Tonight we were having dinner and Katie called me a liar. I asked who did I lie to, she said her, Madison and I lied to Gabby and told her she was going to get better. I couldn’t say anything. I got in my car with the dog and drove around crying, trying to make sense of it all.
I started out saying Believe. At first it was to believe she would get better then it took on a new meaning. A meaning of purity, innocence, courage, strength, pure kindness and beauty. The word was what Gabby was… At times my belief would waiver, but I would always wrestle it back. When Gabby showed improvement and started moving more on her own we were all overjoyed, it was working I thought, she’s the one that can beat this. I was telling them all the truth.
The last few weeks of her life as I watched her health spiral down I still had hope, belief it was just an issue with the shunt and it could be fixed. The whole time I kept telling her she was getting better, getting sick was just the yuckies coming out; the hair loss was just the Yuckies losing. I sang to her nightly and would always ask like I ask all my girls: who’s beautiful? Who’s super smart? Who can be anything she wants to be? At the end Gabby couldn’t answer me anymore.
One day as I gave her a glass of milk I watched it pour right back out of her mouth. It was horrible to see, as I look at the pictures of the last few weeks of her life I see a girl in pain, a girl that was hurting so much. But yet I told her: Believe! You’re going to get better.
The last month of Gabby’s life she stopped calling to me, only called her mom, she also would rarely even look at me. As I drove around tonight I realized how smart she was, she had stopped believing what I was saying awhile ago. She knew I wasn’t protecting her, wasn’t fighting the monster under her bed or in her closet. I wasn’t doing what dad’s do. I realize I can’t fight cancer, but a five year old little girl looks to her dad for protection. I couldn’t protect her, I wasn’t protecting her, and she knew it. All I wanted was for her to stop hurting so badly.
Which brings me to the end of this update, during the last few months I have started to wonder was I lying to all of them or was I just lying to myself?
Believe in Gabby