Baseball, Brisket and Marriage Equality for all!


Ronan. I think time is standing still. At least that’s how it feels to me. Maybe it’s because I’m having to take things easy now that your Poppy sister is almost here. Maybe it’s grief. Or a combination of both. I remember things feeling this way right after you passed away for the first 6 months or so. It feels like this once again. I wake up, do the things I need to do, but life feels really empty right now. Nothing feels good. I’m exhausted. I can hardly make it through the day and normal things like keeping up on the laundry, dishes, and feeding your sweet brothers, feels really, really hard. I’m sure this mostly has to do with my pregnancy coming to an end but still, it’s mentally wearing me down. Then there is still the issue with your bedroom. Fucking fuck fuck fuck. I can’t believe it really happened and all of your things are out of there, being cleaned, refinished, your clothes are in bins, your stuffed animals in bags. I still am in shock over it all. I never thought I would let that day happen. Your daddy asked what I wanted to do with the clothes in your closet. I made him leave them there. I still like to touch them and smell them, even though they smell nothing like your sweet little scent. I still take whiffs of them whenever I can, hoping to be reminded of a sweet memory of when they were last worn by you.

I saw Dr. Schwartz today. Everything is progressing well, but I seriously feel like this pregnancy is never going to come to an end. I have it in my head that Poppy is just going to stay inside of me forever as I sometimes still do not think she is real. I honestly don’t think I will fully be able to truly absorb what is happening until I have her in my arms. We talked about everything from Cord Blood Banking, postpartum depression to the whooping-cough vaccine she made your daddy get today. She told us that she doesn’t want anybody around Poppy who has not had the T-dap vaccine as she has been seeing babies die from being exposed. Great. Add that to my list of things to worry about. Liam and Quinn had it with their regular immunizations so they are fine. I had to call your Nana to tell her she needed to get hers before she comes out here. Dr. Schwartz is just being extra careful which is good, but it still makes me nervous. Then there is the whole postpartum depression thing. We sat and had a conversation for a good 20 minutes about this. I told her I honestly wasn’t worried about it. I’ve never had it with my other kids and if I am depressed at all, it’s during this pregnancy -the here and now as being pregnant is keeping me from being able to do everything that helps me not to be depressed/consumed by my grief (which is not depression it’s just grief!) Mainly my exercising. Once your Poppy sister is here, I will be able to start to have my outlets again and they won’t consist of me resting in bed, which I fucking HATE, but instead will consist of going out and doing my hikes/runs/anything to get the adrenaline flowing. She talked about anti depressants. I told her how that’s not happening as I had taken them before and I swear they made me suicidal. How they just seemed to pile on more grief because I wasn’t dealing with anything and I was just numb. I agreed to let your daddy watch out for me though but still, I think I know myself pretty well. We’ll see if I’m eating my words in a few weeks and if so, I’ll deal with it my way. I sent Dr. Jo a text about this later today. We had a very long conversation which left me laughing at the way she got so riled up over the mention of medication/and postpartum depression vs just plain grief. I love her passion so much.We talked about our plan because we do have one. It’s the same one we’ve always followed. When things get more heavy for me, I see Dr. Jo on a more frequent basis and I’m always honest with her about everything I am feeling. We work through it the way it works for me. No fucking meds required. We talked about my sadness though all of this and how I will face it head on. She knows that Poppy is not just going to appear and BAM! all my sadness will be gone. She expects me to feel waves of happiness and waves of sadness with all of this. That’s just the way my life is always now. Poppy won’t fix it all. As Dr. Jo said, “You are not having Poppy to replace Ronan. You are having Poppy because you wanted another baby. But you need to be prepared for the people that are going to come out and act like this she is the answer to all of your sadness. People want her to fix everything and to take this all away from you but that’s not the reality of this. You need to let people know that the birth of this baby girl, does not diminish your pain or your grief. That she does not take Ronan’s place in your family. Ronan’s place is Ronan’s place and he will always be there.” That is our reality. That will always be our reality and nothing will change that. Not even your beautiful baby sister. I know she is going to help with our sadness, Ronan. But our sadness won’t disappear and I am o.k. with that. I am learning every day to just live with it.

