My dearest Kenzie,
You would be turning 18 today if you were still with us, but you will forever be my blond, blue-eyed 3-year-old poppet.
Every year, I imagine you one year older, what shenanigans you would be up to, who your friends would be, what hobbies and sports you would be enjoying, what subjects you would have liked, and now, what university or vocational career you would be choosing.
You were such a gregarious, adventurous and funny little girl, with a wicked sense of humour. You were also a mummy’s girl. You stuck to me like glue. Whereas Conor would happily go off to playgroup, you were not having a bar of it, you had to be with me. You were my mini-me and also my teacher.
You taught me lessons in strength and resilience when cancer came calling. Your strength of character and resilience through your horrendous cancer journey and short life inspire me to this day. You were wise beyond your years.
How you bounced back from a traumatised and paralysed little girl at the start of 2005 due to delays in your diagnosis and a plethora of painful and invasive tests, to the giggling, joking and mischievous 3 year old enjoying her birthday party and trip to Rainbow’s End in November, still fill me with awe. The memories of your laughter will forever make my heart sing.
The wonderful traits you exhibited in your three short years only exacerbate the feelings of anger and injustice that not only were we robbed of your life and potential, but so too was this world. You would have carved out a place in the world, making it a better place for having you in it.
At nights when I look at the stars, I wonder about the young woman you would have become. Now, on what would be the cusp of your adulthood, I am faced with overwhelming sadness and ache in my heart. I miss you and I feel for all the dreams and aspirations you never got to have; all the life experiences you were robbed of.
And yet, here we are this weekend, in a room filled with people celebrating your life and legacy. You have gone on to touch the lives of so many young Kiwis and families who have had to walk this journey, just like you did.
As a mum, I want to say that I am proud of you every single day. I feel honoured that I was chosen to be your mum, to be the one to guide and cherish you while you were here. Your love and tenacity for life have lived on in a magnificent way, that I only wish you could see.
Your Nonor and I will be sure to continue to share your gift with the world and make it a better place for having had you in it.
Love forever and always,