“This is how dreams die.” -Woody Thompson





I’m not going to go into why I titled this post this way tonight because not everything can be shared. Let’s just say Woody came home and said this to me tonight for a very good reason. All I am allowed to say is screw anybody that sets out to get rich off of kids with cancer. Fucking unreal.


Ronan. I cannot believe your baby sister has been here for 3 weeks today. It has went by so quickly. We still have been lying pretty low and I swear it feels like I have been doing nothing but nesting and breastfeeding her since she arrived. The quiet has been good for me. Or at least that is what I am telling myself for the time being. I do miss my crazy insane I’m losing my mind days. Those days got me through a lot of the darkness. I’m sure those days are not over yet… but for now I am just trying to soak in the peacefulness that you sister has brought into our lives. We’ve had a couple of out-of-town visitors. Your Nana came to help out with things and to meet Poppy. It was of course wonderful to have her here as it gave me a chance to do nothing but focus on your sister and let myself become somewhat human again. I was exhausted not from the lack of sleep I’ve been getting, but from the physical part of your sisters birth and the toll it took on my body. Now I am starting to feel somewhat normal again and I know a big part of it is due to the rest I was able to get with your Nana in town. She took a lot of the slack off and for one full week I didn’t have to touch the laundry or cook a thing. It was heaven and so very helpful.

Your Fairy RoMo popped into town just for a day to come and see her new god-daughter. That was a magical day indeed and so special that I can hardly put it into words what it was like to see the two of them finally meet. It was like for once, something in this world without you made sense for  a split second. If I can’t have you here to meet your Fairy RoMo, having Poppy here is the next best thing. We took Poppy all over with us for the day. We had a impromptu Poppy party that was thrown together by Stacy where we sat around at a cute little restaurant and had a nice lunch. It was pretty much her first time out in the world. After that, we took Poppy to your favorite restaurant, Chelsea’s Kitchen. We sat on the patio and went gagaga goo goo crazy eyes over your sister. As I was sitting there, I was taken back to the night of your funeral/celebration of life/one of the worst nights of my life. I was holding your sister and I remembered being there after we had your services. I thought to myself, how in the world could I have come here with a bunch of people the night of Ronan’s funeral? In my white dress looking like a zombie I’m sure. I hardly remember the night except I remember that somebody went and snapped my picture with Quinn on my lap and I remember smiling into the camera. How I even was able to form a smile is beyond me. I know I did it because Quinn was right there and I was trying to act somewhat normal like this is a fucking normal thing to do. Eating Tuna Tacos with a bunch of people after my child had just died and I sat in the front row listening to people talk about about you, holding your brothers hands, without tears streaming down my cheeks because I was too numb to feel anything. And now, here I am, sitting right back at that very same restaurant while holding your sister and kissing her sweet cheeks. How is this my reality again? I wanted to vomit right there on the spot but I just sat there quietly instead doing everything I could do in my power not to cry and hide underneath the table. I let the scene of that awful night play out in my head instead.

Every time I think about you and what has happened lately it’s like my mind is back to not being able to process it. My mind automatically goes to screaming, “FUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!!!” in my head and that’s about it. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I don’t. I always feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I took your brothers back to their therapist last week just to check in with them. Quinn did not understand why he had to go because as he told your Nana, “If I needed to talk about something, I would just talk to my mom.” That was sweet to hear and made me feel good, but I still wanted Quinn to check in with Dr. Rachel. I went to talk to her after she met with Quinn. She said that he is doing really well. That the worry brain he used to have, seems to totally be gone. He also told her that he hasn’t seen me this happy in a long time. That stung a little bit. Happy? How can that be? It almost felt like a betrayal to you, Ronan. Don’t get me wrong, I do want your brothers to see  me this way. This is the way they deserve their mom to be… but it still felt weird to hear that. I just wasn’t ready for that word quite yet. It was like swallowing a really big horse pill and doing everything I could, not to choke on it. Dr. Rachel told me she feels like she does not need to see Quinn anymore, even though she would love to because she thinks he is such an amazing little guy, it’s not necessary at this point. Liam on the other hand, still needs some time with her. He is still pretty emotional about all of this. He tends to keep things to himself more so than Quinn does. We talked about making sure she gets some time with him before the shit storm of May 9th and all the lovely dates after, follow.

