The treadmill made me do it.




Ronan. So, this happened tonight. The usual running around like mad, Poppy is into everything, I’m trying to get something on the table for your brothers to eat before they come home. I have so much nervous energy today that I haven’t slowed down once.  I know as soon as your daddy and brothers walk through the door I will be handing over Poppy to them so I can go and work out because if I don’t, bad things will happen.  At least that is what I tell myself in my head.  I go to my little class where I find myself in a room full of people that I have no interest in talking to, half are doing weights/floor exercises and the other half are on the treadmills while we are getting instructed on what we need to be doing.  I am of course on the treadmill, happily running away while staring at myself in a mirror. My reflection looks sad but determined.

We take turns running at our base pace which for me is a 6.7 speed and 3 incline.  We are told to step it up for 90 second all outs so of course I push myself to the max.  5 incline, 8.0 speed.  I start to run as hard as I can and my heart feels like it’s going to explode out of my chest, but of course I don’t stop.  All of a sudden, I really can’t breathe or catch my breath for what feels like minutes.  Then it happens.

Is this how Ronan felt, right before he died? 

He couldn’t breathe, he ran out of air, oxygen, and probably felt just like this right before he died. 

How could you have let this happen? How could you not have saved him after you promised him that you would? You are the worst human being on the planet. You let your child die and now you just get to continue on with life while he does not? How is that at alright? You should be dead, not him. 

Fuck you. You don’t get to stop and sit here and think about how hard this is and how you want slow down and stop. You keep going because you are not the little boy who got cancer and died.  You get to be here and do this and you don’t get to stop. Ever. 

I stare up at the screen which is monitoring my heart rate and beg for it to come down because if it does not soon, I know I will pass out.  I continue with the torture of beating myself up on the treadmill while flashes of you dying and taking your last breaths fill my mind.  The person leading the class is now keeping a watchful eye on me as I think he has caught on to the fact that I might be over doing it just a tad.  An hour later and I am finished and I somehow make it to my car only to drive home to a house that doesn’t feel like home to me anymore. I head straight for the shower and try my hardest to scrub the images of you not being here out of my head, but it doesn’t work.  I then throw myself in my bed, where I cry the tears for you that I haven’t had for a few days.

Your daddy comes in, asking me what happened.  I ignore him and continue to cry into our mattress. When I finally come up for air, I snap at him that nothing has to happen, for something to be wrong. That I just want to be fucking sad for the one thing that I will be sad about for the rest of my life.  I don’t want to be hovered over.  I don’t want anyone to wipe away my tears. I just want to be left alone.

This is all I can say for tonight. I’ll let my friend, Tyler Knott say the rest.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

Typewriter Series #690 by Tyler Knott Gregson

There will come a time, a day, a moment when words are not enough.
When the letters hooking to other letters and tying themselves
to each other, the trains of vowels and consonants chasing each other
out of my mouth just won’t do justice to the avalanche that you’re
struggling through.
If this is that day, if these are those moments I will not speak,
but I have no choice but to leave you with these attempts, as futile
as they might be, for words are all I have to offer
and the only currency I believe in:

This is not, and never will be, a goodbye. You should not, and never can
hold onto the should haves or could haves or why didn’t I’s.
The time will come, I promise you, for us all to stop wearing these bodies
atop these souls.  The time of taking one long, full and deep breath
in through these lungs only to exhale it out through brand new lips.
The last light we will ever see through these perfect and beautiful eyes
will be the first light, the exact same and blindingly gorgeous first
light that filters through new irises and shocks our tiny pupils
before we blink. What a gift every single day in between has always been.
What a hauntingly painful and sublimely joyous gift to live, truly live
every single day in between these firsts and yes, these lasts.
Do not carry the weight of all you did not say, the times you did not make
the time or the excuses you made, because there is a secret you must know:
Those that leave us, never do. They see us how we never could and how we
were always so scared to. When they go, bravely stepping into the first day
of their new lives, all they pack into the bags they choose to carry,
are the memories that soothe their longing and and settle their aching bones.
It is we, always we that carries the luggage of regret and burdens of doubt
Somewhere, right this very second, they are beginning their journey back
into love. Somewhere, right this very instant, the first wobbly steps in their
search has begun again.  Somewhere, the only person that truly makes sense to
them, the only person to ever exist and exist exactly for them, is waiting. 

