Sunday, June 07, 2009

Maddie's Song

Two months.

(Photo courtesy of Heather Spohr)

Two months ago, Mike and Heather Spohr lost their precious daughter, Maddie. She was 17 months old.

Born prematurely after a complicated pregnancy, Maddie was a fighter. She defied the odds to survive the pregnancy, to be born, and to be released from a prolonged stay in the NICU. And though she had weak lungs and struggled to gain weight, she did well at home overall.

Until one day, she didn't.

For 17 precious months, Maddie grew in beauty and intelligence, making new friends and earning the love and admiration of all who saw her. And then, one day, she caught a cold, just as she had many times before. And she quickly developed a chest rattle and required oxygen, just as she had many times before. And she was admitted to hospital with pneumonia, just as she had been many times before because her lungs, weakened from prematurity, made her more susceptible to complications from colds. And she should have recovered and been released to her loving parents, just as she had always been before. But this time, she wasn't. And no one saw it coming.

She was special. And she is greatly missed.


I never met Maddie. And I don't know her parents in real life. But for some reason, Maddie's story had an impact on me, and I don't rightly know just why.

Maybe it's because she passed away on J's birthday this year. Or because of the similarities between my pregnancies and Heather's. Or perhaps it's because Maddie was a preemie, just like J and several other children who we love so deeply. Or that she, like J, struggled to gain weight. Or the fact that she bears a bit of a physical resemblance to our baby N.

Or maybe it's because, after their loss, her parents threw themselves headlong into fundraising efforts for the March of Dimes, raising about $60,000 in Maddie's name, in hopes that other parents may not have to go through this pain.

And maybe it's because, several years ago, a couple of really close friends of ours who we love deeply also lost a much loved baby born too soon. At the time, I wanted to write something in tribute to their beautiful little Aiden. But I was shredded, too close to the loss and pain, and I couldn't pass through it all to find a way. Sometimes, that's how it happens.

Maybe it's any of these. Or more likely, it's a combination of all. But Maddie inspired me, just as she has inspired and continues to inspire so many of us. And this is why I wrote to her mother, Heather, and asked permission to use some of her words, so beautifully written on her blog, in a tribute to the incredible Madeline. And she agreed.


And so, I am now posting a song. Lyrics by Heather and myself, together with music that I wrote. Maddie's Song. And I hope you like it.


Verse 1
There’s a heaven in your smile.
There’s a halo of light around Madeline.
Though I shared it for only just awhile.

Verse 2
Your bright eyes and golden curls.
Such a beautiful child is my Madeline.
An angel sent from another world.
Smart, sweet little girl.

Right in front of me.
You will always be
The daughter I always wanted.
For all eternity.
You will always be
The daughter I always wanted.

Verse 3
There’s a hole here in my arms.
A space left by my Madeline.
Exquisite pain I can’t comprehend.
And a world that makes no sense.

[Musical Break]

Verse 4
There’s a heaven in your smile.
There’s a halo of light around Madeline.
And I know that someday, we’ll meet again.

[Chorus x 2]

For Madeline Alice Spohr. And for her parents. And for all children whose lives have been cut too short, and their parents as well. For those left behind to grieve and mourn a loss none should have to bear.

For all of you. I wish you strength to bear up, hope for the future, and a world with no pain.


bernthis said...

beautifully written. I was at the funeral and it was incredible. So moving. It was amazing how the blogging community came together to support the family. I hope they're doing okay.

gorillabuns said...

one should continually celebrate the life of a child - alive or dead.

this is coming from someone who really gets it.

much love to Maddie and her family. i truly know what they are going through.

Captain Dumbass said...

That was really really good, Trish.