“People have stars, but they aren’t the same. For travelers, the stars are guides. For other people, they’re nothing but tiny lights. And for still others, for scholars, they’re problems. For my businessman, they were gold. But all those stars are silent stars. You, though, you’ll have stars like nobody else.”

“What do you mean?”

“When you look up at the sky at night, since I’ll be living on one of them, since I’ll be laughing on one of them, for you, it’ll be as if all the stars are laughing. You’ll have stars that can laugh!”

And he laughed again.

“And when you’re consoled (everyone is eventually consoled), you’ll be glad you’ve known me. You’ll always be my friend. You’ll feel like laughing with me. And you’ll open your windows sometimes just for the fun of it… And your friends will be amazed to see you laughing while you’re looking up at the sky. Then you’ll tell them, ‘Yes, it’s the stars. They always make me laugh!”

–The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

For Maddie, whose second birthday is filled with laughter and tears, who now lives in the stars and the moon, who leaves behind a wall of tears and joy, today we celebrate your birth.

Tonight, we will eat cake and play with balloons and celebrate.

Your Auntie Becky misses you dearly, sweet girl.


For you, I am going to go through all of my old baby clothes and find all of the small clothes to donate to the NICU in your (and Mimi’s) honor. Because I remember how important it was to see my daughter in normal clothes and not naked. How much that comforted me when my life had gone to shit.

I know your parents have started this non-profit to help parents in the NICU and to honor you because they are full of The Awesome:

Happy Birthday, sweet one. We all miss you.

100 thoughts on “And Now You Are Two

  1. Dear Aunt Becky,

    Thank you for sharing this… for sharing all of your musings. I’m almost 4 months pregnant right now, and this touched me in a way I didn’t know I could be touched. Thank you.

    1. The Little Prince is a favorite of mine. And Alex fell in LOVE with Maddie when he used to listen to these You Tube videos of her laughing. She had this infectious laugh. It was amazing.

      Maddie. Wow. Heather is a good friend of mine. I still can’t believe it.

  2. I’m so glad you will be celebrating a life that was so short, but left so much to celebrate and rejoice. My youngest daughter was a 33 weeker, and I will be donating all of her preemie clothes and a check to the NICU she was born in in her and Maddie and Mimi’s honor today.:)

  3. It’s unfortunate that I’ve never read The Little Prince. I think I’ll stop at Borders tonight and introduce it to my kids in honor of Maddie to go along with our desert dinner.

    I had no idea NICU’s would take clothing donations. How ignorant am I and I even work in a hospital.

    1. I happened to ask when Mimi was a patient and have always kept it in the back of my mind. Mimi’s small clothes and hats will all be going to our NICU. They have to wash them there (I called to ask), so don’t even worry about washing them in any special detergent.

  4. prayers, love & light for comfort & healing.
    what a precious soul.
    i bet she’s the brightest shining star up there.
    thanks for sharing this.

  5. Before I didn’t want to part with my children’s baby clothes. I just wasn’t ready. But now I think I can. Beautiful idea.

    Thinking of Maddie and her family…

  6. Thank you for this.

    When we lost the boys, two separate, special friends sent “Little Prince” cards. Each had two little stars. So special.

    Thinking of Maddie today.

    1. I think of all of my lost friends, all of my lost nieces and nephews as stars. Always have. I picture them twinkling away in the sky at night. Helps me feel less alone when I’m up all night not sleeping.

      Thinking of you and your boys too. Always.

  7. My Mea is dressed in head to toe purple today, in honor of Maddie. I can’t even begin to imagine what Heather and Mike are feeling today, I’ve been thinking of them all day.

  8. How very beautiful! As a small child I had the book, “The Little Prince”, but I didn’t understand what it was about really. Then when I saw it again a few years later I was amazed at all the meaning I had missed.
    I think knowing about Maddie now, is just as eyeopening.

  9. I only know the Spohr family through the blog world, yet my heart aches that Maddie isn’t here on her second birthday.

    Because of Maddie and the efforts of her parents I will be a life long contributor to the March of Dimes. It’s because of them that my awareness was raised.

    I wish I could do more to comfort these amazing people today. Happy birthday, sweet Madeline.

  10. I had forgotten about that book, though it’s one of my most favorite ever. The quote was perfect for Maddie. Perfect. It sounded… hopeful. And hope is very hard to catch in situations like this.

    I had heard of Heather for the first time from you, a couple of months ago, when you were putting together a package for her. I’ve spent then a whole day and night reading her blog in its entirety, and I still follow her daily, or at least every second day. It’s hard to imagine what they are going through. Wishing them only good. They are beautiful people, just like their Maddie.

  11. I’ve had two preemies–one born at 29.5 weeks and the other, more recently born last June, at 27 weeks. Having these kids in the NICU, worrying and crying, hoping and despairing, was the worst torture of my life. But they are both here. And they are both healthy. Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am.

