Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
- Psalm 61: 1-2 (KJV)
i first heard about Daisy Love Merrick when i was in high school. she'd just got through her first round of cancer; she was a beautiful, spunky, almost-six-year-old with the coolest hats and the best heart. i quickly got deeply emotionally invested in her story and loved following the updates that would come every so often from her mom or dad, talking about how well she was doing; i was devastated when she was diagnosed a second time. and then, after another long battle and another provisionally clean sheet, she was diagnosed a third time. and then a fourth.
i've tried to keep up with her brave journey regularly but the updates were erratic as she struggled through this final diagnosis and the treatment that followed, and i've been so busy over the past few weeks that it had been a while since i'd checked up on her. i was heartbroken last night when i finally made it to her blog and read that she had died two weeks ago, after battling cancer for close to half of her life.
daisy, give yourself away.Sindi remarked once when we were talking about this amazing little girl that she reckoned Daisy was young enough to have been named after Switchfoot's song "Daisy", and i always thought that was such a beautiful idea.
let it go;
daisy, let it go.
open up your fists.
this fallen world...
it doesn't hold your interest;
it doesn't hold your soul.
daisy, let it go.
i've been watching a bit of Daisy's memorial service -- her family made it available online for anyone who couldn't attend the actual service, because there are so many people around the world who have been praying for and thinking about this dear girl -- and, amidst several people who came up to talk about the impact Daisy had had on their lives, her mom Kate walked up to the front. she spoke about how one of her favourite things to do with Daisy had been to read books together, and one of the books they had read while in Israel last year for specialised treatment was C.S. Lewis's final installment of the Narnia books, The Last Battle. she said, "toward the end of the book, all the characters go to the new Narnia, which is an allegory for heaven, so I'm gonna read from a page of it where the narrator describes what the new Narnia is like." then she read aloud this passage -- a passage that resonated with me so deeply when i first heard it (when my mom read the book aloud to me several years ago) that it had me in tears. it goes like this:
It is as hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different - deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can't describe it any better than that; if you ever get there, you will know what I mean. It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried, "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!"is that not the most perfect picture of heaven?
later, Kate spoke about the gift of life, and how Daisy had never taken the life or the time that she had been given for granted. i want to be courageous like Daisy; i want to face up to my problems with bravery and steadfastness the way she did, and live my life to the fullest by appreciating every moment i've been given to live it.
and i'll watch as the cold winter melts into spring
and i'll be remembering you
oh, and i'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
and i'll be remembering you.