My precious Maggie Lee,
Your 24th birthday is next Thursday and it is still an outlandish thought that you are in Heaven and not here with us. Time marches on and even the movie Legally Blonde turned twenty this year! Speaking of which, Elle Woods Henson was particularly excited by her prominent placement in this year’s T-shirt graphic. She’s so extra, just like her mommy.
It is always so amazing to see the kindness people perform in your name by many who knew you and even more who never did. I cannot wait to see you again and watch you watch the video roll of all of the good deeds your spirit inspired in people. Who knows but that the box of groceries in Detroit or the simple hand-written note in Phoenix was just the touch God used to restore someone’s broken soul. As you know, kindness is not wimpy and sentimental but rather a force both fierce and transformative.
What began as a simple seed to carry on your legacy of love has grown and next Thursday photos will pour in from different parts of the country where your spirit has spread. Four West Point Grads are having a golf scramble in Las Vegas to raise money for Wounded Warriors, crossing guards in Frisco are being assaulted with showers of Little Debbie’s and children in Jackson, MS are being treated at Batson Hospital because of donations someone made in your name. How wonderful is that?
Amid the celebration, however, there will always be an empty seat at our table. Time forever demarcated before 2009 and after. I suppose this is the frightening risk of loving a soul; the possibility that one day it will be gone. Our insides swell at the thought of love, enlarged by the fulfilled presence of another, but desperately deflated should it be taken away. How miraculous to feel the flat disappointment of grief eventually give way to the infilling of God’s grace? Life can almost kill us and then we least expect, catch it being beautiful once more.
I treasure what we had in you, Maggie Lee. Your sparkle remains like glitter found in the baseboards of an old house years after the craft project has wrapped. Your essence is both impossible to remove and ever present. You will always be the undercurrent in my soul when I react out of love and patience when I have the choice to be selfish. You will always be my inspiration to pull up a chair at the lunch table to make room for one more. You will always be one-half of the best things I ever did in my life on Earth and I cannot wait to celebrate you next week!!!
To join the world wide wave of kindness on October 29, simply go to fb group
Maggie Lee for Good
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
#maggieleeforgood #onedayonedeedonedifference #godsgrace #kindnessmatters #grief #daughter #hope #brokenhearted #mourningintodancing #butgod #parenting #parentingtoday #dylandreyer #grievingparents #love #lifelessons #god #help #why? #encouragement #overcoming #thebestisyettobe #motherslove #busaccident #seatbelts
I asked Colleen Gibbs Doucet to share what her family has done for Maggie Lee for Good Day (10/29) These girls have crazy-fun enthusiasm and I LOVE IT!
Our daughters were so impacted and inspired by Maggie Lee’s life that for the past 5 years we have done a MLFG project. Several years ago we started a Hot Chocolate Drive Through to raise money for Maggie Lee’s Closet ( a free children’s clothes closet in Shreveport serving the community’s most under-resourced). At one point last year we had 18 children helping us.
Each year it has grown and grown and the neighbors and community members come out to support by driving through our Hot Chocolate drive through. The kids plan an execute the entire effort with posters, flyers, plans all their own. The day of the event, the kids are all here dark early to prepare and to pray. They rotate through serving in different areas (promotion on the corner, taking orders, filling cups and the all important marshmallow station). The children are FULLY engaged and have such joy each year as what we have raised has grown.
This year we are looking for companies to match what we raise. We always stop and pray before and after the event that the children and families who ultimately receive clothing or school uniforms through Maggie Lee’s closet will be blessed. Maggie Lee inspired all of us and our daughters and their young friends are reminded that regardless of their age, they can impact the world through doing good. The Hot Chocolate Stand we do each year IS doing good …. and not just for Maggie Lee’s Closet. It brings neighbors, strangers and families together while helping a charity that is near and dear to us too and we are humbled and honored to be a part of carrying on Maggie Lee’s legacy!
Drive Thru Hot Chocolate MLFG Project *click here for video
This is a video of Meredith & Colleen Doucet’s drive-thru hot chocolate stand they convinced their whole neighborhood to attend. The donations purchased uniforms for under resourced kids through Maggie Lee’s Closet. These girls make a difference and have a blast doing it.
Your fifth Maggie Lee for Good Day is happening in just two weeks. I say yours because God keeps inspiring you and you keep listening to His still, small creative voice to do good on purpose on October 29th. You touch the world with His passionate pizazz and color greyed-out faces with your blush brush of kindness. You love in brilliant, fun & festive ways and that your expressions of kindness are done with Maggie Lee in mind is like the greatest, biggest chevron bow on top.
Today I got the most knowing, loving smile. An elderly African American lady walked past my car today as I waited for Jack and 3 other football players to come out. His school is in an older part of town and there are always lots of pedestrians on the sidewalk. This lady wore the clothes of a housekeeper with her silvery hair needly pinned in a bun at the nape of her neck. She glanced over her left shoulder, caught my glance and gave me the most genuine smile I have ever received. Love practically shot out of this woman’s wrinkles and on to me as I sat mindlessly waiting in the carpool line.
Why was I given such a gift today? Why was this nonverbal sign of love and affirmation shown to me by a stranger? After considering all of the possible motivations behind her familiar, loving grin I instantly realized that her smile had nothing to do with me and everything to do with HER. She reached out with to me with her beautiful, kind smile not because we are friends or even acquaintances. No, she was just filled with so much love that she had to share it. I’m telling you it arrested me and made me feel amazing.
On Maggie Lee for Good Day you may not be able to organize a food drive, give blood or mow your neighbor’s grass which is so unruly that toddlers get lost up in there. You may not crank out an awesome hot chocolate stand and catch the UPS guy’s attention. You may not find the white shoe polish to write “Happy Birthday Maggie Lee,” on your mini van with like you planned. And that’s ok. But you do have a face and if you’re not using it for The November cover of Vogue perhaps you could give a heart felt smile to someone…and here’s where it gets crazy…you don’t even know.
It costs so little to be kind. A few nano seconds to hold the door for someone, yield the right of way for a fellow motorist or look up directions on your phone for a confused person (I thank you in advance.) These tiny things are monumental because in doing them you demonstrate the belief that others have dignity not because of what they’ve made of themselves but merely because God made them. They breathe. That’s enough reason for me to be kind to them.
Your fifth Maggie Lee for Good Day. How will you use it…for good?