Do you think there will ever come a time when Christmas lights won’t be blurry from my tears?


Ronan. A couple of things dawned on me tonight after I dropped by dinner to your Mr. Sparkly Eyes. I was walking back to my car and I just fucking lost it. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but before I knew it, I was sobbing so hard it was all I could do to make it to my car before my tears formed puddles at my feet and I just slowly drowned. Once I got to my car, I knew it would be a while before I was able to leave the parking lot. I buried my head into the steering wheel and just gave into everything I needed to let out. It’s been a few days since I’ve really cried and I guess I’ve been holding a lot in by distracting myself and being so busy. Soon, my head was filled with thoughts that I couldn’t control. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” I think in the back of my mind a small part of me thought that I am selfishly doing everything I am doing in this world, for myself. That somehow by doing everything I am doing, this pain will someday become less and maybe someday, I won’t miss you so much that it hurts this badly, all of the time. In a way, I wanted that to be true but I know after tonight, that this won’t ever be the case. There is not a part of me that is doing any of this for myself because I don’t live for myself anymore.This life I live now is not about me anymore. It’s about helping other people as much as I can and in anyway that I can in this totally fucked up world where I cannot even see Christmas lights properly because they are always so blurry from my falling tears.
Right in the middle of my breakdown, your Sparkly called.

“Thank you for the dinner, you are the sweetest. Are you home now?”

Me: “No. I’m sitting in the parking lot. I can’t go home to an empty house.” Insert sobbing so uncontrollably that I couldn’t even finish my sentence, here……

Him: “Shhhhhh. Darling. It’s o.k.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I thought I was fine tonight after I left and I don’t know what happened. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Him: “Stop saying you’re sorry. You have nothing to be sorry for.”

Me: I couldn’t talk so I didn’t. I just continued to cry into the phone for the next few minutes while he just sat and listened.

Him: “Get home, o.k.? I will see you tomorrow.”

I got home. Nobody was there. I peeked through our kitchen window from the outside of our house before going in. The house was dark and our kitchen table was empty. It wouldn’t have been this way, if you were still here. I had a flashback of that time I was coming home from somewhere and as I pulled into our house, I could see all of you sitting at our table, eating dinner. I remember the sight of that, made me so happy, that I snapped a picture of it. I remember the way you looked at me through the dinner and waved and laughed. Cancer was everywhere in your body, but you didn’t act like it. You were just so happy being home with all of us.

I’ve been really busy. With a lot of different things. I had a super important phone call this week. I was restless the night before due to this phone call even though I told myself I was just going to wing and speak from the heart, I still went to bed over-analyzing everything. I set up a little shrine in your room to sit and do my phone call in. I put down the blanket that you died on and on top of that I set out all of your favorite things. Your Master Yoda, your Spirit Hood, your gigi blanket. I sat quietly in your room for a while. I talked to you in my head the way I always do when I need you to work your little Ronan magic. My phone rang and so I did my thing. I don’t want to talk to much about it because I don’t want to jinx myself. I think the phone call went really, really, well. At least that is the vibe I got. It was a good way to start the day, if anything. I should know more, soon.

I’ve been trying to get us all ready for our second Christmas, without you. I remember last year, I couldn’t even pack my suitcase. We shall see if I succeed this year. I talked to Macy about my trip out to San Francisco for Teddy’s celebration of life. I think she was sobbing on the phone while she tried to talk to me about the decision I made to go out there and if I had actually thought it through. I sat there numbly and didn’t say much. She asked if I remembered your service and how difficult it was. I told her I didn’t remember a thing about it except I don’t think I cried. I know I was in shock but I am also sure I was numb from much of the medication I was on. I then just said to Macy, “I’m not doing this for myself. I’m doing this for Ronan and Teddy because that is all that matters. I’m doing this, for them.” She said alright and she would be there with me, to hold my hand. That’s all I needed to hear. I don’t know if I could handle this without Macy by my side. I’m so lucky to have her, Ro. Thank you for bringing her to us.

I have lots to do today. I love you to the moon and back. I miss you. I hope you are safe.



37 thoughts on “Do you think there will ever come a time when Christmas lights won’t be blurry from my tears?

