Monday -- December 20th

Almost Christmas. Sure doesn't feel like it. Didn't do much decorating around the house, other than the tree. I don't want to become such a holiday Bah Hum Bug. I used to get excited for the holidays. Hopefully, I'll get the Christmas spirit back, if not this year, maybe next.

Setting up the tree and decorating it has become very sad. Again, the boys asked me to hang Maddie's ornaments. It really seems like she was just here, hanging the star on the tree.

Boys didn't ask for too much. William asked for money ("lots of it") and his own room. He's not getting either! He really wants Maddie's room, but I am not ready to give it up. I just can't. It's still her room. It holds so many memories. It's too new. Maybe one day I'll be ready, I don't know. I am afraid I'm holding the boys back by keeping it Maddie's room, but I can' change it. That would mean I would have to fully accept she's not coming back. Maybe I haven't done that yet? I know I have, but maybe a subconscious part of me hasn't? Maybe that part of me still has to pretend? I'm terrified to confront that piece of me again. I know I've confronted it before, but then put it in its place. Don't know if I'm even making sense...

Michael, of course, just wants cash, and Thomas wants a new puppy! Really!? Yeah, that'll happen! I can make some of his other wishes come true, but I draw the line at a new puppy!

I did decorate Maddie's new cherry tree. It looks so cute with the ornaments and solar powered lights. Angels, pink hearts, pink and gold beads, snowflakes and butterflies. Hung her annual kissing balls on the stakes. Very pretty.

This month has come with a lot of sadness. Maddie's two friends, who I asked you to pray for, passed away. Charlotte was 6 and Mary was 8. I had been in close contact with the Moms as the girls were preparing to go home to Heaven. Re-lived a lot of my own pain, but in different ways. The Moms and I talked about how we truly believe Maddie would take the girls hands and show them the way. I know in my heart, she greeted both of her friends, with her beautiful smile and fun giggle. She will comfort them and help get them settled.

I couldn't bring myself to attend the wakes, but made it to one funeral. That was very hard. Brought everything right back. Ernie went with me. We went to the church service and then came home. As I sat in the church, I looked up and fixated on the beautiful, sculptured group of little girl Angels that sat perched above the altar. I thought about all of our little girls who are now Angels, as I sat beside another Mom who lost her daughter.

My dear friend that I asked for prayers for, has had some chemo treatment setbacks. She is very strong and she will fight, but please keep her in your prayers. She has a lot more work to do here and I pray she'll be blessed with many, many more years.

Two more dear friends are also fighting for their health. One dear friend has been dealing with a series of issues and her list just seems to be growing. So unfair. The other just got a fluky blood test result. She fought cancer a few years back and this news is upsetting. I pray for them, worry for them. Love all these friends deeply and can't imagine not having them in my life.

William has had a very heavy hearted month. We were laying in bed a few weeks ago and had a few questions, "Don't you wish dead people could come back to life and sleep in their bed?" I wish Maddie could come home at night and sleep in her bed," "Do you think we'll have the same house in Heaven? Maybe we can have a hot tub!"

He came home from school last Thursday and got off the bus, and walked around into the backyard. Usually they come right into the house. Thomas was home sick, so I looked out back and saw William with his head down, a stick in his hand, drawing in the sand from the old sandbox. Next I saw him running around, then swinging on the swing. I called out to him to come into the house. I asked him, "What are you doing out there?" He said, "I was playing tic tac toe in sand and hide and seek." I said, "By yourself?" He said, "No, with Maddie." He was so sad. After dinner he sat at the table and frantically colored a picture. He showed it to me and said he "drew it with Maddie." It was a very hard day for him and only got heavier at bedtime. He laid next to me in bed and just starting sobbing. Talked about the last time seeing Maddie's body in the "chest." Kept saying he "didn't want her to have cancer and die." Just so incredibly sad and heartbreaking. We both cried until we fell asleep. I let him stay home the next day. Knew he wouldn't be able to get through the day.

The same week in the school library, he read the Butterfly Angel book, about Maddie, that Molly wrote, and it made him really sad. He said he's proud that it is in the school for others to read and the same goes for her paintings, but at the same time, they are heavy reminders. William tried to write down a part of the book by memory, on the computer, added a picture of him with Maddie, then he printed it out, framed it, and hung it on his wall. All by himself.

