Yesterday, my son celebrated his 12th birthday, a day more special than most birthdays in our family because it falls on his grandmother's birthday, too. Because he's my youngest and I'm holding on to his milestones with white-knuckled grip, OF COURSE I had to share my thoughts. At his request, instead of a birthday cake I made Chocolate Eclair Dessert, his absolute favorite food in the universe, and he declared HE should get "almost ALL" of the 9 x 12 dish because it was, in fact, his birthday and that should grant him special favor. Had I made it the night before, he could've had it for breakfast for all I cared, because it was his birthday and LIFE IS SHORT SO EAT DESSERT FIRST, right?
In the back of my mind (and in the center of my heart) was thoughts of Angie, one of my Compassion-India team members whom I've not yet met, but whom I know grieves the very date I celebrate; April 7th is the day her daughter Audrey Caroline was born…and died. I sleepily seized opportunity to pray for her at 3:17 in the morning, when insomnia dared me to sleep; yesterday would have been Audrey's first birthday.
Today when I signed onto Twitter, I learned Heather (The Spohrs are Multiplying and a co-editor of mine at Blog Nosh), had unexpectedly lost her precious 17-month-old daughter, Maddie. Twenty-four hours ago, I had seen tweets that explained Maddie was back in the hospital, and though I didn't know her complete story, I sent a message to Heather to let her know I was praying for them.
I had no idea how serious it was :(.
I've watched something special unfold today as I worked from my laptop–the use of social media in the best of ways. Over $13,500 has been raised so far for the March of Dimes because of Maddie, due largely in part to dozens of bloggers tweeting and retweeting the MOD site and Maddie's story. Heather and her husband Mike were planning to march on April 25th in L.A. Many bloggers have been moved to share their remembrances and thoughts, and Amy's site (A Mom Two Boys) is a central spot for linking posts; there, readers can also learn how to donate money to the family's related expenses.
This is one of those times when life doesn't make sense; when I have to trust that this human tragedy came as no surprise to God…and that from His perspective, it has divine purpose. Imagine–Maddie's 17 months of life on this planet, that precious face of hers, is touching thousands of people! The money raised through her story will save lives. What a blessing!
I looked at my kids differently when they returned home from school this afternoon; I don't think they recognized the shift in how I saw them.
And when Stephen wakes up tomorrow…if there's any Chocolate Eclair Dessert left…it's just fine with me if he eats dessert for breakfast.
As they come to mind over the coming days, even if this is the first time you've heard of Maddie, please continue to pray for them. If you're inclined, celebrate Maddie's life with me by adding your own contribution; just click the widget above.