Friday, August 20, 2010
This is my son, Gabriel. Four years old, and full of energy, Gabriel has been Isaac’s best friend and constant companion during the long journey our family has be on since Isaac’s diagnosis. I wanted to write a quick post about him today because he often gets pushed aside when we are at Isaac Foundation events and, at times, it’s tough to see.
When Isaac was diagnosed, we were told that 1 in 4 of our children would suffer from the same disease. Trouble was, we were already 7 months pregnant with Gabe when we got this news. After two tense months of waiting and hoping, we got the news that Gabriel was healthy and didn’t suffer from MPS VI.
By nature, Gabriel has never wanted to be front and centre whenever people are around. When the boys are giving their daily concerts in the living room, Gabe never wants to be John Mayer - he’s more then happy to be Steve Jordan (or, at times, Pino Pallidino). But, truth be told, it’s Gabriel - not Isaac - that wants to be a Rock Star and follow in his hero’s footsteps. Isaac, on the other hand, wants to be a DJ and we’ve spent countless afternoons listening to the boys plan their future collaborations together.
In public, Gabriel is shy and reserved, often using Isaac as his official spokesperson. But if we’ve learned anything through the experiences that we’ve had together as a family, it’s that Gabriel takes everything in - he sees, hears, and feels exactly like the rest of us. During our visits with John Mayer and Roy Halladay, Gabriel doesn’t feel much like speaking. Last week, he did summon the courage to give John a big hug, which was a big step for our shy boy! However, when we get back in the car, he can’t stop talking about how excited he was and wondering “when we’ll get to see John Mayer again!”
At Isaac’s school, where they constantly run fundraisers in support of The Isaac Foundation and our search for a cure, the kids always walk by Isaac with a high-five, a “Hi Isaac!”, or drop over for a hug. Often times, Gabriel gets left behind and I struggle with how to handle things. But Gabe is resilient, and it doesn’t seem to bother him. I think this quality in Gabriel, wanting the best for his brother but not wanting anything for himself, is what endears me to him and his personality that much more. I think it’s ME that struggles most when I see him being ignored, and I think I just have to learn to adapt to it.
Though quiet, Gabriel has been the perfect friend for Isaac during some difficult times. They spend each week at the hospital together, often snuggled up in the hospital chair as Isaac receives his enzyme infusion. They share a bed in their “big boy room”, and one of my greatest joys is listening to them as they lay in bed and chat until they are tired enough to fall asleep. I hear the sweetest things they say to each other and, listening to them late into the evening, I just know everything will be OK in our lives because we all have each other.
Thanks again for your support,