What birthday?? Let’s run a marathon instead, fucker.






Ronan.  Today didn’t start out extra hard, but that is how it has ended up.  So much has been going on.  Too much, I suppose.  I made it through my birthday as best I could.  It it any surprise that I didn’t feel like celebrating?  I just wanted the day and night to be over as quickly and painlessly as possible.  I didn’t even let your daddy buy me a birthday gift and he is still talking about it, today.  He’s begged me over and over to please let him buy me some pretty earrings.  He knows if he goes out does it himself, I’ll just return them.  Pretty earrings won’t bring you back and that is still all I want.  NEWSFLASH PEOPLE, I STILL WANT MY DEAD SON BACK AND TIME HAS NOT MADE THE YEARNING FOR HIM GO AWAY.  I still beg for him every single day.  So sorry to disappoint some of you who seem to think because of this thing called time, that my wanting my son back will just disappear.  That because Poppy is here, she magically makes all my pain and sadness something of the past.  She doesn’t.  Yes, she brings back such wholesome goodness into our lives, but my pain is still here and just as present as before.  I sat with your Sparkly for a while on my birthday because it’s a tradition of mine now, 4 years in the making.  I sat across from him as he said, “What did I say, to make you cry on your birthday?” as he watched me wipe my eyes from behind my glasses. I told him that it wasn’t anything that he had said, that I just missed you so much and my birthday seemed to make me miss you that much more. He said he knew and how sorry he was and did his usual, I wish he were here, too. I came home and threw myself into bed for a few hours in the middle of the day and woke up to a pillow soaked with tears that I don’t remember crying, but the black mascara was evidence enough that they had been there.  I survived my birthday but birthdays to me will never be the same again as they just make me very, very sad.

After my very unbirthday, I’m not celebrating a thing, I had to get ready for that bitch of a marathon that I said I was running.  I didn’t really train at all except if you count going for some runs here and there, training. In my mind, I train for a mother fucking marathon everyday by just doing life.  I talked our Bri Bri into doing it with me as well.  She didn’t train at all either but I told her at 19 years old, you can do anything in the world, including running 26.2.  We got up that morning in preparation for the day.  I made us a little food, and we whispered in the dark about how excited we were to run this thing.  I took out a Sharpie and did my usual writing of your name everywhere I could.  I told Bri I was going to do her arms and she could do mine for a little extra running motivation.  I wrote, “Ronan” down one arm and of course “F U CANCER” down the other.  I handed her the Sharpie and told her to do my arms next.  I looked down at my arms after she was done.

RONAN was written perfectly on my right arm and I looked down at my left arm to see the word, “FUCKER” written in huge, black letters on my left arm.

“BRI! You wrote “Fucker” on my arm!” My whispers were no longer whispers.

“I know!” she said.  “I thought that’s what you wrote on my arm!”

“No! I wrote F U CANCER!”

We both were doubled over, laughing hysterically for a good five minutes before we could compose ourselves.  There was nothing I could do about it as the sharpie was not coming off and the car that was picking us up to drop us off, had arrived.  I decided just to roll with the word FUCKER down my arm and to see what added fun it might bring to the day.  Besides, cancer is the biggest fucker anyway.

We got downtown to meet up with my dear childhood friend, Laura who came into to town to run the marathon as she actually trained.  I had a sweatshirt on but told her the fucker story anyway to stop her from crying.  It is an emotional thing to do a marathon for the first time, and on top of that add the reason that you are doing it is for your childhood besties, dead son… well, game over.  Laura was officially a wreck but the fucker story definitely made her laugh and I think she had an even better time, calling me fucker throughout the marathon.  So did the spectators on the street.  The entire marathon I heard, “GO FUCKER, GO!!!” or “F U CANCER” or “GO RONAN!” as that is what we had on on the back of our shirts.  I got asked who you were and I always said, “My son.” I didn’t say, “My son who died of cancer,” because to me that is not who you are and I won’t let that define you.  I was doing pretty well in the marathon until about mile 17 and that was pretty much it.  I hit that invisible wall that you hear people in the marathon world, talk about.  I started walking, grabbed a gatorade that a lady was handing out on the side of the wall and chugged that thing like it was the last drink I was ever going to have.  I waited for my friend, Katie to catch up to me where we walked/jogged/begged for the finish line.  Bri met back up with me at mile 21 and somehow, we crossed the marathon line together, holding hands.  I’ve never been more proud of my sissy in my life.  She is such a little badass in training and I am so honored to be showing her the ropes.

