The day you died, the day you were born and the day you died again because you were put in a urn. Happy should have been 7th birthday, my spicy Ro.





Ronan.  I didn’t die from the fuckwad of May dates that I had to get through.  The day you died. Mother’s Day. Your birthday, which was also the day you were cremated. And the day we had your celebration of life aka a bullshit word I think I let everyone around me make up when it should have just been called “the most fucked up reason for a funeral” because that is how I really feel about it.  We went away for May.  It was as good of a trip as it could possibly be, despite the circumstances.  We went to New York and spent about a week out in the Hamptons with our dear friends who are pretty much the only reason I got through everything alright.  On the day you died, I didn’t sleep much.  I tossed and turned the night before and sent my same text that I send every single year around 3:20 in the morning to Mr. Sparkly Eyes because he was the first person I texted after you died and I’m weird with my rituals like that.  I said what I always say which is how I hope he never forgets how much you loved him.  How thankful I am for him and the role he played in your life and how I will never forget how above and beyond he went for you and continues to do so in this life now.  He called me a few hours later and I ran outside, barefoot so I could talk to him without waking up the entire house.

“Are you o.k.? That is a stupid question. I know you are not.”

I told him it was ok, that I was as o.k. as I could possibly be. I didn’t cry this year when he called for some reason.  I just let his words sink in and took his advice which was basically, “You don’t get to stay in bed today because that is not fair to Ronan or your other kids, so go out and do something.” I told him I would and I listened again as he told me how sorry he was.  I thanked him for calling and told him to please go and do something for you today, besides work.  He said that he would.

We spent the majority of the day, outside in the cooler temps by the ocean.  We played in the grass, rolled down hills, climbed to the top of a lighthouse, watched Poppy go to town picking flowers and ended the night by jumping in our freezing cold pool.  We were pretty much surrounded by friends the entire time we were in the Hamptons and it is because of this that our days and nights were actually filled with smiles and laughter.  Poppy kept everyone on their toes with her constant dancing to Pharrell Williams, “Happy.” A couple of years ago I know hearing this song would have thrown me right over the edge.  Now I am able to dance and sing to it and I know that is all because of her.  How can one not feel happy watching a one year old pump her little arms and rock back and forth on her chubby little legs to the beat of this song? Impossible even when you have an almost 4-year-old in an urn and kissing that goodnight is the closest you will ever get to kissing his little body again.

We spent your birthday in the city.  We started it off by grabbing pizza at your favorite place which is right by the Ronald McDonald House.  We then walked through the city a bit and went to see our good friend, Scott at Solving Kids’ Cancer.  Your daddy hadn’t met Scott before but they talk a lot on the phone.  I was beyond excited for the two of them to meet because 1)Scott is amazing and 2) They remind me a lot of each other. Of course they hit it off and seeing the two of them together made me smile on your beautiful day. I stepped out of our “meeting” and ran across the street to meet up with a favorite editor of mine in the literary world.  It was so good to hug her and catch her up on this book/life/fuck cancer/she couldn’t believe it was your 7th birthday.  She was so good about checking in with me to see that I was alright the entire time we were together. Our time together was so nice and I was so glad I got to introduce her to your daddy since he hears me talk about her so much.

After our impromptu meetings, we continued to do all your favorite things in the city.  Poppy took the streets by storm of course and I did my best to let her have a little freedom, while trying to keep her safe from getting run over by the crazy NYC taxis.  It was the first time in my life that I understood why those parents put their kids on leashes; because I totally wished I had one that day.  Instead, I chased your sister down the sidewalks as she took off without looking back at all and after a minute I would have to grab her from behind, pick her up to keep her out of harms way, all while she screamed bloody murder for me to put her down.  She seems to have turned a corner since turning one and I’m not sure there is any going back.  Miss Independent EXTRA spicy Poppy it is.  I, of course wouldn’t have it any other way.

