Tribute to Maddie Jo Reynolds

Angie Monko - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

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.


Angie Monko

Lori Bourgeois commented on 31-Oct-2018 02:20 PM
You are an amazing family! Maddie was so lucky to be part of your family and she will continue to provide inspiration to all, through your words. Much love, as you navigate through the grieving process...
Dr. Dorine Kramer commented on 01-Nov-2018 01:25 AM
Angie, I can't imagine what this must be like for you, and honestly I don't want to try. She was an amazing gift in your life, as I'm sure, you were in hers. Much sympathy and love to you and your family.
Karen B commented on 01-Nov-2018 09:06 AM
You’re so brave, Angie. Maddie would be happy to see you putting out your blog posts and extra happy to realize the ways she impacted people’s lives. You’ve lived so much of your life for her; and now you will live for other reasons and find new ways of being. One footstep at a time; one day at a time, you will carry her with you still and she will be a part of you and all that comes next. As the beautiful song says, walk on my friend, with hope in your heart and don’t be afraid of the dark. You’re doing so beautifully...
Lauren Crooks commented on 01-Nov-2018 11:25 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You provide such compassion and insightfulness into the lives of many people, keep spreading Maddie's love and light here in the physical world. I know you will create a great legacy in her name and be able to help so many! Sending much love.
Elizabeth Gerrity commented on 01-Nov-2018 03:15 PM
Angie, this is SOOOOOOO beautiful. And I LOVE that picture. You indeed are courageous. I look forward to her celebration. And to your book. Wishing you many sunny, saltwater skin-drenched days to come!!!! Love you so:-)
Rhonda Leifheit commented on 05-Nov-2018 03:34 PM
Dear Angie,
My heart goes out to you and your family as you say goodbye to Maddie. That one photo is evidence of the vast light and big heart she brought into this world, and your words are such a lovely tribute to her - filled with love and gratitude. Thank you Angie, and thank you Maddie.
Blessings and peace to you and yours.

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