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Three Interludes

We lay snuggled together in her bed, the stories read and books put away, the lights turned low, listening to her nighttime music.

“Rebecca, can I tell you a secret?”

“Sure.”

“I love you super a lot.”

“I already knew you were going to say that, Daddy.”

“Oh, so it’s not a secret?”

“Nope.”

“Well then, can I tell you something that’s NOT a secret?”

“Sure.”

“I love you super a lot.”

“(exasperated sigh)”

I answered with a small chuckle, which earned me an affectionate glare.  Five minutes later, she was asleep, her breath quiet and even and calm and as normal as it had ever been, in the years before the tumors and the months after.


We were at the local playground, Rebecca and her sister Carolyn and brother Joshua and some friends and me.  At no apparent prompting, Rebecca came running toward me, then slowed to a walk and beckoned me to lean down closer to her.

“Daddy, I need to tell you something.”

“What?”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“I love you more! I love you to infinity… and BEYOND! No really, I do.”

And she was already headed back to the slides, smiling at me over her shoulder, her eyes squinted in a knowing amusement, before she turned away and rejoined the other kids at play.


We lay snuggled together in her bed, the lights turned low, listening to her nighttime music and admiring the rainbow arc projected onto the ceiling by a bedside light.  It fell across the ceiling fan and some of the get-well stars strung in a line from one side of the room to the other.

“Daddy, did someone put a rainbow on that star?”

“No, it’s from the rainbow light, sweetie.”

“Oh.”

“What do you think when you look at your stars?”

“I think that my friends are always cheering for me.  Always.”

“You bet they are.  Always.”

“I love you, Daddy.”

“I love you too.”

“I will love you forever.”

“I will love you forever and ever.”

“Daddy, why are you copying me?”

“Well, because your words are beautiful, and they’re all true.”

“Oh.  Okay.”

“I love you to the moon and the stars and back again.  I love you to infinity and beyond.”

“Okay, okay, Daddy, we get it already.”

“Good.”

She smiled at me like we shared a gentle secret, as normal as ever.  I kissed her forehead, and within two minutes, she had fallen asleep.  I listened to her slow, steady breathing, my arm still curled around her—not to protect her, but just to hold her close—and looked up at the stars and watched the rainbow until its timer reached zero and it faded away.

Seven Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Mon 5 May 2014
    • 1001
    Jesse wrote in to say...

    Those are the best kind of exchanges… full of meaning, yet mingled with the playfulness of childhood.

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Mon 5 May 2014
    • 1059
    Harald wrote in to say...

    Instantly reminded me of “Guess How much I Love You” by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, a true and moving (children’s) book. Your post is even more moving. Thanks for sharing.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Mon 5 May 2014
    • 1210
    Hick Crone wrote in to say...

    The friends Rebecca and her family don’t even know, us, out here, are always cheering for her, too. Maybe we don’t count as friends… We are still cheering and wishing with everything we have.

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Mon 5 May 2014
    • 2240
    Jason Grigsby wrote in to say...

    I love those moments. My daughter completely owns my heart. And moments like that are the moments that it overwhelms me with joy.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Tue 6 May 2014
    • 0326
    Jonathan wrote in to say...

    Magic moments. Thanks for sharing.

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Wed 7 May 2014
    • 1701
    Shannon wrote in to say...

    As the mother of a 5 and 8 year old that just learned of your story, I wanted to tell you that I, too, love you and your family. Rebecca is obviously a beautiful human being, as is everyone that you mention throughout your archives. I wish you, your family, and everyone your family has touched the most serenity that is possible from here to infinity and beyond. My daughters, Krysta and Izabella will be sending the purest thoughts and good feelings your way right beside me. Good luck in your journeys.

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Fri 9 May 2014
    • 1659
    Anonymous wrote in to say...

    One more person thinking and praying for your family, Eric. These are truly precious memories that you will have your whole life.

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