Who is that little boy, standing next to you by the Christmas Tree? Oh, nobody. That’s just a mannequin, wearing my dead child’s costume.


Ronan. Life is all about choices. I have to make choices every single day. For instance, it is a choice for me to get out of bed every single day and be a functioning member of society. That is a choice I didn’t used to have to make in my life, I was just so excited about the day and what was to come, that I would spring out of bed after mostly being woken up by you. Now getting out of bed every day is harder. But I make the choice to do it. For you, for myself, and for your brothers. I have to think about the way the things I do in my life and what they will do to your brothers as well.  I know having a mom who doesn’t get out of bed, would only hurt them. I’m trying my best not to cause them any extra pain. I am trying, but sometimes I get so tired of all of this. It takes a lot of energy to make these choices that do not come effortlessly to me anymore.

Saturday came. I was o.k. with it because we had a very specific plan for the day. I had to finish up an interview with NPR so a girl named Jude came by our house with the last of her questions. Your daddy did a little interview as well. I think it will be a really good piece and I cannot wait to hear it when it is all finished up. Jude came to PCH with us to get some background noise while we decorated our tree. So it was me, your daddy, Liam, Quinn, Fernanda, Stacy and Melissa who spent a couple of hours, getting your Star Wars Captain Rex tree up and decorated. The entire tree is blue, silver and white. Just like the colors that Captain Rex wore. A lot of the time, I can be really strong doing things like this. Or maybe I’m just still numb. Looking back, I don’t know how I did what I did, with your daddy and brothers there with me. The decorating the tree wasn’t bad. The being in the hospital wasn’t bad. I handled it all pretty well, like I always seem to do. I handled it all well, including when Liam went over to your Captain Rex mannequin and picked him up for a picture. I about lost my shit, but I couldn’t. All Liam wanted was a picture with the little guy. He had no clue that Captain Rex was actually wearing the costume you wore on Halloween. So as he put his arm around Captain Rex, then picked him up while saying, “CHEESE!” I had no choice but to snap the picture. I think I almost threw up. I looked back at Fernanda who had seen the whole thing. She looked as pale as I felt. OMG. OMG. OMG. That did not just happen. This is not my reality even though I know very well that it is. We all got out there soon after that. Your tree looks wonderful. So perfect. So very much you. We took a picture in front of it. The very perfect family holiday card picture, right Ro? Looking back at it now, it breaks my heart. Captain Rex looks like an actual little boy standing next to us. He looks about your size. Have we all gone mad? Who in their right minds, takes a picture like this and holds their shit together? We do, Ronan. To honor you. To bring some smiles to other kids’ faces. Because this is one choice we don’t get to make, we just have to do. For all of us. Because if we don’t do things like this, then we all crumble up and just fall apart like I know I want to do, every second of the day. But the fighter in me just won’t give into the weakness of that. I’ve got too much shit to do in this world.

We had some very good friends come into town for the night. My best friend from Jr. High. Her high school sweetheart and now husband and my good friend, too. I set them up when we were about 15. Some of the best people I know. Woody and I love spending time with them as a couple. Laura and I used to always say you and their daughter Cameron, were going to get married someday as you are so close in age. How naive we were, I guess. They came with their kids in tow. As always, it was so good to be with them. We left the kids for the night and headed out to the Bret Michaels concert. Everyone was so excited, including myself but always in the back of my mind is the reason I get to do things like this and it all revolves around because of losing you. This now means that anything beautiful comes my way still stings in a way, too. I am always very aware of our situation and the reason our life is the way it is now. The situations I find myself in, such as a great night out, with great friends, at a great concert, always come with a heavy price tag. One that I wish I never knew but this is our life now so I try to take these little gifts and grow from them as much as possible. In my life before all of this, I am pretty sure I would have been the life of the party. Laughing with friends. Being wild and free. Not having a care in the world. Now I find myself a little more reserved and quiet. I know I will never be the life of the party again. I would just rather sit back and watch the way others get to play that role now. It’s not mine to play anymore. Our night was lovely and your daddy got to blow off the steam that I know he very much has been needing to do. I found comfort in being with my oldest friends. The friends that knew me before your daddy, before kids, during kids, and after the death of you. We got to spend a little time with Bret before the concert. I had the chance to tell him thank you for all he has done and is continuing to do in this world. He has a great heart and I was so glad to finally be able to tell him thank you in person. The concert was amazing. I had to sit down throughout much of it, due to my feet hurting and just being wiped out. I felt your Poppy kicking a lot. I let myself find some solace in that.

Our friends left today. But not before I went to your room to check on Laura and her kids. They were packing up and I could tell Laura was upset. Her little one’s had been playing with your toys all day. I told her it was alright, that somebody needed to play with them. She just grabbed me and we both cried for a bit. She told me how wrong this all is and how she doesn’t know I do this. I don’t know either. I never will know the answer to that other than the obvious one which involves because if I don’t, I will die. I know that is my ultimate truth.

I need to go now, baby. Quinn is sleeping due to a headache he has had today so I am going to snuggle up to him. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.


