I bought it at the Gap, on sale. It’s that kind of cotton that’s sheer – you have to wear a tank top underneath. It was the perfect shirt to help me transition from winter into spring. It’s long-sleeved so it kept me warm, but because it was so lightweight it didn’t make me sweat. I wore it all the time. In some of my webcam photos, you can see my favorite shirt with the light purple pinstripes:
The morning Maddie got sick, my mom reminded me to pack a hospital bag. I packed a hospital bag every time Maddie was sick. Most of the time I never used it. I threw in some sweats, toys & clothes for Maddie, her three favorite books, toiletries, and my favorite shirt. If she was admitted, I didn’t think she’d be in for more than a few days.
The next morning, the PICU was chilly. I threw on my favorite shirt. Early that afternoon, Maddie knocked out her second IV, and it bled all over my left shoulder. One of the nurses told me hydrogen peroxide would get it out. I didn’t think much about it because the nurses were trying to get another IV in her little arms…then her legs…then on her foot. She was hurting, and even though I knew they were trying their hardest, I was so annoyed the nurses couldn’t get a new IV in. I made them stop, to give her a rest. And then all hell broke loose. I pulled Maddie away from where she laid on my chest so the doctors could intubate her. Her fingers clung and pulled at my shirt. My favorite shirt.
I held her, a little more than three hours later. I pulled out tubes and carefully peeled off wires. I bathed her. She bled a little on my hands. I wiped them on my favorite shirt.
I was wearing my favorite shirt when I held her and kissed her for the last time. When I said good bye and went home to start life without her.
I’ve washed the other clothes I wore that day. But not that shirt I bought at the Gap, on sale. It still smells like her.
these things are unimaginable. I cannot, though I know they did, fathom that they happened.
I would have kept the shirt, too, I think, but of course I can’t know.
thank you for allowing us glimpses into the most delicate and painful of the memories. I have always celebrated your candor & honesty. I know Madeline would have grown up strong and true of heart like her Mommy. And now I know lucky Binky will have the gift of your mothering, I feel just a teeny bit less devastated by her loss. For those of us with distance, as her family grows and her legacy aids those most in need, we will find healing. It is my greatest wish we could find better healing for you, Mike & your families.
As always, love from @kristeneileen, chris, miles & Bella
Kristen, I couldn’t have put into words any better! Heather, I do totally get how you would save that shirt. My heart aches for you, Mike, and Maddie daily. Try to be comforted in the fact that I know Maddie is always going to be with Binky, probably is right now! She’s whispering in Binky’s ear all of the wonderful things about mommy and daddy! Much love always, Patty
.-= Patty´s last blog ..My sweet little lady… =-.
my heart breaks every day for you and your husband. every day i think about your family. i have even prayed that maddie’s clothes never lose her scent.
how i wish you were not going through life without her laughter.
Sara @heartmychloe says:
rachel, you said it perfectly.
hugs and hope for you, heather, and your family.
.-= Sara @heartmychloe´s last blog ..Chloe Kendall, author-at-large =-.
Maddie not being here is still like this insane nightmare that makes absolutely no sense. None of this makes any kind of sense at all. But you not washing this shirt? I can understand that.
catherine lucas says:
Gutwrenching… What can I say… Part of me would like to say “wash it, too many bad memories” but another part of me knows how smells and memories can be the only thing left of something that we can’t live without, so guess today I do not have words for you Heather… Life has its suck suck suck moments…
.-= catherine lucas´s last blog ..Paparazzi on tour… =-.
Ashley Hast says:
Tears running down my face. The part that while reading struck me the most was that her fingers clung to your shirt. She wasn’t ready to leave. It’s just not fair. I’m so sorry, Heather. I pray for God’s peace for you.
.-= Ashley Hast´s last blog ..Violet, do you have beer in your bedroom again? =-.
AHHH! I wasn’t crying until I read your comment. I don’t want to think she wasn’t ready to leave. It makes it even more painful somehow.
My thoughts exactly
Her clinging to you just broke my heart. She loved you soooo much Heather. That’s proof. It’s killing me right now so I can only imagine how much it hurts you. My husband is home from work sitting next to me and my pre-schooler is watching t.v. and my throat is hurting from trying not to start ugly crying.
I don’t know what to say, but I didn’t want to come away without saying anything.
.-= Bec´s last blog ..Archives: 5 things I didn’t know about becoming a mum =-.
O my dear sweet Heather, I have tears falling down my face and such an ache in my heart at I read your words today. My heart just breaks for you, dear sweet Mama. This is all so very wrong and so very unfair. I ask myself why o why every day. You are in my thoughts every, single day, dear sweet Heather. My tears continue to fall as I write these words. I cannot even begin to imagine the sheer pain you must feel thinking about these moments, I do know though that my pain at reading your words is only a fraction of it. Through my tears I am smiling though when I look at those gorgeous photos of you and your precious World Famous Maddie. Your World Famous Maddie brings a smile to my face every time I see a photo of her. I am here reading your words every day, dear sweet Heather. I thank you for sharing your thoughts and your photos with your readers and for letting your readers into your world. Reading your posts has changed me forever. You continue to be such an inspiration and I continue to be so in awe of you. You are such an amazing lady, so very brave and strong. Holding your hand from afar.
Your friend, Erica in Luxembourg
I’m not sure that I will EVER know the “right” thing to say to you. Your stories are heart wrenching and always pull at my deepest thoughts. Maddie is so missed, by so many. Thank you for sharing her with us. Thank you for sharing your memories, the happy and the sad, I feel so connected to you all. You, Mike, Maddie and Baby Binky will always have a special place in my heart. I think of you often an send happy thoughts and love your way daily. XOXO
.-= AmazingGreis´s last blog ..Doin’ the iPod shuffle… =-.
Oh, sweet Maddie… Heather I am just so very sorry for your pain. My heart broke reading this post.
This is especailly heartwrenching this morning. I wll be thinkging of you today, like everyday.
mary c says:
Oh shit. That just kills me. I don’t know how you make it each day. I would be a hallow shell of a person. It all would have eaten me up inside remembering how much she needed you and I would never forget how she didn’t want to let go. I would keep the shirt forever and ever. Hang in there Heather
Kristen McD says:
Oh, how I wish… that things were different. I’m so sorry.
I’m so sorry and I hope that smell never goes away. My mom died 5 1/2 years ago and I still keep some of her clothes in a small plastic tote to try to hold in the scent…..I don’t take them out to “sniff” as often as I did at the beginning but I can still smell her (if only in my mind when I’m holding her clothes). I hope that Maddie’s scent will last and last. I know that her impact on this world will.
Thank you for this beautiful, heartbreaking post.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
Oh, Heather. Thank you for letting us inside. We grieve with you.
.-= Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog ..My van is full of strange passengers =-.
Wow, I dont know why but this was one of the hardest posts I have ever read of yours. I think it was the realness of your sweet and scared baby being comforted by you and wanting to hold onto your shirt (as most babies do) and that was the last time you held her while she was alive. I cant even imagine….I am so so sorry.
Katie in WI says:
Yes. What Sue said.
My stomach was all knotted up reading this. I can’t catch my breath.
Your words, Heather, are just stunning.
I have to agree completely. Your words almost always bring me to tears…but your entry today was most definitely heartwrenching.
My prayers go out to you, Heather & your family!!!!
I agree also. I cry often when reading your posts and thinking of all that you and your family are enduring, Heather. But, today? Today I sit here at work sobbing. I don’t post comments often but today I wanted to thank you for constantly sharing Maddie with us. I pray, and pray hard, that you keep on talking about her and keep on sharing.
Seriously. I’m not sure if I’m going to vomit or just keep crying. This one was especially difficult. I don’t know how you go on, but I’ll keep crying with you from across the county. No one should EVER have to endure this. I’m so, so sorry.