Your brothers are of course so in love with your sister. It is so strange to watch them with her, thinking they were doing the exact same thing with you after you were born and how you are just gone now. They both fight over who gets to hold her, kiss on her, and love on her. They both say the funniest things about her. The other day I had an outfit on her that was too big because she is so tiny that much of the stuff I have for her is big. The little tank top she had on kept sliding down and Quinn goes, “Mom, why isn’t she wearing a bra? People are going to see her privates.” I almost peed my pants over that one. The innocence at 9 years old melts my heart like crazy. They both can’t get over the fact that she doesn’t have teeth and Liam sits there with her and tries to teach her to talk. He’ll go over and over, “My name is Liam. L-I-A-M. You’re name is Poppy. P-O-P-P-Y.” It is the cutest thing ever. I’m sure if you were here you would be doing things like coloring on her with markers while I had my back turned or taking her hair and putting tooth paste in it or cutting it with scissors. You were always causing trouble in the best way possible.

Your daddy has been doing things with Poppy like playing her guitar. The other night I was sitting in bed with your sister listening to your daddy play to her. I said, “You need to learn a Taylor song for her.” He asked me which one and said, “Not Ronan. I love it, but I don’t think I can get through that one just quite yet.” I agreed with him and immediately went to one of my absolute favorite song of hers. That one from The Hunger Games soundtrack, “Safe and Sound.” Fast forward a week later and your daddy has that song down to a tee. I remember where I was the first time I heard it on the radio. We were in Maine for the 1 year anniversary of your death. Your daddy and brothers ran into a restaurant to pick up pizza and I was sitting in the car alone. That song came on and I started bawling like a baby. I thought it was so beautiful and could not understand how I had not heard it before. I sat there thinking how much I would have loved to sing this song to you as the words resonated with me so much. Now here we are and your baby sister will grow up with your daddy singing this song to her. Once again, the next best thing to actually having you physically here with us.

Our visitors have still been far and few. Your Sparkly came by last week for a bit just to check in. I showed him your room and how different it is now. I think it was hard for him to see, but he said it looked beautiful. It was hard for me to show him. After that, we mainly just sat on our couch and stared at your sister while catching up on some things. Sometimes a lot of words are not necessary. As we were sitting on our couch he asked where your Nana was. She had gone out to run some errands for me so she was not home and I told him how she has a hard time sitting still. He goes, “Now I know where you get it from.” I just smiled at that. He then goes, “Where is your mom sleeping? In Ronan’s room?” I paused for a minute and told him yes. You see this Ronan? This is why Sparkly gets it when not many other people do. Those 3 words, “in Ronan’s room,” meant so much to me. Sometimes the littlest things mean the most and that is a prime example. Sparkly quietly said how he can’t believe how much she looks like you. Cue tears here. End scene with them sloppily falling everywhere as I said I knew. That dimple. I still cannot get over it.

That’s my update for today. I’ve started hiking/running again. I know I’m supposed to wait 6 weeks postpartum, but they don’t call me a rebel for nothing, right little man? The exercise feels good. Today has been a little tough for a couple of different reasons, but mostly just because I seem to be missing you more than ever. Throw May on top of all of that and it’s a wonder I can even leave the house and function like a normal person at this point. I’m going to go for a run to blow off some of this never ending pain. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. F U Cancer.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

34 responses to ““This is how dreams die.” -Woody Thompson”

  1. Rita Dickinson Avatar
    Rita Dickinson

    She is so beautiful. I can’t believe how much she looks like Ronan, but with dark hair. Congratulations to you, Woody, Liam, Quinn and Ronan.

  2. Love all the pics of Poppy.
    I was over in your neck of the woods Saturday when you posted you were hiking. Someday we will run into each other?!
    Rolove RoMama

  3. Poppy is so beautiful!! She has SO much hair!!

    We are working on plans for May 9th to spread the RO-LOVE!! My heart is so heavy for you.

    Ps….my son had a birthday party this weekend. He tied an army guys to his balloons and let them go. We agreed that Ronan would play with them. ❤

  4. I too cannot believe how much poppy looks like Ro. So special. I’m not at all surprised you’re hiking and running again, you and Ro will always be rebels at heart 🙂 I cannot even begin to fathom how shitty May is going to be, and I continue to be amazed by your strength and beauty.

