When I was a junior in high school, a boy in the senior class was electrocuted and suffered third degree burns over 85% of his body. He passed away two weeks later. We had science together that semester. He sat in the row behind me.
My senior year in high school, a fellow senior went home early one day with a headache. She didn’t come to school the next morning because (if I remember correctly) a brain aneurysm took her life the day before. We’d had many classes together, and thanks to alphabetical order, we’d sat next to each other for several of them.
His funeral was at the Catholic church a mile down the road from the high school. Class was dismissed early that day so students could attend. I sat in a pew in the back, to the left, and listened to my school choir sing Ave Maria. I felt despair. It was only the second funeral I’d ever been to.
Her service was at a funeral home the next town north of ours, not far from the beach. It was a Saturday afternoon and mourners spilled outside of the room the service was in. I strained to hear the eulogies while I watched my teachers cry and comfort each other. I felt despair. It was the third funeral I’d been to.
I have carried their lives with me since those two horrible days. One of them I knew well, one hardly at all, and yet they both impacted me profoundly. When I went away to college, I realized how unfair it was that they weren’t. I often thought of their siblings and how they had to go on with their lives without their brother and sister. Their lives gave me a perspective not a lot of teenagers have, and their faces would spring to my mind whenever I felt like blowing off class or skipping an assignment
I never thought much about their parents, but of course I do now. All the time. I wonder how they are doing now, thirteen and fourteen years after their lives were shattered. You never think you’ll have something in common with the parents of your peers.
After Maddie passed, I worried that because she was so young, people wouldn’t remember her. That her life wouldn’t have the impact I’d always hoped it would. Now I wonder if my classmates’ parents had the same fear. I want them to know – I remember their children. I think about them often. They both continue to effect me in ways I never could have anticipated. I am certain that they will for the rest of my life.
I remember Danielle and Mike, and I always will.
Kate @ UpsideBackwards says:
What a thoughtful, caring person you are! I hope Danielle’s and Mike’s parents come to hear of this post, and know that not only are their children remembered, but honoured. And now shared with all your readers.
Maddie’s impact on lives has already been incredible, judging by comments left here. She won’t be forgotten, that’s for sure.
.-= Kate @ UpsideBackwards´s last blog ..Monday, Monday =-.
I will never forget Maddie Spohr
When my daughter was in 5th grade, one of her classmates was hit by a car and killed. Two years later another died unexpectantly and unexplained in her sleep. My daughter is now a college sophomore and we continue to put flowers on the church alter for Tyler and Devin each year to remember them. I don’t think that my daughter will ever forget and we always take Tyler’s flowers to his mom and she is always pleased to know that he is and will be thought of as the years go on. I know that your friends’ parents would love to hear how their children too are still remembered.
Maddie made a difference, and an impact, just like your friends. I’m sure their parents and families would be touched by your remembrance.
Have no fear, Heather, because as I am sure you have already come to realize through these last few months, Maddie will be remembered and celebrated forever. Her too-short life has had more of an impact on the world than most people’s will ever have.
I too remember those in my early life who were stolen abruptly and harshly from this world. The first was at age 12 or so when one of my classmates and at one time very good friend was in a horrible car accident with her mom and older sister and her sister was killed. I remember Amy, that beautiful, vibrant girl so full of life. She had just a few weeks before come to our sixth grade class to talk about high school and what to expect.
The next was when I was 14 and went to Sunday school to find everyone solemn and tearful. One of my fellow classmates, a girl I had known and seen on a weekly basis since a toddler, had went home from school earlier that week with a headache and died that night of meningitis….you know, the one that they now have a vaccine for. Michaela was a sweet girl with lots of friends and a large close family and everything to look forward to.
And most recently, just 5 years ago, a longtime co-worker went for a hike with friends and dogs and her dog slipped off a cliff onto a ledge. While trying to get to her dog she fell also and was just gone. She was only 30 years old, a newlywed and the most alive person any of us knew. I will remember Natalie.
I will never forget Amy, Michaela, or Natalie. And this year, I add Maddie to my list. She lives on in hearts and minds and prayers.
Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) says:
Oh I hope somehow they find you and read this post!!!
Maddie does that same thing for me almost every single day.
Almost every day, when I look at my Livvie, I see Maddie. Almost every day, I think of you and how much you wish you still had your baby girl. You and Maddie remind me to appreciate every moment – even the hard ones – and you make me work harder to be the best mom and to make sure my kids appreciate their lives.
Maddie will never ever be forgotten by so many many many people!!!
THANK YOU for sharing Maddie with us.
.-= Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)´s last blog ..Cheeky and Swank Magnetic Bib Giveaway =-.
I couldn’t have said it better!!!!
We will all remember Maddie.
I can tell you are a night owl. Me too I also have two girls. However, I have never been to a funeral. That’s where we differ. I’m 25 and have never been to a funeral. I feel so blessed. I feel so lucky. I am so sad for you, but at the same time so happy for you (Binky)! I think you are an incredible thoughtful and caring person. I wish I knew you in real life!
Count me as one more person that thinks about Maddie daily. I’m another mom of two girls that will never forget your dear Maddie.
And now, thanks to you, tears are being shed for Danielle and Mike and their families.
So sad. A 9th grader died in a car crash when I was in 10th. I didn’t know him, but the [reckless] driver of the car he was in, was in at least one of my classes. I wish that had made me more thoughtful about going to class! I didn’t skip many, but even a few is more than is really desirable.
Thank you for sharing, Heather. Beautiful post.
I remember Maddy often, thank you for sharing her with us.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
My aunt had cancer. She was 33. Her biggest fear was that she’d be forgotten when she died. It’s been quite the opposite.
Along with her, I think of Maddie.
.-= Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog ..Santa Dude, you scare me. =-.
I remember Maddie and will every day for the rest of my life.
I still think of the boy who killed himself in my ninth grade class, and the girl who got hit by a car when I was a sophomore. It’s been over 20 years since both things have happened – but like you, they impacted me for a long time.
No one will forget Maddie. Way too short a time with us, but wow, what an impact she has made.
xo from CT,
.-= amanda´s last blog ..My weekend in review =-.
Sarah Johnson says:
It’s 4:35 a.m. and i just inexplicably woke up and was suddenly thinking about you and your sweet Maddie:) We are complete strangers, but my heart attached itself to you a few months ago when i came across your blog…i havent been by to “check” on you though-forgive me i know that might irritate your sensibilities and i don’t mean it to!- in awhile…my whole point is we will remember your Madeline-and her Mom and Dad
Hoping the sun will shine on your day:) Sarah
I spent last night watching The Nutcracker on PBS, thinking of my friend Melanie. She had been my best friend in elementary school and was very involved in ballet, starring in local productions of The Nutcracker every year. And then in jr. high, she made some choices that eventually led her to drop out and run away… I heard when I was a senior in college that she and her 3 year old daughter Mariah were killed in a car crash. I haven’t forgotten either of them.
Thanks for posting this.
.-= maresi´s last blog ..thirtieth =-.
Because of you Madeline’s life will not ever be forgotten and she has impacted more people around the world than you could ever know… and she always will.
.-= charlane´s last blog ..A Pre-Christmas Gift =-.
Toni Brockliss says:
I live in Melbourne Australia and I will always remember your little Maddie. Your daughters life has reached all corners of the globe.
I remember her the most when I hug my children and I remember you the most the last thing every night, before I go to sleep, to see if you are ok.
.-= Toni Brockliss´s last blog ..hello summer =-.
I will always remember.
.-= Maria´s last blog ..ice =-.
Kristen McD says:
I hope they find this, somehow, and know. You are a beautiful person.
I often pause and send good wishes to the family of my friend who was taken away too early. One of my goals is to not forget her. This post reminds me to not forget her parents, too.
Thanks for the reminder.
Maggie, dammit says:
.-= Maggie, dammit´s last blog ..The tiniest pain =-.