Heather, I’m so sorry that these sad memories are coming back to you, that something like your favorite shirt brings it all back.
Big hugs coming your way.
.-= Karen´s last blog ..Who needs Martha? =-.
Scary Mommy says:
I imagine smells would be some of the hardest. They can still seem so fresh, even months old. Sigh. Oh, Heather, my heart aches just for you.
.-= Scary Mommy´s last blog ..The Most Stubborn Boy in the World =-.
sabrina in Philly says:
Never wash that shirt…..
Im so sorry for your sadness ((((hugs))))
.-= sabrina in Philly´s last blog ..Remembering =-.
oh my god. I have no other words. This memory sounds like one of the hardest ones. I’m just so sorry.
Oh Heather, I don’t know what to say…I’m so heart broken for you guys…This post and these pictures made me cry, cry, cry….I also agree with Sue, this was one of the hardest posts I’ve read…You don’t ever have to wash that shirt if it brings you and comfort or closeness to Maddie… I wish I could take some of your pain away today…
.-= Dana´s last blog ..Sat, Aug 29, 2009 =-.
This brings me to tears. I am so sorry you are going through this.
.-= Liz´s last blog ..Saturday =-.
jessica b says:
lots of love to you this morning.
I wish. I really do wish that this nightmare would end for you and Mike. Hugs to you today Heather.
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Life – It’s What You Make It =-.
Peace & Love Heather
You are so incredibly strong. Thank you so much for sharing Maddie with us all. Thank you for sharing your grief with us too. When someone suffers such an unimaginable loss, people don’t know how to react. I think all of us understand more. My heart breaks for you. EVERY. DAY. But at the same time, I am in awe of your strength, grace, and your ability to share such a wonderful child with all of us.
.-= Jenni/mom2nji´s last blog ..Swine Flu =-.
Oh Heather … I don’t even have words, this post is so heartbreaking. As a mom myself, I can’t even imagine. You are so strong and SO brave for letting us all in, sharing your story, and allowing us to grieve with you. Much love, blessings and peace to you all.
Another Heather in Canada
april in NJ says:
Sigh. I am sad, so incredibly sad, for you right now. The last few posts have been so happy with news of Binky… and then today’s post. Just brings the reality of the crappiness of your situation back to haunt us readers. Those last fews hours must have been… well, I can’t even imagine what they must have been like. I don’t know if I’d wash that shirt either… it was the last thing she touched… I’d save it forever in a plastic bag. Thinking of you and your family on this horrible Tuesday. love and hugs from NJ.
My heart and soul cry a million tears for your family. I honestly don’t know what else to say.
.-= Colleen´s last blog ..Spiraling =-.
heartbreaking and so vivid and poignant, heather. i am so sad with you, for you…but i smile when i think of what an extraordinary mother you are….so thoughtful, so devoted, and so loving. maddie lived every second of her life konwing how much you loved her…and binky is already receiving this same wonderful gift.
sending hugs today.
I also thought that Maddie lived every moment of her life knowing how much you loved her, what a wonderful blessing, and something that we should all aspire to… and I am happy for Binky as well, to experience that as well. I know the days do not get easier for you, but I hope that you find hope in the future, while cherishing your memories.
Aunt Becky says:
My heart shattered, Heather. I’m just, I still can’t believe it all.
.-= Aunt Becky´s last blog ..I Guess That The Best That I Can Hope Is That It’s One Of The Fingers I Use Least. =-.
I don’t know what to say. I wish I could give you a hug, hell I wish I could just give you Maddie back and let everything you’ve been through be just the worst nightmare ever. My thoughts will be with you today especially. I hope you have someone to be with you today. She loved you so very much, I can’t imagine having to let go like that. It’s not fair, so incredibly NOT fair.
Hugs, lots and lots of hugs for you and Mike.
Courtney in FL says:
The part that touches me the most (although all of it breaks my heart) is that you gave her a bath. I read somewhere (and I wish I could recall where exactly) how a funeral director shared that ALL moms of small children who pass insist on changing their childs diaper one last time. Not most moms BUT all the moms that he has encountered. How true that our mothering instinct stays just as strong for our child even in the unthinkable situation as death.
You are (are not were) an amazing mommy to Maddie. Praying for you everyday.
Oh my god you made me cry. I love the love you have for your daughter.
The photos and your words are more than poignant, but I can’t think of what that word would be. Maybe there is no word for the depth of your love and the enormity of your loss. But you are able to use words so well that, even if I/we can’t find the words to say, we can feel it in our hearts. I am sad for some of the experiences tied to your favorite shirt, but I am so happy for you that you have it. … (((HUGS)))
I read everyday! Today however makes me really sad for you. I can’t imagine your pain. I wish there were words for comfort. I hope that brand new life inside you brings you some peace. You will see Maddie in their eyes and
laughter…because you are a family joined forever and will never truly be apart.
Thinking of you today, as always.
.-= Deborah´s last blog ..Nude Woman # 1 =-.
Sara Joy says:
Oh Heather, I can’t imagine what those memories are like for you. I hate it that you have them at all, and even more that you have to relive them over and over.
And I have my shirt too. I get it.
.-= Sara Joy´s last blog ..What’s in a Name? =-.
Lindsay from Florida says:
I wish there was something more healing to say than I’m so incredibly, incredibly sorry.
I’m reading at my desk crying. I cannot even begin to imagine how you feel and honestly hope I never have to. I’m so so sorry you have to suffer with not having Maddie by your side and that you constantly have to relive the nightmare of that day through your memories.
I want you to know that my heart (and I’m sure everyone else reading) literally hurts when I read these posts. I hurt for you, Mike and Maddie whom all I’ve never met.
You are such a strong woman and inspiration to me. I hope if I ever face a tragedy like this in my life I can be half the woman you are.
Thinking of you, Maddie, Mike and Binky always.
Stranger/friend in the STL
.-= cjrymommy´s last blog ..Someday she will be on American Idol! =-.
I don’t care if this advice is not considered healthy, NEVER WASH THAT SHIRT. I know I never would.
She will never be forgotten, she will always be missed.
Hugs from MN
Jen @ lifelove'n'wine says:
This breaks my heart, Heather. I read you everyday…and I’m always remembering Maddie.
.-= Jen @ lifelove’n’wine´s last blog ..Weekend update =-.
I agree with the others… This is the most gut-wrenching post I have ever read. My heart breaks for you every single day. Hugs and prayers to you today.
.-= Megan´s last blog ..Milestone. =-.
I feel such intense grief about Maddie’s passing, and I know it is but a teeny tiny fraction of what you feel. You are a beautiful mama.
.-= Lora´s last blog ..Some Thoughts Knocking Around In My Head =-.
So unbelievably heartbreaking…
Sometimes I can’t believe what some people (like yourselves) are asked to live through in this life….and actually succeed doing it. You are brave.
I often wish I knew you in real life and could give you hugs and whatever strength being there might provide. But I don’t, so I can’t…and I know that doesn’t help you at all. But I continue to lift you all up and I hope that even if you don’t really notice it, there is some gradual lessening of the sheer rawness of the wound.
I completely get it with the shirt.
My heart hurts for you. I understand not washing the shirt, not getting rid of it. I’ll be thinking of you today, and sending you all my best wishes.
Ms. Moon says:
I have a dress I made that a friend was wearing when she came to the end of her journey of this life. I have it in a beautiful hatbox she’d given me and although I never pull it out anymore, I know it’s there. It gives me peace.
.-= Ms. Moon´s last blog ..From Anxiety to Logic to Love to Answers =-.
Oh, Heather that’s so heartbreaking. No one should have to go through the suffering that you have. Thinking of you guys every day.
.-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Swimming With Dolphins! =-.
Momma Uncensored says:
never wash that shirt.
.-= Momma Uncensored´s last blog ..summer =-.