Your daddy has been the one working in your room. I can’t bring myself to do a thing. Thank you for him. I honestly don’t know what I would do without that amazing daddy of yours. I always knew I was so lucky to have him, but going through something like this really makes me realize it that much more. He truly is unlike any other man on this planet. He has taken such good care of all of us in every way since losing you. I know it’s a big reason our family seems to be doing o.k. To have such a strong loving man to hold us all up, makes all the difference in the world. I can’t imagine where our family would be without your daddy. Every single night he talks to you out loud before he goes to bed. It mostly breaks my heart to listen to his words and I often times pretend like I am sleeping because what he says, usually makes me cry. Sometimes I don’t want to listen to what he is saying, because him telling you good night and how much he misses you, leaves me with a pit in my stomach that I will never get used to. I always appreciate this though even though it is so hard for me to hear. He went to a concert tonight. He’s been going to a lot of these things lately. I always encourage it. I will always be the wife that says, “Please, go. Have fun.” I will never be the wife that bitches or complains that he does these things. He deserves the break. He deserves to blow off some steam. He works so hard and takes such good care of us that I am always supportive of your daddy going out and having some fun. It makes me happy to see him doing these things. He is so ridiculously excited for your sister to be here. I cannot wait to see what it’s like for him to have a baby girl. I know it is just going to melt my heart. What a lucky little girl to have a daddy like him. It will be such a beautiful thing for our family.

I made your brothers dinner tonight. I cooked a really great brisket for Passover and talked to your brothers all about this holiday and what it means. It’s is important to me that they know about all religions, not just one or none. I want to teach them about EVERYTHING. I want them to have an open mind and be educated about it all. It was a fun little bonding time tonight where we talked about everything from sports to religion to marriage equality for all. Yes. I talk to my twins about this. I am proud to say that I do as I cannot believe this is even an issue in this day and age. Don’t we have bigger fish to fry? Why in the world do I care if my neighbor Bob marries Joe down the street? I don’t. People should be allowed to love who they love, end of story. My boys will grow up knowing this. It’s not our job to judge others or tell others what is right or wrong. It’s not hurting my family, affecting my marriage so GEEZ! Can we please just stop all this madness?! KIDS ARE DYING PEOPLE! Left and right kids are dying from a little thing called cancer yet nobody seems up in arms over this. That to me is pure insanity. People need to get a life and focus on what is really important in the world and it is not over who your neighbor, loves and wants to marry. The ignorance around this is shameful and embarrassing and enough is enough. I have 2 things I am really passionate about in life. 1) Childhood Cancer and 2) Equal rights for all. I won’t ever shut up or shy away from those two things. I was lucky enough in life to have parents who taught me to have an open mind at such an early age and who welcomed a very gay, black man into our world who we loved like our family and whom I was taught was no different from us. I will forever be grateful for my parents for this lesson in life. I will forever be grateful for my parents who let a little girl love a man for who he was, not who society defined him as being. I am a better person for this and my twins will be, too. I would have given ANYTHING for Ronan to grow up and be gay. Or straight. Who cares. At least he would have freaking had the chance to grow up and not die from cancer! Seriously. Where are our priorities?

Alright little man. I’m going to get off my soap box for tonight. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Please keep your Poppy sister safe. It won’t be much longer now. I love you.



31 responses to “Baseball, Brisket and Marriage Equality for all!”

  1. I think you’re doing great! As you know, I was the child born after my sister died. I never felt like I was a replacement. My parents always wanted 3 children, which is what they had. Her presence was (and is) always with us, and I happen to think that’s healthy.
    I also agree that true, healthy love should be celebrated, no matter what that looks like. Off my soapbox for now, also.

  2. RoMama,

    I’m glad you have such a wonderful man / husband in Woody. Poppy will be daddy’s lil girl. She will melt all if your hearts but never ever take Rockstar Ro’s place.

    I can’t wait until you all get to hold and love on PopStar!

    Thinking if you & Rockstar Ro

    Always Rolove

  3. Jo is right. Poppy won’t replace Ronan. But she is going to be a wonderful little girl, she already has an amazing family, and Ronan is watching out for her. You really have a gift with writing Maya. Good luck with your little girl.

