Dear lady with kind eyes and warm hands;
You reached and held my hand when you found me crumpled on the hospital floor, eyes puffy and red from three sleepless nights and endless, endless tears. I was talking on my cell phone. I was searching and searching for an answer because what I had been told made no sense. It made as much sense as if the Dr told me she could fly.
What I had been told could not be; it was impossible. There had to be an answer that made sense.
Searching. Searching. I was lost and shocked and broken.
The only words you spoke were ‘I know. I know.’ as you squeezed my hand and caressed my arm.
You and your son were walking down the hall, and you chose to stop to hold my hand and tell me ‘I know.’
I tried to tell you ‘they say my son is going to die.’ But I hadn’t spoken those words out loud yet and found myself unable to do so. I was unable to speak those words for a long time. So I just stared at you with wide tear filled eyes.
Your son was bald and had a port and an IV stand. He was so beautiful and fragile and strong. I stared at him with admiration and fear and jealousy.
I was envious that his cancer was treatable. I was afraid of the horrors of childhood cancer treatment. I was in awe of his strength and beauty.
You held my hand, and I saw you. I saw a mother walking strong next to her beautiful child. I realized that I would do that too. I didn’t know how but I realized I would. That I would stand and walk and be strong. Like you were doing then. Not that I could but that I would anyways. Because you were.
Today my one-too-few family attended a group memorial for children gone too soon that was put on by Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
You tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I remembered you.
Yes, I remember you. I will never forget the kindness you shared with me during our only conversation that consisted of only two words.
And you are here now. I am so sorry. I want to explain what that moment meant to me, that you gave me a gift. But it is too big to try to put into words in a crowded room.
And now we both know the pain of losing a child. I am so sorry you have to feel this pain too. I wish that no other parent knew this pain.
And I am also so grateful for their support.
About the Author: Along with her husband and living child, Terra witnessed the pain, strength, and beauty of a child battling cancer. This child’s memory is honoured and celebrated every day.