Dear Gabby

On Monday, July 10, Super Gabby earned her Angel wings.

Super Gabby was one of our first TinySuperheroes to ever receive a cape, and she was one of the first that I had the privilege of getting to know personally.

For a week now I’ve sat on this trying to figure out how I could possibly express in words what Gabby and all of this means to me. I only hope that in her time on Earth, I was able to properly show her how special I think she is.

Super Gabby was 11 years old and lived her life battling Epilepsy. You can read her original TinySuperheroes story here.

I hesitate to say I am in shock of her death, as I know so many people were so much more intertwined in her life, but Gabby was elemental in the change that TinySuperheroes has had on my heart. She is a part of my daily life even though she probably didn’t know. But I can’t seem to wrap my mind around her being gone.

I can’t even remember how I first met Gabby…can’t recall who introduced me to her or how we met.

I dearly love her mom, Kim, who welcomed me into any situation with open arms. I more recently got to know her dad – Gabby was surrounded by love.

One day I was parking my car and walking into Seattle Children’s Hospital and I distinctly remember wondering how my life got me to this place that I would have the privilege of spending time with Gabby there.

That’s what spending time with Gabby was – a privilege.

I could write about Gabby for hours, but there is one thing that Gabby taught me that I will never. ever. ever. ever. forget.  It changed my heart completely.

On one of my sweet visits with Gabby and Kim in the hospital, I found them working on an art project together. I can’t say this with total certainty, but I want to say they were painting a butterfly. This was early in my TinySuperheroes journey. 

I know that I still have a lifetime of things to learn – but I REALLY didn’t know anything then.

So, in full transparency, I remember wondering why Kim was painting a butterfly with Gabby if Gabby couldn’t physically participate. I ignorantly assumed that if Gabby’s body wasn’t voluntarily participating, this meant Gabby wasn’t present.

I’m not sure I’ve ever made a more inaccurate assumption.

I feel sick to my stomach that this crossed my mind. It is humbling to admit. I’m willing to reveal my own ignorance because it is perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned in the last 4 years.

Gabby (and Kim) taught me how to see people.

Gabby (and Kim) taught me how to see people. Like really see them. You see, when I first met Gabby I saw that she was non verbal and had little control of her body. I assumed she wasn’t present.

Gabby had the grace to teach me that I was wrong.

I feel grateful beyond measure that I was able to learn this early in our friendship because otherwise I would have missed SO MUCH.

Because of Gabby, I know (at least better) how to talk to people.

I know to look them in the eyes even if they don’t look back.

I know to talk to them (not the person with them) even if they don’t talk back.

I know to slow down and learn how they communicate, even if it is different than me.

I know to take the time to get to know them.

I know to never assume anything about anyone. Everyone has a story.

I am forever grateful that she and her mom had the grace to allow me to learn this. I can only imagine how hurtful it must be to be present but not seen.

Gabby was present – it didn’t actually take much to learn that about her. She filled every room with peace. Something I could actually feel. I had the honor of being with her outside of the hospital when things were stable and in the hospital when things were uncertain, but Gabby’s peaceful presence was a constant. 

I would have loved to hear what Gabby had to say in words – I’m confident she has the kindest soul. But what Gabby said just by being her was more than enough.

Gabby – I miss you.  I know your mom, your dad and your whole tribe of people miss you so much that it hurts.

I also know that while your time on earth may be finished, your work here will never be done. You have taught me something that has changed the way I treat people. I don’t know that there is anything more powerful than that.

The ripples of your love will last forever.

We will take care of your mom. She is so strong, just like you.  We will make sure she knows that we all know and remember you. We will hold her close and share sweet stories of the way you loved on all of us. We will continue to send love to your dad as well. I will make sure your sweet cousins get their Missions – they adore you.

I am sure our TinySuperheroes Angel Squad greeted you appropriately.  Please send all of our love to Super Braden, Mabel, Connor, Angel, Logan, Caden, Case, Moriah, Alayna, Sam, Israel, Elijah, Channie, Caroline, Andy and ALL of the TinySuperheroes who have gone before you that their Squad loves them now more than ever!

Fly high sweet girl.  Can’t wait to see you again.

We would love for you to leave a comment to show our support for her family.

25 replies
  1. gina Myers
    gina Myers says:

    Sweet Gabby- My superhero, Connor, and I are so sad to see you leave Earth- but we know, because we recently (May) had to say “go dance with the angels” to a dear friend of ours who was medically fragile. Her name is Laila–so when you meet her in Heaven (she will also be dancing)- play your favorite song really loud and dance the night away! My superhero shared each completed mission with Laila at school and even gave her the Superhero Stickers each month…Laila was more of a PRINCESS then a superhero- so she didn’t have her cape yet.

    Here on Earth we will be listening for the sweet sounds that you all are dancing to…the sound of a gentle breeze, the baby birds, and the waves crashing. You will forever be a SUPERHERO in our hearts.

    From my family to yours, Dance like EVERYONE is watching you and light up the skies with that smile!
    – Super Connor’s Mommy

    Reply
  2. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    How one life – so young – can touch so many. How lucky you are to have been one touched by Gabby’s joy, laughter and love. May her family feel the warmth of her light forward.

