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Common Word, Common Lord

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

My wife and kids always keep me up to date on the latest hit songs. And it is no different with Lukas Graham’s hit “7 Years,” which is now #2 on the Billboard list in the U.S. As I listen to this very catchy song, I am immediately transported to when I was “20-years-old,” as Graham reminisces about his youth and childhood.

And immediately, my late daughter comes into my mind’s eye. I was, in fact, 22-years-old when she came into the life my wife (who was 20 at the time) and me. Before she was born, I was scared of having kids, scared of the responsibility of having to raise a child in this world. Yet, before I knew it, she came into our lives, and it was the most beautiful thing ever to grace our world.

I knew love before she was born: the love of my parents; the love of my grandparents; the love of my siblings and cousins; the love of my beautiful wife. Yet, I never knew pure Divine love until she came into my life.

She made everything beautiful; she brought everything joy. I still remember how she would ruffle all my notes I was studying for my medical school exams as I held her in my lap. I never knew I could love someone like I loved my baby, and I never knew the kind of love she would give me until she came into my life.

Then, I was 28-years-old, and she was diagnosed with her crippling disease, A-T. Immediately, I knew what was in store, but I shut that out of my mind. I made a conscious decision to live in the moment, enjoy each day with her, and not worry about what the future would bring. And each day was as beautiful as they could be, and the love she showed me was indescribable.

Then, I was 34-years-old when she was diagnosed with lymphoma. Everything changed, and my wife and I went through the “new normal” of having a child with cancer: the chemotherapy, and the hospitals, and the doctor visits, and the complications.

I didn’t reach 35 before my Beloved called her back to His Garden.

And now, I am 41-years-old, and the pain of her loss still reverberates in my heart and in my soul. I am 41-years-old, and my heart still aches with pain whenever I think of her and how I can’t be with her anymore. I am 41-years-old, and the grief still bores deep within me, and it is ready to come out on a moment’s notice, such as when I heard this song.

And if God wills, “Soon I’ll be 60-years-old.” Yet, I know that my heart will not be ever be whole, even at that time. “Soon I’ll be 60-years-old,” and I will not stop thinking about her and how she showed me what love is all about. “Soon I’ll be 60-years-old,” and while I hope I will not “think the world is cold” and the children I have now will “warm me” and “hold me,” my heart will always be sobbing over the loss of my child all those years before.

I commend Lukas Graham for such an amazing song, one that is so relatable to so many people, including me. While the song made me sad, it also helped me bear the grief that has welled up and needed to come out at this time. And for that, my Beloved, I am eternally grateful.

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