Madeline loved beautiful things. She always noticed something bright-colored, pretty or sparkly. I never had to worry about missing anything when she was around, because she would see everything worth seeing.
She had this amazing way of getting your attention, and then she’d make SURE you saw what she was seeing. I took this silly video of her watching the cartoon “Mighty B” and it illustrates it perfectly. She’d look at you, look at the object, look at you, look at the object…and have a HUGE Maddie-Grin on her face. She’d then crawl over to you and climb into your lap, eager to fully share in the awesome new thing she’d just discovered.
She really did love to share. I have never seen a child so willingly offer her toys or bottle or mysterious piece of lint to anyone that came near her.
I used to hope she’d stay generous if she ever got a little brother or sister.
Way back when we were creating Maddie’s nursery, we spent a lot of time discussing the walls. We wanted a feminine color, but also something strong. When we went to the paint store Mike saw the precise shade of purple and it was settled. Purple suited her.
When I was pregnant Mike was still teaching eleventh grade English. One of the books his students studied was The Color Purple. I didn’t read it in high school, so I would occasionally pick it up when I saw his copy laying around. I came across this quote,
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
and it stuck with me.
Now I see purple everywhere. Did I never notice it before? Did I walk right by it? Or is it now popping up just when I need reminders of my Madeline?
Maddie loved bright-colored, pretty and sparkly purple things. And now, she is surrounded by something beautiful, forever.
Typing through smiles and tears. …. She’s still sharing now and she always will through her legacy and through your family. And what you are sharing is amazing. I wish I could find the right words to let you know just how much you, Maddie and Mike are sharing in ways you would never believe. I’ll just say that your sharing is helping me, another “stranger”, through some very dark days of my own – and I thank you. If only I could help you, the same way. And I also wish that I could find the words to comment on the last photo. It is beautiful. I’m just so sorry you had to choose it….. This blog was already so beautiful and it just keeps becoming more beautiful with every post. It is because of the love that it is inspired by and the love that will always, always be alive. That is beautiful.
Watching that video, man. The whole time I was thinking, why did she have to go? It’s so unfair that you, and the world, have to be without that little angel. But at the same time, every time she turned to you and cracked that huge sweet smile, I couldn’t help but mirror it. She just makes you smile. Seriously, what a fantastic smile.
She is so beautiful, and so missed.
I read your tweets about the doctor’s office today. I hope everything is okay and your tests come back okay.
Jamie’s last blog post..The Perfect Gift for Mother’s Day! Brownies!! (Review and Giveaway!)
catherine lucas says:
I wondered where you guys got the color purple. Now it makes sense…
I love the video’s of Maddie, they bring her in a way back to life. Even if after the movie stops, you feel the missing more…
I am so glad you have all the photographs and live footage of her happiness
catherine lucas’s last blog post..
It looks like amethysts in a stream of sparkling water.
Middle-Aged-Woman’s last blog post..In A Quandary
Heather (& Mike!)…you are so strong and brave. I’ve been silently reading your recent posts about your beautiful Maddie. I haven’t commented because I have never known quite what to say or if you even want to hear it.
These posts are beautiful tributes to your little angel.
I’m not sure if you have any idea how much your profound loss has impacted the families who have followed your story. I, for one, can say that I am a better mother to my children for having followed your story. It is a reminder of how delicate and precious life really is…strange that we need to be reminded of that.
So thank you Heather…and please keep writing.
Peggy’s last blog post..And I Couldn’t Resist…
I only recently found your blog through Flotsom. Thank you so much for allowing us to see into Maddie’s life and get to know her – even if we didn’t get a chance to do so in person.
Elizabeth’s last blog post..Little Bunny Foo Foo
she is surrounded by beauty right now. something she wil share with you when the time is right.
maya’s last blog post..Kiss
I’ll just keep saying that I’m thinking of you. All day long you’re on my mind. Especially when I see purple.
Kristin’s last blog post..Changes
Adorable video. My yard is covered in beautiful little purple wildflowers. I didn’t think anything of it until I read this post. I think I’ll hold off on cutting the grass…
Still keeping you in my thoughts.
Amy’s last blog post..Make a wish…
I’m doing the same thing right now…crying and saying it’s not fair, it’s not fair. She is so incredibly beautiful and you can’t help but smile every single time you look at her. Each time you discover something new and beautiful, remember that it’s Maddie pointing them out to you…
so beautiful…I can only hope that you will continue to share pieces of Maddie with us because she truly was something special and one of a kind. You know she got that from you and Mike right? Holding you both in my heart
Jen’s last blog post..Randome Tuesday Thoughts
Because of your sweet, sweet Maddie… I also notice the color purple everywhere. Isn’t it amazing how many people – from CA to MA (and even farther I am sure) – will forever be touched by the color purple. I am SO sorry that it took this horrible event to make me appreciate such a simple and lovely color. Continuing to think of you and your family
I liked like I was having a major mood swing watching the video, I’d cry for a second and then smile and then cry and then smile. Thankfully, no one noticed so I didn’t have to explain THAT one.
It’s so funny because my Mom’s favorite color was purple and it’s one of the ways my 9-year old continues to identify with her. When the purple for Maddie started springing up, I thought of my Mom too. Two totally unconnected people and yet….
Jamie’s last blog post..Comfortable in my Mama-skin
Domestic Extraordinaire says:
So beautiful, Heather. Thank you again for letting us share Madeline with you.
