Friday, April 27, 2012

The Story of the Flip Flop Necklace

Madeleine joined the angels 8 years ago. She is remembered still as one of the best friends I've ever had.

During the year she was sick, I sent her a card about once a week, to encourage her and remind her I was thinking about her. It was a very small gesture, but it made me feel like I was doing something, since I was so far away and couldn't do much.

The first card I found read something to the effect of "if nothing else makes you feel better, at least you can always buy shoes." It was cute, funny and somewhat relevant... The next time I went to buy a card I found one that said something like: "if you wear boots, you'll look good and be able to kick your problems really hard." And that is how Madi's shoe cards came about. I just thought it would be fun if every card had shoes on them. Why shoes? I was 14 and obsessed with shoes (full disclosure, I still am) and I guess that's why? All I know is that from then on, I bought every card that shoes on them, regardless of the message, so I could send them to Madi. I stocked up, and then once a week, I would cross out "happy birthday" or "happy graduation", etc. and write a short letter. They were the most random musings of my 14 year old mind, things I would tell my dear best friend. And always included how much I loved her, missed her, and hoped she would get better soon.

April 28, 2004, Madi departed this life. And I will never look at a card with a shoe on it without thinking of her.

I don't remember exactly how I came across them, but I found these flip flop necklaces that had ribbons on them for different diseases and kinds of cancer. A gold ribbon is for childhood cancer awareness. When I saw that necklace, I knew I wanted it so I could hold Madi close to my heart every day.

For years I wore that necklace. All the time, often, then occasionally. As the way sometimes things happen, somehow it got lost while I was in college. I searched my dorm, my house, but no luck. Though I didn't wear it as often anymore, it still was nice to be able to wear a little bit of Madi sometimes. Last April, I decided I wanted to replace it. It had been seven years, and there were no more awareness ribbon flip flop necklaces to be found. But I found a metallic gold flip flop necklace and got that one instead.

the new madi necklace
I think of my one and only madi every day. I wear this necklace often, but especially when I need some strength. She will always be one of the strongest people I've ever known.


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