If I Had a Thousand Lives


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If I had a thousand lives to live, in one of them I would search for the cure.

I’d be the active pursuer of the one thing that evades the scientists, the ferocious hunter for the missing element, the diligent student of this dreadful disease.

I’d pour over the puzzle of scattered information until a picture emerged, sharp against the befuddlement of senseless pieces. I’d be the relentless hound at the door of pharmaceutical companies, demanding integrity for every cent they collect from your calloused fingertips.

I’d leave no medical book unturned, and when I had finished reading the very last one, I’d open the next. I’d delve so deep into the study that eventually I’d have no outcome but to touch the bottom of the enigma. I’d explore every possible cause, hoping to mitigate my guilt that somehow in a failed jurisdiction of mothering, I gave this to you.

I’d pioneer the way to a pill, to a vaccine, with a magic band-aid to fix it, to prevent it, to stop it. I’d charter any difficult direction, become an engineer, a chemist, a biologist, a clinician, a magician. I’d move across the globe and study every secret cell and molecule hidden in the world’s deepest caves and jungles just in case underneath a rock in the middle of nothing, the answer is buried. I’d never stop, never rest until I had broken the ground, and paved the path. I’d work in tireless pursuit of a world where this thing that haunts us is vanished and gone.

I’d work as though finding a cure tomorrow is not soon enough.

But, honestly, my darling daughter, if I had a thousand lives to live, I would still pick this one I’m living first. The one where I get to inject you with life-giving treatment, the one where I get to help keep you safe, the one where I daily solve the riddles of your blood.

The one where I get to be your mom and tuck you in and pray to God that we both live to see it cured.

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