Twelve years ago my four-year-old left without saying good-bye.
I know he would have whispered that word---if he could have.
Instead, some of his last words to me were,
I want to go home.
Daniel struggled to live, but the staph infection took over his cancer
body. I held him when he breathed his last on February 2, 1997. The dying don't scare me anymore.
From Daniel I have learned that some days a smile from a loved one is
enough. The problems of life might be fierce, but when it all boils
down, what is left is this: Being loved and loving is truly what it is
all about. Daniel loved well. He generously gave stickers to those
who visited him during his weeks of chemo.
My diagnosed son who lost his hair at age three told me he didn't want
anything bad to happen to me. He protected his baby brother and looked up to his big sister. He shared jokes and videos with his dad. The nurses came to see him, even after their shifts and during their time off.
When Daniel died, our hearts ripped apart. Raw, aching, and painful. We had such hope that he would live, that a miracle would occur right there in the hospital room.
Slowly, over the years, we learn how to piece our hearts together again. Slowly.
We miss him and the void his life has brought is there each day.
But most importantly, Daniel will always be remembered by his smile and love.