Remembering Grace: written by Stacey Neill-Wiseman (Grace’s Occupational Therapist)
Hi! My name is Stacey. I was Grace’s Occupational Therapist for a small window of her life. About 4 years ago I was driving to work and I happened to flip on the radio. They were broadcasting about a benefit called, “A Brighter day for Grace”. At the time, I had a 2 year old and Grace’s story really hit home for me. I pulled over and called the radio station asking if they could put me in the contact with Grace’s parents. I really wanted to work with her. I was touched by Grace before I even met her.
About one month later, Grace and her parents came to where I worked. Grace didn’t say a lot to me and stuck pretty close to her parents. But she was interested in what I had to offer and was receptive to see what was there. This is basically what Grace said to me with her body language and her eye contact…. ” I don’t know you and I don’t know this place. I will see what you have here. These are my parents and I stick very close to them. This is Baby Blue and she goes everywhere I go. I will not take my accessories off for therapy. I don’t care if they impede my fine motor development. This bracelet was made by my Wa-Wa and it gives me strength and courage…… and most importantly, I am not getting on that tricycle.” The lines and boundaries were clear. Grace would be in charge of Therapy.
After awhile Grace and I built a trust and relationship. On the occasions when she let me push her a little out of her comfort zone and accomplished something she didn’t think she could do (such as riding the tricycle with Baby Blue wedged in between the front handle bars, or swinging and throwing bean bags to a target with Baby Blue on her lap) there where high fives all around. That smile and that look of pride made for really sweet moments. When I am old and gray and sitting on my front porch reflecting on my life and my career, I am going to remember that sweet smile and those sweet moments. Thank you for letting me be a part of those. They were priceless and I will cherish them.
The other thing that struck me about Grace was the strong, quiet, very present love she had with her family. That love gave her so much strength, courage, and calmness. It was so evident. That little girl was loved so much every day of her life and I know she gave it all back too.
and Sarah and Garrett…. you are going to be amazing people for having known and loved Grace.

Grace's last summer therapy003