Letter to Emma

Many days now, I have been thinking about writing something today for your 25th birthday that we are not celebrating. I wanted to write something in line with your own writings, something that brings out deeper thinking, strength and feeling, humor and optimism. Nothing comes though. Even though I wake and go to sleep picturing your face, it is impossible for me to become inspired from your stance enough to adopt it today. “Don’t be a drama queen, daddy,” you would tell me now, just like you used to tell me in response to my occasional intense and formal style of speech. Unfortunately, I cannot maintain a light tone in a blog about “light stories about cancer and life.” Yes, I know that there are “hair and other irreplaceable things,” as you wrote in your first story. But there are also things that are irreplaceable. What you taught me among other things, Emmanuella, is to feel happy that even though the illness lived inside you for 5.5 years, for 1998 days, you did not let it dictate how you behaved in the outside world. No matter the emotional exhaustion we all went through during this time of your illness, I assure you that we have all been happy, and we would have happily lived with the same exhaustion for many years to come because we were happy. But happiness and unhappiness are apart only by a short minute, a second really. Today, I cannot look behind the happiness of these 24 years, because it pains me. Today, I have to find the strength to live through the day of your birthday when you will not be blowing out 25 candles.



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