One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is “do you read all your comments?” The answer is yes. Every single one gets emailed to me. I like reading them that way because then I recognize email addresses and blog urls. I know who my regular commenters are and it makes me feel like everyone lives down the street instead of around the world.

In the days after Maddie died, I had to stop having my comments emailed to me. It was too much, too many emails, too many emotions. I shut out everything and just sat on my couch while the world spun around me. The first few weeks of comments after April 7th were unread by me.

With the nastiness my family has been dealing with these last few days, I needed reassurance that there were good people out there. So I started to go through the comments from those first few weeks, working my way backwards until I finally arrived at the post Meghan put up for me on April 7th. The only post on my blog I’ve never read.

I took a deep breath, and I started reading.

As the tears rolled down my face, I felt hideous grief. I imagined how my friends and family must have felt when they received the news about Madeline. I imagined how Meghan must have felt relaying the news. And I imagined the shock my readers felt, the readers that had supported us through every hospital stay.

When I reached the comments, I kept crying, but the tears became ones of gratitude. So many people wrote of their devastation, of their own sadness and grief. I knew that there were so many people that cared, but reading reactions…it really drove it home. All I want for my children is to love and be loved. Maddie is loved.

That love…that support…it wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t shared my family’s life. It wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t shown pictures of my daughter. Pictures are how you connect with a story. That’s why newspapers have images, why we have television and movies instead of just the radio. Pictures entertain, they improve a narrative, they DO speak a thousand words.

If my family hadn’t had that support, I don’t know where we’d be. It wouldn’t be a good place.

There are sick and disgusting people out there, but the good and loving people conquer all. They (you) are why I didn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. As long as there are good, kind people reading about my little family, I’m still going to share our life.

And our pictures.