The Beginning…

When I met Madalene, we fell instantly dizzyingly in love. We each felt we had found the love we had searched  for all our lives.

Every Sunday night after work, I would make a little heart on Madalene’s doorstep out of leaves or flowers or buttons, anything pretty I could find.

I wanted her to find a sweet  little “ i love you ” waiting for her when she went out the door to go to work on Monday morning…to start her week with a visual reminder of our beautiful love.

Seven months after we fell in love, Madalene was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer. What followed was her unbelievably courageous determination to fight and ultimately her her brave, graceful surrender to this savage disease. Madalene died four months later. She was 46 years old.

A few days before she died, I  promised Madalene that I would continue to make my hearts for her for the rest of MY life, as a way to show her I would never forget her. It is a way for me to express the river of love I have inside of me and to maintain the continuity of my connection to her, to keep her in my physical world.

The process of making these hearts was never intended to be more than my private messages to Madalene. Which initially they were. Then one day, Madalene’s brother Ivan suggested I take photographs of them and without much question I followed his suggestion. Each week taking a photograph and keeping it dear. Now I understand why.

Not long after Madalene left us,  I began to send a photo of each heart to our loved ones over the internet as a tribute to her and a recognition of this magnificent love. I sent them with the invitation to everyone to forward them to all THEIR loved ones with the intention to put LOVE out into the world. They have circled the globe over and over. I receive emails from people all over the world who are touched in so many different ways by the indisputable presence of LOVE in these images.

Although Madalene is no longer on this earth with us, the love I feel  in my heart is immeasurable and unchanged. These hearts are an expression of what I feel in my heart. These hearts are for Madalene and now they are OUR gift to the world. To give and give and give….I hope and pray she can see them from heaven.

— Page Hodel