Promises made, promises broken


Ronan. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. One of my favorite holidays. We didn’t do much. Your brothers had baseball and basketball practice and we kind of just went along like it was just another day. Holidays are still weird for us and celebrating feels funny to me. I make sure to always stay off of things like Facebook during many of the holidays. Seeing everyone normal and happy still stings for me. Not that I would want it any other way for others, but it just makes me sad that things are not this way for us anymore. We all wore green. We went out and had a family dinner where we laughed a lot at the things your silly brothers said. There were some heavy talks too, mostly in the car ride to where we were going.

It was Quinn who was inquiring about things, like always. I know Liam wonders these things, too but I think he keeps his questions more to himself. We started talking about Poppy  a bit about what will happen when she is born. Quinn’s next question was, “Didn’t Dr. Jo’s baby die when she had her? Can’t that happen to Poppy?” Questions like this always make my stomach drop and my heart sad. Your big brothers should not have to know things like this at 9 years old. Your big brothers should not have to worry about things like this at 9 years old. I know that they do due to everything we went through and the world we live in now which is a world full of other kids with cancer and often times babies and kids die. As much as I try to shelter them from this world, it will forever be a part of them and shape them into the boys they are becoming. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t harmed them at all. They only seem to be becoming wiser, sweeter, and more compassionate human beings. If that were even possible as I swear to you they have been this way since the day they were born. I explained to Quinn what happened to Dr. Jo happened a long time ago. I did not tell him it still happens all the time in this day in age. Your daddy went on and on about Dr. Schwartz and how amazing she is and how she won’t let anything happen to me or Poppy. My mind quickly went to, I remember when we had a similar conversation with Quinn at 7 years old. “Is Ronan going to die?” he asked with his big beautiful eyes. “No way, Quinn. We have the best doctors taking care of Ronan. We are not going to let anything happen to him. We promise you, buddy.” Promises that we couldn’t keep, promises that were broken, but promises we fully believed in at the time. Your daddy really did swoop in and save the day by turning the conversation into fully being about what a great doctor  Dr. Schwartz is and what it is, that makes her such a great doctor. Both of your brothers seemed intrigued listening to what your daddy had to say. I exhaled a little and let myself get lost in his story, too.

I also got to see Teddy’s mom on Sunday. She flew into Phoenix to see Dr. Jo. She came over and we went out and had a very somber yet sweet lunch. Our entire conversation revolved around you and Teddy. About the choices we made with your treatments, about how we are still in utter shock and disbelief that our sweet boys, fucking died. Clarence was making the drive up to Sedona for a few days to have some time with Dr. Jo. I am so glad for that. I’ve been nudging her to come and see Dr. Jo for a while. She texted me today to tell me thank you because Dr. Jo is absolutely amazing. I just responded with, “I know. She’s unlike anyone on this earth.” I am so glad Clarence is here and taking some time for herself to talk about all of this. I am so glad Dr. Jo is the one helping her. After Clarence left Quinn came up to me. This next part makes me want to cry. I sometimes cannot believe I am having a conversation with a 9-year-old. “Mom. Is Teddy’s mom alright?”

I just looked at him and gave him a little smile and said, “I think so, baby. I think she is just a little sad.” He goes, “Teddy just died, right? I hope she is alright. Teddy always seemed so happy whenever I was around him.” (mind you Quinn met Teddy once but all he remembers is how happy Teddy was.) I told him that she will probably always be a little sad, the way we all are when we are missing you. How we will never stop missing you, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be happy, too. He looked at me and goes, “Are you o.k., mom?” Somehow I kept myself together and wrapped my arms around him and told him that I was o.k.  and thanked him for asking. Liam was sitting in this room listening to this conversation as well. I know he hears everything but he seems to let Quinn do most of the asking the questions. It’s like they have this secret pact. Liam wonders, Quinn asks, then they both know. It really is very sweet and special the little twin bond thing they have going on. I don’t know what they would do without one another.