  5. kristin from Ahwatukee Avatar
    kristin from Ahwatukee

    glad you are rested a bit Maya…I’m sure Nana LOVED being there for you. Baby Poppy is beautiful. I wish this was “smell-a blog” 🙂

    1. smell-a-blog…that’s a great idea! what mom doesn’t love new baby smell! 🙂

  6. Precious all around!!!

  7. The first thing you wrote in this post is exactly what I was thinking the other day. I went to the store and outside the doors people were collecting money for the American Cancer Society. They asked me if I would like to donate and I simply told them that I don’t support organizations like this. The man looked at me confused. I pointed to his sign and said look at the kids faces on here. Your using their innocent little faces for your benefit. They don’t get anything out of this. I know where your money goes and it’s not right. And with that I walked away.
    P.S. Poppy is beyond amazing. She looks almost identical to Ronan.

  8. Maya, it’s ok to be happy. Ronan wants his mama to be happy, that’s why he sent you Poppy 🙂 She looks like a darling child, like all your children. It’s lovely to see the pics of her, even if she does refuse to wear a bra (still laughing over that one)

  9. The part about a bra… oh my!!! my kiddo’s are all asleep and i lol i almost peed my pants! I absolutely love the glasses on her. I agree with Jennie. It is ok to laugh and be happy. There is a verse in the bible that says “even in laughter ones heart may be in pain” It’s not a betrayal. But our memories and love we will carry with us with different measures of pain. You are a good mom. Be kind to yourself. Liam and Quinn are going to bring more laughter to you with a little sister. running and walking we do as well. Just blogged about that earlier tonight about our walk as a family. 🙂

  10. RoMama, I’m so fascinated by your strength and your unconditional love to your husband and your kids. It really touches my heart so much everytime I’m reading some lines from you. You fill them with so much wisdom and love. I’m so sure that you will rock May with all you are, Ro will be so proud of you. To me it was so clear that you start hiking as soon as possible, you are not a rebel for nothing :-)))
    Your Poppy baby girl is so beautiful and I love your pics with her – it’s wonderful that she makes you enjoy life the way you are doing.

    Lots of greets from Germany to you RoPoMama!!!

  11. Safe and sound is the perfect song for her and omg the bra comment – too freakin’ cute!!! It is ok to be happy. It is not a betrayal to Ro at all xxx

  12. She is so gorgeous.I bet Ronan is going to keep her safe and sound…I am really happy that you are “happy”.It’s ok to be happy,you are not betrayling Ro.I don’t know why but I think he can understands you but I wish he was with you and not understood you.Love u

  13. Maya, thank you so much for continuing to tell us your story. We’ve all fallen in love with your whole family. I continue to admire your grace and resiliance and strength learning to find joy in the midst of your grief. I think the moments that you find yourself feeling happy are when Ronan is with you the most. He’s got to be loving watching over Poppy and seeing you, Woody, Quinn and Liam smile again.

  14. You always make my day!!! Hearing from you is like talking with a sister!! You have connected me to your family in a crazy way!!! I fucking hate cancer I will fight this fight with you 🙂

  15. She really does look so much like Ronan…it’s incredible. Now get that girl a bra! 🙂 Love you Maya and your amazing family.

  16. Charee Harrison Avatar
    Charee Harrison

    Fuck cancer and fuck all the people who take advantage of the most horrible situation imaginable. Love you Maya!

  17. Poppy is beautiful. Love the full head of rich, dark hair!

  18. Poppy is beautiful! Loving that head of dark gorgeous hair!

  19. Maya I know exactly what your talking about ppl trying to get rich off childhood cancer…There was a mother in NJ who was raising money for her 9 year old son who supposeably had ” Hodkins Lymphoma”… She raised over 35,000 dollars which is freakin unreal, considering she actually told her son that he had cancer (which he did not), Makes me want to kick her ass!! BC what good mother would tell their child that!! who knows what damage this is going to cause mentally for this kid , I mean shit your mother tells your dying of cancer and now she is in jail for fraud BC she was raising money for your cancer treatment !! Oh by the way kid your cancer free and you never had cancer WTF!!!…Stupid people ruin things for the rest of the world!!! Oh by the way POPPY IS SOOOO ADORABLE!

