Tribute to Maddie Jo Reynolds
My sweet, sassy, beautiful Maddie Jo! This picture was taken May 13, 2018.
I've been grieving her loss for most of my life, ever since we learned at 4 days old she had cystic fibrosis.
And now the finality of losing her physical form is here. Maddie left the physical world on Friday,
October 26, 2018 at 7:25pm.
This last year has come with a deep knowing in my gut that her time was almost done here.
On 9/22/18, we celebrated my 49th birthday and did our traditional hayride down the long country
lane to the cemetery at my mom's home in Worden, IL.
We turned out the lights once we reached the cemetery, and typically we would tell spooky stories,but
I think we felt subconsciously that life was scary enough and didn't feel the need to add to it.
Maddie said to her closest, dearest friends who surrounded her in that wagon, "Who do you
think will be the next to die?" An eerie silence...
Then she said, "If I'm right, I won't tell you." At the time, I didn't get her riddle...maybe because I didn't want to.
Now it makes sense. Maddie felt her impending departure 34 days later. She wouldn't tell us because she
wouldn't be here to.
I cannot describe to you how I feel right now. It really hasn't sunk in yet. Going through her purse and closet this morning, smelling the clothes she wore last, reading her FB messages and texts on the phone she was so tied to... these things make it all too real.
How can this really be happening? She was only 22 years old. My Maddie taught so many people profound lessons.
The time is not right to reveal all the ways Maddie touched others' lives. That would take a book, which I intend to write.
Maddie taught me most about unconditional love and acceptance. She was trying to give me clues that I shouldn't work so much, that time is fragile and fleeting.
I'm so happy that I followed most of her promptings in this past year. In May, she asked me if I'd go to Florida with my brother's family and my mom.
And though I would just be returning from two business trips, I knew I had to go. Almost the entire time we were there, it rained, and so it made it hard to get to the beach.
But on the last day of our vacation, the sun was fully shining, And I carried her out to the ocean and just held her in my arms. I just felt deep inside it would be the last vacation we took together, and the last time she'd feel the salt water on her beautiful skin.
My little girl was precious to me. It was such an honor to have these 22 years with her. I can't even tell you how grateful I am.
We will be having a big 'ole party to celebrate her on Saturday, 11/24 at 5pm. We're still trying to nail down the venue, but I'll let you know ASAP.
Let your loved ones and children know how much you love them, consider spending more quality time with them.