For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
We found out Sarah was pregnant with our sweet baby on January 30, 2023. Having one miscarriage just months before, we anxiously waited for our first 8-week ultrasound. That first time Maddie showed up on the screen in the OB office, it completely took our breath away. That first heartbeat came with a huge sigh of relief. We were going to have a baby! We took the gender reveal blood test as soon as we could because Sarah couldn’t bear to wait to find out if we were having a boy or girl. We both wanted a girl. Sarah has always told Greg he would be the best girl dad, and she always dreamed of doing her daughter’s hair, and picking out the biggest bows she could find.
At week 13, we heard the word “anencephaly” for the first time. Madison was diagnosed with a birth defect where the upper part of her neural tube failed to close, leaving parts of her skull and brain underdeveloped. Many babies with anencephaly die in the womb, and even if they are born alive, their lifespan is very limited. Our hearts sank when we got the news. Time seemed to stand still. There was never a moment of doubt that we would do everything we could to give her a chance at life. With the love and support of our family, friends, church, and even from some people we didn’t know, we were able to enjoy Maddie’s life starting in the womb. Every kick turned into a way of communication from our daughter. We made memories with her by going to the beach, camping, hiking, going to the zoo, and countless other adventures. Every new activity we acknowledged as her first time doing something. Most importantly, we recognized everything that God was doing, and the generosity toward us through His people. We felt all the prayers for us every day through the peace and grace that God gave us. God had chosen this trial for us, and we chose to put our faith and trust in Him to get us through the hardest time of our life.
On August 12, 2023 at 1:01 a.m., Madison Grace Shively, bravely entered this world weighing 2 pounds 12 ounces and measured 14 inches long. Seeing her react as we tickled her feet and the feeling of her squeeze our fingers are memories that we will hold onto forever. She left this world after 45 minutes, knowing nothing but love from her family and close friends. She never knew a harsh word or a mean look. She passed in the arms of her mother and went straight into the arms of Jesus.
Madison Grace will never be forgotten. Her beautiful memory and precious life moments live on in the hearts of her parents, Greg and Sarah Shively; grandparents, David and Julia Black & Kenneth and Mary Shively; a great-grandfather, Richard Johnson; an aunt, Becky (Andrew) Snavely; two uncles, Ben Black and Chris Shively; and cousins Hudson, Elliot, Payton, & Tessa Snavely.
Visitation will be held Friday, August 18, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes and prior to the service on Saturday from 1:15 p.m. until 1:45 p.m.
A funeral service celebrating the life of Madison Grace Shively will be held Saturday, August 19, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes, Downtown. A private burial will be held in Woodlawn Memorial Park following the service.
Family and friends who are unable to attend the service may view the livestream by clicking on the “WATCH LIVESTREAM” button located on the main obituary page.
We welcome brightly colored flowers to reflect the happiness Maddie’s brief life brought us. We also encourage guests to wear brightly colored attire at the services.
Friends are encouraged to share messages of love and support with Madison Grace’s family by clicking on the button labeled “Leave A Message, Share A Memory” below.