  20. Maya……Poppy looks so much like you, and so much like Ronan. The gift is to see her everyday and be reminded of him, and your love for him. He lives on in your family and your love for your family, of which he will always be a part of. ❤

  21. she is beautiful. I have been reading your blog for awhile and thank you for sharing with the world. I have learned so much through your story even though I wish it did not have to be your story and you still had your precious Ronan here with you. Thank you for your authenticity and braveness through it all and I hope you feel everyone’s love and prayers for your family and your new beautiful Poppy, I know she will never replace Ronan and I hope she heals your heart a little, while Ronan still is with you always….

  22. What a beautiful baby… and what an amazing mom. xoxo

  23. Quinn is one funny little man – love the innocence of a child! Poppy is one cute baby. Sending you all love – thinking of your Ronan always. Thank you for sharing the pics. F/U cancer indeed…..

  24. Poppy is the most precious baby doll cuddlebug and your twins are hilarious. If only Ronan were here your family would truly be perfect and complete.

    On a side note, does that baby EVER wake up? Her eyes are always closed! 😀

  25. I have been following your blog for quite some time an have cried with you and laughed with you and now I celebrate your Poppy with you. Your Ronan is such an awesome spirit and reminds me of what is truly beautiful in life. I am inspired by your will to kick cancers tail. I truly know you will change childhood cancer. While I can never put myself in your shoes because only YOU know of the most special relationship you shared with Ronan, I am a sister in loss and can relate to the peace that a child born after loss can bring. Children are magical in the healing they bring to the heart and I know the hole will never be filled but the new love for Poppy I hope will bring some peace. And I totally think she looks like Ronan. He will always be gorgeous. The first time I saw his picture where he is holding the flower, it took my breath away. Much love and luck to you! F U Cancer!!

  26. Such a perfect song to play to Poppy…I’m glad it wasn’t ‘Never Grow Up’ (which I noticed a few people had mentioned on your IG account) because as much as the baby phase is beautiful, don’t we all want Poppy to grow up into a beautiful adult? Isn’t that what we want for all kids?
    Whatever it is that Woody is referring to in that quote, I hope it doesn’t affect that work you are doing for Ronan’s foundation xo

  27. She is beautiful. Congratulations to all.

  28. I read here a lot, but I’ve never commented before. I just wanted to say that Poppy and Ronan are both so beautiful, and that your family is very sweet.

    Melissa 🙂

  29. Poppy is so adorable. I agree with the others that you deserve to be happy and that is what Ronan would want for you – but as a bereaved parent I feel like all the “happy” in my life is bittersweet. Everything good would be so much better if our child/children were still physically with us. Sending you hope and hugs.

  30. Hi Maya – Just wanted to add my words of support. There is just a spaghetti soup of emotions in your last post. You have an incredibly difficult month coming up. I will continue to say prayers for you and your family. I wish I had some amazing advice to offer, but I don’t. The only thing I have to offer up is a fairly ridiculous piece of advice considering you are breastfeeding a newborn, but I will offer it up anyway. Please protect and defend your need to sleep. I know that is ridiculous, but if you can just get a reasonable amount of sleep you will increase your “dealability”. This is a totally fabricated word, but I use it all the time. Us parents, we have to deal. Sleep helps. Lame, I know, eye roll understood. Thinking of you and wishing you well.

  31. As you said once “not a beautiful life, but a life filled with beautiful moments” enjoy the beautiful moments with your little burrito ❤

  32. Gabriela Minescu Avatar
    Gabriela Minescu

    Dear Maya,
    I have a child and I am expecting the second one, and because I didnt feel well, for more then a month I was running to all the doctors so, I didnt have time to read your blog.
    Today I read your posts, from April and May, and when I saw Poppy’s photos, I was so confused, I didnt know if it is Ronan or the litlle baby girl.The resemblance is striking.
    It is like Poppy reincarnated Ronan. It is amazing.Like he was feeling your pain from where he is, all these years, and he decided to come back to you.To embrace you, to complete your life again.
    It was so emotional.So incredible.
    I send you all my love and my energy,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: