Thursday, April 7, 2011

Meet Maddie

Last summer I met Maddie and her family, and I've never been so touched.

A "button" on a friend's blog has lead me down a path I did not know existed. It's a cross-country relationship with people who do not know me.

Welcome to the world of blogging.

The "are you a friend of Maddie" botton shows a picture of Maddie, a bright-eyed little girl in yellow wearing a grin that reminds me of my son when he was a baby. I probably could find a photograph of Will that mirrors Maddie's expression. After several visits to my friend's blog, I pressed that botton and arrived in California, where I read about Maddie on her website -

It is an understatement to say I was shocked to learn she had died.

No one was home but me. For hours I sat right here and read. I read and read and read and I cried and cried and cried. I was stunned. That day and in the weeks that followed I physically mourned the death of Madeline Spohr.

It's been two years exactly since Madeline Spohr died from complications of a severe respiratory illness.
Her mother, Heather Spohr, and father, Mike Spohr, and baby sister, Annabel, live near Los Angeles.

Yes, I met them on the World Wide Web. Me and thousands of other readers daily follow their blog -

The Spohrs were blogging before Maddie died and have continued, sharing their story along the way.

Isn't that why we all blog? To share a story, a piece of advice or an opinion? Theirs is a sad story, one that has affected me deeply. But it is also hopeful.

Daughter Annabel was born on Jan. 22, 2010, and within the past couple of months has started walking. By all accounts Annie appears healthy and is being raised by wonderful parents who just happen to have lost their first daughter ... parents who are trying to hold it together.

I have never commented on their posts but I think about them every day and especially today as they continue to grieve the loss of precious Maddie.

Maddie was born a day shy of 29 weeks on Nov. 11, 2007.
She spent 68 days in intensive care. Her premature condition left her lungs scarred.

In the days that have passed her family has raised money for the March of Dimes and also for "families of critically ill babies in an effort to help ease the transition into NICU life and to be be an ally until the end of their child's hospital stay," according to

I invite you to meet the Spohrs.