I can't stop crying. Before anyone panics, the kids and Jeff and the animals and I are just fine. Except, no, I'm really not. I don't know how many of you have ever heard of Madeline Spohr, or Heather Spohr, but Maddie is the reason I'm bawling all the time. I see pictures and videos of her - smiling, laughing, learning to crawl, loving her family and them adoring her right back - and my heart breaks. Maddie passed away on April 7th, after the sudden onset of a very nasty respiratory illness. Maddie was born premature and had some lung damage because of it. She'd fought and survived a few other illnesses and no one expected this to be any different. Instead, her family suffered one of the most heartbreaking experiences of their lives, and the blog world looked on and wept with them.
You see, Heather had opened herself up to everyone via her blog ( www.thespohrsaremultiplying.com ) and we all looked on and watched Heather struggle with all of the ups and downs of parenting, and we all knew what that felt like. We, too, had those ups and downs. We watched Maddie fight and thrive and grow. We smiled at her antics and that contagious giggle of hers would make us all laugh. And then, the unthinkable. Silence.
I don't know how they manage it; their day to day. I would be a mess. I tell my husband, "Just lock me in a rubber room and throw away the key." I would be worthless, useless; life would be meaningless. But the Spohrs have something to live for. Heather is pregnant. They don't yet know the gender (the baby won't cooperate) but I know that, no matter what, this baby will be loved and cherished and, above all else, appreciated for the knowledge that most of us take for granted - the uncertainty of life.
So, I'll sit here and watch those videos and cry for Maddie. I'll wear purple for Maddie. I'll walk for Maddie. I'll grieve for Maddie in so many ways. Maddie, the child I love without ever having met; the child I will never meet because life is so unfair and there's not a damn thing we can do about it.