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.