Posted by: ButterflyMoms | June 22, 2010

Four Years….

Our Beautiful Niece Mandy Loving Our Angel...when Sophia died all three older nieces got meaningful Sophia tattoos. That is how much they love our little girl! WE LOVE YOU 🙂 MANDY, 🙂 JAMIE and 🙂 EMILY! SOOO MUCH!

Four years ago today about an hour ago I ran into the living room following the nanny’s screams. When I got to Sophia her mouth was already blue….I panicked…I tried giving CPR…I called 911…I screamed for them to come save my baby!…I never thought my beautiful sweet baby girl would DIE! She did. 😦 THE world STOPPED. I wanted to RIP OUT OF MY SKIN! How could this happen?!!! Not my baby!!!!!!! WHY A BABY!? WHY!!! (breathe)(breathe)(breathe)(breathe)(breathe)(breathe)(breathe)(breathe)(breathe) (breathe)(breathe)(breathe)(breathe) (breathe)(breathe)(breathe) (breathe)(breathe)(breathe)(breathe)(breathe) (breathe)

I did not want to go to sleep the day Sophia died because I knew when I awoke I would think it was all an absurd dream and then what really happened would wash over me. The pain would strike again as if for the first time. Ohhhhhh, the vulnerability and rawness of a parent’s heart….AHHHHHHHH! At 5am I was woken up by words coming through me so strong that I knew I had to write them down immediately. These are the words I spoke at the funeral. These are the words I gift to you below. It was the first time I let the universe flow through me unblocked. Now when I write the blog I do the same thing. I just let it flow because it feels so good!

I am totally open and raw today. I am safe. I appreciate sharing this journey with you, more than you may ever know! I hope that once you pass the sadness (like Doug and I have done – most of the time ;)) that you will use this to live your life more fully, with more meaning, with less “STUFF” and “MORE” connection to people, animals, places and activities that FILL YOUR SOUL! I LOVE YOU FOR READING THIS! THANK YOU! WHAT AN HONOR!


Our Sophia's Christening with her WONDERFUL Godparents Denise and Claud (in every photo that day light was shining on Sophia's face!)

A Mother’s Letter to the community that mourns Sophia…

Sophia June-Raquel Salomao Schmidt
May 12, 2005 – June 22, 2006

My Dearest, Dearest Friends,

We have all been around long enough to know that life sometimes turns in a way that we did not expect. If we stop and listen to the “pulse” we find that these are challenging times for the people of our planet. I believe the only hope is our AWAKENING. The world’s goodness puts angels among us to guide us back to LOVE. No matter how much pain/disappointment you have had in your life, deeply remember to always come back to LOVE.

Sophia was LOVE! The only difference between Sophia and us was that she knew nothing else. The more I reflect on the last 13 months, “our lucky 13”, the more I realize that I, and all the people she crossed paths with, were witnessing an angel among us. Just look at her photos, you see it.


Her only “weapon” was her smile and the exuberance you could see in her face. Her first word was in sign language. She creatively created her own sign from the standard words for “drink” and “milk”. Her first spoken word was “Da-da” and she would occasionally say “Hi” and wave at you. At first we thought it was a coincidence, but when several people said she did it for them too we were dumbfounded (and delighted!). Our Sophia, despite most of the things “experts” said was a VERY smart little girl. Just a couple of weeks ago she delighted us with her ability to overcome her low muscle tone and sit up from a lying position with such exuberance it would make the most burly man start clapping with glee. Pure LOVE. She just took your breath away and the next time you took in a breath, it filled you with an incredible sense of peace. Peace.

It all sounds “perfect” but I have a little secret. One that I hate to admit but maybe it will serve as an example to others. When Sophia was born, Doug and I did not take it very well. We were expecting another perfectly healthy baby. We had no idea she had Down Syndrome. At first we were not prepared to see past it. Sometimes in life beautiful things come to us but because we were looking for it in a different form, we don’t realize what we have.