(((((heather & mike)))))
xoxo Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire
Domestic Extraordinaire’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday-The ‘I do’ edition
Purple has always been my favorite color. Any shade of it, I love. It now makes me think of Maddie when I wear it.
My daughter, Morgan, is 3 and watched the video with me. She asked me who the little girl was and I told her. She said, “her smile makes me smile”. I blinked away tears and told her Maddie’s smile made many, many people smile.
Kellie’s last blog post..In Which I Do Something I HATE…
Greetings from Long Island, New York.
I have been following your blog since I saw a widget on someone else’s blog from Canada, for the March of Dimes, with Madeline’s photograph.
Please accept my sincerest condolences for Maddie. I realize that it is something you hear or read counteless times, but I could not continue to read your entries without offering a message, and without acknowleding your pain.
I remain in awe of your ability to share your experience, and the strength of your little girl. Maddie’s experience is and will probably continue to better the lives of countless children due to bringing an increased awareness to the March of Dimes. You have certainly done that for me, so I thank you for opening my eyes to such an important cause and critical need.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Anna Marie Hinnant says:
Sweet sweet Maddie. I love her smile.
I love the video. Her smile is so infectious. Even though its hard to accept the fact that she has passed while watching her — she is so alive and happy — it allows us, her adoring internet fans, to share in her specialness. Nope, we’re not walking by the color purple without noticing it because…who could help but notice her? I’m not very religious, but I think this site must make God happy.
Are you ready for a coincidence? My cousin’s daughter is Madeline Adelle, her birthday is 11/11 and her favorite color is purple. I see it everywhere now and think of Maddie. There are 3 Maddie Monsters on their way to my three monkeys as we speak. Can’t wait to see them! On completely different topic, do you use a flash extension for your portraits? They are beautiful. Were they taken with your kit lens something else like a macro? Just wondering.
My favorite color is purple; It always has been . Now, if anyone asks me, I can tell them that now I know why I love it so much. I miss Maddie Moo. It is so weird, but I can’t stop hoping that I will log on and see a new fashion paloozer and everything will be as it once was. This is hard. We are grieveing too, and you and Mike aren’t alone.
I think of Maddie too whenever I see purple. What a beautiful reminder of her.
We will always notice Purple Maddie and Maddie Purple.
Dawn’s last blog post..Lady Bidness
She is a cute baby!
Palabuzz’s last blog post..Marian Rivera as the new Darna
Amber Mc says:
I’m a stranger. I think of you guys all the time. My prayers are with you.
I think if Maddie everytime I see purple now. My chest restricts and my eyes tear up. Sunday I’m walking in the March of Dimes walk and purple will be everywhere.
Thank you, little light, you are missed. Even by those who didn’t know you.
Amber Mc’s last blog post..Photo Phriday: What do you want from me?
I was just asking my husband last night if there was more purple in the world lately or if I was just noticing it more often. I don’t mind looking at the world through “maddie-purple-colored lenses”; it’s a lot more beautiful that way.
Bridget’s last blog post..Blue Snack Day:Homemade Ice Cream Bowls and Candied Popcorn
Thank you for sharing your daughter. What a beautiful video. What an angel. Life is hard and things like this we simply do not understand. I don’t know where you are faith wise but I truly believe there is a special place in heaven for angels like Maddie. She is surrounded right now by beautiful bright colors. For you and your husband and your family, I am truly sorry……one day at a time.
Maddie is with G-d and that is the most beautiful color and view of all. I am a purple lover also. I mourn with you too.
Heather- this is such a beautiful testament to loving the person in front of you, to loving exactly who they are at that second. You recognized your daughter’s spirit as bold and strong before she even entered the world, and she proved you right. Love to your family-L
Lindsay’s last blog post..“Rattled” hits shelves today…
Mmmoooooozer. God I love that child. I know I will NEVER see purple again without thinking of Mads. She’s everywhere!
Sara M. says:
I’m like a lot who have commented on your blogs, in the fact that I don’t know you. I, sadly, only started reading after your precious Maddie passed. You, Mike, and Maddie have been on my mind everyday since. I can’t imagine the hell you two are going through. I am so, so sorry for your loss and know you are in my thoughts and prayers also as you go through this terrible time. I have also noticed that I see a lot of purple. What a beautiful color for an extraordinary little angel. I found a quote that instantly made me think of you…”Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” -C.S. Lewis. I am awed by your courage and thank you for continuing to share your life with us.
God Bless you,
rachel cortest says:
Such a sweet beautiful baby doll is Maddie and will forever be… Rachel
Linda in Canada says:
I like this post. And I like that purple speaks to you now. YAY Maddie!!
I have been following your blog for a couple of weeks now, and just wanted to say that I too am so sorry that this has happened to you and Mike. Everyday I check your blog to see what beautiful reminders you will post of your precious Angel girl. She is one of the most beautiful little girls I have ever seen and your right, her smile just lights up your heart. I just want you to know that since Maddie past, it has hit very close to home for me, because I too have a very fragile (BPD, CLD) baby boy. Morgan, was born at 26wks, 1lb 5ozs, and spent a greuling 134 days in NICU. Came home for two weeks, aspirated on milk, back in PICU for two more weeks, had Nissen and gtube surgery, and thank God has been in isolation since he came back home in Oct. Like Maddie he is almost 11mths and only weighs 13pds and that is mainly because we do continous feeds at night. We are finally released to start taking him out in May, but ever since I found out what happened with Maddie, I am living in constant fear that this could happen with Morgan, so I find it very hard to just enjoy life with him right now.