Dear sweet Heather,
What a moving post with such beautiful words. As I was reading your words in the final paragraph all I could think about was how I, a stranger living so far away from you, think of your precious Maddie every, single day even though I never met her and only came to know of her and her wonderful life after her passing. Despite this your World Famous Maddie has made such a profound impact on my own life and has changed the way I live my life. I am so honoured to have had the chance and to continue to have the chance to read about this amazing little lady through the words and pictures of her amazing parents. Heather, I’ve mentioned several times before how you have made me a better person and in particular a better mother, wife and friend. I learn from you every time I read a post and I continue to learn from you. You are a wonderful lady – like mother like daughter.
Thinking of you all always and sending you a hug from afar
Beautiful post. You have an amazing heart. And just as several other comments said, Maddie will NEVER be forgotten. She has touched so many lives around the world.
.-= Jenni/mom2nji´s last blog ..Pure Happiness =-.
Thank you for my perspective for the day. Your strength is always an inspiration.
We will never forget Maddie. I never met her but I feel like I knew her because of your writing. I think of her daily and of you and Mike daily also. Maddie has impacted lives. Whenever one of my twin girls (who were also born prematurely a year ago) are having a fussy day I think about how you’ve written that you would give anything for one more day with Maddie. And then I don’t feel as stressed or overwhelmed. I hug them and thank God that they are here. I carry you and Maddie in my heart all the time and am looking forward to the arrival of Binky. Take care.
Although I never met her, I will remember her.
Shannon Kieta says:
No one will ever forget that baby girl of yours! My four year old, who was not even four at the time Maddie passed, remembers her when I talk about her. It’s absolutely amazing what an impact she has had on the world at such a young age. What a perfect little angel! Shannon
My best friend had an aneurism when we were in college and passed away. My Dad passed away two years later. It was a brutal time. It is still hard almost 30 years later.
My best friend (who I grew up with) also loved Elvis. We would come home from High School and watch “Elvis Week” on the 3:00 movie. We actually saw him in concert twice in Kansas City (when we were still in High School). This was back when you had to spend the night in line to get tickets. Weird that our parents let us miss school. Precious time spent that I am so thankful for.
I just think this is an awesome song (not every word applies to every situation). I just love the “I will remember you”. It applies to my awesome Dad also. I miss you both so much.
Kim Wencl says:
As a Mom who lost her 20 year old daughter, Elizabeth, six years ago I can say that the best thing ever is when someone shares a memory of Liz with me. When that happens it is as if she is there with us.
I also worried that Liz would be forgotten as the years went by … but that hasn’t happened either. What I have found is that the more we, her family, continue to talk about her, it gives others permission to talk about her when they may have otherwise kept quiet out of fear of making us feel bad.
Never fear Heather … with all the great work you are doing and this wonderful blog … Maddie will never be forgotten!
.-= Kim Wencl´s last blog ..Dancing With God =-.
Linda Campbell says:
Heather – as I read this post today it made me think of my cousin that passed at the age of 4, after a very difficult, and short life, she would have been one year older than me.
I think of her parents constantly when reading your blog. My aunt has now passed, and the best thing I could think of with her passing was “at least she is with her little girl again”.
There lives were never the same after she left us. And some 40 years later, my uncle still cannot discuss his precious little girl. It is still too hard, and still “that close to the surface”. Their lives were filled with constant fear when they had other children (my aunt was pregnant when Karen died). It was a life that was undescribable to other people. Except people that had lost children themselves.
I remember Karen, and think of the life of hell that my relatives lived, and now I think of your precious Maddie, and you and Mike. ?
I carry Rick with me. I always will. We were only in high school, and I graduated over 20 years ago – but I think about him, minimally, every week.
My son’s 13 year old friend died last year. I carry him with me too and always will.
I never met Maddie, yet I carry her with me too. She made her mark – and what is so remarkable about that is how young she was and, yet she still made her mark on the world.
There are a lot of your supporters out here that carry Maddie with us, and will continue to do so for the rest of our time.
Linda Campbell says:
It was to be a heart at the end of my post, not a ? Silly computers, sorry!
I will never forget Maddie’s beautiful face! Even though I never met her, I have had the joy of getting to know her through your blog. And I have relished every minute.
.-= jen´s last blog ..stubborn =-.
I just got back from a long vacation and am caught up with your blog. I hope that Rigby is doing better and am so happy to see that Binky is still in the oven, swimming in her juices. (Ew. Did I just say that?) Your remembrance of your friends today touched me very, very much as I’ve often thought of those who passed away a long time ago when we were still in school together.
Always thinking of you!
Tamara Cosby says:
When I was 14, a friend of mine died in a 3 wheeler accident with his identical twin brother…when I had just graduated high school, another friend died in a car accident. I haven’t forgotten. I am praying Maddie stays with all of us. I know she has stayed with me…
Debbie Allen says:
Tamara, that sounds like Matt and Mike and Shaughnessy. I remember them and miss them still.
.-= Debbie Allen´s last blog ..Birthday Boys =-.
In 2nd grade my son lost a friend to Leukemia. His parents continued to have contact with his class and came in to volunteer and read and to just be close to Tyler’s friends. As Will grows up, I think of Tyler’s parents watching his classmates grow, graduate and go off to college. It must be so hard for them because I often think of Tyler and what he would be like going off to college. The point is, I do remember Tyler, and I always will. Maddie will never be forgotten, NEVER.
Jen L. says:
This is a wonderful post, Heather. I lost a student and had 3 others injured in a car accident last week. One of the first things I thought about was their parents. I went to visit one of them in the hospital, mostly so I could hug his mother. It’s amazing how your point of view changes after you’ve become a parent.
I lost two dear friends in high school as well and I still remember them and think of them often.
Maddie will not be forgotten by any of us. Her story as touched (and continues to touch) so many lives.
.-= Jen L.´s last blog ..Dream List =-.
What a beautiful post, Heather…
.-= Karen´s last blog ..Nonna Sottile’s Carrot Apple Loaf =-.
Lindsay from Florida says:
Their names are Elise and Matt for me (beautiful couple killed in a car crash our senior year of high school), but your words ring so true.
This touched me profoundly, Heather. My parents lost a daughter at age 12, and me a sister, to leukemia. One of the hardest things my mum in particular had to cope with was seeing all Kathryn’s classmates walking down the street to school, growing up, getting boyfriends, going off to college.
Your beautiful Maddie will always be remembered by so many.
.-= Alison´s last blog ..Welcome back =-.
Everytime I visit the cemetary, I always walk through the older gravestones – the ones that are covered with the grass and weeds of neglect – reading the names and wondering who these people are. Wondering if their families are unable to care for their stones anymore.
And then I always think of this quote from Tuesdays With Morrie: “Love is how you stay alive, even after you’re gone.”
And Maddie is most certainly, very definitely, loved.
.-= ClassyFabSarah´s last blog ..To Be Alone =-.
My comment will echo several other comments already made. When I was in 6th grade, a 7th grade girl was hit by a car on her bike outside the main shopping center in our town. I didn’t know her, we didn’t go to the same school, but I’ve thought about her regularly for the last 15 years. I’ve wondered how her parents have possibly made it this long without her, it just doesn’t make sense! But her death made an impact on me – it made me realize that death knows no age, which was hard to swallow at 11 years old, but it also made me more aware in my daily life. I never rode a bike again without a helmet. I made sure to look both ways when crossing the street. Small things I should have done anyway, but kids rush and don’t pay attention. I’ve lost several other family and friends over the years, and each one of them has meant something to me and remains with me in the choices I make each day. There are a handful of strangers that have meant the same to me – the 7th grade girl on the bike, and now your Maddie. I think about her daily. Your posts about her have changed the way I parent my own children. Yes, there are still moments when I want to rip my hair out and run and hide, but I try and stay present in those moments and not take them for granted. I kiss my babies knees constantly. I will become more active in helping the March of Dimes, and now promoting Friends of Maddie on my own blog. Small things, yes, but your Maddie will always be remembered.