Met the woman from our website, whose son Andrew passed away. Her name is Cathy. She had been going by her middle name, Irene, on the website. It was so good to meet her, We met for coffee and hugged each other as if we had known each other for years. There's just this unspoken bond between Moms who have lost their children. A bond we all of course wish we didn't know of. We sat and chatted for over 2 hours. We could've talked all day. A few weeks later, I invited her to come along with me and another Mom, to go to Maureen Hancock's holiday healing seminar for grieving parents. It was amazing! Maddie came through and it was a great experience! Hopefully opened a whole new world up for my new friend and will bring her peace going forward.

OK, I've rambled enough. As we head into Christmas, I read a passage on Maureen Hancock's Face Book page that really touched me. I will think about it every day, as I try to get through Christmas. I have to trust and believe that Maddie is with us all, even if we don't get a sign. She'll be there. If only, we could find her sitting under the Christmas Tree. Oh, what a gift...

"My presence: a flickering light, a light, a song, a dog barking, a dream, a hawk, a lady bug, a cell phone call, a shining star, cloud formation, rainbow, goosebumps with laughter. Most importantly trust I am there even when you don't get a sign - I will not abandon you - love has no ending. Your gift to me: live life for me with all your strength, and when you're tired, and can say you lived fully, I will be waiting to carry you home."

Merry Christmas to you all...

Wednesday -- December 1st

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and friends. Ours was very quiet. We stayed home. The worst part about cooking the meal, is cleaning out the turkey. Oh man, is that not disgusting!? Gag every time! Why do they need to leave the guts in a bag, and then another special bag tucked away containing the neck?! Just get that crap out of there! Throw it away! Let people special order that stuff if they want it!

Really hard to talk a kid into trying turkey, never mind eating a plate of it, after they walk into the kitchen to find their Mom gagging, with her hand stuck up the turkey's ass, guts and neck on the counter! OK, enough, sorry...

Went down to visit with Maddie Thanksgiving morning. I didn't read her letter. I couldn't do it. I went into her closet, into her keepsake box to get it out, and really fell apart. All of her baby things, handwritten notes, hair clippings, school pictures. Just couldn't handle it. I thought I could, but I couldn't. I put everything away and just brought balloons with me. I sat and talked for a while and told about my intentions with the letter, and explained why I couldn't do it yet. I know she understood. The day was going to be hard enough and I just couldn’t start it with that letter. I'll know when the time is right.

On a lighter note, on my way to the cemetery, you'll never believe what was on the radio. No, not "My Wish." It was a song Maddie wanted me to hear, to make me laugh..."Bringing Sexy Back!" Come on, what radio station plays that on Thanksgiving morning?! It did make me smile and I blasted it as I pulled into the cemetery. Sat in the car until the song was over and then got out to sit with my girl.

Maddie's beautiful stone tree marker is in place in front of her tree now. It turned out so perfectly! It truly couldn't be more beautiful! I hope all who see it, will feel the same. Thomas and I met Tom, from the DPW, the Monday before Thanksgiving, to place it down there. Thomas was home sick from school. I was so happy it was in for the holiday, so that whomever was going to visit Maddie would be able to see it. I just can't wait to see the tree in bloom in the spring, with all the beautiful pink flowers!

Thank you so very much again to our special annual secret wreath giver! You truly amaze me! I never see or hear you coming and always find a beautiful wreath the next day! I don't know how you do it, but I can't thank you enough! They are always so beautiful, so personalized, so perfect! This year's has pink and silver ornaments with two beautiful silver butterflies! I love it! Thank you!! I hope you know how incredibly special your gift is to us!

The other night I was lying in my bed with William and Thomas. Thomas got up, walked into Maddie's room and came back into bed. He whispered, "I like to go into Maddie's room and look for a sleeping Angel with wings in her bed 'cause that's what I think she looks like now."

So, Christmas is upon us... During your holiday madness, as you bake cookies, shop, help your children write their wish lists to Santa, please take a moment to stop and pray for our friends, Mary, Charlotte and now Brianna. All of these beautiful girls may soon earn their Angel wings. Please pray for their families. For strength and peace. Please pray for my dear friend, who is in the hospital tonight. Please pray that she is just having a fluky reaction to her chemo treatment and that she will recover and continue to fight…love her so much.

Truly reminds us all of what Thanksgiving and Christmas are truly about.


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