Wednesday -- November 12th
I didn't think I would post anything further but I received the following email and I thought it was such a great tribute to Maddie that I needed to share it with others. -- Ernie
Hi Bill, could you please pass this along to Ernie, I am a Norfolk resident, I met Ernie on the train today. My wife pointed him out as "Maddie's Dad" so I had to introduce myself.
Ernie ("Maddie's Dad"),
It was a pleasure meeting you this morning, I told my wife about introducing myself to you and she directed me to read your post on Maddie's web page…it was brilliant. We (along with the entire town of Norfolk) have been following Maddie's journey.
I hope I didn't disrupt your morning routine on the train, I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to express my thoughts about Maddie and what you guys have been through. I have never met your daughter and yet she has somehow touched my entire family in a very profound way (we have 5 children, one of which is Maddie's age). Her journey has sparked so many questions from my children, good questions, not easy ones to answer, but good questions. It was the way the questions were asked that I want to share with you, because they reveal something about Maddie that is unique, something that I think only she could radiate. They were questions about courage, questions about compassion, love, selflessness and hope…obviously, sadness was discussed, but it did not dominate the talks we had, it was not part of the question nor was it really part of the answer, I'm not sure why. Tears were shed, sadness was there to be sure, but like I said, the discussions were about Maddie and how she chose to live her life. She somehow transcended the sad part, Maddie represents the bright side of the human spirit. I guess that's what I meant when I told you she is an inspiration. Thank you for sharing her with all of us, she has made me a better man as well…and I have never even met her.
Friday -- November 7th
I just want to let those of you who are still checking the website, to know that I am working on an entry. It is taking me some time, but I hope to have it done in a few days.
Since Maddie’s passing, I have been having a very difficult time, and it has been very hard for me to come back to the website, but I have so much to say, and this site has always been a good place for me. Like you, it became such a big part of my life and I miss it.
In the meantime, thank you so much for the overwhelming love and support you have given, and continue to give our family. As I have always said, we are so grateful.
With Love and Gratitude – Kristen
Thursday -- October 30th
For those people who couldn't attend the services, the Norfolk Boomerang did a very nice job of putting together a special piece on Maddie. You can read it by clicking here.
Tuesday -- October 21st
Today the end of a journey is complete and a new one begins…..
Kristen and I would like to thank everyone for their love and support. Not just over these past few days, but over the past 26 months when this journey began. It was the most remarkable journey I have ever experienced. It encompassed the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of my life. And while there were many difficult and dark days, the journey is only remembered in terms of the love and joy and happiness that Maddie and each of you brought into our lives every day.
As I look back over this time period it is hard to believe we were able to cram so much living into such a short time-span. There are certainly no regrets for me, only for those that did not have the opportunity to know my Maddie girl.
I loved showing her off and to say I was proud of her would be a gross understatement. I’m sure the folks at the office can attest to that. Whenever she was in visiting, I took her around to meet as many of my co-workers as Maddie would stand for. I wanted everyone to experience the radiance of her personality.
She could connect with people almost instantly. I have thousands of stories I could tell that have never made it to this web site.
One such story is with Bob Hayden. Bob is the retired Superintendent of the Boston Police Department. He first met Maddie last year at a Cop for Kids motorcycle rally that went from Boston to Plymouth. Maddie had asked permission to go to the event with her friends so they could sell raffle tickets for a fund raiser. At some point Bob met up with Maddie and was so taken with her that he offered to let her ride at the head of the rally on the back of his motorcycle. They led the procession the entire way, pulling off occasionally to watch the motorcycles zip past, then racing ahead to point at the front of the rally. I can only imagine the grin that must have been on Maddie’s face.
When Bob came up to the ICU to visit with Maddie just a few hours before she passed, I told him how sorry we were she couldn’t be there this year and how much she had enjoyed that ride with him. I asked him how the ride was and he just shook his head sadly and told me he had turned around and gone home once he discovered Maddie wasn’t there.
In the ICU Bob presented Maddie with a silver heart locket. I could see the pain in his eyes as he watched her on the ventilator and kissed her softly on the forehead. Truly there was a deep love for her. Such a big man with such a big heart. We buried Maddie wearing that locket, not just for him but all the other people that came to love her so easily. It was both a privilege and an honor to be Maddie’s Dad. I learned a lot about myself, my family and the world around me. If I can live up to a fraction of what she has taught me I will be a much better man than I ever thought I could be.
I would like to take a moment to say a special thank you to Kristen. None of us, especially me, could have made this journey without you. It was with wonderment that I watched you bring Maddie into this world and it was with awe I watched you take her home to heaven. I love you always.
As I said we were so blessed to have these past two years. We packed a lot of living in them and looking back I wonder how that was all possible. I do not know what the future will bring but I do know that I will never let go of the spirit that Maddie gave to each of us. I will absorb it into each aspect of my life with the hope it will be just as joyous, brave and inspiring as my Maddie girl was. I thank you all for taking such good care of us and being part of our incredible journey.
Bless you always,
Thursday -- October 16th
To our dear family and friends it is with deep deep sorrow that we let you know Maddie passed away in the hospital today. She passed peacefully in the arms of her mother surrounded by family and some of the wonderful doctors, nurses and friends who have been by our side throughout these past two years. There are no definitive plans as yet but most likely Maddie will be waked on Sunday at Ross Funeral home in Wrentham. The funeral will be Monday at Trinity church in Wrentham. While we will miss Maddie deeply we are grateful her struggle has ended and she is at peace with God and her friends in heaven. We love you all and thank you for being by her and our side throughout these past 2+ years.
Maddie's favorite charity was Cops for Kids with Cancer. They took special care of her and those wishing to honor Maddie can make donations at http://www.copsforkidswithcancer.org/
Arrangements are as follows:
Wake: Ross Funeral Home, Wrentham MA Sunday 4-8
Funeral Mass Monday 11:00 Trinity Church, Wrentham. Burial will be in Norfolk and reception to follow at Luciano's at Lake Perl in Wrentham. We are asking everyone to wear something pink or yellow to the wake and the funeral. These were Maddie's favorite colors. Love to you all.
Wednesday -- October 15th
Someone made a very nice video for Maddie on youtube. Thought I would put the link out there for people to check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp7qeADjVgs. They started Maddie on her new drug last night. It will probably take a couple of days before we know how effective it is. In the meantime keep her in your prayers. Your love and support are invaluable to us.
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