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..There’s light at the end of the tunnel! =-.
I will never forget Maddie. She touched my heart through your blog, through pictures, through stories and now holds her own little spot in my heart. I tell people about her whenever I can so that others will share in the amazingness of Maddie and remember her as well. Maddie changed a lot of people’s lives, she affected a lot of people in her too short life, have no fear she will not be forgotten.
Love and hugs.
.-= Lisa´s last blog ..Trimming the Tree =-.
Maddie has made such an impact on so many lives and I know she will never be forgotten.
For me, it’s Leslie and Amy. Leslie was a freshman in high school when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She passed away our sophomore year. I went to grade school and high school with Amy, who was diagnosed with cancer the summer before we were to go off to college. She passed away the first semester of freshman year. Amy has a younger sister who was in my sister’s class and I have always thought about her family and how the loss of Amy has impacted their life.
I have carried these girls with me for the last 10+ years. And now, I carry Maddie with me too.
Heather you are such an amazing and sweet person. I lost my Mom 2 years ago and love when people share stories and remember her. I know their parents would love to know you are still remembering their kids. I have never met you, Mike, or your precious Maddie but I think of you all everyday. I know Maddie will always be remembered and make an impact in peoples lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you everyday.
What a caring person you are to share the fact that these two young people who passed away much to earlier have helped you, as I am sure Maddie’s passing will help/effect a lot of people. I know that I never would have found the March of Dimes and started supporting their cause. But I am sure others are touched by her everday as you have been touched by your peers’ passing so long ago. God Bless.
I think about you, Mike and Maddie every day.
When i took my son for his first day of kindergarten, I cried. Not because of him, (he’s been in pre-school, etc.) but I cried because you would never have the experience of taking Maddie for her first day of school. It’s not fair.
I think this is part of why I’m the genealogy nerd. A part of me is happy when I find the children lost – someone has found their names and brought them back again for a moment.
Wanted to let you know that the story of your Maddie and your blog has changed the way I live my life and the kind of mother I am to my little girl. i don’t know you and did not know your sweet girl but I she will not only be remembered by me, she changed my life. Hope that this provides you with some comfort.
When my daughter was a Senior a close friend, Josh, was murdered, shot and killed, during a (needlessly) armed robbery of the pizza shop where he worked. Utterly senseless. The money was gladly handed over, but they sot him and his boss in the head anyway. My daughter was shattered that he was gone, and that people could be so evil, so cruel. She’s lost friends to car accidents and suicide as well. She’s only 20.
I think about Josh’s parents, siblings, grandparents. I am Catholic. I wrote Josh’s name in our Book of Remembrance, as I do each year now, which contains the names of people who have passed on who we especially pray for all through the month of November.
I write Maddie’s name now too. I always will.
.-= amy2boys´s last blog ..The Seriously Belated Thanksgiving Post =-.
Maddie will NEVER be forgotten.
.-= Kellie´s last blog ..Not A Fan =-.
How could anyone ever not remember Maddie? The brightest star I ever saw…
Maddie continues to affect lives, more than most ever will. This is one person, among countless others, that will carry her with me for the rest of her life.
A friend of mine shot himself shortly after we graduated. You know how it was back then, you had friends at school – and they were friends even if you didn’t end up hanging out with them outside of school. I never forget how I felt when I found out, and wondered if I had taken two seconds to reach out, would that have made a difference. Did he just need a friend.
To this day, though, I still carry his memories with me. Playing in Chemistry, his radiant smile as he turned the corner to meet me in the hallway every day between 1st and 2nd period. And the pain he caused those that loved him, it was a profound lesson for me.
.-= Kellee´s last blog ..Monday Challenge: Eyes Wide Open =-.
Maddie will never be forgotten…
My Aunt lost a child over twenty years ago. I never met her because I was still swinging on a star. When I was very young, I lost my Aunt to breast cancer. She was my favorite Aunt and I miss her more today than ever before. The people who we love and lose will never be forgotten. If anything, I think of her more the older I get, the closer I get to her age I realize just how short her life was and how unfair it was that she had to lose her first child and then, later, her own life.
I had a similar experience as you in high school. My freshman year over Easter break I got a call that one of my classmates had died of a random brain aneurysm while playing with her sister on the front lawn. One second she was alive and well, the next she was dead. There was nothing anyone could have done.
In my junior year, we lost two girls I knew very well in a car accident. It was horrible. One of them I had known and been friends with since middle school. She was an only child. I constantly think of her on the Fourth of July, the day she dropped a tire off a small road, over corrected and crashed into an oncoming care. Every year I wonder how her parents are, wonder how you get over your only child dying so young, wonder how all of these life experiences could have been taken from her.
My senior year a guy committed suicide. I remember hearing the news, going into the auditorium and being shell shocked. It seemed we couldn’t go more than a year without a death.
Death and I met early in life and we continue to cross paths frequently as my relative get older and the cycle of life continues to perpetuate itself. I lost my grandfather this year. He had a full life. There wasn’t anything he missed out on. It was still hard to hear that he had passed as my mother and I drove furiously through TX trying to make it to the hospital before he passed. We didn’t make it.
People come and go. I have come to realize there isn’t much rhyme or reason to death. However, not one of the people that I knew who has passed on will ever be forgotten. Not by their family, friends, or bloggy people.
Maddie has many people to help ensure she is never forgotten thanks to you reaching out across the internet for her. Thousands upon thousands of people will always think of your family and Maddie.
Midwest Mommy says:
I hope one day their parents see this post. I think it would mean a lot to them.
.-= Midwest Mommy´s last blog ..We be decorating! =-.
Midwest Mommy and Heather
I will make sure that Mike’s mom gets and email with your blog address from me so that she can see this. He was a good friend of mine in highschool and I still see his mom often actually. She is doing fun. Of course she misses her son dearly and not a day goes by that she doesnt think about him but she is doing well. As for Danielles mom I also see her at times and know she to are well. I hope to get her address as well and have her read your blog.
Maddie will always be remembered. We will remember her.
I remember every year in high school or college that at least one person died. Some were accidents, some were because of drunk driving, one was gang related. It always struck me how, one day, they were there and the next minute, they werent. I always felt sorry for their parents but never knew the depth of their grief until I lost my children.
.-= Michele´s last blog ..Waking Up =-.
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] says:
You and Maddie will always be remembered.
.-= Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog ..Almost the shortest post ever to adequately summarize me. =-.
cindy w says:
When I was 9 years old, the son of our across-the-street neighbors died at 22 in a really horrible accident. He was the cute, charismatic jock that all the girls daydreamed about. I remember being about 7 years old, home sick with pneumonia on the 4th of July, and trying to watch the fireworks from my bedroom window. Instead I saw him & his girlfriend kissing in his parents’ driveway. (Nothing X-rated, just kissing.) That’s my primary memory of him.
Years later, my mom was talking with our neighbor and she mentioned their son by name. Mrs. W. started to tear up and she thanked my mom, because she said people always seem afraid to say his name in front of her, and it’s such a relief to know that people haven’t forgotten him.
You already know this, but Maddie will never be forgotten. She’s made a lasting impression on thousands of people who never even got to meet her. How many of us can say that?
.-= cindy w´s last blog ..Thanksgiving Recap =-.
Heather – Maddie will never be forgotten.
I remember all those who have passed before me – I have been to more funerals than I care to remember in my life. In 10th grade, the older brother of a friend was hit by a car in front of our high school. He died a week later – after we had all heard he was starting to get better. At the wake and funeral I remember seeing his younger siblings – they looked lost. I remember every adult walking up to his parents to offer a kind word and a hug. He will never be forgotten. In 11th grade, a boy I had gone to school with for years committed suicide. He had always felt like an outcast and I cried knowing that I could have done more to help him. I wished his parents received the same comfort at his funeral.
