Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 17: Angelique's last day home


Before we begin, please enjoy this AWESOME slide show from our last photographer from Sunday, Sara Cooper...

Well, it's the last day of Ang's leave of absence. Tomorrow, she goes back to work. She's easing into it very strategically. Two days this week, then a break, three days next week, then another break, then back to full time in the third week. She is feeling a little happy to go back since the house is painfully quiet and we are pretty much settled back in. Her boss has been incredibly supportive and told her that if she goes in and her brain just won't work, it's okay to go home. How awesome is that? They have managed her tough projects for her right now, so she doesn't have to jump right into the deep end. Instead, she can work her way back into full gear gradually.

We went downtown to walk around for our last afternoon together...

Our bank has a Starbucks inside! Love that...

I think this is really, really wise, given the cognitive disturbance factor that is banging both of us over the head right now! I am mixing appointments up, forgetting things that happened, losing important paperwork (not good!), and yes, leaving my keys in the car with it running while I blissfully go in and shop (just yesterday... today was okay in that department). It's frustrating. You know when you are getting over a cold and you think you are all good, so you head back out into the world, only to get creamed by the cold and you relapse? That's a little bit what this feels like. We are clear and focused for several hours at a time, every day. However, there are also several times a day when I am little more than a walking drooling object. I don't really drool, but my brain essentially shuts down during a hit over the head with the old grief bat.

I just want to pause and thank all of you that are out there that are commenting right now. This has been a very cathartic process, this blog. We read your comments first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, and they really help us not feel alone. This grief isn't going to go away any time soon, and neither am I, and I hope that neither are you. As I continue to pour out insights along the way, I request that you 'lurkers' out there (my affectionate term for those who read but don't comment) come out of hiding and share a thought, a feeling, a word of encouragement. I lay it all out on the line here, and over a thousand people read this blog a day, but we only hear from 15-20 of you in return.

Again, you don't have to have the 'right thing to say,' who even knows what that is anyway? I think people are just so afraid of saying 'the wrong thing' that they say no-thing. If we were in a room, and I could see your face, feel your smile, we'd be good, but since I can't connect back to you through any other medium than your words, please reciprocate by sharing a little something in return. My hope is that we are a community by now... that we recognize each other's writing styles, and that we've come to know and appreciate being in each other's lives. I want to continue to build this community, so that more like minded people who believe in hope and love and courage come together in a safe place where we can all drop our armor and our masks. I wouldn't ask it if I didn't first do it myself. I am the first to write every day, and I am the first to appear before you totally vulnerable and authentic.

Alright, enough about that. Don't be a lurker. ;-)

I have a great "Ripples in the Pond" story to share with you!

I got the most hilarious voice mail from my buddy in MN, Spencer. Spencer is Collin and Aubrey's dad, who we met at the falls and became good friends with. Anyhow, I have been requesting of Spencer to periodically call my voice mail and just talk so I don't lose my Minnesota accent!

Anyhow, today, Spence is way out in the boonies of Wisconsin for work and hungry as a bear. There's nothing around for miles except a McDonalds, so he reluctantly goes in for a bite to eat. The sweetest old lady you ever saw was behind the register. She asks if Spence wants to kick in a dollar for the Ronald McDonald House and without looking he says yes. Then, he looks a little closer at her.

Her name?


What is festooned all across her hat and shirt?


He asks for the dollar back and hands her a FIFTY! She comes around the register and gives the big lug a giant hug! He fills out the card and says he wants to make it in memory of Anabella Ringgold. She asks who that is, and he tells her the story. She breaks down in tears and while crying basically tells him he's the sweetest man in town.

4 hours from Minneapolis, 4 hours from Milwaukee. Behind the counter in a fast food restaurant...


Changing lives.


God night.


  1. Hi Tim and Angelique!

    I just wanted to let you know that I am still here. I don't plan on going anywhere! I read every single day and usually check your blog a couple of times during the day, even thought I know you only post at night! I just enjoy reading about you all so much. This medium is just so strange! I tried blogging about my family, but am just not a very good blogger- ha! =) It's a strange feeling reading someone else's blog daily. Feeling like you know them and their family, and in your case, such intimate details of your life; yet at the same time you feel stalker-like because they don't know much about you! It's just weird! I have told you in the past where I live, that I am married to a great guy who is an amazing father to our 3 daughters and that I am a stay at home Mom. Not sure what else to say other than that! We are by no means very exciting people, I guess! =) Anyway, this has turned into a ramble that I am not sure makes much sense! Just wanted to say, "hi", I am thinking about you all, praying for you guys and that I feel blessed to be in your *company*. Also, things are constantly reminding me of Bella, EB and your sweet family. Is it strange that I think about you all MANY times a day? I wish I weren't so far away in Colorado... I would love to meet you face to face and give you each a hug!


  2. Hi Tim, its Barb from Melb, i am a lurker but comment occassionaly on your FB. Just though i would tell you how Bella has impaced on my life, i wanted/needed to start a health kick and at the start of October it dawned on my that i was procrastinating on this matter, i had been reading about Bella for a while and one day(3rd October) i woke up, checked in on Bella and it occured to me that there was Bella fighting to live and i was fighting to stay in bed in the mornings, i was fighting in the wrong direction, i needed to move towards Bella's direction,so i got up put my gym gear on and went to the gym, made an apointment to get an assesment and gym program i was off! I am on day 46 of operation get healthy and i have lost 8.1kg, every pain i have felt working out i have warn with pride, pride that i am fighting in Bella's direction! every time i walk out the gym (sometimes twice a day)i blow a kiss up to the sky to thank Bella x x

    Thank you Bella and thank you Tim x x

  3. Just wrote you a little wobbly contemplation on yesterday's blog. My timing's a bit out (or perhaps you're going to bed earlier - good idea, by the way!).

