It’s 3:25 a.m.? Rise and Shine Insomnia!

Ronan. Not crying. Not crying. Not crying. Who am I kidding. #cryingallday. Everything hurts. Nothing gets easier. I don’t miss you less. Who is the jackass that made up that “wise saying?” That pain becomes less as time goes on. Obviously someone who never lost a child. I met a friend this morning for coffee. She lost her daughter to cancer. Her baby, was 21 when she was diagnosed. Twenty freaking one. And it was to childhood cancer. If that doesn’t scare the shit out of you, nothing will. It scares the shit out of me and I know what it’s like to lose you to cancer. It scares the shit out of me, for Liam, Quinn, and now this Poppy baby. Cancer can strike at any time and the fact that options for all these kids is so limited, is beyond bullshit. I know the pain of losing a child, at any age, is awful. But I think about my friends daughter, and the fact that at her age, she knew what was happening. That destroys me. And I hurt for my friend who had to bury her child who was pretty much an adult. And now has to stay here and is expected to go on with this so called life. It’s all so unfair. We talked about how painful this is, how time does not make things better, but how we both know we will see our babies again, someday. But how not physically having them here, is so very difficult. We both ache for our children so badly that it makes every single bone in our bodies throb with pain. Especially during the holidays. Everything seems heightened to the max.

After I left my friend, I ran to the store. I was on a mission to grab some things for our very empty refrigerator. Mission accomplished without having a breakdown. I came home and started whipping up the pies that I had promised your Mr. Sparkly Eyes. Homemade crust. Homemade whipped cream. An apple pie first. I had my iTunes on. Of course my Taylor Swift playlist was playing. I like to listen to her when I bake. I had just put the apple pie in the oven when your song, “Ronan,” came on. I always skip over it if it comes on my playlist. Not because I don’t love it. Because I do. So much. I still think it is the most beautiful song that I have ever heard. But because I know what happens when I listen to that song. I end up with a black mascara filled face and usually huddled up on the floor somewhere. I had my hand on my keyboard to skip it, but I told myself that today, I would listen to it. I let it continue to play. I let the tears come, too. Every single lyric, makes me lose it. I wanted you so badly, to be in the kitchen cooking with me, like we used to do. I so badly, wanted my little sidekick and partner in crime. The song finished. I cleaned myself up and continued on to my pumpkin pie. I let myself get lost in my baking. They turned out beautifully. I hope they taste as good as they look. Tomorrow, I will bake with Macy. She wanted me to wait for her, to do our pies.

I wonder if my sleep will ever be the same again. I fall asleep easily much of the time, only to wake up like clock work around the time you passed away. Your daddy knows I’ve been having the worst time sleeping. He looked at me the other morning and asked what was going on, that I was having such an awful time sleeping. My eyes started to tear up and I just said, “Because I don’t know where my child is.” That is how I feel. Like you are missing and not actually dead. Missing but I’ll never be able to find you. I will forever go on searching for you in this messed up world full of things that don’t make sense.

Macy is here now. Tomorrow is here, too. I will do my best to get through the day. I miss my mom and your Papa Jim so very much. I am thankful for the friends that are like family who will help us get through the day. I would give anything to be with you, through. I will take this Macegiving to count the things that I am thankful for, on one hand. That is about the best I can do. I think that is pretty good, considering our circumstances. Last year I probably would have said I was thankful for nothing. This year, I know the things in my life that I will be thankful for and my list won’t include stupid black friday. My list will include the things that are truly important such as the health of your brothers, this Poppy baby, your daddy, our loved ones and for all the people who have been touched by your story and who are helping keep you alive in a way. As always, I am thankful for you and that I am your mama. I am not thankful to that asshole cancer. I would like to rip it’s face off with my bare hands. I’m working on it but my revenge will never serve justice for your death. Nothing will. I don’t even want fucking justice. I just want you back. I just want this to all be a dream and to wake up now. I am so tired of this life without you.

This is all for now. It’s 4 a.m. I’m not tired but my eyes burn and my brain is mush. I am going to try to get a little more rest before I have to take on this day. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby boy.


P.S. Dear lovely little blog readers. I love you. I hope you have a great day today filled with all of the simple things that matter. Thank you for not being thankful for any of the shallow things in life, but for the things that truly matter. Thanks for learning this lesson and letting it make you a better person. Please keep all the other people out there, who may be going through a hard time, in your thoughts. I have a bunch of families that I will be thinking of, not just our own. I am truly thankful for all of you. I love you. This was our last Thanksgiving with Ronan. I was so happy. It was my best Thanksgiving, ever. I love you, Liz. I love you, Ronan. I am forever so very sorry I couldn’t fix you.

