A 2007 MESSAGE TO MADDIE

Hi Maddie --- 2007 is coming up, and I find myself thinking a lot about your Mother ... and of course about you.

Three years ago at Christmas your family was preparing to move into your new house for the first time. The move from the temporary house that you'd lived in for 2 months after moving out of your first home (on Rubio) took place just a day or so before Christmas. The house had no furniture, boxes were stacked all over the place unpacked, and it was not a place that anyone would have wanted to visit let alone move into. BUT ... the Art Department and Set Decorating crew from the TV show that your Mom was casting at that time ("That 70s Show") came over and dressed your new house as though it were a set in a multi-million dollar movie! Complete with Christmas lights all around the outside of the house. It was nothing short of a miracle ... it was like the whole world rallied to make sure that your Mother would have the most beautiful house ever to come to. That is how loved she was by everyone.

When I first saw how beautiful your house looked overnight, I began to cry. You had a very happy Christmas that year, Maddie, in December of 2003. Your Mama gave you a beautiful Carousel that would play music as the merry-go-round turned. I was with her when she bought it for you ... she just saw it and knew that she had to get it as your Christmas present. She said that it was a gift that you would always remember. And in the many months ahead you never forgot that it was Mommy's present to you for Christmas.

Oh my darling, Christmas and New Years were so emotional 3 years ago. We didn't know how much longer we would have your mother with us, but she was determined to fight to stay with you for every possible minute ... no matter how difficult or painful it might be. That is what she told all the doctors. Her dream was to take you to Disneyland for the first time for your birthday in August. I have never seen a mother and daughter love each other so much.

I miss you so badly, my darling, that tears often come to my eyes when I think about you --- and I think about you every minute of every day. So does your Gramma Dell. We both wish that we could be there with you this Christmas, but your Gramma sent you a present, and I will be thinking of you a lot. I love you, Maddie --- more than you'll ever know. I love you higher than all of the stars in the night sky.

Your Mommy's Dear Friend forever, and Your Dear Friend forever too, Marky.

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