Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

You Are Missed

Kyra Megan Pillsbury
May 1st, 1991 to February 15, 1996

Kyra, three days before diagnosis

Dear Kyra,

You're on my mind today, this day is for you, sweetie.

So many memories... Did you know, I see your smile every time your brother Ian's face lights up? It's like a little gift, please keep them coming.

Kyra and Steven (3 weeks old)

Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea,
swim so wild and swim so free,
heaven above and the earth below,
and a little white whale on the go.

Those were the words you sang to him that day, my sweet new little boy, our firstborn son. You looked so good, you'd finished radiation, they couldn't see your tumor any more on the MRI, and your hair was starting to grow back. Things were good.

I remember the first time I saw you, your mother was bathing you in the kitchen sink and it looked like both you and she were both having the most wonderful time, you smiled and splashed as she laughed and crooned to you.

Your first birthday, where your mother tried to make you some healthy sort of cake sweetened with applesauce. Your father took charge of that situation and came home with a proper decadent chocolate cake to celebrate your initation into eating regular food, and that chocolate cake began a family birthday tradition.

Kyra with me shortly after her second birthday

I remember you getting bigger and taller, and all that long blonde hair, those big beautiful eyes.

I remember the video of you right after your brother Gannon was born, all that long blonde hair and you had your baby doll in your lap, you pulled up your shirt and held the doll to your chest and you said, "OUCH!!", even at two you saw how it worked with us new mothers.

You came down to visit just a few days before your diagnosis, there were signs then, more sleeping than usual, some balance problems and tremors in your right hand, but none of us had the faintest idea how serious things would get.

Kyra with her dad right after diagnosis and before surgery

The day you were diagnosed with a brain tumor the bottom dropped out of our world. The tumor was a bad one, terribly aggressive, and because of its location no operation was possible. How could such a thing happen to our beautiful girl?

Kyra after radiation and during her remission

You were this amazing child. We came to visit you in the hospital right after you were diagnosed. I was in the late stages of my pregnancy with Steven. I sat with you and your baby brother in your room while your parents had serious talks with the doctors.

Kyra loved to dress up

Your brother needed a diaper change and I discovered that the act of expecting a child didn't automatically gift me with the knowledge of how to properly install a diaper.

I was in the process putting the diaper on your brother backwards, and from your hospital bed, you corrected me and instructed me in the proper diaper installation technique.

Kyra's fourth birthday

You were barely three and you spelled your name and your brother's name, first, middle, and last for the oncologist the first time she met you. You knew your address and phone number. Your oncologist could do nothing but marvel at what an exceptional girl you were.

You were exceptional in every way, beautiful, ever so smart, so caring and compassionate.

Gannon, Steven and Kyra just before Steven's first birthday and Kyra's relapse

You weathered your trials with a grace and composure most of us could never muster.

Your friend Molly said, after you were gone, "I'm not crying on the outside, but I'm crying on the inside".

Today, maybe we're crying a little on the outside too.

Oh sweetie, we miss you, from the bottom of our hearts to the tips of the stars...

- Kathleen


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