David Bruce awoke to the sound of the life support machine, the only thing keeping his nine year old daughter Adaila alive. She’d always been a bright, bubbly little girl, turning frowns into smiles wherever she went. Then before they knew it, brain cancer stepped in.
David had suspected something was wrong when Adaila had started to complain about headaches and dizziness, but his wife Jennifer had thought it would pass. However, as time passed, Adaila’s complaining became more frequent, marks were dropping, and soon Adaila lost her hearing.
It was at this point that both David and Jennifer became very concerned. When they took Adaila to the doctor for tests, they discovered they were too late. The cancer had spread too far to be fixed. Now all they could do was wait and pray for the best.
“It won’t be long now before her brain shuts down completely.” Dr. Sanders had warned them.
Now she lay there, she had lost all her Independence. David felt helpless, his daughter was dying and there was nothing he could do to help her. It seemed that no matter how much he prayed, his daughter was only getting worse.
David was startled by a knock on the door. He turned to see Mary, his mother-in-law, holding Adaila’s music box.
“I know she can’t hear anymore, but I thought she might like to see it one more time.”
David got up and took the small rectangular box from her hands.
“Thank you, that was very kind of you.” David told her as he embraced her.
Mary nodded, then walked to Adaila’s side. She leaned down and kissed her sleeping granddaughter’s forehead, whispering words of love, knowing they would never be heard.
David sat back down beside the hospital bed after Mary left. He opened the music box, the soft sound of the Nutcracker ballet filled the small room. He watched the Small ballerina figurine turn in circles. he remembered Adaila’s last performance, how she’d left the audience breathless as she moved about the stage. She’d been a beautiful dancer at her young age.
David took Adaila’s small delicate hand in his own and gave it a gentle squeeze. He wanted her to know he was still there, and that he wouldn’t leave her.
Adaila’s eyes fluttered open as she weakly squeezed her father’s hand in response.
“Daddy” she whispered, “I want to go home now, He’s waiting for me.”
David was momentarily puzzled, but then he understood what she meant. Tears filled his eyes, his little girl wanted to go to heaven and be with Jesus. David couldn’t bear the emptiness inside. He was losing his only daughter.
“Daddy, be happy for me. I’m going to a better place, I’ll be able to hear and everything. Daddy promise me you’ll be happy for me.”
David squeezed Adaila’s hand, the aching in his chest made words almost impossible. “I promise.” he said choking on his tears. That moment Adaila smiled her beautiful smile and let herself go. David trembled with agony and let his tears fall freely.