  12. When you wrote a few weeks ago on your March of Dimes walk, little did I know…Our dear friends, whose baby shower we were anticipating this week, who were happily awaiting the birth of their first child, had serious complications arise last week and had to deliver. Their beautiful baby girl, Hailey Rose, was born into this world at 28 weeks, weighing 1 lb 10 ozs. We are all praying mightily for her and so far, she is strong and her parents are superheroes in the bravery department.

    Your tribute to Angel Maddie, the cherub of the blog world, was beyond beautiful. I will be writing a check in honor of Maddie and Mimi and Hailey Rose and all the other tiny angels brought into this world too soon. Maddie shines and you have shown us, in your indelible way, how brightly she does.

  13. Well that one made me cry. Maddie passed when I was in my third trimester of pregnancy, my daughter spent a week in the NICU after she was born, and that was the scariest time in my life. I, too, will be donating Kanicky’s tiny clothes to my local NICU. Thank you for a beautiful post!

  14. I love The Little Prince. Never again will I read it and not think of Maddie. I love your idea of donating the baby clothes – so much that I might ‘borrow’ – okay steal it.

    Hugs to you too today Becky.

  15. I walked by that book this evening in the bookstore and thought again that I would really love to read it. Then tonight I read your touching post. I will read it tomorrow. Happy Birthday to dear Maddie. I think I will never again look at the stars without thinking of her sweet face. hugs.

  16. Very nice post. Aunt Becky, you have many readers. I have a question. I know somewhere in Iowa there is (was?) a group that took wedding dresses and turn them into clothes for preemie babies who do not survive to wear when they are buried. Very sad and I would be delighted to give them my wedding gown, but I cannot find the group. I put it in Google to no avail. I don’t/can’t sew. Anyone? Do you know the group or of a group like this?

  17. Hi Becky!…
    I am new to YOUR website, but not new to reading your posts. You are HILARIOUS! Which is why I came to your personal site. I found you on Baby on Bored through Stephanie. You really are a talented writer.
    As for Maddie Moo!, she was a sweetie. I’m a little lost as far as Mimi. Did you lose a child? If you did, I am so sorry. You are a gem. I am glad I found you! Shannon

    1. Hooray for new readers! Stef is a good friend of mine, actually.

      I did not lose a child, but my daughter, Amelia was born with a neural tube defect, which is a rare birth defect and had to have neurosurgery at 3 weeks old. So, my mission in life it to do all kinds of work with the March of Dimes now.

      And Heather was a good friend of mine. Heather is STILL a good friend of mine, but she has been for a long time.

      Its so nice to have met you.

  18. i am not able to claim heather or mike as friends and have never met maddie ~ but i miss her all the same. what an amazing beautiful spirit that this earth got to have for way too short of a time.

    i often hope my dad is in the stars playing silly songs for her…

      1. YES! I decided to start a new one. The other one had a bunch of pretty negative entries and I’m trying to steer clear of that and keep with an upbeat kinda thing. I mean, I’m sure there will be some whoa-is-me posts from time to time since things have remained pretty shitty, but I figure a new blog will be a new start kinda thing, ya know? So, anyway, that’s the new blog. LOL

  19. Your post has moved me to tears. I am so deeply sorry for the pain you and your family have endured through Maddie’s passing. It is truly heartbreaking. After my Isabel was delivered still, a dear friend sent me a book called, I am Wherever You Are. I thought you would appreciate, and find comfort in this excerpt: It’s not always our to understand why morning passes to midnight without full chance of day. But in the darkest hours, the light you were given, however briefly, will shine above you…in the stars and the eyes of an angel – P.S. Points. Thinking and praying for you and your family today.

  20. I can’t imagine what it would be to lose a child, even to the moon and the stars. Thanks for reminding me to give them extra kisses and hugs today, and to send all the prayers and positive thoughts I can muster to the family of the precious little one they sent on. I’ll think of her when I look out at the stars, tonight.

  21. Not all NICU’s use clothes. Might have made seeing my son a bit easier, but the NICU he was in accepts donations of Blankets and Hats. Was sad to see what they went through and pray to God every day that Oliver has a long life and that his little hickup that placed him in the NICU was just that a minor hickup in his life. To see my nearly naked son in his NICU can take the quick link instead of trying to figure out when I posted it 🙂 http://cohibahome.com/?p=72 But a NICU is not a fun place for any parent to go through. I hope no parent has to go through what they and others have gone through with the sudden loss of a child.

    1. Good call. You should call ahead to make sure they accept clothes. I know mine does because I asked and called.

      And I’ll pray for Oliver, too. No one should ever have to endure what they’ve gone through. Ever.

  22. I was crying before I even knew what the post was about. “The Little Prince” gets me every time.

    There probably are not any appropriate words. But happy birthday, beautiful girl. You will be remembered. Always.

    (Have you heard of Project Linus, speaking of donations? They accept any handmade blankets–they don’t have to be fancy, though they can. Tied fleece, knitted, quilts, anything. They are donated to children and their families in the NICU and Children’s Hospitals. I’ve heard from more than one family what a difference that blanket made. They offer security blankets to children and their families when they need it most.)

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