Everything reminds me of Maddie. I try to turn it into a positive thing. “Maddie would have loved to play with this empty cardboard box.” Or “If Maddie were here she’d be banging her hands on the table.” Then I realize Maddie won’t ever again make a toy out of an empty box, or create a ruckus with two fists and a tabletop, and my world crashes in. Again.

Every song I hear has new meaning. I’ve always paid attention to lyrics but now each song is about Maddie. I cry over all of them. Even “The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg (Maddie would have loved the beat) (seriously, Dre and Snoop are wise).

Mike and I went away for a few days. It was hard. As my pal Matt has quoted on his blog,

“you couldn’t just get on a plane and expect everything to be different.”

Except we drove. But still.

There were distractions and plenty of options for things to do, even if my preference was to do nothing. I got overwhelmed a lot. It was a new bed to lay in and different newscasters on the channels. But nothing, really, was different.

It feels like a dream. But not this part. The Maddie part. She was so wonderful and perfect, she couldn’t possibly have been real. Nothing that perfect is real. Except this pain. It is perfectly, exquisitely wretched.

Your emails & cards mean so much to us, to me. They are bright spots in my otherwise overwhelming darkness. I will get back to everyone, eventually.