Sigh, I don’t know what to say. I cannot know for sure, but I’m sure that I wouldn’t have washed that shirt either.
Sending you love, hugs and good thoughts today and always.
I am sobbing in my office. When I read these posts — the posts about the day that Maddie passed, my heart races and my breath quickens. I get a sick feeling in my stomach as I see the mental image of the scene you describe. It is worse than the worst nightmare. And I know that my panic when I read about that day is the merest shadow of what you experienced then and must endure with every day that follows.
I am glad that you are writing about it, slowly revealing the horror to us. These are simply the most terrifying, shattering, and wrenching words I have ever read. But they are part of your story, and we are here to listen, share in your grief and support you as best we can. We love your Madeline and our hearts break over her every day.
You are brave and strong Heather. Hugs to you and Mike.
Even though I haven’t been commenting recently, I’ve been reading. And my heart just plummets when I read your post like this one, that my heartbreak about your story is 1 ‘zillionth’ (ie, minute, v.small) the magnitude of yours. I can’t say anything more original than anyone else, but it’s all true. Trying to send much comfort to you but knowing words just can’t cut it.
Oh, I also pray you’ll be safe from the fires. My mind goes immediately to your post about the sprinklers and the box of tangible items you’d have to take with you in an emergency. Hope you never have to.
.-= Janeen´s last blog ..And they call him… =-.
I have no great words but think of you often. Thanks for opening your heart to us.
Rachel Stoehr says:
I just wanted to say that i love coming to this site every morning when i get into work to check in on how you and your family are doing. You are such an amazing woman and when i read this blog this morning my heart just sank. I feel so sorry that you don’t have those little hands holding onto your shirt any more, but i’m so glad that you have that shirt to give you some comfort. I pray that things will get easier for you some day. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. Sending some hugs your way!
Heather-If you only knew how often I think of you and your family and wish there was something I could do for you, if only to make you feel better for a moment. I don’t understand any of this.
Mary@Holy Mackerel says:
One of the most powerful posts I’ve ever read. I am speechless, and as always, thinking of you.
.-= Mary@Holy Mackerel´s last blog ..Framed Photos Are Now School Supplies! Who Knew? =-.
Today you have made the greatest impact on me this morning!! That shirt represents soo much, who would have expected so much from cotton.. in our life it’s a piece of metal that is 30+ years old from my husbands dad’s truck. It’s a connection – we all need something!!
thinking of you….
.-= Erin´s last blog ..Ch-ch-ch-changes =-.
Like many, I’ve been reading your posts since the moment I heard about Maddie passing. That day, I spent hours reading your entire blog from the beginning, and I haven’t stopped. Each one of your posts either makes me laugh or breaks my heart. Today’s shattered it.
I’ve never commented, but felt drawn to today – to let you know what so many have told you time and again – Maddie has touched so many lives. She’s become a part of mine, as have you. I’ve seen a lot in my life, but I have never known anyone as courageous as you – to so openly share every moment you had with Maddie, with all of us. And no matter how unthinkably tragic some moments have been, you’re always able to capture the limitless, profound love you had for each other and convey that. That is the epitome of being a great mother. I am not yet a mother, but I can only hope to be just like you one day.
I miss Maddie each and every day, and you and Mike are in my thoughts constantly. Please stay strong and keep sharing your life and memories with us. I think I speak for many when I say you have changed our outlook on life and forced us to live our lives to the fullest and for the better. Thank you for that.
There are really no words to express the sorrow I feel for you and Mike. I think of you and Maddie so often, wishing that I were reading the posts of a mother watching her child grow and change with every new day. My heart is broken for you. Once again I appreciate how important it is to savor every moment with those I love and to remember how delicate life is. I’m so so sorry for your pain and loss.
I don’t know what to say except I feel your pain. I am so sorry. I can’t imagine, but at the same time, I can imagine. And nothing is more unfair than this. This post was so touching, so real, so visual. It makes me sick to my stomach, to read this about you and your beautiful little girl who will live on in the hearts of so many. Keep that shirt as is, always. I am so sorry. My words are so meaningless here, to you, but I had to write something to let you know that you break my heart everyday. I wish so much this nightmare was not your reality. I’m so sorry.
.-= Loukia´s last blog ..The fear of flying… with children =-.
Shit Heather, so sorry. You do what you have to do to get through. That’s all.
.-= tena´s last blog ..Decisions, Decisions =-.
May you find peace with that shirt. Bless your heart.
.-= Keyona´s last blog ..Magic =-.
I know what you mean, though. I still have the shirt they cut off my Dad when he had a heart attack 2 years ago when they tries to revive him. It still smells a little like him and I know it’s a bit macabre, but I still keep it.
.-= kristin´s last blog ..I’m sorry =-.
Maddie was so very strong. Clinging to her mom…clinging to life. She got her strength from you!
I would never wash that shirt. Ever.
Heather HUGS to you and Mike I am sooo sorry
.-= daisybv2´s last blog ..I wanted to stab my eyes out =-.
Oh Heather. My heart hurts for you and Mike and Maddie.
Like anyone else who hasn’t experienced something like this, I read this post and wondered how you keep going. Then I realized you don’t have any choice. I’m so sorry.
I haven’t commented in awhile but I read everyday. This post and your “Joyce” post just rips my heart apart – I still, almost 5 months later, cannot comprehend the emotions you face every moment of every day. Your ability to share with us is incredible. I think of you and your family everyday and wish you moments of peace. Your Maddie is remembered and loved, and your Binky is blessed to be part of such a beautiful family.
Sending all good thoughts your way,
Michele in Staten Island
Michelle Pixie says:
Today I am broken…My heartaches for you, Mike, and Maddie.
.-= Michelle Pixie´s last blog ..The Observer =-.
My gosh, my heart breaks for you when I read these posts. I can only imagine how awful it would be to have such pain staking memories to hold on to. Lots of loves and prayers for you and your husband.
This is truly, truly heartbreaking and I have nothing to say, except I wish everything was different. We all love Maddie so much and miss her so much -because of how you have shared her with us. My whole heart goes out to you.
xo from CT,
.-= amanda´s last blog ..school. poop. the usual. =-.
Amelia Goetschel says:
My heart is breaking for you…I can’t even imagine…
.-= Amelia Goetschel´s last blog ..Update? =-.
This post brought me the closest I have been able to get to understanding the hell you went though that day. I felt sick as I read those last words. I’m so, so sorry. I just don’t know what else to say.
Oh Heather….her fingers clung to you….breaks my heart! Bathing and removing things so gently….you are a strong, wonderful and amazing mother. My heart goes out to you and Mike every single day. I think of you and pray for you daily.
Love and Hugs,
michelle – Herculaneum, MO
Oh My God, Heather, now how can I go on with my mundane day?
God bless you, you precious woman. What you’ve gone through, I cannot even stop and think about what would have happened to me.
My heart aches for you and Mike. There is never a day that I do not think of you and Maddie, and hope that today might be a better day for you. Thank you Heather for sharing such a painful part of your life with us. You are a brilliant writer.
Oh Heather….. x
cindy w says:
It’s too early to be crying in front of my computer. Big hugs, lady.
.-= cindy w´s last blog ..tuna noodle casserole =-.
I die a little inside for you each time you post something like this. It’s so much a big fat nothing compared to what you are going through, have gone through, but I want you to know that I’m so so sorry Heather. Forever sorry.
.-= amy2boys´s last blog ..Is Homework Harder For Little Boys? =-.
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] says:
Keep everything you need to help you remember and honor her.
.-= Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog ..This? Is not OK: The Fancy Femullet =-.
Heather, my heart is breaking for you.
May the shirt never lose its scent.
Oh, this made me cry. My heart breaks for you and Mike. But I completely understand why you don’t want to wash that shirt. I wouldn’t either.
.-= Pattie´s last blog ..My Happy for the Day: "A-Punk" =-.