53 thoughts on “It’s 3:25 a.m.? Rise and Shine Insomnia!”

  1. Inspirational,look at all Ro has achieved so far,unbelievable,changing the face of childhood cancer forever,my thoughts with you and your family,day by day Maya,that is what you have to do,carpe diem

  2. I still cant get through the first line of Roman without becoming a hysterical mess. I hope you have atleast a bearable macgiving. I’m so sorry. Much love, Olivia

  3. Thinking of you and your family today. I will be running for Ronan in my first marathon this sunday-always thinking of him!

  4. Sending all of my love to you and your beautiful family on you Macgiving lovely Maya. I also wanted to share this song with you: Everyone’s Waiting by Missy Higgins ( I have no idea if you will like it, but the lyrics made me think of you and I loved that about them. Thankyou for making me Thankful, love xx

  5. Your pain is do evident today, and my heart is breaking for you. Over the last week I have sent a couple pics to your email mayawoody… one is for Poppy the othe I saw yesterday for you and Ro. You and your beautiful family are always in my thoughts and we will honor Ro today by having a sparkly moment during our meal today, something crazy fun and full of life, maybe jump up and have a 30 sec dance party?? My MIL will flip out but that will just make it all the better!!!

    Hugs to you all… Happy Macegiving!!!

    PS Maya-your sweet Robaby knows how much you loved him and how much you miss him. He will forever be a part of you. Two peas in a pod, you both are connected in so many ways.

  6. Maya, I thought about your family the moment I woke up…wondering how you were going to spend your day. Since finding your blog, you have become my new ‘long distance friend’ that I cannot wait to hear from…….THANK YOU for being you……keep informing and inspiring. XO

    1. You couldn’t have said it better..I too feel like Maya is my “long distance friend” always thinking of u. Maya has left an imprint in my heart..sending positive strength your way.
      From Montreal, Canada xoxo

  7. Hello Maya,
    My name is Maddie. I’m 15 years old and from New Jersey. I would just like to say that I admire your strength. So much. I started to read your blog from the very beginning a few weeks ago. I began to read it because of Taylor Swift’s song. I heard it, and I wanted to learn more. I played the song for my mother in the car once. She started crying, and when it was done, she simply said: “cancer sucks.” He lost her father to lung cancer a month before her wedding. I cry a lot because I will never know him. I know a lot of people who either survived or have cancer, including my aunt. She was recently diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. That hit me the hardest. She has a three year old son, and I hate to think that he migh have to grow up without her. All in all, I just really want to thank you for being so strong, and showing me how selfish I am. I was so caught up in my teenager problems, that I didn’t realize that it could be gone anyday. So today, I will be thankful for everything I have. Especially my family. And you. I will be so greatly thankful that someone like you is out there making a change, even if it is just one teenager at a time. Thank you once again. I pray for you and your family every single night. Cancer is a bitch!

    Love, Maddie.

    1. I’m sorry about your grandfather, and your aunt as well. That was very well said. I agree. I am thankful that someone is stepping up and raising awareness. I am glad there are other teenagers out there that care about others, not just their boy troubles, minor flaws, and GPA’s. By the way, nice name! 😉

  8. We love you too Maya! I hope and pray today is a good day for you and your family. Keeping those in my prayers today that are less fortunate and hurting. Xoxoxo

  9. Oh Maya…thinking of and praying for you and your family today so much. Thank you always for your words…I was thinking this is the 3rd Thanksgiving I’ve been lucky enough to ‘share’ with you and just on

  10. Happy Macegiving to you and your beautiful family!!!
    Thinking of you RoMama & Rockstar Ro!!!
    XO ❤
    Always Rolove!!!