I just wanted you to know that I tell everyone I know about Maddie and how you and Mike seemed to make her life so meaningful. My heart breaks for you everyday and I feel such a connection, I guess just because I know this could happen to my son. (God forbid that ever happen but it could) I am much more aware of where he goes and who he is around and the realization that one day he could be perfectly healthy and the next he could be taken from me and all because of a cold, or germs, it is hard to process.
I just wanted to say keep the posts coming, I love to read your thoughts and I so grieve for your loss and the hole that will always be in your heart. I too have had my share of losses, two miscarriages, and the one I had right before I found out I was pregnant with Morgan, I found out was my little girl. I already had two boys, and have always wanted “my little girl” so I finally talked my husband into letting me try for my girl, only to loose her at 9wks. I was devestated and heartbroken, and when I found out I was pregnant with Morgan, I just knew that God wouldn’t let me loose a girl and give me another boy, but I guess he had other plans and so I was blessed with my third boy. God has his reasons and some times they just don’t make since but he has his reasons.
Anyways, sorry this is such a long posts, just wanted to let you know there are so many of us who are remembering maddie with you even though we only know her through your blog we too feel the loss of this beautiful soul that is now in the arms of her creator. She is now truly your angel baby, just know she will come to you when you need her most, through the color purple, a song, etc. She will let you know that she is all right and that it is ok to try to enjoy life without her, the best you can.
Love from Bossier City, LA.
I love that video. Another comment above mentioned how great it was that you could be so in the moment with her as she watched that video and knew to capture one of life’s every day moments. I try to remember that life is a collection of moments strung together and not the big events we sometimes think it is. Anyway, I’m so glad you ahve your video footage and your photos. I read about your trip to the doctor’s office–hope all is ok with your health.
Sending love and peace from Atlanta,
Ms. Moon says:
Madeline IS the beauty she is in.
Ms. Moon’s last blog post..And Her Heart Opened Like A Magnolia Blossom
Beautiful video. Beautiful photo. Beautiful girl. Maddie has turned purple into my new favorite color.
That was a beautiful post. The video and picture are darling.
I will never see purple again without thinking of Maddie. That quote from “The Color Purple” is fitting.
I am amazed how much like my daughter Maddie was. I’ve always been amazed by that and thought they would have made great friends.
Lisa’s last blog post..Weaning from Before Nap Nursing Session: Day Four
What an amazing smile!! I love how she took notice of beautiful things and loved to share.
That is a great quote from The Color Purple!
Jennifer’s last blog post..Vomit and Rabbits
I know what you means about the color purple. When ever I see purple now I think of maddie.
She is missed so much. I love the last Photo of her ,that is so sweet that she wants to share her bottle. I know you said they took a lot of vials of Blood , but I still hope every thing is ok. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
I did watch Grey’s last night, and the girl wore a purple knit cap. Izzy was in a bed w/ purple sheets.
AH this was sooo touching today the video was so beautiful. She was such a little peanut you could fold up and put in your pocket. I notice the color purple everywhere now too because of Maddie. I went shopping for my 17 month old yesterday and we bought purple shoes, because of Maddie. I will pray for you today. Sending you lots of love..
Jodee’s last blog post..Hugh Jackman, Twitter and Maddie Spohr
I don’t feel like I have anything new to say. But I still think about you every day, multiple times a day. I know nothing can help your grief. I just hope that all our thoughts help to lift you up somehow.
She’s still showing your the beauty around you. That you can find beauty in this says everything about where she got her generosity of spirit from.
Just another one that sees purple everywhere these days and smiles…
I wanted to let you know that I bought a camera this week and catching up taking pictures and video. Pctures, along with many other things, are really the only tribute to Maddie that I can give to her, you, and Mike.
I also ordered a Maddie Monster and it’s on it’s way to us – 3 of them in fact.
I am humbled by your ongoing willingness to share your story.
Your Maddie smile, I bet she lit up a room. It makes my heart ach to know that you have to do without that….
I wanted to share this with you…
The Story of the Dragonfly
Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions.
Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was dead, gone forever.
Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top.
When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.
So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed.
Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.
But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!
Samanta’s last blog post..Little moments that change your life…
I had a wonderful dream last night about you and Maddie. I think I had this particular dream because of your recent post about camera battery dying before you got some nice photos with Maddie on your last outing. In my dream, you were very happy and snuggling with Maddie, as I snapped photos for you. Her blue eyes were sparkling.
Mermanda’s last blog post..Pretty Please With Two Birdies On Top
Oh Heather, it is beautiful! It took me a second to realize what it was, then it just clicked. I love it.
I love that you’re still writing and sharing Maddies cuteness!
cindy w says:
One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. (The movie is great too. And incorporates that line.)
I’ve started noticing purple everywhere too. Flowers in our neighbor’s yard, balloons in the supermarket, whatever. It’s comforting to see, and breaks my heart at the same time.
cindy w’s last blog post..March for Babies update
Nellie Butler says:
I’m inspired by your strength and your way with words. You have exactly the right perspective on all that has happened. You’ve experienced the trials that every woman prays to avoid and faced every mother’s worst fear. All tihs and you’ve come through it with such a bright and shining spirit.
Maddie was sent to you for a reason. She touched your life and everyone around her’s lives too. You’re making sure it doesn’t stop there and I commend you for it. God Bless!
Nellie Butler’s last blog post..Reach out and Improve Your Outlook
She is so lovely. My heart aches for you. I thank you for sharing these mementos of your precious baby. As someone earlier said, I am sitting here typing through tears, yet smiling at Maddie’s infectious smile. Her joy is palpable in that video. Thinking of you every day.
