We celebrate you, always.

We celebrate you always darling.

Always and forever, it is the only thing that I know for total and utter sureness for the future. Today is the slow down day, one that needed a nap. After a weekend like this one the brain needs time to rest and reflect, and this damn ankle needed a bit of extra ottoman time. Lucy and I did, let’s be honest Lucy watched talking dog movies, I cleaned and tried to get this house back in order. All the while thinking about you my dear… thinking about what a great weekend it was, how much you would have loved physically being here for your weekend. We celebrate you, yesterday and today and tomorrow…

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As we stood at Maddie’s Spot on her birthday surrounded by family and friends, kids running around and playing hide and seek; I reflected on Madeline. Right there in that spot, on her hill, I saw all the bits of her and her spirit in those who came. I saw compassion, relationships formed when we helped those families, an image of Madeline’s compassion. I saw tradition, Madeline loved tradition and family. Her last birthday party was spent with only her cousins and family, a bonfire and a homemade cake. Her cousins were her biggest gift. I know she loves the simple tradition of us celebrating at her Spot. I saw kindness, patience, forgiveness and positive energy. Madeline was there. I felt it.

I miss that little lady, a lady who would not be little at all anymore. Madeline will be forever 5 in my memories, but I see in her friends what 10 would look like. I see beauty starting to shine though the bits of awkward. I see naïve and positive still, girls the world hasn’t tainted yet (ps I hope they never get tainted). Sometimes, if I let myself go there, I can see a 10 year old Madeline, but I know she is forever only 5 and ½ years of a written book.

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Looking around her Spot that day, I saw all that she continues to do. That Madeline connects, cares and teaches so many, all.the.time.every.day. Her birthday was perfect, minus her 10 year old dimple and beautiful 10 year old self. Something, though, we can not change the situation we can only change how we get through it. This year we were blessed with a few of Madeline’s cousins and so many of her friends running, playing and being together with tons of love for her. It is so special. I told her friends that night about how Madeline’s 10th birthday deserves rainbow balloons. Madeline is my rainbow. She loved and drew rainbows all.of.the.time. Her birthday was her, balloons and happy at her spot, laced with sad and hard. We headed home for a BBQ, bonfire, hot tub time and fireworks (a lil project from Mr. Rick and his lil pile of boys). It was a perfect night. I know in my heart I was broken, but those Delorenzo boys and my family and friends held my broken together for that night. In a time that can be so dark and empty, they stepped in and brought light and laughter and memories. They filled a night that I needed full.

The lessons my darling, the lessons we have learned since you left… prove to me that you are not gone. Madeline, you teach and change. We have learned to carry and support better, to talk and share more, to love more closely to ‘always and anyways’… to live life better. We have all learned that life is not to be taken for granted, that life is meant to be lived- really LIVED. Your compassion, spirit, patience, love for family and smile are gifts in this. You are a gift, your legacy is a treasure. You are my most sacred story, you are the most sacred piece of me and your sisters. I wish you were here to eat a cupcake from Miss Sarah… I wish you got to hang with the Delorenzo boys, to jump and dance in the hot tub and to see those fireworks that were just.for.you… but alas my darling you were here, you sent the best set of boys and you had the best view of those fireworks. I love you Maddie Maddie Musto.

Sometimes we receive gifts that others could never understand the power in them. While celebrating Madeline’s birthday I received a video from an old friend. To see my daughter in a video someone else owns, to be brought back to that very memory in someone else’s perspective- is a gift. Enjoy this treasure. Madeline’s 4th Birthday- Madeline themed birthday complete with a pin the tail of Guinevere, polymer clay Madeline and Madeline cake toppers and friends galore.

We will celebrate you always Darling.

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