Get Well Gabby, A celebration of Life October 9th, 2011, Phoenixville Boro comes together....
Many of you that read these words, know me.... But I'm posting these thoughts on my Blog in hopes for these words to resonate with many of you who do not.
On October 9th from 5-8pm, in Reeves Park (what I feel is the heart of Phoenixville Boro) there will be a Celebration of Life. The Celebration of Gabby's Life will take place on her birthday for all to attend. There will certainly be family and friends, but I think more than anything, a gathering of strangers. People that have crossed paths at the Dogwood Festival, Kimberton Fair, First Fridays, or perhaps every morning while dropping off your children at school.... strangers none the less.
When your parents were born, your grandparents were young. They most likely had their family, friends, church members, co-workers, neighbors, and a community that was there to help, watch over, and protect them, and help your entire family. A protection that today's modern family may not comprehend. Unfortunately, the stressors and values of modern life have caused us to focus on our work, our immediate family and on a few chosen friends. Our lives are often confined to the walls around us. These stressors have forced our generation to forget those around us including our neighbors and the strangers you may see every day.
I didn't know Gabby personally and I have never met the Vogel family. Yet, I know many that have. I have heard about her struggles and I have praised Gabby's fight. I was hurt by her passing and have thought of her and her family often during the fight, especially after her death on Sept. 11th. I was pulled mentally and emotionally into her fight, by more than just Gabby's struggle, or what the family has endured, but by a collection of strangers reaching out in a way that I have never seen. The outreach and generosity of complete strangers, out of concern for a beautiful child and her family, in my mind was the gathering of a community. Much like the community our grandparents were blessed with years ago, and one that I feel my generation has been starved of.
So on October 9, 2011 a little girl will be remembered and her family will be supported. Her fight will be admired and her life will be celebrated. This child's story started years ago for the friends and family, but only months ago for us strangers. A beautiful healthy little girl was hit with something we can't imagine, a Cancer that we cannot begin to understand, a fight we cannot comprehend. A little girl has died, but somehow in my mind, a community far beyond my understanding has been born. So, when you show up Sunday, and you see those strangers... push yourself to shake their hand, say hello, introduce yourself, and welcome the community that was born out of Gabby's fight. I am proud to be part of this new community, and I think we owe it to Gabby, her family, and ourselves to insure that this community stays strong.
Vogel family, I certainly will never grasp everything you have been through, or everything you have lost, but I am proud to say that I am part of the Phoenixville Community that I feel you and your daughter may not have created, but certainly strengthened well beyond anything I have ever seen. I wish you all the best as you attempt to recover from your lose.
October 9th, 2011, Reeves Park, 5pm-8pm
follow this links for more details: GetWellGabby
Where did this come from: For those of you who know me... These are not words that I would often express, and it's certainly the first time I have ever thought to write them down or share them for that matter. I felt for some reason, I needed to. Joseph is the same age as Gabby and Nathan shares her birthday. After the loss of our home last year, I got to experience compassion and empathy from not only my friends and family, but from complete strangers as well. It was far beyond anything that I had ever seen. What I have observed from afar through Gabby's fight was a local community reaching out in an incredible way, and that's something I feel is sorely missing in many of our lives.
Mike Richter, Realtor
Cell: 215-919-1445 www.HomeFinderPA.com Office:610-489-5900