Progress?

This is the Last Picture Taken of Madeline.

Our Sweet Little Bumble Bee

A year ago tomorrow, November 2, 2010,  at 9:30 a.m. we lost our Precious Baby Girl, Madeline.  A year has come and gone and that is all.  It has not gotten easier and the pain has not subsided.  We miss her so and long for the snuggle of her little body, the touch of her little hands and the sweet little kisses she would blow.  Grief is a killer roller coaster.  You never know what each hill and turn will do to you.  It comes complete with the feeling of whiplash, a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach and the never ending wish to end this ride from HELL!!!  No matter how much you beg and pray the ride just does not end.  Right when you think you have taken the worst turn you go LOOPTY LOO into a dark tunnel and lose all sense of where you are and which way you are headed.

I receive a great deal of well meaning advice on ways I could “move on.”  But as a wise woman said to me, “Before they dish it out they should walk a mile in your boots, but they should be careful, cause those are some HEAVY boots you are wearing.”  Cement boots, I like to call them.  This is a good metaphor for the weight of the loss you feel when your child is gone.  Like the hardest thing at times is just to lift one foot in front of the other.  And at times this simple act does not seem simple or possible.

Despite the cement boots I suppose we have made “progress“.  You really don’t sweat the small stuff too much.  Petty arguments seem just that………………Petty.   I try to cherish each day with my boys because I fear for the time they are gone and I want to try to cement their Little Boyhood into my memory.  Madeline’s 16 months with us taught me that it all goes too fast and your time together is just never long enough.  I have had people say, “Well, at least you had her for 16 months, at times you didn’t think she would make it that long.”  This statement is of NO help.  I would ask you, if you have children, no matter what their age, to look at them and decide which one you have had enough time with and would hold for the last time tomorrow morning.  I suspect this is something you would not be able to do.  Because this is ALL horribly backwards.

Despite Madeline’s medical needs we were never “prepared” to lose her.  See,there is something we clung to like NO OTHER………….HOPE!!! and FAITH!!!!  We had such hope for our Sweet Baby Girl.  And we never lost faith that she would always be a Fighter and our Hope that she would have a long, very happy life. Our hope now is that her short life was a happy one.  Because the joy and happiness she brought to us cannot be put into words

In the Spring I had the pleasure of visiting with her wonderful surgeon.  He listened to me cry “Why?” and then asked me one simple question………..”Was Madeline a Happy Girl?”  And I could answer…………YES, she was a HAPPY GIRL!  She was LOVE AND JOY personified!!!  She brightened every room she entered and melted the hearts of all who met and cared for her.

I have spent a lot of time today thinking, “Had I just known that a year ago today was her last day on earth, what would I have done.”  I don’t know?  But I think I would have kissed her Sweet Little Face and Snuggled in all of her Joy and not let go…………..Ever!  And that, I think, is the progress I have made.

What a Gift from God you were, Sweet Madeline……………….We Miss You Baby Girl!!!

9 Responses to Progress?

  1. Kelly Lippincott Maggert says:

    Dear Amy,
    All I can say is “sorry”. And my how that seems so miniscule of a word to say for a life that was so touching and giving to so many. Blessings to you and your family Amy.
    Kelly Lippincott Maggert

  2. Betsy Tomsheck says:

    Amy, Rich, Richie, Johnny and Tim.
    We can’t imagine the pain of the last year. We pray that the presence of God finds you tomorrow and fills your hearts with a little less sadness, knowing that one day, you will see your beautiful girl again. May the light of her shine on you all tomorrow and always. with much love, the Tomshecks

  3. Mindy Curtis Redd says:

    Amy I can’t believe it has been a year. It must feel like you lost part of your heart. I don’t suppose that part will ever come back. My wish for you is that you don’t ever try to fill that void. Your heart would know it was a lie. Keep that empty space open so Madeline’s spirit and memory always have somewhere to reside in you. You are a friend from many, many years ago, but I ache for you and will always be praying for you.
    Mindy Curtis Redd

  4. Tammy Spoo (Gibbs) says:

    Amy I have never known what to say. I came to know Madeline through your wonderful sweet pictures. I would go to your page just to see pictures of Miss M to make me smile. And though I never got to feel her sweet kiss, I could feel the love she gave my cousin and her family. And now a year later? While it is not any easier to find the words to say, I imagine there is no less pain in your heart. I love you Amy and please know that whether I was in Kansas or Dayton, there have been prayers from my heart for you and your family.

