In years’ past we’ve taken Maddie and Annie trick or treating in the neighborhood I grew up in. Everyone would meet at my friend Tara’s parents’ house, where we’d have pizza and take pictures of all the kids before we walked around the street gathering candy.
Things have changed since last year’s Halloween. Almost everyone moved into new houses in new neighborhoods, and we all wanted to stay close to home for trick or treating. The end of an era! But we didn’t want to give up our tradition completely, so Tara had a little party for all the kids the day before Halloween.
I love seeing the children of my oldest friends. It’s amazing to see them change and become little people. I’m especially drawn to watching how Reilly (my friend Tara’s daughter) and Meghan (my friend Diane’s daughter) interact with Annie.
Reilly remembers Maddie, and talks to me about her sometimes. Meghan was born three months before Maddie, and Diane even brought Meghan to visit me when I was in the hospital on bed rest. Tara, Diane, and I loved that our three girls were born within 18 months of each other. We said they’d be friends for life, just like their mommies.
When I see Meghan and Reilly, I can almost picture how Maddie would be if she were still here.
Reilly loves to pick Annie up and give her huge hugs.
Meghan gave Annie gentle pushes on the swing.
Annie just adores both of them, but I’m even more glad that the big girls adore her back. They don’t even know it, but they are helping fill the big sister role that’s missing in Annie’s life.
It’s beautifully bittersweet.
Today’s post made me cry. As I looked at your Halloween pictures I couldn’t help think of Maddie and how it’s so terribly unfair she isn’t here too. But, I don’t have to tell you guys that. I know you feel it every single day and I couldn’t be more sad or sorry about your loss.
I do think you hit the nail on the head when you said it was “Beautifully Bittersweet”. I’m sure it is. I’m also very happy Annie has Meghan and Reilly. I think they are all very lucky to be in each other lives and I do hope their friendships will last a lifetime….just like our memories and love for your Maddie!! xo
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
like you said, beautifully bittersweet…
They are all absolutely precious! So glad they love your Annie like they do…
Trisha Vargas says:
So precious..Glad Annie loves them and they love her back, sisterhood no matter the relation is a wonderful thing for girls to have in life.
Beautifully bittersweet is the perfect description of this…
Speaking of precious Maddie, what picture did you decide on for the big frame in your house?
Kim Wencl says:
I really relate to your angst when it comes to sisters. My Anna was 18 when her sister died in 2003. Over the years however she developed very strong relationships with her cousins on both sides of the family and that really is a sister relationship. In addition, two of her closest friends very much fill the sister role for Anna and she fills it for them. Of course none of them can ever fill the sister role like Elizabeth would have … but under the circumstances we really couldn’t hope for anything better than what it has become.
Big hugs to you and Mike. Annie is so lucky that you have awesome friends and big-sis role models.
Constance Reader says:
You’re right–beautifully bittersweet are the exact right words.
You are amazing. I’m sure you hear it all the time but just a reminder. I can’t imagine everyday that you live through without Maddie and yet you are incredible at keeping her alive for everyone of us.
(PS-thanks for making me cry at work).
I love that Annie has Meghan and Reilly.
I’m so happy for Annie that she has Meghan and Reilly in her life.
michele wallace says:
absolutely LOVE the swing picture – that is ADORABLE.
Jessi @ Quirky Cookery says:
I think it’s so awesome that you guys are keeping in touch *and* making an effort to keep your kids in touch, carry on little traditions, etc, even though everyone is moving elsewhere.
I think it is awesome when the kids of great friends become friends too. I love that Annie has a couple of stand in big sisters. They will never completely fill the void, but it sure does look like they come close. Love and hugs to all of you.
Cute pics! Nothing is permanent. Growing age is the best example for change. Responsibilities grow as we grow in our age. Every sister should look after her younger sister and give a special attention, which will make the bonding with each other.
And now I’m crying at my work desk. So beautifully bittersweet …
How great that you can get together with your friends from growing up and it is even nicer that their girls are so fantastic with Annie. One of my oldest friends has twin boys who were born 3 days before Jake (my son who died). Your words “beautifully bittersweet” capture it perfectly. Thank you & take care.
So glad that she has girls to stand in for her. My two have a friend their age and at first I had a really hard time watching the three of them, knowing that seeing them is what life would be like if all of my triplets were living but I have gotten used to it over time and there are moments that are bittersweet but for the most part I am like you, just happy that she is here for them.
I can’t believe how big the girls are, and how big Maddie would have been. Right beside them. It’s…there are no words.