen to Taylor’s song, because I sob every time I hear it… it plays non-stop in my head, 24 hours a day. That girl, like you, is such an old soul. I am still blown away by her grace, beauty, and dignity. I will be thankful for the rest of my life, for her and for you. I am going back to New York this weekend until Tuesday. We will be going to see Taylor on the Katie Couric show. A handful of my board members are coming with me to celebrate everything New York, Taylor, Katie and you, Ronan. I cannot wait. I also have a lot of unfinished business to take care of. All good things happen in New York. The BEST things happen in New York. I cannot wait to see what comes of this trip, this time. I am always so surprised by the amazing things that come from that magical city.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

I Love You to the Moon and Back

Ronan. This is what happens when I am in this city. I feel alive once again. It’s the only place that I really feel this way. Away from the blinding bright sun. From all those fake plastic shiny trees. It’s only here that I feel like I belong. Where I can walk the streets for hours on end, at anytime of the day or night and I feel so alive. Where I can go to dinners with strangers and have the most stimulating conversations. This city that is so full of substance that it leaves me feeling fulfilled in a way that I don’t feel back at home. Back at home, a lot is missing. The biggest thing being you. I am making a 5 year escape plan. Well, I am making an escape plan. I’m not sure what that looks like as of now, but I have some ideas. I won’t leave AZ permanently as of now, for a couple of reasons. But I know I need to start thinking of some other options, so I don’t constantly feel like I am suffocating. I am very thankful for these breaks every once in a while. I am very thankful for the friend that I have here, that just lets me stay in her apartment when she is not using it. I could not having the guilt of spending money on an expensive hotel when I know I should be using it elsewhere as in doing things for you and your foundation. These breaks help to rejuvenate my soul and help to give me a little mental break. When I come here, there is no T.V. blaring. There is not a lot of answering the phone. There is no computer time. I tend to unplug from everything. It’s the alone time that I very much need. I cry a lot. Alone. It’s an emotional release that feels o.k. I like that I don’t have to hide my tears here. I like that I can cry and not worry who is looking over my shoulder, worrying about me. Sometimes, I just need a break from everything. Including my very supportive, very loving husband who just wants to constantly make sure I am o.k. and fix everything. Who I am so lucky to have, but even I know I need a break from the, “Are you o.k.’s.” “What can I do, to help?” “I’m here for you’s.” Sometimes I just need my badass solo time where I know nothing will ever be o.k. and I am strong enough to take my alone time to deal with that. The way that I need to deal with that, even if that just means getting lost on the subway for a couple of hours. I always do my best thinking and planning in this city. As I said before, I feeds my soul. I also always feel super close to you when I am here, which you know I love.

