Find Me
Past Posts
Blog For Peace. Not Swag.

Archive for the ‘Madeline’ Category

For Lovely Madeline

Last Wednesday, April 7th, marked the one year anniversary of Madeline’s passing.

I wanted to write a post for Maddie on the 7th, but the words wouldn’t come.  Only tears, only sorrow. 

I knew last week would be hard, but I didn’t know that I would fight tears with every word I spoke, or that my fingers would refuse to type.

My family and I spent the day outside, and with help from Victoria  and her family, we planted a purple flower garden in honor of Maddie’s beautiful spirit.





If I could have just one wish, it would be that things were different – that Maddie could be here, with her parents and baby sister Annabel, where she belongs. 

It breaks my heart that my wish won’t ever come true.  I can’t build a time machine, can’t erase the last year and have a do-over.

What I can do is offer a few photos of Madeline that Heather and Mike haven’t seen before.  I took them on October 28, 2008, just a couple of weeks before Madeline’s first birthday. 

I had turned off my flash, not wanting to blind Maddie every time I took a photo.  The pictures turned out so dark, and my photo editing skills are so awful, that Madeline couldn’t even be seen.

But with a little patience, and a little bit of help from some half-way decent photo software, Maddie appeared from the darkness.

Heather. Mike.  Annabel.  I wish with all my heart I could give you a world with your sweet Madeline in it.

Madeline.  You are so missed, and so very, very loved.  Now and always.

Friends of Maddie

Have you ever thought to yourself, “What could I do to be a better person”?

Maybe try a little harder to help those less fortunate?

Most of us have.  Some of us haven’t.

But regardless, there’s a great way you can honor the memory of the lovely and incredibly missed Madeline Alice Spohr, and help the families of babies in the NICU. 

Whose heart doesn’t skip a beat when thinking about sweet little babies struggling for life?  Or, at the very least, whose heart doesn’t palpitate when thinking about wining a free Netbook from Intel?

Click on the link above, or go here and leave a comment.  Oh, and don’t forget to make a donation.  It’s not required, but dude.  Karma is a bitch. 

And so am I, if you win and I find out you couldn’t spare a dime.

Through the Looking-Glass

Sweet Madeline, where did you go?  You were just here.  

Smiling, laughing, sharing your light with the world.

Did you lose your way, Maddie-Moo? 

You stepped through the looking-glass, dear Madeline.  Can you hear us?  Can you see us?

We’re waiting here for you, love.

Will you reach through the looking-glass, baby girl, just for a moment?


A simple touch, Madeline.  It’s not so much to ask. 

Do you know how many people are peering through the looking-glass, Maddie? 

Your eyes sparkle as brightly as ever, your smile still lights up the room.

How can you be so here, and yet so gone?

Do you feel our love through the looking-glass, Madeline?  Do you know that we’ll love you forever?

I hope so.


It’s been three months since Maddie left this world.  Her mom and dad share their memories, photos, videos and their grief with the world, so that the rest of us can catch a glimpse of Madeline through the looking-glass.  I hope they know how much she is loved – how much they are loved.

*All photos are courtesy of Heather Spohr’s flickr stream, used by permission*

Once a Father, Always a Father

In honor of Father’s Day, President Obama made his feelings known about what it means, to him, to be a dad.  He made a point that fatherhood extends far past conception, and is wrapped up in the way a dad raises his children.

I’ve known some wonderful fathers throughout the course of my life.  I appreciate my own Dad more and more every day, especially now that I am a parent myself.  My husband, the father of my children, is an amazing Dad.  He lost his own father at a very young age, and had three wonderful men step up to the plate to fill that role.  Without those men in his life, he wouldn’t be the person he is today.

There is one father whose dedication to his daughter has always amazed and inspired me.  Today, Mike Spohr spends his first Father’s Day without his beloved Madeline, on whom he showered countless kisses and an immeasurable amount love and care. 

The ladies of Room 704 (Dawn, V, and Leslie) created a lovely tribute to Mike, and many of us are posting it in his honor today.  And Mike?  Please remember, once you’re a father – you are always a father. 

Much love to all of you fathers out there – today is your day!


