Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Today I learned of the death of a beautiful little girl. One of my fellow Blog Nosh editors is Heather Spohr, who has chronicled her difficult pregnancy and life with her husband and darling premature daughter on her blog The Spohrs Are Multiplying. Madeline Alice Spohr passed away yesterday, sometime after Heather tweeted from the hospital, "They are going to intubate her. I'm freaking out." I rarely pray, because I'm not sure who I'm praying to, but sometimes when things get scary I fall back onto my Catholic upbringing and find myself repeating the Lord's Prayer over and over, just sending it out there in case it might help. I did it the morning of 9/11/01, I did it when my dad was in surgery, and I found myself doing it last night after reading that tweet. The terrible news about Maddie stopped me in my tracks this morning. I forget after 9 years that Pepper was a preemie, too - 6 weeks early - and so I made my way over to Maddie's March of Dimes page to make a donation. I urge anyone who reads this to do the same. I realized I hadn't posted anything in a week, and while looking for something to post, I found a draft I started last month titled "Heartsore" about all the ways I am worried for my daughter. She and I have been having a difficult time lately. She is grumpy and whiny and ungrateful and I am often at a loss how to deal with all of these negative emotions. As you might expect, re-reading it after learning of Maddie's death flipped my perspective. I have a beautiful 9 year old girl, smart as a whip and full of neurosis and overflowing with emotions, and I am so grateful. So lucky. And that is what I will tell her tonight when she starts yelling at the computer or whining about bedtime or making faces at the dinner I have prepared for her. I'm going to tell her, "I'm so lucky to have you." She'll probably think I'm teasing her at first, but I won't be, and by the time she falls asleep tonight, I'm going to make sure she understands how much I mean it. Tomorrow morning, I'll wake her up for school and she will groan at me and whine about brushing her hair. It will all start all over again, the crying and the lecturing and the love and the anger, and it is difficult to put into word how grateful I am for that.