Two years ago this morning (5:51 am), I sat with my best friend and watched as she took her last breath. It was intimate and painful and beautiful and scary— the best and worst moment of my life. I was filled with so many powerful emotions that all I could manage were tearful ‘thank yous’. We were so close. We still are.

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Not a day goes by that her name isn’t uttered. Her pictures are everywhere— I don’t want my 7-year-old daughter to forget her. My 10-month-old son never met her, but I like to think he knew her well. Right before she passed, she kept asking me about him, wondering how my baby boy was, wanting to see him. Only he wasn’t born yet. He wouldn’t even be conceived for months after she passed. So on days like today, when I’m writing through tears, or sharing memories with them through tears, sad that Max will never know his Great Grandma Maxine, I remember that we were so close that Grandma Maxine loved my Max before I ever met him.

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