    Reply
  3. Maria
    Maria says:

    God Bless you precious girl , may your family be comforted knowing what an amazing girl you are and how many lives you have touched.

    Reply
  4. Kathleen Dalbeck
    Kathleen Dalbeck says:

    Kim, Gabby and family,
    I have gotten to work with Gabby since she was 3 months old (with a short absence from me for a period of time). I was Gabby’s vision teacher and taught her how to use her vision better. But she taught me so much more. She taught me how to slow down, focus only on one moment at a time and truly enjoy the time together. She taught me serenity far better than any exercise or meditation that I have tried. She taught me about gentle kindness. Most of all Gabby taught me to be ok with the human that I am. If she was able to live each day as happy as she appeared with all her extreme challenges, then I could be happy with the minor human challenges that I have. Gabby was one of the greatest teachers I have ever had. She is also a true hero. I love you Gabby.

    Reply
  5. Amy
    Amy says:

    My deepest heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s mom, dad, cousins and the rest of her tribe friends & family.
    Fly with your Angel wings beautiful girl. Your a superhero.
    R.I.P sweet superhero Gabby

    Reply
  6. Laura
    Laura says:

    All my thoughts, love, and prayers for her loved ones. What a beautifully written piece; thank you for sharing what you learned from Gabby; it helped me as well. May we all learn from your story and keep Gabby’s legacy alive!

    Reply
  7. Stephanie Lancaster
    Stephanie Lancaster says:

    Robyn, this is beautifully written, and it seems like Gabby was a very special person. I wish I could have met her. I will be praying for her family during this difficult time as the mourn the loss of an angel.

    Reply
  8. Jordan
    Jordan says:

    This was such a lovely post to recognize and honor a beautiful girl. Gabby seemed like a strong, confident Tiny Superhero and will be missed!

    Reply
  9. de keyser hannelore
    de keyser hannelore says:

    blessed is here soul and now she’s a angel in heaven ,,,so much love she give’s ans received ,,,<32 <3 <3

    Reply
  10. Susan
    Susan says:

    Robyn, what a beautiful composition on your experience with Gabby and her family.
    We all have areas in our lives where we can improve how we perceive people and their situations. Thank you again. I believe while spending a week with Karen we heard of your very caring nature. It was always very appreciated.

    Reply
  11. Rebecca Mongrain
    Rebecca Mongrain says:

    Robin, your words are so beautiful and I’m so glad you were able to be in Gabby and Kim’s life. You have a bright light that makes the world a better place, much like Gabby did. xoxo Rebecca

    Reply
  12. Pamela Glose
    Pamela Glose says:

    This is absolutely beautiful; well-said and so true. Thank you for sharing your memories and lessons with us. Thank you, Gabby, for being so willing and powerful a teacher. I have no doubt that sweet reunions, delightful conversations and loads of fun are waiting in Heaven! God bless.

    Reply
  13. Mary Jane Swedberg
    Mary Jane Swedberg says:

    What a beautiful and magical inspiration Gabby is to so many who loved and cared for her. She will always live on in our hearts and our interactions with others. The stars will twinkle as Gabby dances and flies with the angels and her fellow “Tiny Super Heroes”.

    Reply
  14. Wendy Eidbo
    Wendy Eidbo says:

    My heart goes out to Kim, her husband, and Gabby’s sisters. Gabby brought love into the lives of those who knew her. She was a true light. We will remember her with smiles.

    Reply
  15. Vicki Underland-Rosow
    Vicki Underland-Rosow says:

    Gabby ws a gift to all who knew her to to many of us who knew of her and her impact on those around her. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  16. Kathy DeCabdia
    Kathy DeCabdia says:

    What a Beautiful heartfelt story about Gabby and the best Mommy I have ever met. As sad as it is that Gabby is no longer here on this earth she is In a very beautiful place in Heaven she is running and laughing with all the other angels that went on before her. Gabbys smile could light up a room. My Granddaughter was always so happy to see her. Gabby you got your wings sweety so fly as high as you want to go. Although you will be missed and Mommy will miss you so much we will all be here for her until.you meet again. R.I.P. sweet girl ❤❤❤

    Reply
    • Jeanette Summers
      Jeanette Summers says:

      I’m am sad that I never had the privilege to have known Gabby but felt connected through her wonderful grandparents, Karen and Rick and following pictures and stories on Facebook. There is no doubt Gabby was loved so very much by all who did have the privilege of knowing her. This beautiful tribute to her brought tears of joy and also sadness but knowing that she is now in the loving arms of our Lord is comforting. My thoughts and prayers go out to her loving family. May all the wonderful memories of this beautiful child bring you never-ending smiles and comfort. God bless and comfort your entire family. Gabby was very blessed to have such a wonderful family and your family was blessed to have this beautiful child in your life. God blessed you with her for a reason. For her short time on this earth, she left so many with very important lessons of life. May we all have learned for this wonderful child!!!!

      Reply
  17. Pamela Parrish
    Pamela Parrish says:

    She showed the world… That she may have been down.. She was never out.. People could learn what HUMANITY SHOULD BE ABOUT from her example.. Thank you for sharing her story…

    Reply

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