  1. Jenn

    I love you Maya and all that you do. I’m sorry Ronan is not here to enjoy Christmas yet again, and you cannot enjoy him opening presents from Santa. I’m so sorry…it’s just not fair. I hope that the lights get a little brighter for you as the years go by…at least just a little. Everyday your little man enters my thoughts. You are changing things…you are making us aware of how horrific this is and what an epidemic it is. I am your fan, no matter what other ugly comments other “Christians” leave. I will support you no matter what…because like you have said over and over again, this is not right and this should never happen!!! I love you for all you do and for that you are…which is amazing in every way.

  2. mgood03

    I have read you blog along with Superty’s for quite some time now. I’ve never posted but, wanted to share today how much you make a difference. You are making it okay to talk about childhood cancer. Prior to reading this, I would have never sat down with my family and discussed it. Screw the people you offend… Isn’t that what freedom of speech is all about. Saying what you feel no matter what! My heart breaks for you. I can’t even begin to imagine the inner fight to live, you have with yourself every single day. I love that you never let us forget about your spicey little monkey:)
    I saw this on AOL today and thought of you immediately. I hope it puts a smile on your face.

  3. Natalie

    To all those upset about Maya’s recent blog about prayer…please read: This may be helpful.

    I’ve been a silent reader and have followed Maya’s blog from the very beginning, back when Ronan was diagnosed. It was a small blog back then, and I will never forget…she would end the majority of blogs with “please keep us in you prayers” or “thank you for your prayers.” But as the nightmare journey unfolded…you could sense the big spiritual changes Maya was going through, up until the last few days before Ronan’s passing–Maya made the declaration that there could never be a God that could do this. As a faithful and devoted Catholic, it was hard to read but I couldn’t stop reading. Why? Because I felt like I signed onto this journey–to become involved, to take action, to become aware. Does it hurt when I read Maya’s pain and her beliefs? Yes, it does–but I let it go…because that is not why I’m here…it’s not why I log on everyday…it’s because one day I don’t want to read about her pain anymore. I don’t want to read that she hates prayer and hugging tightly…it’s because I want to read that she is making HUGE, wonderful things for neuroblastoma and pediatric cancers…and I for one, KNOW that is going to HAPPEN.

    So just my two cents…again, I hope this helps for those that may not be too happy with a few of her posts…I know it’s not easy to read but I ask you to go back to the beginning to really get a handle for what this family has been through.

  4. Lisa Richard

    I’m proud of your honesty. You are making such a difference. You could rightfully curl up in a ball and just mourn your baby, but you don’t. You continue to fight for him and a lot if other people’s babies. Because of you I have been more educated on childhood cancer. You’re fundraising is amazing! I just got my flipped bird bag and my dad wants a team Ronan T-shirt for Christmas! He’s going to rock it in New Mexico! Hugs, Lisa Richard

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Jen

    It makes me feel ill when I think about what it actually would feel like if one of my children were gone and missing from something as simple as the dinner table. I can’t comprehend it, really, but when I think about it I go to a very dark place…anyways, I can’t imagine what your family goes through on a daily basis.
    Saying sorry doesn’t even begin to touch on a child that is gone. I hope your family feels as much happiness as possible this Holiday.
    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

  6. Glenda


    I wish I can take some of your pain away. My heart aches for you… for Rockstar Ronan. Love that picture of your 4 boys! I hope that the holidays spent with your mama make you feel like a kid again. I hope she hugs you extra tight and you feel better if even for that moment. I know my mama always made me feel better. I hope Poppy is growing well and everything continues to move smoothly with her. Thinking of you & Ro!

    Always RoLove xo

  7. Carlee

    Dear Maya,
    I’ve been a volunteer with the Make A Wish Foundation for four years, I love, love these amazing kids. People will say, “how can you handle it, isn’t it too sad?” I want to scream that is the problem! Childhood cancer is too painful for people to look at and instead they pretend like it doesn’t happen. But they need to see, they need to get mad!, and stop this disease from taking these kids. There are times I’ve cried for hours when I see what these children and what their families are going through. I know what they feel is a million times worse. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Ronan, I can’t imagine your heartache. I sat here wishing there was something I could say, but then I thought of the little of you I know from your blog, you would want me to DO something. I promise to raise more awareness for childhood cancer. I promise to never forget Ronan. You are doing amazing things. You will help these children. I know it! Much love from Salem, Utah!!

