34 years ago today, 5 July 1984, a little princess was born to a wonderful young mother, a first born for the mother and father. She brought great joy to the couple and their extended families. Two and a half years later, Carragh was diagnosed with childhood A.L.L. leukemia. She was diagnosed on 3 December 1986, and had to go to Sick Kids in Toronto. She was treated with chemo and radiation. She went into remission and came home on 19 December, just in time for Christmas.
This was during my second last semester at Bible college. It is nothing short of a miracle that I graduated the following spring.
Sick Kids became a regular place for us for the following six years. Carragh suffered four relapses in a seven year span. The last one took her life on December 21, 1993.
During those seven years, we lived as a family, had two more wonderful daughters, Caitlin and Erinn. Cancer is a family disease. It affects everyone. You carry the effects of the disease into your relationships and daily circumstances. You will carry it in you body and memories will come, especially on significant days, or places you visited together. Those emotions and feelings awaken from time to time. They stir in your soul and in your heart.Over time you remember and time does bring healing to what was once deep sadness at the loss of your precious child. Your other children bring joy and comfort and bring healing as you love and care for them. You have a treasured place in your heart for each one of them.
I have 3 daughters, Carragh is one of three. She grew to age 9. 7 of those years fighting cancer. She is forever with the Lord Jesus Christ. She had a vibrant faith in God. She has been an inspiration my whole life. In my own battle with cancer she inspired me through how she just battled through each day and through each relapse. Even as she was dying, she inspired me in her trust in God and that God could raise her up, as He had done in three relapses.
Thank you Carragh for being my daughter. Thank you for the gift of fatherhood. Thank you for being the first of three wonderful daughters. Thank you for caring so much for your sisters. Thank you for the joy you brought your mother. Thank you for loving everyone in our extended families, your grandparents, you aunts and uncles. You were the first child and grandchild in both families.
Today, you are first in my heart and thoughts. God has blessed and enriched my life through your precious life. I look forward to our reunion, when I shall see you face to face, just as you are, with Jesus and all those who love Christ and have gone before me. Our reunion will be sweet. You are forever in my heart and I treasure all the grace gifts God bestowed to our family, especially those things which came through our share journey through suffering and pain. I love you Carragh.
~ Dad, Sam Buick, 5 July, 2018