    Just wanted to let you know that I waffled aimlessly about half an hour ago, just as you were composing tonight's post. I meant it all, if you have a chance to read it.

    I know there are many people here, reading and learning. Perhaps the silent ones you mention can't think of a way to say thank you. You give so much, in the face of such pain, that thankful words can be hard to come by...

    But I'm a relative newbie re. commenting and I have NO regrets in breaking my silence. The rewards of feeling I'm in direct communication with the thoughts and doubts and questions and answers of the Ringgolds are so very much worth the little wobble of self-conscious angst a previously anonymous reader might have.

    I don't regret being here, on my little Vancouver rooftop, being fond of you all!

    Much love,


  4. Please, join me in searching for a family for sweet Anton. He needs a family NOW!

    Anton was born with a genetic skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa or "EB". Just like beautiful Bella...

    Please, show his face to everyone. Maybe you know his future family. Follow the links (and click the little "translate" button) to learn more.

  5. The 'Ripples In the Pond' story just gave me chills...litterally...goose bumps and all! I let out a big 'Awwwweeee' and a big smile.
    Thinking and praying for you always!

    ps....great slide show Sara!!!! My favorite part of the memorial, is when Ali was cheering on the butterfly, saying:'GO BELLA GO!!!'

  6. Hi Tim, Ang and Ali, still here, still reading, still feeling beautiful Bella's impact on the world! Ang, I hope work brings you both energy and peace tomorrow.

  7. Hi Tim, Ang & Ali. I am one of those 'lurkers'. I have commented before once or twice. The night I read of Bella's passing, i was totally heartbroken. I went in & gave my sweet Josh (my son) an extra special kiss, even though he often got many special kisses & hugs. Little did i know that he too would pass away (2weeks ago) unexpectedly from EB related complications (that we did not know about). I still read your blog every day, you all show such spirit.

    ps. The other day i saw 3 butterfly's flying & playing around on a gorgeous spring day, perfect!! I instantly thought of Bella, Josh & Elle. All gone, but cetainly not forgotten!!


    Kylie - Sydney, Australia

  8. Tim, I loved the story. Bella is out there, somewhere, watching over everyone. Everytime I see a butterfly, I think of Bella. I can't pass up one of those red boxes at Mcdonald's without dropping in some money, usually whatever change I get back. You never know, it might be that last handful of change that brings a cure.
    Tell Ang good luck back at work. How is Ali doing? Kids react so differently than adults. Thanks for all the pics you share. I check in everyday. Thank you for sharing Bella.
    Carla, Portsmouth, OH

  9. Hello Tim and Ang:

    I was at one time out of lurker mode and throwing in so many prayers but then when Bella died I was to shocked and frankly pissed off that it ended that way that I grew silent again. I have had some doozy of "fights" with God in my prayers since Bella passed. Faith is a funny thing isn't it....I am still upset Bella had to go but still that little girl was an angel on earth and really no one but God could keep her. She united a world and touched many!

    I have not lost a child and pray I never have to go through that. But I know pain and I know grief...for quite awhile it was my daily burden.
    I pray for you all daily and I hope you feel comfort. That daze you speak of Tim....well that takes a long time to go away but it eventually fades. It is my opinion that we never get over a loss we just learn to live with it. Thank you for sharing your families journey with me and the rest of the world!
    Still here, Marsha from Belvidere

  10. I had to go back to my Kleenex box today again. The slide show is beautiful ,Spencer's story and Ali and Bella's picture ...
    I'm still reflecting on your previews post about time,pain and grief. Words easy to read but not so easy to accept...
    All the best to Ang going back to work .
    Wishing you all a nice day.

  11. I am just like Mariana: with my kleenex box near me.

    Beautiful story. Just proving that Bella is continuing her work. In silence. But we can hear it.

    I heart aches for you guys. The grieving process must be so painful. But accepting that the pain is there is half way to overcome it.

    All the best for Ang in her return to work. Hope that it will help her mind to distract a little.

    Loved the picture of Ali and Bella.

    Continuing my prayers for your lovely family,
    Carla, from Portugal

  12. I too got chills and goosebumps when I read the story about Spencer. I was just thinking yesterday about if you have kept in contact. I come everyday and read what you say but don´t always comment. I never feel I have adequate words. You all are always in my thoughts. Good luck to Ang and thank goodness for those good bosses in the world. Keep your head up and know you are in my thoughts.

    Jeni, Madrid

  13. Good Morning ..
    I still keep coming here every day, but sometimes I think I have the right words to tell you.
    I hope the return to work by Ang run better and she can entertain a little.
    The Ali and the Bellas are beautiful in the picture.


  14. Hi, Tim!

    Just for not being a "lurker" (what ever that means... I tried to look it up in the dictionary but I couldn't find it...), here I am telling you that I've continued to walk allong with you in this journey, although I've been so quiet these days.

    However, I've been experiecing a very strong revolution inside me. I'm pretty sure that if you could understand portuguese, I would be sharing much more of what's going on... but, in fact, writting about these sensitive stuff in a differente language makes it quite a bit more difficult!!!

    Nevertheless, I must say that you and your lovely family have taught me so much and specially have "forced" me to really face some of my biggest fears. You've been helping me dealing with what is probably my sharpest stone that really messes my relationship with God, which is ACCEPTANCE! I really have (and always have had) troubles in accepting what God has determined to be my path and my mission in this life, specially, of course, when things don't turn out to be what I expected!!!!