I remember these students and all those who have passed before me. Thank you for sharing Danielle and Mike with us.
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..Waiting =-.
I will never forget Maddie. I was never lucky enough to meet her personally, but I know I will never, ever, forget her.
I remember her. She has had an huge impact on my life, even though I have never met her. I think of Maddie and your family everyday. I will not ever forget.
I understand a bit of how your feeling in remembering your classmates. I changed schools in the fifth grade, and there was a young boy named Danny in my class. he was the typical little redhead frecklefaced kid, except he had acute leukemia. None of us knew. We left on a friday afternoon, came back on monday to grief councelors and an empty chair. Right before I graduated this past June, there was a page of our yearbook dedicated to his short life on earth. Now, and for the rest of my life, whenever I look back at that page (and many other times between) I will remember Danny.
And right after graduation, on August 8th of 2009, another boy in our area passed away. His name was Dakota. He was a year younger than me, and though I didnt know him very well, I knew his brother. From what I know, Dakota was a great guy with alot going for him, including a great family and a bright future ahead (he was to recieve 3 full ride scholarships when he graduated this upcomming June). I think about him everyday just like everyone else I know.
Even though I never knew Maddie, I think about her everytime I see a giggling baby or a pair of blue eyes. I cant help it. Theres no way I will ever be able to forget and you them, even if I wanted to.
God bless you all, Danny, Maddie and Dakota.
Trisha Vargas says:
I will always remember Maddie. Thousands of miles apart and even though we’ve never met, both mother and daughter have left a permanent imprint on my heart.
You have a beautiful soul Heather. Both Madeline and Binky are so lucky to have you.
Ditto to what Trisha wrote! I will always remember you and Maddie. Always..
For me, Maddie is that person. She is the little girl I will think about years from now. She is the little girl I will always remember. Maddie (and you) have had such an impact on my life and clearly the lives of countless others.
I think of Mike and Danielle all the time too! I didn’t even remember the singing at his funeral. All I remember was thinking about his brothers and parents. How horrible they must feel, how much they are going to miss him, how he missed out on so much in life. Every time I do something for the first time (married, kids, new car, house) I think of him and how he never gets to experience these things. It is not fair at all!
I think of Maddie each day as well! I will continue to for the rest of my life! I love you, Mike, Maddie, Binky, your parents and so on! You are such a wonderful person and a strong mama. I am here for you always!
.-= Sara´s last blog ..She was moving and grooving and dancing to the music =-.
I never got to meet your sweet girl, but I promise you I will never forget her.
My daughter is a similar age (a little older now). I see Maddie every time I notice the back of my daughter’s neck. Thoughts of your lovely daughter reminder me, to treasure every single second of mines life, even the times she will only sleep actually lying across my chest, or when she posted all the dry washing out of the cat flap into the rain! My husband knocked our video camera on the floor and we lost all the footage of her from 12-15 months. Your story helped me just to be grateful for the warm wriggly girl in my arms, and meant that I tried to make him feel better about it, instead of being mad at him. She makes me a better person.
Thank you mike, Heather and Maddie for all of those things.
Maddie will never be forgotten because of her mommy and daddy…I know she has changed my life…because, since I started reading your blog…I began to count my many blessings in life, instead of my burdens. I now realize how precious and fragile life is, and I want to savor every moment, no matter how small, and make sure the people in my life know how much I love them:)
This was a great post Heather. I’ve always wondered why I kept certain people and their families in my heart and now I think I know. To help remember.
When I was eight a little boy drown at summer day camp. I never could go back. It wasn’t right to be there without him. I’ve never forgotten him, or his sister. His name was Micah.
In HS a girl I knew and her sister were hit by a car, while changing a tire. Her sister lived, but she didn’t. I think of them both a lot. I know Tracey was never the same without Lesley.
I’ll never forget them and I’ll never, ever forget Maddie. You shared her with us and for that I will always be grateful.
Not only has Maddie been an influence in my life, but you and Mike as well.
.-= AmberMc´s last blog ..LAS VEGAS! =-.
My parent’s lost their first child 31 years ago. (I may have told you this.) He was only 2 days old. My mom never forgets to tell me how he and I had the same hair color. Our eyes the same deep brown. How she wonders what life would’ve been like, with 3 kids instead of 2. When his birthday arrives on March 12 I think of him fondly, and do often wonder how life would’ve been with an older brother to protect me. On March 14 my parents are somber, quiet. They will never forget those days, 31 years and counting. They always remember, and have ALWAYS loved me and my younger brother equally.
You’ll make it Heather.
It was two weeks before graduation–she was a salutatorian. I’d known her since third grade when she’d come to our school with a broken leg and stolen my best friend. We went took the same classes, had the same friends, whispered secrets in the dark at slumber parties.
She was driving home from her boyfriend’s house the Monday of Memorial Day weekend when a drunk driver drifted in to her lane and hit her head on. She never woke up again.
I think of her often. I think of her when I look out at my students and pray that it’s never them.
I used to see her parents often. As a 19-year-old, I never knew what to say. I wish I could see them again, because you’ve given me the words.
Don’t you worry . . .
Maddie and her beautiful smile and spirit will never be forgotten. I think of her daily and I never even met the kid in real life – THAT is how much of an impact she has on people. I hear a song or think about some random post you made about something she did and her face pops into my mind.
Aunt Becky says:
I’ve lost a lot of people in my life. Probably more than most people my age and I remember all of them and how it felt. I still miss Maddie the most. Every day, I miss her.
I’ve found something special for her that I’m going to get for her and for you guys. xoxo
.-= Aunt Becky´s last blog ..Victory Tastes Like Bacon. Mmmmm Bacon. (etc) =-.
My brother Jason died in 1995 at the age of 22. In May of 1996 my other brother, Craig,(Jason’s twin) died.
We still worry that they will be forgotten.
When I was a sophomore in high school in 1995, a member of the senior class was killed after being hit by a train. I was casual friends with his younger brother, who was my year. It was the last week in October.
The third week in November, that young man’s younger brother was travelling in a truck that lost control on the way home from school. His brother, my friend, was killed.
I can’t imagine what those parents felt at losing their two teenage sons three weeks apart. I can’t imagine what their younger sister must have felt as she grew older.
I remember both funerals clearly. The sadness at both funerals was profound, but the deep sense of shock and devastation at the second funeral was incredibly intense.
Those events changed the students at my high school. We all mourned, we were all shell shocked, and if I saw the parents of those boys today, I would want them to know that their sons were not forgotten and that maybe, the students of my high school were changed for the better in the long run because of their sons.
I will always remember Maddie, as well as the students who passed away while I was in high school and the teammate we lost in the fall after we graduated.
I ache for their parents and families, just like I ache for you, Mike, and your families.
.-= Alison´s last blog ..100th Post and I’m a Winner! =-.
I will always remember Maddie.
One of my dear friends lost her son when he was one day old, because the doctors screwed up…
This happened a few years before I even met her but I will always remember Chandler too
When I was just 6 years old, my 2 year old cousin Scottie ran out into the street and was hit by a passing truck. He died instantly. To this day, I still miss that boy. I used to pretend he was my baby and played with him for hours whenever we visited. I think about him often, and I wonder about his 3 younger sisters who never got to know their big brother. It’s been over 35 years and I still remember Scottie. I always will.
.-= Katrina´s last blog ..Vrooom Vrooom! =-.
I have been thinking about Danielle a lot lately. I know her mom ( Patty) would be so happy to hear that she is still in your memory. I see her sister almost on a daily basis, her kids go to school with mine. Danielle was one of my closest friends in High School and I miss her everyday. She LOVED kids, I know she would have loved to have played with Madeline here on earth, but I am just as sure she is making her smile everyday in Heaven. Every time I look at my kids I wish she was here to share that love with them.
