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Fourth Day: Celebrating the Ordinary

Graceful and elegant, my daughter’s fingers catch the sun spilling through the window. For a moment, I am undone, realizing that my little girl’s hands are those of a young woman. Strong and steady, the real warrior in our house.  As though it were yesterday, I remember when she first discovered her hands. For her besotted parents, it seemed an almost  magical milestone in her development, as though she were the first child to ever make such a discovery. Her fingers in constant motion, we called it “hand ballet.”  Transfixed, as though under a spell, she paid rapt attention, staring intently at those little fingers that would, all too soon, cooperate to clap hands, tie laces, create pictures, make music, whisk eggs, and wipe away tears.

Just eight months ago, the weekend before my mastectomy, she and I spent the afternoon at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix. An uncharacteristically overcast afternoon, calm and quiet, we were both contemplative, bracing ourselves perhaps, for what would come next.

The light was perfect for picture-taking in the garden that January afternoon, but until I looked through the photographs this evening, I had forgotten all about the pink “cure it” band my daughter had worn around her wrist. Given to her, I know, by someone with only good intentions, it occurs to me now that my darling girl has not worn it since.

She knows.

She is still paying attention . . .


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