When my daughter was in Grade 6 and I was a single mother, we lived in a cute little north Toronto ‘war home’ built in the ’50s. It was all I could afford. Its bright red door and matching shutters set it apart from the long row of similar story-and-a-half houses. We loved it. It was one block off the school bus grid, so she had a long walk each day.
White blond hair and cornflower blue eyes, my beautiful child, only 11, knew I loved her without condition. She had her own key, and called me the minute she was home so I knew she was safe.
Wrong version of safe.
I rise with the sun. Being late is not an option. I have come into my farming life too late to change old habits; rising early remains a challenge.
The dogs' tails bang against the wall enthusiastically, unconditionally welcoming me into their morning. A momentary distraction.
Today is my daughter's first trip to the chemotherapy clinic, and I am her chauffeur; okay, bodyguard. Intravenous immunoglobulin, a miraculous concoction of antibodies from donor plasma, will be delivered into her veins.
Safe and sound.
My cryptic text was late and not entirely accurate but Kate would be anxious. It was easy to stretch the truth and put her at ease. I had no energy left but was very grateful to be home. Grateful that the milk in the fridge was still good, grateful the cereal box was not empty. My midnight bowl of solace...
Dear readers, The loss of a child in a family is incomprehensible. Recent devastating circumstances irreversibly changed my family's life, making the writing of this near impossible. Yet every day, courage surrounds me; I am in awe of this grace and dignity amid such sadness and loss.
As we seek to navigate this unchosen path, we are constantly astounded and grateful for the steady outpouring of kindness, support and expressions of condolence. So write this I must..