Looking back at this year leaves me at a loss for words. How did our first child, that we prayed so hard to conceive, get chosen for such a hard year? This year was one we could have never anticipated, expected, or prepared for in anyway. Sometimes, it still feels like a nightmare and we wish we could wake up and Gwen would be standing in her crib and saying “mama and dada.” Sadly, the road ahead will most likely bring more sadness and tears with Gwen having a diagnosis of progressive neurogenerative disease. We have seen Gwen decline this year (loss of ability to swallow liquids, inability to sustain her own hydration, increased tension in her arms and legs, and lately she is beginning to show increased difficulty with breathing). The holidays and end of 2015 have brought some reflection for Mark and me.
Recently, we were talking and questioning if Gwen was an earthly angel that was here to serve some mission and would return to Heaven once her mission was complete. Gwen has forever changed us as people and we often hear comments from other people that Gwen has touched them or changed them for the better in the way they parent, pray, love, appreciate life, etc. Maybe she is an earthly angel living amongst us? Ironically enough, Mark, Gwen and I went for Mexican food a couple days ago. It was raining outside so Mark dropped Gwen and I off at the door of the restaurant. An older gentleman immediately walked ahead of me so he could open the door for us. I thanked him for his kind gesture. He responded, “I am a grandpa so I understand what it is like to have your hands full. Besides, it looks like you are holding an angel.”
We needed that ending to an incredibly painful year. We feel Gwen’s angelic presence but now we know that others can sense it, too.