It makes my soul smile to see all the progress that our world has made this year, all the people that are changed… all the differences.
When the ‘high’ of the amazing wears off I am left with a real sadness… I wish Maddie were here to see and smile and touch and play and get to enjoy these changes. I wish she got to play in her Grammie and Grandpa’s back yard while Uncle Jordan chased her around. I wish she got to bring a big full of elephants to Albany Med and share that with sick children. I wish she got to play on the playground that she voted on, or the one that is her place at the Y. I wish she got to see family come to visit her more often. I wish she got to throw a birthday party for a very sick little boy who’s biggest wish is for friends to bring canned goods to his Birthday instead of gifts. I wish she got to ride the bus with Amelia and teach Lucy all the new first grade songs she would learn.
I wish a lot of things. My wishes aren’t really doable… I have to accept that Madeline is here in a different way. I have to be okay with never seeing her smile while building her playground at the Y. I have to move and live and enjoy so her sisters remember her happy and our happy. I have to be glad that the world changed and great things have happened. I have to know that Maddie loves this all, I have to have faith that my lovely knows. I have to keep chugging and living and moving and sharing and building and working… so that I can always know I did what she wanted… almost so I can know that she is proud of us…
The world will keep changing and living… I guess a plus is that we have an opportunity to mold some of this… and share our lovely…
It’s hard sometimes as time moves… well actually it’s hard often. There are days when I just know that it is only my brain that is full and missing Madeline… that parts of the world has moved on… even parts that promised that they wouldn’t. I know it has to happen, for many to be able to live on and enjoy life they must move this to another compartment of their brain… and honestly it is my ‘real’, my everything… I am often full of events and opportunities to share Maddie and jobs I need to finish… I almost neglect those close parts of my life. I feel like I do what I need to do to survive. In a selfish way I don’t want to always be with my friends, or family. I know that they wouldn’t understand… but I see them moving and living… and it is harder to see them do it than strangers. It feels better often to be in a new place… ‘old normal’ brings me back to my lack of ‘old normal’.
Kind of a random post of thoughts… little things that bug me I guess.
Be aware that we are not super heroes… we are not unbreakable… we are not invincible. That being said when I looked at my month of April in the beginning my brain quickly put into action it’s “one thing at a time Erin” mode. I could not look ahead of the afternoon I was in… and it was CrAzY. It was my supreme survival mode. What is accomplished is amazing and the amount of time and energy that my body and mind put into it was necessary. Now it is the week after and God slowed me down.
In this month we have had many meeting with groups to share our foundation and Maddie’s story, meetings to get work moving on big projects, families that needed some ‘best days ever’, a playground that would be finished, my husband spent a week in California… so the normal life that needs to be lived and the morning programs and reading homework and gymnastics and dinner… not to mention the crazy ‘get it done’ projects I always take on when Matt travels… so I didn’t sleep enough, I ate out too much, I worked too much and I didn’t get my healthy scheduled work outs = frazzled and tired and not a great scenario for my immune system.
God slowed me down… I had a nice case of Strep and spent yesterday letting my friend wash my dishes and asking my Mother-in-law to come play with the girls… and I stayed put and rested. Today I feel so much better… so thanks God for the slow down. I know if it weren’t Strep or the flu or something I would have just kept chuggin’ and never rested. Although it was a yucky feeling day and I need a shower, I am going to thank him for the reminder, and hope I take my own time before I am shown again I need to slow down.
Living a Childhood in 5 Days
What an honor to be asked to share our Madeline and our families story with pretty much the world. I am often so sad to not have Maddie… and I fill my days so sometimes I don’t have to think about it. These chances make me know she wants me to spread her spirit and share her life… they make me remember she wants me to bring joy to other families and use my words to help people understand this crazy, hard and messy life of grieving.
I miss you darling. Every second…
Some days I move and live and function… it is on a strange level… but I am here, and alive. The things that are hardest for me aren’t the things that most would think… and I am pretty sure most can’t tell it is terribly hard to be in that place or that moment. Today there was a pile of those moments… wishes you were here, reminders you weren’t…
I miss you lovely. I miss you today and every single other moment… every morning, every lunchtime, every afternoon, every bus drop off, every snack and dinner… every bedtime that takes forever to get everyone asleep. I miss that wonderful and raspy voice and giggle… you were going to grow up with my voice (and your Grandma’s)… I miss your perfectly crazy and messy- yet somehow pulled together hair… I miss getting crazy annoyed at having to tie your shoes 1000 times each morning before the bus came (and how I cursed God that it was a way for me to learn to love Matthew and his quirks more)… I miss how proud you were of reading, art projects and tying your shoes… I wish I could hug you again. I miss your skinny, tall ‘Siragusa’ self… I just knew you were going to have that swimmer and runner body… I miss your book bag and your shoes… I miss the plate color you would want and fight over… I miss hearing you (not Lucy) yell at me in the morning for ‘Juice’ (she is meaner….)… I freaking miss you. Every single cell that made you. I miss hearing you play and doing crafts… I miss you playing with your sisters. You were such a cute boss :). I don’t know where you got it from ;). I miss telling you “good morning sunshine, good morning Madeline”. You were a sleeper, just like your daddy.
I am always so proud to have been the mom chosen for you… but I am jealous that I had only a little time. Often I can not wait to be 75 (apparently that is when I am good and done with earth)… and met my grandchildren, finished my life adventure list and hopped on the “I am good to go” wagon… I can’t wait for you to hug me. I can’t wait for you to show me what you have been doing all these years and I can’t wait to bug my other lovelies from Heaven…
Today is another ‘day after a horrible tragedy’. Today was filled with people praying and thinking of those touched directly and indirectly by the Boston Marathon Bombing… people posting ribbon images created for those lost… people posting how glad they were that ‘their friends and family in Boston’ were ok. Today was a hard day for my brain and heart.
