A Happy Birthday to your most amazing brothers.


Ronan. Our little, Rachel went back to NYC this morning and I hated to see her go. We had the best time with her here and she is another one of those big reasons that I am so thankful for this blog. Without it, I may have never known this amazing soul who I’m sure was my little sister in a past life or something. Somehow or somewhere, we have crossed paths before. There is just no other way to explain the bond and connection we have. Never in my life have I met a more centered and beautiful 21-year-old in my life. Rachel is everything I hope Poppy grows up to be. She is brilliant beyond measures, mature, wise, compassionate, polite, sassy, hard working, loving, funny, strong, independent, adventurous, and truly knows how to stand her ground in this crazy world. I can’t wait to watch all she does in this life as I know she is going to change the world.

After I got home from taking her to the airport this morning I walked into your brothers room to find your daddy, Liam, Quinn, and Poppy. Your daddy goes, “Did you get Rachel off o.k?” I told him I did. He then goes, “That’s sad.” I said, “What’s sad?” He said, “I know you’re sad that she had to go. I wish she could have stayed longer, too. She was a great house guest.” I just smiled and said that it was o.k. Although in my mind I was wishing she could move in and stay with us forever. Your bed looked so much more happy with her in it. I’ll never forget the first time I met Rachel and I don’t really even remember how it came about except for she had been reading my blog and knew I was coming to New York City, alone to take a little time for myself. Somehow it turned into, “Want to meet up?” And of course I said yes because I just had a feeling about this girl. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and a chance and opened up my heart when it was so broken. My little, has helped me in ways she will never know. It’s people like Rachel that make living this life a little easier because she brings such beauty to it. Even though she may have tried to hide Poppy in her purse and take her to New York with her;) Don’t worry, little. We’ll come visit you soon. We are missing you so much already.

The 9th came and went. It was an o.k. day. We didn’t do anything dangerous. Instead Rach helped me get organized around the house. We cleaned out drawers, organized closets and dressers, we loved on Poppy and your brothers. We met up with Fernanda and Stacy for dinner where I got to sit and talk with my friends while Poppy slept away in their arms. It was a good way to spend the 9th. For once, I didn’t have the desire to jump out of an airplane without a parachute. Your brothers birthday was the next day. 10 years old, Ronan. I don’t even know how that happened. I woke up and made them a big breakfast before basketball camp. We opened up gifts and they were so excited, happy, and thankful. After camp we spent the rest of the day playing with Fernanda and her kids for the majority of the day. I broke down about halfway through the day as I had done all I could do. I tried my best to be the strong and happy mom for most of the day but there came a point when I couldn’t stomach the fact that you were not here with us to celebrate and the tears just started pouring. There was no controlling them so I just let them fall. I was back in Fernanda’s bedroom with one of her boys who is so in love with Poppy that he just wanted to hold her all day long. I was sitting quietly with him and we were whispering back and forth to each other about Poppy. There was something about seeing him holding her and the way he was looking at her that reminded me so much of you. I think it was the look in his eyes as they were filled with so much love, happiness, and peace. It’s the way I know you would have stared at her, too. Brando kills me anyway as I totally have such a soft spot for that kid. He is only a couple of years older than you. Right after you died, I remember being at Fernanda’s house and I was back in the boys’ room. Brando just looked at me and said, “I’m sorry about Ronan.” I was speechless as I think he was only about 6 when this happened and I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t care how little this boy is, he gets it.” I’ll never forget that moment with him and how much it meant to me. I’m a sucker for all of her kids, but Brando always seems to tug at my heart just a little more. While I was crying on the bed with Brando and Poppy, Brando looked at me and said, “Are you o.k.?” I just nodded my head that I was, even though I really was not. I tried to stop the tears, but it didn’t work and Rach and Fernanda came into the room to find me silently sobbing. My tears lasted a majority of the day. I just wanted  you with us, running about the way you should have been with your big brothers on their 10th birthday.

