|Marie and Maggie|
"You scared me." And before we knew it, we were doing a well-known routine.
"I be'd afraid of scary monsters that go Rah into the night. Rah!"
It is a routine born out of my growing up beside my nieces in Aurora, IL, specifically, Marie. When she was little, she would be hesitant about going to sleep at night.
"I be'd afraid."
"There's no such thing as monsters."
"But I'd be afraid."
And so it went. Well, being only 7 years older than she was, I was not a match for toddler-logic.
The memory, in the middle of the woods, over 2,000 miles from my beloved Marie, threatened to disintegrate me into tears. She is battling a very different scary monster these days. It not only goes "Rah" into the night, it bloody "Rahs" all over the place.
Having valiantly battled the leukemia monster early this year, her cancer is back. She's having heavy-duty chemo again in preparation for bone marrow transplant. Her siblings, amazing individuals all, were typed over a year ago. There's a match.
I know she's afraid. I will not ask "Of what?" this time, because it's the same thing I'm afraid of. May her Kathryn-inherited stubbornness and Sebastian-resilience lead the day. I hope she knows, that I am cradling her in my arms, thousands of miles away, as I did when she was all earnest-eyed with the ribbon of her blankie wrapped around her fingers. The Scary Monster better watch out.
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