I beg your pardon in advance...I'm in one of those moods...
I'd recently started following a blog that followed a family as they dealt with their daughter's neuroblastoma. Layla Grace passed away this morning. She was only a couple of months older than my daughter. I don't even know this child, but my heart is aching for her parents. I think they were incredibly brave to chronicle the (too few!) precious days they had with their daughter. It pained me to read their words as they described the pain she was in, the suffering she went through, and how much they wanted her to stay. And yet, I am in awe of these parents because even despite the darkness, they still found something to cling to, something that gave them hope and comfort. As much as I try to be hopeful, were I in that situation, I don't know that I would be the same. I don't know that I could be sane.
I can't even begin to imagine their pain, but reading their blog has made me a bit more grateful. If it sounds selfish, well, I won't deny it. I can't. I'm grateful for the health of my daughter, for her wholeness, for her zest and spark, for her temper tantrums, for the times she keeps me up at night when she just won't go back to sleep. I'm grateful for the times she IS ill, because it means I can hold her and comfort her without her fighting me too much. I'm grateful that she's patient with me, as much as a two year old can be. I'm grateful that even when I yell at her, she forgives me two seconds later.
I complain often about her behaviour, the lack of sleep I get thanks to her, and a good many other things in relation to her. And I admit, I have it found her presence an inconvenience and frustrating. But if someone offered me the fruition of my wildest dreams and all I had to give up was her, there would be no hesitation–I'd scoop her up in my arms and take her away as fast as the wind could carry us. Even if I lost her, God forbid, I would not want someone to take the memories of being her mother away from me. Sybilla is my heart, and I wear it openly and with gratitude.
My condolences and prayers are with Layla Grace's family tonight. I am glad that Layla isn't suffering anymore, and that her parents no longer have to watch their baby hurt. I hope that they will find joy and happiness again and that Layla's death will mean something in the long run; I know that it has already.
And in a few hours, when my daughter wakes up and comes to my side of the bed whispering, "Mommy?" I will wrap her up in my arms, give her a big hug and a kiss, and offer another prayer to God thanking Him fervently for my little inconvenience.