Auntie Beth

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I am so lucky to have a sister in law who is also a best friend.  Someone who I chose and who chose me years before I married her brother.  A friend who shares my sense of humor, my same taste in people and places, someone who actually shares my exact same laugh.  When we start laughing together, the cadence merges and you almost can't tell whose laughter is coming from who.  I love her.  She introduced me to my love.  She is also my husband's very best friend on earth.  His most favorite person to talk to and be with.  She doesn't believe in our use of Splenda or "I can't believe it's not butter, spray", but it is because she is always looking out for our well being.  I really can't say enough about Beth.  She rocks.

Beth is running the NY Marathon on November 6th, the day before my birthday, as part of "Team Maxie".  The only member of "Team Maxie" in fact.  She is raising money for Maxie's Forest.  It means so much to us and I know it means so much to her as well.  You can visit her fundraising page at http://support.jnf.org/goto/teammaxie.  In the meantime, I would like to share what she has written on the page as it is so incredibly beautiful:

The brightest spirit I have ever known, my beloved nephew, Maxwell Judah Leviss, died most unexpectedly, on July 21, 2011, at the age of 9 months. Maxie’s sudden death has sent shockwaves through the many lives he touched in his much too short time on earth; it has taught all of us the real meaning of heart-wrenching sadness. And remarkably, from this tragic event, hundreds of people have been inspired to contribute money in Maxie’s name to plant a forest in Israel, anchoring his sprit to a land his parents love. To date, that forest is 10,000 trees strong and growing.

Not only will Maxie’s forest grow into a beautiful living tribute to one of the sweetest babies ever born, but I hope each tree planted will somehow start to fill the cavernous hole weighing so heavily on my brother Ted’s and Abby’s hearts. Perhaps that hole can eventually be filled with the outpouring of love that offers them both peace and comfort in a time of such unimaginable pain and heartache. 

I will be running the New York City Marathon on November 6th representing “Team Maxie.” It takes only $18 to plant a tree. Plant one tree or twenty, and together we can build a majestic forest to keep Maxie’s spirit alive forever - a piece of posterity, planted to reforest an area near Haifa in northern Israel that was devastated by fire last winter.

Israel is such a significant place to Abby and Ted. It was there that I first met my future sister-in-law. And it was there that almost 15 years later my brother proposed, confirming my master plan of uniting my two most favorite people on the planet.

Abby has created a blog: http://missingmaxie.blogspot.com . Please visit Missing Maxie to get a glimpse of this little boy. You’ll understand how terribly he is missed and how important it is to all of us that we make his memory a living monument.


My goal is to continue building Maxie’s forest as I run the NYC marathon on November 6th for the first time ever, lovingly and proudly representing “Team Maxie”.

Your support would be so welcome. Thank you!
Beth Gardner



*By the way, if anyone reading this contributed to our fundraising page and accidentally put Max's name in the recognition section instead of their own, please let me know and I will see to having it corrected.  It was a little confusing and I apologize.  You should know that I do receive a back end email that alerts me when a donation is made so I am aware of your generosity.  

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