To My Daughter

Life is full of ifs. Big ifs. If I live to be 100. If I never get cancer again. It might be just one big if, in fact. But there's one thing I know for sure...

If I ever have a daughter, I'm going to tell her that when you die, life becomes a symphony.

I'm going to tell her that the little things don’t matter.

That the mean kids in school and all the cruel things they said, those don’t matter because some day you will either forget them or you will prove them wrong. That it won't matter if you were the prettiest or the tallest or the smartest. That it doesn't matter if you had a bad day or a good day, because when you die, your entire life will turn into a song, performed by a symphony in the hearts of all the people that loved you, and it will have been up to you to write a song of love or a song of tragedy.

I'll tell her that even though the only moment you can live in is the present and that the only time you can experience is now, it's important to feel right now from the eye of the universe, remembering how grand life happening in this moment is for everything alive and that it's bigger than you, and that you shouldn’t fear that greatness, you should admire it and explore it.

That the little things don't matter because the world is a big and beautiful place, and because everything is in its place. Because every time your heart breaks and every time you shed a tear, it's a beautiful thing, because it means your life had absolutely everything in it. That it was rich with good and bad, bright and dark colors, sunshine and thunderstorms. That you experienced everything possible.

That the point isn't a life in which everything is perfect...

But instead a life that has everything. Absolutely everything imaginable. That it's all a gift.

If she gets her heart broken I'll tell her to mourn the love she loses but not for too long, because soon it will be time to be grateful at the chance to love another human being. That not everyone gets to love and be loved by more than one person, learn from more than one person in a single life.

I'll tell her life becomes a symphony because the little stresses of every day won't be part of the song they sing when you die. The story that is told at the end of your life won’t include all the minutia. It will include all the beautiful things you did with your life, all the people you help and all lessons you share and all the love you give. It will sing the praises of all the battles you fought, whether you won or lost. In the symphony of your life, you are a tiny dancer, and it’s up to you to show them a unique dance, the dance only you know the steps to, the dance only you can perform. To dance your dance, all you have to do is be yourself, be true to yourself. That is your dance - that is how you’ll want people to remember you.

I'll tell her life is so short, life is so precious.

I'll tell her not to question it when things seem out of place. Don't hide from it, even the hard parts, but to face them and accept them. That I created you in my womb to be strong, to be brave. I gave you all my courage when I built you inside me. That I put pieces of my heart inside your heart. I'll tell her not to be scared when it gets tough, or when it looks like the end, because you never know if it's the end or not, and you can’t control it. Just love it, embrace it, accept all of life no matter how short or long.

I'll tell her to make her life a love song, one that tells the story of a girl who lived for passion, who gave herself fully in the time that she had on earth. A song about a girl who shared her dreams with the world with courage and conviction, who lived without regrets, who understood that this beautiful, brief life would be over so soon and she danced her heart out all the way through.

I don' t know if I'll ever have a daughter. I don’t know if my body will be able to handle a child, or if that child will get sick like I did, and these are all big ifs with big questions that follow. But the one thing I know for sure, if I ever have a daughter, she will be made of pure love.

And if I never do, at least I shared what I would have told her with you.

Did certain lifestyle choices increase your the risk of your cancer diagnosis?


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