Insomnia and New York



Ronan. I still don’t sleep well. Six years later and you’d think I’d have this under control  by now, but I don’t. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever sleep well again. I used to make myself black out with Ambien. I stopped doing that years ago because I swear it made me suicidal. More so than I already was. So now when I can’t sleep I lie awake and think about all the reasons I can’t sleep…the biggest one being because of the absence of you.

And my usual questions.

Where are you?

Who is taking care of you?

Why isn’t it me?

Are you ok?

Are you still trying to find me the way I am always trying to find you?

I toss and turn and cry and scream in my head. I listen to make sure Poppy is breathing because yes I still co-sleep with her because it’s the only way I can make sure she doesn’t die in her sleep. I check on your brothers, too. I wander up and down our hallway. I sometimes read. I try to stay off of my phone because that only stimulates my mind. Sometimes I work on my book during these early morning hours. I think about you so much and how everything still hurts. Every part of me aches for you. I have some things that comfort me… but mostly I just continue to suffer. Especially during the nights when all things are still and quiet, except for my restless mind.

I went to New York for our Runway Heroes Fashion Show a couple of weeks ago. I took Liam and Poppy with me. We had around 20 kids who either have cancer or are in remission walk in it. All of those kids and then there was your sister, Poppy. She walked down the runway in honor of you. I wasn’t sure how she was going to do. She refused to show my her “runway” walk saying it was a surprise and I wouldn’t get to see it until the day of the show. At four years old, she is so sassy and bright. I often feel as if I am dealing with a teenager. I sat on the edge of my seat as she came down the runway towards me. She looked so proud up there and as if what she was doing was so important to her. There was no way I could stop my tears from falling as I watched not only her, but all the other kids as well.

This all started because of you. So many incredible things in this world are because of you, Ronan. I met a woman at the Runway Heroes who was running the New York City Marathon the very next day in honor of you. She raised almost 6k and I have to tell you, things such as that keep me going more than I think anybody knows. I was so in awe of her the way you had inspired her to do such an incredible thing. You are still helping people and pushing people to continue to live their lives doing the most amazing things. Val talked a bit in her blog about how it was you that carried her though the finish line. 26.2 miles all because of one little boy who is still not done changing the world. I am so proud to be your mom.

Poppy told me after the fashion show that being in it was one of the most special days of her life. I told you she is not from this world. She understands things with such depth and soul. Liam told me that he was so glad to finally see what the Runway Show was all about because it’s all I talk about for months before hand. He told me how he knew you would be so proud of it. I was so thankful to have him there with us. The three of us had a great time, I missed Quinn like crazy but he was back home playing basketball. Liam took the weekend off and I know the time in New York was so good for him. I took him back to Delizia’s where we used to eat pizza. We talked about being there with you. He told me he remembered everything about being there with you. Poppy had a million questions.

“Where would you sit, with Ronan mama?”

” What would Ronan order?”

“How many times would you eat there?”

“Did Ronan like pepperoni or would he just eat cheese pizza like me?”

“Did he have hair when he would come here or was he bald?”

“Why didn’t the medicine make him better?”

“Is he sad that he isn’t with us?”

The questions went on and on. I answered them all without crying. I felt like you would be happy that we were back there and because of that I was o.k.

It’s 2 a.m. I have to be up soon. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. I will write again soon.

I love you, Ro.


6 thoughts on “Insomnia and New York”

  1. II follow you on insta and I didn’t see any pictures of Liam in NY, so I call bs on this claim that he was there. Clearly he’s still locked in the basement. (Sorry, I can’t let that ridiculous bs go).

    I am eagerly awaiting the book!

  2. I have followed you and have read your lettters to your beautiful, innocent son, Ronan over the years. As a mother and a human being, I feel your pain deeply. I once lost a fetus when an incompetent OB/Gyn caused our loss during an amniocentesis. It was so difficult to see and hold the dead fetus who was obviously a girl. With tiny hands, legs, feet. I was no longer able to conceive after our tragedy. We were dragged through the legal process to sue since we didn’t have money for in-vitro. After almost 2 years, the lawsuit fell apart the day before a critical hearing. I was lucky to have a daughter who was 3 then and now 20 and my BFF. I wished for more kids. The empty feeling never goes away. I’m sickened when I see that doctor’s ads. It’s hard not to think of how that child would’ve been, if alive. Thank you for your writings. Your sincerity moves me.

  3. I am so sorry that it is still hard for you to sleep. Our son died 9 days after his birth 37 years ago. It hurt like heck even just knowing him for 9 days so I can imagine the pain after the 4 years you had with Ronan. I never got over it but I have learned to live with the pain, even after all these years. The two children we had after him know so much about his little time on this earth and we encouraged them to remember they had a big brother watching out for them. Now that we have two grandsons they, too, are learning about their uncle in heaven. Some people may find it so strange that we would talk about Jeff even after all these years, but we know that as mothers of these wonderful children, it is our duty to keep their memory and love alive through the family. One thing that really has helped was listening to a speech that Joe Biden gave on grief to parents of soldiers that had passed. If anyone knows of grief, it is him. He ends the speech with this…””There will come a day, I promise you and your parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. My prayer for you is that day will come sooner or later.. But the only thing I have more experience than you in is this: I’m telling you it will come.”

    My heartfelt prayers for you, Maya.

  4. After reading your blog and all you’ve been through, I have to believe that you will see him again. There is so much bad in this world, but there are some things that are inherently good. They are light amidst all the dark that reigns this world. Ronan was one of them. He was light. I don’t know if you believe in heaven or God, and I’m not here to tell you what to believe in, but I think that Ronan was proof of the kind of natural good that us humans can’t begin to understand. So I hope that you still have hope of being with him after this life is gone. Love you Maya. ❤️

  5. Wow, your writing has me in a pretty emotional place…. I thank-you for your honesty, and courage. You honor the thing you obviously loved so much with such vulnerability, and courage. No one knows what happens after the veil is lifted but I personally believe you will find him sitting next to God, in whatever form who knows, but he will be there I think, waiting for you. There is nothing that makes sense in something like this, it is impossible to reconcile such lose, only to honor the people who touched us so deeply with as much love as we can still show them, and the world. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank-you for your gift and sharing your love with the world, it cannot help I think but make it a better place. <3

  6. Thank you for sharing the Runway Heroes Fashion show and all the good that you and Ronan do in this world. Thank you for also sharing that you still have trouble sleeping and all of your questions. Reading your words makes me feel a little less crazy – I still have trouble sleeping and check that my living children are still breathing in the middle of the night.

    Sending you hope, hugs and a big FU CANCER!!

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