Thank you so much for this post, it meant a lot to me, personally.
Oh and both of Danielle’s sisters are on Facebook, if you want names, just let me know.
Great post Heather! You have a ways with words! Beautiful! We will NEVER FORGET! As a young teen I remember going to funerals with my mom. Her friends child. My mom was 8 mos pregnant when she lost my sister. I always wondered… what it would be like with another sister. My mom talked about her all the time. She would’ve been x years. I was 13 when my Dad passed…16 when my Grandma… then I lost my one year old niece to congenital heart defects… my oldest brother…and then the youngest brother… and the worse of all my Mom in 2004. She definitely has left a hole in my heart that no one can every mend. We will never forget…. we will always remember. I will always remember Maddie. Even though I’ve never met you, Mike nor Maddie but through this blog you and your story… Maddie’s legacy will live on forever. She has touched me. Thanks for sharing with all of us! Sending you hugs XXX
I remember Mike and Danielle’s funerals too. I was just cleaning out my garage the other day and came across the newspaper clipping and program from Mike’s funeral. I’m not sure why I kept them, but probably so I too wouldn’t forget.
I still have both of their newspaper clippings and programs too, they are the last pages of one of my photo albums from high school.
My sophmore year in high school a boy from our group of friends was diagnosed with lieukemia in September and died that following January. It was the most horrible, shocking pain any of us 15 year olds had ever felt, and for many it was the first death that had ever been dealt with.
I remember his parents’ faces the day of the funeral, the anguish and pain.
They stayed involved in our lives, going to the boys’ soccer games and our plays and cheer competitions. The night we graduated we toilet papered their house and they stood in the doorway laughing and crying, grateful to know they, and more importantly Rory, had not been forgotten.
I still think of him every January 26th.
Madeline will always be remembered. A face, a smile, a spirit like that…it goes on forever.
Miss Grace says:
I remember my 19-year-old cousin, I remember the classmates killed in car accidents, I remember my grandparents, I remember Maddie.
.-= Miss Grace´s last blog ..Too Many To Count =-.
Heather @ CSAHM says:
I feel the same way about Maddie, you, and your family. Forever praying for you all.
.-= Heather @ CSAHM´s last blog ..What is the History of Christmas? =-.
kim k says:
You write in such a thoughtful, beautiful manner. Have you ever considered writing a book?
I cannot imagine what you have been through but I did have scary difficult pregnancies…bedrest for 5 months each and I know how it is to rejoice for each day that the baby stays safely inside to grow. I took the same medicine that you did as well. Think of you and the praying for a healthy baby. xoxo kim
Amy in Oregon says:
I remember Maddie, a beautiful baby I never met. She impacted me forever and her story will forever live in my heart. She’s in a special place there along with some i’ve also lost in high school, my aunt and her babies who were murdered, and several close friends and other relatives over the years. They all reside there in my heart and comfort me daily.
Michelle Pixie says:
Maddie has touched my world and will never be forgotten. She has changed the way I parent for the better a gift I know she has given too many! I carry Maddie in my heart.
.-= Michelle Pixie´s last blog ..What’s That Smell =-.
Julie M says:
I too remember Mike. I was a senior that year and although I didn’t know him real well, we’d gone to school together for years. I was in the choir that sang at his funeral and have never forgotten that experience. Like you, I think of him and his family often and have often what he would be doing now had he lived.
Maddie has touched the hearts of many and like Mike, will never be forgotten.
I read every one of your posts like many of the other commenters here. Although I have yet to be a mother or a wife, or know what its like to lose a child, I find comfort in your words. This post is one of the first that I have been able to relate to. And I can relate well.
My graduating class lost 5 classmates before we graduated. A 6th was taken 2 months after graduation. One from cancer in 6th grade, another one from a snowmobile accident in 6th grade. A suicide in 8th grade. The 4th was taken by another car accident our sophmore year. The 5th was run over by a truck our jr year, and the 6th, a car accident. I was “friends” with 4 of them. Out of those 4, I was good friends with 2 and out of that 2, 1 was my best friend since 1st grade. She commited suicide when we were 12 years old.
Nothing was ever the same after that, and because of her, I remember them all. Even though a majority of them passed after her. Over the past 11 years I have seen my best friend’s family, I’ve even grown quite close to her sister. Her mother, she looks older by the minute. Tired. Hollow. She misses her daughter so very much and every ounce of her tells you that. Recently I attended a friend’s wedding, and my best friend’s mom was at my table at the reception. It pained me to see the pain in her eyes. Her daughter’s peers were growing up, getting married and starting families. Something her daughter would never do. I think about my best friend every day. I crave for her presence everyday. I want her here, with me as I continue finding my place in this world. I want her in my wedding. I want my children to refer to her as “auntie”. I wanted her to march next to me during graduation and get ready with me for prom. I ache for her personality and wit and friendship so so so much. Her mother’s longing, all of my classmate’s mothers (parents) must feel that tenfold.
Jane K says:
I will always remember Maddie and so will my daughter – – we read about Maddie everyday together. Yesterday would have been the 12th birthday of a little boy who was a friend of my son’s – – he passed away last January. I told his mom yesterday we will never, ever forget that sweet boy. No one will ever forget your sweet baby.
Ali in NC says:
even though i have never met you, you and your maddie come to my mind frequently. the days when my 2 year old is being a terrible 2 year old, the nights that he is crying b/c he wants to sleep in mommie’s bed. i desperately want to sleep and just wish he would go to sleep- i think of you and how i am so blessed to be able to put him to bed and how you would give anything just to be able to frustrated with your maddie. those moments humble me, make me take a breathe, be patient, be thankful and say a prayer for you.
I too experienced losing a classmate when I was in 7th grade. His name was David and we all hung around together. I will never forget the last time I saw him…I was *trying* to flirt with him and was sitting on his lap. I remember laughing with him. The next day he died of an aneursym. That was 27 years ago and I STILL think about him often.
I has left an imprint on me, just as your Maddie has.
The difference between now and then is that I thought I was invincible back then and now, I am all too aware of the reality and unfairness of life.
But please know this. Your Maddie has affected my life in many positive ways. Her spirit was one that was truly meant to inspire people. I will never forget her and my children will know of her as they get older.
.-= Jenn´s last blog ..It’s the most wonderful time of the year =-.
People will always remember Maddie because you allow her legacy to live on. You haven’t hidden away your sorrow and your memories of her which allows so many people to remember her each day. Her smile is unforgettable. Her beautiful blue eyes are unforgettable. Her happy spirit is unforgettable. And so, Maddie will not be forgotten.
.-= Tara.´s last blog ..# 30. =-.
Forgot to add: I lost a very close friend when I was 14, she took her own life. Nobody saw it coming, especially me. The anniversary of her death is tomorrow and I think about her all the time and that was almost 20 years ago. I still see her Mom and now that I’m a parent, my heart aches for her even more. I can’t even imagine that kind of pain.
You never forget those you love. The pain may not always be as intense, but you never forget.
.-= Tara.´s last blog ..# 30. =-.
What a beautiful post.
.-= kbreints´s last blog ..Tear it up Tuesday =-.
Momma Uncensored says:
prior to knowing about maddie my only other march of dimes encounter was my nephew, was born 7 weeks early.. a few days in the NICU and he was home.. never to return. it didn’t occur to me that there wasn’t a home stretch once the baby passed the NICU stage.. that there could actually be more complications in the coming months, years.
knowing of maddie and the struggles with the oxygen rocket and all of your other posts has taught me more about the reality of premature babies.. and the value of the march of dimes.
there isn’t a green light just because they are sent home from the NICU, and this could be anyone’s baby.. and is happening to someone right now.
so miss mads has made a bigger impact then you can imagine.
Now I will rmember too.
