Welcome to Annie's page!!!! Our family would love very much to hear from all of you who knew our Annie for the short time she was here with us. Please share all you remember and would like to say that she has done or what may have happened because of her that impacted you the most. Anything that may have been funny or sad but she has truly made a difference in your lives worth sharing and you would never forget.
We know firsthand how devastating it has been to have to deal with such tragedy but we also know that this family is strong and we will always have our "Angel Annie" looking over us now! Though we have not had the pleasure of watching her grow and become so much more, we were at least blessed to have her for the six short years that we did. As much as she has impacted our lives we know she has impacted soooooo many others that knew her and her life was never a waste. She helped families come closer together and appreciate even more how precious life can be and never to take advantage of the short time we have here on earth.
She always made you smile and she especially had her toothless smile that would melt you each and every time she looked at you. Along with all the joys became the worse sadness when we had to let her go but throughout it all she has proven she was not finished and will never be forgotten. She had inspired and brought together all that knew her and her tragedy to build a beautiful place we all can come and enjoy with our families known as "Annie's Playground!”
With that and the many friends and family we are soooooo blessed to have, we still would have never made it without you and we truly cannot ever thank you enough!!! We will never have her here any longer to hold and watch her grow each day but all of you and your families help to fill that void with all your hugs and support no matter when or where we are!
Here is yet another opportunity and blessing that we all can share together forever this time to reflect and say whatever you feel or know or love that needs to be said about our Annie for many, many years to come.
This will last for many generations to read about Annie's stories or anything that she may have done for you in any way even if you didn't have the pleasure of knowing her personally. Maybe some story that she may have inspired you to do, or building Annie's Playground together, or maybe she just made you cry and realize how precious life can be and never to take for granted our time here together.
Always remember to love and help and support others around you for you never know when it may come a time you may need it the most as we have tragically experienced and will for the rest of our lives! My family and I can never thank you enough and love you so very much for all you have done and still do and always know we will always be there for you whenever and if ever you need us!!!
WE LOVE AND MISS YOU SOOOOOO MUCH ANNIE!!!
Whereever Claire was so was Annie....at all our family gatherings whether it was Christmas or a warm sunny cookout day...annie alwyas looked out for Claire.
I remember one day at Annie's home for a family cookout. All thekids were hooting and hollerin and having a good ol time. As a group they all suddenly took off for the swingset running across the yard, annie along with thme when she came to a full stop, turned around and said, "Hey! What aobut Claire?" So I said, " I'll bring her Annie an she flashed me that big ol smile of hers!"
I did push Claire's storller over to the swing set that day. I remember putting her on Annie's lap and helping them down the slide. Annie made that happen. She made alot of good things happen. We love you Annie and remember you always! Aunt Lisa
We used to see Annie and her sisters at church alot. Clarie was always a great puzzle to Annie. She pondered her alot! It was always with love and great interest taht she would just stand right in front of her and look intensely at Claire.
And then the questions would come...Why this? Why that? Aunt Lisa why? Why? Why? Why? Always curious.
I wish I had the answers for you then but I think mostly you wanted to know that she was ok, that everything would be okay. You were a love Annie and still are!
Love, Aunt Lisa
You were always an angel to us Annie but, sometime after you became an true angel you visited me and Claire and Fiona in my sweet dreams.
What actually happened was this... Claire and Fiona shared a bedroom at the time - two twin beds across the room facing each other. Claire woke in the middle of the night, probably around 3 am in a cluster of seizures. I got in bed with her to hold her and they just wouldn't stop.
After 15 - 20 minutes I started to doze while holding her and praying to God for the seizures to stop. I was very sad when suddenly you appeared Annie! You were dressed in a soft white nightgown - like you always liked to wear. You seemed weightless and so gracefully floated/ climbed up into bed with us. sqwatting with your knnes tucked up to your chin, you wrapped one arm around your knees and with the other, you stroked claires forehead and hair. You were silently saying, "Shhhh" trying to calm her jolting body.
Amazingly, it worked. The seizures stopped and then you smiled at me and jsut as graciously and weightlessly you climbed back down, tiptoed over to Fiona's bed and kissed her cheek and floated out of the room.
I woke at that point and Claire truly had stopped seizing. I carried that sweet interaction with you with me from that day until this.
Some say, dreams are all your imagination working with your memory to conjure these encounters up. This may be true - but even if it is - isn't is still mriaculous and beautiful and comforting that God made us with imaginaitons and memories that bless us with the gift of dreams...I love you Annie!
ONe more story....a memory really...I jsut remember Annie and Fiona hanging out together when they were little. Fiona was on the quiet side and Annie was comforting to her. I think she liked playing big sister to Annie since she was really the youngest in our family.
Anyway, I remember them going in and out and in and out of the beach houses coming and going....
