That's how I began a post that went up on Thanksgiving day 2011. I love how I introduced Izzy in that story. To catch you up where she is today, she still oozes a massive amount of spunk. She still struggles with self-control. But her unwavering passion to help Ronan, and also to seek justice for him, is as strong as ever was.
When I wrote that post five years ago, we as a family had a few setbacks to work through. Not all of the setbacks were Ronan's. Some were, which were not unusual for where he was developmentally, but others, like a surgery I had to schedule, destroyed daily life as we knew it. Knowing we couldn't do it alone, we called extended family to help us get through that time. They dropped everything they were doing and accepted our request.
I remember writing that Thanksgiving post while family was still helping. I couldn't get through the painful recovery time without them. I needed them. My husband needed them. Izzy needed them too. She's just like me.
Like her Mommy, she would rather help others.
Like her Mommy, she doesn't like to ask for help even though she knows she should.
Like her Mommy, she likes to hear that she's doing a good job.
Like her Mommy, she longs for justice for Ronan and for other kids like him.
With how hard of a fight it's been, justice may be a long time coming. But that won't stop my mini-me from doing the right thing. She's a helper, she's a fighter, she's a spunky little things who loves and prays for her family daily with such fierce devotion.
I love how I wrapped up that first paragraph of that post I wrote a few years ago now:
Happily Ronan looks up to this younger sister of his when she offers him assistance. Izzy guides him in ways that I cannot. He follows many of her encouraging cues after a simple prompt, which is always followed by a doting sister's glee-filled smile.
I also love the little prayer she shared with me five years ago this week:
Izzy came home from school asking if she could say a new prayer she'd learned. I said that would be so nice because she was trying so hard to be helpful, "We give you thanks, Almighty God, for the gifts we...<giggle giggle giggle>...and this we ask forever and ever. AMEN!"
And giggle we did.
Her smile. Just like Ronan's, it lights up a room. Today, I am grateful for that. For their smiles, for their silliness, for how their joy fills our house with love, life and with laughter, I am so very grateful.