I think often about the amazing threads God has woven in, around and through my life and everyone else’s. The connections that he creates, most likely were woven into this fabric of being a human before I was born, before Madeline was. He is constantly creating the most beautiful fabric…
Today was special I got to see more threads get woven into my fabric, Madeline’s fabric and many others. It is one of my favorite gifts, when I get to see the weaving take place. I think it will be an amazing gift when I die and I get to see the amazing fabric that was my life… I imagine it woven and somehow woven with infinite others.
I was invited the North Country Council of Social Agencies Educational Series “Foundation Spotlight”. It was, as per normal, a whirlwind trip up north. We squeezed dinner to celebrate my niece, nephew and mom’s birthdays, and then quickly to bed so we would be on time. This series started at 8am!!!! I was terrified to be late, but the girls and I rocked it with our mediocre time management skills. I felt all tech savy with my thumbdrive (I don’t know if that is what they are called anymore)…
I prepared a short slideshow to share Madeline with that room, many who have never heard her name uttered. My favorite slide was the one filled with her dimple… I miss that chick. I was reminded of all we have done in the two areas of New York Maddie’s Mark works hard. Sharing Best Day Ever’s from 4 years ago and the playground back home for a lovely in heaven- Kendall’s Playground… reminded me how Maddie makes her mark. I felt confident and comfortable, a far cry from the speaker and leader I used to be. I think Madeline would be proud. Amelia said I did well and I didn’t say ‘UMmmm’ a lot.
The best part of this educational series though was sitting and hearing others share their missions, their purpose. I got to see some extremely inspirational people share the purpose and work they do… through their grief and hard… right along with it.
That’s the thing, the passion of our purpose is rooted in pain. I talk about pain riding next to joy so often, but purpose is part of it. We can’t know our purpose without understanding life more… understanding that joy/pain line. I stood and spoke today with 2 others who experienced great loss and kept sharing to change it all. The foundations I see that grow and maintain over time are often rooted in loss… legacy and memory. We don’t have the gift of more time with our lovelies… so we carry their legacy on this way. We fuel the work and change we need to make with the pain and joy.
I listened as my friend talked about the day her son, Madden, died at only 8 months old. His babysitter didn’t practice safe sleep… he is in heaven and his family works to educate, raise awareness and change the laws in place for day cares. Madden isn’t here, but the pain of his loss and the joy of his smile fuel Heartbeats to change this for others.
I met and listened to a representative from the Garrett Loomis Foundation. He not only talked about what their hard work tries to change and improve- but he shared his friend with us. I had heard about Garrett from some of his old friends, but today I knew him. I remember the day that Garrett, a firefighter, died at a silo fire. I remember in 2010, my first feeling was for his mom. I can’t imagine never saying goodbye and not knowing what those last moments felt like. His family uses his character and love and smile to work really freakin’ hard to change this for the next firefighter. They educate and prepare our Hero’s for the scary and dangerous battle of saving and stopping fires…
Today was a great day.
I love these days… sharing and learning. I got to hold Madden’s baby brother… who is a less chunky version of him. When Madden died some of our ‘herd’ got his finger and footprints. Today I saw Madden’s clay foot print and I saw his baby brother touch it and we compared it to his foot. I saw the perfect little set of blue flip flops that Madden wore of his chunky feet… It is a mix.
I am constantly reminded that in loss we are carried, we have an opportunity to make a choice. Today I met great people who had lost amazing people, and carried on… shared, built, changed, laughed, cried, broke, grew and got tired… but they kept going, sharing and changing.
Please check out:
Heartbeats for Madden and The Garrett Loomis Foundation