I find on days like today it is best to move and nod and drive and go and live just regularly. I find comfort in not having time to think about all the bad there is in this world. I try to not think about the kids who have been diagnosed or died of cancer today, the family whose daughter went missing, the murders that happen because of evil and jealousy and anger… I try not to think about all the bad. I think if we focus on the bad it will not only win, it will consume us. We will become a society that rarely sees good, never looks for the kind, gives up hope for happy and lives in fear. Maybe we are that… maybe these terrible, horrible and heavy events have created a pessimistic society… maybe many have forgotten that good outweighs bad. I think people need to remember…
I have lost 1/3 of the most important things God could give me to take care of… yet I see ‘helpers’. There are always ‘helpers’… even secret kind ones that you will never know the name of. Someday, maybe many times, you will be called to be a ‘helper’ (maybe even a secret kind one)… if we live our life looking not to the scary and living in fear but in watching the good move around and being there when something bad happens… the world would be so changed. I try to be a ‘helper’… I don’t care if anyone ever knows it was me who was the helper. This world needs more ‘helpers’. God knows I have some amazing ‘helpers’… that in all this mess and hard and heavy and sad… I still have light brought into my life. I may not have the deep, full and soulful light I had… I may be missing a huge piece of my light but my ‘helpers’ bring me light.
I am so sorry for all of the families who have to experience the pain and loss of their person. I am the worst person when finding words… but I know that every one of the Marathoners and families hurt by this would want you to live, breathe, move, create and be a ‘helper’ for someone along your journey.
Today I am not striving for happy, sad, smiles, yells… Just staying alive. I know in this life happy is so important… But today and maybe tomorrow I am just staying alive. I think I am allowed that… Allowed to just get by. I am too confused, sad, hurt, heavy and hectic to feel the need for ‘happy’ today… I would fail miserably. So today (and maybe tomorrow) I am just alive.
I was so upset with my husband for not taking this opportunity to disappear for the weekend and get away with the girls… I wanted out of my walls… I wanted to explore some place we have never been. I just wanted to get away from all of this… the foundation work, the house work and the regular life that you feel needs living when you are home…
I was wrong. I woke up this morning and stayed in bed a little longer… I was okay with being home until I had to wash the damn dishes. I hate that when I am home all I freakin’ do is wash dishes?!?!!?! I was mad… I, at that moment, had sold off any opportunity to enjoy this weekend. We went to the Y and got a nice, hilly run in… and I felt better. We had a snack at Maddie’s Spot… kind of first-of-the-season picnic. We came home, I showered and grocery shopped… came home cleaned my car (including the disgusting car seats and trunk)… I worked on the front of the house and made pasta salad, while Matt and his brother raked and played with the girls.
I owe him an apology. I think a ‘staycation’ was better this time… I hope he makes time for a vacation soon. I can’t wait to pull into my driveway and have a clean and tulip filled front yard… to know that my house is clean and lookin’ good. I am glad we stayed home. I know many like to be home… but I still struggle with ‘home’. I struggle with ‘home’ being my ‘work’ … I struggle with my work being everywhere here. There is always something to clean, organize, mail, email, make, wipe up, wash… etc… it drives me bananas. I am glad I will get to bring the girls outside to play lots, have friends over and enjoy my house soon… someday maybe it will again feel like ‘home’.
If I could even remember all the changes that have taken place in our lives since Maddie left us it would be… the best. I found the good people and I sorted out the bad people. People moved. People changed. People changed.
The world turned differently for people who knew Maddie. My family let things go… uncles and aunts that had brushed off the family reunion- came up. My family came to me, came to Maddie’s home, to celebrate life and living and her death. Weddings took on a new meaning. Honestly, Maddie even changed funerals. She made people remember we are all here, living. She made us all realize that the biggest things we do are enjoy our families that we are born with or find in life. She made, so many of us, live.
We found our ‘people’. We let go of the ones who really didn’t love us. We work hard to live in a way that releases the hard, complicated and bad… and remember the good and simple and amazing. In doing this we see Maddie helping, we know God is here.
In this year many things have changed… many addresses have changed. I gained a set of In-Laws in our neighborhood (and am so glad), my sister moved near my parents and bought a house… my baby sister is back from Korea… so many came home. Some moved away too… one of my best friends moved to Ohio. Maddie’s friend moved… it’s hard and simple for us. I know that in the grand scheme of life and living we are so lucky… I know I will live the rest of my life missing Maddie, and I will never miss anyone like I miss her, I know that God brings the best people to us and that he gives us the tools and brain to know when they aren’t the best… I just know.
I know that the changes that have happened are supposed to have happened. I know that as much as I enjoy or would want to change others… they are always the way they should be. I know this. So thank you God for all the good changes and moves, thank you God for trusting me with the hard ones… knowing that this test will end with knowing the ‘real truth’… knowing that You bring us the best and take care of us… Thank you.
Somedays I can not sum up and find words… honestly this is crazy and heavy and hard. Thankfully this is not the ‘normal’… no part of our life ever is. We squeeze in so much and our life is a pile of crazy, unorganized and fun… many never-want-to-changes and some wish we could do-overs… basically life. It is our life… and all this crazy crap piled over regular like makes parts of life freakin’ hard. I heard this song and knew it was our new anthem. For years I would hear Orleans- ‘You’re Still the One’ and know that was us… now this song really connects to my heart and my marriage. Listen up and enjoy… Pink is a favorite for me. Pink covers all the feelings… all the fear… all the happy.