A Poppy Shower? O.k. Only if tradition does not exist.


Ronan. I survived your 18 months. It rained. Of course it did. It was a hard day with a lot of tears but I didn’t die. If pain alone could kill me, I would have died about a million times by now. I’ve been busy but not in my normal way of running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. I’ve been doing a lot of things around our house, which you know kills me. I’ve been spending a lot of time with your brothers and daddy. We have gone out to eat a couple of times, as a family. “Table for 4 please,” never becomes easier to say. I always have to say it fighting back tears. I told Rita yesterday that being pregnant makes me suicidal. I was kind of joking but kind of not. I feel really alone and isolated with this pregnancy. Like I am the only mother in the world who has lost a child and is now carrying another life inside of her. I know there are other mothers out there, who have gone through this as well. But they are not really in my inner circle, unless you count Dr. Jo. So for the most part, I am alone in this. Nobody else that I am in contact with, knows what this could possibly feel like. Instead this pregnancy is filled with a lot of happiness from the outside world. As if this will fix everything. It doesn’t. It will not. I know this baby will bring a lot of smiles, but my smiles will always come with tears; for the rest of my life. The pain behind my eyes, will never go away.

I have been trying to plan our second annual Macegiving. You know since last year I banned Thanksgiving at our house. We made our own day and it revolved around your Auntie Macy and doing whatever the hell we wanted. No formal Thanksgiving Day existed. Macy will fly in, just as she did last year to save us from this wretched holiday. Maybe this year, I feel as if I have more to be thankful for, but I still think it is bullshit that I have to sit around a table, without you. Last year, I wore my “Fuck Cancer,” shirt. I shot a bb gun. We ate Chinese Food, let off fireworks and beat the shit out of a piñata. This year will be more of the same but I will cook some pies. I love cooking pies and miss it so much. We will have friends come and go through out the day. Nothing formal or stuffy. No fancy clothes or fake smiles required. No prayers or sitting around a table together saying what it is, we are thankful for. Our day will be tough, as all holidays are, but thankfully we have some great friends to help us get through it. The best fucking friends on the planet.

Poppy is growing like crazy. So is my stomach. Never in my life have I eaten healthier, not because I want to, but because she requires it. I’m a healthy eater anyway, but Little Miss Poppy, has taken it to a whole new level. No meat, not much candy, no fast food, nothing greasy or processed. I’ve been living off of humus, fruit, veggies, some cheese here and there. The other day, I went to a restaurant with Stacy and Fernanda. Fernanda ordered a burger, Stacy the French Dip. “I’ll have the veggie platter, please.” They both looked at me like I was crazy. “WTF? I know! This Poppy only wants really healthy shit!” With all of you boys, I totally remember eating burgers, ice cream, etc… Stuff that you are supposed to enjoy when you are pregnant. Maybe it’s because she is a girl, that I want none of that stuff. I find it funny. I wonder if the second she is born, that I’ll be dying for my meat and candy galore again. Right now, sign me up for the beets, cauliflower, humus, apples, and whatever healthy stuff I can get my hands on. I even went to the movies a couple of weeks ago with Rita and pulled out cauliflower from my purse. It didn’t even seem weird to me until she pointed out that it was totally weird. Your little sister is quirky already and I kind of love it;) She is already taking after me.

Last week I got the news that the trial we funded with Solving Kids’ Cancer for Dr. Mosse at CHOP is a go. We sent our check in and I could not be more proud. Proud of you. Proud of us. Proud of all the people out there, sending us there hard-earned money. A dollar here, a dollar there…. It all adds up. I am so proud to be partnering up with another AMAZING childhood cancer foundation. Believe me, I have researched them ALL. Solving Kids’ Cancer is the best of the best. I cannot wait to collaborate with them for the many more things that we have in the works. Together, we are going to change this game, big time. I kept my word to Dr. Mosse. I said from the very beginning the first thing we funded, would be with her. Although she never treated you, Ronan, she navigated us down this road and at the end of the day was the only person to look me in the eyes and say, “I am so sorry. We as a medical community, have failed you.” Those words, one of the worst things I have ever had to hear, came across not in a sharp and hurtful way, but full of compassion and true sadness. Her eyes were full of the dignity and grace that you deserved and that we as parents, so needed. I believe in the work she is doing. I believe in her as not only a doctor, but a human being. I know what she is doing, will make a difference. I am so happy to support her in any way that we can. Thank you all so much, for making this happen. This would not have happened, without you.

