Heather’s mother, Linda, wrote us an email this morning that said this day five years ago was one of the very best in her life. 11/11/07 was one of the best days of my life as well, as it was the day I first laid eyes upon beautiful Madeline and experienced the magic of becoming a parent.
Maddie on the day of her birth… 11/11/07
As wonderful as that day was, however, it was also one of my absolute scariest. Maddie’s life hung in the balance, and I was told by medical personal over and over that I needed to understand she might pass at any moment. There was nothing I’d ever wanted as much in all of my life as for her to make it, and the thought of losing her before I got the chance to so much as touch her shook me to the core of my being. She grew stronger, though, and when she eventually came home after sixty-eight days, I felt profound relief and gratitude.
If our story had ended with leaving the hospital it would have had a happy ending, but, as you know, our story took a tragic twist seventeen months later. I am so thankful for those seventeen months with Maddie, though. Being her daddy was such a transformational experience for me, and the things I like about myself today – my compassion, my maturity, my capacity for love – are all a result of having known and loved Maddie. Every day, when I am good to my loved ones and the people I encounter in the world, I see her influence.
Maddie enjoying a creme puff on her first birthday… 11/11/08
It’s staggering to think that Maddie would be five today, and I can’t express how much I wish she was physically here with me, but make no mistake – she is here.
Daddy helping Maddie with her birthday creme puff on 11/11/08
So happy birthday, Chicken Muffin Love Bear. Daddy loves you forever and ever.
It’s the 12th here already, but nevertheless: Happy Birthday, Maddie!
So much love to you all. Happy Birthday Maddie. You are forever a star.
Happy Birthday, Maddie
Kristen McD says:
Happy Birthday, Maddie!
Happy birthday, Maddie and Mike. She is a really lovely little girl.
Much love to you and Heather and Annie yesterday, today and always.
Sending you all so much love! Happy Birthday Sweet Maddie!
I’m a daily reader, but it’s my first time commenting. I thought about you guys yesterday. I know how hard that must have been. Sending you strenght and prayers your way.
Thinking of you and Maddie today.
Thinking of you all. Happy birthday to Maddie!
Debbie B. says:
Thinking of Maddie always. Hugs to you, Heather and Annie. Happy Birthday sweet Maddie.
Absolutely beautiful. You are such an amazing dad.
BEAUTIFULLY Written Mike!! xo
Beautiful words, Mike — and a very happy birthday to Maddie!
Much love to you and Heather, Mike.
Such a glorious little girl! She is here, indeed…
Happy Birthday beautiful Maddie! I think about her almost everyday, especially when I read your blog. She is very much loved!
You are so right, becoming a parent is magical and transformational when you become a bereaved parent. I know I have learned so much from the life and deaths of my children but I so wish to have experienced the magic of being a parent of only living children.
Your post is beautiful and shows just how much Maddie is still and always will be here. Thank you. Sending hugs an hope. Take care.
Yep, she is most definitely with you. She is. I hope you feel her more and more, every day.
I am usually a daily reader, but was flooded out during this last hurrincane and have been thinking of you guys everyday, especially now. Water is pumped, ruined furniture and belongings out at curb ,power is finaly back on and I am catching up with your posts. Mike, this post touched me to my core. So very well said. Maddie is still with you. Much love to you and Heather.
Stephanie Callaghan Smith says:
Happy Birthday to Maddie
I just can’t help but feel that Maddie was in heaven eatting cream puffs & joining in on your adventures on her birthday~very much with you indeed.
Madeline will ALWAYS be with you!