Today is one of those days I don’t even want to venture outside into the sunshine and face other people. Because how can you explain to them that your eyes are red and you’re fighting back tears because an “online friend who you’ve never met” (yet) has lost her young child?
For those who don’t read The Spohrs are Multiplying, little Maddie passed away unexpectedly last night after being admitted to the hospital for respiratory problems. I know how sick and heartbroken I feel about it, so I can’t imagine the pain that Heather and her husband are going through right now.
Maddie was a preemie who endured several ups and downs throughout her 17 months, yet nearly every photo of her showed a bright, smiling child so incredibly full of life and happy with what she had. It is impossible to look at a photo of Maddie and not smile at her beautiful grin and the mischevous twinkle in her eye. Mira – only a few months older than Maddie – has often pointed and smiled at Maddie’s photos, one of only a few online children that Mira takes an interest in during my blog reading.
It doesn’t matter that Heather is an online friend. Whether we know her in person or only through her writing, her pain is still shared by so many of us, and her loss affects us all. She made so much of her life with Maddie available to us that it’s hard to not feel like they’re next door neighbors.
Hug your children a little tighter today as you remember Maddie and keep her family in your thoughts. The family has asked that any help be in the form of donations to March of Dimes and I’m hoping we can push her walk donations over the $10K mark.
As I mentioned last week, I’ll be walking in the Columbus March of Dimes walk at the end of this month. I’m sad that I have a new reason for my walk, and I’ve added myself to Maddie’s team to help raise more money in her name.
You’ll be missed, Maddie. All my love and strength to your family as they endure this difficult time.