Catherine stands at the edge of the cliff top looking down at the vicious waves below her crashing violently into the rocks at the cliff's base. No one would have a chance in those waves, a perfect place to end a life or a place for accidental tragic loss. She lifts her head allowing the wind to ruffle her strawberry blonde hair. Today was going to be a day of forgetting, of forgiving and of moving on.
/Several Months Before/
"It's over isn't it?"
"I'm sorry Ms. Willows." The nurse lowers her head and offers her condolences before hurrying off down the familiar corridor.
Over the past two years I had got used to hospitals, firstly when my18 year old daughter announced she was pregnant and afterwards for the countless scans that followed the traumatic pregnancy of my only child. The birth had been exhausting for both Lindsey and myself, nothing I could say would prepare my daughter for the 40 hour labor she endured.
"Congratulations it's a boy."
"Oh honey he's gorgeous."
"No Mom he's perfect."
"I guess this little one needs a name." I say admiring the perfection that was my grandchild.
"Bradley…..I want to call him Bradley."
Life seemed perfect, there were sleepless nights, dirty diapers, late mornings into work and frustrating moments, all of which I was more than used to. Lindsey was coping well, Bradley was growing stronger day by day and Scott, his father was taking good care of his family.
I had always doubted him, I was the first to object when I met him. He seemed constantly distant and not interested in my baby girl. I assumed he was in it for one thing and one thing only, only I was so so so wrong. I regret the day I ever doubted him.
Happiness didn't last long. This hurts to talk about so I'll keep it short. She kept being sick, I was scared she was pregnant yet again but looking back that would have been better than what was really ravaging her young body. My baby had cancer, our worlds fell apart right then and there.
She deteriorated quickly, I guess in a way that's a good thing. It caused us less pain in the long run, not that anything can make your only child having cancer hurt less. Scott became my rock, we visited the hospital every day, held her hand, told her we loved her and that everything would be ok. We weren't lying, we were sure she was going to be ok. The doctors said beings she was young she had a higher percentage of survival than most but the cancer lay undiscovered for too long. No treatment in the world would cure my baby or my dying heart.
It was two months until we found the courage and the strength to clean out her room. I wanted Bradley to have the room as his own, something to remember his Mother by. It was then that I found the letter, the last words I would ever have from my darling Lindsey. I'll read it to you if you can excuse my tears.
If you are reading this then I guess that means I didn't make it, I'm sorry that I didn't try harder but I knew it was the end. I tried to fight to stay alive, to spend every precious moment with my baby boy but I couldn't Mom…please understand. I wasn't scared of dying because I know Bradley will be well loved by you and by Scott. Please make sure Scott knows I loved him with all of my heart, soul and body.
I hope you won't let him forget me, I enclosed some photos I want him to have, any others I look good in show him, actually show him any. I want him to see me for everything that I was, not what I became. Look after him well Mom, love him, protect him and care for him but don't be scared to tell him off if he does something wrong. I want you to be there for him for everything I should have been at, his first day at school, his prom, his wedding, the birth of his children, which I hope you will still be around for.
I know you think I never noticed the way you looked at her, the way you smiled at her and the god damn way you always put her down. Mom don't be scared of your feelings. I saw the way she looked at you too, I saw it in her eyes, she loves you just as much as you love her. Please tell her before it's too late and you lose her forever. Sometimes it takes losing someone close to you to realize how short life is. I hope your loss of me will help you to tell her. I want you to be happy Mom and I want her to be happy too, I've always liked her, I want you to be happy together for the rest of your lives.
There's really no more I can say, I know no amount of words can numb this pain but I hope you can smile again, if not for me, for Bradley and for Scott. I guess this is goodbye, I'll never forget you or stop loving you but I'm safe now, no more suffering.
Your ever loving daughter,
/Back to present day/
Catherine moves closer to the edge and closes her eyes trying to find the inner strength she needs to go through with the one thing she needs to do. As much as it hurts she feels it's the only way she can move on, the only way they can all move on.
She turns around to take one look at Sara, the love of her life and Scott her new found son. Sara smiles holding their grandson close to her chest, gently running her hand through his golden locks. Catherine smiles back and nervously plays with her wedding band.
"This is for you baby girl, everything's always been for you. Be safe sweetie I love you."
Slowly she lifts the lid on the small box in her hands and allows her only daughter to be claimed by the wind and the sea. A small tear escapes her eye.