Faith | Maya's Gifts



February 2006

Dear Maya,

It’s times like now that I just want to stop the clock and be in this moment with you for a while.  How precious time is.  How precious life is.

You recently (two weekends ago) “broke the code.”  You are really reading now.  Word by word, you are getting it.  And if you cannot recognize the word, you stretch it out, letter by letter and put it all together.  You started in a big way with “Green Eggs and Ham.”  My mom asked (knowing the book), “did she memorize it?”  But no, Maya, your little index finger points to each word, one by one.  The magical part is, how you light up.  You are thrilled by this achievement of figuring it all out.  It seems as if life has new meaning to you since the code has been broken.


We have been quite “crafty” together.  This is another place that I’d love to freeze time.  Creating with you is so fulfilling.  Right now we are working on two projects; Valentine’s Day cards and your school’s “100 day” project.  The process is as meaningful as the outcome.  You have an organized, creative, methodical, whimsical mind.  Putting it into action is fun.


Recently, I’ve had the occasion to go to your kindergarten class twice.  Both times were a near disappointment for you, as once you thought I wasn’t coming (I had told you I’d be late) and the other time, you thought I had left without saying good-bye.  Sadly, both times, these disappointments ended in tears.  Both times, I was there (late once, and to say good-bye, the other).  I was able to comfort you, yet your pain was so deep.  Later at home, we had the opportunity to talk about these experiences.  I wanted to use these experiences as a tool for possible later disappointments.  At our dinner table, we talked about my inner feeling, even when I’m sad or hurt, or angry, that I always know inside of me that “it’s going to be alright.  Everything is going to be okay.”

Daddy talked about not having that feeling as much as I do.  He loves it when I share this feeling with him.  It’s a source of comfort.  He even carries a little stone that reminds him of the feeling.  On the stone is the word, “FAITH.”

Adin shared similar thoughts.  He remembered when he was in second grade, Daddy was supposed to pick him up.  All the other “parent pick-ups” had left.  Adin was partly feeling forgotten and sad, but he knew in his heart that it would all be okay.  And sure enough, Daddy arrived.

I know this is something that you have to find inside yourself.  I would just like to somehow give you this gift if I could, as the belief that all will work out in the end has served me well.


Last, I want to share a story from last night.  We watched a movie called, “Because of Winn Dixie.”  It was about a girl and her dog.  Though you did not fully understand the content and the story line of the movie, as we were going to sleep you told me that the girl in the movie is a lot like you.

  1. She imagines things a lot and so do you
  2. She gets sad and so do you
  3. She has a dog that she loves and so do

How sweet you are Maya.  Last night as we were going to sleep, I shed some loving tears.



All photos taken February 2006.  The baby that Maya is holding is Talia, who was Maya’s “little sister.”  And the dog was not our dog, but Maya’s cousin’s dog, Rio.


  • Dear Elise,
    What a profound journal entry this is. What fine parents you and Mathew were and are. Your faith has sustained and continues to sustain your family, even though the present is inexplicable and full of pain. I’m so grateful to know you.
    Rabbi Jonathan

  • Thank you, Elise, wow.

    This letter made me think of one of my favorite and most sustaining quotes of all time is from the medieval mystic, Julian of Norwich, a woman. “All will be well, and all manner of thing will be well.”

    So much love to you, Sarah

  • What a beautiful writer you are, Elise, capturing the ephemeral moments of Maya’s childhood with such clarity, insight and love. It is a gift.

  • FAITH! So deep and powerful! The magic and power of becoming a reader! Of cracking the code. Thank you for this story! Sending love light!

    • Yes! And you have the joy of witnessing this magic unfold again and again! Thank you for helping to gift Maya in this area, Elayne!

  • Dearest Elise,
    You’ve given your children such beautiful and powerful gifts. In sharing these gifts with all of us, we are learning, growing and experiencing many incredible lessons, too. Thank you.

  • I love that you have this awareness, this fortitude, to remember faith, however impossibly hard. May we all remember and hold onto faith, even when we do not “feel” it, and remember we must actively learn all that we most want our children to know. You are truly exploring this understanding deeper, in the fullness of all the rough stumbly rocky-ness of its terrain. You are cracking the code. I want more of this too! And so I cradle your words. Keep on, keep praying, keep sharing. You ARE doing it. I love you. Thank you for sharing this, and for continuing to share the sweetness of Maya.

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