This day…and the excruciatingly sharp memories of it from four years ago is no longer the worst day of my life. But, it is the reason and the cause and the blame for what happened that would lead us down the path to what would come. Because of this day, I now KNOW pain. I now KNOW heartache. I now KNOW loss of a magnitude that cannot be understood unless experienced.
This day four years ago, cancer came calling. Cancer invaded our sweet, quiet, happy lives and would forever claim its divide between “then” and “now.” I will never (ever) understand why cancer invades our most precious and innocent of lives. Why our CHILDREN are diagnosed at an alarming rate. And why (oh, God, why) people turn their heads and call it rare. The second thing I will do when it’s my time in heaven, after a long and joyful reunion with my beautiful girl, will be to ask God himself. Why?
But through it all, the pain and the memories of this day and every day in the four years that followed, I want to say something out loud here and proper to my daughter that I don’t think I’ve ever said to her before.
Kate, I want to say thank you. For showing me the most pure, beautiful form of love imaginable. Thank you for showing me kindness of the most loving form. For letting me experience pure joy through your eyes – learning to delight in what appeared the smallest of things. Thank you for showing me bravery unmatched, courage and a heart of gold.
But above all, thank you for letting me be your mommy. For letting me be your comfort. For letting me be your “person” in the darkest, scariest times of your life. I want to say thank you for letting me be your refuge, your lap and your shoulder to calm the storm. You might never know how difficult it was to watch you struggle, though I imagine now you do. Amazingly enough, my darling girl, those hardest of days would become ones I will cherish the most because you trusted me. You needed me. You loved me.
And that, my sweet Kate, is my life’s greatest gift.