Tonight I went to Chelsea’s Kitchen for a little pow wow of a dinner. I met up with some of our lovies for an impromptu meeting about some things we have in the works. We talked about some foundation things but also some personal things. I have some of my closest girlfriends who want to throw me a baby shower. I’ve been fighting them on it but I know I am not going to win. We sat tonight and talked about how they know the “traditional,” baby shower, won’t fly for me. “Please, I don’t want to sit around, drink punch and open gifts. Please, I don’t want to play the jelly bean game where you guess how many of them are in a baby bottle. Please, I don’t want to have everyone guess how big my belly is with a string. I will throw up and run out of the room if any of that takes place.” Please I just want my Ronan back, too. Can’t I have Ronan and Poppy both? I cannot. At the end of the night the girls came up with some ideas for this very non traditional baby shower which I will know nothing about as I am just showing up. All of their ideas made me laugh and seems very Maya like which means it goes against the norm of everything baby shower required. My anxiety is a lot less now. I am so thankful for the friends I have, who understand that a traditional shower would only send me screaming out of the room, crying. I am thankful for the friends who embrace the me for being me and love me so much. I am thankful that they are still here and were brave enough to never go away, even when I know I was not capable of being a friend to anyone. I am thankful for them loving me and never judging. Because they understand that nobody has the right to judge a grieving mother. It’s because of their gifts that I will forever spend the rest of my life, giving them what I have left. Which at times, may only be a little or it may be a lot. Either way, they do not care. They love me enough to stand by my side to know that when I am ready, I will come back. I feel like I have in a lot of ways. I am so glad they waited for me. I am so glad they never gave up, even after you left Ronan. They are still here and still fighting. That is also because they love you, so very much. I know there was a time in my life when I thought I didn’t need anybody. All I wanted to do, was push everyone away. The friends that are still here are the one’s who never stopped fighting for you, for me, for us, for our family. I will forever be so thankful for them. I now know that I very much needed them all so badly. I would be so sad, if they had gone away which they easily could have done but chose not to do. Thank you to all of you, who are still here. I love you so very much.

Alright little man. I am beat. Poppy is still making me pretty tired. I am dreaming so vividly but still not seeing you which I don’t understand. I talk about you, watch everyone else talk about you, your death seems to be in my dreams all of the time, but never your little face. I would give anything to see it. I think about you all of the time. You would think this would mean I get to see you in my dreams too. I don’t. I hardly ever do. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.



26 responses to “A Poppy Shower? O.k. Only if tradition does not exist.”

  1. I think we all hope that Poppy will bring you a lot of the happiness that you deserve, Maya. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I also know that she will not heal your broken heart. She might make the pain less and sometimes, she might make it harder to bear because I have no doubt she will have the spiciness of her big brother and a constant reminder that he will never get to be there with you all, being the big brother he so deserved to be.
    But I know she will bring you joy and I also know that she will have the BEST mama in the entire world. The strongest mama, the funniest mama (and she’ll have some VERY funny aunties – Rita, I am looking at you!!!) and the bravest mama. She will be compassionate, bold and FEARLESS. She will never replace what you have lost, nothing ever could, but she will be amazing nonetheless because she is a RoGift like no other.

    1. Ditto to all of that, Ali B….espeically that Poppy is a RoGift like no other.

    2. SO True. Poppy will make you happy again, Maya. She’ll be fearless and strong, like you, but sweet. And probably a lot like Ronan.

  2. Maya….You would Love my friend Lenore Davis…..she too lost her son,Hunter.. from the bastard cancer at 3 and a half……she was 5 months pregnant with her 2nd son when he died…..she can so relate!…you can read her story here: http://www.paincation.blogspot.com ….and here: http://www.healinghunter.com
    She is an amazing woman who is forever broken………and also started a foundation…..
    XXX Mara

  3. sending hugs and quiet tears as you continue to travel the journey. Dr. Mosse is wonderful beyond description and has helped with our grandson’s nb treatment. Thank you for helping her and the rest of us.

