It was not my loss.
So why is my throat tightening as I write this?
Why am I fighting back tears?
The image of Kira Short continually floats into my conscience, like a beautiful piece of driftwood floating towards me on an ocean that expands past the horizon.
For me, the face of cancer has clear blue eyes, a light complexion, and an infectious grin.
The face was also bald, her hair stolen by the treatments for a tumour on her neck that pressed on one of her main arteries and ultimately stole her from us.
Kira was only six years old.
The same age as my boy, whose world revolves around visits to Chuck E Cheese, clutching stuffed toys under each arm as he sleeps, playing games on his iPad, a trip to Disneyland when he turns eight, and playdates with his friends as they get ready to enter Grade 2.
Losing him would be unfathomable, so I can’t even imagine what Kira’s dad and mom are going through.
In a world so full of evil, so cruel, why was such a beautiful, innocent soul taken away from her family and all those who loved her?
Inside a little body ravaged by this evil disease lived a warrior who fought, and fought, and fought some more until the cancer was too much to bear.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Kira but I spoke to her dad Peter a few times on the phone, and corresponded with him through email, when I wrote stories previewing fundraisers that helped pay for his little girl’s treatments and the costs incurred as Peter, as well as Kira’s mom Rayanne Tupman, understandably put their lives on hold to be by their ailing daughter’s side.
An angel earned her wings in the early morning hours of Aug. 15 at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
Kira’s last words to Peter: “Dad, I just want to sleep. Wake me up so we can go camping again.”
She told Rayanne she didn’t want to be in pain anymore.
Peter had planned on giving Kira an early Christmas after learning she had four months to live.
Christmas never came.
The four months Kira had left quickly turned into three weeks and then three days.
Since Kira’s passing, an outpouring tributes, hundreds of them, has filled Facebook.
And her family needs that kind of support, now more than ever.
Kira, I hope your pain went away when you closed your eyes and slept for the final time.
Rest in peace, Warrior Princess.
– Files from the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News