  4. Awesome post! Ronan’s momma is a Rockstar!!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Woody is not just an amazing husband and father – he is just an amazing human being. I’ve never met him and I am constantly floored by his compassion and his strength. It’s no wonder your kids are as beautiful and thoughtful as they are.
    I am so, so, so glad you have Dr Jo, especially with Poppy so close to being here. I can only imagine that she will help bring calm and peace to the whole experience. Between Dr Jo, Dr Schwartz, Woody and your inner strength, you and Poppy couldn’t be in better hands.

  6. Your amazing Maya:)
    Ronan is soo lucky to have you as him mom.
    And you are right. Nothing and nobody will ever replace Ro, its just not possible. Ronan is still here an I’m sure he knows that he is still a rockstar and is still a HUGE part of your family.
    I hope you feel better and congratulations on baby Poppy!
    Im Sure Ro will watch over her an always be with you, woody, Liam and Quinn through high and hell water … He will always be your and woodys son and Liam and Quinn’s little brother. Nobody could ever replace Ro .., He’s just too precious.
    With all my heart

  7. Heard this song tonight and thought of you and Ro.

    Be still and know that I’m with you
    Be still and know that I am here
    Be still and know that I’m with you
    Be still, be still, and know

    When darkness comes upon you
    And colors you with fear and shame
    Be still and know that I’m with you
    And I will say your name

  8. Hi SuperMaya! (Because everything you have done since diagnosis to Poppy’s impending arrival has involved superhuman strength of your mind,body,spirit and soul!).

    Whether you like it or not, you are a roll model! The fact that you care enough to care about others AND the basic human right to Marry the Human they LOVE, (not just hear “I now pronounce you committed!) AND kicking kids cancer’s ass and Hell, just getting out of bed to raise your twin boys and be an outstanding Momma deserves a Metal of Honor and a Purple Heart! So does Ronan. Especially Ronan. He died in battle. A War against a differen type of Terror, Cancer. And Damn it he gave it his all! He went down fighting and someday his other army buddies, or storm troopers, won’t have to because his Mom and her team of soldiers and doctors will find and bring some sort of peace “or CURE” to those who battle and suffer and die from those same diseases.

    You are a survivor. You are surviving. You are growing another human being on fumes alone. You’re almost to the finish line and that just means you get to hold her in your arms instead of your belly. That will be a wonderful feeling but of corse not a replacement for Ro or will make your world right again and all will be well and what ever zen crap dumb asses are trying to tell you! Who ever thinks that, is a Power Tool! Fuck them! They are not important.

    YOU matter. Ro and His Memory, His Legacy are what matter. Your beautiful RoHubby/RoDaddy and RO’sBros are what matter. LilPopStar matter. And your Amazing Supportive Friends/Family are what matter. Your positve beliefs and even those not so “I have no Fucks to Give moments” even mater because they eventually give you the strength to get back up and do it all over again!

    Sorry for the essay instead of a comment post. It just seemed like you needed some positive reinforcement. Who doesn’t these days? The world can be random and mean and senseless and everyone deserves/needs a Cheerleader to pick you up, especially when your struggling or feel like its impossible to comethrough for your team or even yourself, both who depend on you.
    Much RoLove,
    Darcy Coffta
    Buffalo, NY

  9. You are amazing! On a sad note a little girl lost her life because of cancer today. FUCK YOU CANCER!!!

  10. Noah's grandma Avatar
    Noah’s grandma

    (((((Huge hugs)))))
    From frNoah’s grandma

  11. Love you Maya. I can’t wait for you to get the waves of happiness that you so much deserve. I can’t imagine being in your position…it breaks my heart. Sending lots of love and good thoughts to you and your amazing family. This little girl is going to be loved so much it’s insane! 🙂

  12. Maya, that was an amazing post. Little Poppy will be here soon and I know that when you see that brand new life you will be so renewed. Sure Poppy will never replace Ronan, but she will bring lots of smiles and joy to your family. Having a baby girl is a great experience, especially if you like all things dainty and pink!!! I have a daughter and a son, and both experiences were and are wonderful. Take care of yourself and I can’t wait to hear that Poppy is here. xoxoxo

  13. Beautiful post. Your words help me more than you can ever imagine. I lost my son 6 months ago to cancer, and I too am hurting beyond belief. Thank you for doing this. Helps to know that what my family is going through is normal. The commonality in it is unbelievable. Rock on Maya! Your words help keep me sane in this insane world that I live in.

