Abby’s Diary: Love & Grace

I want to tell you about a very special 4 yr. old girl that I am blessed to have in my life, that ever since holding her as an infant, we have shared a very special bond. In fact she is my hero! Her name is Grace and she will turn five on Christmas Eve. In many ways she is like every other 4 year old, in that on occasion she has her melt downs, she can only sit still for so long, and at times she will chat your ear off on a variety of topics all at the same time. That being said, this child has an intuitive, loving, and sensitive nature about her combined with an amazing intelligence, that just blows me away every time I see her.

She is being raised by her grandparents who are dear friends of mine (Laura and Matt) that are very bright and creative people in their own right, but sometimes the things Grace says even blows them away. For example, several weeks back LuLu, her grandma, signed them up for an art class on pointillism. (I’ll spare you the humiliation I had of having to look it up both on how to spell it, and what it means, by telling you it’s a technique of painting in which small dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.) LuLu than says to Grace, “tomorrow we are taking and art class on pointillism do you know what that is?” “Oh yes “responds Grace “that’s when you make pictures with dots!” She’s four for goodness sakes how would she know that?

I asked her yesterday how old she was and her response was “well let’s see today I am four so on Christmas Eve I believe that will make me five!” That’s how she talksJ

Another example of her perceptiveness and how quickly she picks up on things is the running joke I have with her and her real Aunt Amy. I am just a self- designated aunt wanna -be, anything to lay claim to this beautiful, sweet genius! Whenever it’s Grace’s birthday or on occasions when I see her, I always bring her a gift, a trinket, something we can play with together, or make her feel like a big girl. We have had matching big pink watches, I gave her the first Barbie Doll, first pink lipstick and lessons on how to put it on and pout properly, and I pick cool outfits out for her in New York when I go shopping so she is always styling, but the rule is she has to tell Aunt Amy that “Aunt Abby gives the best presents, and Aunt Abby Rocks!!” She thinks it’s funny and can’t wait to call Aunt Amy out. That’s usually when the texts start flying back and forth from Aunt Amy to me and it’s all in fun and for the love of Grace.

The word grace as defined by is the unmerited favor and love of God. It is the influence or spirit of God, operating in humans to regenerate, or strengthen them.

In 2015 when Grace was just two years old, she and LuLu took me to the hospital in a tornado to have a procedure done. The whole story of harrowing weather and our road trip is documented in the book I wrote for her called Love & Grace, but suffice to say that once we arrived and the nurse called me back, when I turned to ask Grace if she would hold my big pink watch, she ran to me calling “Abby” and gave me a big hug and kiss because she knew I was afraid. She called my name ever so softly again the moment I opened my eyes in recovery.

So after meeting with the surgical oncologist on Monday and the plastic surgeon on Tuesday guess who I went to see to make me feel better? I had been collecting my Happy Meal toys all summer in the back seat of my Mini Cooper to give to her next time we met. I had trolls, Barbie mirrors, Minions, and emoji’s. We styled the trolls hair, made faces in the mirror, shared our drinks with the minions, ate lunch, and finished our time together with our traditional pouty pink lip posed photo, and our pledge to tell Aunt Amy how much Aunt Abby Rocks! Later in the afternoon I was sent this picture by LuLu to show me just how much Grace loved me and appreciated even the smallest gesture of kindness, as she placed her minions (Abby & Grace) close to her and her video game. Once again Grace was exactly what I needed to feel better and loved.

The outpouring of love, concern, support, prayers and kindness has been overwhelming in the last week. The prayer warrior team has expanded and I can’t express in words what all this has meant to me. All the effort appears to be working. The oncologist says it’s a Stage 2a melanoma, if the lymph nodes are good surgery may be all that’s needed. We are hoping it takes place as early as next Thursday 8/31. Thank you for my surprise Faith bracelet I wear it daily.

I will close this week with this quote that sums up in a few words what I’ve been trying to say in my book and my year long journey of joy “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or won. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, & gratitude.”

To that I say Amen and I am trying my best to do it every day.

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