The pink lint in the dryer made me cry


Ronan. A few weeks ago I said to your daddy, “I think I can be o.k. if we put Poppy’s crib in Ronan’s room.” He looked at me startled, and told me hearing those words out of my mouth gave him a lot of anxiety. I said those words a few weeks ago and nothing had been done, until today. My thinking behind this really came down to two things. 1) If you were still here, you would be sharing a room with Poppy anyway and 2) I am so tired and sad of walking past your empty room, day after day and night after night. Your room is big enough that there is enough space to leave your side pretty much the same, we will just change the other side where the extra bed is. We are leaving your bed and will put Poppy’s crib on the other side of the room. There are things we will do to your room, to make it Poppy friendly, too. Originally we had planned to add on another room, but that is not a project I could mentally take on at this point. Living in a construction zone with a new baby was not anything I felt up for and I’m still dealing with the whole I don’t want to do too much, until Poppy is actually here. Poppy is almost here. I have about 3 weeks to go and it’s kind of down to crunch time. I tackled some parts of your room today. All I have to say is fucking fuck fuck fuck. I hated today.

I worked doing what I could do. Cleaning out toys you never played with, clothes you never wore, books you never read, I worked fast and hard sobbing with everything I touched. Your daddy helped and kept telling me that enough was enough for today. I told him no it was not, I still had a lot to do. Liam found me carrying some books out of your room, and sobbing so hard that I was shaking. He wrapped his arms around me but I couldn’t even uncover my face with my hands to fully embrace him. He ran off and got your daddy to tell him I was crying. At this point, I was back in your closest running my hands over your little worn out Uggs that you wore everywhere and pretty much destroyed in New York because you lived in them. I watched as your daddy tried to play the strong role, but he really looked like a deer in headlights as he stared at me with a look of disbelief in his eyes that I have not seen in a long time. I saw his heart break again today, right along with mine. Over and over again our hearts that sometimes seem to be alright, get shattered once again. The pain on your daddy’s face only made everything worse. I hate so much that he hurts just as much as I do. Your daddy never deserved this kind of pain. None of us did. None of us do. Nobody does.

I started to wash the clothes I have for Poppy. I sobbed with every sock of hers that I folded and every blanket that I washed. I hung up some of her things with your things in your closet. I live in a world of sadness and happiness. A world where your little hats and sweaters now collided with Poppy pink headbands and socks. I took out the dryer lint after drying some of Poppy’s things today. It was pink. WTF is going on? Never in my life have I had pink dryer lint because I lived in a world where having 3 boys is all I’ve ever known. How can this be? How can you not be here, really sharing a room with her? I picture it all the time. How much you would have loved having her in your room. I imagined you doing things like sneaking over to her in the middle of the night, to check on her or to try to wake her up because you would have loved her so much that you would have wanted to play with her 24 hours a day. I think of this and it only makes me sad. The only thing that helps with this is knowing that you have 2 older brothers here that will love her extra hard for you. I know your brothers are happy Poppy is going into your room. It will be nice for us all to have some life back in there again. Since your daddy won’t let me pack everything up to move out of the country, or even out of this house, I will make the best of this situation and compromise for everyone. Your daddy still can’t imagine leaving our house which is so full of the memories of you. I still struggle with being here because it only makes me miss you that much more.

I dropped your daddy and brothers off at a St. Paddy’s day party tonight. I didn’t feel like going. I still have a hard time functioning in the normal world and still have not learned how to put on a plastic fake smile where I pretend that everything is alright. I don’t go out very often anymore and I am honestly o.k. with that. Maybe someday things like big groups of people will be o.k. but for now, it still is not. To me it still feels like a world that is foreign to me and I am not ready to learn a new language quite yet. I still prefer my dark, underground world that I have made up in my head because I live in a place where sunshine and sweet singing birds surround me 24/7. I wanted to shoot those birds and blow up the sunshine today. Can’t somebody turn down this brightness just a bit? It is too much to ask for the weather to just cooporate with my mood on a daily basis? It is when you live in AZ. A world where I swear you can overdose on all the sunshine and happiness. Well, at least if you are a bereaved parent you can. I’m know the normals of the world, love it. I think I used to be one of them. I’m not anymore. Nor will I ever be again.

Alright my little spicy monkey. I’m sad, mad, angry and tired. I had a hard day. I am going to finish up a few more things in your room. I will forever be sorry it is this way. I love you. G’nite Ro baby.


46 responses to “The pink lint in the dryer made me cry”

  1. I love you so much

  2. I’m so sorry Ro isn’t here with you, where he belongs.
    Your writing brings me to tears and I will forever be a changed person for what you have shared. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

  3. Tiffany Ensign Avatar
    Tiffany Ensign

    Everything you have told me in this blog about Ronan makes me say with certainty he is loving it that his little Poppy sissy is going to be in his room. It’s right where he wants her – I’m sure of it. Good job Ro mama. xo

  4. Well said. I wish I didn’t know your pain and heartbreak, but I understand. Keep sharing.

  5. I love you! I am crying so can not think of anything profound to say except that I love you and Ronan. You have touched my heart and made a huge impact on my life.