  11. Maya, You express yourself so so well through words it is a rare gift to be able to do that…

    We dont celebrate thanksgiving in Ireland, but if we did i would say this “I am thankful that one day in work, i googled Taylor Swift to listen to one of her songs i love, when i saw she had a song called ‘Ronan’ i listened… And it changed my whole life…… It led me to your blog in the space of a few days i caught up with your story i have cried floods of tears over your story and went to bed so many nights with a blinding headache and the redest eyes… Anyway, i am thankful i read your story because you and Ro have taught me that life is not a dress rehearsal so for gods sake enjoy it, live it and love it!!! And cherish the heck outta your kids because they are EVERYTYHING!!! That is what i am thankful for, because you truly opened up my eyes!!! I am also glad Ro had you as his mama.. you loved him to bits and pieces and my god he knew that!!! you made his last months as positive as you could you kept him smiling, laughing, cuddled, kissed and loved… i am crying again now!!! All my Love Maya to you and your family.. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  12. Ronan is with you every day at every moment. He is in all things good and spreading his love and the message of helping others. He will “be” forever!
    Hugs ❤

  13. thank you Maya for being brave enough to share yourself with us. I read your blog daily. It is the only time I feel sane. I lost my daughter two months ago. We found her unexpectedly she had been born with a heart condition but never in a million years did we thing she was close to leaving. There was a lot of medical mistakes that did this. I am amazed at how we went through two different fights for them but as moms felt so similar. I still can’t accept that the battle was taken away from me without me being able to have a choice in it. I feel like no one understands that loss of your baby is truly the loss of your world. They thing other kids are there still have some left like it should lessen the blow. I had 3 not 2 and they balanced out her missing sticks out like a sore thumb. The classic is when I allow myself to grieve I will be able to move on with my life. I’m sorry you have to go through this Maya I am so sorry your heart was ripped out. I am sorry of what you and your husband had to see and endure. There are images you have that should never happen to children much less your own. I’m trying to get those out of mine I’m not sure how yet but I know I have to so I can remember the good times. One of my “thanks” will be that you share your loss, you put into words things I feel that I didn’t know how to explain. I have no doubt Ronan’s life will help countless families and that will be due to you.

  14. Maya, your so brave, yours and Ronan story is spreading everywhere, even here in Ireland, & to think we have it bad when we have struggles in our life, we should really think again, our “struggles” are nothing compared to yours so before we think we have it hard we should really think of people who have had hard and still have it hard each and every day, your an Idol to so many people around this world, you have no idea how many !! R.I.P Ronan, always on our minds and always in our prayers xoxoxox

  15. Thankyou for striving to save many despite your pain and thank you for sharing a picture of Ronan. I miss seeing them. God bless

  16. I was at a charity run this morning and a woman literally shoved me out of the way and cut in line to bathroom and never said a word to me. People that love Black Friday and push people to take a whiz piss me off.
    I am sure you knew your blessings before Ronan was taken from you. I can tell from the way you write that you have appreciate your golden life before it was taken from you. Black Friday and bitches were never your thing.
    Thank you for continuing to write and sharing your life. I think about you and your family ever day and I am grateful for the lessons you have taught me.

  17. Since i’m brazilian, i don’t celebrate thanksgiving but i am thankful for comin upon your blog, for getting to know Ro’s story, for getting to hear from you almost everyday. Like of the comments that someone mentioned, you are like a “long distance friend” that i can’t wait to hear from.
    Thank you for being so strong and being able to share your story with all of us. Thank you for making me realise what really matters while i was caught up in teenage “problems”, being selfish. I look back now and realise that everything i was worrying about was so stupid. Thank you for making me a better person.
    You & your family are always in my prayers. Thank you Ronan, for being such a sweet sweet soul.. 💛
    I love you Mama 😘 take caree!

  18. I hope you had a happy macegiving! You and Ronan were on my list of thanks 🙂 I thank you for all you and Ronan taught me 🙂 I hope all my work I’m doing to make bracelets for Ronan makes it big 🙂 I have already sold over 100 dollars worth of bracelets! You and Ronan are always in my prayers

  19. I just recently started reading your blog after I seen the Katie show, I have read them ever since that day and cry every time !! Ronan was the sweetest lil face I have ever seen. Recently I was riding in the car with my daughter taylor who is 13 and i was listening to Taylor swifts song Ronan, after the song she asked me what it was about n I told her all about Ronan, this was about a month or so ago sitting at the dinner table today on thanksgiving day I look over n seen writing on my daughters wrist so I ask her what its said n she pulled her sleeve down and in big letters it said ” fight like a rock star” and she’s days for Ronan mom. Made my heart skip a beat. I just wanted to share this with u and let u know that Ronan has touched out family’s heart n we will pray for u every day…

  20. I agree with you completely – whoever said time heals all wounds was not a bereaved parent. It has been 7 years since our first son died and almost 3 since our youngest son died and it is still awful. No parent should have I live in a world without their child/children.

