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So tomorrow morning I am going to Michigan. I have been sad lately missing you so much. And it reminded me of a great memory I have of you and I. I remember I was working several jobs and being a single mom. I had gotten off at 2pm from Starbucks and had the next day off. So I took you. You were small not even a year yet and we drove in my little bmw with the sun roof open to Michigan to put our feet in the sand and catch the sunset. It was just you and I on the water sitting on the beach. Then I got a hotel we read stories and played and took our time coming back the next day. I really enjoyed that day in Michigan with you. I love you
~ Mommie (Jenn) ~ July 24th, 2008
Aunt Pam & Uncle Joe remember...
Happy Birthday Angel! We celebrate your life and are so thankful for the joy, love, laughter and memories you gave our family. Always loved, always remembered.
~ Aunt Pam & Uncle Joe ~ June 2nd, 2008
I remember 3 years ago today I was single for the majority of my life with you and so Valentines day was Mommy and Maya day. I had to work and so after work I decided last minute we would see if we could get a deal on Toy Story on Ice tickets. We went downtown ate some dinner first at the mall. Then went over. You were very excited. I bought one seat in the very front row and you sat on my lap. I think I saved no money in the end because you wanted every little 30 dollar snow cone in a toy story cup and the light up wand with the cowgirl on top. You were amazed and captivated with the whole experience and that for me had been the best Valentines Day for me to that date. I love you Sweet Baby Maya and am missing you so much.
~ Mommie (Jenn) ~ February 14th, 2008
Aunt Pam remembers...
Jennifer, I know these are "remember when" stories so this one's a little different. I received an email a couple weeks ago. It was a poem about how we entertain angels unaware. That night in a dream I was re-reading the email, only this time when I clicked on the angel icon the picture was of Maya - a full face picture of her beautiful smiling face. Remembering your Angel, always. I Love you Jenn.
~ Aunt Pam ~ February 2nd, 2008
You were such great company. Still two years later it is hard for me to know what normal life is without you. I long for you everyday and will miss you every minute of the rest of my life. You will never be forgotten by me.
~ Mommie (Jenn) ~ January 10th, 2008
I was reminded yesterday while at work for Maya's love of Jimmy Buffet. When she was with my mom in the car my mom would often listen to a Jimmy Buffet song. I don't know much about him but I know he has a song that goes, " I don't know...I don't...I don't know where I am gonna go where the volcano blows(sorry if I am off on the lyrics there ;) so anyway Maya loved hearing that and would just sing ," No No No..." I guess that is what it sounded like to her. Yesterday I was getting off an elevator and the person getting in her phone rang and it was Jimmy Buffet as the ringer. It is amazing how you can be in tears in an instant.
~ Mommie (Jenn) ~ January 10th, 2008
It was August, and Mars would be closer to Earth than it would be in any of our lifetimes. We decided to have a costume party, Mars was the theme. Maya & Jen came to hang out with us all--we were all dressed up as martians in some way or another. Andy & Maya immediately took off to the play set to play. Jen, you always shadowed Maya, making sure she was not getting hurt in any way. I always watched you with her, and was always thinking what a great Mom you were. Patient, loving and kind. Always loving with Maya. We had given out green glow-in-the-dark bracelets to everyone, and Maya and Andy each had one. Maya's had fallen off over by the porch swing and she was trying to get it back on, which was kinda hard for even an adult......a few of us were watching Andy & Maya having a conversation.....Andy said "let me get that for you" and she held up her hand to let him fasten the bracelet back on, which he did. Then, just like older people would do (even though Maya was just 3 the previous June,) she looked at Andy and said: "Thank you, Andy" in her sweet little voice, and he simply said: "You're welcome." They held hands and walked away, two souls, each old in their own way, connected on that day, and perhaps for a time before this life; most likely after this life too. We loved Maya, and she will always have a special place in our hearts. Always. Jen, I know the knot you can get in your stomach thinking that people will forget a loved one who has left us. I hope you know that we will always remember sweet Maya. We will never ever forget her.