    That's exactly what I've been working on. It's not easy and some times it can be really painful, but, thanks to you all, I'm pretty sure I'm doing some nice work!

    All the best for you and your family and a special word of encouregment to Ang now that she's going back to work. I'm sure it won't be easy, but Ang is so strong and has your neverending and precious support, so I'm really hoping she'll be OK!

    It's getting quite cold here in Portugal, so I've been envying all the t-shits and sweet dresses that you and your princesses are wearing these days! Please show some solidarity with us here in Europe and put some heavy coats on, please!!!

    All the best!

    Lisbon, Portugal

  15. Prayers for you all.

  16. Ringoooold Fam-

    I'm officially no longer a lurker! It has been a long ride, so I'm breaking my silence.
    I start my day first thing with your blog, very therauputic, informitve.
    Miss you guys, hope to see you soon! Never give up, no matter how bummed out you feel it will hit at the least oppurtune time, Like in the middle of Wisconsin!
    As Collin would say "Taking on the Jellies Dude!"
    Peace out!

  17. WOW the Spencer story is just so AMAZING! That Bella is just so amazing!!!!!! Brimming over with tears at that one.

    I think of you all everyday. I pray for you all every day! When things get tough for me in my life here in NJ I often think of the things you have written and the amazing things Bella is teaching me and the world.

    Tina in NJ

  18. Love that 'Ripples In the Pond' story... it confirms what we all know. Bella is still changing lives!

  19. That is the best story ever! I love it! Everytime I see a butterfly I immediately think of Bella and all the other EB babies. She will never be forgotten - she's there reminding us to push harder for finding a cure and support of EB. Best of luck to Ang going back to work. Thinking of you guys often!

  20. I come by most every day. Why? Well I have 3 kids at home, 2 teens and a young adult struggling with autism. They keep me so busy, but we really have no extended family. I miss young children in my life. I love the photos of your family especially your beautiful daughters. Your writing is so uplifting, I find some encouragement or insight daily to keep my thoughts and attitude positive. I am learning to take control of my feelings and reactions.

    We all have challenges, coming here reminds me that I am not alone in that. I find a new way to look at things.

    I love the story about your friend from Minnesota. I really hoped you'd bring Bella home. But now I think you have shared her with so many, she is free of phyical pain and touching so many lives. Thank you for sharing her with me. I feel love for her for you and your beautiful family.

    Sorry i am not much of a regular writer!

    Susan from Arkansas

  21. Nice story!

    Have you checked soon Ali's eyes? On one of the pictures one of her eyes seems strange. Of course,it may be effect from the camera, but a relative of mine had a lazy eye (ambliopia) and they found about it too late to correct it. His lazy eye looked the same on pictures.
    Just check her at home if she sees the same when she looks with one eye closed.

    Good luck to Ang with going back to work. It's not easy to go to a place where everybody knows you have suffered and to stand all the condolences or the inadverenly stupid questions.


  22. I am a lurker and read everything you write every day. I have prayed like crazy for Bella and I keep your family in my prayers. I know it is going to be hard for Ang to go back to work and probably hard for you that she will be at work as well.

    The video is amazing and I thank you so much for sharing so much of your life. I imagine there are days when it is difficult to share your life with so many people...just so you know, it is greatly appreciated.

    You all remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  23. Tim, Ang & Ali,

    Great checking in with you every morning.

    Two stories to share with you:

    1. Last night after the kids were in bed, I went over to Mankato to some shopping. Some necessity shopping and some Christmas shopping. Anyway, I was in Claire's trying to find "the perfect" pair of earrings for my niece and all I kept coming back to was all the butterfly things they have. Are there just that many more butterfly things out there or do I just notice them more now?

    2. After reading your McDonalds story, I had goosebumps all over my legs. My 2 1/2 year old (who doesn't really talk, so much so that he is receiving services with the school and this lack of talking is stressing me out a little because his older brother has autism) was totally giggling and jumbling a bunch of "words" together as he pointed at my legs. Not a lot of things get Ben excited in a way to say "words" so in a way Bella helped my little guy say some "words" this morning. Thanks Bella!

    Thanks for always updated!

    St. Peter, MN

  24. Well… you have finally convinced me to comment! This is a big step for me. I usually do not openly share with people I do not know very well… So get ready, it is going to be long. I live in North Carolina (near Winston-Salem). I linked to your blog from Jonah’s blog this summer and have read it everyday since the end of June. I bought Bella’s book and continued to be blessed by that as well. I really wanted to meet you guys in NC, but was unable to since my grandmother was in ICU at the time.
    Your journey has been a blessing and inspiring. It has made me more appreciative of the people in my life. It has also enhanced my desire to do more for others…
    I do believe that God has a purpose for your family and I also believe in providence. Last year my husband who, has ran all of his life and is quite healthy, very unexpectedly was diagnosed with a heart condition, yet he never had symptoms. He never goes to the doctor, so we found out because he though he had broken his toe and did visit the doctor. Luckily his toe was not broken, but within a week he had surgery. We believe that his toe was God’s way of saying something is wrong. We thank God everyday for toe pain! He is now fine. We also believe that God still has great things for him to do and that is why he wanted us to know. My husband coaches cross country and track at the high school level and is such a role model for so many high school students. Perhaps that is his purpose…. He reaches so many.
    I am very appreciative of you being so open about your grief process. I am 34 years old and no one close to me had ever passed away until a few years ago. I did not/do not know how to grieve. I am still very bitter… the person is an adoptive grandmother to me who was diagnosed with cancer. She chose not to fight. She did not want to be a burden. Instead of attending the service I volunteered to provide childcare in the nursery… talk about avoidance. I do not know the exact grave location. I am sharing all of this with you because you have helped me understand the process and begin to feel the pain and grieve in what I consider to be a healthy way. Thank you for saying that it is okay to feel pain… I already feel such a weight lifted. People take for granted that everyone knows about the grieving process
    Thank you for sharing and being so open. Your family and Bella are making differences and some you will probably never know about. Instead of exchanging Christmas gifts with my 2 best friends, we are pooling our $ and going to make a donation to PUCK in honor of Bella. (We are all teachers… so we have to budget, but it will be there in time for Christmas!)

