Happy birthday to two sweet girls

Today has been a tough day for me, many of my friends and many of those I follow on Twitter and on blogs across North America-and the entire world.
Today is Rashale’s 10th birthday and Maddie’s 2nd.
And neither of them is here to celebrate with us.
It’s easy to say it’s not fair and we need an explanation. It isn’t fair. We do want an explanation.
We can’t always have one. And that sucks. It sucks so extremely bad.
Rashale battled osteosarcoma and won. She then died unexpectedly … and without much explanation.
Maddie was born premature and then battled the odds. She was happy. She was beautiful. She was full of life. But it was hard on her little body when she got sick.
I never met Maddie or her parents. She came into my life via the Internet, as she did for hundreds of thousands of others. She came into my life when I was already down for the count. Rashale had passed, and I was a wreck. I carry other people’s sadness as my own, and I was heavy with hurt. I hardly knew Rashale, but then again, I knew her well. We had shared e-mails, telephone calls, giggles, bathroom breaks, dinners, jokes, special moments. I saw her with her “hair off.” I held her hand and carried her on my back. I touched her foot when others weren’t even allowed to see it. We bonded quickly and her death killed a part of me.
So when Maddie died, I lost it. I told fellow Hoosier blogger Casey, of mooshinindy.com, that I almost felt embarrassed to be so sad about Maddie. It’s sometimes hard to mourn the loss of someone you never met, even if you feel true sadness. It’s hard to explain. I tried my best that day. Casey understood. We both shared stories about how our husbands must’ve felt when we were curled up in balls over the death of a daughter that wasn’t our own. At least Casey KNEW Maddie. She visited her home. Played with her. Her Maddie was like my Rashale.
Casey organized a March of Dimes walk in Maddie’s honor in Indianapolis, and I was there. It was one of the only times I met Casey. She was surrounded by loving friends, friends of hers, friends of Maddie’s mommy and daddy, and then a few of us who never met any of them. I won’t say I wasn’t feeling a bit out of place, because I was. I didn’t feel like I fit in with this group of amazing women who all had a gaping wound in their hearts. But I walked on, for Maddie. I got over my nervousness and awkwardness. I didn’t get over the sadness.
So … today a lot of us are sad, but happy at the same time. Enjoyed to have known … even for a glimpse … two very special, sweet, amazing, brave little girls who will forever live in our hearts.
Here’s to you, girlie girls. We miss you. We love you. We’ll see you again one day.
I hope you’re both dancing and giggling together right now at your very special birthday parties.


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