~ Kathy ~ December 26th, 2007
When Maya was born I cried more than I cried when my own son was born :) Not that I love him any less, but it was such an intense experience that I will never forget. I am so grateful Jenn let me in the delivery room. I had to go to work the next day and I had horrible butterflies because all I wanted to do was get back to the hospital to see Maya again. I love this story because I thought Jenn was the coolest mom ever for so badly wanting Maya to experience her love of music. Maya's first concert at Verizon Wireless (I think it was still Deer Creek then) was when she was only 6 weeks old! Well Maya did fine at first and then Jenn put her in her carrier to sleep - we thought she was sleeping and couldn't hear that she was actually screaming her head off! Who knows for how long, but she was so upset she threw up all over herself :( I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that it was Nickelback... Jenn let my old boyfriend Brett and I babysit when Maya was a couple months old so she could go on a date. I was SO excited to get Maya all to myself and painted her toenails pink. She was so tiny and her big blue eyes took up half her face. I remember everyone at the house trying to hold her and play with her and I kept bringing her into my room and laying her on my bed so I could have her all to myself. I don't remember what it was for, but some event for something amazing Jenn was doing was at the clubhouse in the villages of west clay (is that right?) and I hadn't seen Maya in so long that I brought her Christmas presents in the middle of summer. She was so excited that there were so many people around that she couldn't even stop running around long enough to open gifts. Jenn always says that Maya cared more about people than gifts. That was evident. If I could have a few years to redo, I would have come home from college a lot more to visit Jenn and Maya.
~ Amy Grace ~ December 25th, 2007
I will always remember how much she appreciated everything she received from me. Especially a Scooby soft back book that was in her stocking. She read that for a long time Christmas day. And when she finished she said, Amen! She tried the peppermint patties Santa left and claimed, "the are too spicy!" She was observant to notice Santa did not really drink his milk as well. With a very concerned look she asked why. I love you Maya. Mom is missing you so very much on this Christmas Day!
~ Mommie (Jenn) ~ December 25th, 2007
The 4th of July. You have heard this a thousand times but I just can't get over the time I had with you guys. I just kept asking Maya what her favorite firework was. I was so interested. I miss her so much and I am loving this new website can't wait to see all the other videos.
~ Maddy ~ December 23rd, 2007
One of the memories I cherish are the afternoons Maya and I would go down to the Play-Park. Sometimes we would walk and I would carry her on my shoulders part of the way and she would always be telling me stories about dragons and princesses. She was so easy to get along with and mixed in so readily with any other kids that happened to be there. We would play hide-n-seek, swing and try out the slides. If I was tired, she would run around and entertain herself. I took her to Taco Bell after one outing and after that she would always ask to go to Taco Bell when we were leaving the park. Those are such fond and precious memories for me because it was truly Maya and Pappaw's time together.
~ Pappaw (Tim) ~ December 21st, 2007
I do have a few stories of Ari and Maya. They were definitely two peas in a pod. They just loved each other and gave each other like twenty hugs whenever they parted even when they were babies. They called each other baby Maya and Baby Aria, although they were both babies.
One year Aria was 2 and Maya was 3 we took them trick er treating. Maya was Scooby-doo and Aria was a princess. We only made it to about 5 or 6 houses because they got tired but instead of saying trick er treat when the person answered the door they both said "TREAT!!!". It was hilarious Jen and I couldn't help but to laugh but at least they said thank you.
We took them to the zoo and the children's museum. At the children's museum they loved the area where they could dress up in animal costumes. Maya had the sweetest voice ever!!! It was soo cute. Aria used to want to call Maya and they would make play dates all by themselves. We have a video around Christmas Aria had just turn two and she said Maya was coming over later but she had to take a nap because she was up until "Midnight". Now I don't know what a two year old knows about midnight but apparently they had a conversation and that is what Aria repeated.
When we went over to Jen's house the favorite thing they liked to do was play dress up. Maya had the cutest dress up clothes. One time when Maya came over here they played dress up and had on my old clothes, a Dora wig that looked like dread locks and no pants. It was also hilarious.
We also went to the fair with Meg. Jen, Maya, and Jodie. Aria and Maya both fought over the corn on the cob. They "tore it up" according to Aria.
Aria misses Maya very much and asks when she will go to heaven to see her. They were so close it was so unique for two girls so young to be so close. They hardly ever faught and would hold the longest conversations between the two of them to be so young. I'm so glad Aria had Maya in her life.