Heather, Your blog has been such a mix of emotions for me as a mom of a 23 weeker preemie twin girl! I am so sorry that you have gone down the road we all pray we never have to. Yet, you are so strong and you really are a support to moms like me! You have helped me to never take a day with my daughter for granted and to be constantly aware that this could happen to anyone at anytime! I pray for you and think of you everyday! You all are such a blessing to people like us who have experienced premature birth, NICU, the death of a child, and trying to be a resource and support to others in our situation. Maddie is a beautiful beautiful girl and you and MIke gave her a wonderful life! She is so proud of all you have done in her memory! Binky is sooooo lucky to have you as parents when he or she arrives! You hold on to anything that comforts you down this horrible road of grief! Take care of yourself and Binky and Mike! We love you!
Tiffani (STL, MO)
Heather, this is unimaginable, yet you have lived it. I know I can feel only a miniscule measure of the agony, and based on how devastated *I* feel when reading your words, I cannot even begin to understand how you are able to be so strong. A big part of it is YOU–your strength, and I hope we, your readers (and of course your family and friends), can help to be some of your strength also. I hope the love and shared sorrow of thousands of “strangers” can help even a little bit. I think of you every day with love.
My heart just continuously breaks for you! You all are in my prayers. God Bless
.-= Courtney´s last blog ..About Time =-.
each time I read about that awful day in the hospital- I think, i get it, as much as i possibly can without having experienced it the way that you and mike have. Then you write another post – and it’s still as honest, raw, and powerful as the very first one and it shows me another dimension of how much you two are suffering.
I can not imagine what it was like- it’s just horrible to even think about and painful to read.
You two are amazing that you are even funuctioning as well as you are. You strength and fortitude both amazes and humbles me.
Still saying prayers- praying that God helps you carry the pain weighing in your heart and soul.
Domestic Extraordinaire says:
LIke Greis, I will never have the “right” words. But my heart breaks for you guys each and every day. Much love to you, Mike & Binky. And of course, maddie.
.-= Domestic Extraordinaire´s last blog ..St. Paul =-.
My heart breaks for you. I pray for you daily, and your dear sweet Maddie.
When you talk about those last few hours, you are so descriptive, I find after I read your words, I close my eyes and invision those moments, I am always startled back into reality with tears slowly streaming down my face. How I hurt for you my friend. I am however glad you have such strength to recount the details of that day. I don’t blame you for not washing your shirt.
My good friend just marked the 1 yr anniversary for her daughter’s passing and she has plenty of clothes, sheets, etc she still has not washed and too be honest, probably never will.
Take Care my friend and know just how proud I am of you!
Lee Ann says:
You are the strongest person, and your husband is incredibly supportive. Thank you for sharing the stories about your darling Maddie. I first read about you via Twitter, and have been praying for your family ever since. Please know there are many people out in the ‘twitterverse’ who care about you. Keep writing, you are helping others who need to know there is hope. Always hope and faith.
This is close to unbearably sad.
.-= Swistle´s last blog ..Breakfast =-.
Heather, I have been stopping by here daily–I found you through Matt Logelin’s post about poor sweet Maddie’s passing. Since then, I have thought about you and Mike and Maddie every single day. I have looked through nearly every photo you have of her on Flikr and watched every video. That sweet baby had the biggest personality and the most beautiful spirit. What a gift she was to you and my heart breaks that she was taken so soon. It’s unimaginable to me and my heart breaks for you every single day. Your strength is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
I’m so sorry, Heather.
Love you all.
.-= Maria´s last blog ..why, hello there =-.
I have some tears that wont quit and my students are staring at me.
This is one of the saddest things I have read. I can imagine the things and the moments I would cling on to. But the way you share these moments and your pain, is a gift. I feel touched to be able to read your words about Maddie. I do not take it for granted…
Dana Zap says:
I read this hours ago and I’m still tearing up as I sit here at my desk at work…Your family has touched me in a way not many people ever have in their lives…Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you all…and that’s the honest truth…XO XO
I don’t think I would EVER wash that shirt.
I’m hurting so badly for you guys, yet I know it’s nothing to what you go through every day. I wish I could make your world right again. Take the bad memories, give back your beautiful Maddie and a thousand years worth of new and wonderful memories.
Thinking of you, Mike, Binky and Rigby. Much love to you all
What a strange world you must be living in, Heather, where you bounce back and forth between such grief and such joy. I am thankful for the joy you have, and as always, forever, devastated for you about the grief.
This post was very hard to read. I can picture her little hands grasping for mommy. She’s such a beautiful angel. I love how much fun your having in your webcam pics.
I know I’ve said it a million times, but I’m so sorry.
unreal to know you bathed and tended to her in that loving way. of course you did.
so much pain. more than any mother should endure. any child. any one.
Jenni Sullivan says:
Though I’ve read your words many times, and deeply felt the sadness and the joy you express, I’ve never been as touched as by what I’ve read today. I hope that your family finds healing, and that you can your daughter-to-be can forge a new relationship and memory of Maddie.
I am moved, heartbroken, overwhelmed. Like others, I have no words but I couldn’t say nothing after reading this post. Thank you for sharing so honestly and allowing us to be a part of your journey, although no one should ever have to take this journey!
What a memory to have to live with for the rest of your life. I know you have a ton of happy ones but I can’t imagine the others like this.
Thinking and sending some good vibes to you and yours today.
Heather, I know I would do the exact same thing and never wash that shirt or anything that my baby last wore. I would hold all her favorite things close to me at all times or at least as long as I felt I had too. Please know that your family and especially sweet little Maddie has touched some many lives and we are very thankful that you shared and continue to share your life with us. Take care.
.-= Darla´s last blog ..Toby, Louis or Dylan??? =-.
Trisha Vargas says:
You cling to that special shirt for as long as you need to. I remember my Mom sleeping with the last shirt my Dad wore before his death for almost a year because she could smell him. Even to this day, four years later, she has never washed it. It is tucked away for safe keeping in a chest of his belongings. I can’t imagine she’ll ever part with that particular shirt.
I hurt for you so much every day. I wish there was something I could do or say or some way for me to help ease your broken heart. Sometimes I just feel so helpless in not being able to do more.
I will continue to pray, that is something I can do easily.
I will continue to read , that is something I can do; although at times it is not so easy to do through the teary eyes.
I hope in some way, you sharing this journey with all of us is helping you heal. As Amy said above, it is not a journey anyone should have to take. Hopefully us being your ears has helped it be a little less turbulent at times.
(((HUGS))) Lots of them today.
Your friend in Florida,
Thank you for sharing your gut renching experiences with us. Everyday I check in and see how the Spohr family is doing and hope you’re having a ‘good’ day.
I’ve been thinking about you and Maddie a lot lately, my son is getting close to the age Maddie was when she was taken and I keep thinking of what she, Mike and you went thru and how it would destroy me.
Please know you’re in our prayers and thoughts – every day.
.-= Sharon´s last blog ..Best Friends =-.
Nicole Singleton says:
Your recalled memories of when you lost Maddie are always hard to read because you’re able to explain them in a way that allows us to “see” what you’re describing. This post made me lose it. I’ve said before – but it doesn’t seem enough – I can’t imagine your loss. If the second hand memories make me so sad for you I can’t even imagine how those memories kill you when they’re replayed in your memory. This was the hardest post of yours that I’ve read. Others have made me choke up, but this one was too much. I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through such horrors, Heather.
My continued prayers go out to you, Mike and Binky.
Shannon Kieta says:
My dear sweet adopted sister…
You are by far, the deepest writer I have ever met. I was so moved emotionally after reading this post, I was sobbing, sick to my stomache, and explaining to my 4year old what was wrong. Thanks!
