(I try to keep my posts fairly light, but tonight I’m sad and I can’t. Thanks for understanding.)
I am an optimist, a believer in the human spirit, and one who hopes that good things come to good people. Most days, I believe this in spite of what I see in the news or hear on the street. But sometimes life does things to shake our beliefs to the core. More times than I’ve cared to count over the years, earthquakes and wars have hit close to home.
For two weeks I’ve known I would have to write this post – if not for you or me, then for a girl named Mia and her family. I went to high school with Mia’s parents, A. and M., and have been friends with them for over 20 years. Tonight they lost Mia, who just turned 9 last month, to rhabdomyosarcoma after a 3+ year fight.
This did not come as a surprise to me. Like other friends and family, I knew Mia’s latest treatments were not considered curative; they were meant to keep her feeling well for as long as possible. She had been doing so well until two weeks ago when a few of us received a panicked email informing us that Mia’s health had taken a turn for the worse. Like everyone else, I kept hoping and praying, all the while knowing deep down that the positive energy and prayers, the years of chemo, radiation, brain surgery and other procedures, were sadly not going to win the war.
I know A. and M. didn’t want their daughter to suffer in these last weeks and days; they didn’t want to lose her either. That is the tragic beauty of love, I suppose. I can’t imagine what they and their family, including Mia’s little brother, are going through. I hope I never do. All I can do is to be a good friend and to try and learn something from the sweet, brown-eyed girl I saw grow up in photos and Christmas cards.
Last fall, A. wrote that one Saturday morning they were all lounging around in bed and Mia said to her, “I was just thinking that this is my life right here. And it is good.”
Reading what a young girl said makes me realize that I have learned something. And that maybe my belief in the human spirit isn’t so foolish after all.