~ Angela ~ December 20th, 2007
Esther was pregnant with Elise, and Jenn and Maya came to Columbus for a visit. We went to the video store, because Maya saw a poster for "The (In)Credibles" on the window. Perusing through the kid's section, I saw "Pete's Dragon", a movie I remember watching as a child. We headed back home and put it in the VCR that night. I guess you have to be a child to like that movie, because watching it as an adult, it was pretty weird. Maya of course was standing in front of the television to be sure she wouldn't fall asleep while watching it, and I think that she actually liked it, which is all that mattered.
Jenn and Maya came to Dayton for Esther's graduation, and we all sat in the same row for the ceremony. Maya kept sneaking away from Jenn and crawling under the seats because Jodi and I were making faces at her. I just remember her being totally hilarious as she crawled under peoples legs. It was a welcome distraction since the guest speaker kind of sucked.
We were watching Maya at Esther's old house, when good ol' Billy Bass paid her a visit. I was watching a game in Chris's room when she came screaming in full speed ahead. From the sound of her voice, I thought she had lost an arm or something. I guess children only like talking fish when they are in a movie. I thought it was so sweet that she ran to me, clutching my shirt for dear life. I felt really bad for her, but it was pretty funny. I believe Jenn dealt with the aftermath of fish nightmare's for the next 6 months...so...yea...sorry about that.
~ Brandon ~ December 20th, 2007
Baking cookies with Maya just a few days before she passed away. We were making molasses cookies. I was so happy to see her, Jen and Jodi because I thought no one was going to show up at my cookie party and I was starting to cry when they knocked on the door. I was really lonely that Christmas because I was living at my mom's and she was out of the country. Anyways- when she arrrived she asked why Aria wasn't there (she couldn't make it) and she said, "But mommmy I LOVE her..." and Jen explained why aria wasn't there and that they would see each other soon. (Unfortunately, they never did.) Maya was making the cookies with us and we were having fun. We put some in the oven and while they were baking Maya was messing around with the dough and luaghed and said, "I'm making a MESS!" Our time was cut short because Jodi got a phone call about someone being in the hospital and she had to go. Jodi and I stood with Maya and her bucket of cookies (Which got majorly over-cooked.) Jen was doing something so she asked if she could have one. Jodi said sure and she got one out adn it got reallly quiet. She bites into it and it makes this noise, "CRACK!" Like it could have broken her teeth.....Jodi and I fight not to giggle and Jodi asks, "Is it good?" and Maya nodded yes. There is no way that cookie tasted like anything other than a hockey puck.
Hanging out in my mom's play room with Angie, Aria and Maya and my friend Amanda (not my current boss). The girls were screaming for no apparent reason. Just having the time of their lives. We also ordered pizza that night and I used my flowery plastic plates. They kept switching them between each other like, Ok you get this one and I get this one. No, she gets this one and I get this one. It went on for like 15 minutes before they finally decided.
Coming home from AZ and meeting Maya fir the first time. Angie, aria, Jen Maya and I went to the canal an dtook pictures, on the way there I sat in the bak with maaya and her car seat. She was screaming her head off and we finally figured out she was scared of me when I had sunglasses on. I thought she hated me! :) Jen was like, she never cries like that.....awesome. :)
Going to the state fair with the usual suspects. It was my first time meeting jodi. Aria and Maya fought over a slushie drink. Jen has a HILARIOUS picture of it. *Maya and Aria eating corn at the same time from the same cob at the state fair. Babysitting aria and maya with angie the night jen was at the hospital with her grandmother. we sang songs, maya did improve. they dressed up and ran around all night. It took forever to bargain them into pajamas. Maya was freaking out about the fact that it was time for bed. Looking all sad and getting weepy. I was about 5 minutes from calling jen so she could wish her goodnight when she showed up.
Seeing what a great mother Jennifer was and how much she loved Maya. I remember thinking that Jen was such a fun mom to have and I was in awe at how sweet and witty Maya was. Just like her mom.
My favorite thing about her had to be her voice. 2 or 3 times I have been in my office and hear a child in the nature center that sounds like her. I will always come out just curious to see what they look like.
~ Megantia ~ December 19th, 2007
One day I was watching Maya at my house while Jennifer worked. I took Maya into the back yard behind my apartment. She and I walked around the grassy hill and near the creek looking at all of the interesting little things in nature that we could find. I sat down on the ground and Maya walked behind me. She always liked to play with your jewelry or barrettes. She removed the hair clip from my hair. My hair fell down onto my back. Maya stated very matter-of-factly, "Nana, you really need a hair cut!" How I laughed!
