I will never forget leaving work at the hospital and seeing the flight for life helicopter coming in. It is never something you want to see but I remember on that day having this strange urge to turn around and go to the ER. Had I known what I found out when I got home, I would have.

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Maddie and her mom

I got home and did my evening Facebook catch up and found out that in that helicopter was a young girl that I had known since she was four. She was my middle kiddos classmate. She was one of her best friends when they were young. She was a girl in my girl scout troop when I was a leader. She had been to my house many times and my kiddo had been to hers.  My family and I loved this girl. Her parents are teachers at the local schools and loved by community and kids alike. Maddie had been skiing since she could walk. She was an expert skier. It was the last day of winter break and she was up on the mountain with some friends while the parents were in teacher planning. Dear sweet Maddie took and edge on an easy part of the mountain and hit a tree. She lacerated her liver and died on the operating table. We are a small community that has had a lot of loss and the loss of Maddie hit us all very hard. She was a freshman in high school. She was nice to everyone. She was a unique soul and we all will always love her. She was in band and the band commissioned Dr Randall Standridge to compose a song in her name. In 2012, the band performed With Every Winter’s Breath at the local college and brought tears to everyone in attendance. Our dear sweet Maddie would be 21 now and probably near finishing college.  Instead, her younger sister suddenly became the oldest and she is a freshman with my son in college. Our community will never forget this day and Maddie’s smile and laughter. She was another reminder to all of us that you never know when your time is up. She was fourteen and an expert skier and died from a fall on an easy run. The tree she hit is decorated and people stop by and see it all the time.

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Me at her tree  in 2014

Maddie is one of the many reasons that I will never take anyone for granted again. Maddie was full of love and our town will never forget her. Hug your loved ones extra tight and never forget to tell them you love them. Freak accidents happen and you never know what today holds.

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