Reagan's Rescue

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Reagan in Leaves

First Birthday

Big Shoes

Little Philosopher

Mowing the Lawn

Our Explorer

Reagan in May

Memory Card


Wait at Heaven's Door

This is a demo of a song Greg wrote, recorded with the help of George, Erin, and Dalton Halls.

Obituaries can be so limited. They provide facts—born, died, child of, preceded in death by, funeral arrangements are. Obituaries rarely provide life. Reagan’s life was tragically short but still significant. She touched many people. This is what the newspaper could not print.

Reagan, the daughter of Ian Williams and Tracy Green, was born on Twelfth Night, January 5, 2004. She was our Little Christmas baby, a gift beyond compare, our "Sunshine." She soon captivated our hearts. We recognized very early on that she was an intelligent child, somehow wise beyond her years. She had penetrating deep brown eyes that could look right through a person. She was neat and particular. She began speaking much earlier than other babies we knew. She had a dramatic flair, an impishness. She liked music and dancing and making an array of faces. She especially enjoyed watching Dora the Explorer. She loved playing with other children, a fact that helped us so quickly and easily decide on her final resting place, in the Garden of Innocence, a section mostly reserved for children in Sunset Memorial Park.

Reagan’s favorite book was called Where is Maisy? She would bring the book to me, climb on my lap, and have me read to her. Maisy is hiding, and each turn of the page reveals a new location, a question, and a lift-the-flap answer: "Is Maisy in the house?...Oops! Not here!"; "Is Maisy in the barn?...Oops! Not here!" We would look for Maisy in the boat, the closet, and the tree as well. Each lift of the flap, manipulated by her tiny, persistent fingers, would reveal the answer: "Oops! Not here!" Finally, the last page would say "Knock, knock. Who’s there?" And Reagan would uncover, behind the door, the Nickelodeon mouse and the words "It’s Maisy!" The older she got, the more dramatic and suspenseful she would make it, drawing out the lifting of the flap, slowly turning her eyes to me, before saying, "Oops! Not here!" as if somehow the results would change. I cherished those moments.

Although she would go to anyone, she was Papa’s girl. As soon as she entered our house, she would call out for me—"Papa? Papa?" —then open her arms widely and run toward me. When we hugged, she fit just right. Our routine normally included the reading of her favorite board books—including Where’s Maisy?—and the singing of songs—"You Are My Sunshine" and "Tell Me Why"—Reagan lying relaxed in my lap as I rocked gently back and forth. Each time she left, I could not help but recall a line from a Truman Capote short story: "As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes."

I think all of her grandparents feel that way now, for our Little Explorer has gone on ahead, and we have a reunion to which to look forward. In these past months, I have discovered more about my granddaughter. She was part of another family; she had an entire life we never really knew.  She also had another Papa whom she worshipped.  As the Greens and the Williamses have come together to perpetuate Reagan’s memory, we have shared our stories and photos with each other. Each new discovery is like borrowed time, each new reminiscence a gift. And so Reagan lives on in us and, we hope, in the lives of other children through Reagan’s Rescue.

—Greg Williams