Oh, Hello! Don’t worry, Poppy doesn’t have cancer. It’s just my PTSD taking over my life.


Ronan. 2014 is over and that means another year without you is gone. In this life I live now I don’t have the luxury of saying things like, “I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store! I just know it is going to be the best year yet!” How do you have the best year yet after the death of your child? I don’t think that you do. I guess I cannot speak for the other bereaved parents who walk beside me, but in my mind the best year yet just does not exist anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I am capable of having really, really, really good days. I have those days a lot, especially with all the happiness that Poppy and your brothers fill me with, but you will never not be missing from my blissful days of always almost perfect. What are my hopes for 2015? That we all stay healthy and don’t die. That I have more smiles than tears. That I get more little signs from you. That your brothers and sister continue to flourish, grow, and be happy. That I get to continue to help save the lives of kids with cancer by funding amazing clinical trials. That I continue to follow my heart in everything that I do because I know that my heart is still just following you. I don’t think you will ever lead me down the wrong path and if you do you know I will figure out what path I need to take to get back to you. I trust in where you are taking me.

Too much has gone on to catch you up. My dad dying has really thrown me for a loop. I still cannot seem to wrap my head around it. I wake up everyday and know it happened and losing my dad hasn’t paralyzed me like it did with you for so long. I am capable of going on with my days, but all of a sudden it will hit me and I just feel extreme sadness wash over me which is usually followed by hot, fast tears. I am trying not to have too many regrets or beat myself up over the things I didn’t get to say, but you know I am a glutton for punishment. I don’t know how to be any other way.

We have been at Nana and Papa’s for most of Christmas break and I have tried my best to keep up my appearance of “Hey kids, everything is o.k. because I am not about to ruin your Christmas!” I did a lot of running while I was here in that dark, gloomy weather where nobody can tell if I am crying because the tears I cry while running the lake just look like rain. I love the rain so much for so many reasons and this is one of them. I did lose my shit one night and put the entire house on such edge that I am surprised I wasn’t taken to an insane asylum.

Fun story goes like this:

I’m upstairs. Boys, your daddy, and Papa are outside. Nana is in the kitchen. Poppy is in the dining room. I hear crying so I come downstairs to find Poppy down on her knees, crying. Nana didn’t see what happened, but she thinks Poppy fell while running. I go to pick her up and look for signs of any bumps, bruises, red marks, etc… I see nothing. Poppy is now wincing in pain and will not let me put her down. I set her down for a second, but she falls because her right leg is hurting her and she won’t put any pressure on it at all. She can’t walk. I hold her for a bit, hoping that she will be up and running soon. 20 minutes pass and she is still crying in pain when I put her down. I feel all the blood in my body, drain to the floor and I am just sure if I look down I will see it all pooling at my feet. I carry her outside to your Daddy and inform him of the situation. Pretty soon, the entire house knows that Poppy can’t walk and we are all in the living room where I am holding her while staring daggers at your daddy. Your brother keeps yelling, “Put her down, see if she can walk now!” I do. She can’t. I pass her off to Nana while I go upstairs, pretending to be busy with laundry. Your daddy follows me.

“You need to calm down and stop thinking what you are thinking. If you react this way whenever something like this happens, you are going to kill yourself with worry.”

My eyes are too blurry with tears to see him clearly but I of course manage to freak out on him anyway.

“Why are you not more concerned about this?! We need to take her to the Portland hospital right now and have them do every scan on her to make sure she does not have cancer! This is what happened to Ronan in the end! He couldn’t walk because he was in so much pain! What if her little body is filled with cancer too and this is the beginning of the warning signs?”

“Maya. We are not taking her to the hospital to be put under anesthesia for scans. This is a totally normal thing. Kids get pain in their legs and she probably just hit it or fell really hard. You have the entire house in a panic.”
Granted, it was a quiet panic but the air was filled with so much tension that it was palpable.

I went downstairs to tend to Poppy and distract myself so I gave her a bath. Your Nana came in to find me crying as I bathed her. She quietly told me that Poppy was alright. I looked at her and said, “What if she has cancer?” She told me she understood my thought process, that she hated that I had to think that way at all, but this was probably not cancer.

By this time, Poppy was starting to put a little more pressure on her leg. By the time she got out of the bath, she was attempting to walk and as the night proceeded, she was walking again, but with a slight limp.

This was probably just my lovely Post Traumatic Stress Disorder kicking in and not Poppy has cancer.

When this all happened I was instantly taken back to the last few weeks with you where your little leg was hurting so badly, that you could hardly walk.

For weeks you said, “Mama, rub my leg. My legs hurting, mama. Rub it. Please just rub it, it hurtsssssss, MAMA!”

So for weeks that is all I did while feeding you Morphine non-stop.

I’ll never forget your little leg and I’ll never get over how heartbroken I am that I couldn’t fix it or you. I will forever be so sorry.

I have to go now, Ro. I have a headache from all of my tears tonight because I just fucking miss you so much. So much, little man. Always.

I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Happy 2015. You keep me safe, I’ll keep you wild.