Gabe’s Story

It started as just another typical summer day with all the children enjoying their freedom and the warmth of the summer as they three girls and Gabriel played outside. As the day went on and the temperature increased I suggested that everyone take a break in the air-conditioned house for a while. Everyone came in the house and had lunch and the consensus among the gang was to watch a movie. Not long after the movie started I noticed that Gabriel was not with the girls. I casually looked around the house to see if Gabriel had went to his usual comforting spots. First, I looked around the kitchen and upstairs in his bedroom. NO GABE! I still was still in “look” mode, without the panic. I began to ask the children to look around the other rooms of the house…bathrooms, dining room, living room, office, even the basement. NO GABE! Now I was in “heartbeat-stop” mode. Lastly, I found the laundry room door to the garage open. “OH NO!”, I thought. I was fearful now that Gabriel was now wondering outside without anyone…..alone! AHHHH!

At this point , I called for Stan to help me find Gabe. As he started his search I ran into the garage and saw nothing at first. I was heading out past the overhead garage door, and passing the back of my car went I glanced to the other garage . A flood of feeling engulfed me, as did the tears at the next sight that I saw. My son, was sitting on a bright orange lawn tractor, hands on the steering wheel and intently peering ahead. He sat there as if the tractor was going to take off at any moment. I can’t help to think that this was and analogy of life; sometimes we have all the tools, but they must be empowered by action.

I wish I could have a video replay of how Gabriel had managed to maneuver around the plethora of banker boxes, extra van seat, and trash cans to get on that tractor. This would have been quite a feat, even with C.P. The sight I saw of my son trying to drive a tractor enabled me to trade my anxiety of a lost child for a picture of beauty, at least, beauty to me. I was reminded that even though my son had a body that didn’t allow him to do things exactly like his brother, sisters, and friends, he didn’t have a broken spirit and he desired many of the same things that a typical 16 year old desires. He too wanted to drive! I suppose that since he couldn’t open the car door he found the next best thing: the bright orange tractor.

After being patient with me while I moved the boxes and such, I managed to start the lawn tractor. I move the seat back as far as it could go to accommodate both of us., and off we went zig-zagging through the yard, cul-de-sac, and sidewalk. I held the pedals down as Gabe “steered”. It was quite a ride for both of us. As we were riding the clouds grew in number and eventually it began to sprinkle. When I think back, I think God shed a tear too.

Thank you Erin for all your help along the way! Your diligence with Rising Star and getting the conductive education model from Budapest to our own “backyard” is greatly appreciated. God is good…even when we have some zig-zags.