A Bittersweet Easter

by Janice

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:

Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Debbie April 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm

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 Amy April 12, 2009 at 1:52 pm

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 A Frugal Friend April 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm

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 artist victoria o'neill April 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm

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 DJ April 12, 2009 at 9:04 pm

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 Blessed April 12, 2009 at 11:21 pm

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 Heather April 13, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Your son is a very sweet boy with a big heart.


8 Angie April 13, 2009 at 12:41 pm

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!


9 Maria D. April 13, 2009 at 2:23 pm

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.


10 Heather April 13, 2009 at 8:11 pm

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.


11 Kelly King Anderson April 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm

What a beautiful post, what a beautiful tie to the Resurrection. Love to her family, love to you for shining the Lord’s love and light so brightly


12 Will Blog For Shoes April 16, 2009 at 11:30 am

Janice, this is such a sweet post!


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