Serenity Now Sunday -For Mike, For Father’s Day

Sometimes, the best we can do is share a person’s experience and let them know we have their back. That while we may not how they feel, we recognize that there are days that are just going to suck beyond the telling of it. So today we celebrate firsts. Just a very few of Maddie’s firsts from the Spohr family flickr photostream:

First time being held by daddy

First time being held by mommy

Chillin’ after the first bath

First Christmas

First Sunshine, First Car Ride

First nap, when a totally embarrassing picture of Mike was taken  

First Baseball Game

We celebrate all the joyous firsts with you,
and stand guard over you for all the firsts to come.

The Women of Room 704.

Clearly, She’s Not

I have been emotionally unpredictable lately, and it’s been driving me insane.  Today, I cried more often than I didn’t cry.  I wrote this to try and get some of my feelings out, so that maybe tomorrow I can wake up with dry eyes.  I want to laugh, like Maddie laughed.  Soon, I hope.


Unlike many people, I couldn’t imagine myself in Heather’s shoes when Maddie passed away.  Inherently, I knew that the mere thought would crush me to the ground, shatter my heart and rip me to shreds.  I didn’t try to see from Heather’s perspective, because the view is hard enough from here.  My mind built a brick wall between Maddie’s death and the mortality of my own children, because I refused to make that connection. 

But last night, I caught a glimpse behind the wall and it has brought me to my knees.  In my first-ever twitter drama, I challenged someone’s view on unvaccinated children.  I pointed out that my girl Blythe is deathly allergic to most vaccines, and so we don’t vaccinate.  We can’t vaccinate.  What choice do we have?

And while I’m not angry and the person has since apologized and explained that her social-media persona is often insensitive, her response is burned into my eyelids:  

define “deathly allergic” she’s clearly not dead.

No, clearly she’s not.  Thank God and all that is Holy in the world.  Thank Modern Medicine and Science and Geeks who spend their free time experimenting in the basement.  Thank the Universe, Thank Karma, Thank Fate.  Thank Timing and Mother’s Intuition and Doctors who will listen instead of judge.  Thank My Lucky Stars, she’s clearly not.

Those seven words acted as a wrecking ball, and for the first time, that brick wall protecting my thoughts came crashing down.  I woke up this morning feeling raw, and the first thing I saw was my baby girl’s face smiling up at me.  With every laugh, every gentle touch, every word she spoke, the words burned into my mind: Thank God, she’s clearly not.

I held her to me and cried into her hair, wishing I could take her smell and bottle it, keep it in a vial at the hollow of my throat.  What would I do without the feel of her soft hair against my cheek?  How could I go on, knowing I could never hold her in my arms again?  Thank God, she’s clearly not.

Most of the time, in our day-to-day life, I plan ahead for obstacles but keep my deep worries at bay.  The thoughts of what might happen if someone got careless have to be put on the top shelf, out of reach, or I would never let her leave the house.  I try to let her live as normally as possible, just as Heather and Mike did for Maddie.  There’s no sense in trying to keep her in a bubble – what kind of life is that?

But today I look at her and I can’t help but think of all the what-ifs.  I think of the near misses and the chances we take every day.  I wonder what would happen if the one time I forgot her epi-pen at home turned out to be the one time we really needed it.  Today, the wall is gone.  Every time I look at my baby girl, I get a tiny glimpse of what it would be like to be in Heather’s shoes and it takes my breath away.  Today, all the fears I’ve harbored about Blythe’s future are right there, laid out in front of me. 

I think about how, if something were to happen and she had to be taken to the hospital, they may not have the right tools to help her.  How many hospitals keep corn-free IV fluid in stock?  How many keep pure pain meds on hand?  Or pure antibiotics, or pure anything else?  How many doctors would listen to a hysterical mother?  Even if she’s trying to explain that ordinary medical products would most likely put her small child into anaphylactic shock?

I don’t want to see the view from Heather’s shoes.  Not ever, ever, ever.  I don’t want to think about how I would handle it.  But today, I do think about it and I cry.  I cry for Maddie and for all the what-ifs.  I cry for Heather and Mike, and my admiration for them deepens by the second. 

I watch my little girl go about her day, unware of the dangers around her, and I think to myself: Thank God, she’s clearly not.