Not long after Maddie died, my friend Meghan rallied dozens of people to go in on a necklace of Maddie’s silhouette. I was speechless when she presented it to me – and blown away when she also presented one to my mom. The kindness and generosity that was shown to my family after Maddie’s death still knocks me over.

I very rarely take off the necklace. My fingers go to it several times a day without me even realizing. It gives me comfort and consistency.

Before Jackie’s first brain surgery, I gave her a shirt of Maddie’s that said, “I’m Brave.” After her surgery, her sister texted me a picture of Jackie with the shirt. On Maddie’s first birthday a few months later, Jackie returned the shirt and gave Maddie a special necklace: a small gold disc with “I’m Brave” engraved on the front, and “<3 jno” on the back. It made me cry and I told Jackie that Maddie would wear it on the days when she needed extra-bravery, like getting a vaccine or her first day of kindergarten.

I now wear that charm on the same chain as my Maddie silhouette.

Annie loves the two charms, and if either of them are flipped or twisted on the chain, she’ll have me bend down so she can fix them. She’ll often say, “Can I see Maddie?” or “That’s my big sister Maddie!” I really, really wanted to get a silhouette of Annie (I even had a perfect picture of her at 16 months old, like Maddie’s silhouette) but the place that made the necklace Meghan ordered for me no longer made them.

I searched off and on for a new company to make one for two years. I found plenty that offered something close, but it was too big, or too small, or different in style, and I wanted the charms to be as similar as possible so that the profiles themselves would be what distinguished the two silhouettes. I finally found the perfect place a few weeks before Christmas, but I fretted because it wasn’t cheap and I didn’t want so much money spent on me. But Mike insisted, saying it was more than a piece of jewelry – it was making sure that my other special girl took her rightful place on my special chain.

The new charm came over the weekend:

my christmas present

I put it on my chain, and went to show Annabel.

my bling

“Mama, that’s me! You got me on your necklace! With my sister Maddie!”

She was beaming. She loves it. I love it, too.

edit: The company that made Annie’s necklace is Love & Victory. This post isn’t sponsored, we bought the charm ourselves!