You may remember that I wrote about how her parents were raising funds for the March of Dimes walk to be held this month. None of us could ever have imagined that Maddie wouldn't be here for the walk, leading the way in her little pink car.
The blog world reeled today as the news of Maddie being gone spread via Twitter. There were tears and heartbreak and an outpouring of grief. But then that world started to pull together and spread an amazing amount of love and support along with the sad news. Heather and Mike asked that donations be made to the March of Dimes in lieu of any flowers. And my world, my online world, responded. For much of the day I felt numb with disbelief and grief, but I found myself transfixed watching that page for donations as it grew and grew and grew all day long. At this time, the team has raised over $20,000 in honor of Maddie. Just take a look at the widget to the right to see where the donation total on Heather's page currently stands. It boggles the mind and warms the heart, even a heart that's broken into tiny pieces right now.
The simply amazing Meghan at AMomTwoBoys.com has dedicated a page on her site For Maddie and it has all the information about how to make a donation (**Updated - the button to do that appears to the right, too. Please help if you can**), where to send any cards, etc. to Mike and Heather, information about the funeral service (which will be updated as the details become available) and a list of all the people who have written posts in honor of Maddie, to celebrate her life and mourn her death. Over 200 bloggers have added the links to their posts there, among them some pretty incredible writers, all of us needing to share our love for a little girl who could touch our hearts across the Internet with her trademark open-mouth smile and wide-open eyes.
Madeline, in a photo taken by her mother.
Maddie, you are loved and missed beyond reason. Thank you for brightening my world, for too short a time.