Katie girl, you are magic. Every time you turn the sky pink with your rays of little girl sunshine, I am reminded. Every time you shift the breeze so that the branches of our lilacs sway toward the window, I am reminded. Every time you say to me “mommy, I’m here” in your own special ways, I am certain. You. Are. Magic.
And so marks another Monday that will bleed into another Tuesday. Another 5:37am. Another week without my little girl. Only this time, it marks another month, too. Three months without my daughter. A quarter of a year without this slice of heaven.
Imagine that, just for a moment. You have this life – this beautiful life that you created with love. Even on the bad days, your house is full of chatter, giggles, thundering foot steps, silly songs and this…this comes-from-the-belly-shrieking laughter. You are Mommy and Daddy is Daddy and despite the twists and turns, life is so, so good. You are happy. The happiest you’ve ever been. This sweet voice…these blue eyes…this loving angel wakes you up every morning and kisses you good night every night. You have everything you ever wanted. You. Are. Complete.
Then one day…it’s just GONE. It is gone, because the number one cause of death by disease in children STOLE HER FROM YOU. You didn’t worry about this, of course, because even though she had cancer before, it was “the good kind.” The kind that you would be told “would be just a blip on the radar of her life.” You don’t worry about relapse because your daughter kicked cancer to the curb and the success rate of this type is SO HIGH.
You were ignorant. And naive. There is no good cancer, no sure-fire win or beatable cancer. They are all made from hell and nothing is guaranteed, no matter how much you will it to be so. On average, 17% of children diagnosed with cancer will die within 5 years of diagnosis. Kate got 29 months, almost to the day.
I will never see this face again. I will never get to tell her how she changed me; how much I love her. I will never get to tell her how proud I am to be her mommy and how much I miss her. How because of her, the world was just better. Good. And how without her, the void seems endless and unable to be filled.
I have hugged the necks of too many other parents missing their babies from their arms. I have looked into the eyes of too many other mothers terrified their child could be just like Kate. I have too many friends who lost their children to this war and I know too many more who could.
All because of childhood cancer. Learn the facts. Get involved…do SOMEthing. If you don’t have ideas, I do. Ask me. Because three months ago it was my girl. Tomorrow it could be yours.
I wrote a longer post on my personal page today, but wanted to share a little bit here, too.
When, exactly, is this supposed to start getting “easier?” Please don’t misunderstand and think I’m actually asking for you to attempt to answer that. Every book, every counselor, every grief blog I’ve read convinces me that everyone does this at their own pace. I get it. I also don’t want you to think that I truly believe it ever WILL get easier. Different, maybe, though I’m unsure how. Every day is different without her.