And gave it away. Pushed it into the hands of the husband whose wife lay battling cancer and the father whose infant daughter we'd driven hours to bring to the bedside of the mother whose illness was robbing them both of the promise of parenthood. As we prepared to take their first and only child away from the hospital, too tearful to explain, I simply showed him my name, "Notjustagirl," and said, "It's important. I want her to have it."
They are not my family, but the family of my oldest "adult" friend. All day long I'd made myself small as I watched another mother and father grieve for there daughter who'd just become a mother, as sisters explained through their tears what the "treatment" would be and how grateful they were to my friend, and to me, for making the drive which my friend could not have done by herself. I felt so insignificant beside their gratitude. Seldom is one given an opportunity to do something so purely good and right. It was truly a privilege to bring some measure of relief and even a bit of joy. I had only to bear witness. They had to bear the unbearable.
It was the end of an exhausting 14 hour day of a trip only half-finished. Our journey to bring the baby girl who has been in the care of my friend, her paternal aunt, to visit her mom in the hospital, before the chemo made her child a stranger to her. Watching this woman have her hair cut before it would, inevitably, fall out in clumps, I realized that I did, in fact have something to offer. It would be a small comfort for her soon-to-be bald head, but something that I hoped she too could believe in. And so I left it with him, for her, and now as I step out in the cold winter chill, I am reminded that good and evil can exist in the same breath and I choose to believe.