The last words I would ever say to her, the words I said as she lay dying in my arms. It’s not, nor was it, as poetic as it sounds. Death never is. And at the time – I didn’t know those words would be the last I would ever say. They were just words of comfort – to her, to me, that somehow, someway – it really would be ok.
I would go on to say those words. Repeat them year after year. They became cliché, worn, worthless. “I’m sorry for your loss” they would say, and instinctively, as if to offer them some comfort, some release from the god awfully awkward conversation they had SOMEHOW managed to get themselves into I would reply: “It’s ok.”
But the truth is, I have come to realize, far too late in life, is that it isn’t ok. And it most likely never will be ok. And that no matter how awkward or weird or horrible it may make a person feel – it is NOT ok.
It is not ok that cancer stole my girl. It is not ok that she felt pain and suffered and had to die as I sat helplessly by watching. It is not ok that her life was cut short, and out of respect for others feelings – I avoid the topic – because nothing kills a conversation faster than saying “My daughter had cancer. But she didn’t survive.”
She is just another lost addition in the endless sea of statistics. She means nothing to anyone else, and might have been nothing but another number. But to turn a deaf ear to the cause. To the awareness. To the need to end this? Is NOT ok. And it never will be.
Not today, just another day in September. Not tomorrow. Not next year, or next month.
It’s not ok that childhood cancer still exists. No matter what way you look at it, it is never going to be ok.