Saturday, April 4, 2009

Remembering Sara

When people ask me how many children I have, I usually hesitate and say, "five."

I hesitate because the right answer is "six."

Sara was born 27 years ago today. It is difficult to imagine what she would be like. Would she still have golden curls? She would certainly have those huge brown eyes and the smile that could melt your heart. Would she be married like her sisters with a houseful of children of her own? Or would she have pursued her art -- developing the raw talent that was so obvious even in a 7-year old?

We'll never know. Because three months after her 7th birthday, Sara died of a horrible tumor at the base of her brain. She spent most of her final year of life submitting to chemotherapy and radiation treatments, swallowing vile medications against her will, losing her ability to walk and run and finally, her ability to see. She lost her hair, her face was puffed and distorted from the chemo, and she was in pain much of the time.

But she never lost her desire to live. Just days before she died, she told my husband that she could not die, she was "too new." By this time, she had stopped drawing and instead of an artist, she wanted to be a nurse.

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