Ending 2012 with tears on my pillow and you in my heart


Ronan. This is what I get after 11 years of marriage. Him. He still opens my car door. He brings me my towel before I get out of the shower to make sure I stay warm. Kisses me goodnight, every night. Tells me he loves me 10 times a day. Never lets go of my hand. Respects my wishes when I ask him to let go. A husband that fights for me, believes in me, pushes me, challenges me, makes me laugh, puts up with my insanity, tries his hardest to fix my broken heart, wipes away my tears, and reminds me every single day that I am the strongest, most beautiful person on the planet. He takes care of your brothers, when I am too sad to do so. He does this without complaining or making me feel more guilty, than I already do. Everything he does is for us. He holds me up when I cannot stand, lets me fall when I need to, but is always there to help me up when I am ready. I am the luckiest girl on the planet to be married to your daddy. I know people say marriage is hard, but I never really felt this way until the death of you. I don’t even think it was even marriage that became hard, but it was more that everything became hard. Everything becomes hard when you just want to curl up and die. I know what the death of a child does to a marriage and I know how many marriages, don’t survive. I am thankful everyday that this is the one thing that I have never had to worry about. I know myself and I know your daddy. Cancer may have taken you away from us but it cannot have our marriage, too. That is something we both decided very early on into this whole thing. I am so thankful that we are a strong enough couple to come through this together and not apart. I am so very thankful for your daddy for not giving up on me when I gave up on everything in my life, including myself.

Last year, was an awful anniversary. I remember laying in bed, pushing away the gifts your daddy gave me as the tears poured down my cheeks. I made him return all the things he had bought for me. I remember barley being able to hold my head up and begging for death to take me away. This year was a little better. Your daddy and I went to Portland for the night. We stayed at a hotel and only had a few minutes of tears while I sat in a chair and stared at your daddy from across the room. He told me how sorry he was for the how awful the past 3 years had been. As if any of this has been his fault. I didn’t say anything. I just grabbed my coat instead, wiped away my tears, and we headed out the door to do a little shopping and grab some dinner. I made it through dinner, without crying. We sat and talked a lot about Poppy. We both tried our hardest to make it an o.k. night. It felt alright to be out, together, pretending to be the normal couple that we are not and never will be again. Sometimes it takes pretending at a dinner for your 11 years anniversary, with smiles instead of tears. I can pretend smile when I need to. It’s was the least I could do for your daddy on our one night of the year, that is just for us. 11 years later and we are still standing where most people would not be. I am so very proud of us, our marriage and the foundation we have. I cannot imagine how upset you would be if we would have let cancer take away not just you, but everything that we have worked so hard for, our family included. I promise you that will not happen, Ronan. I won’t make you any more sad than you already are. I know you are sad enough, not being with us. I know this no matter what the others in the world would say. I don’t care who is looking after you. It will never be good enough as having you here with us, where you belong.

Do you know what the theme of this trip has been? I have heard it no less than a dozen times. “Today would be perfect, if only Ronan were here.” This will be true about every beautiful experience we have in this life without you. Perfection will never exist again in our days, but we will come close. We have been doing a lot of fun things, as a family which is still so hard for me. Yesterday, we headed down to Long Beach to go Clam Digging. It was a great late afternoon spent together but I often find myself getting lost in my thoughts of, “If Ronan were here, he would be doing this or that, or he would have made me take him to the car already because I’m sure the first thing he would have done was run right into the ocean only to get soaking wet.” And I would have happily carried you all the way up to the truck, pregnant or not, to clean you up, warm you up and smother you with the million kisses that I used to love to give you. I miss having you to kiss so very much and I still will never understand why you had to be taken away.

