Sep 20, 2013


As long as I am writing and posting to this blog, every September I will share the letter I wrote to Anne last year. 

This was first published on Anne Mahlum's CaringBridge on 9/23/2012. 


Anne and her parents, Dick and Hulda Mahlum 

Dear Anne:
For the rest of my life, the months of September and October will forever be colored with the memory of your 50+ days, engaged in a valiant battle with ARDS and your passing on October 25th , 2010, in Barcelona, Spain.
Anne, Anne, Anne….. the lessons you brought to the lives of many, the reminders of our countless blessings, the focus on living, on being present and intentional in what we do, how we love, how we support each other, family, friends, coworkers, the barista at your favorite coffee shop, the UPS man; lessons around planning and being interested discovery, adventure, while at the same time being an anchor and guide in the lives of those we love, cherish and value.  Anne you are forever that teacher.
Anne your life exemplary of all that is good in a person.  I think of you now in Heaven supporting and directing trending and analysis for special projects, your expertise with numbers and analysis being used to promote all that makes the world a better place.
My personal lessons from your gift to all of us, understanding and grasping the enormous power of love and prayer that can be harnessed and invested and felt around the world because of one person. Anne you are loved by many; the rally of support and love across the Atlantic during your illness was incredible. 
Anne, soon after you were admitted to the Clinic de Barcelona, in Spain, a Caringbridge site was established to track your daily progress while in ICU, to date there are 100, 000+ visits to the site. Anne, your dear parents, along with all who followed and rallied around you, we were all comforted by all the thoughts and prayers, the outpouring of love. Team Anne, simply amazing. 
The lesson that is near and dear to my heart, the race of prayers.  Anne, when you were admitted to the hospital over Labor Day weekend in Spain, in 2010, we quickly became aware that your condition was critical; your lungs were comprised, you were induced into a coma and intubated.  I got updates from Tia Ana and Uncle Parker, who spoke to your parents in Spain on a daily basis.
Anne, after the first phone call from Tia Ana, everyday in my car on the way to work I began praying for you. Some days I would say the Our Father over and over, as many as I could recite out loud in my car during my commute to work.  There was a race in my heart and mind, I wanted to be heard a thousand times, a million times, so you would get better.  Some days it was conversations, some quiet, thoughtful observations, some loud with hands waving in the air asking God to help the doctor’s and nurses, asking Angels to care for your Mom and Dad, asking the Holy Spirit to let you know, Anne, that we were thinking of you and sending love and good wishes all from miles and miles away.
Many times at the traffic lights I spotted people looking at me, they could see me talking and they could see I was alone.  I don’t know what they surmised, my conversations and prayers in the car on the way to work were serious, on days when the reports from Spain were not so good, the words spoken came from my gut, from a place reserved for when the need is so great, that the want to be heard physically hurts. 
I prayed for a miracle, many times.  Everyday I had a conference call with the heavens in my car, I never missed one.  Several times I prayed in Spanish. Anne, since you were in Spain, I thought this made sense. I remember speaking words that I had not spoken in Spanish in many years…. Padre nuestro, que estas en el cielo, santificado sea to nombre………
Anne, you graduated to the heavens on October 25, 2010, with your parents by your side.   Getting you back home from Spain to Shalimar, Florida was not an easy task, the race of prayers continued.  Knowing that your MOM and DAD would soon be home and need all the love and support after your passing, you their only child, the prayers and conversations continued.  And to this day, almost 2 years later the prayers, conversations, questions, observations, my visits with God, Angels and the Holy Spirit continue, everyday in my car.  Today,  my Honda Accord, my  “mobile cathedral.”
I look forward to getting in my car in the morning, it is a wonderful part of my day, and Anne Mahlum I will forever be thankful to you.   I will forever remember the smile on your face, all the posts on Caringbridge, from your friends, family, school mates, work colleagues and even strangers, I will never forget.  I will never forget the dinner at Pozole’s and when we all went to Maggie’s house afterwards to drink wine and when you came to visit and loved Maddie and Morgan. I will never forget brunch at COM in Dunwoody, the week before you were going on your vacation to Spain.  Anne, I carry you in my heart E V E R Y D A Y.  
The promise and purpose of your life continues in the hearts of many, your gifts and talents and love for your MOM and DAD and your family and your dear friends, especially Leah, present everyday.   I think of you every day…. 
Thanks for being such a wonderful teacher.   You are a testament to your parents, you are their wonderful, caring, smart, funny, daughter. Anne, your short life on earth, impacting; your moved the compass in the hearts of many, including mine. You taught us lessons at a young age that many of us don’t grasp until well into their lives.  
I am forever grateful.
Tia Elena