24 responses to “Who is that little boy, standing next to you by the Christmas Tree? Oh, nobody. That’s just a mannequin, wearing my dead child’s costume.”

  1. Oh, Maya. I just have no words for you except that I would do anything to get him back for you. He is loved and missed by so, so many people who would do anything to have him back. Also, here: http://rememberingmiracles.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/remember-ronan/

  2. I know that Ronan is smiling down at you saying, “I told you, God! I told you I have a beautiful, smart and amazing mom!” The tree is beautiful. When I was in DC in a mall there was a Christmas Tree decorated with gold ribbons and a sign saying “Each gold ribbon is in honor of a child who fought or is still fighting their battler with cancer.” I immediately found the Taylor Swift lyrics playing in my head. Stay Strong.

  3. Absolutely love the picture by the tree!

  4. Maya I came across your blog and I just want to say Thank You! Your story has helped me appreciate my time with my son. All I can say is Thank You! A big hug from one mother to another.

  5. Well fuck…I don’t even know what to say because it’s not fair that he isn’t there with you, decorating that tree as a survivor. I’m just so sorry, Maya…

  6. While out shopping on Saturday I saw Star Wars ornaments and thought of Rockstar Ronan. When I see Paul Frank items I think if Ronan. Thinking of you RoMama and your beautiful blue eyed spicy monkey. Thank you for sharing him with all if us!! Always rolove XO

  7. Michelle from MI Avatar
    Michelle from MI

    I ❤ your opening message……. UNLESS. I play the Lorax all the time for my 20 month old son. Maya, you are doing what you need to be doing!! Actions speak louder that words..XO

  8. You all did such an amazing job on the tree….but that picture of you all with the tree; my heart could not take it–for any of you. Heartbroken. I just could not get the—he should be under that costume–out of my head or heart. I tried to think of how the image truly represents how very very present Ro is in your every thought, moment, and action; but it wasn’t enough. Love to all of you in Thompson Land.

  9. Time Does Not Bring Relief: You All Have Lied BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY Time does not bring relief; you all have lied Who told me time would ease me of my pain! I miss him in the weeping of the rain; I want him at the shrinking of the tide; The old snows melt from every mountain-side, And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane; But last year’s bitter loving must remain Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide. There are a hundred places where I fear To go,—so with his memory they brim. And entering with relief some quiet place Where never fell his foot or shone his face I say, “There is no memory of him here!” And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

  10. I sit in the morning darkness, surfing all the blogs and I come across yours this morning. Immediately, I am drawn into your words, your heart, soul, your grief…I pray for you today. Each day is a victory, enjoying even one moment is a blessing. I am moved and emotional, knowing your loss. I am in awe of your spirit. Strength comes when we need it most. Prayer helped me tremendously in the beginning. Picturing a perfect heaven gives me peace inside. I truly believe, we are all together spiritually….it helps. I will remind you today…Never stop writing, blogging. For me, it is an intricate part of “healing”.One thing today for sure, Ro is in everyone’s mind and heart today…love and prayers always ~ leelee

  11. It’s hard to see how beautiful you are as a family and to know that Ronan isn’t here, it’s not fair ! your so strong ! thank you so much … Ronan is in our mind ALL the time ! Lots of ro love

  12. saw tha theadline comment on the FB post and it made me cringe. I am sorry people say things that are ignorant or too lazy to figure it out on their own.I wanted to be able to get it off of the comments and tell that person to go to the blog. I am sorry Maya. Unfortunately there are gonna be things that hurt and make us ask why……… Hugs and luv to your family. Lynn

  13. I think those antlers look like two huge middle fingers coming out of your head. Well played. 😉

    1. Funny, Rita!

  14. im so sorry for your pain. I want to show my support for the foundation. Can I find that tshirt you are wearing near the tree?

  15. Sending lots of love, prayers, and hugs to you guys. Your words inspire me to not take any moment for granted and to be thankful for the simplest things. You & Ronan are truly inspiring. Take care of yourself and Poppy.

  16. The tree is beautiful. The family picture brought me to tears. xxx

  17. My heart aches for you and your family…..there are no words…..may you find the peace your family needs and deserves this holiday season. Much Love, Maria

