Sunday, April 12, 2009


Sometimes I feel like twitter is a guilty pleasure. Yes, I have made some great contacts and seen some cool links, but I have also wasted many hours reading posts about what people are having for dinner and how to get 10,000 followers in 10 days. But on April 8th, 2009 I was overwhelmed by posts about a mom blogger and her husband, who I did not follow and had never heard of, who, the night before, had lost their beautiful 17-month old baby girl. Being on twitter since this tragedy has been a moving experience.

A loss of this magnitude is, of course, the worst nightmare of every parent. Over the next 24 hours every other twitter post included the #Maddie hashtag as thousands of caring people around the world expressed the pain and love they felt for a child most had never seen, and parents they had never met.

Today is only the fifth day since this dear child has passed, and almost $25,000 has been donated to the family's March for Babies pledge page and other teams marching in more than half our states have been formed in her honor. Many others have donated to the Spohr family directly, released purple balloons, and turned their twitter avatars, backgrounds, and blogs purple in her honor. The family has requested that all who attend Maddie's funeral service on April 14th wear purple, and word has spread that all who wish to honor her wear purple that day, wherever they are. As fate would have it, we will be attending the funeral of our friend Mike Bizub that day.

This experience has brought to the surface again the painful loss of Emma Hope Walker, my sister's dear baby girl, who was lost to us more than ten years ago. She will always be in our hearts and her life changed every member of my family forever. When I think of the devasting pain the Spohr family must now endure, I am flooded with memories of Emma's death, her funeral, and the years of healing that followed.

In loving memory of Emma Hope Walker and Madeline Alice Spohr we are walking in the March for Babies on April 25th, 2009 in Martinsburg, WV. A link to our March of Dimes sponsership page can be found on this page. If you cannot donate, please take a moment to pray, reflect, or meditate in your own way for the Spohr family and for all those who have lost those they love.


Suzi Homemaker said...

I can't take Twitter anymore. That baby, Thalon, died, too, and then a nine-week-old in Tennessee along with her mommy in that tornado. Too much sadness. Spring is supposed to be a time of renewal...what is going on?

Julie said...

Oh my-this touched my heart and made me cry. :( I donate every year to March of Dimes-
I can't even begin to imagine the heartbreak and pain people feel when they lose their children