The Window – part 1


I laid in bed staring out the rain soaked window, listening to raindrops dance and trickle down the glass. It was an intricate water ballet, one drop flowing into the other. I spotted a single bead. I could see myself in the liquid. I could see Ada dancing and playing, moving and gliding through life with her signature joy-filled expression. I could see friends and lovers from years past, how I flowed in and out of them. I could see Jake, his gentle existence nearby, ebbing and flowing in size and proximity. My life moments undulated across the pane. Then a droplet from high on the window moved down and began consuming everything in its path, it was coming straight for me with a voracious appetite. It became difficult to differentiate the noise of the storm from the noise in my mind. It’s not everyday that one hears “cancer.”

The sound of footsteps from down the hallway grew louder. Ada always had a way of feeling disturbance in the force. Normally at 3 a.m. when this happens, I would turn the sleepy-eyed munchkin away and gently guide her back to her bed. Normally when this happens I would be startled awake with eyes staring at me from the edge of the bed. But this morning, I wasn’t startled by Ada. She was a welcome cuddle-fest of solace.

“Mommy, I need you,” whispered Ada.

I shifted over. Ada climbed into the warm, perfect pocket and spooned next to me. All at once my body relaxed. I wrapped my arm around my beautiful daughter and breathed her in.

“Why are you awake?” I asked as I stroked her hair.

“The rain woke me up. I got a little scared,” Ada whispered.

“Ah, it’s just a little rain,” I said as I kissed her hair.

With a big sigh she grabbed my arm and wrapped it even tighter. “Have you ever had a dream when something was about to happen, but you didn’t know if it was good or bad? You just knew something was going to happen. I don’t know why, but it made me feel scared.” Ada tentatively shared. I could feel her body tense and looked down to see at teardrop rolling down her cheek.

“I understand sweetheart,” I replied in awe of my sensitive, and at times almost spiritual, 9-year-old daughter. Ada always felt so much, so deeply. “That happens to me from time to time,” I added.

“Really?” she responded with surprise. “How do you not feel scared?” she asked.

My heart lurched. My mind raced. I was scared. From the time Ada came into the world I committed to always tell her the truth, even when it’s hard. Something Jake and I had impressed upon her in many situations, especially ones when kids are tempted to bend the truth or outright lie. But sometimes it’s better to hold onto truth for a little while, to divert its exposure and just snuggle, for the benefit of a little girl.