Today, March 26, 2015 marks 5 years since Maya’s diagnosis. 5 years ago, everything changed. Everything. We have seen unthinkable things. We’ve journeyed to hell with our daughter and back. Our hopes were raised and then dashed. We lived on prayers and the goodness of those who were kind enough to extend their hands to us.
There were many times when we thought Maya would not make it. There were many times when we would have gladly have given our lives for hers. There were many times when I would have gladly pulled out my organs for her. I will take these deals even now.
And we saw many children taken by this horrible disease. Why did that happen? What fault could a child have to deserve such a fate? Why are we still here? These are some of the questions that cross our minds regularly, if not daily.
Each time I engage my daughter, there is still a sense of surreality that accompanies the interaction. There are hundreds of millions of potential outcomes in this story. Perhaps they all happened in their respective timelines. Yet… my focus and reality is this timeline where Maya overcomes two very serious cancers. Why is my reality the one that works out?
Each moment is precious to us. A simple jesture of a smile or a belly laugh is a wonder of wonders. It truely is. It could have so easily not happened. It could have so easily have been snubbed out. Yes, we have all heard that each one of us is a miracle and that each moment is a moment unique in both time and space. But I would have never truely known this, had we not gone through such hardship. I would not have known unless thissimple existence was so severly challenged.
Yet… we are here, even with some amount of guilt. We are here. And our daughter Maya, although she has battle scars befitting an old soldier, unlike such a warrior is still able to smile with a sense of innocence, awe and wonder for this thing called life.
And in these five years, we were supported and sometimes even propped up by those surrounding us. There were many candles lit at the Vatican, to countless chanting services and prayers by our family, friends and some we don’t even know.
Why should this be our lives? I don’t know.
We are a pediatric cancer family. We will always be a pediatric cancer family. But, what I can tell you is that we will live each day, each moment the best way we can; with love, compassion and gratitude for this wonderful thing called life. That would be just the beginning of how we can repay back for the support and love we have received.