"Max to the Millions" has been created in hopes that Dominique (Max's sister, age 12) will remember her father and brother. Dominique's Dad died of a heart attack two days before her parent's 13th wedding anniversary. Max died 18 months after his father died. He died in Aruba. We went there to celebrate our strength. The school year was ending and we made it!
Max went out on a jet ski and was lost at sea. Our family found so much comfort and laughter by the water. Now there is much sadness. Max died at sea on May 12, 2004. He was 14 years old.
Death is so lonely and sad for those left behind. It's private and public at the same time. People try to be there, but most stay away. They want to help out but don't know how. It's hard and difficult not only for us, but for all who knew George and Max.
Maybe I'm trying to hold on to a memory. Maybe I'm trying to parent my dead child just a little longer. Maybe I'm lost and trying to find my way without drowning myself. The true reason I'm doing this is to help Dominique. It gives not only Dominique and myself a chance to heal, it also gives friends and family a chance to do the same. We want to give and to remember while someone else receives a gift of love. The money raised will be gifted to premature babies. We will gift in the form of money to someone new each year at Max's birthday. Dominique was born a premature baby. She would like to help someone just like herself.
When George died it was so very hard for friends, co-workers and family to talk about him. It was difficult for people to know how to reach out to us. Most would look at us and see our outward smile, not our broken hearts. That's all we would allow others to see. Many fumble and say things like "you look like you're doing so well". Don't judge a book by its cover. I feel we deserve an acting award.
Death is sad, lonely, private and so painful. It's something we will face sooner or later. Then, only then, will you have a hint of understanding. You can't run or hide, that's why most are so afraid. They know that they will someday lose someone they love and hold dear.
I wish for you and for us, self-strength and self-confidence to push forward to love and to live the life we were gifted. Remember and appreciate all that you have. Enjoy your life and those around you. That will truly be your treasure to hold and guide you until you meet again.
That's why in George's and Max's memory I do this. I need Dominique to know that it's important for her to remember and talk of her father and brother in a warm and loving way when others stop talking and remembering. That's what our family was all about - giving to others while loving and enjoying each other!
With angels watching over us and friends by our side, we are blessed.