Long time lurker, first time commenter…
The summer between my freshman and sophmore years of college I worked at a daycare center. I had the most beautiful, all-American blond hair blue eyed little boy in my class. Brian was 2 and his big sister Sarah was in the 5-year old room. There was sibling rilvary and Brian was an average 2 year old – sweet, curious, moody, and just starting to figure things out. When he napped he still looked like a baby.
A year and a half later Brian died in a tragic accidental drowning. He wandered out of his family’s cabin up north and fell into a pond in the middle of the night.
I’m 34 now, and this happened about 15 years ago. I can’t say that I think of Brian often, but I think of him a lot. I hold my son (who is now 11 years old) close because you never know…
People will remember Maddie. Probably more than you know.
Maddie will always be remembered by COUNTLESS people. She has had a profound effect on so many. Not many people can have an effect on so many people who they had never even met, at 17 MONTHS OLD! What is really unusual is that even if she was still here with us, she would have the same effect. Heather, she is so beautiful. I love looking at her pictures. I CAN wait to meet Binky, I wish it was February already!
I remember Maddie, too. As do so many others. Her life has impacted a lot of people, and she will be remembered by many.
.-= Christiana´s last blog ..NaBloPo… Done! =-.
Seeing what your Maddie was up to brightened many of my days when things were very bleak for me.
She will never be forgotten.
.-= Dawn´s last blog ..my OCD =-.
catherine lucas says:
There is no way Heather that I will or could forget Madeline… No way! Never! And you make sure of that with your writings. Even if you would stop writing today, I still would never forget Madeline. She made such a huge impact on so much people!!!
.-= catherine lucas´s last blog ..Good Bad Boys… =-.
Even though we have never met, I think of you, Mike, and Maddie daily. I think of your beautiful . She was a beautiful little girl and she will never be forgotten. Ten days or ten years from now, Maddie and your family have made a difference in my life and I will always carry in her my heart. She inspires me, as do you, and she has made such an impact.
Wishing you health
Terri Cooper says:
Thank you for your beautiful post as I sit here and think about 5 of my lost classmates.
i came across your blog some time ago and was touched not only by your adorable daughter and the impact she had in her short time here, but also by all the ways you and mike have shared her joys and the ways they filled your life. she will never be forgotten and you’ve done a beautiful job sharing her legacy.
i lost the first boy i ever went on a date with when he was 13 years old from an aneurysm in his aorta. he was fine one day and gone the next with no signs that anything was wrong until it took his life. that was 17 years ago. i still think of luke regularly even all these years later and of the way he always lived every moment of his short life to the absolute fullest and i’m so thankful to be able to carry that piece of him with me. while i was only 12 when he passed, and while i’m thankful for all the people who haven’t had to feel that heartache, i am also thankful that i learned so young to make the most of my and others time together, because tragedy is unpredictable and beyond humbling.
thanking you for sharing your maddie, and the stories of your classmates, even if there not physically here any longer, they have an impact that is impossible to ignore.
Jenny @ http://motherlawyercrazywoman.blogspot.com/ says:
Your words are lovely, as are your memories.
.-= Jenny @ http://motherlawyercrazywoman.blogspot.com/´s last blog ..Heartbreak =-.
Thank you for sharing your daughter’s life with us. She will never be forgotten.
Marti from Michigan says:
Wow Heather, that is really awesome. I wonder if you can contact these parents somehow?
I can’t remember this boy’s name, but when I was in 5th grade, a boy in the 7th grade died of a stroke at age 12! The school was devastated, a Catholic school as well, and we all attended his funeral. It was a very difficult time and I remember feeling despair as well.
Then in my 7th grade year, a boy in our class, Mike Kenney, developed leukemia and he died before the end of the school year. It was again a time of despair and fears.
That same year, President Kennedy was shot and killed. That was a terrible time for all of us kids in a Catholic school. Our male teacher, who was a big ruff and gruff guy, announced it and melted into tears in the classroom. We all went over to the church to pray for the Kennedy family. We even had the day off to watch his funeral on TV. I remember it fairly well. Very scary and traumatic time in my daily life.
Since those times, I’ve been to many funerals, many of them very difficult, including my nephew who died of crib death at 3 months of age. I never had a funeral for my Joey, but we had an impromptu memorial service for him. Tiny preemie love.
Thank you Heather and Mike for sharing your lives with all of us “strangers.” I ask that God continue to bless you and keep you safe and healthy, and keep your baby cooking in your belly until the proper time.
Love you. I want you to know that I remember Maddie. Every day. My kids remember her too, even though they never got to meet her in this life. They see her picture, they ask me about her…about you. We talk…it isn’t daily…but it is often. We love you…we pray for you. Thank you for the reminder to remember all of those who have gone before us. Huggs.
I get this. I had a friend that was killed along with his fiance in a car accident while traveling to her parents house to share their good news. I still to this day see someone that reminds me of him and wonder. I think about him and his family all of the time.
I often go to bed on special days and think of Maddies smile and hug my daughter a million times harder. She will always be remembered even by me miles away and never have met her.
When I was in the sixth grade we spent some time working on a poetry book. The teacher had an artsy student create a cover for that poem book and we ‘published’ it (one for every student). We spent some time passing it around to our classmates and asking them to ‘autograph’ their works. Well, a boy named Billy who wasn’t all that popular was in my language arts class was just sitting there. My heart ached for him because nobody was asking him to sign his name in their book, and vice versa.
I asked if I could sign his book and asked if he would sign mine. I’m thankful I did so.
That was really the first time I noticed him. That was the only time I had a class with him. I saw him a few years later in high school and he looked so different. I could tell he was sick. I asked him how he was doing and he told me he had cancer. We talked about how he was going to kick some major ass and make it to graduation a couple of years later.
Not long later I saw him at the store. He was really excited because the make a wish foundation granted him a wish. He was going to be a police officer for a day. I knew then that it was bad.
I still mourn him. I sort of wanted to name my son William and call him Billy. Sometimes I still wish that I would have named him William (Billy)
I think about his parents all the time. I wish that I would just run into them so I could let them know that I thought he was such a wonderful boy with a good sweet heart.
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Re-Sale Shop =-.
We will always remember Maddie.
Shannon Leon Etnyre says:
MIke sat in front of me in Senora Reeds Spanish class. He was my “buddy” in the class & I can still remember staring at his empty seat when they told us the news. Our usually chatty class was silent. I still think of him all the time. Your post struct me b/c it never occurred to me that anyone else still wondered about him. I don’t know why. . .
I also think of you & Maddie every day. Every single day. My son has a better mommy because of Maddie. I’m more patient and try my best to get as many hugs in as I can. thank you for sharing Maddie with us!
Heather such a beautiful post. I am now crying for your friends and their families and for all those who have posted such beautiful stories.
I remember too…
for Justin and Kelly gone but never forgotten.
I think of Maddie all the time… Abby Caddaby float in the Thanksgiving Day parade.. I thought of Maddie…….the checkout line in the store there was a little pink toy cell phone….Maddie!
Julie Shaner says:
I remember those who passed away too young in hs and middle school and that was 20+ years ago. I am a teacher and attended the funerals of two former students and the child of a great friend. I think of these children often and it breaks my heart to look at the pics of Maddie and how it is so unfair that she and these others are not here today . I am a mom and I am pretty sure that you remembering these kids means much to them.
Strange. I’ve been thinking of Mike a lot lately, too. I don’t know why, but he’s been on my mind. Maybe it’s Maddie or being a parent or living back where we went to school…I don’t know. Thanks for writing this post, Heather. I pray that his and Danielle’s parents read it. I too was in his science class, went to his funeral and think of him often.
JRo in NYC says:
I lost two very dear friends and a cousin my senior year of high school. I think of them daily – and it is now over 15 years later. People remember. I think of Maddie often and I never met her (except through your blog.)
