“A thousand words could not explain, a thousand worlds could not contain every perfect gift comes from You.”
Every time I think about it, I choke up.
This passage of time. The fleeting of days.
She is five.
Soon she will be skipping off with her daddy to be dropped at the school door’s edge, and my days will have considerably less sparkle.
I will be honest.
This is the hardest one to bear.
She was 16 months to the day when my cancer diagnosis came.
I have missed so many of her days.
How can she be five already?
What about all those moments and milestones and memories? When did they happen?
They are far too few, buried beneath three years of treatments and pain killers and anti-nausea medications and hospitalizations and surgeries and recoveries. They are things I remember about the boys, but I have no memory of with her.
This is the pain I sometimes feel I cannot bear.
Time with my children is so fleeting, and then this–this cancer came and robbed me of too much time with them. I feel it the most with her, because I had spent many days already with the boys, but so few with her…
Yes. This is the pain I sometimes feel I cannot bear.
I can hear the sound of my boys lisping their first sentences, favorites songs we danced to, favorite foods to eat, and I ache for those memories with her. I claw through my mind and the chemo-brain closes in, shutting memories down, and when she listens to the stories I tell of days with the boys, she asks, “What about me, Mommy?” And my heart seizes up and my throat closes and I whisper thickly, “I wish I could remember sweetie.”
And I get angry. So angry. That sin would come into the world this way and crush the beautiful things in life.
And then I remember.
I have her. Here, now.
I have friends who don’t. They go to empty bedrooms and cribless homes. They carry flowers to gravestones rather than braid them in their daughters’ hair.
And I breathe deep. Drinking in the beauty of my Bella-girl.
And I am thankful.
She is here, now. She has always been here.
And God opens my heart to the gifts He has given me. Beautiful gifts. Wonderful gifts. He melts my anger and answers my wrestlings with reminders of His grace.
Here, now. God has always been here.
He has given me this girl. This girl who sparkles and dances and brightens my life with her brilliance. This girl who makes life a musical in real-time with made up songs and new words and feet that seem to never stop dancing.
This girl who is five.
And while I lament the loss, I embrace the gain with gratitude. This gift. Her, life, love, grace, cancer… these gifts… “a thousand words could not express…”
It is all from His hand.
I am so very broken.
But I am so very grateful.
Because I have her.
She has always been, and she is…