Anyhoo, have you ever thought of doing television? You are an amazing writer. You could have your own t.v. show. Dr. Phil move over! It’s “The More Spohr hour.” ute eh? You would be sure to get air time. I can’t imagine the horrid pain you have encountered over the months and still are facing. Maddie is giving you strength by giving you Binky, I have no doubt that is Maddie doing her part. And I am even becoming a little convinced that it may be a girl! Maddie feels you need a girl to help fill in the void of her part, not to take her place, but to fill in the gap. Maddie is such a big girl now!!! Keep up the good work taking care of Mommy and Daddy Maddie!!!! Auntie Shannon
Erin Shaw says:
Your writing is so raw, so real, so tremendously powerful. I hope with all my heart that letting some of your pain bleed onto the page helps you…because I think I speak for many when I say that your writing, your honesty, your words devastates, amazes and floors us — your readers.
How very sad. I would never wash it either. She is the most precious little girl. I love seeing her face on my blog each day. ((HUGS))
.-= Debby´s last blog ..HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON-IN-LAW =-.
Amy Collen says:
Big hugs to you hun. Wish I could do something to make it better. Just know that we are all thinking about you.
My heart just aches for you and Mike. Please know that we all wish we could help ease your pain.
I LOVE seeing pictures of Maddie. She makes me smile a lot.
.-= Danielle´s last blog ..Here we go again! =-.
How I know about the scent, the scent that I kept of a little boy’s fuzzy sleeper, after eight hours in an emergency room, and an intensive care unit. That sleeper made it home with me that night and was my pillow, his scent lulled me into slumber, and made me forget the nightmares that occurred at the hospital. I feared what you suffer, and as I read your post, the lump in my throat knows all to well.
My heart aches wtih you.
You are strong, and I am writing this to offer support.
Tracy Intihar says:
This is the most heart-wreching thing I’ve ever read. I know it doesn’t help at all to hear it, but I never stop thinking about you and your husband and your awful loss. My god, I wish I knew what to say. I hope that somehow, someday and some way you find peace again…. oh, and I can’t wait til we finally see Binky!
heather, i hope you know how much my heart aches for you and mike. every day i think about you and mike and maddie. every single day. i’m so so so sorry this happened. it’s unimaginable and it’s cruel that you have to go through this. so much love and so many hugs to you. xoxo
My heart also breaks for you and Mike. I think of you both every day and pray that the pain will ease. I cant not imagine what is like to go on with your life with out sweet Maddie.. I wish things could be different. Hugs to you both,
damn, i wanna give you a hug.
.-= mommymae´s last blog ..beautiful boy =-.
Just reading your post today gives me a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and my stomach now hurts a bit. I just feel so sad, all over my body. My heart truly aches for you, for what you went through on that day, for the pain you feel each day as you go on in life without your Maddie Moo there with you. I logged on expecting to read about Binky, about pregnancy pains — and then BAM this post snaps my heart in two. I’m still reeling from it, because honestly, your words are so powerful and paint such a vivid picture it’s almost impossible to just read it and walk away without being affected. I’m going to feel this all day long, I just know it…. and whenever I catch myself thinking about it, I’m going to just take a second and pray for you. Because if it affects me like this just to read about your experience, I can only imagine how it must be for you. So I will pray for peace in your heart, and for all the happy memories to flood your thoughts.
.-= Katrina´s last blog ..They are both yellow. =-.
I agree, Katrina! I agree with your every thought.
I’ll never stop feeling so sick about this happening to your family.
.-= Maile´s last blog ..Sunday check-in =-.
I have dreamt about Maddie twice in last couple of weeks, It is so wierd because I have never seen her, except for the photes and videos on this web page,
but I think of Maddie almost every day. The first thing I check every morning when I come to work is your page. I can’t open the photes or videos at work, so sometimes when I go home if I have time I open them. I have never known her but I miss her deeply.
In my dream last week which I remembar vaguely my sister was holding Maddie and I was so surprised to see her so happy and healthy, so I asked her if Heather
knows that Maddie is here, and she said, yes I have told her, I remember feeling so uneasy knowing that Maddie was here but you were not the one who were holding her. And last night I saw her again, standing beside you holding on to a couch with a white shirt on and a big smile on her face listening to you holding a microphone and singing a country song to the tune that Mike was playing on his Guitar, sitting beside you facing a big toy, can’t remember what was it though, you guys looked so happy and I could hear Maddie screeming and laughing while rocking herself to the sound of your voice. I feel so, guilty that I see her in my dreams, It should be you guys not me. I hope that you guys have had a dream about her. If I see her again I wil let you know, and I will remember in my dream to kiss and hug her for you and Mike.
I would never wash it either.
I love you.
My heart breaks for you every time you relive that tragic day. And I would never wash it either.
Creepy Mommy says:
Oh, Heather, I can’t tell you how much that touched me. I’m so sorry. Tears and sadness. Love to you and the whole family, (((hugs)))
.-= Creepy Mommy´s last blog ..Fresh Start, the beginning =-.
Nothing to say, except that I’m sending vibes of love and healing to you.
.-= Alicia´s last blog ..Project Runway, Betches! =-.
Sarah B says:
Your posts have changed my life- for example, my little one started fussing at 2 this morning. I jumped out of bed, so happy to run to her room, scoop her up, and bring her into mine. I will never take those moments for granted.
This post was heart-wrenching and raw, and I couldn’t even finish it, the screen was a blur to me. Heather, I am so sorry for you and for Mike. So, so, so so very sorry.
I could not agree more. My daughter is 15 years old and Heather’s writing has changed the way that I parent her—-more patience is really easy to have when you realize that too many parents don’t get a chance to enjoy their children forever.
Thank you, Heather and as always I am thinking of and praying for your family.
I agree.. I think everyone who reads your post has become a different mother. Thank you for giving me more patience with my boys and taking the time to enjoy each precious moment together. I can’t wait for you to hold Binky!
We collective mothers owe you so much for sharing your pain and journey with us, Heather. I, too, find myself thinking twice before I act. I am so very, very, very sorry you’re going through this. My heart just aches for you. Sending so much love your way.
.-= Noelle´s last blog ..Military Health "Care" =-.
I would never wash that shirt either. I cried after reading this post, i wish so bad i could something…anything. I just keep you in my thoughts everyday…please stay strong.
.-= Erin´s last blog ..Last Summer Vacation =-.
Daddy Dan says:
Love and hugs to you, Heather.
.-= Daddy Dan´s last blog ..Three =-.
Oh Heather thank you so much for sharing that and for the beautiful pictures.
Bless you for your courage to share these hurts.
I still cry too when i think of the loss of beautiful Maddie.
You were so brave when she was sick. She sure knew you loved her.
Thank you for being strong and going on to have another child. who will share your love of maddie.
You are an encouragement to many.
I want you to know how much I respect your courage.
I’m so so sorry that you had to go through that, are going through this. I wish you peace.
I am not a selfless person by any means (wait, it gets better) but I have never, ever wanted anything with more gumption and heart and yearning then to give you (and the world) Maddie back. To make things okay for you and Mike and everyone who’s affected by Maddie. (Okay… I guess I am still kinda being selfish because that includes me too) I know things will never be okay and I know, all too well, that time won’t heal things. I also know that smells dissipate and stains fade. And that pains me. (I actually put pieces of clothing in Ziploc baggies to try and ‘save the smell’… it didn’t work. In fact, it had the opposite effect. You know what doesn’t smell good? Plastic) You deserve to feel however you want to feel for however long you need to. And it’s not too much to ask to be able to smell your little girl. To hold her toys and snuggle her things. And somehow it wouldn’t be nearly as poignant to have Maddie’s smell and blood on anything less then something that’s your favourite.
Thank you for all that you are. For sharing Maddie-Moo with the world. For getting through yet another day. For, of course, never forgetting Miss Madeline but for also not forgetting to smile and laugh every now and then… and for winning epic pee battles against Mike, that’s very important! And for being my friend It is, as always, an honour.
