After losing her daughter, the mother notices a powerful ‘sign’ that she looks down on.

“My mother used to put me on her lap and hug me when I was a tiny child.” Before pummeling me with gentle kisses, she would gaze up at me and ask, “Who brightens up my world?” ‘Yes, I do! ‘I certainly do!’ I’d scream through my guffaws. She’d look at me when the love fest was finished and calmly say, ‘That’s right, baby.’ It was an experience I’ll never forget.

I’d always known it was a modest custom I wanted to pass down to my daughter eventually. And it meant even more to me to keep my mother’s unwavering love alive after she died of breast cancer. So, only three years after her death, I knew it was time when I gave birth to a beautiful 8-pound, 4-ounce baby girl.

‘Who lights up my world?’ I questioned after Lucy was born, looking into her lovely black eyes. Of course, she was unable to respond. Despite this, I lavished her with gentle kisses, saying, ‘You do.’

‘Who lights up my world?’ I’d ask Lucy when she was a baby. She was still unable to respond. Despite this, I kissed her cheeks and added, ‘You do.’

‘Who lights up my world?’ I used to ask Lucy when she was a toddler. Kisses were thrown all over the place. Eventually, through giggles, I heard her cry out, ‘Me!’ It was correct. She did bring joy to my life. She not only filled a vacuum left by the death of my most excellent friend, my sweet mother, but she also taught me to love even more fiercely when I didn’t think it was possible. Hearing her say it back for the first time made my heart melt.

Let’s fast forward until the age of 5.5. Lucy’s hair was thick and dark, and it hung just below her shoulders. She was wonderfully lovely in every way. My life’s ambition was to raise her to be the amazing woman that my mother was – and she was already. She was polite and sweet. When mommy was juggling a billion things, she always offered her kindness and assistance. When mama dropped her off at school for the first time, I still see her tear-filled little eyes. When clumsy Dada tripped over something or made a funny expression, I could hear her deep belly chuckles.

Courtesy of Zun Zun Photography

Never in a million years did I think she’d be the one to leave this planet.

Last April, it was a rainy night. Saturday. In the evening, I went grocery shopping and made plans for my husband’s handmade birthday lunch the next day. You never think it will be you.

The light at the intersection flashed green. I did, however, look both ways before proceeding. I noticed a black Jeep approaching my right and figured it would slow down. Why wouldn’t it, after all? Their light was a bright crimson. It didn’t work. Instead, it rammed into the back-right door, blocking Lucy’s way out.

She didn’t scream in pain. She didn’t even have time to think about it. Her last ‘word’ was a loud, deep gasp, which was the last ‘word’ I heard from her. Her final exhalation. She died instantly as a result of the impact. The automobile tipped over on its side after spinning around. I couldn’t get out since I was trapped inside my seatbelt. I yelled and shouted and screamed. Lucy remained mute. ‘MY BABY, MY BABY, MY BABY, MY B PLEASE, BABY. ‘ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS OPEN YOUR EYES.’ After that, I passed out.

The next thing I noticed were police lights in red and blue. My seatbelt was cut, and I was taken to the hospital on a stretcher. Everything was a little blurry. They covered my baby with a white sheet. Then there’s white. I was admitted to the hospital. My universe was broken when I heard, ‘I’m sorry, she didn’t make it.’ Screams that are deep and guttural. Vomit. Eyes swollen. Pain. Both inside and out, My baby was killed by a drunk driver. It was just 5:18 p.m. at the time.

It’s been almost a year since then. I went into my bathroom two days ago to cry once more. Every day, I continue to hope she will return — reasonable or not. The agony never goes away. I sobbed into the mirror, and then I realized what had happened. We’ve had that small duck nightlight since Lucy was born. It stopped operating a long time ago, and it hasn’t been lit in at least three years.

‘Baby, please give me a sign,’ I recall pleading. I’m in love with you. I’m missing you. ‘I require your assistance.’ Silence. Then I notice a flicker of light out of my eye. It’s the duck, of course. For the first time in years, it is illuminated with light. I’m stunned. But not bereavement shock. This isn’t a pain shock. All I want is serenity. It washed over me.

Courtesy of Luma Zhang
Courtesy of Luma Zhang

‘You light up my word – you do, you do,’ I murmured through tears. She is still my light, even in death. I’m sure she’s here with me, keeping an eye on me from wherever she is.

I’m looking forward to seeing her and my mum again. I’m sure I will.

And, at long last, I’m at ease.”

Courtesy of Zun Zun Photography
Courtesy of Zun Zun Photography

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