  8. Cassandra

    Maya I have never been inspired buy someone’s story till I read your blogs. You are doing so many things for ronan. And I love how you post without caring what others think. I have never commented on your blogs because I never really knew what to say. I love how you can bring people to realize how fucked up cancer really is and how it took almost the precious thing away from you. I heard “Ronan’s” song and it brought tears to my eyes it stupid how you can’t have him anymore it shouldn’t have to be that way. I see some comments that people post it’s sad I hope they feel ashamed for the words they say and hope they never have to feel the pain you feel. You have so many people behind you maya and are inspired by your beautiful baby blue eyed baby boy! I heard this song by Taylor swift and this song made me think of you and Ronan!

  9. Kari Knabe

    I admire you for all you are doing to bring awareness for childhood cancer & cancer in general. It devastates all involved!!! I cannot say “I understand” but my one child was a stillborn son & my husband is living with terminal cancer as I type this – so I do understand the pain & the questioning of God & all the other “stuff”!! I too don’t want to hear “God’s will” or any of the other things people say when they don’t know what to say – maybe it is His will, but that doesn’t make it easier or “OK” or anything else – it still SUCKS!!!! I have learned the silence is golden -a hug or an “I’m sorry” is enough. No explanation needed, after all if it is God’s will then a mere mortal cannot make it better or explain the pain away! I appreciate your honesty as well as your spirit to continue to move forward each day! Some days that is all I have. I am curious about something: Who is Mr. Sparkly Eyes? Just this description makes me smile & feel hugged!! Keep up the good fight!! You are loved!!!!

  10. Emma

    Maya, Ronan, I love you ! I love this picture, Ro’s smile is heartbreaking but so beautiful !
    My christmas will be for Ronan … all the time in my mind !
    Love you all

  11. Jaime H.

    I love little Ro. Love the picture, but seeing Woody eating his dinner, I don’t know why but makes me sad. Love to you always Maya but extra this time of year! Won’t tell you I pray for you guys cause I always say that (but it’s true) 🙂 I’m sorry for all you’ve been through, Hang in there lady… xoxo

  12. Ali B

    I hope your trip to your mother’s gives you a break from the chaos of your every day life. I know that it won’t be the same without Ronan, but I hope there is some comfort to be found there.

  13. Sherri


    After reading this blog post and fighting back tears, I just couldn’t hold back any longer after scrolling down and seeing that picture. Fuck anybody that says a single negative syllable to you, or says that Ronan is in a better place. I think of you and Ronan every day and my heart breaks for you and the beautiful life that cancer robbed him of.

  14. Maddie

    I hate to see your sadness. Ronan should be with you, and nowhere else. We’ve gotta stop cancer. My heart breaks everyday for you, and I’m sure it’s nowhere near to the pain you feel. I hope that you enjoy the holiday as much as you can, that Ronan visits you in a dream (a good dream), and I hope cancer is cured. It affects so many people, it’s terrifying. You are doing great things. I think of you and Ro, and everyone affected by cancer all the time.

  15. Lidia Giubilaro

    You captured a precious moment in that picture. Sad and Happy. I’m so sorry Ronan is no longer alive..and with you guys at that table.
    I can only try to understand your pain..and the thought of ever experiencing what you feel scares me so much. Fuck You Cancer.
    I love you Maya and Ronan. Xoxo

  16. texasmommy

    You said what I feel just perfectly. I do pray for Maya and her family, and I pray that Ronan is happy and safe in Heaven. I don’t think that offends Maya, I just think she has lost her faith and who wouldn’t? We all deal with things differently. I think that the changes that she is going to make in the world of childhood cancer will save many parents from the same anguish that she has to deal with. I just hope that she will get some healing and peace through this journey.

    God Bless all of you and Merry Christmas, (or the merriest you can have, depending on what you are dealing with in your life).

  17. maureen

    That picture made me tear up 😥 I wish more than anything that the hand of God could somehow reach down and plop that boy of yours back at the table, where he belongs, with his family.

  18. K

    I so admire the way that you always say what you feel, no matter what anyone says. I am only 21, and ashamed to admit that there are many things I would say to be accepted by others. I have loved your blog through every excruciating step of the way. Last year, I was looking up many types of cancer on behalf of my grandfather (Who was given six months to live in 2005 and still with us, miraculously!), when I found your blog.

    I don’t believe in anything but love and hate. Love trumps hate. I am so grateful for your love for your baby. I am so grateful that you loved him every day that he was here, and that you continue to love him every day that he is gone. That you love ailing children you don’t know. I can’t say how sorry I am that he’s no longer with you, because it would be meaningless coming from a kid, who still doesn’t know how it feels to be a mother. But never let anyone tell you how to feel about his passing. Never pull punches. I want to know your pain. I never will unless it happens to me, but I want to know it as best I can. I don’t want to be unaware of this pain as long as it exists. If I don’t feel one shred of your pain, that would be like saying that, to me, Ronan didn’t exist. Ronan means so much to me.