    I try to be thankful but again I agree with you – the holidays make everything harder! I wish I could go to sleep and wake up in the middle of January. Sending hope and hugs. fuck you cancer!!

  21. My heart goes out to you!
    There are no words that could touch the emotion I feel for you…and your family

    I just lost my close friend to fucking cancer( so good to say fucking and not be judge) she was only 32 with two small babies.. 17 months and almost 3… The day she died.. I felt like I had to find her… Like she was missing… Even though I told my mind to go someone else… My car drove to her house.. And nights are killing me with questions.. Like where is she?

    Her battle was 9 months like Ro…

    With out words exchanged .., you have already made me feel comfort in sharing your experiences.. When I found out Cyndi had little time left… Days… Your blog gave me strength to be there for her last hours.. Which are a blessing but I feel guilty

    I am a mother of 2 and raise 4… My heart aches for you…
    I think about you and your family always…

  22. Even though I’m Canadian and today isn’t even Thanksgiving for me… I want to say that I’m so thankful for you, Maya. You aren’t like some of the parents I follow on CaringBridge who have lost a child to the same asshole that took Ronan. You don’t say ‘he’s in a better place’, ‘he’s not hurting anymore’, ‘he’s playing with the angels’. No. You’re real, you write how you really feel and how you SHOULD feel after what you’ve been through. You have changed my life and I can’t thank you enough for that. Ronan isn’t the first child neuroblastoma fighter to come into my life but he is definitely one of the most important to me. Not to say that other children aren’t important. They absolutely are and always will be very dear to me, but Ronan was, and still is, very special. Taylor Love is the reason I first heard of, and decided to fight against, neuroblastoma. She survived it and then survived chemo-induced leukemia (what a sick joke) and the almost died again when her kidneys started to fail because of some sort of complication due to her bone marrow transplant to cure the leukemia… She’s had it rough but she’s a healthy, but always still fighting 7-year-old now and has been NED for awhile. She’s an inspiration to me but she made it. She has a happy ending, I am so happy for that but Ronan should have had one too. That right there is why he is my reason to keep pushing on. He didn’t get the chance to have a happy ending while he was with you and so I will dedicate my life to making sure his happy ending is carried out even though he isn’t physically here. I want to help you however I can to obliterate the monster that is cancer. Well… That was much longer than I thought and now it isn’t even Thanksgiving anymore as it is past midnight here… Well I guess the whole point of this is to say thank you so much for your raw, real words and for giving me the strength and motivation to keep plugging through school and become the nurse that will (hopefully) change the world for some very special kids one day.
    Lots of love,
    Kailee ❤

  23. Maya,
    So much for my 30 sec dance break during Thanksgiving Dinner. So much for a day worth giving thanks. 2 hours after I typed to you this morning I found out one of my closest friends was killed in a car wreck this morning. She was a single mom and left behind a 6 yr old lil girl and an 11 year old lil boy. My heart is breaking, the world is such a cruel place…and the topper??? It’s raining outside tonight. I don’t know how I will get through her candlelight vigil tomorrow night…I just hope I can find some of the strength that you muster up when times get hard and you have to just power through it.
    I truly hope you had a great Macegiving and that your boys had a good day filled with beautiful moments. As of right now I am so tired from crying, my eyes ache and my body feels numb. I am guessing it’s like a day in the life of Maya…and for this I’m so sorry. Grief fucking sucks!!! Cancer fucking sucks!!! Dying to soon fucking sucks!!! I’ll never understand this life, or a God that is supposed to be so wonderful that he lets lil children die from awful diseases or take wonderful mothers away leaving their children alone…how am I supposed to believe that God wanted another angel. Doesn’t he have enough?? I’m sorry, I’m rambling. I’ll write more when I’m not so broken. (((hugs to you all )))

  24. I’m so sorry that you lost your baby. I too lost my son on June 8th 2010 At the age of 4 to eplipesy. Everytime I hear the song Ronan it reminds me so much of Kyle. Kyle was such a fiesty little thing He loved pushing the limits to everything, the boy was my sun, my world revolved him I don’t know how I’m still here without my sunshine. It’s a crock of shit when people say it gets easier, time heals all wounds, really because my heart was torn out of my chest and ripped into a trillion pieces and nothing could put it together again unless I had my handsome boy back. I wish I could trade places with both our boys, every child even if that meant being skinned alived I’d do that in a heart beat. no parent should ever lose a child it’s fucking ridiculous. Keep kicking cancers ass maya.