    It is with tears that I close this… I have prayed for you family daily these past few months and will continue to do so.
    Thank you again for being such a blessing and sorry for rambling on and on…

  25. You all are such an inspiration! Esp. Bella...touching people all over the world.

    I pray Angelique has a good first day back at work.

    Love and hugs from Tennessee!

  26. Hi Tim and Ang,

    Have been "lurking" for over a year and loved your little Bella so much. She is blessed to have such wise and thoughtful parents. I have so much enjoyed reading your thoughts and philosophy as you live your life. Beautiful thoughts, expressed beautifully. When you have time and inclination, please investigate the Baha'i Faith, a world religion uniting all the religions under our one God. I believe you would find much confirmation and comfort there.
    btw, Ali is one blessed little girl in so many ways.
    Most sincerely, a grandma in NC

  27. Hi, I have been a lurker for a while. I found your blog from Patrice's blog. Bella is a complete inspiration to me. I never had heard for EB before Jonah & now I follow your blog & tripp's as well. My heart breaks for your family & what you have been through. I lost my daughter in 2005 & no one should ever have to bury their child. I always say that when I see a butterfly, its an angel paying a visit to us.

    I love reading how faithful you are to God even in these bad times. You are an inspiration to me. Your thoughts a grief touched me because I still long to see my daughter again & still deal with down days 5 years later.

    All I can say is Thank you for allowing me to journey through this with your family.

    Valerie G in NJ

  28. Sorry for my lack of comments lately. I appreciate reading your blog posts and I am praying for your family!

  29. Good morning from Ohio,

    I Love your family! I have not posted before but have came to your blog everyday through this difficult time for you and your family. You and Ang Have been an inspiration to me and I am so proud of you all three.

    I Send So much Love to You, Ang and Ali,


  30. Why do I read when I have a migraine? Now I am that will help make it go away.

    I saw the comment about Anton and I was drawn to look. Seeing Anton, alone and with EB in a foreign country, made me sad for him but so thankful that Bella was born in the US with loving devoted parents. When Noah and Clara are older "the plan" is to adopt a special needs child or a sibling group. There are so many reasons now is not the time...although I wish it were. This is something that just cant be done without the blessing of my stepchildren, Noah and Clara. It would be a huge impact on their lives. But something I am drawn to do.

    Bless Spence...what a wonderful wonderful story. Bella is everywhere. :)

    Angelique... I am thinking of you today as work begins again. Sending you strength and much love.

    I was wondering the other day how many people read your is all I can say! I am glad you "challenged" the lurkers to become known. We all have our own stories and Bella has made a difference with each of us.

    Sending all of you my love and sweet kisses for Ali.

    Denise, WI

  31. Hi Tim, Ang, and Ali,

    It's been several days since I've commented, but I still read every morning! You all are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

    The ripples in the pond story is truly amazing. I am not at all surprised, though, seeing how Bella has touched so many lives and continues to do so. She is missed by so many. I love seeing the pictures of her from before the transplant - especially today's picture of her with Ali.

    There's a church near my house that I pass pretty much every time I leave the house that has a sign out front to encourage people to come. The sign has a beautiful butterfly on it with vibrant colors and a message about coming home. Every time I drive past I think of sweet Bella and smile.

    I don't know if I have any comforting words to share as you experience your grief, but I am thinking of you. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. I find myself squeezing my little boy (8 months) a little tighter and taking time to enjoy and appreciate my many blessings because of what Bella has taught me.

    Kim in Durham, NC

  32. Best wishes for your first day back in the saddle, Ang. I'll be thinking about you!

    Miss you guys!

  33. What an amazing story! Bella is changing lives everywhere. I don't comment very often but I have been reading your blog since May. I can't tell you how much your family inspires me. I lost my son in May of 2006 and have struggled with grief since then. This last May it hit harder then usual, about the time I found your blog. I have gained so much from reading your story and I am in awe of your faith. My faith definitely took a huge hit with the loss of my son. I can honestly say now that following you on your journey has opened my heart back up to God. Bella and her story have changed so many lives in such a short period of time. She was such an amazing gift to the world and still continues to be. Thank you for sharing with us!

    Holly Peters
    Cut Bank, MT

  34. That was the best story I've heard about anything that's happened in a McDonalds in, well, forever!

    Until I read your McDonalds story, here is my own McDonalds that I've shared with many children over the years. It's nowhere near as inspiring, but it teaches a valuable lesson none the less:

    When I was around Ali's age (as in, old enough to know better), my mom took me to McDonalds and I told her I wanted a plain fish sandwich. If you've ever placed a special order at a McDonalds, you know that it can take FOREVER. Many years later, my mom admitted that she didn't want to go through the wait for the fish, so she ordered me a cheeseburger instead. I unwrapped my sandwich, discovered it wasn't fish, and I threw the burger at my mommy in the mother of all temper tantrums!

    I was four years old then. I'll turn 42 next week, and I can still vividly recall the lesson I learned that day: NEVER THROW FOOD AT YOUR MOTHER! Especially in a public place - no, no matter where!