We ended the night with messy, messy, ice cream cake, singing Happy Birthday and lighting off fireworks that we acted like weren’t supposed to be lit off. As we were jumping and dancing about I heard our little Rachel yell to Quinn, “Rules were meant to be broken, Quinny!” I laughed out loud. Indeed they are, little which is another reason I love you so much. Ronan, you would have loved the boys’ birthday so much. I hope you were there watching us and cracking up at the things we did and you could see even through my tears, I can smile and laugh, too. The night ended by tucking our little in as I sat with her and talked about life, love, loss, and the people we choose to surround ourselves with. I told her how I’ve learned some lessons along the way about the people that have floated in and out of my life. How you, Ronan, are the root of all things good, beautiful, and pure and as long as I remember that I think I will be able to continue to do things that will make you proud. I’m not here to deal with drama. I’m not here to deal with BS. I’m going to live this life the way I want to live it, not the way other people think I should. At one point I was talking to Rach about Stacy and I was telling her how we met, how long we’ve known each other, how we lost touch after our husbands graduated law school together and how we had made plans to meet up after a few years had passed and how we were supposed to go to dinner on the night you were diagnosed. I tole Rach from that moment on, how Stace swooped in and her and Fernanda took charge of everything. How we may have had our bumps along the way, but at the end of the day I always know Stacy never forgets why it is she is here, doing what she is doing. She never forgets this is all for you and because of you. Screw me. I’ll say screw me all day long as I’m not the one who matters in all of this. It’s you. I get told a lot how strong I am, how inspirational, etc… You know what I say to all of that? I’m not any of those things, but you are Ronan. I am just simply here, trying to make you proud by doing the things I know you would want done. You were the strong one. You were the brave one. I was just simply lucky enough to be your mom.

After my pow wow with Rachel, I went to kiss your brothers good night. Quinn wanted to snuggle Poppy so we got into bed with him. We all said our goodnights. I told your brothers how lucky I am to have them and how I hope they know how much I love them and am proud of them. This is what Quinn said. “Goodnight mom, Goodnight Liam, Goodnight Poppy, Goodnight Ro. I love you. I wish you were here.”

Always, Ronan. We always wish you were here.

I love you, baby doll. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.


P.S. Thank you to all of you who reached out to me about the cable for The Ronald McDonald House. We’ve got some amazing people helping us out and I am crossing my fingers that something can be done. I know it may seem like such a silly thing to some because we are lucky enough to have the basic things in this world like clean water, food, etc… But trust me, when your child is neutropenic and cannot do a thing except watch Mickey Mouse Club House and the parents are so beat down from all they are going through, a little thing like that can really help one get through the day. Again, thank you all. You truly are angels on this earth.


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25 responses to “A Happy Birthday to your most amazing brothers.”

  1. She’s such a pretty baby Maya! And happy birthday to those awesome boys of yours! xo

  2. Such amazing souls all four of your children have. Ronan has been behind so many beautiful, beautiful things. I love watching Poppy grow, I feel so lucky to get little glimpses into your life and all that you’re doing with it. I know you don’t think you’re inspirational or any of that, but as you said before you could have let this grief consume you. But you didn’t, and a lot of that could be because of that wonderful little boy of yours, but part of that will always be you choosing to live your life for him, and for other kids like him so that hopefully you can bring some solace to the suffering of others, and bring a change. That is beautiful, and you should always be proud of that. I’m so happy you’re surrounded by all these beautiful people, you deserve it.

  3. He should be here. He just should be. Happy birthday to your sweet boys 🙂

  4. I just want to tell you, you are a wonderful Mom, an a-ma-zing mom, you do everything you can. You did everything you could. We have such admiration for you in so many ways. Happy 10th birthday to you and your twins. You are a light in this world.
    Thank you.

