I sat in the play area, and I wondered what she would do first.
Would she climb the big foam tree?
Run across the bridge at top speed?
Jump from the top of the oversized rhino down to the ground?
I know she would idolize the big girls, try to do what they did.
Would she be as tall as that child?
As strong as that one?
Would she be fearless?
Of course she would.
I closed my eyes, and I could see her.
Laughing, chasing her friends, holding their hands.
She would come over to me, with cheeks flushed from play, and ask for five more minutes.
She would say “I love you mama.”
She would kiss her sister, and run off again
to climb the trees of my imagination.
Kate @ UpsideBackwards says:
Of course she would.
Love and hugs to you.
emily bilbrey says:
a beautiful girl, with a beautiful soul.
lucky to have each other, you and she.
a tear from me and a hug to you.
i hold my daughter extra tight following each and every time i read your blog.
much love to your wonderful family!
She would do all that….and more. She was an exceptional child. So beautiful.
I know you miss her so much
Katrina just said it perfectly.
Love to you all x
J in eire says:
It will never be fair that she isn’t here, but it will always be wonderful that she lived, that she was here, that you hold her forever in your heart, and share her with all of us so that she lives forever in hearts around the world… Smiling, as I imagine her filling your imagination and keeping you close.
Anna Marie says:
Yes. This says it perfectly.
Perfect sentiments. And just know she’s playing in a million other imaginations all over the world.
XOXO from GA,
Sarah M. says:
Perfectly written. We can all see her beautiful smile & big bright eyes thanks to you. I’m so very thankful you’ve shared her with us. Life is more precious because of having known her.
She definitely would. xoxo
Ny cousin died at 15 months from SIDS. Coming from an irish catholic family that spent nearly every day with each other, we are more like brothers and sisters than cousins. I often think what she would be doing now: getting a learner’s permit, complaining about school, playing softball (she had a heck of an arm for a 1 year old.)
Her sister C (who was 5 when she found her sister dead in the crib) has amazed us with her strength since that day in december. my aunt and uncle dove headfirst into drugs and alcohol to cope and Colleen has lived with my grandma since Tara’s passing. We all think about how much our family would be different if she had lived.
i am in awe of you, being able to carry on, mother your beautiful annabel and still post hilarious videos (you guys need a reality show…calling Bravo!).
this is a beautiful post. thank you.
dysfunctional mom says:
I wish she were there.
She would do all of those things and a few you would never see coming. Thinking of you today and every day.
Just a short grouping of words and you show EXACTLY what you are feeling. Beautiful.
She would be beautiful, funny and smart. I wish she were right by your side as well as deep in your heart.
My heart goes out to your family.
Shannon Kieta says:
She would be all you dream she would be. And she is dancing in Heaven and keeping Jesus on his toes. Hugs and kisses. Now, while I wipe the tears….
Exquisite!! Imagining…oh so hard, yet so easy! You are a wonderful writer Heather and oh, If I could only make 1 wish…..Maddie would climb that big tree. Hugs to you!
If words could fix the hurt, your friends and family and readers would have you there already.
Sending our very best thoughts and wishing you a few moments of peace today.
This. And lots of ((hugs))
Don’t forget about that giggle b/c she would be doing lots of that too and flashing her breath taking smile. I so wish she was here too instead of in Heaven playing with the Angels.
Sending you a warm hug, and a tear of despair b/c…..I miss her too. With all the “I don’t knows and the why did Maddie have to go”? I do know one thing to be 100% true…Madeline Alice Spohrs will ALWAYS be loved and NEVER, EVER.. be forgotten!!!!
Sending a hug and a prayer.
We will never, ever forget her.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
I wish Maddie could be doing all those things and more…
Mary Ann says:
Hugs to you today.
Hugs and wishes being sent to you and yours today. It just… sucks. Hold Annie a bit tighter on the sad days.
love and hugs from NJ.
Jenni Williams says:
Someone above said it best, if words could fix your hurt and bring her back, we would have a 1000 times over.
This is beautiful.
Know that she lives on in our hearts and minds as well as yours.
Painful, yet beautiful Heather. Your imagination is beautiful – I so wish for you it was your reality.
This is so very moving. Beautiful words for a beautiful little girl.
She would have had a fabulous time! There must surely be playgrounds in heaven, yes?! (((Hugs)))
oh that radiant smile of hers, how it still lights up so many lives, including mine.
this is a beautifully written testament to the fact that a mother’s love knows no boundaries, knows no end. you are still the best mommy to maddie and i think she feels it.
Oh, Heather. All of that and infinitely more. I can’t imagine how much you miss her.
She would be having so much, giggling, playing, all of it. I wish you could do more than just imagine it.
Love and hugs sweetie, I’m thinking about you today and always.
