This will be my last post, at least for a while. ThingsMyDaughterTaughtMe is going on hiatus, but before I sign off, I wanted to express my gratitude to each of you.
I started this blog to share different aspects of our life as a family, including experiences, everyday activities, and some lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Posting has allowed me to reflect on the most intense events of Gabriella’s early days, from her birth through her dehydration to the operations to remove cataracts and a recurring tumor. I recalled her diagnosis at six months and our euphoria when it turned out to be inaccurate. I related other moments of joy, including the Level Two ultrasound that proved our son was unaffected by his sister’s syndrome. Reliving these experiences stirred old anxieties, but also brought back feelings of relief and even nostalgia.
I recorded some of our routines, from the stories-and-prayers-and-whistling that mark every bedtime in our house, to the sleepless nights that follow, punctuated by the beep-be-beep-beeping of Gabriella’s pulse oximeter.
I told about some marvelous devices that have bolstered our daughter’s health and made our lives easier, as well as the challenges we’ve faced several times when the power went out.
I’ve reflected on our adventures in travel, hopeful that our successes and our course-corrections might inspire others to take similar risks. Another post highlighted the sensory-friendly showings that have become more prevalent these days, a welcome and welcoming innovation for families like ours.
I described things that bring our daughter joy, Disney World and animals and swimming and being in motion, and the ways she expresses her elation. One recent post also shared my euphoria when she clicks and cries ‘Woo-ee!’
Several posts described my own faith journey, from the crisis I faced after Gabriella’s birth through our life-changing visit to Lourdes. That’s a story that remains incomplete, but writing about it helped me understand it better myself.
And I’ve celebrated the amazing people in our lives, family members and friends and professionals and the unique community surrounding us. I chronicled her days in Early Intervention and Lakeview School, including the need for brute advocacy against the bureaucracies out there, and her more recent adaptation into her day program at Ladacin. I even offered suggestions for the special education teachers of tomorrow, based on our experiences with some great teachers of today.
Much of this content has comprised my perspectives on life with Gabriella, but one week our son Alexander wrote a popular guest post. And several times I’ve given due praise to the remarkable woman with whom I share every day of this journey, my wife and Gabriella’s mom Lisa.
Several posts have gathered insights I thought worth sharing, thoughts on how being Gabriella’s dad has made me a better leader, a better writer, a better man. I pondered questions I’ve considered for twenty-four years, including ‘Why her?’ and ‘What must it be like to be Gabriella?’
Throughout these past eighteen months, one thing has been consistent: my amazing readers. Some of you have been here since that very first post about communion dresses, others found the blog in recent weeks. Whether you came only once or check in every week, I can say only Thank you. Thanks for the chance to share my feelings in a new way. Thank you for allowing me to reconnect with the memories.
As I said at the top of this post, I am putting the blog on hiatus. This has been a difficult decision, but I’ve covered the core of our family’s history, the essence of our daily lives, and more than enough ‘wisdom’. I’d rather stop posting before Things becomes derivative. If something changes and I have a new series of stories to tell, I may well resume this blog (and those of you who remain on the email distribution will receive a notice just as you have until now).
In any event, thank you, thank you, thank you.