    I would say that I hope you won’t succumb to the fragile stomachs of some readers if I couldn’t already see what a strong person you are. This blog will be meaningless if you don’t pour out your heart and soul. It is your pure, authentic heart that makes your words valuable.

    My boyfriend always asks, “Why do you read that when it makes you cry so much?”. My God, if he knew how much I had taken your words to heart, how much more I live and appreciate things because of you and beautiful Ronan.

    I know I can never say that I understand your pain, being still just a kid myself, but your experience has made me grow somehow. It’s amazing how a woman I don’t know could make me go from an aloof teenager to a dedicated volunteer. I’m a completely different person. You made me tell my family that I’m only here because of everything they did for me. I was raised by a single, severely injured former boxer and two dedicated grandparents. I was struggled for. I finally thanked them because of you. And I don’t care about stupid crap anymore. All I want in life are the people I love, my busted up daddy, my wonderful grandma and grandpa, and the man who tells me how loved I am whenever I come home. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Maya, gratitude is better than any “thing” I could have ever bought. I am so sorry and ashamed that my wonderful revelation came at such incredible expense to you.

    Please find happiness in whatever you can. Please don’t force happiness where it doesn’t belong. No one truly needs to see you fake it. Always be Maya. Happy when you’re happy. Sad when you’re sad. Real people who only say what they mean are a beautiful, endangered species!

  19. KT

    Love you mama!!! The picture just takes
    my breathe away!!!! It is just so messed up
    that he is not here. Every morning this month
    I wake up, and have thought of you and your family. Give your boys a hug for me and kiss
    that sweet Poppy!!! xo

    Thank you for all you do!!!

  20. Bev

    You are doing great things in honor of your boy. You deminimize those things and the rest of your family when you focus on how much you cry. You will never get over losing a child, yet you have too. Do you really want your other kids to remember their childhood with a mother who cried for someone that wasn’t them. This blog is not helping you. It is not helping me (not your issue). Do good work. Love your children without regret. I love you and your struggle, but I don’t think I can read about it any more.

    1. Ali B

      Maya makes every single effort to ensure that Liam and Quinn don’t see her overwhelmed like she obviously was on this particular day. Both her and Woody do everything they possibly can to ensure they have a happy, loving childhood. This is a family that love and appreciate each other more than any of us can possibly imagine…because they lost their beloved Ronan.
      This is a sad, sad blog…but it is a hopeful blog…it is a helpful blog…and it is changing the world of childhood cancer.

    2. Allison

      Liam and Quinn will be beautiful boys and grow up to be strong compassionate men like their daddy. It doesn’t matter that their momma cries, they will be so much stronger. I can feel Maya’s love through the computer screen, so I am certain her boys are very deeply loved. Unlike you, I am happy to read this blog and while I read, I cry too. This blog is therapy for me. This blog has made Maya and Ronan and the boys and poppy my family. I care deeply about this blog. This is sad, yes. But you know whats more sad? You and your comments. Maya could be drowning her sorrows in alcohol or drugs. But NO, Maya is writing. So to the person who is “no longer” reading this blog: thank you. You don’t deserve to read this blog, you don’t deserve to let Maya into her life like she has willingly allowed the world to. MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS LADY. If you EVER want to say something negative about this blog, Maya or her family you can address your concerns to me and we can talk this out. HAVE A HAPPY FUCKING NEW YEAR.

      1. Sherri

        I couldn’t have said this better myself, Allison. I would defend Maya against anyone, just like I would my family. It’s heartbreaking to think that after pouring her heart out to her loyal readers that ANYONE would have anything negative to say, after all, all Maya is trying to do is get though each day without her Ronan beside her, which is something no mother should experience.

