Abi will continue to need regular MRI scans and those will forever come at the cost of worry. Every illness will have me wondering whether it’s her cancer or her shunt malfunctioning. Every mood swing will make me consider if there’s a deeper cause. So I have long since realised that that is an ongoing story, with lots and twists and turns, but with no end. In fact, the only possible conclusion this story could ever have is my daughter’s death. It is an ending I hope to avoid. But it is a fear always present. And yet, in that fear, there is a beauty. Kahlil Gibran, in his poem ‘On Death’, puts it perfectly:
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour. Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
But the best part is that, despite my fear, Abi’s illness is not terminal. In fact, at the moment, she’s amazingly healthy. And my heart soars at that.