Lisa from WV says:
Sometimes it is the lives of those that are cut way to short that leave the biggest impact
Thinking and praying for all of you.
Thank you for sharing this today, that shock and sorrow that we experianced as a teen impacts us for life. Just today I learned a mutual friend lost her husband yesterday in a tragic auto accident. My heart aches for her, and the pain she must be feeling. I will carry her in my prayers, and keep remembering Maddie (the Abby Caddaby balloon in the Macy’s parade made me smile and think of her!).
Before I came to read your blog today, I saw Maddie’s beautiful face on a button on another site…. I was thinking about how I know about her life from reading your blog. I was reflecting on how I will never forget her little life because just reading about her has impacted me in a very touching way and made me appreciate so much about many things, such as prematurity. She has made an impact and will continue to on my life and I think many, many more have and will be touched thru your blog by Maddie.
So after thinking that, I came here to read today’s blog and found this the very topic you wrote about. Just wanted to say, I have grown to love your Maddie’s wonderful personality thru your loving blog about her. She holds a special place in my heart even tho I don’t know you personally.
rachel cortest says:
Thank you for that post. It helped me realize that even though Tomás died 3 years and 6 months ago, that his friends at high school remember him and that he will never be forgottne. That is what we fear as parents.
Please know that Maddie will never ever ever be forgotten. I think of her every single day. hugs, Rachel
Mary Ann says:
You have an amazing way with words. Your post stirred up so much emotion in me tonight. December is always a hard month for me. Five years ago this month I lost my father. It feels like it was yesterday and the hole in my heart has never healed. I think of him daily, even more so this time of year, and your post has made me realize that other people do to – they remember him and probably miss him as much as I do. Thank you for helping me remember him, all the people who loved and still love him, and all those people who have passed through my life. Your Madeline will always hold a special place in my heart. That’s why I think I keep returning to your posts – I didn’t get enough of her and love remembering her through your stories, pictures, and videos. She is an angel in more ways then one. I share your blog with all my friends and I promise we will keep Maddie in our hearts forever.
As someone who recently lost her brother in law (who was 18) I have to say thank you for this post.
I love reading your blog and because of it have reached out to March Of Dimes. Maddy will always be remembered.
My Grandmother lost several of her children in her lifetime. The first was only a little one…he died in 1936 at the age of 2 1/2…Duane. Another son died in 1968 at the age of 24…in Vietnam. Michael. I never met either of them. Yet they lived on through pictures, stories and through the love of their family and friends. They both were legendary in our family. I felt that we knew them. They were eternally framed in the ages that they passed. To this day we look at their photos to see who they were, to mourn their loss, to see some glimpse of recognition and connection. And we always find it.
Maddy will always be remembered.
Karen Chatters says:
The most beautiful part of life, is that we all touch people differently. What you remember is totally different than what someone else might remember. Maddie won’t be forgotten. We’ll all remember her differently. We’ll remember those big eyes or her bright smile or her adorable hair or her love for you and Mike. But most important, we’ll remember her. And, how she was loved by you.
.-= Karen Chatters´s last blog ..Are you there God, it’s me =-.
First of all Maddie will be remembered like no other. She has made a HUGE impression that will go down for sure in the history of these blogs.
I am sure other places too but I know her from here. Remember: Her face is the sunshine of my day! I lost a friend when I was 13, actually I posted about it today. I didn’t realize anything about what his mother went through until now.
That day when he left his house he said “Mom I love you” first time ever and was killed. I remember a girl in HS who was missing from a trip to Colorado. Mother killed herself. After all that I see, all that I read and all I have heard I think that heaven will be the best! We are living our hell now and eternity will be awesome.
.-= Debby´s last blog .."I AM THANKFUL FOR ALL" =-.
I will never forget Madeline Spohr. Or her Mommy and Daddy who love her so very much. She has changed my life and the way I live each day.
.-= Paige´s last blog ..Gentle Giants =-.
Well, I think it’s great that you remember them, that you’re one more person who lets them live on through your memories. I’m sure their parents would be grateful for that, at least.
When I was in grade 9, a girl in grade 10 named Zinzi Makhanya contracted meningitis and died… I barely knew her. I’d seen her around and possibly greeted her once or twice, but that was it. At her memorial in the school hall, I cried my eyes out. And I wasn’t the only one. More than half the kids were crying, and not just her grade. Other people who’d never heard of her either… her death affected them almost as strongly.
Like you, I’ve never forgotten Zinzi. I don’t think you ever forget the death of a schoolmate.
.-= Kirsten´s last blog ..DAMN IT!!! >_ =-.
Jennifer L says:
In High School a boy named Matt McManus was sitting with his parents in the Engineering prep orientation meeting. The next morning my friend who was also in the class meeting said that there was one less person in our class… the boy had died of an unknown heart condition in his sleep. I can’t imagine his parents’ emotions when they found him in bed that morning. I believe he was an only child.
My senior year of High School, first day of school, I was in marching band and the percussion section practiced outside. So I was outside setting up instruments and an ambulance drove up with sirens screaming and the paramedics rushed into the school. A boy was taken away on the stretcher and a paramedic was working on him as they went to the ambulance. He had collapsed in class his first day at the High School and died somewhere between there and the hospital. I’m haunted by the thought that I likely witnessed his last moments. I can’t imagine how the people who were actually in his classroom felt.
I didn’t even know them really, but bad things can happen so suddenly. Perhaps that is what is so upsetting….or why it impacts those that are still alive… and that makes me try to live everyday to the fullest.
.-= Jennifer L´s last blog ..Disappearing for a bit =-.
And I’ll never forget Michael M_____, a guy who used to be a neighbor of mines, for many, many years (but a guy who I didn’t know. Neighbors we were, by definition…but friends? We did not become). A guy who became my secret crush for many years. A guy who even a year and three months after his death (he was shot); I still think of him. And I always will. Yesterday, I cried in the darkness of my room for him. Of a life that was taken too soon. He was only twenty-five.
So I understand all too well about the two lives that you’ll always remember. Of Mike and Danielle.
AND: Because of YOU, Maddies legacy will always live on. Because of YOU we get to know such a beautiful soul. And I thank you so much for that.
.-= mythoughtsonthat´s last blog ..I Spend My Day With Children =-.
Mike, Nancy and Little Man says:
We met once at Griffith Park. Our children played together. We will never forget your beautiful Maddie and little man will know her story when he’s older. For now, he looks at Maddie’s pictures and watches her videos and claps. He loves them.
Thank you for sharing her with us. We won’t forget.
I hope the parents of your classmates somehow find this post. They would be honored to know that you remember their children. I can promise you that even years from now I’ll think of Maddie. She’s unforgettable, thanks to you and her beautiful smile.
.-= Noelle´s last blog ..The First Tears Have Been Shed / The Holiday Season Is Officially Here =-.
I hope that somehow Danielle and Mike’s families see this post.
Young Momma says:
Beautifully written. Beautiful.
.-= Young Momma´s last blog ..Created =-.
While I have never lost a friend or someone close to me in age, I have lost people that I love.
My grandfather died 13 years ago this Saturday, and not a week goes by that I don’t think of him, and mourn the loss.
After my grandfather passed my grandmother would go to the cemetery every day to visit with him and she would often take flowers to the children’s section of the cemetery to put them on the neglected graves.
Now that my grandma has passed I often wonder who will visit her grave and remember (she lived in Florida) and I hope that someone will pick up were she left off and continue where she no longer can.
Thinking of all four of you. You are always in my prayers.
Maddie touched our lives…you have touched our lives. We will always remember
When I was in high school a girl I didn’t know at all killed herself after her boyfriend broke up with her. I sometimes think about both she and her mother–about how her mother must wish she could have gotten the chance to talk to her and tell her that it only gets better after high school and that her first love would be a distant memory in her adult life. I think about her as well–if she could look back now as an adult she would see how pointless it was, to waste her life over this boy, this mere moment in a whole lifetime.