    My mom is generally an easy going, even-tempered woman - unless food is thrown at her! Needless to say, I've never thrown food at anyone else ever again. Now, when I'm at McDonalds, I throw change in the RMH donation container instead.

    Throw money, not cheeseburgers!

    Angela Ulrich
    Dublin, Ohio

  35. I cannot believe how much I miss Bella and Elle -I've been praying for the kids in the EB BMT trials and miss them. Of course I am continuing to pray for your family and the Pop family, but I miss the girls.

    Love that you post a picture or two of Bella at the end of your post.

    Grief is a funny thing the way it jumps in front of you, sometimes when you least expect it. So glad we have the Holy Spirit to comfort us and the Bible to read about Heaven.

    Love to all of you and continuing to pray from Waterford, MI

  36. Awesomw ripples.
    Praying for you all.
    Lauren in TX ( a momma in TX)

  37. Well that story totally made my eyes water! But with JOY! What an amazing "ripples" story. Go Spencer! Thank you Tim for continuing to hold us all accountable for being better humans. I know for a fact that I try to go out of my way to help strangers; either holding the door open or simply smiling at them while looking them in the eye and it is all because of Bella and this blog! Thank you for that. Praying for continued strngth and peace for all of you.
    Love you tons,
    the Vanderbooms

  38. Blessings to you all. Good luck to Ang as she gets back into the swing of work. I haven't been in your shoes but I know this must be difficult for y'all. Prayers to you all.

  39. Thanks for being such an inspiring man/family you inspire everyday as I read your blog. You have an amazing personality and touch me everyday with your honesty and encouragement. Thanks for the community you have built and I will continue to pray for you and your family through this time. I wish you and all the best of luck. Again thanks for being such a great individual and writing in such a inspiring way. You Rock!

  40. Hello Ringgold's!
    I have followed your blog..from a blog...since the day Bella passed :( I have never commented because I didn't feel like I "knew" you. That feeling has passed so it's time to say "HI"! This time last year my dad passed, so I can sort-of understand your grief...not a fun journey to be on ~ but you sure learn a lot along the way!
    Good luck on going back to work Ang! For me it was a blessing in disguise...DISTRACTION! Hopefully your workplace continues to be amazing to you :-)
    Take care guys, and it's "nice to meet you"!
    Amie from MN

  41. Good morning,
    Thanks for encouraging us lurkers to de-lurk!

    I believe that there are more ripples in the pond than we are each aware of, most of the time. If we are but sensitive and open, they appear and they do transform everyone involved.

    Your love for your family shines through and I appreciate you taking the time to be vulnerable with us, the internet community.


  42. Good Morning ---

    I loved Spencer's story --- you always wonder if you really do "make" a difference. Sometimes we are blessed to find out that we really do --- makes for special moments. Bella is in our hearts forever. We have 12 year old twins (son with EB Simplex and daughter EB free) and Claire has been collecting soda can tabs to raise money for RM House --- I keep telling her every little bit helps. They have followed your story, along with me, and it has been very eye opening for them. They pray for your family daily........ thanks for continuing to talk to us "lurkers".

    Michelle & Family

  43. Hi! I have been "lurking" since Bella was about to start the trial. I am so sorry for you loss. Bella was a beautiful little girl and has changed so many lives! What a wonderful story from your friend Spencer, and how wonderful it is to know Bella is still changing lives! I am praying for your family.
    A couple of weeks ago, one of the girls in my office who reads about you guys as well said she saw 2 yellow butterflies flying, kind of like they were playing, and she said it made her think of Bella and Elle, and how they are probably best friends in heaven. Then, no lie, 2 days later, I saw 2 yellow butterflies doing the same thing. It just gave me chills. God has an amazing way of showing He is watching over all of us!
    God bless,

  44. Good morning!!

    Sorry for not posting yesterday - life got in the way of computer time! :)

    What a great "ripples" story! It's amazing how God moves in so many neat ways - and at just the right time (when we need encouragement the most!)

    Praying for an easy back-to-work transition for Angelique - and of course for you and Ali to continue to have peace and strength to handle all the day-to-day things, plus grieving for sweet Bella.

    Love from TX,
    Laura (and Team A)

  45. The Ringgold Family -

    Oh my gosh - your story about the Ronald McDonald House donation was truly awesome!! It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for continuing with your blog. I have only commented a couple of times so I guess I am one of the "lurkers." I would like for you to know how much your blog means to me. I read it first thing each morning as it usually gives me so much thought for the day. Please know that I think of your family each day.

    Your Friend in Texas,

  46. Hi Tim: Checking in to see how you guys have been holding up. I know that you are still feeling a little numb but it takes time.
    Love the Spencer story. Bella will always make you remember her with little things. I know that everytime I see a butterfly, I say Hello Leah.
    Please take care guys and Keep the Faith. God Is Good All The Time!! Love and Hugs Love Leah's Nana

  47. I'm still here...still reading daily. I do admit I don't post daily though, sorry.

    Great ripple in the pond story! And I love the Bella and Ali picture, so sweet.

    The other day you were talking about grief and how time doesn't make it better. After my brother passed away I remember talking to my mom about this. We agreed that time does NOT make it better at all. Time just gives us the opportunity to learn how to manage our grief. It hurts just as much today that my brother is gone as it did right after it happened. But it also feels good to cry today as hard as I did that day.

  48. Inspired and in tears reading all the "lurker" posts, and wondering if these people know how amazing they are.

    Also, as I read all the people who have never met you, I am struck again by how profoundly lucky we are to have the Ringgolds in our lives. And, we are profoundly honored to be with you as you walk through this grief journey with such grace, such faith and such open hearts.

    Love you.

