Our first born daughter Laura at eight years of age had an epileptic seizure on the ski slopes of Sappe as a complete surprise. Within two days our happy and energetic daughter received a diagnosis which destroyed everything. An inoperable brain tumour with only months to live. Our world came tumbling down. The very foundation we had built on was crumbling through our fingers into oblivion.
Powerless, inconsolable, darkness, panic.
Immediately after receiving the diagnosis we began the fight against the clock. We were in a hopeless battle trying to gain hope. Brain surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, complications, different type of chemotherapy, MRI scans, biopsies, procedures after procedures in a never-ending stream.
Pain, nausea, exhaustion, chaos, helplessness.
The illness changed everything, irreversibly. We wouldn’t be able to live even for a moment without the fear of losing our child. It wasn’t possible to go back to the old life where things were safe and protected. Every day could be the last. We lived in the moment. We couldn’t go back to what once was, there was no tomorrow. There was only the moment at hand. In some ways life during the illness made everything come into focus, appear brighter. Even the smallest things became meaningful. Joy and happiness were mixed into the sorrow and pain. Tears into laughter.
Laura lived in the here and now. With the great wisdom of a child she completely focused on the crafts project at hand or moved through the imaginary lands while playing with her sister. She enjoyed the good times with everything she had. As soon as her nausea subsided, as soon as she had the strength to stand up, out came the barbies and the legos or she made beautiful arts and crafts projects with her sister.
She wrote fantastic stories and beautiful poems. She was always thinking that if I’m too tired to play today, I’m sure I’ll be able to play tomorrow. She always had a positive outlook on life and a great sense of humour, she knew how to enjoy herself, go with her feelings, relax and be happy.
Laura loved life; snow, sunshine, horses, swimming, playing, ice skating, horse riding, arts and crafts. The best games were played with her sister. The best place in the world was at home with her family. The best thing to do was to spend time with those you love. The safest place was in her mother’s arms. Two year long relentless battle came to an end on the first day of December in the arms of her father and mother. Laura was called to our Heavenly Father.
Laura is still very much a vivid part of our lives. She is in our thoughts, with us in what we do, we see her grin, feel her touch. Endless sorrow is a sign of our love for her.
“A little bird so small
Is happily singing
A little bird is alone
Under the moon in the night
When wolf howls alone
Little bird will wonder
How long will this carry on
The wolf’s howling echoes
The morning is breaking again
It makes the sun laugh
The wolf goes quiet
The little bird will fly
How far will this journey take me
On the little bird’s wing?"*
*Translation by Minna Mäkinen