The pain is still fairly fresh. I suppose with time it will dull somewhat, but I know it will always be there. That's just a fact of life. We all lost a piece of ourselves when she left us and we know we can't get it back. We have learned to carry on - mostly because we have no choice - but carrying on and "getting over it" are two very different things. We are ok, but we are not whole.
One thing we have been wrestling with is how to commemorate Maggie in a public place. We wanted to dedicate a bench to her in Golden Gate Park, one of her favorite places, but the program to do that was so screwed up that it was on hiatus. Really! How hard is it to collect money and put a plaque with her name on a bench, but somehow it was a mess. Now the program is back, but still trying to get off its feet. It will be a long time before that could happen. We continue to try to find the right thing. But it's a difficult task, and it's exhausting to think about. We haven't told many people this, it's just something we have talked about at home. And, because of the weight of all of it, there is definitely more talk than action on this front.
Then something wonderful happened. Our friend Ed is on the Board of the San Francisco Zoo. He remembered how much Maggie enjoyed the accessible swing at the playground at the zoo when it reopened a couple of years ago after extensive renovations. Here's the video of that visit from November 2013
I never told Ed or really very many people about our desire to commemorate Maggie publicly. It's just something we have talked about at home. That makes this all the more amazing.
Unbeknownst to us, Ed and wife Lynn made a contribution to the zoo in Maggie's name and a portion of that playground will be dedicated to Maggie with the most beautiful plaque.
He came by on my birthday the other day to give it to us. Everyone of us was in tears. I have never received a more amazing gift and cannot imagine I ever will.
Not only will Maggie's name be visible for all to see, it will be in a place of joy, something she had in spades. Kids are happiest in a playground. Maggie was always happy in any playground, but especially in one that was accessible and she could actually join in the merriment. Anytime you find yourself at the San Francisco Zoo please be sure to stop by the playground and look for Maggie's plaque. There will be the sound of laughing children in the background, which is perfect.
So we mark two years with the expected sadness, but we look forward to the dedication and know that Maggie's name and memory will be part of the fun. And we all have to smile a bit at that.
Simon and Garfunkel said it best. "It's all happening at the zoo. I do believe it, I do believe it's true"
Note: The zoo always accepts donations. go here if you want to contribute.