A letter to my 7 year old Daughter on her birthday
"7 years ago today..." - a family joke yes, as every year on your birthdays, I put all three of you through the history of your birth throughout the day - just so you understand how magical it is - how wonderful to welcome someone new into a family. But...
...7 years ago today, I wondered with some anxiety how I could love another child as much as my firstborn - was there enough to go around? Well, from the quiet inklings of your coming to the powerful surge of your rapid birth you have stopped us in our tracks from the moment you took your first tentative breath. I was struck by the differences to your sister, immediately in love with your gentleness and serenity how could I have ever wondered if I would love you?
7 years on and you are still a gentle soul - you love your dolls, stuffed toys and time alone. You are a generous friend and sister but for all of this calmness you have a very mischievious nature often fooling those who may not know you so well.
This year has been so hard for you. You were the first to ask the question when we told you the Doctors thought something was wrong with Mummy - "are you going to die?", the next day you asked "Do you have cancer?" . You didn't want to visit me in hospital or touch me, the drains made you feel sick and made you cry. You were ok with my baldness - even assiting to shave my head. You love to have a bath with me on a Sunday - you stare where my breast used to be and often ask very involved questions about life, death, heaven. You don't quite believe in it you say. You wonder if you will get cancer too. You have never been one to fear being away from me but now going to school causes belly aches and headaches, your teacher describes you as "fragile". I walk you to the classroom again now and you often have to be torn from me.
I'm so sorry that what is happening to me has impacted your life in a way I never wished. My vow to you is to live as an example - to enjoy life fully, to not let cancer to become "our story", to show you that you can live life with hope and joy. I aim to continue to embarrass you with my dancing and singing in the aisles at the supermarket, my bopping with the radio full blast at the lights, to make your birthday cake for every birthday I am here for. I'll tuck you in at night and hear your reading, I'll help you with your violin even when your perfectionist streak results in a screaming tanti - I'll revel in your wonder at the beautiful things in life.
Together we will learn that stillness is wonderful, that we are perfect and beautiful just the way we are and together, just maybe, we'll see that living fully with love - miracles happen all the time.
Love you Poppet - forever and beyond.
P.s. - Yes, I am taking a break but felt compelled to record a letter to Alex here today. So often we talk about how this disease affects us physically but it happens to the family - not just the person and our children are very affected - all in their individual ways. I'm enjoying my "break" and thankyou all as always for your support and care. I'm brewing an idea for a photography project for next year - if you are interested in following how it develops let me know.
Much love and light to you all. xx