  49. I am still here too. I meant to comment yesterday after I read about leaving your keys in the car while running. (My kids sidetracked me from actually doing it, we were all trying to leave for school) I also left my keys in the car with the car running at a Target here on Long Island. It was not long after Owen (EB Simplex) was born. It was such an overwhelming time and I just wasn't all there (or should I say back) yet. I went in and on the way out got back to my car and it was on!!! I never even realized my keys were missing!! Reading that someone else did it made me smile.
    Anyway I will still be reading everyday and wishing all of you my best every day.
    I love all of the pictures of Bella what a cute smile!!
    Long Island

  50. Tim and Angelique...

    Just wanted you all to know that I'm still here and WILL continue to be here until the blog is no more! Your words just inspire me to be the best person I can possibly be...better yet, Bella inspires me to be the best person I can be.

    Tim, I am going to post a comment everyday, whether it be long or short. You take the time to post everyday despite your grief and life in general, so why can't I share myself with you and the rest of this blog COMMUNITY??? You are my real life inspiration.

    Angie, I hope you had a great first day of work. Praying this transition is an easy one for you!

    Love the ripple in the pond story! Bella had to be involved in that, she just had to be! How special for Spencer.

    Thanks Ringgold Family for sharing your story with me!

    P.S. These pictures of Bella are so special! She was such a beautiful darling girl with the most beautiful blue eyes. I am a better person for being able to "know" or at least read about Anabella Ringgold!

    Megan from WV

  51. Ok I'm guilty...I'm a lurker! haha
    I'm sorry I don't know all the facts of your story...I work w/ Daylon Edling's grandma in Corona, California. Particpated in some fundraisers for the Edlings and came across your blog that way! I've been reading, crying and watching your family. You guys are truely amazing!
    I love your "ripple in the pond" story...I love those kind of moments in life!!! You seem to put things/life into perspective and I thank you for that.
    God Bless!!
    Erin from Cali

  52. Wow! what a great story! It gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes! Praying for you all!

    All my love,
    Sarah in Colorado

  53. Ringold Family -
    I begin each day reading your blog post and it is a continued gift to be a part of your journey and to continue growing as a person based on your insight and strength. I think about Bella and your family every day. It is so hard for me to put my thoughts into words and share in the comments, I can barely come up with my facebook status updates.

    I just loved the story about Spencer and it makes me realize how lucky Bob and I are to have such good friends like Deb and Spencer. When you guys met at the Falls, I remember thinking that it was so amazing the way they extended the invitation to join them even though they didn't know you. Then as I listened to Bella's memorial in California, the priest had made reference to invitations. Don't withhold an invitation out of fear it won't be accepted. I immediately thought of how if Deb and Spencer would have withheld their invitation to join them we may have not been impacted by the ripple. It is so nice to be surrounded by such amazing people.

    Also, I just want to say that the strength and grace Angelique had in such a beautiful eulogy was amazing and another inspiration. Wow, with 2 parents like you Ang it is no wonder Bella and Ali are so amazing.

    Laurie (Mpls)

  54. I'm still here as well! I've been busy lately, have only had time to check the blog at work where it won't let me comment (filters...).

    Work has been really tough lately - my little guy is still having a hard time. But he's a fighter, and I continue to have faith that he will continue to do so. So when I came home from work this morning all worked up over the night I had, I watched the video on this post, and instantly felt better. And I have Bella to thank.

    Chicago, IL

  55. I'ma lurker....I have been following your blog for awhile but never commented. God Bless you and your family. Here's a smile and a hug sent to you from Ragley, La.

  56. oh those eyes.. I read your story, saw her picture and thought, "Yeah, she's so much wiser than all of us put together." I feel like Bella "gets it" and the rest of us are out here trying to get by day to day, worrying about the small stuff and missing the big picture. She reminds me daily to stop and appreciate the beauty around me. On that note, I have started a blog of my own, you should be able to get to it through blogger, but if not, here is a link
    It's clearly about gratitude, inspired in part by Bella, lots by you (such an open and honest blogger) and by the rest of my life =).
    Ft Lauderdale, FL

  57. You seem to do an excellent job of separating the emotional aspect of loss from the intellectual. You know one thing in your mind, while unfortunately your breaking heart is telling you something else altogether.
    Fortunately for most, time, which passes while one is grieving and healing, does gradually smooth, though never really heals, those jagged edges of pain. The thought or vision of Bella at this point in time, when emotions are so raw, can easily elicit tears, or even smiles and tears combined.
    When you do begin to heal, you might even have a slight tendency to feel guilty that you don't hurt quite as much. Just human nature I suppose. But what that healing will allow you to do is even more fully enjoy the thoughts and visions of Bella that cross your mind day or night. And the smiles you have will be peaceful, and the tears joyful. I wish you appropriate amounts of peace to balance each appropriate stage of grief you must endure. Think about you every day, Terri

  58. Tim,

    Greetings from Ridgefield, CT.

    Your posts are amazing--and gut-wrenching--and beautiful--and sad--and filled with so much honesty and bravery!

    None of us is a stranger to grief. We all know that it comes in wild waves--you're fine, then you're in hell, then OK, then back in the pits, then numb, "drooling," back up, and back down. There's just nothing like it.

    My husband and I recently lost a most beloved friend to a virulent form of lymphoma--he was truly like the brother I never had--and for at least three months, each day started and ended for me with tears, mixed with tears on and off all day, mixed with the most horrible sense of emptiness and misery. We both kept expecting to get a call or email from him, even though we knew that this wouldn't be happening. It was very, very hard to let go of him.