    1. Carolyn LeBLanc Avatar
      Carolyn LeBLanc

      Kris, I am so sorry about your son. I hope there are people around you to love and support you.

  14. Your Dr. Jo is so smart. I think there is all the difference in the world between depression and a logical reaction to the situation you are in. To say “you are depressed” takes away a person’s agency and ability to think for him or herself. While PPD is real and something that anyone could face, it is not a catch all for any sadness you may have after a baby is born. I think the expectation that women will float around in a cloud of bliss — and that if they feel emotions other than bliss, there is something wrong with them — does a great disservice to mothers. We all still have the same troubles after a baby as before. You will be so happy when Poppy arrives. And you will be so sad because Ronan is not there to meet her. It will be wonderful and it will be shit. And this is perfectly normal for a woman who has gone through what you have gone through. This on its own should be no reason to diagnose you with a disorder.

    I feel strongly about this because I was told I had PPD after my son was born. I went to a group for it, but I never felt right. The other women talked about things that were totally foreign to me. I had a tremendous amount of respect and love for them, and one has become a very close friend, but I still felt like an impostor. Then I read an article about post-surgical anxiety and depression, and everything fell into place. It fit. I did have an issue but not all situations are the same–just because a woman has depressive feelings after her baby is born does not mean that she has PPD. And I feel that trying to force myself into that box ultimately did me more harm than good.

  15. This is one of my favorite posts! Well said!

  16. You are my fucking HERO! I agree with the marriage thing, 100% Your family is so lucky to have you. You are Supermom!! Superwife!! And a Superfan-fucking-tastic person! Your blog brings me to tears many times, over and over. I feel as if I know you. I don’t think there is a stronger woman out there. You have taken the shittiest of situations and ran with it…in a good way. Your heart is broken and always will be. But you still decide to power through for you, Ronan and the rest of your family. You deserve break down days…you always will. I don’t know how any mother (parent) can get out of bed after losing a chid. I think I would be in my bed, blinds & curtains closed, crying all day, every day. On a different note, after I had my first babe, I was put on Zoloft for depression/severe bitchiness. It did work for me. Lowest dose for 6 months. But each to their own. Meds won’t help a broken hearted/grieving mother. There is no point in feeling numb, b/c someday it all has to be dealt with. Pills won’t bring Ronan back and that (he) is the only thing that could heal you 100%. One last thing…I believe with everything that this Poppy girl will have part of Ronan’s spirit within her. Love you to pieces Maya. You are ROmazing!!!!

  17. High Five! What a wonderful ROmazing Mama you are to teach your sons about love, they are going to be the best little men. I’m so sorry Ronan is not with you at that dinner table, it’s just awful. Poppy is so loved already. Sending you strength and a big high five from WA!

  18. You are absolutely right. People need to spend less time worrying about who someone marries and more time on things like childhood cancer. It doesn’t make any sense to me.
    I am so excited for you, and can’t wait to see Poppy’s sweet face! I also wanted to add that I just received my Rockstar Ronan bracelets and my whole family wears one. 🙂
    Hang in there, Maya. You are doing wonderful, wonderful things. Thank you.

  19. Hii! Please notice this, I admire your strength and power and so many ways and there isn’t a day where Ronan is constantly on my mind. He’s always in my dreams saying hi to you. Are you still thinking about going to a medium like you said in a post soon after Ronan died? If you are please keep us posted! xoxoxo fu cancer.

  20. You have every right to teach your boys what you feel is right and wrong.
    You are doing an amazing job and it shows in those little men.
    Beautiful post, beautiful family 🙂

    Once again sending love, strength and peace from WA !

