They said I was lucky to be there but how could they possibly have known? With the dark and merciless sea traveling coolly by 35,000 feet below, your illness spoke to me in urgent, non-negotiable terms about the possibility that you might not survive this time. But I wasn’t really listening because I didn’t want to hear, didn’t want to believe. Like all the other times the phone had rung and bad news had been delivered. It was amazing to me that I had gotten on the plane at all.
They said I was lucky to be your daughter but they didn’t know the half of it. For all I rushed and panicked my way through boarding calls and customs queues, I never once felt like there was anything you didn’t know. All my life, I told you what you meant to me. There was no secret to share, no tortured apology or wish for forgiveness at your bedside. There needn’t have been any hurry, actually. Because there was only ever love. Bright and shining from your beautiful eyes, hidden in your knowing smile – so cheeky, humour in all you saw. You were all love.
They said I would feel lucky once you went but what the hell did they know? That I would sleep by your bed and hold your hand. That I would tell you I loved you and that I would always be your little girl. That I would feed you ice cream and tell you jokes in between the morphine dreams. And that I would draw from you more courage than I ever thought I would need to see you through; to face your dying with bravery and acknowledge that you knew too; to tell you that it was OK for you to go. That I would, in the end, feel lucky – in a necessary, almost primal sort of way - to see you take your place in humanity and do what we all must do one day; to see you out of this world as you had seen me into it.
They were right. I am lucky. So lucky to have known you. So lucky that I am part you and that you will always be a part of me.