Yesterday, oh yesterday. Where do I begin? It was a busy day. It was a packed day. I had a lot crammed in to yesterday. I ran down to SoHo to meet someone for lunch. I had a couple of other meetings as well. I took the subway like that typical New Yorker girl that I have become. Someone even asked me for directions yesterday and I knew right where to tell them to go. That made me smile. I never know what the days are going to bring here which is one of the reasons I love it so much. I got a call from the Katie Couric show. They wanted me to come down to the studio around 4. Also, something had changed in regards to the show I was supposed to tape next Monday, October 22nd. I returned the phone call to Katie’s oh so lovely producer. “What can do to get you to stay in New York and tape your segment, this Monday?” I listened to her tell me what was going on, what had changed, how the show the I was originally scheduled to be on, had become so filled up with other things that Katie was not happy as she wanted our story to have enough air time. I tried to put all the pieces to the puzzle into place as far as what I needed to do, on my end. I know this is the way this insane world of television works. Everything can change in an instant. I called your daddy to ask him if he could please drop everything he had on Monday, to come out here with me. He had a packed day, but of course he made it work. So now, instead of taping the show next Monday, I will be taping it THIS Monday, October 15th.
I got to Katie’s studio around 4 p.m. I met with her producer and a few other people. I was not sure of what all I was to be prepared for. That’s one of the other things about this world… sometimes things just get thrown your way and you have to just roll with them. After chatting for a bit, I was feeling pretty comfortable. They told me they wanted to do a little interview but I had no idea of how intense it was going to be. I was taken into a small office with three twenty something year old boys. At least they looked to be about 20. They hooked me up to a mic, camera on, closed the door and I sat as they started setting everything up. At one point I think I said something like, “This is weird.” They all chuckled a little bit and said, “You’ve been interviewed before, though.” I said, “Yes, but not like this.” The next hour or what felt like 4 hours was an emotional roller coaster. I was not prepared for the questions. Questions that I think about all the time, but when I have to put my actual feelings into words, I sometimes have a hard time doing so. I did the best I could do. To break down in a room with three boys whom I have never met before in my life, left me feeling so vulnerable in the most vulnerable of situations. I, being the mom on the other end of the camera, sobbing over having lost something that can never be replaced. I did my best to talk about you, which is still so hard for me to do because my pain is still so raw and fresh. I had to stop a few times. They were asking about the dates of things and you know I cannot remember those things to save my life. My grief brain is still so very present that I often feel as if I have Alzheimer’s or something. After the interview I felt shaky but put on my best face to finish up what I had to do. The people that are working for the Katie Couric show could not be nicer or more accommodating. I got to see some of the behind the scenes stuff which was very fun and one of the boys, Josh, who was showing me around was absolutely delightful. It was a nice way to end a very hard interview. I left the Katie show and realized I was starving. I found myself in a little diner, all alone, drowning my sorrows in some french fucking toast. I sat texting your Mr. Sparkly Eyes like mad. I told him about my afternoon, he could tell how shaken up I was and simply sent me a text back saying, “Go easy.” I replied back with, “What does that mean? Go easy on the French Toast? I’m about to stab it to death. Or go easy on myself? You know I’m always my toughest critic.” He said, “Yourself, please.” Fine Sparkly. You win. I stopped stabbing the french toast and inhaled it instead. I went back to my little apartment and did my best to unwind. I fell asleep easily like I always do here.
Today, I met up with one of my little angels who floats around this city. We had the loviest of lovely lunches where I got to tell her thank you from the bottom of my heart for so many things. I have not spent much time with this angel on earth. We had a lunch full of so many, “Oh my gosh moments,” that I was so blown away once again, by all the people that you are placing in our lives. We talked a lot about life, death and souls. She is one of the few people who looked at me, bent down and kissed my belly and told me, “Maya, I cannot imagine how hard this pregnancy is for you. You are still a grieving mom, yet you have another life inside of you. That is so much to take on.” I was blown away. She doesn’t read this blog, yet she totally got it in a way that most people do not. That just shows me how connected she is to not only her own soul, but other people’s around her as well. It’s not often that I am truly surprised by people. Today, was one of those days. Our lunch was quick but so fulfilling. I left there once again, being inspired to do great things, just by the company that I was in. This person has made herself an incredible life and she has done it all with those two little secrets that I have mentioned before. Substance and passion. I’ve will say this for the rest of my life. If you have those two things in your life, the world can be your oyster. Once we parted ways, I was on a mission to find my outfit for the Katie show. It took me a few hours, but I think I found something that will look pretty cute. I’m at that really awkward stage of being pregnant where I either look pregnant or just really, really bloated. That should be fun on national television. I’m not too worried about it because it is what it is. Poppy is popping and I will just be thankful for this little one that seems to be growing by the day. I had somebody say to me the other night, “If this is a girl, how are you not going to name her Poppy?” I just said, “I don’t know. I’ve fallen in love with that name. It makes me smile.” I think Poppy Thompson is such a darling name. We will cross that bridge, when we come to it. I went to Bloomingdale’s for my little shopping adventure with also a side plan too. I did what I always do when I am in the city and go to Bloomie’s just to eat at 40 carrots where I always used to take you. I sat at the bar and ordered my food as I was starved. Some older lady came and sat right down next to me and proceeded to scream into her cell phone the entire time I was eating. Granted, the restaurant was loud but that was from all the patrons, enjoying themselves. Not from them RUDELY talking on their cell phones. The lady proceeded to scream into her phone and say things like, “You didn’t call me out of love. You called me to ask something of me! Did you watch the Debates? What kind of an idiot would vote for Obama again? He’s ruining our country! If you want to drive in my fancy car with me, then you do not just get to text on your cell phone the entire time! Learn some respect!” OHMYFUCKINGGOD. The lady went on the entire time I was eating. I so wanted to reach over, snatch the cell phone out of her and throw it across the room. I pictured myself saying, “EXCUSE ME! I’m trying to eat my Fr-Yo, with my dead son, and you are ruining EVERYTHING!” I didn’t though. I sat quietly and tried my best to tune her out. At one point I was doing my best to eat our frozen yogurt and the tears just started pouring. I quickly wiped them away, while trying my best to make sure my throat didn’t close up so I could swallow our favorite tasty treat. I was so sad, sitting there alone, without you. I finished my meal. Paid and got out of there not without looking for you around every corner. Not without remembering every spot we sat, stood and I took your picture. I remembered it all, so vividly.
I’m home now. Tucked away, safe and sound. Exhausted from the day, but thankful to be here, in this city. I love it like no other. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Goodnight my little spicy monkey boy. Sweet dreams. I love you to the moon and back.