We walked as much of the city as we could.  Stopped for a little pit stop in Central Park so Poppy could actually do some real running.  I plopped down in the grass, exhausted from a beyond mentally exhausting day.  Your brothers ran all about and your daddy took your sister to play on the playground while I stayed behind, laying in the grass and looking up at the sky.  After about 10 minutes, all the tears I had been holding back came pouring out and I just gave in and let them, not caring who would see.  My little, Rachel, came walking over soon after as she had been trying to find us in the park.  Just in time for me to bury my head in her lap while telling her, “I haven’t been very spicy today” as the snot dripped out of my nose and tears plopped out of my eyes and on to her jeans. She stroked my hair and said it was alright.  I cried for a few minutes more and then got up to decorate the most beautiful tree with a ton of your Ronan bracelets.  I had to do something spicy, so I climbed up the tree and sat there for a bit.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve climbed a tree and I wonder why.  It was lovely up there and so something you would have done.  At this time, it was getting dark so we parted ways with Rachel and ended up back at your favorite pizza place, one last time.  We had one last thing to do which was our random act of kindness so we bought a ton of gift cards at the pharmacy next door and I took your brothers and marched my little butt right back into that Ronald McDonald House where we spent so much time.  I told them I wanted to drop them off to give out to the family’s that were staying there.  I had a flashback of you in the lobby there, right when we arrived and you were wearing your cute little warm hat, standing on the luggage carrier giving me the biggest smile as if you trusted me with your life because you knew I was going to get you better and fix all of this.  I’ll never forget the look in your eyes as they sparkled so bright and were full of such hope, trust and love.  I’m so sorry that you will never get to be 7 and instead you will be always almost 4. I’m so fucking sorry.

Ending this now with some words I read a while ago and I like to read them again when everything seems to be lost in the world, but I know it’s not because once upon a time, you were mine and I was yours.  You always will be mine, even if you are not here but somewhere else where I know I will see you again.  I wish knowing that made things hurt less, Ronan.  Sometimes this pain is all too much.

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

On this day, you read something that moved you and made you realise there were no more fears to fear. No tears to cry. No head to hang in shame. That every time you thought you’d offended someone, it was all just in your head and really, they love you with all their heart and nothing will ever change that. That everyone and everything lives on inside you. That that doesn’t make any of it any less real.

That soft touches will change you and stay with you longer than hard ones.

That being alone means you’re free. That old lovers miss you and new lovers want you and the one you’re with is the one you’re meant to be with. That the tingles running down your arms are angel feathers and they whisper in your ear, constantly, if you choose to hear them. That everything you want to happen, will happen, if you decide you want it enough. That every time you think a sad thought, you can think a happy one instead.

That you control that completely.

That the people who make you laugh are more beautiful than beautiful people. That you laugh more than you cry. That crying is good for you. That the people you hate wish you would stop and you do too.

That your friends are reflections of the best parts of you. That you are more than the sum total of the things you know and how you react to them. That dancing is sometimes more important than listening to the music.

That the most embarrassing, awkward moments of your life are only remembered by you and no one else. That no one judges you when you walk into a room and all they really want to know, is if you’re judging them. That what you make and what you do with your time is more important than you’ll ever fathom and should be treated as such. That the difference between a job and art is passion. That neither defines who you are. That talking to strangers is how you make friends.

That bad days end but a smile can go around the world. That life contradicts itself, constantly. That’s why it’s worth living.

That the difference between pain and love is time. That love is only as real as you want it to be. That if you feel good, you look good but it doesn’t always work the other way around.

That the sun will rise each day and it’s up to you each day if you match it. That nothing matters up until this point. That what you decide now, in this moment, will change the future. Forever.

That rain is beautiful.

And so are you.


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16 responses to “The day you died, the day you were born and the day you died again because you were put in a urn. Happy should have been 7th birthday, my spicy Ro.”

  1. I love Ronan dear Maya
    i have so many of his videos and me and my mom will never forget him

  2. Mama bear…you are strong, you are brave and you honoured Ronan beautifully. By the sounds of it, Poppy is Spicy enough for all of you!!! She honours Ronan every day and she doesn’t even know it…or does she? I do wonder about that cheeky little Poppy…

    We are with you – we are always with you #nosociopathsallowed

  3. Deborah Pogacar Avatar
    Deborah Pogacar

    I wasn’t sure you would read but I am so glad you did. It was a long one today – I don’t always get to read her daily blogs but try and circle back here and there. Not sure Jo is ready yet but at times I find her writing beautiful and other times not. I liked todays and it brought tears and smiles to my face.

    We will chat or text- let me know how today goes. I will be eager to hear. I am sure it will be fun.

    Love you, Deb

  4. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Ronan with us still. I think about you guys a lot. Your strength and bravery amaze me. This picture of one of you twins;) holding poppy is so loving and sweet.

  5. I can’t believe Ronan would be 7. I’m so sorry. Ronan is always in my mind and heart. There are not enough eloquent words in the English language to really describe how sorry I am for your loss. Love your family. Love Ronan. Sweetest little boy I ever did see.