You will hurt.  You will cry and you will be scared. You will miss and long
and ache and look for their fingerprints on the life you’re going to lead
without them.  You will swear you heard, if only for an instant, the sound
of their laughter or the timbre of their voice.  This is ok, and more than
that, this is beautiful.  Hold onto the sadness you feel like a trophy.
Hoist it high above your head and shout to the photo that is not being taken
of you that you loved them, you will always love them and you are proud
of the tears that roll down your face. They live inside the memories that give
shape to those tears and you must never apologize for your sorrow, nor your
joy when it too returns to your days. 

These are the words for those that remain; for all of us and all of you that
are left scrambling and shaking and weeping tears of compassion and joy and
confusion.  These are words when words are not enough.  I say them because I
must say them, because words are all I have to offer besides my shoulder and
my hands and my belief that this is not and never will be goodbye.
Today is and always has been such a perfect day to say goodbye,
and to once again, say Hello.

-Tyler Knott Gregson-




10 responses to “The treadmill made me do it.”

  1. “It’s okay to be sad; you don’t always have to be happy” – that’s what my husband said to me the other day. And I say it to you today – you don’t always have to be strong and if you need to scream and cry on your bed, then you have earned every right to do that. The fact that you are able to put one foot in front of the other is incredible in itself. The fact that you and Woody are still such a strong unit is a testament to the love you have for each other and the love you have for Ronan, Liam, Quinn and Poppy. And you’re not just surviving…you are doing so much more than that. I love you, dear Maya.

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

    I wish I could bear some of your pain.

  3. Oh Maya. I am so sorry. Tears with you tonight, mama. Of course you have endless tears, sadness, and pain because you have lived yet another day without Ro. You have much, but nothing and noone can ever “fix” this. Hoping you had time to be with Inferno Fuckwad Bob.

  4. Miss L.

    Life is such a “f…bitch”. It’s not fair to see old people live that are all alone & want to die and then little kids who take their place in heaven instead. Maya you have every right to cry and be upset and those who can’t see that should walk a day in your shoes.

  5. Oh Maya, I have no words, I am so fucking sorry that he died. It’s so awful, so so awful. It’s not your fault. Fucking cancer. FUCK YOU CANCER. Sending you love, calm, self forgiveness and some of that fresh air from the PNW.

  6. Hi Maya,
    The red zone is now your purple Rozone… Orange theroy kicks my ass..but I will never think of that workout the same way after your post .. Sending love xo

  7. You are amazing Maya…and Tyler Knott Gregson has a way with words. I cannot even begin to imagine your feelings and thoughts but I will be here to support you. My heart is so heavy when I read your posts like this…I have 3 young children of my own and I am also an advocate for childhood cancer…I am the volunteer coordinator for the Truth 365. My kids are healthy but I know that childhood cancer doesn’t discriminate. I want to thank you for sharing your deepest darkest feelings and your thoughts about Ronan and to Ronan with the world. For Ronan always!!!!

  8. Awwww, Maya
    Let that sadness take over so you can feel it because the only way out of it is through it. I know you’ll kick Fuckwad Bob in the nuts. ❤

  9. Kirstyn Loftus Avatar
    Kirstyn Loftus

    dear Maya,
    I too found out about Ronan through Taylor’s song. One look at his big blue eyes was enough to make me fall in love with him. I decided to read every entry from the beginning to ending my night with tears streaming down my face with May 9th. I kept thinking “he was perfect, how did this happen?” I then told everyone I know about him. They were shocked that kids got cancer too, which made me upset. I found out about other kids as well. I knew this had to change. I’m in the middle of planning a yard sale, and all the proceeds go to the foundation. I decided to have it in May. Ronan has changed my life in the best way possible. He should still be here with you. I want to change it so other people can keep their “Ronan”.
    I don’t know if you’ll read this, or even see it. I just want to say how much Ronan has changed my life. Together, we will fix this messed up world.

  10. That is what I used to do for a long time after Weston died: run until I thought I would explode. I swear, I would have fallen apart even more without running. I have to do other exercise now that I’m pregnant, but I NEED to run for Weston. You are not alone.

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