I wanted to also take a second on here to thank all of you who supported me in the marathon by donating, volunteering, cheering or running yourselves.  It wasn’t just Ronan I thought about while doing this, but you all as well.  You kept me going when all I wanted to do was take the short cut, call it a day, and run back to my house.  I love you all so much for never giving up on me and for pushing me to do really hard things, just so I can remind myself that I am capable of overcoming all of the odds even on the days were I still do just want to crumble up and die.  You remind me to get back up and fight harder than I ever have before.  So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for keeping me going as I try my hardest to change this for these other kids who deserve so much better than what they are getting tossed their way.

Oh, back to today and how it was a really, really, really fucking hard day.  So hard, that I am too tired to write about it now, Ro baby.  It was just one of those days where I really felt like I had the wind knocked out of me because I just miss you so very much.  I have to get back to this book writing now.  I’ll try to check in with you in a few days.

I miss you.  I love you.  I hope you are safe.  Sweet dreams, baby boy.


16 responses to “What birthday?? Let’s run a marathon instead, fucker.”

  1. You’re an amazing person!

  2. Rachel in Camas, WA Avatar
    Rachel in Camas, WA

    Your awesome.
    I love you.

  3. THE fucker story made me laugh so much, Maya you are such a sound soul. Greets from flanders fields with poppies, nadine from belgium

  4. You’re a romazing fucker 😉
    Rolove always RoMama

  5. Y’all are crazy (in the best way possible). Always blown away by your genuine tenacity. On a side note, Poppy looks just like Liam/Woody to me.

  6. I can so relate. My incredible son Connor died in a March 2010- A victim of a tragic accident . As time passes, it is longer since I have seen and spoken to him. No, the yearning does not go away. Thank you for putting words to my feelings. I wish you strength. XO

  7. Michelle from MI Avatar
    Michelle from MI

    You are pure inspiration Maya….

  8. Your marathon story made me laugh. “Fucker”hahahaha. I love it. You and Ro are always an amazing inspiration to me. I’m sorry this is you and Ronan’s story. I read all your blogs on here and whether you feel you are or not, you sound like you are healing. When I say that, I don’t mean the time heals all wounds saying, I just mean you are stronger. Thank you for lighting the fire under our asses in regards to childhood cancer… much love from Philly.

  9. GO FUCKER GO! My heart breaks for you when you talk about your pain – no one should ever expect that it will leave you! I know you hear all the time how you and Ronan have inspired so many people but its evident how many lives you have touched. I never thought I could be so inspired by someone I have never met. KEEP IT UP FUCKER! Your Ro-lovies love you too!

  10. Oh man, the fucker story is gold! Love it! I am so so sorry that Ronan was not there with you on your birthday, it really is just awful. Sending you love and fresh air from WA.

  11. “GO FUCKER, GO!!!” had me doubled over laughing 😉

  12. Congratulations to you, Laura and Bri on the marathon. Love the fucker story!

    I agree with you that birthdays after your child does are unbirthdays. Our, 1st son died 2 days before my 35th birthday and I haven’t wanted to celebrate/smile or get out of bed on that day.

    I am convinced that those people who says things like “time heals all wounds” and “at least you have other children” have to outlived any of their children.

    Sending hope and hugs. FU CANCER/FUCKER! xo

  13. Maya, You never cease to amaze me! You do everything with such passion. Not many people have enough passion to get through a marathon without training. The ‘fucker’ story is a classic. I actually laughed out loud at work!

  14. Do you hear that, mama?! I think people are starting to wake up and listen!
    I’m sorry this is you. I’m sorry this is your story now, but your strength is changing the world. Believe you me. Hold on, and if you can’t see it yet, let us see it for you.
    All my love.

  15. I wished I could have seen you Sunday as I live at 48th St. & Thomas so you could see me sporting my newest fashion accessory…My Spicy Monkey Spirit Hood!! My family got it for me for my b-day. Every day since I got it, I wear with pride and ask your little man to show. me how to be as courageous and spicy as he is. I hope you don’t mind my little confabs with him. I have had people ask meM about my hood and I direct them immediately to the Foundation website. Maybe I can help get more attention to childhood cancer by wearing it.. You and Ro inspire me everyday. Thank you!!

  16. You are truly amazing! Sending much love and prayers!

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