I met Angie when our kids were at Easter Seals. Davin had been receiving therapy services there for a couple of years and one day we found out that his class (that I attended with him) was going to get a new student. A nurse came in and explained that a mom and her little girl were coming to our class and that they had been hurt before. We were not told what the little girl's limitations were, but we wanted to be ready for them and of course, we were curious after having an announcement made in that way. The next week, I met Angie. She was late. She was always late:-) She got there about a half hour after we started and there was this little girl slung over her arm with this long brown hair flowing over to the side. Angie was a young mom and we immediately hit it off.
As we sat side by side in our little class for many weeks, Angie became a close friend of mine. We got all of our kids together outside of Easter Seals. She had two older children and I had three. We developed traditions together. Every time one of us would leave the other's house, we would drive over an egg or tomato and our kids thought this was a hoot.
I got to know this little girl Francis. Francis could not walk or talk or sit up or see or smile. But..you never doubted for one minute that you should love Francis. I watched how Angie took care of her baby girl and how she loved her and I knew that I should love Francis, too. I learned how to hold Francis and where to place my arms around her head. Angie left me in charge while she ran to the store and I begged Francis to be a good girl and not have any seizures while her Mommy was gone because I wasn't so good with seizures;-) She obliged.
Davin loved Francis. Angie loved Davin. I had a friend in this new world of disabilities and therapy and all that it brought with it.
15 years ago, I got a phone call from Angie telling me that Francs had passed away. She was 3 1/2. I told Angie that I would be there the next day. Our family packed up and headed to NJ. As I drove to Angie's house, I cried. I prayed. I wondered what in the world I was going to say to my dear friend who had just lost her perfect, perfect baby girl. When I arrived, Angie told me that I would be going with her over to the funeral home to view Francis' little body. I wondered how in the world I could do that and yet felt so blessed that Angie would have me share such a private and excruciating moment with her and her family.
So, 15 years ago, the day after Easter, we said goodbye to a little girl whose life on earth was short, but whose impact was so big. I learned so much about worth from both Francis and from watching Angie's life. I learned about unconditional love and gained just a little bit more understanding of how unconditional God's love is for me.
Today I remember a little girl who walked into my world slung over her mom's arm.