I remember them changing very early in the day into nightgowns. Showering up and getting into pjs and then coming back out on the beach. Those were wonderful days!
Thank you annie for giving us such wonderful memories to hold close to our hearts until we meet again.
I love you Annie!
I have so many photos of Annie, pictures of her at swimming lessons, Dutch Wonderland, picking pumpkins, gymnastics class, soccer, softball and school. How did one little girl squeeze so much life into six years?
First and foremost is that her parents, Megan and Tom, did everything with their girls. They live their life to the fullest and as soon as they started their family they included their girls in everything they did. And Annie embraced every moment she was here with her family and friends. Annie was passionate, whether it was the 100 watt toothless smile or on the contrary, letting her feelings be known if she wasn't in agreement with a decision. Since she lived the majority of her life as the middle child, she was a classic middle kid. She looked up to her older sister, Susie, with a reverence and emulated that older sister role to perfection with Alice and then Madalyn.
The photo here is when we all went to see the play "Annie" at the Lyric in Baltimore. Really, how cool would it be as a kid to get see a play that is named after you? Annie had her dollar, she was ready to go.
So many great memories of Annie dancing, singing and just in general jumping around amongst her sisters. Hopping and skipping seemed to be her favorite mode of moving from one space to another. My last memory of Annie was on the Thursday before she passed. She was talking about moving on to first grade the following year. I was about to ask her if she was excited to wear a school uniform like Susie. For some reason I didn't bring it up and was thinking, oh I'll just ask her next week. I have always felt that it was in that moment that Annie taught me the most important lesson of my life.
Annie was not only my niece, she was my Godchild. She was so beautiful...inside and out. Mom and I would say she looked like our side, the little Polish Girl! I enjoyed taking care of the girls when they were little when Tom and Megan would go away for Tom's work trip. All the girls would play with my son Evan and daughter, Adri. They would pitch a tent downstairs and play the music loud and dance around. One day they decided to put on a play and Annie came upstairs crying (she did that since her feelings would get hurt). I asked what was wrong and she said, "I don't know who to be". I consoled her and said just be yourself since you are the most wonderful little princess in the whole wide world. She agreed and head downstairs. I remember her raspy voice and big toothless smile!
Will never forget you, Annie. Until we meet again!
Annie's Playground serves as a tribute and proof of the impact Annie had on everyone in her short life. And through the Playground she continues to impact kids every day.
What ultimately became Annie's Playground actually started as a bench. It's funny to think about now, the simple thought of a bench to be placed at her school, St. Margaret's in Bel Air, MD. What we soon learned is that a bench was not going to be enough to honor Annie. The outpouring of support and desire to do something substantial from the community soon led us to look into the feasibility of a volunteer built Playground.
Once Harford County provided the land the Playground concept quickly went from dream to reality. From 2003 to 2005 a group of 100% volunteers raised money, rallied support, held fundraisers and ordered equipment. Over the course of 13 days in September of 2005, over a thousand members of Annie's community joined together to bring Annie's Playground from schematic drawings and piles of boards, nuts and bolts to what stands today - a one acre tribute to not just Annie but all children who were lost too soon due to accident or illness.
It was everyone's hope and goal that through Annie's Playground, her life, although cut so short would have meaning and bring joy to everyone who has the chance to visit her special place for many, many years.
I never met or knew Annie, but her story has touched my family. We have three boys..... a 6 year old boy and twin 3 year old boys. We have played at Annie's Playground countless times. I have told Annie's story to my boys. I have explained to them, the importance of never stepping into a street without their mom. So now every time they get to a street corner, they freeze and say "Remember Annie?". Although the choice was not hers, my boys have learned a lesson. You have no idea how much that means to me. Another touching part that I wanted to share with you, is that every time my boys have or go to a party with balloons, they always ask if they can give their balloons to "Annie in the sky" They release them to the sky and say "this is for you Annie." They don't even know her, but they truly care for her.
I can't begin to find a starting place when it comes to my four beautiful nieces that my sister and Tom have blessed me with. I close my eyes and see them all as babies, beautiful, sweet smelling, precious. When I think back on those days of Annie ...Susie and little Alice were pretty much always there too! But there are those blessed moments of "just Annie" that always tug at my heart when I look at her pictures or think of her. One of my favorite thoughts that pops into my head when ever I drive down 165..is taking her to ballet class and looking in the rear view mirror of the suburban beast only to see that little angel ..mouth wide open...singing that song that she loved!!! and when it was over..she'd say...Again! Again Aunt Erin... play it again.Print
I met little Annie years ago at a lawn concert at Ladew Gardens. She and her family were enjoying the wonderful evening and music that was playing. I was there with my family and Annie's aunt Kate. It was a brief meeting as Annie and her siblings played and danced to the music like little girls would do.
