Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Every Adversity Carries With It ...

Jimmy's pre-school teacher at Creative Kids (great place, btw) is organizing a fundraiser this Saturday for Canuck Place (details here).  To garner support for the event, the local newspaper was contacted, and a reporter called us to collect information to run a story about Gabrielle (here it is).

Quite truthfully, the thought of our story being published in the local newspaper brought mixed feelings: we knew the cause was good and worth publicizing, but we didn't want to sensationalize our lives. We've known this blog is as public as it gets, but we have always imagined only friends and family reading it. We started stressing about our lives and struggles with Gabrielle becoming street corner news.

Tracy, the reporter, was sensitive to our concerns. She was very patient too when we called back a couple of times just to double-check: "Like are you sure it's written alright?"

Then we snapped out of it.

We had to reframe the whole thing.

Sure we could worry about what others might think, but we would be thinking those thoughts at the expense of celebrating Gabrielle's spot in the limelight.

We could dwell on how Gabrielle won't ever make the newspaper for soccer accolades and drama performances, or we could focus on her amazing ability to make people feel and want to be better people.

We could stress about being the family people pity, or we could focus on all the great things Gabrielle helps people learn (and re-learn)... awesome things like being more 'human' and enjoying life.

We could fret about the use of words like "terminal" in the article, or we could stand proud as parents knowing Gabrielle's story will help some readers reflect on what they have to be grateful for... like how many kids make people do that?!

In sum, Amy and I reminded ourselves that the newspaper story wasn't about us. It was about Gabrielle. It was her story.

We reminded ourselves that our lives aren't just about us. Our lives involve other people. Directly and indirectly. For better and for worse.

But the cool thing is that we can control the "for better or for worse" part because we can view things in more than one way.

Everything can be viewed in more than one way, and, to a degree, we can choose which way we want to look at things.

We can view struggles as opportunities to become stronger and wiser ... if we set that as a goal, and if we open our minds and hearts to different kinds of strength and wisdom.

And we can use our strength and wisdom to make other people stronger and wiser ... if we choose to set that as our task, and open ourselves up to it too.

Or we can wallow in despair and indulge ourselves in piteous thoughts.

Every adversity carries with it the seed of equal or greater benefit.

Life becomes more rich and more meaningful when you pause to realize things like these.

This is why we're so grateful to have Gabrielle in our lives.


  1. Well said, I couldn't agree more! Gabrielle, you have an amazing message to send to everyone who knows you! I am also very grateful to have you in my life!
    Love you sweety! xoxo

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. Your family is very strong and inspiring. We think of you often. Sandi (Sofie and Raquel's mom for Laronde) I'm glad you have shared. Gabrielle is sooooo cute :)

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. Reading your blogs I have learned alot about life. Gabrielle is so blessed to have such amazing parents in her life:) Thank you for changing my view on life and helping me become a stronger person.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it's been a pleasure seeing you all around Canuck Place. I've been a volunteer there for 7 years and it's stories like this that make it why we continue going back. Can't wait to see you guys there again.

  5. I love the photo in the news article, the way Gabrielle is looking at you, Amy, is so precious.

    And maybe it's just the light, but Mickey looks like he has chocolate round his face lol, that's cute!
    Elena xx

  6. Thanks everyone for the awesome comments – happy to hear they resonated with you if only a little.

    @ Dianna, looking forward to seeing you at Canuck Place again too.

    @ Elena, it wouldn't surprise me if Micky had chocolate around his face (ha ha).