WE WELCOME YOUR WORDS OF INSPIRATION
December 1, 2013
Our Beautiful Angel
She lit up our lives like
A twinkling Christmas tree...
She taught us COURAGE.
She taught us how to have fun.
She taught us not to fear death...
She's ALL around us today...
a special memory tucked in your heart,
a ray of sunshine that catches your eye,
the love between family & friends,
the desire to make this world a BETTER place.
ANGEL MAGGIE left us here,
five years ago today,
To finish the works she began....
Forever in our hearts,
May 12, 2013
My Beautiful Butterfly
At the heart of this broken world,
place to place,
touching this person and that.
She brought light to the darkest of places.
She refused to allow this world
to make her stumble.
She clung to the hope of her Jesus.
She turned to the beautiful light that God shown
in her own valley of darkness.
Her life burned for Jesus,
for all the world to see.
God's magnificence will shine...
through the legacy of Maggie's life.
Always in my heart,
January 7, 2013
Happy 25th Birthday Maggie
As I rolled over in bed this morning, precious memories of Maggie flooded my heart. She would have been 25 years old today!! I wonder how we would be celebrating? I am positive we would have a scrumptious cake of many flavors. And the gifts would be piled high!!! Ohhh how that girl loved birthdays and Christmas!!! She loved to give as well as to receive. I vividly remember the Christmas she gifted all her girlfriends and family members Marc by Marc Jacobs bags...she laid them all out on her bed and considered exactly what color should go to which person!!! When it came to fashion...she didn't make mistakes!!
If I close my eyes I can still hear her sweet voice and see her beautiful smile!!! That smile that could light up a room and melt a heart. On more than one occasion, I saw her wiggle her way into Dave Bye's heart and come away with permission to stay out past her curfew or to have "yet another sleepover" with thirteen of her closest friends. Endearing memories, all of them.
But, four years and one month since she passed, I still find myself following her lead. She left us with such an amazing legacy of unending faith, dauntless courage and inspiring strength. Even in the worst of times, I saw her "scatter joy" wherever she went. That is a remarkable God-given attribute and one I aspire to everyday.
Forever our remarkable ANGEL.
Happy 25th Birthday, Maggalicious. I love you up to the moon.
“I Will Be"
If you think of me as gone forever,
I will be.
If you think of me as sadness and tears,
I will be.
If you think of me as your broken heart,
I will be.
That's not what I want to be,
but I will be.
If you think of me as memories to cherish,
I will be.
If you think of me as laughter and joy,
I will be.
If you think of me as your healing heart,
I will be.
That's what I want to be,
PLEASE, LET ME BE.
- Forever Smiling 1/07/13
December 1, 2012
Memories from Maggie's loved ones
Written by Barbara
It has been 4 years today since my precious daughter, Maggie, died. Four years since I have held her in my arms. Four years since I’ve seen her always magnetic smile. Four years since I have knelt at her bedside for evening prayers.
I was suddenly thrust into every parent’s worst nightmare! The pain was unfathomable! I cried in the shower. I cried at the grocery store. I fell into a heap, sobbing on the kitchen floor. I was paralyzed. I took pills to get through the day. I took pills to sleep at night. I ran as far and as fast from reality as I possibly could.
No one seemed to understand. I prayed till my knees bled… Looking for answers, how many times I cried out, “God, just give me the strength to keep breathing!”
Then one day, Pastor Al said to me, “Maggie knew she was dying and she never let the fear of death keep her from living life!!”
Suddenly, the light went on in my head and in my heart… how could I be so weak when she had lived such a faithful and courageous life in the face of such adversity!!
Tenderly, God opened my eyes and helped me to see that although her life had been short she had done great works while she was here. And now it was my privilege to have the opportunity to spread the legacy of that amazing life! It was God’s plan… All of it!!
Thus, “Maggie’s Angels” was born. As Mary Alice Stephenson so eloquently put it, at Make-A-Wish Wisconsin’s Host Night last spring, “Out of a tragedy, triumph was born.”
Life is now a “new normal” for me. I still miss her every, every day, but the sting of her death is now replaced with a feeling of pride and accomplishment in the workings of Maggie’s Angels. I pray she will be the first angel I see when I get to heaven and I want her to say, “Good job, Mom. I’m proud of you… and we’ve got a lot of shopping to catch up on.”
