Remembering Grace: written by her Aunt Michelle Robinson

Grace touched many, many lives and she touched all of our lives in different ways.
Grace had a little close circle of people who could hug and hold her, sit close to her and comfort her. Erica, Perry, Sarah, Garrett and a very few others.

Then there were those of us who got to know her but who couldn’t get too close. Grace felt most comfortable with a little distance between her and most other people. But even though maybe they couldn’t hold her or give her a goodbye hug, she let people into her life in her own way. Maybe not kisses or hugs, but a smile and an “I love you” from across the room, and “See my babies” and “Good idea. Good idea to go outside.” Those things were like hugs and kisses for Grace.

And Grace touched the lives of many many people who never did get to work a puzzle or sit and play a game with her or even have a conversation with her. Some met her only once or twice. Some never met her. And yet there are hundreds of people here in this community and across the country who loved her, followed her progress, supported her and prayed for her and for her family.

People like…
– Dan and Donna Araiza, and the Wings of Angels community, who have been there from the beginning and I’m not sure about this but I bet they probably only met Grace once or twice.
– People from the Sons of Italy
– the Lions Club
– the HH community
– Perry and Erica’s co-workers
– and friends
– and family
– and friends and family of friends and family.

I know a gal who bought a bracelet that said ‘Grace’ on it at one of the early fundraisers and who wore that bracelet until it wore out. I work with someone in New Jersey who asks me about Grace every time we are together and says she prays for her all the time. Everyone in Grace’s big extended family knows people like that. So many people who never even met Grace were impacted by her life. And, although she didn’t know it, Grace was impacted by the love and support and prayers of those people too.

Grace loved her family and she loved being home with them. She watched over them carefully and always made sure everyone was happy. She monitored what everyone was doing and kept everyone on task. She was a really good big sister and watched out for Sarah and Garrett. She always made sure that Sarah and Garrett got a kiss goodbye whenever Perry and Erica left the house. “Kiss Garrett. Kiss Sarah.” And she’d make sure Garrett was drinking his water. And if someone happened to misplace something she’d point it out and make sure they put that something where it belongs. Then she’d say “aye aye pa”.
And every day Grace told Erica she was pretty. And every day she said “Mama are you happy?” And Erica would say, yep, I’m happy Grace. Are you happy? And Grace would say “I’m happy.”
Grace loved to work puzzles and she liked someone to help her. She’d say “you help me?”. But she could do a puzzle better than anyone I’ve ever met. She liked to play card games and make little kitten stickers and she liked to bead necklaces. She’d bead a necklace and wear it and bead another and wear it. She had a rule about how many necklaces she could wear to school but on the weekends she could go all out, and usually she had about six necklaces on. She’d say “See my necklace?” Wow. I do. She loved to show people things. Maybe from a bit of a distance, but that’s how she connected. “See my kittie?” “See my baby?”

Grace loved to take care of those babies. She had a special basket and a special blanket and she knew where those babies were all the time. Sometimes the baby would get naughty and have to go to timeout. And

Grace loved going to school. But at the end of the day, she would be tired and she loved going home. She’d say “I’m glad you picked me up. It’s a good idea I go home.” And on the way home, she would check “Are we going home?” Yep Grace, we’re going home. “Hoo, that’s good. It’s good I go home.”
And now she is home.  And we’ll miss her.