Casey’s last blog post..In honor of TasteSpotting
Denise J. says:
The sunlight looks different now. Not as bright. I never met her, but I miss her so much. I see a picture and I am sad, I was clicking through the flickr pics and ran into a video, I was destroyed for a moment. I had a tiny glimpse, for a split-second into how Heather and Mike must feel. The sweet face, the smile, the tiny hands. Thank you so much for sharing Maddie with us. Sorry for the random thoughts, they were all the words I could find, I can’t really make sense of any of this pain.
From San Antonio . . .
Of course you are seeing purple EVERYWHERE. A lot of people are seeing purple now. I know I am, and Baby A too. I was thinking about that last night. I like how Bridget put it: “maddie-purple-colored lenses.” Plus sweet Maddie taught us all how to look at the world and be kind and be brave and be loving. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all looked through “maddie-purple-colored-lenses”?
Alison’s last blog post..November 11, 2007 – April 7, 2009
Just Jiff says:
I have told my 1 year old Bayley about Maddie and it makes me hug Bayley tighter every night.
Now I’ll think of her even more when I see purple.
Just Jiff’s last blog post..Got Hobbies? **LONG POST**
You and I don’t know each other and probably will never meet but your Maddie has touched my heart in more ways I can describe. I am blessed with 2 children so I know the love that these little guys can give you is unconditional and the pleasure that we as parents get from them is also unconditional. I can’t begin to understand t what you and your husband must be going through but I commend you for your strength. I believe (as awful as it may sound) that everything is for a reason. There must be a reason why Maddie was sent to you and why she was taken so early. I know it must be hard to understand but perhaps one day a reason may come to light. Thank you for sharing your story and your Maddie with us. God Bless you and your family.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
Just wanted to thank you for keeping us in the loop. I am among so many people, strangers, who are thinking of you every day. I want to know how you are doing, so that perhaps in some small way I can accompany you through your grief. You are surrounded by so many invisible hands, reaching out to you. I care. We care.
Lynn from For Love or Funny’s last blog post..Garbage Collection
That video was so precious! Thanks for continuing to share your memories of Maddie with us.
It’s so obvious to me where she got her lovely spirit and generosity from… thank YOU for sharing her with us, and for your awesome effort to raise money for March of Dimes in the midst of your grief. You are amazing! This video just stole my heart, beautiful precious Maddie.
Vera’s last blog post..A Perfect Body
Amy in OHio says:
Yes she is and she is surrounding you and Mike and we’re all seeing it – even from far away. Love ya lady.
Michelle Pixie says:
Maddie’s spirit just exudes beauty and we are so blessed that you continue to share her with us!
Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) says:
Maddie just had so much to teach us!!!! I will never walk past the color purple again – THANK YOU Heather for sharing Maddie with us!!!!
Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)’s last blog post..Say It Forward – Week 14
Samanta, that was beautiful.
Bright-colored, purple, sparkly things are my favorite too. Maddie had excellent, excellent taste. She is such a light in the world – and thank you for continuing to share her with us. xo from CT, Amanda
Manic Mommy says:
I got goosebumps when I read the quote from The Color Purple. Your beautiful daughter is surrounded in all good and love, and purple for sure.
Manic Mommy’s last blog post..TuRN oFF THe TV WeeK
it’s so incredibly unfair that the world has been robbed of such a precious, priceless gem.
It is no surprise where Maddie received her willingness to share. You and Mike’s willingness to share with us, your journey, is proof positive of where Maddie’s willingness came from.
Purple has always been my favorite color, now I know why.
ms. changes pants while driving says:
i love the dragonfly comment.
this is beautiful. it looks like jewels under water. tiny shiny rocks.
ms. changes pants while driving’s last blog post..chocolate lava for my uterus
DesignHER Momma says:
Thanks to Maddie – Purple will NEVER look the same to me. It no long is “just a color you get when you mix red and blue together”. It means happiness, beautifulness and the innocents of a child. Still praying for your family every day.
DesignHER Momma’s last blog post..He scoops poop and eats moldy taco meat
what a beautiful post!! thank you so much for sharing! I recently saw some workers outside my building and they were all wearing the same purple shirt, and my first thought was “purple is Madeline’s color!”. What an excellent color to represent such a beautiful person. Thinking of and praying for you guys!
Ohmygoshi’s last blog post..Blog Swap 3.0
Midwest Mommy says:
Oh that Maddie video today made me smile!
Midwest Mommy’s last blog post..Control
Such a beautiful little charmer. I love her sweet smile. I’m so sorry that she is gone.
She is surrounded by beauty and love, and as much as you miss her, I know that she is still with you in so many ways. You have been sadly and unfairly separated for now, but I have to believe that it won’t be forever. I know that someday, you will be reunited. You will see your precious Maddie again. And I hope that thought provides you with some comfort, however small it may be at this moment.
Thinking of you and Mike, and wishing you strength and hope. I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with this. It’s just not fair.
Trish’s last blog post..Will the circle be unbroken? Um … NO!
Heather, thank you for sharing more about maddie as the days go by. She’s been a part of my life for nearly a year, through your blog, and so I like that I can still learn about the wonderful person she was. I wish so much for you that this hadn’t happened. I can’t even turn my thoughts into words on this matter. I just wish it wasn’t so. I think about maddie, and you and Mike too, so frequently throughout the day. Hugs
Lora’s last blog post..Potions and Taste Buds
Heather, that is beautiful. She was such an amazing kid, and the little dimple by between her cheek and eye when she smiled: oh man. so cute. Thinking of you and Mike always.