We are all deeply saddened by the loss of such a beautiful person. We all wish she could have stayed with us, even a moment longer. As a mother, I can’t tell you how much I long to snuggle my face in her neck and just kiss her and kiss her and kiss her but….BECAUSE OF SOPHIA…her father and I have a deeper relationship
Because of Sophia our family is more closely knit
Because of Sophia several professionals have been so inspired that they have made life-changing decisions, which will deeply affect the lives of other children
Because of Sophia we have gotten to deeply know and be-friend magical people
Because of Sophia our children and family are more deeply respectful of people with special needs
Because of Sophia one young troubled girl has found inspiration and gone from flunking to being an A and B student.
Because of Sophia, our relationships are more “real”, life is more “real”.
Because of Sophia, the world is a better place.

If you are here, if you can hear my words, you have been touched by Sophia.  I beg of you not to let my little girl’s life be in vain. I beg of you to take Sophia’s life as a beacon for how to be ALIVE, AWAKE and BRAVE in your own life. Be in the moment, even when it’s “icky” or not pretty. Life’s most profound and meaningful shifts usually come after such deeply painful experiences. Make your community the best it can be! Live life NOW, you can always be “busy” later. Our collective actions will decide whether this is a tragedy or not. I ask that you go and do something special for someone else, “pay it forward”.

I am and will always be Sophia’s mommy and because of Sophia I am a better person.

Sophia, Sophalicious, Sopiah, Soph-Soph, Sophie, bebe….eu adoro-te! I adore you!

Sophia’s Mother


Last night I stayed up ALL night long doing the video for the Oprah Show. There were a whole lot of bumps but I finished!!!! I had to finish for my Sophia. It’s one of the only ways I can still be her mommy! 🙂 It was a lesson in letting go of my expectations and embracing the lesson of what is.

I had amazing little angels popping in throughout the process! People have been offering answers to the bumps throughout. One ButterflyMommy offered me her camcorder (as did three other ButterflyDaddies). Another ButterflyDaddy let me use his photography studio and filmed me there for two hours! Yesterday a ButterflyMommy offered to watch my girls for three hours so I could work. Another ButterflyMommy invited me over so she could help me. She stayed by my side from 4:00pm to 3:3am!!!! I was finally done just after 6:00am. I downloaded the video but I guess it takes many hours for them to review. Our goal is still to play with the magic and see (for shits and giggles) if we can get over 2,000,000 in by Saturday night! One good thing is that you can vote more than once (it’s even legal! 😉 ) Please make is a special goal within the next four days to vote many times and PLEASE let others know too! I have a feeling we can really do this! Are you with me? 🙂 Will you please help me reach out to my little girl the only way I know how from planet earth? Let’s start a ButterflyMoms Movement of LOVE!!!


Great big hugs,


🙂 (Breathing more than usual today – it’s definitely a nap day!!!!!)


  1. We are with you today and always and I loved holding Sophia when she was here physically she gave me peace and prepared me for my Emily. Sorry we didn’t get to see you before you went to Portugal. I don’t totally understand what it’s like to lose a child but our 10 week old twins who passed in December, one of them passed of down syndrome and I immediately thought of you all. Again Maria (and Doug) you are true inspirations to Gary, Emily and I. “Rarely do members of the same family grow up under the same roof”. We love you and share your day today with SOPHIA’S LOVE…your friend always…Janelle

  2. Thanks for sharing. I love you very much.

  3. You are brave, beautiful and brilliant! Your life is a celebration of her life, and you should be proud.

  4. Yo are a beautiful writer and sooo inspirational! Good luck with everything

  5. I am so moved by this today. Ww had spoken about Sophia but this touched me so deeply. xo

  6. Praying to the family

  7. Dear Maria,
    You have tremendous courage, strength and so much love to offer. You touch many many lives with your story about the loss of your Beloved Sophia. As I read your story, I sit here crying, tears of sadness for your loss yet knowing that Sophia touched many many lives in her short Earth Walk that she shared with you and loved ones, I am honored and blessed to know you and I support you and Butterflymom’s, more than ever now. I love you Mariaaaaaaaaaaaa:)

  8. Mariaaa…you are so brave and so special!

  9. Thank you for sharing your story that I cannot even imagine.How you have taken such sadness and loss and turned it into a positive.I do believe in angels.Thank you Sophia.I support Butterflymoms.

  10. I can’t imagine how difficult all of this must be. Your strength is inspiring. I hope we all share your reserve at out worst time. `

  11. Very touching an beautiful I AM TRULY SORRY FOR YOUR FAMILIES LOSS.

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