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First Anniversary




By now Erika was about five months into her pregnancy needing only to complete two more treatments of her chemotherapy.  

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She went on and had another in June and her last in July. It was imperative that she continue with the next phase of her treatment immediately.  The healthy birth of her child was very important to her.

September 28, 1999, Erika and Perry brought a very healthy baby girl into the world. Immediately after the delivery when I was sure that Perry, Keturah, Erika and Antoniyah had spent some time together I entered the room and stood by her side. I held her hand. She was still shaking from all of the excitement. She looked up at me and said, “Mom, are you okay? You don’t look very happy.” I asked if she was happy. She said, “Mom I wish that you had been here with me”. Antoniyah was whisked away with her dad. I stayed with my daughter.

She would resume her treatment [radiation] only after she had given birth to her healthy daughter. So for the next three or four months we continued to give it the best that we could.  Things were looking very well for a period of time. But finally what we had suspected had become reality. The waiting would be very costly.

We loved more deeply than ever. We made promises to each other. We shared secrets. We enjoyed all that we could. When she was feeling up to it, went out for brief moments and made the world feel as if it was missing something because it was with us.

In a whirlwind of emotions and tears I watched day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, step by step, inch by inch as my precious, precious daughter walked faithfully to the end of her journey. My worse fears were facing me; a life for a life. The last leg of this journey would take extraordinary love on my part to accept and support her decisions.

I am so proud of the unselfish love that my daughter demonstrated for the child, of whom even Erika confessed, “Mom I never really got the chance to even bond with her.” I am so proud that my daughter remained faithful even under fire.

No matter how difficult the journey became we looked to each other to get to through to the end. I held on to her. She held on to me. I gave her my approval for whatever she needed to do. Just as her journey was ending, she looked into my eyes, as she had always done all of her life, and asked, with tears in her eyes, “Mom, do I still have a chance?” As I had always done, I gave her something to hold on to with my response, "You've got the best chance ever my darling." I knew that because of her remaining faithful to the end she would no doubt be counted among those who would receive the gift of the resurrection through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. She said, “I love you Mom.” I said, “I love you more." Now close your eyes my darling and rest.” Minutes later as she held my hand and the hand of her husband she slipped away in death. Her debt paid in full.

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