17 August 2006 – 24 October 2014
a Reason to Smile
Theresa Botha Nieuwenhuis
And so I watched everything on Christmas Eve. My husband and I had guests and I greeted them with a smile and tried hard to laugh but it was difficult… But we did it.
Presents were handed out on Christmas Eve and by jingo, Father Christmas’s pants tore again. Everyone screamed with laughter but in my heart I wanted to shout WHY and wanted to run away and scream!!!
Christmas morning I made coffee and ate a rusk, but with tears in my eyes because that little voice calling out “Hey, where’s mine?” was missing.
I did not want to experience this day without her. Everything felt unreal, but we still enjoyed being with family. I think in the end the day was good and better than being alone, but sometimes one also has to confront one’s feelings in order to heal.
New Year came and we watched the fireworks from the balcony and when the clock struck midnight everyone was happy about the New Year and wishes were shared, and all that I could think about was “I am entering a new year without my Bekkieblom.”
I never thought this day would come but it did, and it caught me really badly. I was an emotional wreck and I wanted everyone to be able to see how sore my heart was. I wanted them to hurt too, just so that they could understand…
In early January 2015 we celebrated Mia’s 6th birthday and she got up and came and asked me, “Mommy, Mommy do you think that Jesus would loan sis to us for just one day so that she can come to my party?”
My heart sank into my shoes and I had to think very quickly so that I could tell her in a nice way that her sister would not be coming back. I told her that she cannot come because if Jesus loaned her to us for one day we would not give her back, and He really needed her so that she could watch over all the other sick children and make sure that they were not scared. She was satisfied with this answer and waited anxiously for all her friends to come so that the party could start.
I switched off and decided that I would just forget about everything for one day and just enjoy the day with Mia. She went through just as much as we did; she virtually grew up in hospitals from a young age, as she accompanied us every time that her sister went to hospital. I had lost a child, but she had also lost a sister.
We had a great party that day, but the next day all of those emotions returned… with a vengeance… because how could I want to forget for a whole day? Vengeance would not allow me to do it; it was unacceptable!
Little Fighters Cancer Trust would like to extend a huge thank you to the Niewenhuis family for allowing us to share Xuané’s story and photos, and hope that it will bring Awareness regarding Childhood Cancer to the public in general so that they can get a bit of an idea what battling Childhood Cancer is like – why the Little Fighters Cancer Trust does what it does, why creating Awareness around Childhood Cancer is so important, and enlightenment to other parents.
We will continue with Part 21 of Xuané… a Reason to Smile tomorrow…