As this year comes to an end I can say for as hard as it was, it has been beautiful in many ways as well. Somehow I find the strength to go on in this life. I have found strength in myself that I didn’t even know existed. I have a wonderful husband and your brothers, Ronan, make me so very proud each and every day. The friends I have are the most beautiful souls that exist and I am so very grateful to have them in my life. They have seen me through the darkest of the dark and although some have went away, the one’s who have stayed have proved that they are never going anywhere, ever. I feel very lucky and blessed in that regard. Your foundation has given me a purpose in meaning in my life that I didn’t think I would ever have again. On the days that I am hardest on myself, all I have to do is take a look at all the amazing things we have accomplished and I am reminded that the proof is in the pudding. We have done some really amazing, great things in such a short amount of time and it is always fueled by the love that exists in this world, because of you. Of course I have to say one of the most amazing things about 2012 was the generous heart of Taylor Swift. She has helped me move so many mountains in a way that I could have never imagined. She has restored my faith in so many things by the beautiful gift she has given us. One that will live on for eternity, just like the love between the two of us. I will forever be humbled and grateful for this sweet girl who fell in love with you and who has now taken on this world of childhood cancer with me. I cannot wait to see what 2013 brings. Of course my wish is for a cure, for babies to stop dying, and for childhood cancer to finally get the funding and awareness that it so desperately needs. I have a lot of work ahead of me but from everything that was accomplished in 2012, I know even more amazing things are going to come this next year. As always, I am thankful for all of you, who continue to read this blog, support this cause, and live each and every day knowing that there is more to life then the life we sometimes settle for. I am thankful for all of you who are able to see outside the box and outside of yourselves and who are not scared to take on something that is uncomfortable and scary, because you know this cause and these kids, deserve better. Thank you all so much for being a part of this war with me. Hopefully one day, it will be one with better outcomes or it will no longer even exist.

Last but not least, I am so excited for 2013 because it will be the year that your Poppy sister is born. She is going to bring such joy to our lives that we so very much need. Please continue to keep her safe, Ronan, but most of all please keep her healthy. I know you hear me at night when I do my little chant to you. I say it over and over in my head to you while I am trying to sleep. “Please don’t let her die, please don’t let her die, please don’t let her die…” It might be morbid but it’s the only way my brain works now. Please Ronan. Take good care of her. We could not handle anything else awful thrown our way. We have barley survived losing you.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. I am so sorry you are not here with us. I know I am going to fall asleep with tears on my pillow, but you in my heart as I always do. Sweet dreams, baby doll.


P.S. To all of you lovely little blog readers. Happiest New Year to you and your loved ones. I wish you nothing but blessings and health for not only 2013, but always. I love you all, so very much.

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51 responses to “Ending 2012 with tears on my pillow and you in my heart”

  1. Here’s to a big year for Ro’s foundation. We love you, we are with you and we support all that you do.

  2. I think about you and Woody a lot, your love, your strength, how wonderful you two are together. Even with the shit you’ve had to deal with, you still manage to show me there are real men out there. There is real love. You guys got something real special, and it’s so inspiring and beautiful. No matter what you do, you are inspiring and beautiful.

    Here’s to the New Year, and to you mama. 2013 is going to be moving more mountains than what we’ve seen this year. I just know it.

  3. This has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Pure truth and honesty. Wishing you peace in the new year. Thank you for what you’ve done and what you continue to do in the name of Ronan.

  4. Your strength amazes me! Happy New Year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Blessings to you and your beautiful family always.

  6. jschwartzconstructioninc Avatar

    Happy New Year…

  7. jschwartzconstructioninc Avatar

    To the total defeat of childhood cancer in 2013! Happy New Year!

  8. You are in my thoughts daily. I don’t know If it’s possible but I would love for you and your family to have a wonderful 2013!!! Sending a warm hug to you….Mindy

  9. You never cease to amaze me. Happy New Year! I know because of the hard work you are doing, 2013 is going to bring even more Roamazing positive changes to this messed up world.

  10. Lisa, from ireland Avatar
    Lisa, from ireland

    I think this post is one of the most heart wrenching yet, I follow your blog since I first started reading. I hope you all held up through the holidays as much as you could without your beautiful boy. I so hope you call poppy “Ireland” I am Irish and you will never see more beautiful scenery or purity than here so it is very fitting. Wishing you all as much happiness as possible for 2013, never forgetting Ronan x

  11. As always you and your entire family is in our thoughts and we send all our ove. I think 2013 is going to bring all sorts of amazing things to your world. So proud of all the things you are doing to make a difference in the world. Happy New Year!

