Precious Baby Girl!

Our Precious Baby Girl, Madeline, would have been TWO years old on the Fourth of July.  What a difference a year makes.  Last year, her birthday fell on a Sunday.  We dressed her in her Sunday best and went to Church.  I told my husband and friends, “My heart is so full of joy that I want to run up to everyone and say, WE MADE IT!  SHE DID IT!!!  TODAY SHE IS ONE!!!  ISN’T SHE BEAUTIFUL?!!!  It was truly a feeling of pure joy.  We had a small party at our house and our close friends that had shared in our fear and joy were here.  Madeline was not able to eat much by mouth and was dependent on a feeding tube.  This did not stop me, however!  I wanted her to have the First Birthday Experience, so she had a red velvet cupcake.  I thought as a Fourth of July Baby Girl, red velvet should be her signature cake.  Look at her enjoying her Cupcake!

Don’t you just want to SQUEEZE and KISS her?  Trust me one look at the precious face and you were hooked!  When I want to remember when I truly felt PURE JOY, I will go back to this day and moment in time.

On this Fourth of July, which would have been the day she turned TWO, was a much different emotion.  Instead of feeling the joy and bounce in my step, I awoke with a feeling in the pit of my stomach making me want to wretch.  My heart felt so heavy I didn’t want to get out of bed or listen to any fireworks or celebrate anything.  I never have a good feeling about the day when the first thing I do when I awake is cry.  But sometimes that’s about all you can do.  I literally thought this day was going to tap out any and all coping skill I might still have.

However, we were on a family get away to the Lake and her brothers wanted to know how we were going to celebrate her Birthday?  By screaming and crying and feeling sorry for ourselves I wanted to yell.  But, as always, there insight amazes me.  Because as painful as it was we did want to Celebrate our Beautiful Baby Girl and her incredible little life.  I wanted to honor her day and celebrate because I don’t want anyone ever to forget her.  And you are afraid people will.  She came to us with such gentleness, grace and love and we cherished and adored her and always will.  So we did “celebrate”.  Aunt Katie bought helium balloons, we all wrote messages and released them.  We hope they get to heaven to be with her but mostly we hope the love sent up is what she received.

Although it was soo hard to feel like we were celebrating and seemed like a tragic sight to any bystander, I took a photo anyways.  Why?  I want her brothers to always remember to celebrate their Baby Sister and all the joy she brought here on earth, although much too brief.  I also hope they carry her unconditional love forward in their lives.   In looking back at a photo from that day, I was surprised.  The rainbow of balloons was a beautiful site!

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Girl!!!

After we released the balloons Johnny came to check my eyes.  He lifted up my sunglasses and said are you crying?  Surprisingly, this time, I was not.  He said oh, I thought you would be more sad?  I know, me to and started to cry.  The pain of celebrating without her was almost too much to bear.  Earlier in the day we went to her graveside and brought her gifts.  We selected two roses.  I decided she was a yellow kind of girl, so we laid to beautiful yellow roses and a small balloon at her grave and cried for all the joy we were missing.

11 responses to “Precious Baby Girl!

  1. Carol

    Amy, I honestly don’t have words that are well enough to express how touched by your post I am. You are right, once that girl smiled at you, you were hooked. No ifs ands or buts about it. I know I can’t imagine or feel how hard her birthday, and every day actually is for you, but know I ache for all of you and for myself as well. Maddy was the most beautiful little girl. Your family’s tribute to her was wonderful and I love the picture also. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Stacy

    Beautiful Amy!

  3. Donna

    Amy, I just know little Madeline, knows and feels all the love you , your family , and everyone has for her! I am disappointed that i never had the opportunity to meet that sweet little precious baby, but i followed her life through all the pictures and of course, the updates on her health. I have kept her in my every prayer and I continue to keep her , you and your whole family in my daily prayers. I cant help but have a big old smile on my face whenever i see any pictures of her! She has touched so many lives, even the lives of people like me who hadnt even met her! Believe me, she feels the love…………….no one will ever forget her, that little angel!!!1
    love to all

    Donna

  4. Stephanie

    Amy, I can’t imagine. I feel sorry for myself because of Stone (I had a melt down in the school suppies section of Wal-Mart Saturday because I won’t be doing that with him this year) but he is only two hours away. He is a phone call away…my heart is breaking again for you! Stay strong my friend of steel! Love you!

  5. Sue

    Well written Amy. What a beautiful way to celebrate Maddy’s life.
    Sue

  6. There’s no doubt she got the love. I don’t know how you get through it all, but as in all things, the gist of the matter usually rises to the top. And the gist of her for real is that she was pure love. So eventually I truly hope that you get to a place where all you do is smile when you think of her. That picture with that cupcake will be in my memory forever and I never even met her. What a cutie and what a bundle of nothing but love; you can just see it. Peace to you and yours Amy, you touched me alot with this post/

  7. Mary Malinowski

    Amy, I loved your message. Lynn and Pete and I were sitting at Tartine remembering that 4th of July when you wanted to come to the parade and we talked you out of it. Thanks GOD!!! All we needed was for her to be delivered at Coronado Hospital, no way.
    You SHOULD celebrate her birthday every year, every month – kids will always give you perspective (John, has a special gift for it tho.)! Maddie is a special blessing and you will always have her in your heart and mind. You were so blessed as a family to be able to enjoy her, as was she to have such a wonderful family around her every day of her life – I mean her brothers are gonna be movie moguls!
    I love you Amy!
    xxoo
    Mal

  8. The Original Amy

    There was only one thing missing that day and that is the incredible smile of Madeline that effortlessly filled up a room and the smiles of her loving parents that would have reflected her joy! You are all in our prayers.

  9. Jody

    I’m catching up on these posts a little late, however I will make you a promise that on every July 4th, I will share a red velvet cupcake with Gabi in honor of Maddie. Gabi will be 3 in Oct. and we would be honored to have a tradition that remembers such a beautiful soul. Thank you doesn’t come close to the gratitude I have for you sharing your stories. I feel like I have a girlfriend to keep my life in perspective and see the joy’s and truth of my reality. Thank you Amy.

  10. Jim Shunk

    Amy,
    I am very sorry for your loss. I know the pain your family is dealing with everyday because we share that unfortunate bond with you.
    We lost our son Alex our youngest when he was 18 almost 2 years ago I think I have ptsd so my memory comes and goes. I dont know what would be worse just having your child a short time like your family or seeing them almost grow into adultan adult then be snatched away either way it still sucks thats my word because it ties all ties all the other ones together. so it just sucks. If it wasnt for God in our lives I would not be here that i know. He has blessed us in so many ways I cant even count and what parents have to remember is that our children are on loan to us they are angels in the flesh until they become adults and when God calls them back it’s because he needs them or he is protecting them from something that we cant see yet. Im sorry I have rammbled long enough. please if yo ever want to talk dont hesitate to call Chelle or me or if your husband would like to talk to a another man who has been through this just call us . again Im sorry for your loss.
    God Bless..

  11. Pingback: A Moment in Time | lifeaccordingtojohn

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