Today your Aunties, Stacy and Fernanda came over with mission Poppy on their minds. They made me show them everything I have for your sister. We went over everything I don’t have, but need. We sat in your room for a long time. I sat on your bed, Stacy sat on the opposite bed, and Fernanda was sprawled out on your floor. I pushed back my tears a lot as we talked about you, your sister, your bedroom and I listened to Fernanda as she told me how far along I have come. She told me she knows it’s hard for me to see because I am the one walking this walk, but to them on the outside looking in, I have come such a long way. I can agree with her in a way but I also know that I don’t really have any other options. I won’t give up on you, therefore, I won’t give up on myself or this life that I am here trying to live the best I can. I know I could have chosen to self destruct. I know I could have ruined our entire family because I was so blinded by my endless amount of pain but that little voice in my head always went back to if you do x, y, and z, you will let Ronan down and you cannot let Ronan down. I always think about all the lessons you taught me in your short little life and I refuse to just throw them all away. I am here to use those lessons and do as much as I can with them. I will not waste your little gifts on my sadness that often weighs me down but somehow I always seem to find a way, to push it off of me and continue on. You were such a little fighter, how could I possibly not be as well? I promise I will always fight for you, my sweet boy.

Alright baby doll. This is all I can write tonight. Please continue to keep Poppy safe. We are all so excited to meet her. I miss you. I  love you. I hope you are safe.


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26 responses to “Promises made, promises broken”

  1. Samantha Martin Sprenger Avatar
    Samantha Martin Sprenger

    It’s so good that your twins have each other…to support each other. Some of us are good listeners, some of us our good questioners indeed.

    It’s so good that you have other Moms who can understand, and good friends who can help, and good folks like Dr. Jo. And that you have Woody. We are all rooting for Poppy and you and all the while holding Ronan in our hearts. He is forever here within us. Thanks to you both. Bless you.

  2. Thinking of you, Rockstar Ro & popstar!
    Always rolove

  3. Love the pictures 🙂 thank you for sharing! Your words were beautiful tonight! xo

  4. Maya,
    Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us. I truly wish your family nothing but the best. Tell Liam he totally ROCKS his glasses!
    Take care!
    With love from TX,
    Kelli B.

  5. So much love to you and your entire family.

  6. Hi maya,
    It is nice knowing that people can carry on through tragedy such as this . We try to be as strong as we can for our daughter , our friend started a go fund me site on Facebook and has raised over $30,000 that we will donate what we don’t need and there is a benefit on April 13 th that will raise more money. There is lots of charity’s that deal with sick kids in Canada do you know what is the best one to donate to???or is it better to donate to the hospital we are at ?? Not sure if anybody can help out just looking for suggestions

  7. Liam is rockin those glasses. He looks so handsome. He will change the world also–both those boys will–look at the leaders they have. You, Woody, and of COURSE Ronan. Blessings to you, Phoebe, Dr. Jo, Clarence, gosh, Stacy, Fernanda, the list just goes on and on and on…to all so incredibly important in Thompson and Kicking Cancer’s Ass-ville! Stay safe inside Poppy and go easy on your Mama and Papa–no crazy birth story, sit tight and wait til Mama says it is time! Wait to show us how spunky and spicy you are going to be, no need to live dangerously like your amazing mama!!

  8. Liam and Quinn look a lot like their mama. But I think Ronan, if he had grown up, would have looked just like his daddy! Forever sorry for your loss Maya ❤

  9. Thinking of you and your family, Maya! Liam looks SO handsome in his glasses. Cheers from Boston.

  10. Hazel O Callaghan Avatar
    Hazel O Callaghan

    Maya, I always read but rarely comment but this post really touched me. Liam and Quinn are so aware and present for such young boys all because of what they have been through, but also because they love you so much. It’s so obvious that they will be great young men and you should be so proud. I feel like reading about what you are living is inspiring. You have such a strong will to be happy in the face of heartbreak and it’s all in the name of Ronan. I wish you all such happiness and can’t wait for your daughter to get here and to be witness to even more joy!

  11. Maya- I have been following you and Ronan for some time now. I have wanted many times to comment on your posts. I have never been able to craft one that seems appropriate until today. I have read and re-read every one of your posts. I just want you to know that your friends are right about you. I have seen a change in your posts in the last few months. A change that is so beautiful to witness it almost seems to private to do so. I cannot put a name to the change. It’s just a change. Perhaps a sort of peace that has come into your soul that has translated through your writing. I think of Ronan and of you often. Your story has changed me too, Maya. I have left my career as a teacher to pursue a nursing degree. It’s all because of you and Ro. I want to do what I can for families just like yours. Ronan is leaving his footprints and a legacy so big that people will be touched by him forever. I wish you peace in the coming weeks and always.

