what it looks like when an angel loves you


Our angel Gabrielle Vallée McKenna almost made it to her one hundredth birthday. She wasn’t quite sure of her exact birth date, she knew the year and the month (February 1916), but her recollection of the day varied between the 21st and the 29th. I know the date she died though: August 20, 2014. Her goal was to reach 100; she didn’t quite make it. Mom joined Gaby on August 17, 2016. I hope the two BFFs are raising Cain wherever they are.


On May 10, 2014, Mom was too sick and/or sedated with antipsychotics to do anything more than listen to Eric’s beautiful piano playing. She couldn’t sing, play or clap as was her wont. There were no Beatles tunes.  No Ain’t She Sweet?, no She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, no Doe a Deer either.

All Mom could do was sit in the chair with her eyes closed and let the melodies soothe her. About 15 minutes into the session, as Eric played What a Wonderful World, Mom’s BFF Gaby came in to the drawing room to spend some time with us. That was a bit out of the ordinary as Gaby slept most afternoons. As she walked past Patti, Gaby spontaneously bent down to kiss Mom’s cheek. I was lucky to capture the precious moment with my iPhone.

our angel gaby is raising cain

loving words at sunset

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    • Susan Macaulay on

      Gaby was the best. She loved Mom, and Mom loved her and they had many wonderful times together, as did the three of us. I hope they’re raising Cain, wherever they are: raising Cain

  1. This is so touching. It’s as if she knows Patti is in there, just having a rest. I love the nuzzle on her cheek, even watching it feels soothing. There are angels all around, just waiting to be found. You’re one of them, Susan!

    • Yes it is Lorrie. Watching it even now makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. At the time, live, it was one of the most touching moments I had ever seen. As for being an angel, I guess we all are at some point or another 🙂

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