original photograph by Amy Parrish
This year would have marked her golden birthday. She would have turned seven on the seventh. I wonder what she would have wished for this March.
It’s been so long since I’ve been able to do anything for my daughter, go into her room on a cold night and place an extra blanket over her body, make her a bowl of applesauce with cinnamon on top, fold her sweaters and buy her new tights for no reason. I will forever feel the desire to do something, to be her mother again, to look after her in some small way.
She can't blow out seven candles or make a single wish. But we sent one big wish into the universe on her behalf. With her brothers' help, we left seven pinwheels around town, looking after her and looking ahead for a cure.
The Chinese culture views pinwheels as symbols of obstacles turned opportunities, as instruments that can spin one’s luck around. Some people associate them with magic or unseen energy, with childhood innocence and wish fulfillment. Death is normally affiliated with stillness, but pinwheels bring movement, perhaps even evoking the idea of a spirit. I remember holding one out the car window to catch wind, watching it whir furiously in the breeze. I may have been about seven. I wonder what I might've wished for then.My birthday wish is, and always will be, for her. We heard from a few folks who found a pinwheel, and we know we weren't the only ones wishing, all weekend long and every day, for her and for a cure.
I'll tell them of my sister, and the magic things she can do...
*sung by Anna, in Disney's FROZEN