Maya’s younger sister, Talia | Maya's Gifts

Maya’s younger sister, Talia


This entry is about the “seeds” of a very, very special relationship. Maya (and in turn, our entire family), has been most blessed that Maya had another family.  This journal entry is in honor of Maya’s special little sister, Talia.  Talia, you’ve been the world to Maya!  Happy belated birthday.  We love you.

August 2006

Dear Maya,

You are so sweet with babies. You are aware of how babies are born (the man’s seed meets the woman’s egg and they form a baby.)  Over time, you’ve asked me about what my pads are for.  I’ve always said, “they are sort of like a diaper for women.”  I did not feel it was time for you to learn about women “bleeding” each month from their vagina.  It had been too much information for you to handle.  But recently, you really what you wanted to know what my pads were for and did not accept my standard answer.

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So I explained to you in the best way I know that you could understand. I talked to you about my eggs and when they’re not used, they leave my body…well, within a heartbeat, you lit up and exclaimed, “Mommy, you still have eggs?  Then you can have a baby!!!”  You got sooo excited.  You so much wanted a baby sister or brother of your own.  (One reason was so that you could see it coming out; you never got to do this before.  Little do you know, it’s rare to witness this miracle.  But your frame of reference is Adin.  He got to see you come out, therefore, you should have this chance too.)

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Sad but true Maya, you are not going to have a baby sister or brother. As excited as you were about the prospect of being an older sister (momentarily), you were equally wounded that it would not happen.  I called Marc and Noelle.  I proposed to them the idea of you being like a big sister to Talia; having a significant role in her life.  We live so close, and have similar lifestyles, why not give it a try?  Marc and Noelle were most receptive to the idea.  Since then, you’ve had regular visits with Talia.  You love her and are a great friend.  She lights up when she sees you, and though it’s not the same as being a real big sister, you love this role and look forward to your visits.

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You are so good with babies; it’s a joy to witness. I am sorry Maya, my dear that I can’t offer another baby to our family.  Two is good; one for each lap!  And my child bearing years are coming to a close.

I love you so,



December 2015

Maya and Talia remained sisters ever since. Maya took the school bus to her “other” family’s home once a week.  It was a mutual loving, caring, fun, spirited relationship.  Not only did Talia have an incredible role model, but Maya had a chance to be zany and more.  In time, she also cherished having a sweet little brother, Jonah.  Talia’s friend Lola, became part of the extended family.  As for me, “it takes a village” rings so true. How important it’s been for our dear friends and neighbors to be a part of Maya’s village and ours. Gifts all around.


  • Lola has a number of magical memories she has shared about time spent with Maya and Talia… They are all funny and sweet – especially the ones about teasing Santi! Talia and Maya really were soul sisters. Lola and I will look at pictures of Maya as a little girl and sometimes mistaken her for Talia. Talia has also picked up some of Maya’s expressions and I can see Maya shine through. Maya’s spirit was and is so alive – when we were at the burial the grief and sadness were so heavy – at one point I looked up at the top of the tall pine trees and I asked Lola to look up – I said- “Lola, who is up there on the highest branch looking down with love?” – and without a hesitation she said – “Maya!’.. we looked at each other and smiled.

    • When at the Wild Earth Camp, I heard stories that if Maya couldn’t be found, all they’d need to do is look up, as Maya would likely be high up in a tree!

  • Maya gave us SO MUCH LOVE! I remember her again and again gathering us all together, at the end of an afternoon of pure play, with one of her enormously bright smiles, for “Everybody Hugs”. We remain in family, as family, with you. Thank you for allowing this seed to root. We are stronger together because of our time with Maya. She continues to inspire us to have fun and to care. Talia and Jonah will always cherish their big sister and true friend.
    Eternal Love, Marc, Noelle, Talia and Jonah

    • Maya’s inspiration is such a light. What a world this would be if we were all to end our time together with “Everybody Hugs”!

  • Dear Elise,

    Thank you, once again, for your beautiful words and courageous openness. I,too, treasure so much the second, third and fourth families who have embraced my children as their own. Just today, I ran into a childhood friend of my sons’ and when I hugged him tightly to me, I felt a flood of memories kaleidoscoping in my mind…the first day of kindergarten, t-ball games, caroling parties, trick-or-treating, their neighborhood forts… in a total rush of images and feelings I hadn’t thought of in years. Keep Talia (and her family) close to you always. Maya’s there, too.

    Wishing you and your family (families!) peace and light,

  • A village indeed. So good that Mama intercepted and help make that happen. Maya looks like she really enjoyed her role.

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