I'm not quite ready to write all my thoughts and feelings about the amazing funeral that was put together for Madison, so instead I will document these pictures and I will try to gain the courage and the right words to express my feelings in the best way possible later tonight.
These are out of order as I stole them from different sources.
The graveside service was cold, snowy and solemn. There was a moment, however, as the grave was dedicated when the sun came through the clouds and warmed us all. It was lovely and brought some much needed smiles.
This is Erica. She is Madison's best friend. She played the flute during the funeral with me and gave a really touching talk about her friendship with Madison.
This about broke my heart all over again. I can't even imagine.
This was at the luncheon after the graveside service.
Her favorite color is purple.
Madison loved origami and folded amazingly intricate figures all the time. She loved to give these as little gifts to people around her and often taught others how to do the same. The kids at her high school worked to fold 1,000 origami cranes in her honor. We strung them together to display at the funeral, and Lara says she will always find a place in their homes to display them. It was really beautiful and so fitting.
Corbyn and Garrett. I am really proud of Corbyn and the way he has been trying to support his family through this tragedy. He is growing into a very impressive young man.
Madison always made home made gifts. This bear is one she made for Garrett for Valentines Day.
She loved the French Horn so Lara wanted some horns to play with the closing song at the funeral, but she didn't know anybody here. I asked my high school band director, with whom I have styed in contact with through the years if he could help me find some. He found 7 for me, and they were amazing. It was so touching and Emma says she wants to learn to play the French horn now. I am so grateful to Paul Lemen for helping me with this. It means the world to me and to Jay and Lara.
The park where Madison died has these displayed right now. They went back on Easter to see them and to pay tribute to Madison. I think this is so amazing. God really has found some beautiful ways to send comfort to these grieving souls.
Allen can always bring a smile to people's faces. I love that about him.
This is while the sun was still shining. I know she was there in that picture.
Saying a temporary goodbye for the last time. I am so grateful for the gospel and the comfort it brings. This was so hard, but I know that they know it wasn't a forever farewell, and that is a beautiful truth.
While this whole day was filled with a lot of grief, there were also a lot of smiles and laughter, and I find that so fitting. It was a strange day of sorrow and loss interspersed with joy and love. Lots of love. The love of a sister and daughter. The love of parents. The love of God. The love of strangers that hits deep as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Love is what this is all about, and I hope nobody who was there that day ever forgets that.