I’ve always been open about the fact that I don’t enjoy the annual March for Babies. I obviously love the cause and am incredibly grateful for everything the March of Dimes does for premature babies, but participating in the walk is always difficult. Seeing all of those babies who lived…it’s hard. Mike and I always have a lot of stress leading up to the march, and I don’t think we fully decompress until a few days later.
Annabel, on the other hand, loves the walk. She counts down to it, tells everyone she meets about it, and when it’s over she’s legitimately sad. I think part of the reason she likes it is because all of our family and friends are around (this is one of the few things I like about the walk, too). It’s almost everyone we love, all in one place, all for us.
This year was obviously different, because we weren’t just walking but also part of the program. I’ve spoken at a few events leading up to the walk, so Annabel had heard versions of my speech before this last Saturday. Still, we were very careful to talk everything out with Annie in the weeks leading up to the march. We wanted to make sure she understood our role, and answered all of her questions. I also made sure to include her in everything from photo shoots to interviews.
We let her decide if she wanted to go onstage during my speech, and she adamantly wanted to. She spent the morning making a sign that said, “The March for Maddie,” and held it up while I spoke.
I didn’t find out until later that, whenever I mentioned Maddie’s name, Annabel would point to her sister’s face on her shirt.
When I asked her about it, she smiled and said, “I wanted everyone to know Maddie is MY sister.”
Annabel also got to hold the banner at the beginning of the march:
Annie was very proud we were the Ambassador family. She beamed when people talked to her about it at the march, and she told everyone at school about it, too. Her pride and excitement made a hard day so much better. She is my light.
Thank you to everyone who donated to our team. We exceeded our goal by almost $2,200! I am so honored and lucky to have all of you in our life.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.