Little kindness

I still choose to get up each day and smile fiercely at the sun. Sure, maybe sometimes that smile looks more like a grimace of pain. Yet despite trisomy 18, despite grief of unimaginable magnitude, despite leukemia, despite Alzheimers, dementia, and mental illness, I choose to dig in my garden, to read books, to write, to cherish my children, the living and the dead, to kiss my husband, and to keep striving towards … whatever it is we strive towards—maybe just being a better person in the world. Maybe just spreading compassion and love.

It begins with a magnolia leaf—smooth, shiny, and deep green.

“Are you telling me that she has leukemia?” I manage to gasp out.

“I’m so sorry,” her voice strained, “but I want you to take her to the hospital today. I’m hoping this is just a mix-up, some lab error. We need to recheck it to be sure.”