Maddie and a Community of Mothers

This morning, I awoke to Pumpkin nudging me awake. I plodded downstairs and as is my ritual, opened Twitter to see what happened the night before. I almost immediately saw that Maddie, the daughter of Heather (@Mamasphor ) & Mike, passed away last night.
I sat on the couch with Pumpkin on my lap, and soon The Princess woke up and came downstairs to sit with us on the couch. I sat with my daughters close and my heart just ached for the Spohr family.

I can’t even imagine what they must be feeling – because I have been reading these amazing tributes to Maddie all day and I keep thinking, “It’s just NOT FAIR. No parent should have to lose their child. This isn’t right.” Having never met this family, I still can’t help but mourn their loss and be saddened.

I vowed to spend the day with my children. We planned an outing to story time at the library, a freebie movie at the theater, with a picnic lunch of peanut butter sandwiches from one to another. As I was trying to get the girls ready to leave the library, Pumpkin had a hissy fit. She wanted to stay at the library and do the craft project and I hadn’t left enough time to do the craft and make our movie on time. She cried. Loudly. Another mom, witnessing the tantrum, asked if I’d like her to gather up craft supplies so that Pumpkin could do the project at home. She gathered the paper bag (they were making puppets), yarn, and other assorted goodies and helped The Princess put them in our book bag while I got Pumpkin in her coat. I was so grateful for her help.

On a larger scale, that’s what the mom community has been doing all day. Moms have been there to help a mom who needed their help – some with actions and some with words. So much love has flooded Heather’s blog that it’s been suspended and a team of friends are working to get it on a different server. And people are showing their amazing generosity by donating to the March of Dimes in Maddie’s honor. Donations have topped $11,000 to help other families with premature babies. In addition, Heather’s friends have been tweeting to let people know how the family can be helped. And prayers and kind thoughts have come from all over the place, from people who, like me, have never met the family.

Her life was too short.

Madeline Alice Sphor
November 11, 2007 – April 7, 2009

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. i just came across your post through meghan’s maddie site. it’s unbelieveable, isn’t it? and heartbreaking. and at the very same time … an inspiration to do better and be better as a mom and as a whole community.

  2. reading the news made me ache for my babes too. I was at work when I read the news. I am so saddened. Grady was a preemie and even though he minor difficulties I can’t imagine loosing him.

    Your post was beautiful!

  3. Beautiful post Sarah. I went to mamasphor’s Twitter link but just following the bits and pieces she wrote there. She went to the doc three days ago thinking it was RSV, and she passed within a day? My heart just aches for the family. Elijah just threw an awful fit on me in Target, so much so that I had to leave my cart and walk out. Your post, this story, puts things into perspective. Thank you for sharing – God’s blessings to the family.

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