“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light”
The Get Well Gabby Book drive is underway and it’s fantastic to see the books coming in. The idea of people taking a few minutes of their time to help bring a child even a few months of peace warms my heart.
The above quote should be the motto of the book drive. When Gabby was diagnosed and fighting it was just three short months from the time they told us she was dying quickly until she lost her fight with cancer. I know how dark it became for me. I wanted the world to hurt, I wanted everyone to “ get it” I even wrote one time about one thing I said in the pediatric intensive care unit to Carolynn.
Gabby was in a coma, We were told she had minutes to no longer than days to live. It was late, it was quiet. I looked at my baby as she lay in the hospital bed. I ran my hand through what was left of her golden hair. I looked up at Carolynn and said” I would trade everyone’s life in this hospital, including yours and mine for her to live” It was a truly evil thought , and to this day I feel guilty. I even once had a family member throw that comment up in my face. Here’s the thing, I said it, I wrote about it and you know what if she was still here fighting the thing that scares me the most is; I would still feel the same way. I know it wasn’t a rational statement. A statement from a grieving father, the bargaining stages of grieve.
As parents we are protectors, It’s our job to get our children to adulthood. At that moment and every day since she was diagnosed (May31st, 2011) I live with the fact that I couldn’t do my job. Don’t get me wrong I realize I couldn’t stop Gabby from getting cancer; I couldn’t protect her from that. However that doesn’t make it any easier. We hurt when our children hurt, we cry when our children cry and we do in a sense die when our children die. My other daughters, my wife and I all died a little inside the day Gabby took her last breath.
Anger. Yes I’m Angry; here is a reason I have never shared with anyone. There are some days I feel so guilty for my anger. This guilt comes from the anger I direct at one person. Gabby. Yes I am angry at my five year old daughter who passed away from cancer. I am angry at a little girl who never hurt a fly because she isn’t here anymore. Gabby’s life was stolen, her future was burned down, But in my messed up mind irrationality sneaks it’s ugly head in and I hear myself say “ But at least it’s over for her.” Her sisters were 7 and 9 at the time, for the rest of their lives they have to deal with the pain of losing their sister. Carolynn and I still think daily about Gabby, I catch myself probably about 50-100 times a day “ remembering” something about her and it pisses me off. F@#king Cancer! It takes someone you love and keeps f@#king attacking, now my family has to live with the battle against cancer for the rest of our hopefully long lives.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, I appreciate all the well wishes and kind words, the prayers and positive energy and feel so good hearing all the positive thoughts you all want to share, but that isn’t why I write these things, It isn’t about me, or telling me “ don’t feel guilty”, I feel sorry for you”, Appreciate what you have”. I don’t want anyone reading this to feel offended or think I don’t appreciate that. However, words and positive energy isn’t the only thing to help us at The Get Well Gabby Foundation make a difference. Help us right now by going to Amazon and having new children’s books for ages 0-18 sent directly to the Foundation. We will make sure they get to the hospitals that need them.
One last thing before I go. Let’s call it a walk a minute in their shoes exercise. I shared how Gabby’s fight turned everything so dark for me, now lets think of the other side. Close your eyes, remember when your were a little child, 5 years old, the world was filled with wonder, you were going to do great things, fly, go to space, play in a band. One day you were feeling a little weird, funny, your balance (a word you didn’t even understand) was off. Your mom takes you to the doctors to have them put a scary needle in your arm and take out blood. You screamed out, cried, but mommy said it would be okay. Afterwards since you were so brave you got some toy erasers and were allowed to eat a whole Sunday with fudge and everything at McDonalds… Life was good. But you still felt weird, tired, and icky. Mom and Dad take you to a huge hospital in a huge city. On the car ride dad promises you after the hospital visit we will go to Chucky Cheese just like you have asked the last week ( little do you know you’ll never step foot inside a Chucky Cheese again). You walk into the hospital (two days later you’ll never walk unassisted again) you have to stay at the hospital overnight. It’s fun, a sleepover, you get to eat late at night and watch TV in bed. The next day you have another test, they give you a scary shot that makes you feel silly, You fall asleep and wonder why does daddy and mommy look like they are crying?
You wake up, everything is great, you feel silly. Two grown ups come in, they ask Mom and Dad to sit down… Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on, You can’t wait to tell your sisters about this adventure….. The world is good…
Gabby died three months later
Please donate a new book today! Now, It won’t take more than 10 minutes, go to Amazon Smile, choose the Get Well Gabby Foundation as your foundation choice and order a book. Mail it directly to the foundation. By doing it through Amazon Smile, the foundation will get a percentage back for everything ordered and we can use that to order more books. If you would rather, send money or gift cards to The Get Well Gabby Foundation, PO Box 555 Ocean View, DE 19970 so we can purchase more books. Please make a difference even if it’s just one child. Any difference is all the difference that matters!
Believe things will always get better
Believe a light in a sick child’s life is right around the corner
Believe you can make that possible