Christine’s last blog post..The daytime of the night…
I have shivers, Heather, and I am not the kind of person who normally gets shivers. Maddie is just, indescribable. I’m sending kisses to heaven to her and vodka to you two down here.
Becky’s last blog post..Aunt Becky Goes To Target
I’m so sorry to have heard of your loss, all the way in IL. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate your precious little one’s life and legacy. Her smile is indeed infectious.
I have no children of my own right now, and though I’m heralded as the “campus babysitter,” I haven’t encountered a child quite like your Maddie. It gives me peace to know she is relaxing with our heavenly Father, shaking up things in the next life, and attracting those all around with her smile and busy ways. :*)
TheBeez’s last blog post..In Memory of a Lost Art- Ode to the Jingle
Heather and Mike, there are no words. I am one more person you don’t know who reads your blog, and laughs with Maddie, and now weeps for her and for you. I have been enjoying the memories over the past couple of weeks. Keep them coming!!!!
I have never experienced anything like you are going through, but last summer my 2nd child was born at 32 weeks and spent just 23 days in the NICU before coming home for 4 months on the AB monitor. Through that time, I got a small taste of what NICU is like, although we found ourselves constantly overwhelmed w gratitude for his relatively good health, compared to what other NICU families were going through.
Thank you for sharing Maddie with all of us! Our lives are richer because of Maddie.
i love that quote. i have never really “noticed” purple, but now…it’s everywhere. i see it everywhere i go and it’s just another time in each day that i think of you, mike and maddie. she is the most gorgeous little girl i have ever seen. my thoughts are with you constantly.
Purple for me has always symbolized bravery too. Maddie I think epitomizes true bravery and I am inspired to find that courage within me. I will wear it as a badge of honor.
Thankfully, purple now will be impossible to ignore… for any of us. And in seeing that transcendence of Maddie everywhere, everyday in plum, grape, mauve & violet… we will remember and treasure her always.
What a beautiful child who loved beauty all around her. I was moved by Maddie’s incredible strength and read with amazement at how much she went through physically and how much she enjoyed life.
How advanced she was intellectually and socially- and for being premature, too.
My heart goes out to you. Parents think their kids are amazing but truly, Maddie really, really was.
Again, another stranger here who has been touched by your courage, your loss and your love.
Your post just took my breath away. It surprises me how often I think of your family and beautiful, sparkly Maddie. I have to say again how sorry I am for your loss.
You mentioned that you wondered how Maddie would be as a big sister. I am sure she would have continued to be an example of loving and sharing. And she always will be…
My grandma had a son who passed away before she had my mom and my aunt. Although my mother is not religious or particularly spiritual, she has told me that on many occassions in her life, she has “spoken to” her older brother and she also believes that in a way he has always been watching over her.
I am tearing up again as I write this. Please know that many loving thoughts are being sent your way.
And I have also been noticing many, many purple flowers that are suddenly appearing.
I hate that cartoon so much, but watching Maddie love it makes me grin. World’s best salesperson, for sure.
It’s just perfect for her.
Molly’s last blog post..The way my 2009 is going
Jack's Mom says:
Heather, you are an amazing woman, and have inspired me to be a better mother and person. I still just want to wrap my arms around you.
As I drove by the Red Buds blooming in Virginia I thought of Maddie. They are such a beautiful shade of purple right now! You don’t know me, but I have been so touched my the story of your daughter. She is beautiful. I never was blessed with children so I know the lose of that but cannot imagine what you are going through right now..
You are a beautiful mother…God bless you!
Heather, thank you again for continuing to share your life and stories of Maddie with us all. I continue to think of you so often as I check your blog, Mike’s blog, and your tweets regularly. I am so proud to say that I will be walking for your beautiful daughter in my local March for Babies tomorrow. Me & all my girls, will be there, clad in purple, walking for you, Mike, Maddie, and all the other children that were taken from us too soon. I pray that one day no parent will have to know the heartache you and your family are experiencing.
I hope to take tons of photos of our team and of the balloon ceremony we are planning at the culmination of our walk to send to you so that you know how profoundly Maddie’s life has affected all of us down here in little ‘ol Knoxville, Tennessee.
Purple will never be the same. All my love.
(I must be daft because I don’t know what that photo is of)
Bec’s last blog post..She’s bilingual…sort of
That is such a sweet video. That beautiful, beautiful smile…
Nanette’s last blog post..Solid as a rock
Thankyou for continuing to share Maddie with us.
Good afternoon. The video of Madeline is precious, and purple is my all time favorite color, you guys know how to pick them.
Patti B. says:
That picture made me so sad. But then, I was happy again…your words made it that way, and Maddie made your words that way (an awkward way to put it but I hope you get my meaning)…I think you will always see the beauty in things, because you are seeing them at all times with Maddie’s view. What a gift that is. She’s so amazing.
Jenn’s last blog post..Boys will be boys, and Kids will be kids
I wish that picture wasn’t what it is….but yes, you did a wonderful job picking it out. It suits her. We have 4 people here in St. Louis who will be walking on Maddie’s behalf tomorrow in the March of Dimes walk. I’ll be thinking of you all day. Stay strong.