To everyone who has ever lost a child, I say…
“Cherish your memories and
believe in the future…
knowing that your child
will be tucked safely
in your heart,
forever and always.”
I love you, Maggie and I am blessed to have been your mom
Written by Chelsea
At the heart of our group of friends was Maggie, the kind of best friend you knew you were incredibly lucky to have, the moment you met. I met Maggie in band class in seventh grade, and we instantly became friends. Maggie was so full of life and energy, that there was truly never a dull moment to be had when she was around. People were naturally drawn to her outgoing personality, and everyone wanted to be her friend. I remember one summer before high school; we had so many sleepovers, that my parents thought about paying the Bye’s rent. We would stay up late watching movies, talking about boys and plotting our great adventures for the years ahead.
One of the many qualities about Maggie that I miss most was her enduring loyalty. When Maggie was your friend, she was your friend for life. She had your back in every situation, and never shied away from standing up for you. There are many times now, when I wish Maggie was here to help me through life’s challenges and ass a little of her special sparkle along the way. She always had such a good perspective that had only your best interests at heart. During these times, I always think of what Maggie would say or advice she would give. I miss Maggie every day and am grateful for Maggie’s Angels, because you can truly see Maggie’s spirit at every event. I’m so proud of what the Angels have accomplished, and I know Maggie is too as she looks down from above.
Miss you Maggz.
Chelsea – MN Friend
Written by Katie
There are so many memories that come to mind when I think of Maggie. One that sticks out the most is when we first began being friends. I met Maggie our junior year of high school in our A.P. U.S. History class. One day she brought a Pretty Pony coloring book. We spent our whole junior year coloring and doodling during our A.P. class. Needless to say I didn’t get the college credits for history.
But looking back at it now, she showed me how to make the best out of a terrible situation. We both were bored out of our minds in history, but I looked forward to class every day so I could color and hang out with her.
Maggie really taught me to appreciate the little things in life and to face every situation with a smile. Having her as a part of your life, you realize how short life really is and not to take anything for granted.
Even though she may physically be gone, she is still bringing beauty to this world.
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a beautiful butterfly.” – Proverb
Katie -WI Friend
Written by Dave
Maggie was the youngest of our three children. She had an infectious smile and a personality that could melt a heart. She was smart, full of energy, and outgoing. She was also sensitive, compassionate, and giving. She grew to be a beautiful young woman. When she was in high school she developed cancer. She battled her cancer for 5 years. During that time she became the role model. She was a human being with an unyielding spirit. Looking back, she amazed me by her courage and sheer determination. At her young age, one must do a lot of soul searching when faced with a life ending disease. Unlike many others, Maggie never asked, “Why Me”. Instead she challenged herself and asked, “How can I make a difference.” It’s that kind of power that pushes others to be best they can be! It makes you want to leave our world a better place to live in.
I have many fond memories of Maggie. However, my memories pale in comparison to the positive impact her life has had on others. She continues to teach me and others about love and compassion. Her life is a valuable lesson for others to emulate. That part lives on forever!
My life has been much richer because of Maggie. It will never be the same. In the end I am reminded – It was the child guiding and teaching the parent, not the other way.
Dave - Maggie's Father
Written by Melissa
One of my favorite memories with Maggie is when we were younger and shared a room. When we were supposed to be sleeping for the night, we would take turns telling each other funny stories. It wouldn’t be uncommon for either one of my parents to come in and tell us to be quite. When our family moved into a new house, Maggie and I were able to have our own rooms. As a teenager, I enjoyed the thought of having my own room. However, Maggie would still want to sleep in my room. She would beg and negotiate being able to sleep on my floor. At the time, I couldn’t understand why she would want to sleep on my floor when she had her own room. Looking back, I find her insistence to sleep on my floor endearing and a testament to our friendship.
Maggie has taught me many things, but the one thing that I hold close to my heart is to not sweat the small stuff. She had incredible grace through unthinkable situations. It is easy to get caught up in the little details of life, but in the end, those little things don’t matter. Maggie taught me that no matter what is going on, there is always something to be grateful for. No matter what you circumstances are, there is always something to smile about. Maggie may have been my younger sister, but she was someone that I looked up to.
