A brutally honest part of everyone’s life. Some realities are easy, and some are extremely harsh. One might even say reality is stubborn.
John was stubborn. But John’s stubbornness wasn’t just about him getting his way. He was stubborn with how hard he smiled at us, and with us. He was stubborn with how hard he laughed with us. And he was stubborn with how hard he loved us.
Without pontificating but understanding the last two, almost three years, have been extremely tough on us all, for the Madigan family, the realities over the last two years and specifically the last 17 weeks are some of those that fall on the harsher side. We’ve had to say some very difficult goodbyes.
For me, it’s made this note a bit harder to write as we realize it’s been 15 years since John left us. There will never be another like him. I often sit here and wonder what he’s thinking of us now. I hope he’s proud of what he’s looking down upon. I know I feel the strength he sends us, and I hope you can too.
The last few months I’ve seen many sleepless roads, so those are the paths I’ve walked.
It’s rare, if ever, that I take any relationship for granted. I’m not saying that I don’t place certain ones above others, because I do, but I know that you, no matter how big or small, have had an impact on my life giving me strength to face adversity.
I’ve written this every year for the last 15, but it really is true. Every October 25th – the night of The Toast – is the most humbling day of my life. I never thought that a simple toast and text – the original Toast tying New York City, Ashburn (Va.) and Charlotte together would spread to Ireland, Italy, Germany, France, Asia, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico, let alone nearly all 50 states, for a breathtaking moment of reflection each year.
And now it’s time to embrace that moment once again.
On behalf of our family, I humbly ask you to join us on Tuesday, Oct. 25th at 8 p.m. – whatever time zone you’re in – to remember the love you have for your family and friends. Take a moment to know you are loved, and, to tell others that you love them.
John was the brother everyone wanted, the best uncle in the world, a son to be proud of and a loyal and true friend. John’s smile and kind heart warmed everyone he met. He was brilliant and fun… and he’s missed more and more every day.
Please don’t apologize for caring. And please don’t let anyone ever make you feel guilty for doing just that. Send the text. Make the call. Love hard. Laugh hard. Smile hard. Do life… hard. Be stubborn.
On Tuesday, Oct. 25th, please join us as we toast to John, and just as importantly, toast to you.
On whatever social media platform you choose, you can use the hashtags #TheToast2022 and #JohnsToast.
Tell your stories. Make your toasts.
Founder & Brother