Friday, June 8, 2007

For Us, A Day to Remember




Sixteen years ago today. Sixteen. She was seventeen and only a month or so shy of turning eighteen when she left us. The last time I saw her and hugged her was June fourth, 1991. It was graduation night. She accepted her diploma and we went out and had dinner. Then, the next morning, we left for our job assignment up in Northern Minnesota. Maggie stayed back in her little studio apartment. Instead of the child going off to college, we went off and left her. Kind of an opposite deal. Maggie had an apartment on the bus line, a trusted boyfriend with a car, a job, and was going to probably attend the University of Minnesota in September.

We had only been working at the YMCA Camp Menogyn since we arrived there on that Tuesday. I was doing all the cooking for the camp and Mrs. Spadoman was working in the office. The two younger girls, aged 15 and 14 respectively were housed with same aged campers as they cycled through the camp programs. We were just getting used to our environment up north along the Canadian border in the Boundary Waters Wilderness.

It was early on Friday morning. I was up and getting dressed. I was heading to the dining hall to start breakfast. A knock came on my cabin door and when I opened up I saw Dave, the Camp Director, standing there. I said, "Good Morning" to him and he told me that there had been an accident He said that Maggie had been involved and that I was to call a number that he had written down on a post-it note.

I didn't know the name or recognize the number he had given to me. Mrs. Spadoman was awake and listening to all this, but we didn't have any idea what was going on and did start to seem a little puzzled by all that was unfolding.

I went down to the office and used the phone. I called the number. I was about to ask for the person whose name was on the note, but when the phone was answered by the words, "Ramsey County medical examiner's office", I went numb. As I remember, things were explained to me and I had to come up with the name of Maggie's dentist so a positive identification could be made.

That's all I can tell you today. That's all I think I needed to say. That happened sixteen years ago on June eighth. It has been an up and down ride all our life, but especially since that day. With the closeness that I have achieved with many of you, I just wanted to share that little bit with you. I was ready to tell you today.

Please, I don't look for sympathy. Rather, I ask that you hug a loved one today. Hug all of your loved ones. Hug your friends. Forgive someone. Realize how precious every moment is. Pray, or whatever you do to reach your soul, that those that struggle with grief get comfort, and that others don't have to go through it.

Good positive thoughts and energy to all of you from me. I'm not quite so alone today as I share this moment with you.

Peace to all. Safe travels when your on the road. Let you see no hatred. Let your hearts be at peace and all around you be serene. Love, yourself and each other.

15 comments:

dawn said...

My thoughts are with you today. I hug all the time. I'm sending you and Barb one big hugh smush of a hug. Love ya

just me said...

You know I love you guys. You've helped me so much. You've helpe me help other people. I know what you mean about the pity part. sometimes I just want to people to know, that this person lived here with us all for awhile, and look at all the great things he did. Look at all the great things she did. May her spirit surround you today with all of its peace and comfort and beauty and joy.

annie said...

No pity, just good thoughts to you and yours...today and always. My older daughter was just here visiting for a few days. I read this post right after I walked her to the car, and we both cried, like always, when we hugged goodbye. Your words were a poignant reminder of just how precious these bonds are. I cherish them daily. Much love, Joe.

coloradosonj said...

I love you so much! Thank you for being part of my life!
Sonj

Babzy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us today.

Rather than pity, think of it as a deep, sincere, compassion from other parents and from people who obviously care about you.

Take care.

Coffee Messiah said...

Thinking of you and your loss!

Sending positive vibes your way, to you all!

Anne said...

Thanks, Joe. It's good to have a reminder sometimes to appreciate what/who we have. Hugs.

Mary said...

Thankfully I have come to realize what is important in my life and I nuture and cherish all my family and friends and try not to waste a moment on crap that just doesn't matter.
Thanks for sharing. All my love to you and Barb.

Hill said...

She was beautiful.
Going to hug Hubby right now.
:-)

deuddersun said...

Dam Brother, I just don't have the words...

d.

D.K. Raed said...

Peace to you and your family and all whose lives Maggie touched, too. ~~ D.K.

Spadoman said...

Thanks so much. I can't get over the thoughtful kindness you all send my way. I ask that your lives be peaceful as well. Thanks so much.

The Mayor said...

Beautiful girl and wonderful parents.

Peace,

Fred

No said...

Thanks so much for posting this. What a beautiful daughter.

This Eclectic Life said...

Joe, I was going through your archives for things I had missed. Although I knew about Maggie, I hadn't seen your story. She was beautiful. I'm sure that she had the same inner beauty (inherited from her father).
My thoughts are with you, as I read this belatedly.