  6. I am just so sorry, Maya. It should never ever happen to anyone. Poppy should not be sharing a room with her dead brother. He should be teaching her all the best ways to cause trouble. So fucking unfair.

  7. Fucancer!!!
    Thinking of you Ro & Poppy!
    Ro should be here. I’m glad for you that you will soon have Poppy to hold.
    My heart aches for you, Woody L&Q
    Rolove always

  8. Beautiful words, Maya. As always. Fuck you cancer, Ronan should be sharing that room with the beautiful Poppy.

  9. Maya I just want to scoop you all up and take you to wherever the hell Ro is so you can all be together again. If thinking of you and praying for you helps at all, it’s being done my love. No words 😦
    Only love.

  10. I don’t get it. Life isn’t fair. It sucks royally big time!!!! :(. My heart hurts for y’all so bad!!! I am so sorry!! I wish Ronan was still here. He is so precious!!! Xoxo

  11. Fuck, Maya…just fuck. I can’t get over how shitty this whole thing is…that you can’t bask in the joy of having a beautiful baby girl enter your life. It’s so unfair.

  12. Ronan will watch over Poppy. He will still share the room with her. He knows all about this baby. How you cry going through his things. How awesome his big bros are doing in basketball. He is everywhere. And he will keep baby Poppy safe. xo

  13. I’m just so sorry. There are no words. My heart aches for you and your men, big and little. So much so that I had a dream about you, all 6 of you, last night. I think of you all every day. I’m just so sorry.

  14. I am sad for you today. And sad for my friends, Brian and Kathy. Today would have been Taylor’s 20th birthday. If he hadn’t died when he was only 15 years old. Five years later the far away look has not gone away. My heart aches for you. And for them. And I know and appreciate that you are not different from me. Or them. Losing a child can happen to any of us.

  15. I’m so proud of you and your husband and sad for you at the same time. What a bittersweet experience getting ready for Poppy. I live in Washington and have had a really rainy winter, it literally causes Great Depression among people here. Maybe your weather is Ronan’s way of keeping his sunshine in your life.

    Hugs, Lisa Richard Sent from my iPhone

  16. Prayers and hugs…..

  17. kristin from Ahwatukee Avatar
    kristin from Ahwatukee


  18. I wish so much that Ro was here with you where he most definitely belongs. Here where he can see his baby sister grow up. I can’t wait for Poppy to get here, so we can see her endless spiciness in person. I know she will help you, Maya. You need a little spicy monkey sidekick. I know she will bring you as close to happiness as you can get when you have gone something so horrific and fucked up. I just ordered some Ronan bracelets so more people can know about you and what these kids through and how it needs to change. It’s time to change to world. xoxo

  19. Oh Maya! I’m so sorry today was such a hard day for you! I thought about Ronan alot today too, I went back and watched all your old videos of Ro and cried my eyes out because I was in a really sad-about-Ronan mood. He was such an angel and words cannot describe how awful I feel about the fact that all this happened. Your spicy monkey should still be with you. End of story. You are so brave and strong; thank you so much for sharing your story with us because you and Ro have changed my life.

  20. I faithfully read your blog, but I have never commented before. This post is so heartbreaking that I had to comment. I can only imagine how hard today was for you. I have four children and being pregnant is such an emotional journey and losing a child on top of it is completely unfathomable. You said it so well – you have so much happiness and so much sadness. I am hoping that the happy days will always out number the sad ones.
    You have made me a better mother that I take a step back with my kids and think, “Is this really important? Should I really get upset about this?”. I cherish my time with them more.
    You are forever in my thoughts and prayers.

  21. Read your entire post with tears just pouring down my face. I am so so sorry your family has to deal with this. RIP Ro keep looking down on your sweet family ❤

  22. You will shimmy that baby easy-peasy out of you like a knocked up teenager. She will be healthy and strong and have the greatest 3 boys in the world as her brothers. Ronan will be her role model, her guardian angel in every way, watching over her. She will grow up in a world where there is more attention paid to childhood cancer, where football players wear gold shoes to raise awareness and our president lights the White House gold each September. You will take that trip to Ireland you always planned but never got around to because Ronan was sick. She will be sassy and smart, a spicy little monkey just like her brother. And when she grows up, your Neuroblastoma center will be a tangible reality rather than a dream.

    Can’t wait til the day I visit your blog and see pictures of that beautiful little poppy baby : )

    1. This is such a great post. 🙂

  23. Maya, I so wish that I could meet you one day. People like you fight so hard to keep light in a world that seems to grow darker and darker. If I do ever meet you, I would give you a hug and cry with you. Because I think my tears would mean more to you than any words of comfort. There are so many of us crying with you. For him.

