The night before the March for Babies we had a rare Los Angeles rain storm. I was worried it would still be raining the morning of the march, but luckily the skies cleared and while it was “California cold,” it wasn’t anything a few extra layers couldn’t handle.
I was so thrilled with our March For Maddie team – we beat last year’s team in fundraising!
Annie had a lot of questions about the walk this year. She didn’t quite understand why we were walking for Maddie if she wasn’t going to be there. “Are we going to the past?” I did my best to explain but I don’t think I gave her a satisfactory answer…probably because there really isn’t one. Luckily for Annie, a bunch of her friends were there, so all strangeness was forgotten as soon as they arrived.
James was happy to meet a bunch of people before the walk, and then he napped for the duration of the march. LUCKY.
Annie and her friends are all too big for strollers, so walking with them was slow-going. They were good about walking at first:
But eventually, Annie got tired. I had the foresight to bring along a wagon, but I probably should have anticipated multiple girls wanting turns.
She even had a friend willing to pick her up:
The walk is always a very emotional experience. Seeing Maddie’s face on shirts and the jumbotron is so bittersweet. It means so much to us to see her remembered by so many, but I’d give anything for her to be just another former preemie running around in the crowd. I remember during our very first March for Babies in 2008, I’d see teams walking in memory of their babies and I felt so lucky. Now we are one of those teams. I feel incredibly lucky we had Maddie for seventeen months, but it’s still hard to see the preemies that made it when ours didn’t. I spotted a few wearing shirts that identified their gestational ages as similar to Maddie’s, which was tough. It just…it sucks.
After the walks every year, I am physically and emotionally exhausted, but this year I thought about all of you who marched, donated and joined us in spirit. I know how difficult it is to part with hard-earned money and hard-earned sleep. It’s impossible to imagine how much more trying this all would be without the love we receive. I know I say that a lot, but it’s really true. At the walk, your love boosted my spirits and comforted me when I was ready to crumple. Thank you, so much, for supporting our team and the March of Dimes.
Every year at the walk I too wonder what it would be like to be walking with Jake and Sawyer instead of in their memory. What a different world it would be if there were more parents walking with their children than those of us who walk with birth and death dates of our child/children.
This year I tried to focus on the hope that hope that one day with the help of the March of Dimes maybe just maybe that world will be a reality.
Sending hope and hugs to all the Spohrs. xo
I dressed my daughter in head to toe purple on Saturday. When I realized what I had done, I thought immediately of your Madeline and gently put my hand on my daughter’s leg and told her it was a perfect color choice for the day since you and your family were walking for March of Dimes and your precious, beautiful daughter Madeline. You and your family were on my mind the entire day. I am so happy it was a great turnout and that you beat last year’s team! Sending you lots of love and gentle hugs…ALWAYS!!!
Wish we lived closer, we would have surely came and walked with you! We would love California cold. Spent yesterday in the basement hiding from tornados. My daughter and I were panicky, I wish I would have thought of letting her watch Spohr TV on my iphone. She LOVES your kids! Next time that’s what we will do, it would be an awesome distraction for her (and me too!).
Is it too late to donate? I usually donate to my friend’s team who’s son was born 6 weeks early, but it wasn’t until I drove past a bunch of purple shirts here in Chicago that I realized it was the March for Babies and that I’d missed it! Turns out my friends didn’t march because they’re closing on their house, but I’d still love to support the March of Dimes…so can I donate a day late to Team Maddie?!?!
Hi Rita! No, it’s not too late! You can still donate! Thank you so much, you are so kind!
I think you can say to Annie just what you said in your post: we walk to remember someone very important and close to our heart who is not with us.
Thank you for sharing your experience and pictures from the walk. Blessings to you and your family.
Woah! That 3rd pic. Where did Annie find her lookalike?
I thought the same thing!!!
Heather I’m kinda embarrassed to say how long it’s been since I checked in on you and your sweet family. I’m in the process of getting caught up!! I lost
my daddy on April 6th and I thought of you guys on the 7th (I started following your blog rite after Maddie passed and have not forgotten). Anyway I just wanted you to know that even though I don’t know you guys I pray for you and think of your sweet maddie often (heck all of you guys!)
Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us!
Andrea, I’m so sorry to hear about your father! My heart and thoughts are with you. xoxo
Thank you so much!! He was this invincible super hero to me so I think I’m still in shock.
I was thinking of you on Saturday. I know it is a bittersweet day, but I am so thankful for all those who march alongside you in so many ways!