Hello NYC

Ronan. This break from Arizona, could not have come at a better time. I am seriously about to go blind from all the sunny sunshine that just does not match the way my insides feel anymore. I spent the weekend at home. Pretty much in bed. I was trying to rest up for New York and was not feeling well. I also was seriously hiding from the sun. As in, I think I may have a sun phobia. I didn’t step outside Saturday or Sunday. It was only after the sun dipped down on Sunday, that I decided to go out to the grocery store to stock up on food before my departure. Monday came and went. I kept myself busy, getting ready to leave for my flight to New York. I tackled all the laundry that I have been ignoring, paid bills and packed my suitcase. I picked up your brothers, we did homework, I made them a snack, and I took them to a birthday. It was a NFL birthday theme hence the Monday night party. I came home, talked to your daddy for a bit and drew myself a bath. Your daddy came in to check on me.

Our conversation went a little like this.
Me: I think we need to move out of this house. I can’t stay here. It’s suffocating me. It’s too sad.
Him: O.k. we can talk about this. Just hear me out. You want to leave this house? You say that all the time, but that’s not going to make you less sad. You really want to pack up Ronan’s room? Then what? Start over? I think you would end up regretting that, but if that’s what you want to do, we will do that. To me, that seems like we’ve moved on. And I never want to move on from him.
Me: I think this house caused his cancer. And now this new baby is going to have cancer. (I know I’m not being rational)
Him: This house did not give Ronan cancer. This new baby is not going to have cancer. That won’t happen. Nobody has that much bad luck.
Me: I wasn’t aware there was a cap on how much bad luck a person has. I don’t think it works that way.
Him: I don’t know what to say. This fucking sucks. You are the worlds best mom. He was the most amazing boy. How the fuck something like this happens, is beyond me. It just goes to show you, how fucked up this world is.
I stop talking. I think about the moving thing. I am torn. I leave it at that. I get out of the bath and get ready for my red-eye to New York.
My eyes burn from crying. There is a little boy, who is seated next to me. He’s flying alone. He’s only 6. I strike up a conversation. I ask him what he’s going to New York for. He says to see his daddy, because he misses him. My heart breaks. He’s holding onto a little lego guy. I ask to see it. He shows it to me and pulls off the head. Just like you used to do. His hair is bald under his stocking cap. Somebody is clearly messing with me. He won’t put on his seatbelt. I coax him in to doing it. I tell him the airplane won’t be able to take off, until he does. He can’t do it himself. I help him. He’s out like a light now. He was out before we even took off. I turn my head towards the window to pretend like I give a shit about what’s going on outside as we take off. I do not. I turn my head so I can sob into your blanket. I sob as quietly as possible for a good 15 minutes. I can’t seem to stop. I miss you so much. I can’t breathe.
For as much as I love New York and am so thankful to be going, I hate all of this. I hate that we all are apart. You, wherever you are. Me, going to New York. Your daddy and brothers, at home. It would not be this way, if you were still here. I wouldn’t be doing any of this. All I ever wanted was simple. That was one of the biggest reasons I married your Daddy. Because everything was so simple. Our life revolved around each other and the three of you. It was so easy. No drama. No fighting. No cheating. No lying. Just a life that was so good and wholesome. Apparently that pissed somebody off, because we were then dealt the fucking worst hand. It was like, “Oh hello. You all love each other too much, so here’s some cancer for you. And not only cancer, but cancer in the form of your 3 year old and he’s going to die from it too.” What in the hell is that? Now I’m watching these other families that have gone through this or are going through this and it’s the same thing for them as well. The nicest families. It makes no sense at all. You can’t make sense out of nonsense, right Ro. I know this but I will never quit trying. I will always be searching for the answers that do not exist.
