On April 8th of this year, I logged into twitter. I hadn’t been using it for very long, I didn’t follow many people. I followed some people I already knew through Livejournal and Facebook. On this day, Kimberly linked to a blog post from Matt Logelin about the sudden loss of a beautiful and vibrant little girl named Maddie. I couldn’t get very much information because Heather’s website completely crashed due to the high traffic. So I spent a little while trying to find what I could from other places. Not a lot of luck since I didn’t really know anybody involved. At all. I went back to Matt’s website and cried with each entry I read.
A few days later, I was finally able to find my way back to Heather’s blog. I was completely devastated. I couldn’t believe the transition. One entry is talking about taking Maddie to parks, the next talks about her passing. It took my breath away. It still does.
And I began to feel regret.
I regretted not knowing this beautiful baby girl while she was alive. I regretted that I had nothing to offer the Spohrs. I regretted every last minute with my son that I took for granted.
And now, on the eve of her second birthday, I find myself filled with an odd sense of calm. I do not doubt tomorrow will be a very hard day for many people, myself included. However, from what I’ve learned of Maddie, I do not believe she would want us to spend the day surrendering to remorse and regret.
At this time I’d like to say that I’m glad Heather has continued to blog about Maddie. It’s helped me learn more about Maddie. It makes me feel more connected with Heather. Heather consistently writes with a degree of honesty I can only hope to achieve some day.
Heather and Mike, I want you to know that you are not alone. Thousands of people will spend today noticing the purple that occurs in their lives. Thousands of people will remember Maddie today and every day for the rest of their lives. Maddie touched the lives and hearts of so many.
So today, I urge each and every person that reads this entry to donate to Friends of Maddie, so that lives can continue to be touched by this beautiful little angel. Friends of Maddie is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the families of premature and critically ill babies. With your support, Friends of Maddie can help provide strength and resources to families across the nation.
Maddie, I’m sorry I never got to know you, but you’ve touched my heart and I’ve been forever changed.
Happy Birthday Maddie. We love you.