    One evening, when least expected, the most amazing event occurred. We were at a Relay for Life event, and of course, we were there for him. I was numb. There were literally hundreds of people there, and at dusk, a minute of silence was held to remember those who had died from cancer.

    We all, including myself, had our heads bowed. But something--almost like a whisper--made me suddenly look up at the darkening sky. And just as I did that, the most beautiful firefly flew overhead, in a beautiful, lively arc.

    Immediately, I felt a sense of peace about our friend. It was as if he was just letting me know that he was OK--more than OK--he was happy-- and healthy in his new life!

    No other fireflies were seen that night.

    Bella is with you, and is closer than ever. My hunch is that when the deepest part of your grief eases up, you will sense your beautiful little girl's presence right beside you.

    Keep writing, keep feeling, and know that you are grieving--but doing something amazing also via your blog.

    As you so beautifully put it, every night... God night.

  59. I'm still here! I'm so sorry I couldn't come to the California memorial to meet you. I pray for you as I read your update each day. Thanks for being a part of my life.

    Amy R

  60. I stumbled upon your blog from a friend. I have been reading for a while, and just never got around to a comment, not because I didn't want to, just more because I always leave the readings feeling uplifted. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I have experienced loss but never that of a child.
    I have a 5 yr old grandson who is very high functioning autism semantic/pragmatic disorder so i do understand about kids with special needs. Luckily he is not in pain like your sweet one was, and he is a very happy little boy.
    What does amaze me, however, is his uncanny spiritual awareness. I have heard terminally ill children have it, and kids with autism. I guess it goes to show God uses them to make us even more aware than ever of his mystical and healing power. I just know that he is the love of my life; he has taught me more in 5 years than a lifetime about the pureness found in the love of a child. I thank God for him everyday and would not have him any other way. I like to think when God is selecting a place to send the sweet souls of special children he finds families like yours and ours who will use the gifts of these children to glorify him.

    I wish you peace and healing, good memories, and day to day reminders of sweet Bella. I truly think she is nearer than you think...just look for her in every day signs.

  61. Dear Ang and Tim,

    Ang- I had lunch in the beginning of October with our former VZW team members, Steve, Bernadette & Shavona. I had not seen them in a few months and they told me how sick Bella was. That night I found your blog and began reading it from the start. I just wanted to say what an amazing family you are. Your strength and courage is just incredible. Ali and Bella are beautiful!

    I am so sorry for your loss. As Tim has commented on how the grief comes in waves, he should remember his comments on 10/12 when he said he had a hard time getting out of bed but he remembered he still had 2 amazing ladies in his life. Those 2 amazing ladies need you Tim just as you need them! You guys are in our daily thoughts and prayers.

    On a side note I was wondering if you ever thought of contacting a program like Dateline NBC, 20/20 or Oprah to do a show about EB awareness.

    Renee Lombardi-Murphy

  62. I am a lurker. I found this blog just before Bella died and sense her death - I'm not really sure. Gosh, I feel so sad for your loss and so many questions linger about what you all went through and why she was receiving the treatment she was and such. I know these questions are answered in various posts here on the blog. I'll one day have read them all and have a better understanding of your journey. I know very little about EB, I don't personally know anyone who has/had it, so I speak from a very ignorant place. However, it does seem that older children who have had BMT that I think was the same Bella had, had a higher survival rate. Forgive me and please know that I fully comprehend that being the parent, knowing your child and circumstances is fathoms different them some outsider reading about it. I mean no disrespect. Thank you for sharing Bella's story.

  63. Good Morning Ringolds!
    Okay so, I've been lurking :0), But Im still here, I'm a faithful mother of three, medical professional from Indianapolis. I continue to read because life is too short to be superficial. Your lives are such a witness to the love, compassion, passion, and faith that we need in the world. Many days I am overwhelmed and don't know how to handle all the demands in my life. But I know God calls us to use the gift our indvidual creation and circumstance to be our best in the world. You all embody this.
    I never met Anabella, but through your blog she has touched my life in an indescribable way. In a way that if I met a women named Anabelle with a butterfly on her shirt, I would want to hug her. And in a way that despite never meeting Anabella I have felt grief and shed tears in her loss. I can't explain the sense of intensity that I sense regarding Anabella's life.

    Your blog gives off that intensity of how life should be lived. Please know that you are not alone.

  64. Love the slide show and the song. So poignant.
    I lurk mostly but I have commented. Usually I am anonymous when I post.
    I get a lot of insight reading your grief posts. Still grieving 3 deaths over the last 10 yrs. Oddly enough, in the year before my mother died, she started commenting often about missing her own mother who had died over 50 yrs before. I found it strange that she would suddenly be missing her and talking so much about her after all that time (and no, she didn't have alzheimers). She even said she felt her mom's presence on one occasion. I guess there must have been some "intuition" on her part since she passed away within the year.
    I'm the one who sent the leaf for Bella's wall.
    Carole from Indiana

  65. Love that story! We have fed our son many extra Happy Meals this month just so we can donate to RMH! Always thinking of you all and grateful to read about your family!

  66. I don't *always* comment, but I do always read. :) When I don't comment, it's not so much a fear of saying something wrong.... sometimes I just don't have much to say. Not that your words don't always make me think or inspire me, but sometimes I am just mentally drained and can't formulate a response. ;) But know that I am at my computer reading, every single day!

    Today is one of the "drained" days. My day was: sniffly cranky toddler, family drama, a friend in crisis, not enough sleep in forever, family visiting from out of town, not enough time to run all the errands ETC!

    But my day also was: a snugglier than usual toddler, a friend trusting in me for support, seeing my niece before she goes on a 6 month deployment, having brownies after dinner and watching a movie together. :) And it is partly thanks to you and Bella that I remember to notice the good things in my days, not just the stressful ones! Thanks again for that priceless gift.

