Or rather, the Internet has been Completely Silent. Fine, I get it. You do not come here for product reviews. Consider that idea trashed. (I got one comment on that post while writing this one, yay! I'll revise that to almost completely silent.)
Why do you come here? Why do any of us "mommybloggers" do this? Why do we expose (exploit?) our families online? For fun? For profit? For our egos?
One of the things that people always say is that it's "all about the community." But it's hard to understand, if you've never been touched by that community, how it functions.
I'm sad to report that today I have a perfect example. Another "mommyblogger" - one I didn't read before, actually, has experienced the most horrible loss I can imagine. Her daughter Maddie died, completely unexpectedly. I'm not going to write the details because it's not my story. Her site is slammed, so if you want to know what happened, and you click through and you don't get anywhere, it's because thousands of people all over the world are wanting to know, too, and are reaching out to her, and are caring about her, and her husband, and their family. Try Googling "the Sphors are multiplying" and looking at the cached result, if the links I've provided don't work.
The "Momosphere" or the "mommyblogging community" has raised over $13,000 for the March of Dimes, in less than a day, in Madeline's memory. (You can click the link if you wish to donate in Maddie's memory too). On Facebook and Twitter people are brainstorming other ways to help and show support. It's hard when someone lives far away to "be there" for them, but the "mommybloggers" are trying. Just like we're trying with Stellan (see sidebar).
That, my friends, is part of the reason why we do this. Because when another member of this weird, vast, universal sisterhood of mothers is in a crisis we can open our hearts and our wallets, and we can do something REAL and TANGIBLE to try to ease the unspeakable pain that any of us could find ourselves unexpectedly facing. We may argue about breast vs. bottle, about staying home vs. working, and so on, but when it really comes down to it, we care about each other. We care about each others' families. We recognize the universality of our experiences. We are really a part of each others' lives, just as much as we would be if we went to the same church or joined the same MOMS Club.
I hope that Madeline's parents can sleep a little easier tonight, knowing that they matter to so many people. I hope that they are comforted, knowing that so many people are grieving with them, people who never had a chance to meet their baby girl. I hope they know that we're all holding our kids a little tighter tonight and thinking of them, with tears in our eyes.
Rest in peace, little Maddie.