I have not posted on this site of Maria’s in way too long! She worked so hard to secure the name, Design To Live, that I’m certain I must continue in some form to keep postings up. This is Maria’s site, so I feel I must honor her dreams and wishes. I’ll do my best. She has left so many notes, journals, etc., and it continually increases my joy and gratitude in being her mum! I heard this statement a couple of days ago on the radio and I actually stopped and wrote it down. “It’s not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy”. It was so profound to me. A year ago, right about now, I realized my precious most amazing daughter was at a point of departing this physical place very soon. Within hours of my sharing that with my dearest friend, and Maria’s dearest friends, they were all texting and booking tickets to Pittsburgh. No words are adequate for my gratefulness to have Tia, and those 9 young, beautiful amazing friends of Maria’s drop their personal, professional and family lives for 3-5 days! They came from around the country and Europe to be with Maria and to support me. They were so present, joyful and loving. There was music, laughter, chanting, eating, lots of tears and so much kokua (loving help) for me! I am grateful. Maria wanted me to be happy, I am happy. So, perhaps she orchestrated so much for me to be grateful for that happiness is a given? Hmmmmm…that would not surprise me! It’s a lovely thought and a lovely place for me to be as the year near begins. The article from the MidPac Today, posted by Sachie, is a perfect example of the kind of friends Maria was blessed to have at MidPac in Hawai’i. Mahalo to all of you, and to all of her New Zealand friends, and Pittsburgh friends, who continually give “likes” and comments on her Facebook. It is healing to me to feel your love of Maria! She for sure was a “Force”. Peace, Love and Blessings for 2017. ~Suzi (I love this picture of Maria leaping into the sky. She is at peace.)

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Eternal Beauty

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“The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.” ~ Rumi As I reflect on a life filled with such beauty and tenderness ~ sweet amazing Maria ~ I’m reminded of this simple quote by Rumi. My heart is … Read More

A Journey Completed

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It’s been one week since we took sweet Maria out into the beautiful Hawaiian waters for her final paddle. There are few words to describe the sacred magic of this day for me. It will forever be etched in my … Read More

Maria returns to the ocean in one week

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Aloha everyone ~ We are one week away from sweet Maria’s celebration, and I’m figuring so much out…especially technical stuff! I call upon Maria constantly for HELP and miraculously I seem to get it:) I have many dear friends supporting … Read More

Maria and Bella~Soon to merge with the beautiful Hawaiian waters

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Aloha all ~ I took this picture the other day waiting with a friend under a shower tree outside the Diamond Head Mortuary while sweet Maria was transferred from a “travel friendly” container back to the lovely brass one with … Read More

Sweet Maria ~Home in Hawai’i

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I have now safely arrived in beautiful Hawai’i with these two precious girls, in my carry on, traveling with me.   I felt Maria’s enthusiastic, joyful energy throughout the trip.   Miraculously, from San Francisco to Honolulu, I was asked … Read More

A Hero and the “wind beneath my wings”

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Recently, amid a beautiful thunder, lightening, and rain storm, I spent a afternoon listening to my sweet Maria’s playlist on her laptop, scrolling through multiple photos and numerous draft blog posts she had started.  What an amazing young woman she … Read More

Happy May Day

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Maria always loved being in Hawaii on May Day.  May Day is truly lei day in Hawaii Three days ago this sweet soul turned 37.  I am grateful for every moment I had with my beautiful daughter! She would want … Read More

A True Companion

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Greetings ~ This is Suzi, Maria’s mom, posting to let all know sweet beautiful Bella has joined her Maria today. I know Maria talked much about little Bella.  Bella was the perfect,  most devoted companion one could ask for.  I … Read More

3 Months Ago ~

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Aloha all~ I sit this evening contemplating 3 months ago today,  which marks the  day that sweet Maria left this physical plane.  I continue to feel, and miss, her every moment of every day!  I am deeply grateful and filled … Read More

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