I only met Maddie once - several months ago at a movie with my friend Nanette, who is close to Heather. We only chatted for a few moments - the film was about to start and I was juggling my infant who was hoping to eat before the lights went down. I was excited to meet them though - I had visited Heather's blog several times and was inspired by Maddie's story.
As Heather came in to the theater, she plopped Maddie down in Nanette's lap and snatched Nanette's new baby Em up for a kiss and snuggle. Maddie was so tiny - probably smaller than Ben was at the time (about 10 weeks) - and she was so cute! Those big eyes - that grin...she just hung out, looking around, taking it all in and charming the pants off anyone that caught her eye.
That day stuck with me, and, as I learned of Maddie's illness last week, followed Heather's tweets and then, learned of her passing the next day, I was devastated - distracted for the rest of the day, which I spent glued to the blogs and Twitter, trying to find out what had happened...looking for any sort of update. I've followed the updates and posts from Heather's wonderful friends, and from Heather and Mike themselves - as I read more and more, and my eyes fill with tears each time, I realize why this silly blogging is so important. It keeps people connected, creates an outlet and provides support in ways that I don't think anyone really expected. I think that the support and love for Heather, Mike and Maddie demonstrates just how much good there is in this world, and it is heartwarming and inspiring.
To Heather and Mike - my heart goes out to you both in the loss of your precious Maddie. I can't imagine what you are going through - but know that I'm thinking of you every day, that you are in my prayers and that we all miss Maddie, your little angel.