HeatherPride’s last blog post..Fat Girls Club, Week 7: Stress. It Does a Body Good
My son just turned one in February and as previous people said, i am typing through tears and smiles… what a tremendous little lady, so full of love, enjoyed life to the fullest. I will not be able to look at the color purple again and NOT think of Maddie. Your family is an inspiration of love and strength. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.
I just needed to write to you and say how much your blog has touched me. I found it when I went to white trash mom’s blog today for some laughs. My wonderful, amazing son, Finnegan, passed away on 3/20/09 after a year in ICU care. It’s been five weeks now, and I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I don’t. It simply sucks that we lost our children. I miss him every moment, but have tried so hard, as you have with Maddie, to embrace his love of life and wonder and joy. I wish you and your husband…well, I don’t know what I wish…maybe comfort? peace? are those things even possible now? Just know that a mom who knows is thinking of you…
Andrea's Sweet Life says:
I also notice the color purple everywhere these days – in nature, in stores, on people. I find myself choosing purple clothes for the kids and purple paper for crafts. It feels so comforting.
It was so nice to see a video of Maddie today, thank you.
Andrea’s Sweet Life’s last blog post..The HEAT
Mom of 2 NICU graduates says:
My heart is absolutely shattered for you. May peace surround you every day to get you through this.
The comment from Middle-Aged-Woman is wonderful! It made me happy when I read it. This morning, commenting on that beautiful photo was so difficult for me and I worried all day I had maybe written the “wrong” thing. I have a feeling it was nice for you to read her comment, too. … I live in Germany and there are no MoD walks here tomorrow, but I am walking with everyone in spirit and I will light a candle for Maddie and all the Maddie Walkers everywhere tomorrow. It’s purple, of course. I found it today at a store here called Rossmann. … Sending much love and support and thanks your way.
Oh, you poor angel. It tears my heart out to see it. Death. It gives no warning. Doesn’t even let you get ready for the punch you are about to receive. It makes me so angry. To come in and steal Maddie away like that, and never even let you know, so you can relish that last hug, that last smile, that last caress on the cheek. I wish you were next door, so I could come over and watch that over and over with you. Poor sweet darling that you are…
thanks for sharing Maddie with all of us. my mom’s fav color was purple. she passed in 2004 from pancreatic cancer (the color ribbon for pan. cancer is purple) how strange is that?! sending much support your way. be strong! XO
You don’t know me, but I saw your story on the news and I think of you everyday. Everyday I stop and pay more attention to my kids because I think of Maddie.
You are not alone. Maddie budded on earth and will blossom in heaven.
Naomi from MT says:
Hi Heather and Mike. Unfortunatly I did not find your internet home until after Maddie passed. Her story, and in turn your whole family story, Touched my heart as a human, and then shattered it as a mom. I truely am at a loss for words of comfort that haven’t been said thousands of times over.
I find myself thinking about your daughter all the time, and hoping and praying that she is watching over each and every one of you, and smiling her HUGE grin, knowing that she is thought of well, and nearly all the time.
I was in my office at work last night, doing paperwork, and suddenly realised that instead of my usual orange and pink highlighters, I had completed most of my shift using purple. In that breathless epiphany of a moment, all I could do was stand there and cry. Cry over the unfairness of it all. I also will be using my lens to capture more of the purple in my world. Through your daughter, her insurmountable spirit, her infections giggles, and her mile wide, star bright grin, you have made me look at things a bit differently. As one poster put it, through Maddie purple lenses. I hope we (as a community) never forget to look through Maddies eyes.
I am so glad you wrote this Heather. It is so beautiful. I am sure your daughter is looking down and smiling knowing that the quote you used was the perfect one. Big, loving hugs to you.
preTzel’s last blog post..A Letter – Of Sorts…
I am so sorry for your loss. Your daughter was–is–lovely.
Mayo’s last blog post..No
I came across your blog through a The March Of Dimes email that I received. My heart breaks everyday for you and Mike. I really don’t know what to say, but I had to say something to you. I wanted to let you know that last Saturday was the March of Dimes walk up here in Fresno, and me, my mom, and my son walked in Maddie’s memory. I will walk for her EVERY year as she was such a beautiful child that has touched so many that didn’t even know her. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Bridget’s last blog post..Random Pictures
Seriously – you are one of the strongest people i’ve ever come across. Your writing is beautiful and so is your daughter. You are helping and touching the lives of so many people by sharing your beautiful – and so painful story of parenthood. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. My heart has broken several times for you and I wanted to finally just let you know.
melany’s last blog post..Go Red Sox
There is a jacaranda tree near my house that I pass several times a day. It’s in bloom right bow, covered with thousands of beautiful purple flowers. Every spring I pass that tree and think about pretty it is. But now when I see it, I think of your sweet, purple-loving Maddie Moo.
My son, Zahary, made me watch this wonderful video of Maddie no less then 20 times. He laughed and enjoyed her special light. Thank you for sharing this video. He’s telling me “have to see Maddie” so I better go:)
I’m so glad you posted this today. I’ve been thinking of Maddie all day long. One of my favorite things about Fridays were the Friday Night Videos that you posted. She brings a lot of joy for such a little thing. Maddie is love.
Joe @ Irrational Dad says:
The “past tense” thing really makes me sad.
Joe @ Irrational Dad’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday v. Helping in the Garden
It’s gorgeous. Beautiful. Just like her.
AMomTwoBoys’s last blog post..People…People Who Need People
For as long as I can remember, purple has always been “my” color. I simply gravitate towards it and always have. So while I’ve always noticed it, it now has a more special meaning. I couldn’t share my color with a brighter, more beautiful star in the universe.
