My Dear Zoey,
Today you would have turned 9. Yes all of 9. I wonder how you would look as a 9 year old girl? You’d probably look gorgeous with that straight black hair, a beautiful smile going from cheek to cheek and those big honey-bun eyes….. I still remember how a stranger saw you at age 2 and complimented “Look at those big eyes … They are cathedral windows to the soul.” I now understand it completely. You were an old and beautiful soul. You were so wise, intelligent and empathetic beyond your years. You were just, kind and generous and loved anyone and everyone that came your way. I remember clearly an incident that happened at your preschool.
I believe it was Halloween and you had made those little goody bags for every kid in your classroom. You were distributing them among the kid’s bins, and due to my impeccable ability to count, you were short by one. You seemed a bit sad that you wouldn’t get to take one home. ( And yes you had so painstakingly assembled them the previous night) . So in an attempt to not upset you, without giving it a second thought, I did something that I’m not proud of. I took one bag from this other kid’s bin and put it in yours. You gave me such a disappointed and sad look. You looked at me and said without hesitation “But mom that’s not right. This kid won’t get to take one home.” I was surprised and quickly realized what I had just done. You almost said “Mom don’t steal.” You put me right back in my place. All of 4 years old then…. I still remember it so clearly. We left all the goody bags there and I promised you a another treat to make up for the one you were missing. I remember coming home and proudly mentioning it to your dad. Yes baby girl, you had great moral fiber and you definitely didn’t get that from me.
Today you should have turned 9. The world is missing the beautiful person you would have been. It is our loss , our completely irrecoverable loss. We weren’t destined to see you grow past 5 and 1/2 years and with so much difficulty I say this, it’s our unfortunate destiny. To survive your loss, is unimaginable, but we are doing it one day at a time. It’s a constant heartache that will last a lifetime. The only hope that makes this grief remotely bearable is the hope that we will see you and be with you in the afterlife.
So today there won’t be a typical 9-year-old’s birthday celebration at our home. Instead in your memory, kids on the pediatric oncology floor at the hospital at which you were treated, will be enjoying some toys and sweet treats. And about 300 kids that are undergoing cancer treatment in India will get books and school supplies via the Samiksha Foundation. Hope you like what we do for your birthday every year. Hope you are proud of us and we aren’t letting you down.
As far as your brothers, your dada and I are concerned, we will have a low-key day at home with your memories, lots of ice cream, chocolate and pizza ( pizza being your brothers all-time favorite).
Love you baby girl. Have a fantastic birthday with your little Krishna wherever you are. Know that your mom and dad think of you every waking minute and love you to the moon and back.