A little girl I never met…

Before I had Ellie, before I was pregnant, before I had three miscarriages, life was different. I was different. For better or worse, a child does things to your heart. It opens and twists it, and exposes you to all of the rawness of the world. In one single push…

Before Ellie, if you’d asked me if I was an empathetic person I’d have said yes.  I felt badly when another felt pain, when a friend or family member was hurting.  But, truthfully, a quick jog around the block, a glass of wine, or a particularly hilarious sitcom could set me right again.

Today I encountered the kind of news that is unbearable to take in – like a million little pieces of glass shards that cut at your nostrils when you inhale. A beautiful little spirit named Madeleine Alice Spohr was taken from her parents in an unexpected fashion at only 17 months old.  I didn’t know Madeleine and I don’t even know her parents, but, I don’t have to.

Empathy, it takes on a hugely different meaning now. The imagined pain of a loss this great left me gasping for air. The thought of watching your little girl leave this earth before she’s had a chance to walk, talk, or simply grow up is an injustice so cruel, so unimaginable, that all words and reason escape me.

My day was consumed with needing to find out all there was to know about this beautiful little being. Looking at her first birthday pictures, getting lost in her contagious smile,  and thinking about the dreams her parents likely had for her — nothing outrageous — the same things most parents want for their kids. The simple expected things that most of us take for granted — taking that first step, hearing that first “I love you”, singing that first song.

 Yes, today the world lost a beautiful little soul named Madeleine Alice Spohr.  I feel like I’ve lost a little something too…

The beautiful Maddie

The beautiful Maddie


4 Responses to “A little girl I never met…”

  1. Jen, very touching post and brought tears to my eyes. You are very talented and so glad that you have a blog now.

  2. You are right. No one can really understand the profound hugeness of love and empathy until they have loved beyond measure their own children. And then spent the rest of their lives being proud, worried, scared, joyous and everything in between for them. And THAT’s why we get wrinkles and wisdom, in equal measure. I LOVE YOUR PIECE!!!! You are a fabulous observer of the human condition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hi Gloria!!

  3. […] girl, the block melted away and the words and tears flowed with what turned out to be my first real post. I wish I never had the overwhelming need to write that post. I truly wish that Maddie was still […]

  4. I just discovered The Spohrs Are Multiplying, right before I discovered your blog… such an incredibly sad story. Your post is such a beautiful tribute.

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