And, God help me, I told her.
Now what do I do?
We were snuggled together in a come-say-goodnight-to-me moment in her room, and she sat bolt upright and asked.
"How did my dad die?"
It is a question she has asked before. She had always been satisfied with the answer of complications of cardiac issues and diabetes, but she KNEW there was more.
She knew there was more because I had told her that about 6 months ago when she pressed yet again. But at that time, I asked her if she REALLY wanted to know.
And she said no.
This time, she looked me square in the eye and said yes.
So I told her.
I told my 15-year-old daughter that, when she was 3 1/2, her father had died of AIDS.
And she cried.
But she didn't cry for him.
She cried for me.
She cried because I had had to go through that horror 11 years ago -- a million years ago.
She cried because I get tested whenever I have a physical exam.
"I'm so sorry you had to go through that, Mommy. I'm so sorry."
I'm sorrier that she has to go through this now.
The very last vestige of memories of a daddy is gone. She actually yanked a pillow off her bed -- a pillow he bought for her ... a pillow she has slept with every night for 11 years -- and threw it on the floor.
"I don't want that pillow anywhere near me," she declared. "I don't want to sleep with it anymore."
I pulled her close to me, and we held each other in the darkness.
And now we both try to forget.
God help me.
Crossposted at From the Planet of Janet