I am in New York now. Stacy is with me. As soon as we arrived, it started raining. You know that made me smile. We spent the day trying to catch up on a little sleep, grabbed a bite to eat, then I came back and tried to nap again. Poppy is still making me tired. I tried to nap but I really just went through some of the 500 email messages that had popped up in my inbox from just this morning. We met up with our Fairy RoMo for dinner and a little secret guest. It was a good dinner full of lots of secret plans that will be revealed when the time is right. I asked Stacy and your Fairy RoMo to come with me, knowing that you don’t get any better than those two when it comes to needing an open-minded opinion/some gut trusting intuition. We all left there with the same feelings of this totally feels right. I was so happy we were on the same page. It means the world to me that I was able to have the both of them there. I truly do have the most amazing friends.
That was last night, this is tomorrow night. Holy amazeballs. This city. I honestly come here, without many plans and the most amazing things come my way. It is pure Romagic. Today, we got up and walked the streets, making our way to see Fairy RoMo. We spent the day with her. The days with her always feel like I’ve been transported into another world, another time, where I actually feel happy. She has that infectious way about her that just makes me feel good. A feeling that doesn’t happen very often to me anymore. We saw some sights. Met up with one of her dear friends, who I have been dying to meet. Had a cocktail, (a virgin spicy bloody mary for me), and walked some more. It was one of those days where Stacy and I just kept looking at each other and saying, “Is this all really happening?” We parted ways as we had a dinner to run off to. We had plans to meet up with Scott Kennedy from Solving Kids’ Cancer. Stacy has been dying to meet him and I was so excited to see him as well. I got a little surprise at dinner. Scott had brought a lady with him, who he introduced as Catheryn. I thought she was just somebody he worked with. We said hello and I started asking her how she got involved in the foundation as she said she had just started working there. She then told me she was John London’s wife. John London is the other dad who started up Solving Kids’ Cancer with Scott. “Oh my god. You’re Penelope’s mom.” I said tearing up. I grabbed her for a hug. I know their story. It like ours, does not have a happy ending. Penelople’s parents fought with everything and more to save their precious little girl. Oh, how I wish that mama still had her baby girl. I should have known there was a reason when the second I saw the woman standing before me, that I was so drawn to her. It was because her eyes, looked exactly like mine. They burned with pain and beauty right into my soul. We had a great dinner. Which now I’m thinking, really, a great dinner? How can that be? It’s the kind of dinner that is always sad. So fucking sad. The fact that 3 of us, were sitting there with dead children is about as sick of a joke as you can get. It will never be a dinner where we carelessly drink our “hectic” day away without a care in the world, like everyone around us seemed to be doing. It will never be a dinner full of so much laugher and joy. It will always be a dinner full of sorrow, pain, love and survival. We don’t get to have normal dinners ever again. And I would never want to because normal to me will never exist. I have accepted that. I am making my own new fucking normal. I was thankful for not having to sit through a dinner and fake it. I don’t do those dinners ever anyway, because I just cannot. I am careful about the company I surround myself with. I was glad to be in the company that I was, even under our circumstances. We left that dinner and I looked at Stacy and said, “That man. (meaning Scott Kennedy) makes me want to move to New York and raise a billion dollars for childhood cancer.” In other words, he is incredible. I am so thankful to have him as a mentor and a friend.
Stacy left today. I was sad to see her go. I need to end this here. I’m beyond wiped. I love you baby. I miss you. Please, I hope you are safe.
xxoo

Katie Show Update

We filmed the segment today, but it won’t air until next week. I thought I was going to be so nervous, but I was not at all! It was a breeze and Katie and her staff were so amazing! I also had a long talk with Ronan, beforehand about how much I needed him today. I know he was right by my side. It’s the only way to explain the amazing calmness I felt while being on stage, talking about him. I am beyond honored for this opportunity and so amazed at all the things Ronan is doing in this world.

Back to AZ today, but turning around on Saturday to come back to New York. Thank you all for being so supportive and loving. I know I made Ronan proud today!

xxoo