Isabella Grace-ious

Isabella Grace
The story of the girl who changes my life

Monday, May 24, 2010

Isabella's Journey

One day when Isabella was about 2 I went to an antique shop with my mother-in-law. I really didn't even feel like going, as I was just coming to grips with the idea that my daughter may have a "disablitity" (altho i prefer to call her "differently abled as opposed to "disabled")... anyhow, my mother in law, Brenda, convinced me to go, as it is a family ritual of sorts to go antiquing every August when her sister is in town for a week.

So it is really at that antique store where my outlook on life (both my own and that of my daughter) changed forever.

Rewind 1 day. We are at dinner at my inlaws when I notice that Brenda seems deep in thought. She was with me a few days prior when we were at the neurologist with Bella, and I know that she was upset also about that the neurologist confirmed my dreaded thoughts that something might be wrong with my daughter. But the doctor took it one step further and pointed out some facial features of Bella's that made her think that whatever she was "suffering from" has "genetic components." Facial features including a low nasal bridge and wider set eyes with an epicanthal fold. "Not too predominant" she says "but visable nonetheless"... While I was focused on internalizing and accepting this news, Brenda seemed hell bent on proving it wrong. I had already gone through my denial phase, but Brenda's was just beginning.

So back to dinner at the inlaws. Brenda seemed a little quiet, and finally admitted that after the appointment with the neurologist, she went home and got out all of her old family photo albums, looking for people in the family with eyes like Isabella's. I can't say I blamed her because to this day every time I see a picture of any of my family, I search for Isabella's face. And usually I find it.

It was during the search that Brenda came across an old birthday card her own mother had given her years before she died. Brenda opened it and out fell a folded and forgotten twenty dollar bill.

"I just felt like maybe my mom was trying to tell me something" Brenda told me... "If I hadn't been searching for signs that Isabella would be okay, I never would have found that twenty"

Okay, so fast forward to the antique shop the next day. I was feeling pretty depressed, and as I pushed Isabella's stroller into the store I wanted nothing more than to turn around and drive home to climb in bed with my baby and cry. But tradition is tradition, and what would the end of summer be without some great finds at the antique store with the family, so onward I went.

In the corner of the store something pink and ruffley caught my eye. (Mothers of little girls everywhere can relate I'm sure) I walked over to it and saw that it was a little pink purse with brown etching of a picure of a little girl on it. But it wasn't just a purse, inside was an umbrella, small and compact with ruffles everywhere. I decided it was the perfect find, and even though it was expensive for an umbrella I went up to the cash register to buy it. When I went to pay, however, the lady told me they only took cash, of which i had none (like always...i'm a debit kind of girl) so Brenda said she would buy it for Isabella.

She pulled out her wallet and realized that the only cash she had was the folded twenty from her mom's card. I could see the tears in her eyes as she handed the money to the register lady, and she looked at Isabella and said "Isabella, that was a gift from your great grandmother!"

It was really a beautiful moment, and when we walked outside I was excited to open the umbrella and see what it really looked like (since i have to admit i was too scared of having any more bad things happen by opening it in the shop... supersticious or not!) I took the umbrella out of the bag and slowly popped it open... and it was beautiful. Which is weird to say about an umbrella but if you saw it you would understand. When I was closing it back up I looked more closely at the edges of the umbrella where I saw a design. Goosebumps ran up and down my arms as I realized that it wasn't just a design it was words: Isabella's Journey

I couldn't help it. I started bawling. My family must have thought I was nuts. I showed Brenda what it said and she started crying too. And as I folded up the umbrella and went to velcro the strap, it too said "Isabella's Journey" on it. And it was then I realized that everything was going to be just fine. Because even if Isabella was standing in a rain storm, she would have the most beautiful pink ruffles keeping her dry.

And it isn't about what I want for my child. Those are MY dreams for her. But it isn't my life. I am just lucky enough to be her mother. It's Isabella's Journey.


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