- I remember discussing kids movies with Maya one day and I remember her telling me, "'Beauty & the Beast' is the scariest movie I ever saw." I was able to buy a copy of the movie after that and it is one of the last things I was able to do with her. . . we watched the movie together at my new house.
- In the summer -- shortly after Maya turned 3, Jennifer invited me over to have dinner with her and Maya. It was just the three of us and I was delighted to have this chance. Jennifer made us a really nice dinner in the back yard by Maya's swing set. The lightning bugs had just come out and I knew Maya was old enough then to really enjoy them -- perhaps for the first time. I was so excited to introduce her to them. All of my children loved to run around in the backyard collecting them in a jar or clear plastic container and then watching them light up later in their bedrooms. I just couldn't wait to share this with Maya. She just loved birds and animals and nature so much. I was counting on her excitement with these bugs also. So while Jennifer was finishing up some of the details of dinner, I took Maya for a walk throughout the backyard and started catching the lightning bugs and putting them into a container. But much to my chagrin . . . Maya started crying and running away from me and the bugs. For whatever reason, she was afraid of the "scary bugs." I was disappointed, for sure, but had to laugh at how funny she was! With Maya you never quite knew what to expect. She was even afraid of them as we ate our dinner! Eventually Jennifer and I brought the rest of our dinner inside to finish. It was a lovely night, though and a wonderful memory for me -- of my time with both, Jenn and Maya.
- Whenever Jennifer would need to know which Grandmother Maya was referring to when she would mention or talk about us, Maya would identify me as "Nana with Smokey!" Smokey was our big older gray cat and Maya really loved him . . . unfortunately, though, I don't feel Smokey ever quite returned the affection. Good thing was, though, that she never had a clue!
- A very precious memory that also included Grandma and Grandpa Cooney happened three years ago at Christmas. I was struggling very much financially that year and Jennifer knew that. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas and I heard a knock on my door. I opened and Tim, Carol, and Maya were there with a pretty fresh Christmas tree in tow! Tim said they just "happened to get some extra trees" and wanted to know if I could use one! I was delighted. It was such a thoughtful gesture and I was very touched. Tim and Carol were in a bit of a hurry to go but Maya insisted on taking her coat off . . . which was her way of stating that she wanted to stay a while. Her darling little gestures and ways of ALWAYS making me feel loved and appreciated are the priceless things I will never forget about her. She got pretty upset when she had to leave my apartment that night . . . as a grandma, this made me feel pretty special! I'll never forget that night and we didn't know it then, but it was the last Christmas we had with Maya.
~ Margie ~ December 19th, 2007
I have so many memories of Maya! She was such a special little girl with so much heart and personality, it is hard to focus in on one. She really touched my life in so many ways.
Giving it some thought I think my favorite memory with Maya was when her and Jenn visited me when i was nine months pregnant. I was ready to pop and they were hoping I would go into labor while they were here. It was just such a special time for me and it made it all the better having Maya there.
Maya was so incredibly sweet and excited to be a big cousin. I remember she would touch my big belly and talk about the baby. It was truly precious and I will never forget her little hands touching my belly. She also really took to the bedroom i had made for the new baby to come. She would call it HER room and did a really good job at tearing it apart. She kept telling us that she was going to 'her' room to take a nap... which was so funny to us! She was of course just playing in there with all of 'her' toys.
A day or two later was my actual due date and i was so ready to have the baby! We thought it would be a good idea for me to get some exercise to possibly induce labor... so Maya, Jenn, Brandon, and my big belly all went bowling. It was so much fun... Maya had a blast and I will always remember how adorable she was with that bowling ball!
I remember I was very anxious and scared about the baby coming and Maya was such a wonderful joy to have around in that time... and her silly humor was a great distraction for me. I will always remember that and am so thankful we all shared that time together. She made that joyous time in my life even better and more memorable! She was a blessing to me that week.
~ Aunt Esther ~ December 19th, 2007
I don't personally have any Maya stories, becasue I was unfortunate in the fact that I never met her...however...I feel inexplicably close to her. I know what she liked and didn't and what she would say and wouldn't say. The only thing I never got to do was to give her a hug and a kiss...and yet...I miss that the most.
~ Tommy John ~ December 18th, 2007