I remember her name but still, I remember her and her mother, who I never met.
Sorry, I meant I don’t remember her name. Wish I did. But of course I remember her.
There are no words for how touching that is
Erin Lane says:
What a moving post! I had a friend pass away at 15 and wrote her mother a note every Christmas and every birthday for years…..just to let her know that she lives on in my memories. It is so important….and your story lives on in so many that don’t even know you personally. Your daughter will never be forgotten!
Expat Mom says:
I remember the ones who were taken too early, too. My baby sister who was so very wanted and loved and who died just two months before she was supposed to have been born.
Two Mikes, one I only knew as a fellow counselor at camp, he was funny and we hung out with our kids . . . I came back to camp for fall retreat and was told that he’d been hit by car while walking home one evening and killed instantly. The second Mike was someone I knew only by sight, he went cliff diving with the senior class, hit the water wrong and exploded his heart.
Then there was a close friend, Coral, who had struggled all her life with neglect, abandonment, drugs and alcohol. She finally got her life back on track, she was going back to school, staying clean, and she left my boyfriend’s house one day, getting into a car with a new driver who had only her learner’s permit. They pulled out in front of a semi truck on the highway and died shortly afterwards. Hers was the second funeral I ever attended.
These children will always be remembered. Maddie was very young, but no one is ever going to forget her, not even those of us who never had the pleasure of meeting her.
Melissa (Mbonn) says:
I had a friend who passed away in high school. She was only a sophmore and I think of her with every milestone I pass. Mourning that she never got a chance to pass them too. Maddie won’t be forgotten. I remember her all the time. I never even knew her and yet she, not the others I have known, is the first thing that pops into my head when I hear the name Maddie or Madeline. She’s in my heart, just like my friend Alessandra and there’s no way I could forget them even if I wanted to.
My brother died when he was 18. I was 14 and had never had to deal with death. I lived in a small town and our family was surrounded by loved ones who knew him and grieved hard with us…and it helped to know that we were not alone.
But as the months drifted along I noticed that the others grief had lessened..that it seemed like my family was alone in our suffering and our constant thoughts of him…alone in a pain that felt like it was literally…physically…ripping our hearts from our chests.
I wondered how they could forget such an amazing boy…how people who professed to be as heartbroken as us could move on so easily.
The years have not gotten easier, I’ve just become better at coping. The tears are still right under the surface when I think of him and of what his life would have been like now. He would have been an uncle to my sisters children, lecturing me on the guys I date, married with children to the beautiful girl he had given a promise ring to the night before he died…it isn’t fair and I want my brother back.
13 years later and I can still recall perfectly, at my brothers funeral, my grandma leaning over and telling me to hug my dad because, my strong dad who never cries, was sobbing. I can still recall the rough feel of his suit, how I had to stretch my arm around his shoulders, the press of kleenex into my hand for him and worst of all…the feeling of my dads shoulders shaking with his silent tears as he stared at his sons casket sitting right in front of him….a parent should never have to bury their child. They should never have to experience that grief, that soul rending anguish. I cannot even comprehend that type of pain…not even in comparison to the grief I’ve felt.
It killed me for years, feeling like everyone had forgotten about him. Almost like he had disappeared.
It is so amazing and heartwarming….and actually healing…to hear that people do remember.
Heather, I never met you. I’ve never met Mike and I did not get the chance to meet Maddie but through your blog I’ve come to care for all of you…and Binky now as well…very deeply. I’ve cried and laughed and groaned, through your day to day life adventures and have prayed and hoped for the absolute best for your family.
I will never forget Maddie. You have engraved her on my heart.
There is no way I could ever forget that beautiful girl. Maddie will never be forgotten.
You’re an amazing lady and your love and strength come through in your words. My heart breaks for your pain and the loss of your beautiful little girl. I know how important it is to you to talk about Maddie and to keep her memory alive — and to know that others keep her memory alive as well. While there will never be a day that you don’t mourn for her, time does help you cope. Mike’s been gone for over 13 years and I miss him every day and long to hug him and laugh with him. I wonder if he would be married now, have children, what he would be doing. He had many wonderful friends –his close friends still stay in touch and that means the world to me. I wish you and your family peace, love and happiness.
How incredibly thoughtful of you. If you have a way to get their contact info, they would probably love hearing how you still think of them. MANY people that never knew Maddie think of her. I know I do when I see purple. I do when I see Abby Cadaby (did I spell that right?). People will always remember her because of you and Mike keeping her name and spirit alive.
~Hugs from TX
.-= Alli´s last blog ..Happy Thanksgiving! =-.
You are truly an amazing woman.
Kerry Baldwin says:
Well I don’t think you ever have to worry about people forgetting Maddie. I know I will never forget that face and that little girl with the sparkle in her eyes. She’s touch a LOT of lives. Thank you for sharing her with us. xx
I remember William, who I used to babysit for. He was run down and killed when he was 13 years old. His parents were abroad on vacation, and it took two days to find them and tell them the news. Videos of William. playing and happy, were used an a campaign to curb speeding in the UK. I hope his death allowed other to live. He would be 28 now. Everyone who knew Maddie will remember her.
.-= geekymummy´s last blog ..The journey is the destination =-.
Heather B – find the parents and tell them. My Aunt lost her college son from a heart attack in the school cafeteria. She said the hardest part is no one tells her they think of him b/c they worry she’ll cry….except one high school girlfriend who for the past 20 years, sends a note to her on his birthday. They would love to hear from you.
I’ll always remember Maddie. I think of her often.
.-= Susanna´s last blog ..hats =-.
No, you don’t forget those people. I’ve been out of high school for 20 years now, and a good friend of my high school sweetheart passed away about 2 years ago. We had all hung around together. I hadn’t spoken to him in years, but when I went to the funeral and saw the pictures his family had put up of us in high school, it flooded back and I felt like I had just talked to him the day before. I think of Tom often.
Katie @ Peanut Sprout says:
I think I’ll remember your Maddie for the rest of my life. Her birthday is days before my younger son’s birthday.
.-= Katie @ Peanut Sprout´s last blog ..Mommy Confessions: Fabulous Fours? =-.
I don’t know you at all. I have been reading about Maddie since I found you through Aunt Becky last year, and I will always remember Maddie!!
.-= Maria´s last blog ..Another Addiction =-.
I have been reading through your blog for days looking for the right time to comment. I need to comment now. I have been unable to go about my usual day since I started reading your blog. I have sat with my girls on the floor and played with them rather than sitting on the couch watching them. I have played with them when mothers gather rather than sitting with the other mums and chatting. I have braved kissing my daughters at night, rather than risking waking them up. This is what your story has done for me. Thank you for sharing it and thank you for Maddie. I will think of you and Maddie often. You have changed me.
Hi there. My sister forwarded me your blog, and just have to say that Maddie’s story has moved me to tears as I went to the beginning and started reading from her miraculous birth.
What a bright, happy, luminous child.
I know that it has been over a year since you wrote this post, but just want to make sure you know that Maddie won’t be forgotten, for her own special spirit that spread to those who knew her and now through your moving recording now of her life and memory.
Thank you Heather, I have recently been wondering and have been frustrated with myself over whether I will remember Aisling in years to come. I’m 17 and two years ago a classmate of mine died from cancer, Im from a medium sized school in Dublin, Ireland. Basically everyone knows everyone else and the first few months out from her death were actually somewhat easier, we sobbed together and held each other. Now two years later it’s not spoken about everyday and sometimes that is harder, when we go on the class trip she should have been on or when I sit in the Irish class she should be in. But this has made me so happy! I will always remember her, she was a defining person in my life! And even though she can’t do these things with us I’m sure as hell going to do then for her and now for Maddie too. Maddie was gorgeous, Aisling was gorgeous, they are both amazing!