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Monday Hearts for Madalene

10 Feb Posted by in • Guest Writers | 5 comments
Monday Hearts for Madalene

What a great honor to be asked to contribute to Epochalips. And even better to get to write about LOVE . With Valentines day so quickly approaching, it seems like the retail world will not disappoint us with this years monsoon of red heart rain. Of all the holiday commercial blanketing we must endure I have to admit I love this one. What better occasion to recognize and celebrate, than LOVE.

Six years ago I fell in love with my next door neighbor Madalene Rodriguez. We fell instantly in love and like teenagers we were swept up in loves delirious hurricane of happiness. There is something extraordinary about falling so deeply in love later in your life. The profound awareness of the miracle of finding the love you have looked for all your life, and the realization of how much you each have to share having lived so long and experienced so much.

Every Monday I decided to create a heart on Madalene’s doorstep  so she would go out the door to work Monday morning and begin her week with a reminder  of how much I loved her. After seven dizzyingly romantic months together Madalene was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer and she died four months later just eleven months after we met.

There are no words to describe this experience. What followed was a period of deafening darkness and grief. For me a time of deep reflection and soul searching. You must make sense of the senseless. You must accept your unacceptable.

Before Madalene died she shared with me how much she had loved her weekly hearts and I told her I would continue to make her a heart every Monday for the rest of MY life, in honor of our beautiful love. I  knew no matter how sad I felt I could ALWAYS make Madalene a heart. It always made me feel better.

What has followed has been an extraordinary path. I decided to send a photograph of each heart to Madalene’s and my friends and family, to recognize and remember our beautiful Madalene. Then it dawned on me to invite everyone to feel free to make a list of THEIR friends and family to forward these hearts to. As a deliberate and intentional act of putting LOVE out into the world. A way for us all to stop for a moment as we begin our week and remember our loved ones and the importance of love in our lives.

Not long after I began sending my hearts out I received an email from a literary agent in New York asking of I wanted to have a book made about my experience.

I immediately said no as this felt to be too personal and sacred.  Then over the following year I received emails from people from all over the world sharing how these hearts had touched them. I realized that this was a very organic continuation of what began as a simple sweet gesture of love between two people. I decided to agree to have a book and a beautiful set of cards published. The book is entitled “Monday Hearts for Madalene”

I have selected the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Oakland as the beneficiary of a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every book and card. The WCRC is a wonderful organization that provides services and support to women with cancer and their caregivers. Please join me in supporting them in any way you can. Their website is www.wcrc.org.

Love is the highest act we do here. It is the one thing that binds us all together.

I have had such a profound awakening of the unbelievable great fortune to have known this love in my heart for even one moment. I would have to make a billion hearts to begin to come close to expressing all that I feel in my heart for my beautiful Madalene. Although we will not be spending our lives together here on this big blue ball, we will be spending our lives together blanketing the world in love.

If you would like to learn more about my hearts and the project in general please visit www.mondayheartsformadalene.com. If you would like to receive a heart on your digital doorstep every Monday please send an email to me at page.hodel@gmail.com with the words “SUBSCRIBE” in the subject line.

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5 comments

  • Eleanor Palacios says:

    Page,

    It is so fitting that these hearts appear now for Valentines Day. I never tire of seeing the beautiful hearts every Monday. Eleanor

  • Michelle Campillo says:

    I adore your hearts and your LOVE story, Page. There is something so pure about them.

  • Ann M. Soucy says:

    Page,

    I met you in San Francisco, back in the early ’80’s, at a club while you were (always) spinning the tunes and (I) enjoyed you from the get go. I doubt that you remember me but, I fondly remember you.

    Like many, I’ve since moved from the Bay Area to a new home, near family, on the East Coast. I had no idea that you had experienced this particular forever-loving yet painful chapter in your life. Thank you so very much for sharing this deeply touching story. What a loving memorial it is to pass on the “hearts” in Madalene’s memory. Its a simple yet, very significant *gift*.

    Wishing you all the best, always.
    – Ann (West)

  • rachel wahba says:

    page, its your heart, its you, all you…giving, loving, sharing, and i thank you from my healing heart.
    love to you dear one