Writing this is only the first step in memorializing your life but I want to make sure the world remembers every bit of you fully. I'm not sure that I can capture everything that's going through my mind but reading the other posts about you, while painful, is also so heartwarming - to see that you shined as brightly in other peoples' lives as you did in ours! Every word I've read about how funny, charismatic, caring, and smart you were is just beyond accurate.
If there is one word that would describe my childhood it is gaming. And you were a part of the gaming group.
We first met playing soccer in elementary school but in middle school quickly became friends. We started playing World of Warcraft together at that point. We didn't play WoW for long. I'm sure I got distracted by some other game. You were always better at playing through games fully than I was.
By the end of 8th grade, we had a thing going. You, me, and the rest of the group would get together seemingly every weekend and game. It was never really more complicated than that. We'd get a truckload of junk food, eat ourselves nauseous, and stay up far too late (but also it was never late enough). I'm pretty sure that's a box of milk next to you. Your determination to enjoy the things you loved despite your lactose intolerance was the bane of us all.
I can't say we were ever the best at gaming. Because while we got together to game every weekend, our weird teenage shenanigans would get the best of us and we'd get distracted half way through every game we'd play (OK, maybe I'm just projecting... it was mostly me getting distracted)
But not being the best never stopped us from playing another round, getting together another weekend, and doing it all over again. It was who we were and we didn't want to have it any other way.
Even after highschool, the traditions never really changed. We may not have gamed as often but whenever we would have a break from college or find ourselves back in Colorado again, itd be right back to our roots. Another night up staying up too late, eating junk food, and just leaving reality behind us. It felt as if *nothing* had changed.
After college we started doing our "boys trips". First it was you and the group visiting me in New York. Then we all went to see you in LA. And most recently it was Seattle. DC was our next destination but COVID hit and that plan was delayed. Getting a tour of the SpaceX facility you worked in is still one of the coolest things I've ever done.
We shared so many interests. Over the most recent years we found ourselves frequently discussing politics and social justice. You were always outspoken about the things you cared about and you were always standing up for what was right (We can all take a page out of his book when it comes to this). The things we talked about may have seemed more sophisticated at times, but it was always woven in with the familiar, ridiculous, absolutely hilarious banter we've all shared since the start.
I hope anyone reading this now is able to smile - reading about the very same amazing Maddy who made us all smile during our time with him. The Maddy we know and love is still with us in our stories, our memories, and forever a part of who we are. Rest easy my friend.