Maura’s last blog post..Remembering Our Beautiful Butterfly
Sassypants Wifey says:
We will be thinking of your family and precious little Maddie tomorrow as we work the Denver March of Dimes. I am a lurker, but when we volunteered to help this year, I thought of Maddie, you will be in our hearts.
Sassypants Wifey’s last blog post..Being wanted vs. being needed
When my mother died, I grieved, and in the immediate aftermath, I clung to photographs, searched them out. Grief is horrible, and takes time – and yours for a child must be close to insupportable. But, in time, the internalised memories become a source of comfort, not pain. Maddie is yours, forever and always. You will hold your memories, all of them, smile and feel her close, sadly and joyfully, with less pain.
With so many others, I wish you well, and the strength to get through this terrible time.
What an amazing smile – her whole face lights up. It must have felt like sunshine every time she shone that smile upon you.
Amazing how much Maddie could communicate through her smile and eyes. It makes you realize how powerful she is even though she is out of sight. I know if you just close your eyes you can smell her and she is so close to your heart.
Deidre’s last blog post..What would you do for this family?
I see purple in a whole new way since Maddie passed away. Thank you for sharing her with us.
Blessed’s last blog post..Thankful, Apprehensive and Planting…
I’m one of those who didn’t know you before but have been so touched by Maddie. I have never been where you are and the only consolation I can offer is that I cry with you as a mother.
Inanna’s last blog post..It Just Never Stops
I think about you and your family every day. Maddie was absolutely beautiful. That sweet smile. Embarrassingly beautiful, indeed
I have only learned of Maddie’s story a week ago. What a beautiful little girl. In her pictures I can tell she had such a big and happy personality. How blessed you are to be her mother.
I think of Maddie often and my heart aches for you and Mike and everyone that was lucky enough to know Maddie. I hope the days where you laugh more than cry come quickly for you. You, Mike and Maddie are in my prayers.
Sara Sweet Surprise says:
I strolled into your blog from anothers who had Maddie’s picture there.
I can not describe the overwhelming emotions that your tender words have unearthed in me. I clung onto every word (as if I were there) through your incredible journey.
I was not blessed with a daughter, until my son married a year ago… My daughter in-laws favorite color is….purple….it was their wedding color.
Maddie has made us stop and look at the color purple wherever it blooms.
I hope in time that the treasured memories created with your precious baby girl will bring you comfort.
Sweet wishes from a mom too,
Sara Sweet Surprise’s last blog post..
Marti B. says:
I wish and pray for you Heather and Mike, a beautiful purple butterfly that you will soon see on a walk together. The butterfly will pause and hover over a flower, any flower, any beautiful flower. It will be the only purple butterfly ever seen by human eyes. This butterfly will be a sign that Maddie is alive in God’s Kingdom, and that she will forever live in both your hearts.
I pray that this will happen soon, but for your eyes only. No one else will notice the purple butterfly, only Maddie’s mom and dad.
I miss her…my heart aches for you.
I drove home tonight on a freeway that I use every two weeks or so…The last time I used it was the first weekend in April and all the shrubs alongside the freeway were brown and depressing looking…Today I took that same freeway and was amazed at what I saw…All the bushes were all in bloom with mounds and mounds of purple flowers…I had to question what freeway I was on it was so beautiful!!! It’s like Maddie sprinkled her fairy dust and turned everything beautiful…not as beautiful as she was, but close….
Dana’s last blog post..Sun, Apr 19, 2009
I love the video. Of course, it brings tears to my eyes. I love most of all how she loves her mommy… with that big huge smile…. ((hug))
Haley-O’s last blog post..Work-at-Home Mom
That video….. what a little bundle of sunshine…….
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Madeline sounds like such a gem. I will never look at purple the same again!
My prayers and well wishes are with you and your family.
Ellie’s last blog post..I won a MacBook… and other adventures of the Geek Girl
I think of your family everyday. I see purple all the time..
Just wanted to let you know that my company is a huge supporter of the March of Dimes and i am leading the fundraiser committee in my department starting next week. Unfortunately I was never involved with it before, but am doing it for Maddie. I will make her proud
You are in my thoughts and prayers oxo
jen’s last blog post..wedding tidbit.
I am lucky to call myself a friend of Loralee’s. She texted me when she learned of Maddie’s passing and was devastated. She has been telling me over and over what an incredible person you and I HAVE to meet you.
I have neglected to leave a comment here, I have no idea how you read all of the comments you get, but I wanted you to know, I haven’t let a day go by, since Loralee’s text, without thinking of you.
I have read just about this entire blog and I love you and your family dearly. I feel like I know you, I have cried with you and laughed with you.
I am just a few hours up the street if you ever want to run away. You have a friend in Orange County, you just don’t know me yet.
sandi’s last blog post..FRIDAY FLASHBACK
There are no words, at least not the right ones, so I guess that’s why I haven’t commented before. But tonight as I read the latest post and laughed through my tears at the video I just had to say SOMETHING, even though as I type this I am still not sure what.
Maddie is so amazing, the very essence of beautiful and sweet. And you are so strong.
I can’t begin to fathom what you are going through but I do hope that knowing so many people are rooting for you, praying for you, sending positive karma and mojo your way, and in general just loving you, is a bit of a comfort.
Thank you so much for sharing Maddie with us.
I’m not sure if there was ever so much purple, but it yells MADDIE every time I see some. Flowers, clothes, nail polish, balloons, whatever. Purple will always be the color of your precious girl.
