April 14, 2009

April 08, 2009

For Too Short a Time

A little over 24 hours ago, the world lost the light of a star and the universe gained one in the heavens. Madeline Alice Spohr left us last night, a mere 17 months after she got here to spread magic with her smile.

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.

Maddie, you are loved and missed beyond reason. Thank you for brightening my world, for too short a time.

April 01, 2009

What the Deuce?

At long last (at looooong, looooong last), the Internet's least-successful giveaway has come to a merciful close. The charming and lovely PsychMamma, as the only participant, walked off with the big prize. As she's currently off vacationing in the sun and sand, I'll let her know when she gets back and her tan has worn off.

Clearly, the hurdle of having to make a donation was a higher one than I anticipated, so I apologize to those of you who would have liked to participate but just weren't in a position to do so. When I chose to do this, I didn't realize that the minimum was $10. I'm still going to make an additional donation to the film, including one to match PsychMamma's generosity, and I'll try to do better next time in the giveaway department.

Moving on: Tonight I went to the reading and signing event for Heather Armstrong's new book, "It Sucked and Then I Cried." While plenty of people apparently gave her shit about calling it a "San Francisco" signing when it was actually south of there in Mountain View (actually the publisher's doing, which didn't surprise me), I was grateful that it wasn't in SF. This way I actually had a chance to go; if it had been up in the city, I wouldn't have been able to get there for it. As it was, parking was a pain and the small bookstore was packed. I was there a half hour early and every seat was already gone, and most of the decent floor spots were taken. But I copped a little step stool that was innocently occupying a corner unattended and settled in.

I'm not going to give you a recap of the event, as it's a "you had to be there" kind of thing, and I'm not going to tell you to go buy the book. If you like Dooce, you probably will; if you don't like her, you probably won't; if you don't have a freaking clue who I'm talking about, what are you doing here?

But I will tell you why I bought it and why I went tonight: She makes me laugh and I respect what she's done. The shy and retiring Mrs. Flinger went to the event in Seattle last night, and she posted about it, too (hers has video!). She conveniently wrote for me how I felt about going to see Heather and the experience overall:
Heather was absolutely hilarious. She was real, honest, pregnant (yes! BY GOD she isn’t lying about a pregnancy to make money! I know this shocks you.) and actually made the crowd comfortable. She’s every bit a normal person as you can expect some chick from BYU gone badass to be.
Feel what you will about her, to those who resent/hate/despise/"can't stand" her, whatever. To me she's a genuinely funny woman with a talent for telling a story and I wanted to give her props for being the blogger and writer she is. I'm not a fawner. I don't fawn. I didn't go there to fawn. I didn't have a funny story to tell or a need to make her remember meeting me. I didn't tell her, "Oh, I'm a blogger, too!" I didn't have my picture taken with her. I didn't bring a present for her gestating baby. I didn't tell her "how much I lurve your blog" or anything like that. I went there to show my support by buying the book, listening to her interact with her readers, and have my book signed.

And maybe to have something to write about to end the drought caused by the misery of that giveaway. Maybe.