the year of the playground

Almost 6 years ago when we lost our girls we had the vision of creating a space in our community where big sister Morgan and little sister Sadie could go and feel the warmth of their sisters through the laughter and love shared by countless families playing together. It seemed like it would be much simpler a task at that point. I mean compared to surviving the loss of those beautiful souls nothing seemed impossible, but it’s been much harder than we ever thought it would be. Dreams don’t become reality without hard work and persistence.

The truth is there have been times we thought to each other, why are we still fighting for this? Time when a local grant request gets passed over, an event doesn’t get the attendance we expect, or we learn there’s yet another delay on the park build. Those moments can be really hard, hard on our hearts, hard on morale for the few people who have stuck around to see this organization succeed.

Then something else happens… and it’s not usually something huge, simple things like a hug from a mom at a Celebrate PLAY event at Children’s National Medical Center who is there with their child who isn’t well wondering what’s to come, a note from an organization that the SaMP Kids made an impact with. Every once in a while something really big like getting to watch thousands of kids sitting with their families on the infield of the The Great Frederick Fair listening to Imagination Movers give an amazing show, or getting a big grant from an organization like the Delaplaine Foundation, Inc. that has watched our progress over the years and is excited for what we are going to bring to this community.

It’s in those moments we get to see Sophie and Madigan again, right here before our eyes, through the smiles, hugs, laughter, and the quiet moments where a mom or dad snuggles their little one just a little tighter. Those are the moments that make all the hard stuff so worth it. When we had this vision to honor their lives like this we had no idea what was to come, but it’s so worth the ride. It’s worth every minute of heartache that has come up for those few moments of getting to see our girls again. This year we will see phase one of the playground built, it’s going to be amazing, and I can not wait to see my girls again through all the smiles and laughter this space will bring.

Love you guys and appreciate all you have done to help us get to this point.

#yearoftheplayground #sophieandmadiganlillardmemorialplayground #playlearncreate #playmatters #inclusionmatters

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