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.
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.
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.