  21. Allison

    Maya. Your beautiful soul and writing continues to strengthen me every time I read your posts. Please don’t ever stop writing or telling your story. Please continue to tell the world how Ronan pushes you to be this beautiful woman who is changing the world. Please continue to write about how much you miss that amazing little boy of yours. Please continue to tell the world how much you hurt. Please continue being so honest with us, telling us your details. Please know that you are the best momma in the world. Please know that because of you and your writing, that I have a very special place in my heart for you, your family, poppy and especially Ronan. Please know that your story, that Ronan forever changed me. Please know that your blog has touched places of my soul that are the hardest to reach. Please know that I wish this blog didn’t exist. Please know that I wish I didn’t know you or Ronan. Please know that I FUCKING hate cancer. Please know that I will help in any way I can. I will not pray for you or Ronan or poppy or cancer. I agree, praying is not the answer for me. I will think about you guys. I will wish you excellent health along with Poppy. I will think that Poppy will probably be so pretty just like her momma. I will think of Liam and Quinn, and how perfect they are. And i will think about Ronan. How such a cute little boy forever changed my heart. I will not pray for you guys. I will think about you guys. I will join the fight with you. I will carry Ronan in my heart, and all that I do. He’s so perfect Maya. You made such a beautiful little man. And a beautiful family. I cannot wait to read your next post. Your writing gives me so much strength. Ronan gives me so much strength. I cannot thank you enough, Maya. I cannot thank you enough for Ronan. I cannot thank Taylor Swift enough for writing a perfect song about a perfect boy.

  22. Lindsi Fett

    I saw this on FB and i thought, there couldnt be anyone more perfect to help this tribute happen. At least you could tell Teddy’s mommy (:

    This is from the Jessie Reese Foundation:

    “PLEASE SHARE::: 2012 NEGU Heroes: A Children’s Tribute
    (collecting photos now)

    As I sat amongst 3,000 people at the CNN Heroes show, I thought…”why don’t we have a show dedicated to the real heroes?”…the innocent children who did everything they could to fight cancer but didn’t make it. As a parent of one of those heroes, all you have left is “memories” and there is a burning desire in parents to not have their children forgotten. I recently talked to a dad who became a NEGU Hero 14 years ago and he said, “Erik I just wish people would pause a remember.”

    SO…we are going to produce a video to honor these 2012 heroes. If you know of a family that had a child join Jessie this year from cancer please let them know they can send their child’s picture or two to The cut off date will be 1/15/13. We will release the tribute on 2/1/13.

    Erik (daddy)


  23. heather steele

    Dear Maya,
    I have to say I had a similar day you just described. While i didn’t lose a child, I am dealing with the loss of my mother. I messaged you probably back in April about it. Today is my first Christmas without her and I had a sobbing fit outside in the parking lot. I don’t know why it did… I just wanted to smash something but the only thing I could do was cry. I think it took me an hour to finally leave the area and continue my 5 hour drive home. I played a lot of Taylor Swift on my radio and again burst into tears when “Ronan” came on. I thought I was doing okay until now. I’ve been told by so many people “She’s with the other angels now… where she is okay” Fuck No. She belongs here. With the grandchildren that will never remember her now. I think that’s why I’m so angry and sad… it’s our first Christmas with our son and my mother isn’t here for it. She LOVED Christmas. We would have a big Christmas morning and she had so many plans. I’m only 25 and still looked forward to “Santa” gifts from her. Now this year is so different. My dad is getting remarried and we are moving once again. I still haven’t visited her grave site… I should probably do so before I leave again.

    Sorry for the rambling. I better get off since I can’t see my screen anymore with all the crying i’ve been doing. ❤

    -Heather Steele

  24. Carolyn LeBlanc

    Maya, we think of Ronan always, especially tonight. I wanted to throw up seeing that sweet picture of his little hand all blurry from waving to his Momma. I am so sorry. Please know how many hearts hold Ronan so dear.

  25. Valentina

    I really sorry. i know that this words isn´t going to change nothing but i know what you feel mi dad die, someone kill him but is diferent at your problem and i want to tell you that if i can die for all the people that have cancer i would do.

  26. Shehara

    Hi maya, i always thought to write to you but never found the right words to say. But i miss your blog cz u have not written for some time. Am reading your blog from all the from Sri Lanka (not sure if u’v heard it before)… Am inspired by your writting and your ever lasting love for ronan. Am crazy over him n my heart breaks to know the pain he went through. I can’t imagine the pain your goin through cz am nt married yet so i dont have kids. But for some reason i feel the sad. He is the most beautiful boy i have ever seen in my 25years. He has the most attractive eyes ever. I admire him n you n even though i have not met any of you am just so much in love wit your son. Your a proud mama.. I hope you get more courage n strength to keep writing this blog. Am touched… I hope your well. Take care..
    Love, Shehara

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