    And now for a laugh, I saw this on an ecard and thought of you:
    “Hey scientists, you have given is Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. How about you stop playing with your dicks and give us something for cancer?”

  24. So I came across your pinterest account and saw you posted a picture of Ronan’s urn and it made me sick to my stomach. It looks like a pretty ceramic jar a normal family might have put cookies in, not something that holds a dead toddler. What a sick, cruel, disgusting thing to happen to a perfectly beautiful family.

  25. So so so sorry Maya ! I love you so much !
    Ronan loves you so much ! life is unfair …
    Thanks for sharing your journey, my tears are here, with me and Ronan too

  26. I love you!!!!Stay strong…

  27. We have 3 boys. We burried our middle son yesterday, a 7-year old victim of neuroblastoma. What you write reasonates with us so much – well, except the weather – it would have been nice to have just a bit of Indiana sunshine as we burried our son, but like too many other families before us, we too don’t get our wishes granted, even if they are small wishes.

    1. Rob. I’m so sorry. I wish this wasn’t your truth.

    2. I’m so sorry for your loss… Little person but huge loss.

    3. Thoughts&Prayers from mine to yours. RIP beautiful boy.

      1. I’m so so sorry Rob. It’s so terrible. Sending you and Maya thoughts of love from Seattle.

    4. Rob- I’m so deeply and profoundly sorry for your unfathomable loss. Peace be with you and your family, now and every day. I’m not a religious person, but I still believe very much there is another plane of existence both before and after this one. You will see him again.

  28. Praying for you as always, but especially as Poppy’s birth is getting closer and the emotions more intense. So sorry yesterday was such a tough day…I admire your strength though. Think about how far you’ve come, as tough as it was, to be able to be in Ronan’s room like that. Big hugs to you. xo
    ps I loved the take on the sun here being Ronan’s way of keeping the sunshine in your life 🙂

  29. I’m so sorry. You and Ro have changed my life.

  30. Love to you and your family

  31. I am sorry you are going thru this, but proud of you at the same time. I think you will enjoy having that room can now bring sunshine and happiness. Poppy already making such a difference. Know that you and your entire family is always in our thoughts and prayer. That especially today on St.Paddys day that little Irish girl is going to bring you nothing but sunshine.

  32. Reading this made me want to reach out and send love and hugs to all of your family. The pain and sadness you express is so real and moving. You have such a gift of letting people into your heart and soul.

  33. ❤ I think of you everyday. So many thoughts run thru my head about you & your family. Im just as excited for Poppy as the rest of them!
    Yesterday it rained so hard (I live in Wa) that the building I work in echoed. It sounded like a dozen people talking & laughing at once. It made me think of Ronan. ❤

  34. Overwhelmed with so many wishes and so much love for you all. Really can’t put anything into words. Instead just hoping you feel the energy being sent your lovely way. Cannot wait to see a picture of the most beautiful Poppy ever….

  35. I can’t even imagine what you are going through, but I am praying and hoping with everything I have that you are able to find peace and comfort. I look at my cousins babies and the light they bring to the world and think how horrible it is that something as awful as cancer has the power to put out that light. I watched my father go through cancer, and it was one of the most terrifying experiences I get. I donate to cancer research every chance I get, and encouraged everyone I knew to purchase ‘Ronan’ by you and Taylor Swift. I hope Poppy will bring some light to your life, allow you to have the joy that your beautiful son once did. Your story has moved me to tears repeatedly and I know that even though he is not here, Ronan will never be forgotten.

  36. Not a day goes by that my heart doesn’t break for what breaks yours. I put myself
    In your shoes a lot and I think about what I would do if one of my children passed away, I don’t think I could have the strength to move on. I would rather die. You have so much strength, I admire you for that . Your daughter is a lucky girl to have YOU as a role model.

  37. Oh Maya… My heart breaks for you. I know your Poppy will bring some light to your dark world. Because of you sharing Ronan’s story, you are bringing awareness to this horrible disease. I thank you for having that courage. Peace is all I can pray for you – but I do – every day.

  38. Poppy is going to be right where Ronan wants her to be. He will always be her big brother and will always be looking out for her. Everyday

  39. Ronan, I’m so so so sorry you are not here, where you belong. Your mama is doing a great job for you, but I wish she did not have to and we lived in a perfect world where all little girls and boys would be safe and happy. Thank you Maya for making this happen and inspiring others. I wish it wasn’t so. You are my hero

  40. I understand Woody not being ready to move and your wanting to stay. After Jake died all I wanted to do was blow up our house and/or run very very far away. We did move before our twins were born. Sawyer died in this house. It has been 3 years and I cannot wrap my head around moving.

    Sending you hope and hugs (and a fast 3 weeks). FU CANCER!!

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