I never thought in a million years I would be writing the things I have been writing since June 2008! It has been some time since I have posted and I can feel it inside. The FDA has continued to block Duke’s request for a trial and we have been so tied up with foundation stuff, fundraising stuff, football stuff, baseball stuff, cheerleading stuff, and the normal day life stuff that I have missed writing my thoughts out on a regular basis. I will be honest; I never thought I would ever have a Plan B in life forced on me. We all have visions of a normal family life and quite frankly, I thought once my youngest were in kindergarten, life would get so much easier. I never thought Plan B would include a gut wrenching feeling everyday Gabe gets off the bus and the telling moment of what card he turned that day…Blue, Purple, RED??? His teachers are angels sent from heaven and they have the patience of a saint but Plan A is where we should be, not Plan B! I coach my children in all of their sports and I am so fortunate to be part of great coaching staffs who have all adopted Gabe for the season including patches on jerseys, stickers on helmets, honorary team jersey for Gabe, etc. I have said it before but my kids will be better people because of Gabe and for that I feel honored. Turner (my 9 year old) told me the other day that when he runs the ball in a football game, he is running for Gabe because he knows Gabe can barely run. He told me whenever he scores a touchdown; he is doing it because Gabe will not! I will tell you that Plan B SUCKS but my children are better because of it! Turner gets home after Gabe every day and the first thing he asks every day when he walks through the door is did Gabe turn his card and the second thing is did any one pick on Gabe??? WOW!!! What a great big brother! Cooper carries Gabe’s backpack to his class every morning and off the bus everyday because Gabe struggles with it and other kids are starting to see this and act on it.
We are so fortunate to have incredible friends whose children are trying to help with Plan B! Chase Carbonie decided that instead of birthday presents in October, he would ask everyone to donate his present money to Hope for Gabe. He contacted all of his friends and this caught on rather quickly with many of Chase and Turner’s friends. Conner and Aleigh Grace Griffin (no relation) decided that they did not want presents and asked everyone to donate their present money to Hope for Gabe. I can tell you at that age I wanted my presents!!! THESE KIDS ARE 9 AND 10 YEARS OLD!!!!! Are you kidding me???!!! Gabe is having a positive influence on kids that are twice his age!
Though Gabe is having an incredible impact on the lives of so many people that don’t know him or are to young to truly understand what is happening with Gabe, I want to share something with each of you. You may have already read something like this, but I believe it is important to share and I have tweaked it a bit. Think about scheduling the perfect vacation for a long time and you depart for the vacation of a lifetime and something out of your control changes everything and you lose your money, your plans fall through, you did not take out the insurance for the trip, and you will now never see the place you saved a lifetime to see! Now picture that as your child and their life…Plan B SUCKS. Whenever I get down, which is very often, I read something my incredible wife gave me right after we found out Gabe had a terminal disease. I want to share this with you as it is similar to what I mentioned above but I believe it will bring HOPE to those reading this entry that are in need of HOPE! May God bless you and give you the strength to deal with Plan B in Life if you are dealt those cards! See below:
Welcome to Holland
When you are going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, Michelangelo’s David, a gondola ride in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there has been a change in the flightplan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It’s just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It is just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills; Holland has tulips; Holland even has Rembrandts.
Everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
The pain of that will never ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely, things about Holland.
I HOPE this inspired someone out there to accept their Plan B or to understand that life can deliver some very difficult situations but at the end of the day, for me, Plan B includes my son Gabe and I would not change it for any plan that did not include him! It is tough to adapt to Plan B but at least I have my Gabe! Sure I would want him 100% healthy but if I had a choice of a normal life without Gabe or a Plan B with Gabe and his struggles, bring Plan B on all day long! Thanks for all the support! Gabe’s Daddy