.-= LastGrlStanding´s last blog ..NOT part of a complete breakfast! =-.
I love that one of her upside down. CLASSIC.
.-= Miss´s last blog ..I fucking love you, bitch =-.
Heather, My heart ached reading this post! I would not wash that fav shirt either. Sending you hugs and thinking of you! XX
I confess, I can’t read every one of your entries because they make me cry. Once again, you’ve moved me beyond words.
rachel cortest says:
This post has me crying hard. So so horribly sad. I know what it is like to say goodbye to your child. I still have the clothes that they cut off Tomás. I really had no idea what I was doing when we removed life support or I never could have left that room. Was he a figment of my imagination?? Was he real??
How could Maddie have been gone so quickly? I still do not understand. Life can be so cruel. Sending you a million and one hugs,Rachel
This was a very emotion post to read. I can’t imagine how you are feeling right now or how you felt that day. That terrible terrible day. It’s just not fair! Why??? She wasn’t ready to go.
Love and hugs!!
.-= Andrea´s last blog ..Duggars expecting their 19th child!? =-.
i am so very sorry. in this day and age when we have thousands of digital photos and videos, yet smell is still the most visceral and real for me. your writing is so strong and poignant. i don’t cry often, even as a new mother, but this post has moved me deeply.
You and Mike are so amazingly strong. I am so sorry. Again. I will never not be sorry for your loss.
.-= Meredith´s last blog ..What it doesn’t look like =-.
I don’t comment much because I never know what to say, but I always wonder at your strength. You are such a strong, amazing woman. Your pain is unimaginable, but every time you write a memory like this, I feel what could only be a trace of your actual pain. Your sweet baby will forever live on in the hearts of all of your readers. This is a truly unique gift you’ve given to both of your daughters (if Binky is actually a girl).
This is just heart wrenching… What a brave, wonderful mother you are – what wonderful parents both of you are. Your words show the essence of love and love is immaterial, it won’t wash away, it’ll be there for Maddie, forever. Again, thank you for sharing. I can’t even begin to imagine what you feel, seeing as with almost every post my heart breaks for you guys. And as always, I wish you all the strength in the world and all the best.
Wow! That post totally made me cry. I have a shirt that my grandmother wore during her last hospital stay, before she died. It’s still in the hospital bag, so I can breathe her in. I am SO sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how hard it must be. I’d keep the shirt too.
mrs. chicken says:
Oh, Heather. My heart breaks for you.
I kept the dirty maternity clothes I wore the day my father passed for more than three years.
I never washed them.
.-= mrs. chicken´s last blog ..Promises, Promises =-.
this breaks my heart – praying for you…
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Doctor, Doctor, give me the news =-.
There were cheerios on my shirt, a little spit-up, and the smell, oh the smell. I still haven’t washed it. It hangs in the back of my closet.
My heart aches for you my dear friend.
.-= Kim´s last blog ..The Boy =-.
Erica fr Dallas, TX says:
Heather I faithfully read your blog. When you laugh-I do too and when you cry I cry too. My heart aches as a fellow Mother and I wish more than anything you had your sweet Maddie Moo in your arms right now. Praying for all of you always.
It’s just not fair you and Mike have to go through this. Hang onto that shirt and what ever else helps you get through the day……. one day at a time.
One of the most heartwrenching posts I have ever read. I wish things were so so different for you. I hope Binky brings some joy back to your life. It is amazing how touched I am by your story living half a world away and having never met you. Hugs. Sheryl from Tierra del Fuego
i don’t know what to say
sometimes, when i read your posts, i can’t breathe
i cannot imagine the pain you and mike are living through
.-= deej´s last blog ..Don’t Look Back =-.
Ohhh, just made me cry cry cry.
There’s just not enough I’m sorry in me to accurately show my sorrow. Sigh.
Big ole hugs to you.
Please know that I have you in my prayers daily. Lots of love.
Your words are always poignant, but this one finds me sitting at my desk sobbing. You keep that shirt in whatever form brings you comfort.
I still have the shirt I was wearing when I held my tiny Will for only the second, but last time almost five years ago. My dad still has the blood-stained shirt he wore when my infant brother died in 1981.
Sometimes grieving parents feel invisible. The shirt gives us something to hold on to.
I don’t have words that would do your post justice.
I’m so, so sorry. I just cannot imagine the pain.
.-= Tina´s last blog ..Life =-.
Oh Heather. My heart is completely broken for you. Completely. I pray for you everyday and you are never far from my thoughts. Lots of love.
Although it is a sad reminder, I am glad you still have things that smell of Maddie. I think of you a lot, especially when my mind goes to the night my family and I were with my Dad when he passed away. I am so glad we were with him, but it’s not the image I want to remember. I hope your mind doesn’t go back to that night so often. If only we could control our minds!!
We just came across a cd with videos on it when my son was a baby and my dad happened to be holding him in his wheelchair and since Jake wasn’t doing much, he said “Save the film” (it was a one time video camera). I am so mad we didn’t take other videos with him and his grandsons. I am so glad you have so many amazingly beautiful videos and pictures of Maddie. I look at her every day. Thank you for sharing them with us.
I hope your Tuesday wasn’t too crappy.
I miss Maddie. It’s just so wrong that she’s not here.
.-= Sandra´s last blog ..Back to school shopping =-.
I read your blog every day, but I’m normally reluctant to comment in case it freaks you out – what could a childless 20 year old from another country have to say about your loss that could help, or comfort, or show any kind of understanding?
But you moved me to comment today. Just to say, I’m so so sorry.
My heart aches for you and your husband. I know your pain will never completely disappear, but I hope it will lessen each and every day.
Maddie lives on in the hearts of everyone who reads yours and Mike’s words.
This is the comment where I want to write but just don’t know what to say. My heart is filled with sadness. I read all your posts, but this one just hit me really hard. Keep the shirt, wash it when you are ready. And if that’s never that’s okay too.
.-= Teri´s last blog ..Friend makin Monday #1 =-.
so moving, thank you for opening up , my thoughts are with you.
My shirt was on sale too, at Express a year or so before. Dark green, 3/4 length sleeves. It’s in the chest with my husband’s shirt from that day, along with the hundreds of condolence cards and stuffed animals and “Life in the NICU” brochures.
I totally know what you’re talking about. We can’t wear those shirts again. We can’t wash them.
Fletcher’s little quilt is still in the gallon-sized Ziploc that I put it in the day he died. We had used it to cover his isolette, then we wrapped him in it while we held him and said goodbye. I keep thinking I’ll hang it one day – it’s beautiful – but every time I open the bag it still smells like him and I can’t risk losing that. I seal it back up and put it away.
You have a beautiful way of telling a post that is so emotional.
.-= mythoughtsonthat´s last blog ..Guilty Secret =-.
There truly are no words. No amount of I’m sorry will ever change what happened nor will it make living each day easier.
There are no words, only prayers and love.
My sick curiousity has gotten the best of me sometimes. I have always wondered about details, what really happened, why it happened. This post made me sick. My stomach dropped to my knees and I felt myself break out into a cold sweat. I started to cry. I have shed a few tears while reading your blog, but this time-it was different. Deep sobs, sobs where you can’t catch your breath, sobs where the pain has you uttering gutteral howls. Heather, I love you for sharing your life with me. I cannot thank you enough for sharing Maddie with me. I hope that one day I can provide comfort for families like yours. Ones that have endured endless, excrucitaing pain. You have truly given me a sense of what it is going to take for me to be a nurse-without you, I wouldn’t have a clue.
Thinking of her little fingers clinging to your shirt…. oh Heather, I simply can not even fathom the pain of this memory. My heart simply aches for you.
Thank you for sharing, honey.
I can’t type out anything coherent or comforting through my tears…
.-= Nanette´s last blog ..Jenn-tastic =-.