  12. Happy New Year to you and your family as well, Maya! I know you will do amazing things in 2013, and I can’t wait to read all about them. As always, happy and healthy thoughts and prayers being sent your way! Much love, Ashleigh

  13. Lidia Giubilaro Avatar
    Lidia Giubilaro

    Thank-u Maya..Happy New Year to u and your family too xoxo

  14. Happy New Year to Woody, Maya, Liam, Quinn, Ronan and baby Ireland. Maya, please don’t ever give up. Continue to do what you are, because you are moving mountains. Let me tell you, that takes some strength and determination! I will love you and all that you are forever and always. xoxoxo

  15. I don’t know you personally but find myself wanting to see how you are doing. I can’t feel your pain but I do pain for you. I want to thank you for allowing us into your life by expressing your most intimate thoughts and open wounds. It keeps us grounded and shows the world what some others are going through,and what our priorities should be. Ronan is watching over you and your beautiful family. My prayers are with you.

  16. Wishing you and your family health, happiness, and a bit of much needed peace in the New Year Maya.

  17. Happy New Year to you and your family.Wish all the best for you

  18. May the new year bring you a healthy Poppy and a little bit of peace knowing you have many friends and people supporting you always. xoxox

  19. Happy New Year to you and your family! We all love you right back!!

  20. I love you so very much ROMAMA,love like a sister a mother I wish I could take it all away I hurt for you I cry with you it’s not fair at all, but you are so very right your beautiful ROBABY has changed the world he has made me a 23 year old mother of two 5yo and 2 months a very greatful, loving mother, when I get mad or think I’ve reached my limit I step back and I tell my self to shut the fuck up because there ARE many mothers hurting from the loss of their babies! I think of you and how amazing of a mother you are and I return to my calm self to make you proud ROMAMa. You are amazing amazing amazing!! I wish some day to meet you and give you the biggest hug!! All my love crystal:)

    P.s in my times of having “enough” I step back and say “W.W.M.D” what would maya do! And I know you say nothing else matters kids will be kids don’t sweat the smell stuff, so I take it all in and thank you and Robaby for the teaching and sharing a Great lesson in life!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart

  21. Dear Maya

    Thank you for this blog. For letting us share your darkest days and also for letting us rejoice in your happy ones.
    You and Ronan have built an unstoppable army to fight this horrible disease.
    You have taken this fight further then anyone could ever imagine….. The power of Rolove is truly amazing!!
    Here’s to 2013, to POPPY and to a CURE!!
    Thank You Ronan

  22. Ty Maya, my heart swells when I read this post todayabout you & your husband. I believe in your love for each other. He is unselfish and truly cares about your heart. It is inspiring to read about your commitment to each other even during Ronan’s illness. When you wrote how he always holds your hand, I thought how that hand has steadied you enough to survive another day. The beach looked beautiful, as do you….Blessings to you & yours for 2013, and for the bab Ireland Poppy, may her lightness and the miracle of her resonate in all of you.

  23. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family. Here is hoping all things Romazing come your way and that the things you are accomplishing will bring new hope to the precious children battling cancer. Fuck You Cancer!!! And last but not least, I hope Poppy brings your family renewed hope that your family will recover from the loss of Ronan. Your are an amazing spirit, you go on when others would have failed. Hugs and Kisses to you, your twins and your husband……I will support you all the way……always. xoxoxo

  24. Happy anniversary and happy New Year Maya! You’re so blessed to have Woody by your side ๐Ÿ™‚ I think we’re all so happy for you that you’re having a baby girl this year! So exciting, I’m sure she will be healthy and beautiful! Love you, God bless, xoxo

  25. Happy new year to you and your family, Maya. Thank you for the lessons, the inspiration and for not giving up. You are a force to be reckoned with, and I know you will do amazing things. Much love to you.

  26. I want to wish you and Woody a happy anniversary. Many more years are in store for you both……together. May it always be this way!

    I am sitting here watching the Rose Parade and I had a thought and I wanted to run this by you, Maya, and all of your Mafia to see if you would approve.

    Wouldn’t be a beautiful way to get the world’s attention about childhood cancer than to have a float in the Rose Parade??? I can already think of about 5 different flowers that could be used to color those magical blue eyes of his. There would be a HUGE yellow ribbon made out of yellow roses. There would be a giant purple seal with Ronan’s hat made out of purple irises and orchids. Maybe George Lucas, or Disney now, would allow the use of Capt. Rex and some other Star Wars characters on the float. I can see it all in my mind right now and I am more than excited about it.