After hearing of the tragic loss and learning that a dedication and a playground was being constructed by hundreds of volunteers in her memory, I visited the site to see the progression. I drove to the parking lot with my mom and could not hold back the tears. I am melting down while writing this. I could not get over the amount of love that was coming from the site. How wonderful it was to see the coming together of a community of friends, family and strangers in expressing their love for Annie and her family.
I sincerely hope that Annie knows how much she is remembered and loved by us all. I am sending prayers to her family and to our little Angel in Heaven ~ Annie.
While I never met Annie, her playground was a wonderful respite for my youngest daughter & me to relax and play together, so much so that she wanted me to take her there every weekend we were together bringing a new friend from Mt Airy each time to share the glorious find of this amazing playground! This was especially helpful after the loss of her next oldest sister, MacKenzie, to Cancer. Here is Nikki, happy, just 11 days after losing her sister because we were at Annie's Playground. Thank you
I heard Annie’s 18th Birthday would have been today. I never knew Annie personally but the playground shows Annie must have been; a loving, caring, and joyful person to have a playground like this for one little girl must have been awfully special.
I have been taking my daughters and our family dog there for many years. I would be studying while the girls were playing and at times taking a break and joining them. One day I remembered saying to the girls it was time to leave, and Julie, Abi, and Mary asked to stay longer, it ended up that particular day we stayed for over two hours. I asked my daughters what they liked about the playground, looking to get an answer like; the slides, or the swings instead they replied, “What isn’t there to like, we like everything.” It is like having a huge playground just not in our backyard.
Even thou my daughters are growing up and moving on, two of them still play there. And this year I will start a new tradition I will be bringing my grandson in hopes that he too will experience the joy my daughters have.
Annie and her sister were on my daughter's softball team when Annie was only 5. I somehow ended up as "assistant coach" that year when all I meant to be was "snack mom". Because I was "coaching," I got to know Annie and her sister a little more than if I had just been on the sidelines. I remember how sweet she and her sisters were. I consider myself blessed to have spent a very small amount of time knowing her while she lived on this earth.Print
As friends of a The Cumpstons we were looking to do anything we could to help in their time of need. I helped with the build and when I found out you could donate and be a sponsor I jumped at the chance. I picked a bench and our name was placed on it. When my young twin boys went to play at Annie's Playground they found the bench that bore our family's name. They then instructed the other kids that it was their bench and they could not sit on it. This is not exactly good behavior but it was funny. They always loved playing at Annie's.Print
My daughter Stacy McCue, her two boys Nathan and Colin and I were at the playground the day of the ribbon cutting and dedication. We were there by chance as it was a nice day and we were looking to take the boys somewhere outside to play. Although Stacy and I were familiar with the story of what had happened to Annie we had no idea it was the day of the dedication.
As we got out of the car and walked over we could hear people speaking and luckily for us got to hear the family speak.
What an emotional joyful day that was!
Oh and what a crowd! In fact since the boys were so young at the time, just 4 and 2 it was a bit overwhelming as they quickly got lost in the crowd.
We have been back several times and in fact I just had my 7 year old Granddaughter Pieper, sister to the boys, and her friend Darby there this past summer.
I have also had the boys see Annie's beautiful gravesite. They know her story as well.
Having the playground in her memory is a blessing. What better tribute could there be for a little girl taken way too soon than a playground filled with laughter of kids just her age.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful daughter with the rest of us. I cannot even imagine the number of silent prayers sent each time someone visits.
I heard that today would have been Annie's 18th birthday. I would like to let you know how Annie has been a blessing to my family. We do not know your family personally, but having a beautiful place to play when my daughters were younger was wonderful. I took my girls there often and told them about Annie. We would sit together and talk about what we had learned about Annie when we visited her playground. As a mom, I think of your family to this day and I pray that you are able to find some peace in knowing that Annie has touched the lives of families in our community over the years.Print
I was sent here by The Cool Kids Campaign, via Justin Berk's Facebook page, in honor of Annie's 18th birthday. I did not know Annie, but I heard the news story at the time and my heart went out to the family. It's hard to believe it's been 12 years. Despite never knowing her, I feel a connection. I have an Annie's Playground magnet on my fridge. It depicts a self portrait Annie drew. I'm not sure where I got it, but I always keep it on my fridge and think of her each time I see it. I am also a member of St. Margaret's Church, and I have often seen the little garden by the chapel, which Annie's sisters dedicated to her. I have also taken my kids to the playground many times. I uploaded photos from a fun visit a few years back when my sister and I took all our kids. Hope they bring you some smiles. One of my daughters reminded me tonight that she tripped and twisted her ankle that day, and a kind lady carried her to find me. My oldest daughter remembers losing a tooth while eating an ice cream sandwich on another day at the playground. Thank you so much for sharing Annie with those of us who didn't get to know her personally, and thanks to all who made the playground a lasting memorial to her. Happy birthday, Annie!Print
Happy Birthday, Annie! Your legacy of love, laughter and strength still live on in the children who are fortunate enough to visit Annie's Playground!