    November is epilepsy awareness month so please everyone rock your PURPLE!!

    1. Just wanted to also add in I know what it’s like to be pregnant after losing a baby too. Kyle always wanted a little brother and in August only two months after losing Kyle we found out we were having a boy. Kyle loved well was obsessed with the ninja turtles so we named our baby Leonardo kyle Stokley. Seriously I have a kid named after a ninja turtle. So the name Leia Ronan Thompson came in my head for you! name your girl after a star wars character for ronan why not I got a ninja turtle 🙂

  25. We don’t have Thanksgiving (or Halloween, so ya know if you wanna skip those holidays any year, you know where to find me) but every single day I am thankful that your CC led me to you and your beautiful blue eyed boy. Love you, Maya xo

  26. Hello. The very fact that here at work, we are all boys, I never imagined that all of my colleagues would embrace the life story of the “Army Guy Ronan”. First heard the song in youtube, of course the one which lovely Taylor performed for Stand Up For Cancer. We googled what the story all about and each one here were moved by it!

    The song RONAN is the most listened song here in our office.

    The Army Guy Ronan was promoted to glory and is now an Angel Guy!

    (From Overseas Filipino Workers in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

  27. I too have so much trouble listening to the song Ronan because it’s so emotional. Even people who don’t know the story or don’t read the blog describe it as such an emotional song – Taylor’s voice was so raw and lovely when she performed it at “Stand up 2 Cancer” and tears were streaming down her face. I can’t even imagine how you feel listening to it.

  28. I have no idea how you go on. My heart is broken for you and Ronan. I am following you and praying you find peace. Put one foot in front of the other..and try to keep your head up. I am so sorry…and I don’t understand either. :o(

  29. Dear Maya
    im thankful for you, you family, Baby ro and your story. I have not lost a child bwcause i am 15 but i did lose a close firend to cancer who looked a lot like ronan. I have known about ronan and your blog for a while now. But last month we read your blog in english class and right when my teacher said we are learning about ronan and pulled up your blog i started crying and told the class about your little angle. I have a braclete with ronans name that i made on my wall and on instagram and i just wanted you to know i love you guys and poppy and that i glad child hood cancers are finaly starting to get the agnolagement and respect they deserve
    Xoxox Tristen

  30. You are so awesome Romama! You are doing so many great things, and we are all behind you! I’m thinking about all those other kids and families too! That is a beautiful pic you shared Ronans eyes are just so beautiful!

  31. Miss Maya I love u so much I wish I could be close enough to you to give you the biggest hug and say nothing as t all theres just no suitable words accept I love you!!!! I would love to talk to you if you ever get a free min, which by my readings of ur blog that I have on alert when you post wink, wink!!!! Your one busy girl doing wonderful things on auto pilot due to the most FUCKED HAND ANY FUCKING HUMAN-BEING COULD HAVE BEEN DELT. Iwould surely assist you in kicking the shit out of cancer, I’m dealing w or shall I say trying to deal w another blow cancer has decided to throw into my life, its just un-fucking-fair. Nobody should ever have to walk up against a fucking monster that murders whoever it seems fit babies to moms to our elders. There’s so much more I would love to communicate w/ you about a little bit of this and a little bit of that if by chance u happen to run accross this comment and have a min to catch up with a very old friend I would love that. Stay strong as nails like u are and always have been u may feel like mush but ur one of the strongest females I know I love you CAPEWOMAN from the bottom of my heart and you are heavily on my mind HEAVILY so as I said E-MAIL ME I hope to hear from you and if I don’t this time I will keep posting you comments in hopes that you read one of them I love you mama your in my heart always


  32. God, Maya, I’m just so sorry. I really can’t even describe how sorry, and if I can’t I really can’t imagine how you feel. I was on YouTube listening to, of course, Ronan, as always, reading the comments. NO ONE says anything about this blog, and also NO ONE understands. Someone was like, “I totally understands how that mom feels, my Grandma just died.” Right. They SO shouldn’t be comparing a baby to some old lady. NEVER. Also, looking at that picture, I thought, ‘NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO SAY THIS WAS OUR LAST THANKSGIVING WITH HIM!’ He shouldn’t have died. He shouldn’t have gotten sick. Cancer is such a Asshole!

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