  5. Happy birthday Liam and Quinn! You have been through so much in your short life and you handled it better than most grown-ups would.I wish you the best in this world! I am so glad I got to know such amazing kids(and now I am talking about all four) through your blog Maya, thanks for sharing them with us!

  6. Dear Maya,

    so overwhelmed again by your warm and honest words. You touch me so much.
    My best wishes for your little boys, seems as if they had a great birthday.
    So sweet to see the boys snuggling with Poppybaby.

    Keep your head up high, you are amazing!


  7. Hi Maya. I’m 15 and I first read about Ronan’s story last night when I saw Taylor’s song up on the charts top 25. It was of course heart breaking and brought saddness to my core, but I thought you might like to know something that happened… When I was reading your blog from May 2011 and I was bawling my eyes out, I felt the urge to finish it outside. It was 1:30 AM and definitley not a warm night, but I wanted to be alone and far away from anyone when I read your last post about Ro on May 10th or so. I went to my garden, far away from the house, and just layed on dirt ground crying when all of a sudden, the sky lit up. I live in an area where we get lightning once a year… Maybe. But that was lighting for sure. Something about last night, i knew it was Ro. I knew it was just Ro and I that night, he could see me crying, he could knew how much my heart ached for him and you and your family and loved ones. The trees started shaking when the wind picked up, and the sky kept lighting up for a good half-hour. When I read those words, Ro was gone, I couldn’t take it. It made me question my belief in God and I’m still questioning God now, and ive been raised Christian my whole life. I’m sorry if this post made you cry, I just wanted you to know I definitley know Ro is with you, with you every moment of every hour of every day, and I’m sure you know that too. I wish I could help, i wish i could make everything better, but I am going to have a bake sale to raise money for Ronan’s Foudation, and I will never forget your story. I will think of you and Ro always and pray for you and remember all your tips to live a life like Ronan would every day. Xoxoxo
    “All good things are wild and free.” Now THAT is a quote to live by.

  8. Happy Birthday Liam & Quinn. Ronan should have been there breaking all the rules with everyone. I’m so sorry.

    Glad to hear Poppy had a little partner in crime for a few days – glad she wasn’t kidnapped though! 🙂

    Much love,

  9. I really enjoyed reading what you wrote about how important it is to surround yourself with the right people. I’m 24 and learning this lesson first hand right now. You’re so wise. Your 4 children are just as lucky to have you as you are to have them.
    Thank you for sharing.

    For Ro. Always Ro.

  10. Happy birthday to your beautiful boys!

  11. happy happy birthday boys! a golden birthday! 10 on the 10th!

  12. I read all of your posts and they never fail to bring tears to my eyes and today I was in a bad mood, about something that’s not really important, and your words made me put things into perspective and kick myself in the ass and say “really, your upset over that?”, I just wanted to thank you for that. And you don’t give yourself enough credit, you are an inspiration, not everyone who loses a child to cancer does what you are doing……I am sure Ronan is so proud of you…..I’m sure all your children are.
    Two last things……first Poppy is adorable, I am sure a lot of people want to put her in their purse and bring her home with them. And second….that really is the messiest ice cream cake I have ever seen 🙂

  13. I truly enjoy reading your blog. It reminds of of what REALLY matters in life. And that is something that I will forever be grateful for. Hugging those I love just a little tighter, opening my heart to love just a little bigger, these are the gifts that your blog have opened my eyes to. If there ever comes a day when you wonder if you have made a difference or impacted just one life, please don’t EVER forget, that YOU have changed mine for the better. I am a better, mother, friend, sister, and wife bc of what I have learned from you. You (and Ronan) have left footprints on my heart and I am forever grateful….xoxoxo

    p.s. I would love to know the story of how you met Rachel. she sounds like such an amazing,one of a kind friend.

