Tribute to Max


MaxTo Max. I have been on a spiritual journey my whole life. And, I have lost many loved ones throughout the years including my best friend Mary, my grandma and grandpa passed, as well as my mom’s caring husband and two of my uncles. Nothing, but nothing, hit me so profoundly hard and deep until last year when my mom, and then my son passed away. Does this sound familiar?

As I was preparing for my son, Max’s 2-week visit with me on June 17, 2013, a friend mentioned the experiences I have with Max on this trip is going to add to the Women’s Vision Retreat I was also preparing to facilitate in August 2013.  I had no idea what that meant.

My visit with Max was cut short that week. He passed away after 4 days of his visit with me (6-weeks after my mom’s passing.) I am so grateful he chose to spend his last days and his last breath with me. I would like to share a tribute and hope it blesses you. 

Max was always perfect in my eyes and I was always so proud of him. “Max communicated with his eyes. When he first met you he would study your eyes. You knew he was looking right into the depths of your soul with so much wisdom.” He did this with everyone. A Buddhist challenged Max one day as they stared at each other. He then said “Max is an old soul. I watched Max do this with the caregivers who helped me his last week too.

Max had so much character.

He always would surprise me with creative fun games to play and a catchy laugh we all came to know and love. When we were sitting on my back porch swing, I was holding Max in front of me, he signed “I love you.” And I signed back “I love you more.” He laughed and & laughed, swinging his hand harder, “I love you” again.

I remember the time Max started 1st grade at Laurel school in Fort Collins and the kids in his class all wanted to be Max’s volunteer helper for the day and how much they loved him. I remember when he was in a play at school as he danced in his wheelchair moving around the room with another character in the play helping him.

Max’s sister’s teachers said:

“When Lila was in 1st grade in our Spanish language program we did a unit on Frida Kahlo.  We presented her works and the theme was “Hero”.    It was explained to the students that Frida Kahlo was a hero because she lived with pain, but still found ways to have joy in her life.  When the class was asked if anyone knew of other heroes, little Lila rose her hand and said “my brother Max is my Hero”.  That day I learned of Max’s courage, Lila’s grace, your family’s deep love for and commitment to one another. He was loved well, cared for tenderly, and I know he brought joy to you in his very special Max-like way.   I will miss his high fives and those expressive beautiful eyes that looked perfectly into anyone fortunate enough to merit his attention.  It is a privilege to have had Max in my life – thank you for sharing him.” 

MaxMax was a fighter with a strong will to live. Max beat cancer by the age of 8. He demonstrated tremendous strength, courage, and determination to never give up many times through to the end.  Even the Board at Children’s Hospital made changes in procedures and educated families that inspired hope for their children after Max survived a respiratory illness when I was the only one fighting for him as I allowed my higher self to take over my being as any mom would do for her child.

I remember when Max got Ewing’s Sarcoma Bone cancer. He was only 7 years old. I thought “What lesson am I to learn this time.” Recently, I looked back and wondered, how did I know to even think such a wise thought? Today, I know the knowledge was a “knowing” that came from my spirit. The lesson I learned (among many) was on Thanksgiving Day, the day Max opened his eyes and was able to get out of bed into his wheelchair and laughed for the first time after the first 2-months of Chemo.  Families brought all of us Thanksgiving Dinner to the Oncology Unit. I remember realizing the different levels of blessings we all have. Even though Max had a long way to go with his Chemo treatments, it was on that day, I felt so incredibly blessed.

Max was surrounded by love his entire life and inspired all who was blessed to know him. The gifts he left behind were many. His legacy of unconditional love and beauty in this world will be remembered forever. Without the use of words, Max was a teacher, a role model of courage, inspiration, and determination to never give up. Max was fun guy to be around. Max inspired me to be who I am today as a writer, career and a life coach. It’s only by God’s love and grace that I have been able to make it through the past 8 months that led me to create this website to help others with all I have learned in order to carry on Max’s legacy of unconditional love. Thank you for letting me share a little bit about my son, Max. This is for you Max, I love you Max, Mom.