Face of hope

Face of hope
Courtesy: TIffany Kay Photography

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Angels Among Us

Being Catholic, we often talk of Saints and Angels.... we learn about our Guardian Angels as young children .... we talk about God and Angels in heaven... and the list goes on.  Angels are just something that is inately part of our lives from a very young age.  This has been an important part of our spiritual growth .. knowing these angels are around us.. helping us in hard times.. protecting us in strife... and helping us each day to do God's will.

But I think I have also witnessed angels here on Earth.  Angels who help Meagan. Everyday angels who are wise beyond their years, mature beyond what they should be, and so loving, it almost makes my heart hurt to watch them. These angels are around us all the time... and sometimes, they are not angelic.  But nonetheless, they are angels.  I am not speaking of an amazing doctor we have met....a top of the line specialist... or a highly educated therapist.  The combined age of these angels is only a mere 17 ... I, of course, am speaking of Meagan's sisters. 

My other daughters should only have to worry about what doll they will play with, where their pretend cars are driving that day, or how fast they can ride their bike down the driveway to give me a heart attack.  They go out of their way, however, to include Meagan in everything.  If they play with dolls, they name the dolls Meagan ... if they are driving cars, they line them up and ask Meagan if she likes all the colors put together.  If they are riding their bikes, they ask me to hold Meagan in a way she can see them - almost like they are more proud if Meagan sees them do something than anyone else in the world.

Meagan's condition leaves her sisters often worrying about things they can't possibly comprehend yet and leaves them in an awkward place of daily wondering about any aspect of closure or firm prognosis.  I am often asked by them "Mom, when will she smile at me?" ... "Mommy, is she going to sit up soon?" ... "Mommy, will she be able to walk next year?"  I can't give them any answer except the one I know is correct "I don't know...."  You would think this leads to more questions, more uncertainty...but what do they say after I've given them a non-answer? "Ok mom."  As if.. that's it. It's fine. And that's that. 

My four older girls rally and surprise me everyday.  It  has occured to me after many of these sequences of questions that it doesn't matter that they don't understand 'exactly' what Hydrocephalus is ... it doesn't matter that they don't understand the medical terminology... it doesn't matter that they don't understand what exactly Meagan may or may not ever do. None of this changes their love for her.  The way they form around her - almost like the old covered wagons going West.  My girls form a protective circle around Meagan that only a choice and special few will be permitted to enter... if they see fit.

Sometimes, I'll be folding laundry, or doing dishes.. and Meagan will be in her bouncy seat next to me.  The girls will be doing homework, coloring, or playing. From my oldest right down to our 2 year old, not one time when they walk by, do they ever fail to take the time to stop and pay attention to their sister.  Whether it's a verbal "Hello" or a "Are you feeling ok today baby?".... or a hand on her stomach or a gentle rub of her head... they are right there, never letting a moment slip by when they can let Meagan know of their presence.  Often times, I will hear my older two talking two the younger ones... "Oh her head looks good today.. it's so much better than when she was born." ...... "No, don't touch her head like that.. Meagan likes it when you rub her head this way...." 

People always tell me Meagan is such an angel.. .. peaceful as an angel... .sweet as an angel.... beautiful as an angel.  While the descriptive words may be completely accurate,  I think people miss the bigger picture.  Meagan may be an angelic presence in our life.. but her sisters are the true angels.  They constantly talk to her, rub her head, rub her belly, rub her feet .... sing kids' songs to her ... get down in her face and say "Can you see me Meagan?"  When Meagan is having seizures, the girls don't run scared or walk away.  They come up to Meagan, hold her hands, tell her "It's ok baby."  There are many times I see the older two girls walk over when Meagan is fussy, gently touch her shunt site, and they turn to me and say "It's ok.. it's still squishy mom." These girls are so very immature at times... but they are simultaneously wise beyond their years.  And fearless.  Absolutely fearless. And they are the ones who will look out for her and protect her when Brian and I are no longer able to do so.

While Meagan has certainly blessed our lives in many ways, she is also a lucky one.  She has four very vibrant, very beautiful, very sweet sisters surrounding her everyday.  She will always have support, she will always have protection, and she will always have advocates.  The girls' daily actions and gestures tenderly remind Brian and myself that when given a gift as special as Meagan, we as the parents in this wonderful family get to witness something almost as amazing:    Angels among us.  4 little sweet, sweet angels.... given to us by God so they could help watch over the sweetest angel of all. 


  1. This is beautifully written. Your blog will make
    a wonderful book someday.

  2. Dad - it is very cool. The girls certainly have their "days"... but it's to be expected at their ages, especially with everything going on. Most of the time, they are so good.. we're very lucky! :)

  3. What a beautiful entry. It made me cry.