  21. Hi Maya,

    I started reading your blog a few months ago, when Taylor Swift first released her song about your son. I’ve never commented before, in fact I think this might be the first comment I’ve ever left on any website outside of facebook! I don’t check back here everyday, but after I’ve gone a week or so without reading your blog, I find myself drawn back here. Your humor, passion, strength and love (not to mention excellent writing skills), continue to inspire me.

    I am commenting now because I am always so happy to here about the signs you get from Ronan (The one about Dr. JoRo and her middle name being Rose is one of my favorites). From time to time, I am so grateful to receive similar sings (who mine come from I’m not sure) in my own life. This morning, I was watching the coverage of the Supreme Court’s deliberations over gay marriage with a mixture of hope and sadness. Sad that equality is so difficult to achieve, but with great hope for a future without these kinds of barriers. I found my mind wandering, when for no reason in particular, it settled on you. I wondered what you thought of the gay marriage debate. Judging only from your writing, you seem like the kind of person who would be all for it (kind, compassionate, practical), but you don’t often talk about political issues (that don’t relate to cancer) on your blog. Before my mind wandered towards everything I had to get done today, I decided that although you were most likely a strong supporter of equality, you had so many other equally (and even more) important things to worry about. For the life of me, I cannot tell you what caused you and your potential opinions on gay marriage to pop into my head. I promise that in examining political issues, I do not usually think what would Maya say about this? But today for some reason, I did.

    Several hours later, on a break from work, I realized I hadn’t read your blog in a couple of week, so I clicked on over to it. Lo and behold, there was a beautiful entry defending equality for all those who wish to marry. I took it as a beautiful sign, for which I am as always, extremely grateful. I’m not sure you even read these comments, but I just had to share it with you, on the off chance it would bring you some of the joy it brought me. Thank you so much for sharing these words and your life and Ronan with all of us.

  22. Nicole Gibson Dismuke Avatar
    Nicole Gibson Dismuke

    I have been reading your blog since I heard Taylor Swifts song “Ronan”. I had a son with Down Syndrome 15 months ago..since then the small things like Gay marriage used to bother me (even though i have friends that are gay) but now I completely agree with you. I could care less if Bob and Jim want to marry; I have much bigger fish to fry! You give me strength to get thru my day and fight my emotions in hopes that things will get better. Life is a challenge for sure! Thanks for the push to say fuck it and forge

  23. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more inspired by you, I am 🙂 thank you for fighting for what truly matters. I completely agree with dr Jo, it is crazy how our society does not recognize grief and wants to over diagnose depression and push meds. Glad that we have people like the two of you fighting to change things!

  24. Maya the Trooper,

    One of my friends, who also reads your blog, told me she was nervous that you were going to get debilitating postpartum depression (i told her to fuck off, she wasn’t one of your fans if she was rooting for you to fail). I completely disagree. I feel like, despite the pain from not having Ronan there with his little sister like he should be, that no one knows how precious the life of a child is more then you. I know that once you hold Poppy, and rock her in Ronan’s room, you’ll feel even more connected to Ronan. He sent her to you guys because he wants you to know that he’s safely watching over you guys, and wants to help spice up your lives a little more 😉

  25. P.S do you think Ronan would let anything happen to Poppy? I bet he’s using The Force to zap any cell that even thinks about becoming cancerous in all of his best friends

  26. Ronan is still and will always be part of your family, just like Poppy will too. No one will replace the other.
    Stay strong, Maya. I’m praying for you.

  27. My daughter has a birth mark on her head the size of a nickel. She is now 4 and asked me one day what it was. I said that’s where God gave you a kiss to keep with you forever so you know he is with you always till your back with him one day. Now she goes through her arms and legs feet and belly and finds ever freckle. One is from poppa jack, one from her mem one from her dog Wilson and fish Marty. I’m sure your poppy has had many “kisses” from Ronan. I’m sure he loved her up to let her and your family know he is with you till your all back together again one day. Xoxo

  28. You’re such a ROmazing mother, Maya!!! You just verbalized everything I had in mind but couldn’t express about human rights 🙂 Thank you so much for that. Also thank you so much for your existence and your endless effort to make this world better (which is so difficult) by focusing on the IMPORTANT things. You are one of the few reasons for which I’m not totally ashamed of being human. YOU ROCK 🙂

  29. You are such an awesome mom!

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