I could picture her too as I read your post. She would have such a big smile and expressive eyes. She should be with you.
I pictured her too, as I read this. And the fact that I could summon an image of her so easily–those beautiful eyes, that big smile, that bright spirit–is a testament to how vivid she has become (through your words and your photos) to those of us who never met her.
Such a special girl, such a heartbreaking post.
My heart aches for you!! I wish she was by your side, enjoying Annie and Rigby. She is sooo Missed.
That is beautiful and heartwrenching at the same time. Thank you for sharing that and for sharing your family with us every day.
Trisha Vargas says:
Her big beautiful smile and bright eyes was all I could see as I read this post today. She was truly captivating.
I am sure she would have adored Annie and they would have been quite adventurous together.
My heart hurts for you every day and how I wish your Maddie was here with you.
((((HUGS))) from Florida
I didn’t have the chance to meet Maddie, but I feel lucky every time I get the opportunity to read about her.
I lost a child at birth. I daydream too abt what he would be doing now. It’s gutwrenching to picture your child being potty trained and talking, getting ready for preschool. The other day I found out in conversation that my beautician’s daughter was born the EXACT same day as my son. So looking at her that day was like picturing what he would be like.
My heart aches so much for you. It’s so unfair. Lovely writing.
She lives everyday – in our hearts and your memories – ((((((((((Hug))))))))))))
Ashley Lane says:
Ok, so I’ve been a lurker for more than a year… I’ve never said anything, b/c I just didnt have the words… But now that I’m a mom – my little man is just a month younger than your Annie… this brings me to tears!! Not that many other posts havent… but this one just tugs at my heart.
I wish she were here with you! I wish no mother had to go through the pain and anguish that you and your family have.
Wow – beautifully written! You amaze me!!!
Lessons in Life and Light says:
This is a beautiful poem. She is always remembered.
Lindsay from Florida says:
She so clearly loved her mama (and her whole family) to pieces. It’s there in every picture. I’m so sorry you never got to hear her say the words. So sorry that you only see her in your imagination. It’s achingly unfair and cruel, and I have no words of comfort to offer for it, just the promise that she fills not just your heart and imagination, but those of people the world over. She’s remembered. She’s honored. She’s loved.
Snickrsnack Katie says:
Such beautiful words…. she will always live on in your heart, imagination and soul.
You write beautifully. Anybody who loves children will have their heart broken a bit when reading your words. Maddie was a rare child, with both great inner and outer beauty.
I’m thinking of you every day.
I could totally see this, her beautiful face with that infectious smile is completely etched in my brain. And those big girls would be totally smitten with her as well, fighting for the chance to hold her hand, and show her the ropes of playground mania.
I too beleive she would be doing all that and more. Maddie may be gone, but she is very much alive in your imagination and heart. I know she is in mine and I have never met her. She is so beautiful.
Lots of hugs to you, Mike, and Annie
Even though I only “know” you through your posts, in my minds eye I can see her doing all those glorious things & so many more. I wear my Maddie bracelet every day for your beautiful girl.((hugs))
Heartbreaking and beautiful. Sweet Maddie climbing the trees of your imagination…it’s hard to fight the tears when I picture that. I can see you there with your eyes tightly closed and all I want to do is cry for you and for her.
It’s not fair!! I wish she could be doing all those things!
Wow. This is just so beautifully written and captures your yearning so perfectly. I couldn’t contain my tears today. I love how vivid she is in your mind and that you can share her with us through your words. I will never take a trip to the playground for granted – thank you.
Today would have been my little brother’s 29th birthday had he lived. I would’ve been teasing him about his last year in his 20’s. I would have taken him to the lake, the beach, anything….I would do anything for him.
Fitting post today, for me, missing our loves Heather – hugs.
I imagine, the big days (birthdays, Christmas, etc) are expected to be difficult, but those everyday, ordinary memories and dreams not realized are especially hard because they take you by surprise and take your breath away…I am sorry everyday that your sweet baby is not around to create havoc in your home and on the playground. She should be.
Thinking of you.
Maddie was the fearless type, as you know better than the rest of us. Such a strong, smart girl, and that would have shown up all over the playground.
Momma Lioness Michele says:
Sending loving and peaceful thoughts your way…
Laurie SL says:
She is and will always be beautiful. I miss her and wish we could all see her pictures growing up. Love to you and your family.
Ms. Moon says:
All of that. And more. And more of that.
Marti from Michigan says:
Eloquent, beautiful words. These words for your Maddie as well……as she is growing up in Heaven.
I can totally picture her doing all of that through your words! I can see her flashing her famous big grin and laughing!
Hugs to you!
This is beautiful, but absolutely gutting at the same time. It’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair. Those words can never be said enough. I’m so sorry.