  4. Love to you, Maya. I am still so sorry and I always will be. Always.

  5. Maya, I feel so close to you and really wish I didn’t. So many of your words strike a nerve with me, as I have felt so much that you have felt and thought many of the same thoughts. I can really relate to the way you are feeling with this pregnancy. 9 months after I lost my son, Colin, I became pregnant with my daughter Samantha. I was happy, yet terrified that something might go wrong. I was thrilled to find out I was having a girl, but so very sad that Riley (Colin’s twin) wouldn’t have a boy close to his age. I then became pregnant again with another girl, Olivia, when Sami was 9 months old. My girls were wonderful surprises, as it took us 2 years (and fertility treatments) to conceive our boys. I miss my sweet boy so much that it causes physical pain, and I know that the hurt will never go away. My heart is breaking even more now that Riley is 8, and I can tell how much he feels that void in his life. His best friends are not 1, but 2 sets of twins. How fucked up is that? Sorry – going off on a rant. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you will always miss your sweet Ronan with every fiber of your being, no doubt about it. But, that sweet, precious little girl that you’re carrying will bring you and your family some of the joy and happiness you have lost along the way. Please don’t feel guilty about that joy – Ronan wouldn’t want you to, as Colin wouldn’t want me to. I look at my kiddos (more often that I’d like to admit), and wonder, “what if” . . . What if I hadn’t lost Colin, What if I hadn’t lost my dad? Would we still be where we are now? Would we be blessed with these beautiful little girls? I only let myself go there for a second though, because thoughts like that make me even crazier than I think I already am 😉 All I know is that we’re not in control, and that we have to do whatever we can to survive down here. Try your best to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, and then the magical little life you’ll be blessed with soon. Please know you’re not alone. You’re a wonderful mom – wish I could say that I handle all this shit with half the dignity and grace that you do – I’m trying though!

  6. Hahaha I love the thought of you pulling cauliflower out of your purse! I literally laughed out loud when I read that.

    I went to see Mumford and Sons in concert this weekend and I think they had some of that “Ronan ESP” you always talk about 🙂 Hearing them, I couldn’t help but think about you, Ronan, and all the amazing stuff you’re gonna do, Maya.

  7. RoMama,
    I hope Poppy is the joy & happiness you and Woody so deserve.
    I hope she has yours & Ro’s spiciness!
    No one can ever replace Rockstar Ronan!
    Poppy will bring you smiles. Smiles you deserve!
    Thinking of you & your spicy blue eyes monkey. Hope he’s beautiful face shows up in your dreams tonight. Sweet dreams RoMama! Sleep tight!

  8. Laying in bed reading this. Tonight I’ll pray that you see Ro’s face in yours dreams tonight. Hopefully my prayer works 🙂 Can’t wait to hear about the “shower”!!!

    Anne 🙂

  9. I seriously don’t know how you do it. :(. I know… Because you have to. Thanks for opening my eyes. I can feel tremendous pain just from your writing and I know it’s not even a fraction of what you really feel.

  10. My dear dear Maya, I missed you. I think that the whole healthy food is on you too, not only Poppy’s idea. Without realizing it, you are already taking a huge care of her, for her. So there it is, see? You are the best mama!! 🙂
    Take care and keep on going, we have your back, even from the distance.
    Love, Giovanna

  11. we are all out here in the ether, we are crying and laughing and feeling your pain, (a tiny bit i know). You are a strong woman, and one day when your mission in life is done you will be with your Ronan again. We will all try to hold you up on this journey of yours even though you dont know us or see us we are here XO Lynne

  12. I think you are an awesome lady to be trying to do so much to help other children beat this horrible disease of CANCER. My daughter Jessica Lee was diagnosed on Feb 15th this year with AML Leukemia. She endured 4 harsh rounds of Chemo and the doctors could only get her down to 7%. We needed to be fewer than 20% to have a bone marrow transplant, but as this was happening she devolved a fungal infection in her lung and spleen. So we were racing against time to get the infection cleared without the Leukemia coming back full force. On Sept 16th Jessica’s leukemia came back and it came back fast, she was in so much pain and her heart rate and breathing were very bad. The doctors could not give her any Chemo as it would have killed her, so they told us the only thing they could do was keep her comfortable and send her home on hospice. Jessica fought this battle and never gave up, she stood strong in her faith and we as a family turned it over to GOD. As a mother I just wanted to be able to make my daughter better, but I couldn’t. Did I question GOD of course I did but then I had to turn it all over to him. She was a gift from GOD and she was his child on loan to me and I am so thankful for the 11 years that I had with her on this earth. She passed away on Oct 4th at our house (exactly where she wanted to be). GOD promised me in Feb. that he would heal her and he kept that promise. He gave her the ultimate healing as soon as she stepped into heaven. I hold onto the promise that I will see her again one day and that she is dancing and singing in heaven with Jesus because of her salvation I have peace in my heart. I miss her every day some days I just don’t know how I will make it, but then I just pray a little harder. I pray that you will find the peace that you need. I pray this baby will help your pain a little. I know that she will not make it all go away – the pain will never fully go away. Cancer stinks!!! But GODs ways are not our ways! I am thankful for all the life’s that my baby girl touched with her faith in GOD. She told me several times — Mommy I will be ok either way GOD will keep me safe. If you ever need anything please let me know. I know it is hard, but with GOD on our side we will make it. Love you and God Bless you and your family – Love Shelley Lee