Mel - Sister
Written by Patti
Maggie used to come to the Make-A-Wish Wisconsin office to volunteer. She was especially good at computer work since several of our volunteers are not as tech savvy as Maggie was. So we were especially happy to have her around! Her beautiful, bright, shining face would greet us and she sat in a cubicle alongside the wall. She would happily do any job we asked of her: stuffing envelopes for mailings, computer work, wrapping gifts, organizing auction items. You name it; no job was too big or too menial for her to do. We would always “dish” about the latest fashion, celebrity gossip, good places to shop and eat, the Milwaukee Brewers and more! She was always “up” on the latest news. I was not!
We could tell when she wasn’t feeling well, yet that did not deter her! She’s say “bring it on”. When she could no longer come in to the office, she would ask for some projects to do at home… and we found some things for her to do. Her spirit was always shining. What a beautiful girl – both inside and out. I’m so happy to have her picture in my office as I stop and think about her many times a day. Her memory is a blessing for all of us lucky enough to have known her.
Patti - Make-A-Wish Wisconsin Office
Written by Ashley F.
Maggie was an amazing person to say the least. There are so many things I could say about her, about her life, and about how she’s impacted me. What I remember most about Maggie was her sparkling personality. She was always full of happiness and hope, no matter what the situation. Even while getting chemo, she had a smile on her face. Maggie showed me that no matter what the circumstances were, to always thing positive. Maggie taught me to cherish life, and enjoy every last bit of it.
Ashley F. – WI Friend
Written by Andrea S.
A memory that sticks out in my mind is taking a walk with Maggie around the subdivision when she was at a point where we had to push her in the wheelchair. Because even then, she was still"happy go lucky Maggie"!!! It reminded me I have more to be thankful for than I realized and how we take the little things for granted...
Andrea S. - WI Friend
Written by Sarah R.
It's incredible to reflect upon how relationships start -- to trace each one, step by step, back to its origin. They're built upon experiences and memories that can't be replaced, relived, mimed or forgotten. By nature they take us back. There are those, however, that have the capacity to do more by moving us forward...
Over and over again I've reflected upon my relationship with Maggie and very carefully traced back to where our relationship began. At the age of 11 grew an untouchable frienship marked by sleepovers, birthday parties, and inside jokes; favorite songs, favorite movies, and favorite shopiing malls; first-this's, first-that's, and first everything-in-between's. It's comforting to retrace the steps that I took with her, the same steps that I wouldn't take without her.
Yet today it's comforting to see Mrs. B. smiling from the front door, to be welcomed by the infectious attitudes of Chris and Andrea; to pet the ever-so-patient Princess Lola Ryan; to savor Mr. B's masterfull grill-work ; and to now be best friends with Melissa.
Thinking of Maggies always brings me back, one step at a time, to the best friendship a girl could ask for.
Thinking of Maggie also moves me forward toward the best relationships I've ever had.
Sarah -MN Friend
Written by Andrea
There are so many memories with Maggie; I don't know where to begin. Maggie was such an extraordinary individual with many characteristics that only a person like her could carry. She was remarkably bright, had a delicate sense of thoughtfulness and unbounded amounts of charisma. She was a daughter, sister, and friend, an advocate for Make-A-Wish, a creative in terms of style and fashion, and a spiritual rock for many. She had gorgeous long blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a voice that coule never be forgotten, I can close my eyes and hear her now.
The best memories I have of Maggie start from the beginning. It was my first time meeting my then boyfriend's (now husband) parents at their home right after Christmas, but before New Year's. I had driven many hours to be with him and his family and was quite nervous at what they would think of me. When I showed up at the door, unsure of myself, I walked in and was immediately greeted by a spunky and outgoing Maggie. She gave me a big hug, told me how great it was to finally meet me and invited me into their home. She made me feel warm, welcomed, and comfortable the minute I had met her. That was my first memory of Maggie.
The best memories of Maggie were during our family trips. Of course, most people will say that those are when Maggie was at her best! Traveling and experiencing life brought joy to Maggie's spirit and renewed her soul. The most memorable trip we took was to Cancun, Mexico in 2007. It was a family trip and I was so fortunate to be considered family at this time, which was a great feeling. During this trip, us ladies, Maggie, Barb, Melissa, and I, had the pleasure to lie on the beach, shop, relax, eat at resturants and enjoy each others's company while the guys were off exploring. This was one of the most enjoyable weeks spent with Maggie, where there wasn't a care in the world.
