Stumbling toward Heaven

My daughter taught me how to love.

Stumbling toward Heaven

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Her name is Gabrielle, but everybody calls her Gabby. She is fifty years old, and her favorite things are The Muppet Show, nursery rhymes, infant musical toys, and playing patty-cake.

She’s legally blind, uses a wheelchair, is unable to speak, and has severe mental handicaps. She is also my daughter, the third of six children, a pure and gentle soul who brings joy to everyone who meets her.

I have to admit that joy was not always my response to Gabby during her thirty-two years at home with us. There were times when I felt very frustrated at her complete dependence on me. I had to do everything for her: dress her, feed her, brush her teeth, and clean up the endless messes she made—always at inconvenient moments, when I was trying to cook dinner, run errands, or care for the rest of the family. Even though I knew that Gabby was not to blame, there were times when my impatience would lead me to angry outbursts.

But God has…

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