  18. The sky was very dark and grey, There was nothing seen but rain. As if the heavens had comprehended, A stressful mother’s pain Outside a hospital room, A mother stood in tears. The doctor that stood beside her, Had voiced her worst fears She clasped her hand to her mouth, Trying to supress her sigh. She really couldn’t wrap her mind ’round the thought, That her baby would soon die Outside,it was still raining, The mother’s heart was paining. For she knew the sky was crying, For her baby,who was dying As the tears in her eyes threatened to fall, She left her baby’s side. Crying on how incomplete her life would be, If her baby died The little boy in the hospital room, Merely aged 4. For her,he was an angel, Who came and knocked their door As the old memories came flooding back, She drifted into the past. She knew that even if something happened, The memories would always last When she first held her bundle of joy, She was overwhelmed. On how someone so fargile and small, Could be her own little boy “He’s perfect”,she whipered into her husband’s ear, When she first saw her little son’s face. She smiled to herself quietly, Remembring her son’s first days When he first opened his beautiful eyes, And smiled that magnificent smile. She was completely over the moon, And was speechless for a while Because the baby’s beautiful,orb-like eyes, Were of a shade of sparkling blue. And that smile that he gave her, Was sort of angelic too She forgave him for the sleepless nights, Through which he nonstop cried. He fondly rememberd the “sleep-tights, When he cuddled her,and they lied Soon the boy was big enough to sit, And then he started to crawl. And when he took his very first steps, He looked like a real-life doll As she caressed her son’s cheek, She felt a tear leak When her baby had first whispered “Mommy”, She felt incredibly unique The baby grew up into a smart guy, Who was madly in love with his mom’s lullaby. That spoke of angels and many toys, And babies that were mama’s lil boys The four-year-old,who was his mama’s big boy, Had made his parents proud. They thought that he was special, And stood up from the crowd The lightning striked,and dragged her to the present, And she jumped up with a start. As she realized that the thunder rolled, When she reached her story’s worst part It was just a few days back, When her son fell gravely ill. And she was continuously worried ,For the wounds she wouldn’t be able to fill She sat behind the doctor’s desk, And sadly,he remarked. He diagnosed the baby with cancer, And his struggle,the words had marked She was teary-eyed, And couldn’t believe the doctor’s lies. She couldn’t just let her only son, Just die before her eyes She met the world’s best doctors, And they all had the same reply. “I’m sorry mam,I really am, But your son would have to die” She couldn’t sleep for many nights, And she knew she had to fight. She had to fight with all her might, To fill her son’s life with light She saw her son in so much pain,She saw it in his eyes. And she was sure that those vibrant orbs, Could never tell her lies But her son was a very brave boy, She was sure he was an angel. He fought hard like an army guy, And wasn’t afraid of danger As she spent her days in hospital, Her heart had filled with fear. Because she knew,the day she dreaded, Was slowly coming near Her husband tried to comfort her, But she hated all his lies. And yet she wasn’t ready, To bid her son goodbye Her son woke up and called for her, She went and held his hand. The tears in his bright blue eyes, She really couldn’t stand “I’m going to leave you,mommy, But I wanted you to know. That I will always love you, No matter where I go” “You always cared for me, mommy, And you always made me smile. I wish you don’t ever be sad, Even for a little while” “May God give you a baby, And he turns out just like me. But remember I’m your favourite little boy, And forever I will be” Sitting beside her son,The mother stood in tears. Proudly watching her son, Who was wise beyond his years She leaned in and hugged him, On his forehead, she placed a kiss. These beautiful moments with her son, She would truly miss Her own breaths to him, She would love to give. So she could die, And her baby could live. “the soul can’t have a RAINBOW,if the eyes don’t have TEARS”Written By: MASHA RIZWAN on 14th October’2012

  19. Maya- I began reading your blog last week after a couple of months of something inside me telling me that I really needed to do this. I read a few of the recent posts and then started at the beginning. You have touched me. I have two boys and am pregnant with boy number 3. They are my world, my everything, my heart and soul – and imagining life without them is simply not imaginable. This morning I was dropping my wild and crazy 2 and a half year old off with his nana so that I could do some work, he kept saying “pay wit me mommy” as he was on the floor with his cars and airplanes. I really needed to get back home to work, but I sat on the floor as we raced his cars, and flew his airplanes, and crashed everything that could crash lol! The whole time, I was thinking of Ronan and how you would give anything to be able to play with him again…and what if an illness or an accident does take my boy from me, what if it’s one of my boys that cancer invades next…so I played, and played, and played. I decided at that moment to be present, to put down my phone and stop thinking about work and be there with my little boy. Thank you for being honest, true, and raw in all you do. And I’m not just thanking you with words, I will also be thanking you with my actions.

  20. For me today was same as every other and for me that means working, coming home doing stuff around house, makin dinner, taking care of my 3 year old and thinking about Ro non stop!!! I see Ro whisper in your ear every morning “what we Gonna do today mamma?” and you reply “same thing we do everyday baby doll try to take over the world”

    That’s what you pair are doing! Keep it up

    Off to bed with tears in my eyes again, night Maya xxxx

  21. Lidia Giubilaro Avatar
    Lidia Giubilaro

    I love u Ronan and Maya xx

  22. Matthew's mommy Avatar
    Matthew’s mommy

    Another way you can show Ronan’s light to the world. This Sunday (12/9) a worldwide cancer lighting ceremony for all the little ones whose beautiful lives were ended. http://www.compassionatefriends.org/News_Events/Special-Events/Worldwide_Candle_Lighting.aspx

    Keep up the fight Mamma Maya & gorgeous boy Ronan!

  23. You have a tremendous amount of love in your heart. Your story continues to make me want to be a better father and person, I am eternally grateful to you for that.

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