I’m so glad you’re still writing; I’m so proud of you and Mike, for what it’s worth.
pgoodness’s last blog post..Finding
Maddie is ALSO surrounded by all the majestic beauty in HEAVEN as well.
I see purple everywhere and it always brings a smile to my face.
Denise’s last blog post..Adopting a Dog…
Maddie must have learned to share from her parents’, you are so generous with your memories and images. I only learned of your family through Maddie’s death, but looked through all of your pictures because her expressive face was such a joy. Even as a perfect stranger, the glimpse of her soul captured in your pictures moved me to tears and to belly laughs.
I have never noticed the color purple before I read about Maddie…I see purple everywhere. I planted lots of flowers in my yard this week and when I was at the nursery, I purchased mostly purple, I usually buy pink or yellow.
I planted a rose bush this week that blooms purple roses. It is called Blue Boy…but I call it Maddie-Moo. I will never look at the rose bush and not think of Maddie.
When it blooms, I will email you a picture….I know this will be one spectacular rose bush.. just like Maddie!
coloradolady’s last blog post..We Have A Wiener…I Meant Winners!
You write beautifully. Maddie will always be your muse and it shows. Bless you all and kisses on your cheeks.
GirlsGoneChild’s last blog post..Solidarity, The Sequel
I live a world away from you. I’ve never met you, Mike or the wonderful Madeline but feel so sad, so crushed, so angry and so heartbroken for all of you. Maddie had a very important job to do but sadly, couldn’t stay and complete her job at the same time. She has touched so many with her life, her eyes, that smile and her brightness. She plays now in the purple.
Lisa’s last blog post..So why am I blogging again?
So beautiful… And I’m sure you will continue to see beautiful purple everywhere, beautiful hugs of color from your Maddie-Moo
Z’s last blog post..Spring Awakening (one month ago…)
moosh in indy. says:
Last picture almost look like a placenta.
A Chihuly placenta, worthy of MOMA placement.
I only say that because I saw mine. And the vision has never stopped haunting my mind.
moosh in indy.’s last blog post..healing my helplessness.
My goodness… she is amazing. Wearing purple today – good luck on the walk.
Thought of you and your pain, as I watched this video this morning. Praying for you and your family.
~~~SAH-Mommy of two in SC
Andrea’s last blog post..Just a Reminder
“You don’t know me” yes, I’ll use that line. I know a small amount about what you may be feeling in these early days. I read your posts about medical equipment being picked up, about holding the ashes of your child and it brings back my own memories. I can only say that I am so sorry yet another beautiful child is lost from this world. Why, oh why? Sending hugs from one grieving mom to another.
Susan’s last blog post..Fee Fi Fiddly I O
Thinking of you today.
My favorite color is and always has been purple. It is so striking you can’t help but notice it – flowers, a pretty hat, purple towels at Target.
My God she was so beautiful and I feel so badly for you all.
Blessings on your family,
Since I started reading your blog a few weeks ago, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I find myself more patient with my daughter, and so much more appreciative for what I have been blessed with. Thank you for sharing with us all, and thank you for making us all stop to realize what is truly important in life, and beyond. As I look down at my top, I am noticing it is purple! Stop and see the color purple, will be right up there with stop and smell the rose from here on in! Warm thoughts for you and your family!
Christina Waldstein says:
Heather and Mike,
I walked in Maddie’s honor today at my local March for Babies in East Stroudsburg, PA! I wore the color purple with a big picture of your angel Madeline on it! I found myself stopping to see the purple all around me. Purple flowers…purple balloons! I find that my eyes are seeking out the color. Everytime I see the color purple I will think of sweet Madeline! Your family is in my heart and my prayers. I will always be thinking of you. I will always walk in honor of Maddie! Your life…your blog…has made me stop and think about the really important things. I thank you for helping me “stop to see the purple”. I have been so busy with the unimportant things in life that I had forgotten what was truly important Family, Friends.
XOXOXOX Christina Waldstein XOXOXOX
Love the video, love the sentiment, love the smile, love sweet little Maddie. She is a beautiful little thing surrounded by beautiful things and will be watching over you and listening to everything you tell her and feeling your love for her until the day you get to hold her again.
My prayers are with you both. We lost our beautiful little daughter 17 years ago and there is not a day that goes by that we don’t think of her. She will live in your hearts forever!
Sarcastic Mom (Lotus Carroll) says:
I notice all the purple now, because of your Maddie.
Sarcastic Mom (Lotus Carroll)’s last blog post..Also, washing dishes is so last year.
Emily in Michigan says:
Every day I read and want to say something but can’t find words that come close to being enough. I type this just so you know that I am here reading and greiving and most importantly remembering. Remembering that beautiful smile and the perfect little spirit so that Maddie lives on.
Not a day does by that I don’t check the site 10 times and think of you 100 times. You are inspiring me today and always. I will never look at a purple flower the same and I will plant a few in my garden this week in honor of Maddie.
Emily in Michigan’s last blog post..A Few More Pictures
That smile! Beautiful indeed!
I love those pictures of her, especially the ones that captures her personality. I hope she is surrounded in beauty, sharing her happiness and keeping my son company until we can be there.
Went outside and found Maddie today.
You are seeing purple everywhere because she wants you to know that she is with you.
I don’t know what prompted me to write that. I have never left a comment. I just felt compelled to say that.
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!
my condolences to u and your family…she is now with God…at peace and no pain and no suffering.
please pray for Baby emerson in Omaha who is fighting for her life.