    I just wanted to throw this out there and see what everyone thought, Especially you Maya.

    P.S…Wouldn’t be the most BADASS thing around if the marching band in front of Ronan’s float played the Imperial March from Star Wars???

  27. awe! i am here in stumptown. one of the greatest cities on earth. if i were so lucky to run into you on the streets of downtown the other day, i would have hugged you hard. i would have been the cheesiest cracker around and told you how proud of am of you – of your heartbreaking journey – of your live out loud attitude – of your strong surviving spirit. your story, your ronan has blessed my world in so many ways. keep on keepin on. keep flying that freak flag that you so proudly own. keep up the fight against this effing childhood cancer. you are the “voice” above all other “voices”; try to consider it an honor. a wonderful honor that is creating powerful current. i love you, maya! you are truly one hell of a mama. cannot wait to see what mountains you move in 2013. its the year of the snake; make it great! xoxo, t.gray in pdx.

  28. Happy anniversary and new year to all of you! You are changing the world!!! Hugs and kisses to all of you! Belly rubs to Poppy! Btw, I love my Ronan hoodie and my sons t shirt from Palmer Cash. Xoxoxo

  29. Happy New Year!!!! Ronan is watching with pride as his family puts a face to what childhood cancer is all about. He is so so proud of his mama. Love to you and your family. Happy New Year beautiful Ro! You are changing the world!

  30. Love you and your sweet boy back! I haven’t written in a long time, mostly I just don’t have the words most the time, I hope 2013 is an amazing year for you, your boys, and poppy, I am looking fwd to hearing stories about her and seeing pics of her sweet face! My wish is that you get that cure, that we keep helping raise awareness, I don’t think I’ve believed in anyone as much as I do you, you miss could rule the world, truly you are inspiring! Love your way always, ROBIN

  31. Happy New Year Maya. You have been such an inspiration to me. As hard as its been, you have never given up. I don’t know y’all but feel as I do. I have followed your blog and read every entry. The way you just put it out there, no censor, just how you “really” feel. I love that! It takes a lot of courage to be real.
    My wish for you in 2013 is MORE love, strength, courage, spice and fabulous memories of your beautiful Ronan. He will live forever in your heart just like he does those of us who never knew him. But, we do know him because of you. You ROCK Maya and never forget it!!

  32. Happy Anniversary! It is so touching to read about the love between you and Woody. You have fought to keep your family together. You have fought to keep Ronan’s name alive. You have fought to change the world of Childhood cancer. We all need a strong leader. So thank you Maya Thompson! I can’t wait for Poppy to make her appearance! May 2013 bring many great things for your family and friends! Thank you for allowing all of us to join in your fight and journey!

  33. Happy new year my dear Maya! You Ronan and “the gang” are in our hearts and will be always. Take care. Lots of love from madrid.

  34. Here’s to 2013 RoMama!!
    To bigger things in Ronan’s name & the foundation.
    To peace & strength
    To blessings for Poppy
    Behind you and your mission #mayasmafia
    Rolove always!!

  35. Michelle from MI Avatar
    Michelle from MI

    Happy new year and thank you Maya for opening up your life to me\us….I am forever grateful, hopeful and devoted to Ronan and childhood cancer. I am looking forward to progress in 2013….

  36. Love you too Maya! So much support for all that you do. And that little Poppy girl, can’t wait to see her little face!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year! I hope this year brings many more changes to childhood cancer…..keep working your magic along with that blue eyed beauty who seems to be aligning the stars for your mission.

  37. thank you so much for everything you are doing for childhood cancer. my son, Cody was diagnosed in 2000..
    happy anniversary, healthy new year & Bless Poppy & your boys
    but PLEASE stay strong & continue what you are doing for “our kids”

    much love

  38. Even though things will always be hard without your Ro, look how far you’ve come. I read your post from exactly a year ago, and it seems to me that things have, well, improved, I guess. Poppy is on the way, and I know she’ll just be great. Ro will make sure she’s alright. You’ve changed so many lives, you amazing girl. When I say this, I mean it 100%. You’re remarkable, and you make us all proud, and Ronan too.