My life is about words. I teach high school English. I am a wordy gal. So many times, though, I have not posted because all of the words I can to think to write seem to fall flat.
You are so brave to tell this story. I am constantly struck by how actively I love Maddie, how I think of your family throughout the day when I am going about my business. So many people have an active, ongoing love for your little girl.
Your first post that made me cry. I love you.
I’ve often wondered about that. But never asked you. Now I know.
I love you.
.-= AMomTwoBoys´s last blog ..A Day On The Water, As Told By A 4 Year Old =-.
I ache and ache for you. Your poor ravaged heart…like so many I would do anything to change things for you. How I wish you peace and joy…
Really, there are no words. Just unimaginable suckitude. I’m so sorry.
I don’t even know the right words for this post. And maybe there just isn’t any. If only I knew you IRL, I could give you a big hug and we could cry over some wine together.
You have experienced something that I never have and every time I read your posts you bring me closer to what it would feel like and just getting that small amount of wondering, completely devastates me. I don’t know how you do it, but I am so in awe of your strength. You are an amazing woman and any friend, mother, husband, daughter, son, etc would be honored to be in your circle.
The thought of her little hands gripping on to you is absolutely heart breaking. It is just gut wrenching.
Every day the first thing I do when I open my eyes, is read your blog. Many times my eyes have a hard time focusing b/c it is so early and today was not different. The only change was that it has taken me all day to compose myself and comment.
It is just so wrong that she is gone and I grieve for your baby as if she was one of my own. I’m so terribly sorry.
I would NEVER wash that shirt either.
Much love, Jenn in CA
.-= Jenn´s last blog ..Well it’s official…..I’m old =-.
Yeah I just bawled my eyes out reading that.
I put an offer to you. You can chose to accept it at any time, even years down the road. My cousin makes quilts. She made me a beautiful quilt from my grandma’s shirts. I can ask her to make one for you out of Maddie’s shirts. You don’t have to sleep with it, you could even hang it up. The offer is there.
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..A breeze =-.
I am in tears. I hope you don’t ever wash that shirt.
.-= Holli´s last blog ..I’M SAD FOR ME =-.
I wish I could take the tears we all cry with you and bring her back. I will always be sorry for what you have been through & the sweet one you have lost.
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..Walmart parenting =-.
Michelle W says:
Just choking with overwhelming sadness for all you’ve lost and what a beautiful and amazing mother you truly are, you took such loving care of Maddie in her far too short life and gave her most tender loving care as you said goodbye. I hope that in time this gives you some peace. I am not experienced at such enormous loss and don’t know how anyone could ever be at peace with such a loss, but still I wish it for you. Hugs from Canada.
Michelle W says:
Naturally my message to Mike would be the same, he is also a beautiful and amazing Daddy who gave Madeline an incredible life
I wish I could make it hurt a little less. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.
.-= Carrie´s last blog .."Go and find your smile" =-.
Looking at your precious daughters pictures and the smile that she had puts a lump in my throat. I have been reading your blog just recently and I am ever so sorry about Maddie. Life is so unfair and I can’t even imagine what you have gone through and what you will continue to go through the rest of your life missing her. I too would hang on to that shirt….you could also get it made into something…a stuffed animal, pillow, picture, etc…or all the above!
Congrats on your pregnancy with Binky and best of luck to you and Mike.
i haven’t written in a while, but I just wanted to let you know that i am thinking of you all, and wishing you much health and healing!
I lost my Dad and my best friend (who I grew up with) when I was in college.
I just feel drawn to your website because of this. I know it’s not the same. I still feel so much grief over these loses.
They are both very hard to deal with. I miss them so much umpteen years later.
Maggie is gorgeous. You are both awesome for keeping her name alive.
I pray for your new baby. He/She has great parents!
Everyone has said all there is to say, but I cannot imagine your feelings. I am so glad you write it out, but my heart breaks for you every time…thanks for showing us her smiley face again. That smile…those eyes…they stay with me.
I agree with everyone, don’t wash the shirt. I am in class trying not to cry.
.-= Emmie´s last blog ..Federal Prisons and Jing. =-.
I also agree with everyone else, I wouldn’t be able to wash the shirt. I’m just heartbroken reading this. Sending you lots of love.
.-= Becca´s last blog ..my minimal face routine =-.
Erin B. from VA says:
I can hardly see through the tears. Oh Heather… This whole thing is so unfair. I hate, absolutely positively HATE that this whole nightmare is real… that it actually happened.
Count me in as another stranger-friend who is sending you a whole heap of love.
Sarah M. says:
It takes a lot to make me cry, but this post just did it. My heart literally aches for you & is breaking that your precious Maddie is gone. I hate that you have to go through this & I absolutely hate that Maddie is gone. Please don’t ever wash that shirt. You need it & you deserve the comfort it gives you.
It’s been quite a day here, finding out that one of the young boys in my child’s class lost his father to a horrible accident this morning. My heart has been aching for him, and now reading this, I feel my usual urge to reach out and give you a big hug over the internet. It’s all I can offer, but just wanted to let you know how touching your posts are.
.-= Bonnie´s last blog ..And whoosh…he was a kindergartener =-.
I never know what to say, but I don’t ever want to be just a lurker, either… God Bless you and your family.
.-= Andrea´s last blog ..Lisa Leonard Loot =-.
I read your posts everyday but never comment. I always feel like no words could come close to making this situation seeming any better.
Todays post made me what just reach in and give you a big hug!
I can tell you since learning about Maddie, nothing in my life goes unappreciated!
I will be donating to Friends of Maddie as soon as my finances alllow.
I pray for you everyday!
I have never commented on your blog before, but I have been following it for a while. You are such a beautiful writer, and this post took my breath away. A teacher in my area recently experienced something very similar to what you have experienced. I didn’t know if maybe you could send her a note or share your blog with her. You are such an inspiration.
This is her page:
Denise Jones says:
Oh, I agree with everyone who bawled over Maddie clinging to your shirt because she wasn’t ready to leave. My thoughts and prayers, as always, go out to you, Heather, Mike, Rigby, and anyone who knew Maddie. I would like to think Maddie was trying to comfort you, to tell you she’d be waiting for you on the other side.
Marti from Michigan says:
I cry often when I read your blogs, and this was no exception. Don’t ever wash that shirt, not ever!!
HUGS and prayers to the Spohr family.
Oh my, I cry almost every time I read your blog. I can’t imagine how you go through the days. I am sorry that this horrible tragedy has happened to you. I don’t know what else to say. I am sure this gets said to you so many times. My heart goes out to you, and just know that someone you dont even know or have ever met cares for you and hopes that your family finds peace.
(another) karen says:
my heart is still breaking for you.
and still wishing peace,
Jayme Q. says:
Oh Heather… that image of you the last time you wore that shirt, is so incredibly heartbreaking. I cannot even fathom living through it. I’m hugging you from across the miles…
Precious little girl…
Bring your mommy and daddy a sense of calm today. They could really use it.
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..12 or 13, who’s counting? =-.
May God bless with you and Mike with continuing strength – you show ridiculous strength every day.
.-= Noelle´s last blog ..Military Health "Care" =-.
Ug Heather. This post was like being right there.
What a conflicting time you must be having. The deep saddness over Maddie, and the thought of a new baby on the way. That must be very hard to reconcile.
Thoughts are with you…
Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy says:
My favorite color is purple. My closet is filled with it. I think of you both so often. This was hard to read, but I know how much harder it was for you to write. I do hope that all the love in these comments comes though and brings you and Mike some comfort, even if it’s only for a moment.
This reads like a horror story for every parent on Earth.
It’s hard for me to even read it. I push the words from my mind partially digested, I don’t even want to imagine the pain and yet here you are, living and breathing and moving forward every day with teeny tiny steps to a future where certain wrongs can never be righted.