(((extra hugs today)))
Heather, sending you, Mike and Annie hugs! Beautiful post like always!!! XXX
this post just knocked the wind out of me.
yes, she would be doing all those things. I’m so sorry she’s not here. but she’s doing them somewhere.
I wish you could see her grow up in more than your imagination. I will always remember sweet Maddie.
Shirley L says:
Yes should would.
I don’t know how you do it.
How one sweet, beautiful, little girl can be missed so very, very, much by so many that never even got to meet her……… It breaks my heart.
Hugs to your entire family, Heather…………………
I keep thinking of the title of that Elizabeth McCracken book, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination.
Yesterday at work I saw a little 5 year old girl who has Maddie eyes. It took my breath away and my heart hurt and I never met Maddie. Such a uncomprehensible loss for you and the world.
Ashley Hast says:
I have so many thoughts I can’t put into words, but oh……..I can just see her doing all those things.
She’d definitely be the strongest and smartest girl there.
I have a numb pain in my heart as I read this. So—–and it should go without saying—–I know you must feel a bazillion times worse!
I don’t know what to say. ;o(
I didn’t mean to say “numb” pain. It’s just…pain. I’m sorry.
I know this dream so well. Mine right now is that she would be losing teeth, being a book worm, swimming like a fish, taking care of her little sisters and being a best friend to her brother. She would be helping me plan a Princess party for her little sister tomorrow.
So many dreams all in our heads and hearts.
My thoughts are with you! I cannot imagine how you are able to cope day to day. I was having a “hard” day of potty training, and well just being the Mom of a toddler, this blog post has put me into check. Taking our children for granted, not a good thing. Please know how much I appreciate your words, and wish you some peace.
This is such a sweet post. A post that put tears in my eyes, so I felt compelled to comment. Yet I don’t know what to say, except I’m thinking of you guys. Hugs!
Michelle W says:
Your grieving always takes my breath away and I wish I could do so much more than tell you how much your little girl is remembered and how much your entire family is cared for.
Okay, I do have something to say. It mirrors a bit what other commenters said. My son is special needs. He has a genetic syndrome called 18q-. Because of it he faces many challenges. I belong to a list-serve for parents. These days there have been many posts about the older kids and their issues. It’s scary and over-whelming. Yet when I read a post like this, it reminds me to keep things in perspective.
March of Dimes and the Chromosome 18 Research and Registry Foundation are without question the causes nearest and dearest to my heart.
Thank you for sharing Maddie with us. I miss her too.
pretty (face) says:
This feels like a poem. I don’t know if you intended it that way, but it does xxx
heather, i think of you and mike and maddie all of the time. i can only begin to imagine how much you miss her. i’m always sending you love and hugs…always thinking of you. xoxo
Oh Heather…Even I miss little Maddie for you and your family. You were so lucky to have such a beautiful and smart little girl.
Rebecca Zhang says:
This is beautiful. I can not imagine the pain that you have gone through. Thanks for reminding me what is important.
When I read your blog posts about Madeline, I forget to breathe.
I think that by you going on, she goes on as well.
I am in tears. For you and I both. With that single post, you captured everything I feel on a daily basis. The world has so many land mines about it….if you let it, right?
Hugs to you and thank you for sharing your story :o)
And she would always say I love you Mama. And she WILL always say it in your heart. And she will be the quiet voice in your head whispering it to you when you least expect it.
Hugs to all of you..
we all miss her too..
Thank you for sharing her with all of us..
My heart breaks for you every day Heather. I would give anything to even give you one more day with her.
We’re always here when you need us.
A beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it with us.
In tears as usual when reading your beautiful posts. My little girl just got one of hundreds of extra hugs that she’s gotten since I started reading last year, all thanks to your beautiful Maddie.
This is exactly what I think we would all picture, and wish for you and your family. I wish it could be, but will pray for comfort for you, and know that she is your special intercessor, she will watch over all of you, and wait to be in your arms once more. Blessings to all the Spohr family.
Oh, Heather. I think about Maddie every day.
This is beautiful. HUGS.
Beautiful. I know that’s just how she would be~red hair flying, blue eyes taking it all in…and oozing love.
What a beautiful place for you to go to meet with her~making her never far away.
Love to you…
I really don’t know what to say. I really wish you had gotten to experience all of this with her. ((((HUGS))))
Okay here’s where I’ll sound like a crazy person but…lots of smart people (Einstein for one) believed in the possibility of alternate realities/parallel universes, so I’d like to think you weren’t just imagining it. Your Mommy eyes are so powerful that you could actually see through to the stream of time where Maddie is a vibrant, beautiful toddler and Mama Spohr has two little girls loving her up every minute!
Kelly Maguire says:
This is lovely and perfect. Hugs.