  5. jim shunk says:

    It’s kinda weird in a nice way that my sons birthday is the day before you lost your daughter. i like that cause I think of both of them now and I know how blessed we were to have them no matter how bad it hurts now.
    I also hate it that I can say “Iknow how you feel” and really do know how you feel. we as families both know where our babies are now and that is the best part of it they aare safe, loved, and having the time of thier lives and I for one cant wait to join them I think sometimes if I had the choice to go now or wait that I would go but then i think how unfair that would be to my family so I just learn to be as paitent as I can. Like i say when i pray “God i know you will bring us through whatever happens to the end , but it’s just the middle I have trouble with. REMEMBER NO ONE CAN TELL YOU HOW TO GRIEVE OR TO MISS YOUR CHILD… I MEAN NO ONE. always know you and yours are always in my prayers and always will be.
    God Bless…

  6. brenda says:

    There is never “moving on” It is a hole in your heart and it hurts. The hole scars and toughens up but, its still there. Grief is so individual and there isn’t a day that goes by that Idon’t think of Miss M. But, I don’t think of her the million times a day you must think of her. I don’t see the constant reminders that you must see. The one thing in grief that I can say when I am missing someone, is….that smell. Each living creature has their own smell. We long to get a whiff of that so we can feel the way we once did but, its so unique, its a never ending quest to find it. Amy, if I could wish anything for you today, it is that you could smell your baby around every corner. I hope this doesnt sound corny but, its things like that which are gifts. BEE grateful of any reminders….don’t need to move on…capture them in your heart. Love you, thinking of you.

  7. Cement boots – so true. No one knows what it’s like to walk in cement books until they’ve been there.

    Thinking of you today and sending up a prayer.

  8. Kathy says:

    Here from the future via TIme Warp Tuesday and once again typing through my tears after reading this one. Wow. What an adorable and precious baby girl you had for those 16 months and how unbelievably heartbreaking that she left this world much too soon. Reading the rawness of your words here bring so many of my own emotions, as a fellow bereaved mom, to the surface. This especially resonates with me:

    “Despite Madeline’s medical needs we were never “prepared” to lose her. See,there is something we clung to like NO OTHER………….HOPE!!! and FAITH!!!! We had such hope for our Sweet Baby Girl. And we never lost faith that she would always be a Fighter and our Hope that she would have a long, very happy life.”

    Likewise, though we knew Molly was not expected to live long, how could I not allow myself to believe in a miracle and that somehow she would beat the odds and survive?! On some level I was able to accept her fate going into her birth and cherish every minute we had with her (about 15) before she died, as well as the time we spent holding her sweet little body after she passed (about 6 hours).

    Thank you for choosing this post and reminding us how difficult it is to try to understand what it feels like to walk in another person’s shoes, especially when they are heavy from being filled with grief. I do hope that when people who aren’t part of “the club” read things like this, it helps them to understand, even a little bit more, and thus causes them to be more mindful in their interactions with those who have lost children, especially when it comes to giving advice.

  9. Sometimes it’s just hard for a person to sit with another person’s grief, even though many times that’s the best balm — just to be abided with. Instead, we try to “fix” what is unfixable.

    Your question: “Had I just known that a year ago today was her last day on earth, what would I have done.” — is a haunting one, for all of us.

    Abiding with you, Amy.

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