  6. Tears, tears, tears. I am so so sorry that this happened. It’s awful and tragic. Your words are so hauntingly beautiful. Sending you love, calm, and some nice deep PNW type breathes.

  7. I say many many prayers for you and your family. Its not fair and I am sorry for your loss, one that will feel forever unending. I think you are an awesome awe-inspiring person, mother, and wife. I think you are stronger than most could ever hope to be. you have taken your pain and have given it to the world to see by DOING something with it. By creating your foundation and doing such great things with it, you are blessing other families that may be going through the same things.

    Your little man would be and IS proud of you, this I am sure. Good luck with everything and God bless.

    Love, Andria Northern Indiana

    Date: Fri, 23 May 2014 07:20:37 +0000 To:

  8. Ronan lives through you each and every day! I find myself in tears Everytime I read your blog! It is beyond special! You are moving mountains Mama Maya, the love, passion and strength you have – words cannot describe! Thank you for being YOU – because YOU are INCREDIBLE! Xo

  9. Michelle S. from MI Avatar
    Michelle S. from MI

    The rain IS beautiful, and so are you Maya……..great words.

  10. Rolove RoMama!

  11. Maya – I thought of you each of those days in May. I can’t imagine how you get through it. It’s good to read about the love and support you have all around you. I was recently in England and saw a documentary on a British singer / songwriter – Gary Barlow. I had only vaguely heard of him. One of the songs on his new album just sent chills down my spine and brought tears to my eyes because some of the words reminded me of you and Ronan. Gary and his wife lost their 4th child who was stillborn. He wrote this song as if spoken from the child. I know how much you love music so I hope you enjoy this one. You can’t seem to buy his music here in the states, but you can hear it on Youtube.

    Here are the words:

    A room full of sadness
    A broken heart
    And only me to blame
    For every single part
    No Science or Religion
    Could make this whole
    To be loved, but never loved
    To have, but never hold
    It’s a life alone, and a desperate need
    To be held to be loved so
    This is gonna take a bit of getting used to, but I know what’s right for you

    Fly high and let me go
    That sky will save your soul
    When you pass by then you’ll know
    That this gonna take a bit of getting used to but I know what’s right for you
    Let me go

    A head full of madness
    And no where safe
    When tears aren’t big enough, and love turns into hate
    It’s a life alone, and a desperate need
    To be held to be loved so
    That this gonna take a bit of getting used to but I know what’s right for you

    Fly high and let me go
    That sky will save your soul
    When you pass by then you’ll know
    That this gonna take a bit of getting used to but I know what’s right for you

    So let me go life will get better
    Find the love I never gave ya
    I know you lie there waiting all night long, so find where you belong

    Fly high and let me go (Let me go)
    That sky will save your soul (Let it save your soul tonight)
    Fly high and let me go (Let me go let me go)
    That sky will save your soul
    But this gonna take a bit of getting used to but I know what’s right for you
    Let me go

  12. Maya thank you for giving people the inspiration. I have been following this blog for a couple years. I now just found out on memorial day after we brought my grandma to the hospital (due to a few weeks of my grandma bleeding) she pretty much was has endometrial cancer. She raised me; is a (young granny 64 I’m 29)she is every thing to me both my mother and father. We just lost my great grandma last month too ::sigh:: I never realized how exhausting taking care of someone with this fuking disease can be. I am amazed by your strength though to keep going and to keep fighting. It’s only been a few days and I am mentally and physically exhausted. How did you do this??? How do you keep going? Your situation was worst. I just could not even fathom what you went through. Somehow I know though If you could do this with your Ronan still fighting like a a mama lion; I can do it with my grandmother. I fuking hate this shit. It is heartbreaking. I just want to yell scream and fuking break down…but at the same time I have to stay strong as hell for her.

  13. Beautiful pictures. Tears pouring down.
    Love you mama!!! xoxo

  14. Continue to keep her memory alive and stay strong. She is watching over you always. It is a difficult thing to experience but you are taking the positive route 🙂

  15. Maya. Today on channel 9 over in Australia, there is a telethon to raise money for Sydney children’s hospital. A GOLD telethon. They are currently playing a story about a 7-yr-old girl with stage IV neuroblastoma. So much awareness and funding is going on today, with over 1 million dollars being raised so far. I thought of you and thought you’d be glad to know about the awareness that has been given to not only neuroblastoma but the other numerous cancers these kids are facing. Gold is everywhere today.

  16. oh dear Maya happy birthday to Ro

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