My biggest hope is that all the sadness and despair you have been through inverts itself and someday you find yourself truly and utterly happy again. People who have known such true unhappiness are the only ones who can appreciate true joy to it’s fullest.
Someday, Heather, someday.
.-= Heather´s last blog ..Healthy baby! Uncomfortable Mommy =-.
That pain is so clear, so tangible through your post. As a mom, oh Heather, my heart aches for you.
Jamie S says:
Heather as so many other have already stated, my heart aches for you. As a mom I cannot imagine your loss. Some nights I read without crying. This was not one of those nights…
Thinking of you and Binky.
Weeping. You are so courageous.
You all are in my thoughts daily. Today I saw a license plate on a car that started out “BKY ***” and I thought of Binky. Maddie’s story has changed me to the core. There are no words, I just wanted to comment and let you know that I am thinking of you, and sending hugs.
.-= Sara´s last blog ..Pictures =-.
Sara Maria says:
Your writing is moving and you writing about your Maddie has helped me to become a better aunt, a better nanny, a better godsister and a more patient person with my family. I appreciate more, I love more, and I live more passionately because you taught me that sometimes horrible unspeakable things happen and I never want to have to say I did anything less than love with all the love in my heart, just as you did and do with your Maddie. (and Binky soon!) God bless you for sharing. We all love you.
Sara Maria, your long distance blog friend.
.-= Sara Maria´s last blog ..Weekend vaca =-.
The Glamorous Life Association says:
I met Maddie. And you too actually. At a Kodak thing…..and immediately I was taken by her tiny soul and big big smile.
And everytime I read something about her…I can see her. I remember her. And I only saw her for minutes….I must admit I have stayed away from the blog because it was too hard…FOR ME.
Oh the pain for you.
I am joyed to know things are going well with Binky. And you are…well, still trying to live as best you can.
If ever. I can do…ANYTHING. I am here.
~Marcy (in the OC)
.-= The Glamorous Life Association´s last blog ..Unique copies. =-.
What a raw post. Heather, thank you for sharing your process with us. I know that you wish you weren’t here, inspiring so many with your honesty and perseverance, but nevertheless, you are. I know I can’t walk this walk for you, but I’m walking it with you, along with so many others. My prayers for peace are always, always with you sweet Heather.
And as one writer to another, your words are truly stunning. You are most certainly honing your craft.
Everytime I read your blog I cry yet I can’t pull myself away. I have to read, I need to read your blog. WHY? I’m not sure. Perhaps I want to make sure that you are okay. I like thousands of others who read this blog don’t know you but I am drawn to read about how you and your husband are coping. Nothing I can say can bring Maddie back and for that I am truly sorry. I will continue to read this blog, I will continue to cry for your loss, I will wait in anticipation for the arrival of your newest blessing.
My thoughts are with you.
I read your blog all the time, but I rarely comment. I usually just don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said, and I’m always scared to say the wrong thing. But I just COULDN’T read today and not comment.
Today’s post has me bawling. Crying in a way that I haven’t in a long time. Like, years. In fact, I cried so hard that I had to walk away from the computer for a few minutes before I could come back and begin to write this.
I was sitting here rather annoyed with my two-year-old son because we had a really rough morning. Now, I just can’t wait to go pick him up at preschool at 12:30. I think we’ll go to the park. I had other things planned for the afternoon, other things I need to get done…but yeah, I think we’ll go to the park. And have ice cream for lunch.
Thank you for making me want to be a better parent. But at the same time, I feel bad for saying that because I know that, given the choice, you’d give up being an inspiration to go back to being a normal mom with your Maddie in a heartbeat. I wish I could make that happen for you. I am so, so, so, so sorry. I think about your family every single day. I don’t really know what else to say…
Heather, I too don’t know what to say that might ease your burden other than I’m listening and I hear you.
I know another family in LA who lost a child this year. Jeff Castalez writes about it at his blog. Different circumstances, but he’s trying to navigate this as well. Should you ever want to read that someone else is making it through the day or week or month after having to endure this, I am leaving the link here. I hope that’s OK.
I ready your blog almost daily, but never comment, although today I had to just let you know that your post was truly moving and has me saying an extra prayer for you all.
Save the shirt in a gallon size Zip-Lock. Twenty-six years later, I can still smell my son because of his vomit on the baby carrier.
Julie @ The Mom Slant says:
Heather, I just sob every time I visit you. Sometimes with happiness, sometimes with heartbreak. But you and Maddie always touch me.
.-= Julie @ The Mom Slant´s last blog ..People of Walmart, indeed =-.
Oh my gosh, I just couldn’t imagine. I just couldn’t imagine.
Thank you posting this heart felt post….
Sending you love.
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..Somehow =-.
I read this post two days ago, when, you first posted it. My heart sank and I got that lump in the back of my throat that I often get when you write about those last moments you had with your Maddie. Or when you write about how a sight, a sound or a smell triggers a memory.
this morning, as I was digging through a laundry basket I found it. I have that exact same shirt that you were wearing. The same shirt you are talking about in this post. And, next thing I know, I am sitting on my dining room floor on the other side of the US, half ready for work, holding this shirt – with tears streaming down my face. I thinking of you and thinking of your Maddie.
Heather…I hope that over time, you are able to find more peace and happiness in your memories as opposed to the pain, tears and sorrow they seem to bring you now.
((HUGS)) to you.
.-= Heather ´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – BIG Shades…Little Face! =-.
I am just so sad for you for all you went through.
Tara in The Fort says:
Oh Heather. I don’t have any words. You are always in my thoughts and prayers, you and Mike.
I love the first picture of you with Maddie. You both have such beautiful smiles.
.-= Tara in The Fort´s last blog ..A Couple More. =-.
i still have mine, unwashed, sitting in the swing at the foot of my bed. blood, snot and spit-up from that very day.
.-= gorillabuns´s last blog ..you know you need to get a life when… =-.
kymberli q. says:
Crying. Big hugs to you Heather. The biggest hugs ever.
.-= kymberli q.´s last blog ..Say "Hello" to my little friend(s)… =-.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about you, Mike, Maddie, and Binky. This post made my heart ache for you and to let you know that there are lots of love, hope and prayers going your way.
.-= Erin´s last blog ..In The Kitchen – Avery Style =-.
Shanda Williams says:
You are so amazing. My heart hurts for you. I cry when I read your posts…even the ones that don’t discuss your lost baby. Your pain comes out in all of them. I am so so sorry for you. I am so happy that binky is coming into your life. God Bless You!
iam so sorry
Sending love to you…
.-= Melissa´s last blog ..Just Because =-.
This is my first time leaving you a comment but I’ve wanted to for a long time. I’m a sorority sis of yours from school, a year younger. Facebook got me reconnected with everyone which is how I found your blog. I am in awe of you. The way you get through your days. I have a six year old son and I cannot imagine my life without him- you are an amazingly strong woman. The way you write about your feelings, about your love for your daughter, it’s so honest and real. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you sharing your life, the good and the bad, and for sharing your beautiful little girl. I am so happy for you and Mike and your little Binky.
I’m not the praying type, but you, Mike, and darling Maddie will always be in my thoughts. I wish you peace and forever lasting happy memories.
my nephew 12 was killed in a accident outside his home while my brother was in the shower. he grabbed shorts and a neighbor gave him a shirt. even though that shirt had blood on it, my brother kept it a month then washed it and gave it back to the neighbor. the neighbor was surprised. my brother regretted that not knowing the neighbor ever expected it back. Maddie lives on in all our hearts thru your writing. You write about her so beautifully that I know her as do many others. Blinky will cherish her too. I would hug you if I could! *hug*
You are loved and thought of often in our home. I don’t know what to say about this post other than I’m so very sorry and my heart hurts for you.
*sniff* *misty eyes*