Love! and Five! | Maya's Gifts

Love! and Five!


In honor of Maya’s birthday, I’m posting two journal entries and extra photos from September 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007.  Happy Birthday, Maya!

October 8, 2002

Maya, I am struck by the love I have for you.  It is unbelievable.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to feel love in this way!

maya 20020001

September 2005

Maya dear one,

Precious, bittersweet…these are words that come to mind about you turning five.  On your birthday, as we were driving to the party, I had a John McCutcheon tune playing.  I cried tender tears as we were listening and singing along:

It makes me think of the good ol’ days

Happy birthday to you

You’ve sure grown out of your baby ways

Happy birthday to you

It’s your birthday, we wish you many more

Health and wealth and friends by the score

Cut the cake, let’s eat some more

Happy birthday to you!

IMG_05 maya w cake

There’s something so poignant about five.  You are moving out of early childhood into another phase.  One huge landmark is starting school.  Now this in and of itself is HUGE.  It means moving away from innocence.  The influences away from home and our smaller circles will be stronger.  Not to mention, school and formal education will be a major part of your life for the next decade or so!


So far, the journey witnessing you has been amazing.  Part of bearing witness means letting go.  This has been a challenge.

Let me share a few snippets from your birthday…

The party was a success.  The largest you’ve had.  18 children attended.  The party was held at Moriello Pool, a glorious day, though a bit windy.  Aside from swimming and eating, we had a project of making rock sculptures from rocks we collected in Maine.  Children LOVED this.

Lighting the cake candles was impossible.  I made many attempts, and the wind was too strong.  We had to accept that there would be “pretend lights” that you blew out.


When we returned home, you opened presents without the guests in attendance.  You were in your glory from the party time, straight through the presents.  You were thrilled and on a cloud.  Just glowing.  I know that you felt the love coming from your friends and family.  We all got a laugh or two while you were opening your gifts.  Jonathan and Jo gifted you with a gift certificate from Ariel Bookstore.  It came in the form of a gift card.  When opening it, you were in disbelief and amazement, “I never had a credit card before!!!” you exclaimed.  Our family was in stitches.


Later, you were on the phone with Uncle Nick.  You share his birthday.  We were listening to your side of the conversation:

“How was your party?”


“You mean; you didn’t have a party???”


“You went to a meeting???”

Again, we were hysterical.  For you, birthday and party are synonymous.

Anyway, my little love, know you are much loved!

now for six







and seven…







  • Happy Birthday, dear Maya. We love you. We miss you. We are still wishing you well.

    So poignant…sending you and Mathew so much love as well, Elise.

  • Dear Elise, thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. Maya is especially “mignonne”, as they say in French, in the pink dress.
    Normally I search for words of comfort to share with you, but today you have rendered me speechless . . . just wordless tears for you, as a mother. A river of tears for you, and love.

  • Thank you, Elise, for helping us remember Maya’s great joy in birthdays (her own and others’), along with the profound poignancy of this day.

  • Sweet Maya,
    You make me laugh, even through my tears….. how my heart aches, my stomach tightens and the tears flow as I think about your not being here.
    Birthday love, sweetheart,
    Aunt Jody

  • Many blessings sent for you and your family, as you spend Maya’s birthday week in remembrance of all the wondrous times spent enjoying her presence and beauty. Love, Mercedes ps sorry I’m a little late, but I just noticed Your post🙏

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