In a previous post I was challenged to write about the time I lost something. I ended up writing a post about when I lost my first daughter at the age of three. I realize that it was quite personal, and a lot of people might have been put off by such a difficult thing.
Today I was challenged to write about something I had found. I was happy to see this since it allows me to talk about how Angela, my special needs daughter, impacted the lives around her in ways I hope to achieve in my much longer lifetime. I hope that while this post might still be challenging, it can inspire you as well.
We always knew we had a special child, and everyone who ever met her fell in love with her. We would have aides or therapists who had to stop working with her for various reasons still stop by to visit Angela. Her smiles ware infectious, and if you were having a bad day all she had to do was smile and laugh and you would forget about what had you down. She inspired hope and a strength in people. She was a fighter, beating the odds, and it inspired those around her to do the same.
I know I sound like a typical gushing parent. I might sound like someone trying to justify what is a tragedy by saying she had such a large influence on whomever she interacted with. What evidence can I provide to back up such a claim?
When we set up her funeral arrangements we tried to limit the number of calling hours. We were already in a fog and we wanted to begin to pick the pieces sooner rather than later. We went to those first set of hours and people began to wander in. And more came by. And then more. Pretty soon we needed to expand into a second room to handle the over flow. Each and every person made sure to tell us how our daughter had touched their lives in ways they had never imagined. They wanted us to know how lucky we were to have such an amazing girl.
It was then when we truly discovered that Angela’s time with us wasn’t cut tragically short. She had been placed in our care to do her work, and when it was time to go home she left this place, but never left the hearts and minds of the people who needed to see her. We found out we had hosted an angel for three years before she took up her wings again, and I will be ever changed by that.