March for Maddie

Monday, September 7, 2009

Its been 5 months since Maddie passed away. I don't know about you but my world has never been the same. Not one single day has passed when I don't think about Maddie, Heather and Mike. I'm very grateful that they have chosen to share their grieving process with us.

All over the country teams were forming for the March of Dimes walk in honor of Maddie. Nic of My Bottles Up organized a team named My Bottles Up for Maddie. I signed up to participate. I challenged myself to raise $500 in 5 days in Honor of Maddie. I was excited to be a part of something bigger than me.

The walk was in Baltimore which is over an hour drive from my house. That day it rained and rained and rained. It was like a monsoon. I left in enough time to get there before the start time. But the rain...I could barely see the road. I pressed on and finally made it. I was late. Nik and the rest of the team had to start without me.

I parked my car, checked in. I turned in my $330 that I raised, picked up my t-shirt, a map and started on the walk. I immediately started to cry. I felt absolutely awful that I was late. I didn't want to walk the 4 miles alone.

But I did. I walked every last mile and I had so much time to think. Throughout the walk there were posters with pictures and family stories about their premature babies. I stopped to read almost every one. I thought of Maddie every time. The stories were heartbreaking, heartwarming, sad and inspiring all at the same time.

I realized how blessed I am that both my children were born full term and healthy. I prayed for Heather & Mike. I prayed for all the families who have lost their children. I cried...a lot... It turned out to be a very cathartic 4 mile walk.

I was one of the last people to cross the finish line. I made my way back to my car and was already writing this post in my head. As time passed, I didn't write the post. I told myself I was just procrastinating.

The truth was I was embarrassed and ashamed that I was late and couldn't walk with my team. I didn't meet my goal of $500. I should have written this a long time ago and been proud of what I DID do to honor Maddie. I still struggle with "it" being okay if things don't go as planned.

I discovered yesterday that a friend took her life. I have been completely and utterly devastated by this. It made me realize that life is too short. Not that I didn't already know this but sometimes it takes an awful tragedy to put everything else into perspective. Maddie was here one day and gone the next. It's not fair!

I decided to write this post and share the pictures I took. I've decided to stop feeling like I let Nic, Heather and Mike down by falling short of the goals I set for myself. I won't beat myself up anymore. I did the best I could. I raised $330 in honor of Maddie for the March of Dimes. I completed the 4 miles, in the rain, by myself because it was and always will be important to me.

No matter how I feel or have felt these past five months it's nothing compared to what Heather and Mike have been through. Maddie has touched my life in ways I never imagined or thought possible. I think that was her mission in life from Day 1.


One response to “March for Maddie”
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You shouldn't beat yourself up for not being perfect. Believe me, that is a no win situation. You should be proud and celebrate what you DID do in honor of that precious little girl and her family. I know it must mean the world to them that so many like you, and I show up, remember her, and raise even the smaller amounts of money for a fabulous cause in hope that one day no parent will have to know the pain they are experiencing. I am proud of you, and you should be too.

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