    Cara in Tucson

  67. P.S. Best of luck to Ang going back to work! And the McD's Anabelle story gave me the shivers, our world is so amazing!


  68. What a great ripple. Been lurking lately. I always want to say something every day but not always sure what or how. =)


  69. While watching your slide show today the song got me thinking about my relationship with my own mother. My mother, because of an affinity to a certain saint, would always say "when you see a rose it means something". She didn't explain what it meant, just something. I believe she felt it meant that God was listening. So, while I'm thinking about my mother, who passed away last year, I scroll down and see your picture of a rose. And it meant something. So keep looking for those butterflies, or fireflies, or ladies behind the counter named Anabella, because I'm sure they mean something.

    I think about all of you everyday, even if I usually am one of the "lurkers".

    Wishing you peace.

    Heather - Canada

  70. you sure are entering a quite difficult stage now, when people who have been lovingly supporting you return to their day to day lives, and you are left more or less alone to face your "new" life.
    My daughter had an accident when she was 3 and i experienced this, in some way. All came to visit and were supportive for the first week or so - then only 2 or 3 friends kept coming to visit. I felt the LONLIEST person at that time.
    But fortunately life teaches us to learn from tough times. 7 years later, I am sure I would take things differently now, and I would be able appreciate the small blessings in life and not feel lonely anymore.

    Keep strong, lurkers and non-lurkers are with you!

    Love and hugs

  71. I don't feel I'm a lurker, so much as a crazy busy, working mother of two. Its hard for me to get to read the blog now a days without being interupted. I try to read more at work, but well its been crazy lately, guess its a popular month to be born in.....Everyday I try to educate people about EB. Especially my co-workers, in the hopes that they will educate their nurse friends ect ect.

    Funny story, so how did I come across your blog to begin with, well I had a pt who shared her blog with me back in 2009, well one day when looking at her blog I saw the blogs she follows. What cought my eye was the picture of this poor little baby , whose face was covered in sores. I had to see what the blog was about. The baby was little Tripp. And what was the first post I read? The one where she was talking about your book.

    Bella was already in the ICU. I was ever so hopeful she would pull through, I checked every day there after, and prayed and loved her, hopeing against hope she would beat the odds. Then Bella joined her butterfly friends and I have been absolutly amazed at how graceful and open your family has been with the greiving process. You inspire me to be better than I am, to remember, how thankful I should be for my two little boys and no mater how "bad" I think things are in a moment, it is nothing to what others have gone through.

    So I just want to extend a thank you once again, Tim

    Houston, TX

  72. Tim, Anglique & Ali,
    I came across your blog through a friend's blog & have been following Bella's story since a few days before she went to her heavenly home. Your story about the waitress & your friend in McDonald's so touched my heart & I had to let you know that I read your blog each morning. I have been praying for you all and thank God for the blessing you all are to so many people (especially those like me who have never commented before). I have a friend who lost her 17 year old daughter 2 years ago and one of her biggest desires is that her daughter not be forgotten. Your sweet Bella will always be remembered by so many people because of your faithfulness to share yourselves via the "blog world". I will never see a butterfly again that I don't think of Bella and how her short life has impacted so many people. As I look at your pictures, I am so touched by your beautiful Ali and the trust and child like faith that she has. Not only have I grown to love your Bella, but your precious Ali as well. Thank you for your last post on leaving a comment...again you reaching out to us "out here" to encourage us to understand that we all are part of one another in some way. I can only imagine what you and Anglique are going through, but I know how much I love my children and my grandchildren and I see that same love in both of you. You continue to be in my prayers as you make your way back into your "normal" routine. You are a blessing and I give thanks for you.

  73. I have been reading your blog as well as Tripp and Jonah's for some time now. I am not good at putting my thoughts on paper, therefore I was lurking. Thank you for sharing your lives to so many of us, Bella will always be remembered and loved, as well as you, your wife and Ali.

    Rochester NY

    P.S If I was near any of the locations you stopped at on your journey home, I would of loved to have attended and met you.

  74. Hi Tim,
    I have to admit I've been a lurker since the day that "Bella earned her butterfly wings". First of all, I had no idea that this kind of horrible disease existed until I came across your blog. I just had a baby 3 months ago and can not even fathom the thought of losing my child to such a frightening disease. It is very apparent that Bella was born with a strength that is beyond my understanding... that's y she is so inspiring to all. In her pictures she has a spark in her eyes that shows no illness or pain. God must've been embracing her the whole time.
    I read your blog as often as I can and am so encouraged and inspired by the strength of your family. Your thought process about grief and responding to hard situations challenges me. I am Christian... a lot of the times my faith is confirmed in my life by people (such as ur fam) that live with Christ on their face.
    Ali and Bella are such beautiful and adorable girls! I really wanted to make it to the ca memorial but was worried that my baby would be disruptive. Nevertheless, I watched it online and it was such a beautiful and inspiring memorial. Angelique is an amazing woman. I aspire to have her kind of strength as a mother. My baby and I keep your family in our nightly prayers. We have a butterfly mobile and it reminds us of Bella each day.


  75. I am also followers of Bella, Tripp, Leah, Jonah, and Daylon... I sat here with tears streaming down my face as I read the conclusion of your post... Bella will continue to change the lives of many for many years to come.. I wanted ever so badly to make it to the stop in Winston, NC that you made (because I am from NC as well), but for unfortuate reasons could not... God bless you, love you guys...

  76. I loved the McDonald's story! Thanks for blogging.

    God bless you and your family!

    Becky (Texas)