Yellow Crayon

April 27, 2012
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Do you know what it’s like to have your child dying while you watch? To know that while you get to live a full, long life, they don’t. To go through each day, seeing other people living their lives, and knowing that your child will never be that. Knowing that your child will never have the chance to live. To watch as the life slowly disappears from your child, who won’t even get to have a third birthday. Do you know? I do.

I watch her every day, as her strength fails her. Watch as her body refuses to do simple tasks. Then I swoop in and rescue her from her attacker. Sometimes a cap on a water bottle. Sometimes a shoelace. Sometimes it’s simply a blanket that she is too tired to move. I am always watching my daughter, as her strength is slowly drained from her. As her life is being taken away from her. I can do nothing about it. I must simply watch as the angels take her life. Is there such a thing as angels? I used to believe in them. Then they began to take my daughter, and I lost them. She believes they exist though, so I guess I do too. But I hate those angels. I hate them in advance for the day that they will take her. I hate them for the day that they will take my Sarah away from me.

The doctors gave her less than a year to live. We try not to think about it, but it seems to consume both our lives. We go through life, knowing that she will die, my daughter, with leukemia. We still try to forget. She likes to color, and I let her. Even now, I watch her. She scribbles a drawing on her paper with her crayons, mainly the yellow, her favorite. I smile as she focuses, her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth, brow furrowed with concentration. Then her crayons clatter to the floor and scatter across the tile. I leap to my feet and fly towards her as her body falls. I am too late, and she hits the ground.

I scoop my daughter into my arms and clutch her to my chest. I murmur into her ear, though I know she cannot hear me. I carry her to her bed, and lie her down, then I stand back to see her. Even though her hair is only a few strands, her eyes have dark circles, and she is skinny, my daughter is beautiful. She is my angel on Earth. As I turn to go she moves and I glance back to see her, as she cradles a yellow crayon to her chest. I move to take it, but decide to leave it. I go back to the dining room to retrieve the escaped crayons. Instead I find myself holding her picture. It is heaven, full of angels, the same as always. This time is different though. This time she is in the picture. This time, she is happy.

Does she know something I don’t? I return to her room and scoop her into my arms again. Then I crawl into her bed, and simply hold her. As much as I try to forget it, I begin to think of everything she will never do. She will never go to school, or prom. She will never get a boyfriend, or be married. She will never get to have kids to worry about. She won’t get to become a teacher, or stand on the moon. She will never even get the chance to live. I would trade lives with her in a heartbeat if I could. Too bad it does not work that way. Instead, I am the one holding her. I am the one crying, not her. I look down at my daughter, and watch as she disappears. Something in me realizes what is happening. Everything in me that planned what to do disappears. I know what is happening to her, but I let it happen. I know I am terrible, but I keep thinking of her picture. How long it has been since she’s been happy. She gets to smile, while I get to cry. I rather it this way. So I simply hold her as I cry. Silent tears turn into great sobs. I don’t know how long I sat there, because when she died, part of me did too. Instead of me holding her we simply became a crying mother holding her dead baby, clutching a yellow crayon.





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