In SMS kindergarten class that year there were five girls named some form of Anna- Annie F., Annie C., Annelise, Anna Marie and Anna. Three of them had birthdays within a month of each other! Every year as Christmas and Anna's birthday week pass, I think "Annie would soon be that age." I think back to Anna and Annie playing with the toy kitchen at school. I think about Annie's pink Halloween costume that year and how cold everyone was when we took the picture outside. I remember her at Anna's birthday party leaning forward as Anna blew out the candles. Little snapshots of such a big picture by all those who were fortunate enough to know her and her family. This picture inspired her family and a community to make sure her sweet life would be remembered happily by all those fortunate to pass through the gates of Annie's Playground🎈
My mom's story gives me a feeling that I can not describe. I am so utterly bonded to those Dixie Chicks songs of Annie's. (Because they're all "Annie's songs" to me.) God she really did love to sing her favorites on that CD. The second she was settled in her seat, you could almost always count on her asking so sweetly (in that way she would) for the number of one she liked.
She really liked number 12. A six minute song called "To the Top of the World".
We all loved that one. It just was so beautiful. It had this awesome finale that just did everything a finale should...It left you right there out in the song.
my favorite time in particular...
..there we all always were...as per usual singing at the top of our lungs...loving every second.... we are in my moms tiny blue car...the big finale comes on as we are pulling down into the driveway...Annie's voice sings out louder & more beautiful than her usual... I look at her in the rearview mirror. She is squeezing her eyes tight, head tilted back, truly belting out the ending. She's goin for it. When she finishes she pops her smiling eyes open and looks right at me, like she knew I'd be watching. she flashes me her smile. I see a big dimple. I hear her giggle.
I hold on tight to that spirit of hers.
Lets make her proud. In her honor, go for it. Belt it out to the top of the world. and smile.
I didn't know Annie or her family but the trail by her playground has been my favorite place to run and forget my worries for many years....to me it's the perfect place!! And there I am reminded to Love deeper and to Value the time I have with people in my life because life is fragile and there is never enough TIME....love & peace to the Family of AnniePrint
Birthdays are just that...a celebration of the day of our birth. Annie is our precious child who left too soon. Even though she is not physically here...our whole family feels her presence daily..in a thousand ways. In her sisters faces, in songs we hear, in memories we hold dear. I would rather have her here with us to celebrate the day of her birth but that is not to be. So we all embrace our memories of her and talk about her any time we can. She is woven into the fabric of this family as if she were physically here with us. The pain is still so monumental at times and our hearts still break at the thought of our loss, but we are so proud of her mom and dad and her three amazing sisters who persevere everyday. Who live on and bring their beautiful sister forward with them. She will forever be 6 and they will live strong, loving lives that Annie would be so proud of. I still thank God that we had her with us because her life mattered and she gave us all so much joy. Can't equate the joy with anything tangible, I just know the love she gave us all has to be enough to get us through. She loved BIG and she loved LOUD!!!! Miss you little Annie McGannie
Your MOST Favorite Aunt!! :-)
I'm one of Annie's many cousins and, much as I hate to admit it, I don't have many memories specific to Annie. I was still a kid myself when she was taken from us. However, for me, Annie has come to sort of embody my childhood. Growing up, our family was (and still is) unusually close; hardly a month passed without some sort of family gathering and, during the year that my Grammy had cancer, the whole family was together more often than not. My twin brother, my cousin Mollie and I fall right in the middle of the 15 cousins, so we had the unique experience of being able to alternate between looking after the "little ones" and playing with them as peers.
Without doubt, my favorite childhood memories involve times spent with my siblings and cousins: Christmas Eves at Grammy and Poppop's - putting on our annual travesty of a nativity pageant and exchanging Secret Santa cousin gifts; the yearly week in Dewey Beach, where we all crammed into three tiny townhouses and having a shower to yourself was a rarity; summer pool parties at Aunt Megan and Uncle Tom's that lasted way past our bedtimes.
I was just starting the process of leaving childhood behind when Annie was taken away so, as I grew up, she began to represent the innocent, stress-free time before I started to really understand the world. The rest of us are adults (or nearly there) now, but Annie's still the little girl that keeps our kid selves from disappearing entirely. She's my symbol of where we all came from and that, no matter what, my family knows me - they've been with me the whole time - and they're not going anywhere. Annie, for me, is not only my cousin, she is my reminder that we were all kids once and that, if we look hard enough, we still are.
I love you Annie.
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