    1. Wow, I really couldn’t have said it better myself! This change has been truly beautiful and breathtaking. Incidentally, I’m a nursing student and Ro has really inspired me to consider pursuing pediatric oncology as my field of specialty. It’s too early in the game for me to decide for sure, but he is really helping shape my future!
      Lot’s of love to Mama Maya, Woody, Liam, Quinn, Ro, and of course, Poppy from Nashville, TN ❤

  12. I am so proud of how far you’ve come, and agree it is due to Ro and your strength. The two of you are the strongest fighters 🙂

  13. Wow, the bond that Liam and Quinn have is so powerful, you can just hear it in your words. What a wonderful mama you are to have raised and nutured your boys. I’m so sorry that Ro is not with you right now, it is just terrible. Sending you thoughts of love from WA.

  14. I’m so happy to hear that you are standing strong for Ro,for your little boys,for your husband and of course for yourself.I just wanted to say to you that your boys are such a masterpiece.I know that you know it but I just wanted to say it.Love you so freaking much!!!!!!

  15. Maya, you and Woody are raising such wonderful, compassionate, kind-hearted children. You are setting them up for a bright future of helping others and making a difference in this world. I can’t wait to see what amazing things they will do!

    Love to you.

  16. kristin from Ahwatukee Avatar
    kristin from Ahwatukee

    beautiful post Mama…thx for the pictures too

  17. The pictures are fantastic. I pray everyday for your family! I am excited for Poppy! Thanks for sharing.

  18. You truly are Fighting through life like a Rockstar. Your strength is amazing !
    Sending love from your little home town 🙂

  19. Maya I can’t read your posts without shedding tears. Weather they are happy or sad or both.
    You are truly amazing!

  20. I am usually in awe of my girls understanding and lack of innocence as most children understand death. Lucy (3 1/2) randomly tells people that Maddie died and is in heaven and is dead… she asks me when she will die. She wonders why people are old… it makes me sad to know this is her ‘real’… but I know in the future it will make her understand life in sich a different way…
    Sending love and thoughts… can’t wait to see that you have gotten to meet your Poppy…

  21. Thank you Maya for continuing to inspire all of us. That was truly a beautifully written post. You have such amazing children who have shaped and changed the world especially Ronan. Thank you for sharing those beautiful pics, you look amazing & you are truly an amazing woman!

    With love from Syd. Xoxo

  22. I’ve been following your blog for a really long time now. I couldn’t seem to come up with the right words to leave as a comment. When I do come up with them, I start bawling my eyes out because the only right words I could come up with is….

    Fuck cancer. If it were a person, I would’ve committed murder a really long time ago.

    I admire your courage, strength and never ending love for Ronan. I love how youre able to put aside all the tempting thoughts of just letting the pain take over you and is continually fighting for such a great cause. I especially love the twin connection Liam and Quinn have. They would truly become great big brothers to your little Poppy.

    Stay strong, Ro mama!

    Thank you for continually sharing your story with us. Your words and fighting spirit have inspired me. It’s my final year in high school and until recently, I was confused about I study in college… After reading so much of your blog posts, you’ve inspired me to make a change in these children’s lives. I wanna help end their pain; because I know that someday we’d be able to beat the hell outta this shitty thing called cancer and end these innocent people’s (especially the children’s) suffering once and for all. Studying to be a pediatric oncologist doesn’t seem to be all that scary anymore, especially when I always keep The thought of your love story with Ronan in my mind.

  23. Quinn and Liam are just great kids and very wise.

    After their baby brother died our twins came home from preschool and told me that their teacher had died too. She is fine and was just on vacation. Somehow in their toddler minds our twins decided that when Sawyer (their brother) went away he had died so therefore, all people who go away have died.

    At every age I feel like I will be explaining the deaths of their brothers to the twins on different levels.

    I love Liam’s new glasses and the belly picture (hurray for 35 weeks :-)).

  24. It is truly an honour to be allowed to see into your world and to be allowed to be a part of this revolution.

  25. Twins are amazing… Kids do seem unaffected at times but then are full of questions. My two troupers would ask if Kodi will die in surgery. I could never promise them no. I have seen other kids be promised such things and be so devistated. And so angry they were not warned. i iust couldnt do that to my lovely babies. i wanted them to have the chance to cherish the moments. So I would say its always a possibility but the doctors he has are the best and will do everything they can. They would use their time wisely and cuddle with him and love on him so much that I know it made Kodi a stronger fighter. I have photo of all 3 before a serious surgery holding him with tears in eyes as they said goodnight to him the night before that surgery. They were all so little. But show how much in love they were with him. 🙂
    Either way losing them is horid and everyone has to choose how to handle the questions and what’s right for their kids and family. No child should have to watch pain and suffering. And no parent should have that loss of losing a child and watching the others worry about life.
    I’m excited for the joy you will have with Poppy!

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