When I was one I had just begun
When I was two I was nearly new
When I was three I was hardly me
When I was four I was not much more
When I was five I was just alive
But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever;
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.
- A. A. Milne, “Now We Are Six”
Rebecca Alison Meyer, who had been so sick she barely talked or moved, rallied last night to go to her birthday dinner at her favorite restaurant. She ate her favorite Sasa Matsu fries and gorged on birthday cake frosting.
At 2:00 a.m., the rally faded and she began to die in earnest. We got the call at 6:00 a.m., and drove to her house just in time to hold her hand as she officially made it to her sixth birthday at 7:24 am this morning. She was no longer “Becca,” she had informed us beforehand. A big girl of six should be Rebecca. Though she was always Rebecca to me, and she was always larger than her age in every way that counted.
Eleven and a half hours later, she died. If love alone could have saved her, the caring in that room would have incinerated her disease, lifted her up, floated her away. But it couldn’t.
Rebecca’s last words were to her best friend: “Goodbye Ruthie, I love you, mwah!” Which, you know, not bad words to go out on.
She is six. She made it to six. She is six now, and she is Rebecca, and God oh Christ I will miss her for all my days.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.