  39. Can I which you a Happy new year ?! YES Ro is in our heart, poppy is on the way and your amazing ! 2013 is YOUR year ! I’m shire of that ! During christmas my mind was with you and ronan !
    Thanks ! thanks, thanks thanks … you change my life ! take care
    I love you all, husband and you, twins (they are amazing kids), RONAN, & little poppy ireland !

  40. I will remember Ronan as I always do and will think of you, your gorgeous family and friends as you start out on the next chapter of your lives in this new year. Of course welcoming Ireland will be a Ro-magical highlight and I am looking forward to hearing of her safe arrival.

    On that note may 2013 be a year with more sunshine than showers, more light than dark and the year that your dreams for the Foundation take even greater shape as you work towards finding a cure for this murderous disease. And you will.

    Thank you Maya for all you do. Much love xxxxxx

  41. I found your blog while our son Garhett was in the hospital. A good friend had texted me and said Taylor Swift just did a song about neuroblastoma. So, of course I immediately searched and found the song. I couldn’t get past the first 15 seconds. We had just found out that our little man, with his beautiful blue eyes and love for dinosaurs and all things superhero was not going to survive his fight with neuroblastoma. He had relapsed before he even made it through treatment. We fought so hard for another month until his little body just couldn’t take anymore. A sweet girl who’s mom used to babysit Garhett sang Ronan at Garhett’s memorial service. Many people thought it had been written for him, he died 10/15/2012, he was 3 years and 4 months old. No one can truly understand the pain of watching a disease take their child unless they’ve been through. Thank you for sharing Ronan’s story. Nicci

    1. I am so incredibly sorry for your tragic, tragic loss. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I can’t imagine.

    2. So sorry for your loss. So very sad.

  42. Just got the chance to read the last handful of entries, mostly through tears. Your blog slays me, not only the raw pain and sadness, but also beautiful love and hope. Let the naysayers be nasty, and claim they’ll never read again. I for one, won’t be going anywhere… Not even if you kick a puppy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. I heard you and Taylor’s song for Ronan for the first time this Holiday season. My 21 year old brother played it for me. You have to hear this he said, it’s a good song. We rode in silence and listened. Today I decided I needed to hear Ronan’s song again. I also decided I needed to know more about the little boy the song was written for, about the family who lost this beautiful soul. I found my way here, to this blog. I read post after post, while listening to Ronan’s song over and over again, and I cried my eyes out. Earlier today I felt like I was at such a crossroads in my life. I have been feeling stuck lately, afraid to move because I don’t want to make the wrong move. Tonight, Ronan inspired me to try. His life and your words moved me and for the first time in a long time I feel unstuck. Thank you for sharing Ronan with me. I needed his inspiration more than I ever realized and I feel incredibly lucky to have stumbled across the story of his life. I am very grateful. Much Love and Gratitude.

  44. You know Maya, when a woman has a baby, a little bit of that baby’s body remains inside of her, even after birth…so Ronan will literally be a part of you, physically and emotionally, forever. Maybe a part of little Poppy too. God bless your family.

  45. I am so thankful you have Woody. He sounds like an exceptional man. I hope 2013 is a year of happiness for you. We all are excited to see your little Poppy!

  46. Really beautiful sentiments! Happy New Year to the precious Thompson family. Hang in there Maya. Do what you need to do and feel what you need to feel. Anything goes in this game of grieving. Your husband sounds amazing, way to go Woody! Keep remembering, crying, and laughing together. One day the joy will win again. Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments already to fnd a cure for childhood cancer.

  47. Leslie Schlaefli Avatar
    Leslie Schlaefli

    Happy New Year. I have been reading your blog from time to time. It always makes me cry. I, too lost my 3rd child, a son, but entirely different circumstances. I ended up having three more children, 2 girls and then another son. I just want to let you know that letting go of some of the pain doesn’t mean you’re letting go of Ronan. Keep on rockin and sayin fuck you cancer.

  48. Maya, I am so sorry that your precious beautiful little Ro was taken from you. It’s just not fair and it will never ever be fucking ok. I am so sorry. I am in awe of your strength and resilience and compassion.

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