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“Sometimes in life we just need someone who will be there for us. Someone who will listen. Someone who will understand.” –

Don’t we all just want to be understood and accepted for who we are by another human being? I feel as if I understood my daughter, Maddie, more than anyone in the world.

And she understood me. We had this deep and important connection. That’s what I miss so much. I don’t engage the romantic fantasy that she was perfect.  She wasn’t.

I wasn’t a perfect mom either.  We argued with each other, and it could very heated.  One time, she was so angry with me that she actually jumped on my back.

And in 5 minutes the fury was over. The reason we could do this is because we unconditionally loved each other, and we understood that human beings are messy and flawed.

Late in July, Maddie asked me to get a tattoo with a mom and baby elephant, whose trunks were intertwined into a heart.

We’d watched a movie recently where the mother elephant showed such nurturing tendencies toward the baby, and it really touched us.

I just googled elephant moms, and it said elephants make the best mothers because they produce the best meals, are the best teachers and best leaders. I didn’t know this!

When she asked I didn’t hesitate, and we set the appointment 3 days later for her 7th tattoo and my first.

My friend, Wendy, bought the attached elephant with her baby after Maddie passed on 10/26/18, and my friend, Andrew, bought this plant just the other day. Notice what it looks like?

Elephant ears! He had no idea about the significance of the elephants when he bought it. He told me, “Every time you look at this plant, think of Maddie.” I certainly will.

I am very sad that I won’t experience the company of my daughter anymore.  And I am so grateful that we had the connection I refer to because many people never get to have such love in a lifetime.

I also realize that I want to create this connection with another human being again, namely with my husband. It will require me to be vulnerable with him, like I was with Maddie.

Some people are easier to be vulnerable with because, WITH YOU, for whatever reason, they naturally accept you with your flaws.

Maddie did this for me.  She didn’t do that with everyone, but she did for me.  Probably because she fully opened her heart to me. She admitted this was scary for her and she’d only do it for a few people. When we open our heart to others, we take a risk that they won’t feel the same. We risk they they will take advantage of our tender hearts.

I believe the risk is worth the reward.  What do you think? How might you apply this knowledge in your life?

Help me celebrate Maddie. We are having our transformation game this Friday, 11/30, in her honor.

5 spots left.  This would be a wonderful opportunity to ask the question, “How might I open my heart more fully to take in and give love?” and receive some clarity and movement forward.


Angie Monko