Tuesday, September 15, 2009
7 blogs in 7 days - day 6 - Maddie
This is a blog I wanted to start on 5/7/09. This is a blog I haven't finished because I feel that I can't eloquently do it justice. This is a blog about a little girl who I never met, and never will, but one who I shed tears over several times a week.
I started reading this blog sometime toward the beginning of the year, when I started writing on blogspot and realized there were a plethora of mom blogs that I could relate to and loved. Heather Spohrs was a first time mom who had the funniest observations about life with a toddler when I "met" her. She always had me laughing and nodding. I wanted to be her real life friend. She had a daughter that was a few months younger than Addie who was born premature (her water broke at 19 weeks and Maddie was born at 29 weeks after 10 weeks of bed rest and no good news from the beginning of the pregnancy). She had to endure a lot but by the time I found her blog, she was finally in the safe zone, with a lot of medical hassles related to Maddie's chronic lung disease due to her premature birth and rough first few months. But Maddie was a healthy and vibrant little girl, to say the least. I also particularly enjoyed this blog because her husband, Mike, kept a dad blog. And it was fun reading about things in the same household from the male prospective.
At the beginning of April Heather wrote of an April fool's joke on her dad and Maddie enjoying big girls playing softball at the park. Then on April 6 Maddie got admitted to the hospital because her oxygen numbers were low. When I logged in on April 8 to check in on my friend and her little girl- no go, I couldn't get on to the blog. I didn't think much of it, until I read on another mom's blog that Maddie had passed away. All over the blog community there were tributes to Maddie but no one seemed to know what happened. I was crushed, and I certainly wasn't the only one. Heather's blog readers from all over have supported her in many ways, and I'm not the only one grieving with her day after day. So many, just like me, have never met this family that they care so much about.
That was 5 months ago. And I've been wanting to write my tribute to Maddie ever since. And I haven't found the words. A lot has changed since then. In fact, Heather and Mike started trying to make Maddie a big sister before she passed. And they found out after, that they did, and that Heather is pregnant. Reading daily about Heather's raw grief and truth in the roller coaster life that she is living, gives so much prospective to my own. To my own healthy, living children, to my own healthy pregnancy. I cry with her not understanding how she bears it. And I know she doesn't either...just barely getting through each day, most of the time.
At first I felt a little embarrassed by how the tragedy of someone I never knew could affect me this much. On a daily basis. I think of Heather every single day, for five months. I worry about her on the days she doesn't post. Lawrence always thinks I take on the worries of too many people, and I know I do. But this is different than most, maybe because I can't do anything to help her. I'm not taking on her burden as my own, just really hurting for a fellow mom. I haven't been able to get this family out of my mind. And I cherish my own more every time I read a post of Heather's. I'm thankful for the bedtime battles she wishes she was having, I'm thankful for the misbehaving that she should be correcting. And I'm thankful for the meltdowns that she'd love to be ignoring. Of course, every kiss and every word and every "I love you mama" melts my heart, and I remember that I'm blessed to get each one of these. Yesterday I talked of doing a better job tomorrow. I'm blessed to have a tomorrow to do better, but none of us know how many more we will have. A daily reminder of a grief stricken mom helps me to remember that and do my best even better. Heather would love to wake up with poopy face marks on her white comforter.
I know that through the link on my side bar, many of you have started reading Heather's blog. And you have been drawn in by her the same way that I have. She is a wonderful mom, and I pray that her little "Binky" will be born full term, safe and sound. But she's got a ways to go, and the road is not easy, it is a high risk pregnancy, and she's struggling through each day to find hope while still freshly mourning the light of her life. And although Binky could never replace Maddie, I'm so thankful that Binky has given them something to live for.
Now that I've finally written this blog. It still isn't enough. There are no words to express how much I hurt for this mother that I have never met. I can only pray and hold my breath and keep reading about her journey while I savor my own.