Grandpa

Dear Ava,

Today is 10 years since my grandpa, your great grandpa, left us. You were too little to remember the service, but you were there, yet you were not able to join everyone inside the church for the service since your immune system was getting rebuilt. At that time you were doing well. You were in remission, but still going to the doctors a lot. We were sad to lose gramps, but happy you were well finally.

You and grandpa both got sick at the same time. When you left us, the only solace I had was that he was there to greet you.

Tell him I say hi, and that I love him. I love you, too, like always.

See you later, Ava.

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Another Memory

Dear Ava,

I came across another Facebook memory. I wrote that I was packing in case I needed to leave at a moments notice. I lived across the country, and that was the hardest part, not being there for you and your parents when things were bad. And this was the worst of it before you left us. There were so many phone calls with news that you may not make it through the night. I didn’t know if I would see you again, which was the worst feeling I’ve ever had to feel. But, I am happy it didn’t come to that, that I was able to see you twice before you left. Those two days I saw you were the best. They were also my last.

I love you and I miss you ungodly amounts.

See you later, Ava.

Old Memory

Dear Ava,

Hello, munchkin. Thought of you today while I was browsing through my Facebook. I saw a memory came across my feed. On this day I had written how I was scared of the phone ringing, and it was dated two months before you left us. I was literally terrified of my phone ringing because every time it rang, there was more bad news about your condition getting worse. I don’t think I’ve ever cried as much as I did then.

Love you, sweet girl.

See you later, Ava.

Poem

Dear Ava,

I was going through some old things and came across this poem. I think I may have given this to your parents when you first got sick.

Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot destroy peace,
It cannot kill friendships,
It cannot suppress memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot conquer the spirit,
It cannot steal eternal life.

 

It cannot suppress memories… how true this is.

See you later, Ava.

Hello Ava

Dear Ava,

Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve written. I think about you daily; hourly, even. Trust me when I say it’s taken me years to get to the point where I can think of you and not be sad. That’s why I haven’t written, because I’m ok right now, and I’ve been holding up well. The only thing making me sad is the fact that I’m wishing to talk to you through a blog post.

Love and miss you.

See you later, Ava.

Summer Scamper

Dear Ava,

This year Stanford Children’s Hospital is having their annual Summer Scamper on the anniversary of the day you left us. Normally, as I’m sure you know, that is a very dark day for me… for all of us. It’s the only day I allow myself to be sad for missig you. But… I think I want to participate in the event, mostly to honour you, with the hospital that took such great care of you.

I’ll talk to your mama and daddy about it tomorrow. They may even want to join me. I even have the perfect name for a team! Ava’s Angels, what do you think? I think it’s perfect.

 

See you later, Ava. Come visit soon. I miss you.

Reliving the Past

Dear Ava,

Ever hear the expression, “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blind-side you at 4:00PM on some idle Tuesday.”? My life changed at that exact time on that same day of the week. I never knew how a single phone call could wreck me forever.¬†Eleven years later I’m still afraid to answer an unexpected phone call.

For some reason I’ve been compelled to go back and relive that very painful time in my life by rereading my old journal.¬†Up until that time my biggest worry was hearing from my university and my impending move across the country. Not cancer.

It’s amazing how something from so long ago could hurt just as much if you allow it to.

 

It’s never goodbye; it’s always ‘see you later’.

See you later, Ava.