Where did all the spunky go?

Where did all the spunky go? In one day I feel like my world lost a lot of spunk… in a week when my heart feels broken and messy it got heavier, messier and more broken. This world is lacking a lot… a lot of independence, spunk and all of the rule abiding in an amazing mom’s life. Natalie had to say goodbye to the most important job she ever had, the most important part of herself. Naomi left for heaven…


Naomi was our very first ‘best day ever’… before Maddie’s Mark was even fully formed we were working on her trip to CHOP in Philly. We helped her family enjoy their time while she was being treated. After Madeline passed away, my whole family was broken. My nephew, Nick, was the same age as Mads and in Kindergarten. He was here for many of Madeline’s last moments and after. Madeline passed in February of 2012- so Nick went back to his school for Kindergarten and normal. When he got back the class had been flipped into hard- a classmate, Naomi, had 3 tumors in her brain. She would have surgery on one and receive treatment for the other 2. Nick went back to a classmate with a brain tumor, after his Madeline had passed from what he understood as a brain tumor. I can only imagine what that felt like for him. I can only imagine what Natalie and Naomi’s dad felt… or what Naomi felt.

Kindergarten is a big deal, Naomi completing the year was a big accomplishment. Her school did not celebrate Kindergarten with a graduation, no party, no celebration… just moving up to first. Natalie, Naomi’s mom, felt in her heart that she needed to see Naomi graduate, that it could be the only graduation her lovely got to have. A friend Michele used her big and bold to make that happen. It was awesome… to know that Naomi got to graduate and that Natalie got the moment to see her lovely graduate and move up. I knew in me that Natalie had a piece of her that knew Naomi would never walk across the stage at age 18 and go on to other things…

I loved hearing about Naomi’s graduation. She was deemed most Spunky. I will attest to that. Naomi was bold… honest and took care of herself. She was assertive and sure… she followed the rules and kept her family on track. You could see the connection and the love Naomi had for her mom. Naomi and Natalie were linked and connected. It is and was beautiful.

I, honestly, had no idea to expect this for Naomi. My heart hurt to know she was in pain. My wonders travelled to her treatment and life… her pain. She had some great years, I got to see her style, via Facebook, for first day of school and adventures. I also loved when I got to see her. She was a girl who not only knew what she liked, she made sure to tell everyone. She had a bit of mature only child in her. Just like with Madeline, she was the one that made sure her mom was following the rules. It was h4rard to see that lovely and spunky face have to go through steroids and treatments… to know her mom could not touch her because it hurt her skin. It really hurt my heart to know this…

A couple of years ago, the summer after Madeline passed, Naomi and her mom came to visit Albany. A few friends packed in the car and came for a picnic. We went up to Maddie’s Spot to visit her. As the kids ran around… I could see and know that Natalie saw it differently. I felt like she was processing this spot, this ending. I know she prepared and lived well, for as we all know we don’t get to know the big stuff and the ends of journeys. In a way I know Natalie knew Naomi would not get to graduate high school, go to prom with her little boyfriend… there was always this hope of future laced with the tumors that would not disappear. I hate cancer. I hate tumors.


Naomi was a spunky and independent girl with an amazing mom. I will not remember her for her tumor or her sick… but her bold and honest. I will remember her smile in the pictures I got to see. I will remember the times that I got to see her and watch her enjoy time… I will be thankful that in her time here we got to know and help her enjoy her time. Seeing her smiling with her mama at the Giants game last fall… knowing that her time in Philly was more fun and easy… that Naomi got to have some amazing experiences and Maddie’s Mark got to help her. We were supposed to connect… I will remember her for her. The world doesn’t get to know what grown up Naomi would be like, that royally sucks. The world gets to bring her along on their adventures, carry her family and help change this for others.

A while ago I saw an amazing medium, she was very clear and open. There was no crazy details, but instead a clear connection to Madeline. I know she used her gift to connect people to their lovelies… but she told me something’s that day that I really already felt. She told me that Madeline’s job in heaven is helping other children come to heaven. Something in me felt this for a long time and without saying it to her she told me. I know it is true, I know it is why she connects us. I know that Madeline gained and brought a few amazing children who’s journeys were done here. Many can disagree, but know that in me I know… just like I know she is okay and she is here. So it comforts me to know Madeline is there with these amazing friends. It doesn’t make it different here… we all have to keep on missing those amazing kids. Someday the missing will stop and we will be reunited with our lovelies… for now we miss, we cry, we hurt, we break, we move, we stop, we breathe and we grieve…


2 thoughts on “Where did all the spunky go?

  1. You have an amazing gift to connect. The raw honesty and self awareness you write in each blog is more than I let myself feel in a year


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