Saturday, July 30, 2011

Journeys and Angels

We were walking on the beach a few days back – the whole family, which is sooo cool – and Amy had Gabrielle in her snuggly up on her chest, with her oxygen pack on her back. It was a busy night and we passed lots and lots of people, and Amy noticed several people wince as they passed Gabrielle with all her tubes taped to her cyclosporine face.

But Amy said the neatest thing, "You know, I love showing her off. I love seeing people twist their faces when they look at her. It's like they don't get it, like they're walking asleep." And it's so true.

I remember when we first learned of Gabrielle's diagnosis, it took us a while before we could 'bring' ourselves to look at the pictures of I-Cell children. I know, it's horrible to admit, but it's the truth, and other I-Cell parents assured us that it took them some time too. The fact of the matter is, though, that we had to "bring" our "selves" to look at the pictures of the I-Cell children, which in and of itself, implies a journey. Where did we go? What did we see? What did we learn?

It's amazing, really, when I think about it, that it took us so long to adjust to the realities Gabrielle forced us to confront. And make no mistake, we're still adjusting. But, when Amy said to me the other day, "How can it be that amidst all this, I'm the happiest I've been in my life?" I couldn't help but think it's because Gabrielle's helped us realize what matters most in life. It's been a long, long journey that she's "brought" us on, no doubt! But on this journey our "selves" have awoken to so many incredible wonders and beatitudes, that sometimes we take them for granted.

And that evening on the beach, with Gabrielle looking out at the world, strapped into Amy's chest for everyone to see walking, with her arms wide out, makes me think of the word 'angel,' and how it comes from the Greek word "angelos," which means "messenger, one that announces," and how all the winces and face-twists we see are actually reminders of everything we've learned and continue to learn from life with Gabrielle, and how lucky we are to be hosts to this little girl with the most amazing message anyone could possibly receive.


  1. That is so beautiful Reagan. The posts you and Amy write are sermons that stay with me and make me look at myself and the way I view my life and the world around me.
    Rebecca Bigelow

  2. No one knows the depth of journey you've been on. Strangers don't understand just how far you've come to be able to take Gabrielle to the beach with you. I'm glad you are doing things like that and you can be so proud of her (and yourselves) for taking it all in stride. She was born to the most perfect family I could ever imagine! You guys rock!! Xoxo

  3. That was well said Regan, and I am so happy that you guys were all able to go out and take that walk together!!!! Thank-you for sharing with us all.