After Maggie had passed and Chris and I were making wedding plans, it only seemed right to go back to the place that brought us so much joy to our lives. We tried to plan everything in a way that Maggie would approve and wanted to pay a tribute to those times spent with Maggie. We got married in Cancun in 2010. I think everyone could feel her presence as we said our vows, as well as every day since she has left us.
Memories of Maggie come to mind often and it's easy to reminisce of the good times spent with her. Having her family and friends around is what she thrived on and in the end what kept her going. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her. I know she is in heaven and her spirit is dancing and I feel good about that.
Andrea - Maggie's Sister-in-Law
Written by Eloise Cole/Adapted by
Barbara Bye in memory of my
Beautiful Angel, Maggie
My Life has known the change of many seasons.
I have experienced the spring of life.
Love fresh and new and bright with promise.
I have come to know the warmth of family's laughter!
Life's way has taken me through the change of fall
and winter storms of challenges and pain.
Through the seasons your love has been with me.
I am now faced with new seasons of change.
Pain filled is our parting...
Goodbye is a word I can hardly stand.
Yet, I know that as I continue along life's way,
the light of your love and the gift of your memory
will be my warmth and my strength.
Your gift of love will remain with me forever and always...
I know I will move through the seasons of pain
With your memory locked safely within my heart.
I love you Maggie
And am proud you called me Mom.
- Forever Smiling
Letter by Marc Jacobs
March 28, 2012
Thank you so much for your letter. I understand that it must have been very hard to write but please know that it is very much appreciated. I was so sorry to hear that Maggie lost her battle with cancer but it means a lot to me to know that our meeting meant so much to her.
It is so nice to know that people are following what we do here and gaining some inspiration from it. Spending the day with you all of those years ago was such a great reminder about what's important in life. Maggie had such a great attitude and spirit and I remember feeling very inspired by that.
It is very easy to get busy with all of day to day commitments but I am so happy I had the opportunity to take a break from my regular schedule to spend some time with you, Maggie and your family.
I am sure you miss Maggie terribly but the work you are doing for Make-A-Wish is really inspiring and I wish you all the best.
- Forever Smiling
Written by Barbara Bye
Host Night - "Project Wish"
Over the past three years I have learned that I cannot dwell on my sadness... my loss! My incredible grief over the loss of our beautiful Maggie! It is not God's plan! He had big plans for Maggie's life and it is my privilege, as her mother and as God's child, to spread the legacy of her rich life.
I am reminded that she is happy. She's whole... her tired body has been healed. She lives each day in the splendor of God's arms... sending her love to each of us, everyday -
Thru a ray of sunshine,
Thru the flight of a beautiful butterfly,
Thru the kind gesture of a friend.
She's here for me and for each of you, her special people everyday.
What a healing blessing for each of us to have this opportunity to come together this weekend... to celebrate and to remember Maggie, as we work together to bring smiles to the faces of other Wisconsin Wish Kids.
From the bottom of my heart, I am thankful and grateful for the part each of you played in Maggie's life. You all offered your love in a unique way. Her life wouldn't have been complete without any of you...
And God said "Well done, my good and
I will always love you, Maggie and
Am proud you called me Mom.
- Forever Smiling
Written by Hannah
Age 15 - Neighbor of Maggie's
English Class School Project
Maggie Bye was my neighbor. She passed away from cancer a couple years ago. She is a VIP to me because when she was diagnosed with cancer, she never lost hope and always made the best of every situation! In high school, she used to be a cheerleader, but because the cancer made her sick, she couldn't do it anymore! So, she started making really amazing jewelry! She lived her whole life like this and it was sad to see her die at such a young age! This taught me that you can't spend your life moping around; you need to stay positive because you don't know if this day will be your last...
- Forever Smiling
Written by Barbara Bye
She lost he hair,
she lost the freedom to come
and go with her friends.
the ability to
Yes, she even lost the ability to walk.
In the end, she lost
But she never,
ever lost her
or lost her
Her smile could light up a room!
Never in five years,
did she ever say, "Why me?"
Like a beautiful butterfly...
she spreads her wings and
lived each day to the fullest!
She flew to places where only God's chosen go.
She never dreamed of giving up...
She was strong.
She was beautiful.
She was faithful!
- Forever Smiling