A Bittersweet Easter

It is almost midnight when I open the cereal cupboard to get a snack. I have been reading #maddie tweets and tribute posts all evening and my heart is raw and overwhelmed.

As I reach into grab a box of cereal, I see five little goldfish crackers sitting on the shelf next to the Bran Flakes.

My heart smiles for a quick moment and then shivers as I picture my sweet toddler Olivia, who is just a month older than Maddie, placing a handful of her crackers on the shelf and then closing the door. She is constantly tucking away her treasures for safe keeping. She is a toddler, full of quirks and spunk, just like Maddie.

I feel guilty for still having my toddler here, fingers full of crackers, leaving her goldfish trails. Why do I get to have my babies with me? Why is Heather’s baby gone?

Earlier tonight, I snuggled with my son as he tried to fall asleep. I was reading the LA Times article about the Spohrs on my iPhone. Jackson begged me to read it to him.

“No, Jackson. It will make you too sad.” But he wouldn’t give in. I told him, “It is about the little girl I told you about this week who died. It will make you cry.”

“I know it will. But it is okay, because she is with God now, in Heaven.”

So I read it to him and he cried as we watched the video.

“See Jackson, I shouldn’t have let you watch it. Now you are too sad.”

“No, it is okay Mom,” he wiped his eyes, as he swallowed his last few tears, “It is just so sad that she is not here anymore. But she is with God now.”

And then we prayed, for the Spohrs, for Maddie, for all of us — and for Easter.

Easter reminds me that there are no easy answers — for any of us. There wasn’t even an easy answer for the Creator. He had to suffer an unimaginable fate to save people who didn’t even deserve his mercy.

It is all beyond my understanding. The pain. The mercy. The plan.

But I will rest in it nonetheless.

I am grateful, oh so grateful, that because of His mercy, there is Easter. There is an eternal morning. Maddie is there. And because of Easter, we can be too.

P.S. Please visit A Mom of Two Boys for information on the service for Maddie and to find more Maddie blog posts.

And to help the Spohrs deal with their financial realities in this devastating time, you can send donations via this button:


  1. says

    This is such a heartfelt MOM post. I didn’t know about Maddie until the announcement that she passed away – but catching up quickly and watching the power of the Web has been ahhhh-mazing!
    Janice is so right on – the only solace we have in such miserable circumstances is that Eternal Morning and the Gift of Easter. How my heart aches for the Spohrs – and like the author, I’m holding my girls a little bit tighter today.

  2. says

    I pray that Heather and Mike find peace and rest in the triumph of the Savior–and know that because of it, they’ll see Maddie again someday, in a better and brighter place.
    What a great post for Easter…

  3. says

    A wonderful and beautful post – all of us with little ones (or grown ones) hug our kids just a little closer this week. This Easter I’m reminded of those I’ve lost, but grateful for the peace and hope I have in seeing them again one day.

  4. says

    It’s easy to believe in God when everything is going well, but you really have your faith tested when things are not going well. It is very difficult to surrender to the Master Plan sometimes….but it’s the only way to live.

  5. says

    Maddie has been on my mind all day as well, it’s such a hard thing to reconcile in your heart. I felt so very grateful today every time I hugged my son (I did that a lot today) and yet like you, sad that my son is with me and Heather’s child is not. I didn’t know about Heather, her blog, or Maddie before she died, and I am so thankful that there were so many internet families that did and they have been there to support them.

  6. says

    My daughter is two months older than Maddie and everytime I look at her my heart breaks for Maddie’s mom and dad all over again. I too didn’t know about them before Maddie’s death – but I’m a mom and I can’t even imagine the pain Heather and Mike are facing right now. They’ve been in my prayers and I’ve been awestruck by the way the blogging community has reached out to them.

  7. says

    Thank you for such a great post! Very fitting for Easter! It brought tears to my eyes and I’m praying for the Spohr’s and EVERYONE in this world!

  8. Maria D. says

    I am just so thankful to have my daughter right now. This little girl passing on just breaks my heart and causes me to really look closely at the blessinsg I have.

  9. says

    My heart has been breaking for Maddie’s parents, too. I just can’t imagine their pain and it feels so unfair. Your sweet Jackson has such a tender and loving heart. He’s right, she’s with God now and though there is such pain here in her absence, she’s in no pain now.

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