  14. RoMama,

    So glad the boys had a great birthday!
    I’m so glad you have Rachel in your life as your little.
    Poppy is getting so big…chubby cheeks…her beautiful long eyelashes like her mama…her blue eyes like Ro. Always RoLove xo

  15. Happy happy birthday Liam & Quinn! It is so bittersweet – I wish Ronan was there lighting firecrackers with you (I truly do believe that he was in so many ways).

    I am glad that you are surrounded by the people that matter. Sending you hugs and hope and a giant fuck you cancer!!

  16. Once again, wow. Your writing Maya truly is inspiring and amazing to so many people, although you don.t know it. I do want to let you know that I celebrated RoDay with pride on June 9th. I wore purple, talked to people about donating to your foundation, and spread the RLove around my tiny town. but Maya, I also have a story a want to tell you. When I went to church on RoDay, I felt like something was going to happen. And sure enough it did. In my opinion, Ro sent a message to my town and I. During the homily, when the priest speaks, he opened off his speech about a story of a little girl who had Neroblastoma and passed away from child cancer. More important than the story itself is the fact that Ro helped me spread the word of child cancer to mor people. It was so amazing. I remember looking at my sister and we both nodded, because we knew it wasn’t a coincidence, it was Ronan. So, just thought id share. And thank you for sharing with us again.

    And Ro, as I say in my prays every night for you, be safe, find a family, and be wild and free.

    I love you my Spicy Monkey,

  17. I can’t believe how big she looks already! I very happy birthday to your ten-year-old twins, from me and my ten-year-old twins. xoxoxoxoxo

  18. Happy Birthday to Liam and Quinn! 10 on the 10th — isn’t that a champagne birthday? 😉
    How wrong it is that Ronan isn’t there to celebrate with his big brothers, and to meet his beautiful new sister. But I know he is watching over you guys, and was celebrating right along with you wherever it is he may be.

    My twin sister and I turned 21 on June 9, the day before your twins! 🙂 I think about you and your family a lot, but I knew that your boys’ birthday was the next day (thanks to Instagram :P), and also that it was the 9th, so I found myself thinking of you for most of the day. I spent my day outside, having fun and being a little crazy, trying to live the way Ronan would have. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world; us readers are truly blessed to know you and Ronan’s story, and you have taught us all so much. Even though Ronan isn’t here anymore, you have helped him change the world by sharing his life with us!

  19. Happy birthday to your beautiful twins…what amazing young men they are becoming. Such beautiful, compassionate souls. I’m sorry Ronan wasn’t there to share in the celebrations. Love you xo

  20. I always think of you and your family on rainy days in NYC. In honor of Ronan and your beautiful family I will splash in some puddles today and cause a little trouble. xoxo

  21. Hi, everyday I pray for ronan’s soul

  22. I just wanted to let you know that for the first time ever I changed my toe nail polish to purple I always paint them a red color but not today when I walked in I was drawn to purple. Later that night I saw on facebook from a little girl I am following who has cancer that it is Nueroblastoma awareness week. I instantly thought of Ronan. I am a supporter and I do my best to bring awareness. I am in this fight with you. Lots of Love for you, your family and little miss poppy.

  23. Maya, i have been reading your blog for about a year now. I can honestly say you have made me, this 16 year old a much much better person. You and Ronan inspire me every single day to do something amazing and be a better person! I love you, Ronan, and the rest of your family so much, and i am so very sorry for your guys loss! He deserves to be here this a totally fucked up situation and i would do anything to bring him back for you guys. Ronan is and always will be the most beautiful boy with the biggest bluest eyes to walk this earth!

  24. Separate issue, but, Maya I’m sure you know Rockstarronan won the Arizona Foothills battle of the blogs, and I was so thrilled bc my son (10) and I typed our little fingers off for weeks each night!! I wonder what came out of the contest; I didn’t see anything on the magazine’s website about it, or on your blog.

    Love you!!!!

  25. Maya, Can we still buy pendants and other jewelry from Infinite Impressions? I have tried to go to the website but once I try to check out it says error. I would absolutely love some of those!

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