Last May we planted some roses in the Mission High garden in memory of Maggie. It was a really great day and all the special ed kids joined in to help however they could or cheer us on if they couldn't. I wrote all about it in this post: Maggie World: Maggie's Garden at Mission High.
We finished about 1:30PM so the kids could get back to their classrooms and get ready to head home. It was quite an emotionally draining day, but exhilarating at the same time. When it was done, we were all spent. My mom went straight home and Steve had to take off for a meeting out of town. That left Eddie and I to make our way home together. (Tim could not get off work.)
As we headed home Eddie said, "You know mom, I could really use a beer." We stopped in the Inner Sunset and went into the Mucky Duck, a friendly establishment and ordered our beer. I had never been in there before, but I looked around and realized I knew the owners of the place. Well I don't "know" them, but one of them has been reading this blog since it started (six years ago this week.) I asked the bartender if the owner was named "XXXXX" and she said, "Yes how do you know them?" I explained that I didn't really, but I knew one was a faithful reader of my blog.
Of course then the bartender asked what the blog was about and I told her and tried to explain Maggie in the most upbeat possible way, becasuse that's how I always present her. I told her about Maggie's life, and her passing and that we had just come from planting the roses, hence the reason for an afternoon beer. Now I know that bartenders are good at listening to people's troubles, but this was a lot to lay on this woman.
I ratcheted up my description of Maggie's energy and giant personality. I explained it took seven straps to keep her in the wheelchair and I tried to imagine that life force if it weren't in a disabled body. Laughing I said, "if Maggie had the same personality in a healthy body, I cannot imagine what she would be doing now."
Eddie, who had been quiet through all this because he was still processing the emotions of the day finally spoke. He was sitting to my left, but he stared straight ahead and said;
"She would be in jail."
Spoken like a true big brother. I was dumbstruck for a minute and I looked at him. He was still staring straight ahead sort of expressionless. I started to laugh and then nodded and said, "You are absolutely right. She would definitely be in jail."
And I was filled with pride, for reasons I cannot fully explain. I actually never thought of Maggie as a non disabled individual becasue it was so much a part of her. But trying to imagine her wildness and personality in a typical body spelled real trouble. Please understand if I had a perfectly healthy 20 year old daughter who was headed to jail, I would not be proud at all. But thinking of Maggie wreaking havoc on society was sort of fitting.
We toasted to our lost little criminal and ended the day on an upbeat.
(one of Maggie's favorite books)
If you find yourself in the 9th and Irving area, head into the Mucky Duck and toast Maggie.