  13. We all miss you so much Ronan!

  14. I know your kick ass friends will give you a kick ass baby shower that you will be able to enjoy. I hate traditional baby showers even in the best of times. Ronan, come visit your Mama please.

  15. I don’t always know what to say so sometimes I don’t comment but I want to to let you know we are all thinking of you and your family and rooting you on for what you have been doing standing up to cancer! I so see great things happening and alot of changes coming for the good, You have helped me not take so much for granted and I’m thankful for that! I wish i could take away some of your pain but I know I cannot so I’ll do what I can to help you in Ronans honor through your foundation. Just know this Oregon mama is proud of you and your strength, and I’m on your side Ro
    mama! Let’s get cancer and destroy it once and for all!!!

  16. I know she will bring you joy and I also know that she will have the BEST mama in the entire world.

  17. Hi Maya,

    I think its great that your closest friends are putting on an unconventional baby shower, I mean your life is anything but oridinary. So I hope it will be an exciting event…as always bittersweet, but still joyous. I am so proud of the Ro Foundation and being able to support Solving Kids’ Cancer…a cause so close to your heart. Your are moving mountains, while pregnant, imagine what your going to do when lil Pop Rocks is by your side in this crazy battle. I hope you, Woody, and the twins have a Sparkly Macegiving…you all will be in my heart this holiday season. Maya, do you know the best part about winter??? The moon is closer to the earth..which means when you say “I love you to the moon and back”…your closer to your Ro…it’s just a lil thought.

    You and your Robaby are always in my thoughts…(((hugs))) Kristine

  18. Oh Poppygirl:) She’s feisty. Just like Ronan. Love it.

  19. Hi Maya,

    I sent you an email a few months ago and I’m sure you haven’t gotten to it yet as you are crazy busy. I am also pregnant right now. Baby number 3, the first two are in heaven with your sweet boy. The pregnancy has been hard, scary. But I am also trying so hard to enjoy it. I love the idea of the non traditional shower and am so happy that you have such wonderful friends around you. I know you feel alone, but you are so not alone 🙂 I don’t even know you and your stories/blogs radiate with LOVE. ❤

    I hope that you get to read my email soon, as we have a lot in common. Take care of yourself and Poppy!

    Peace and Love to your and your family, and FUCK off Cancer 😉


  20. Your posts never fail to touch my heart, to fill me with joy or sadness.

  21. I could live to be a thousand and I’ll never understand why God would take a baby from his own parents…and nothing, not even a precious baby girl will take away the pain of it and I am so sorry for that. There will be 24 months and 36 months and 5 years and the month he would have graduated high school and wondering what he would look like as a grown man?

    On a side note, I keep picturing baby Poppy to look like a girl version of Ronan, with sandy blonde locks and blue eyes. I can picture a sparkly purple nursery already : )

  22. You are not alone Maya – there are sadly many of us who have held our children while they took their last breath and then went on to have other pregnancies. It is all bittersweet after your child/children die. I wish I had a truly happy pregnancy. As you wrote – it is isolating and terrifying. It helped me to know that there are others who lived through it so maybe just maybe it will help you to know that we are out here and have (or are trying) to survive.

    Congratulations on the study being approved. You and Ronan are changing the world.

    Sending you hope and hugs. Fuck you cancer!!

  23. Maya,
    I believe that you do see Ronan in your dreams – you just don’t remember it when you wake up. He is always with you.

  24. I hope you find peace in knowing that The Ronan Thompson Foundation has funded it’s first trial! That’s huge! I keep saying it and I will say it again…you and Ronan are making such a big difference. Please keep fighting. I love the name Poppy and the story behind it, hopefully Liam and Quinn warm up to the name. If not remind them how good you are at picking out names…Liam and Quinn are very cool names.

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