As strong as we think we are, it is the hardest thing in the world to look our children in the eyes when they are scared - especially when we are scared, too. At one point, she looked at me, with rare tears in her eyes, and she asked me to pray. I didn't think I could do it, my own tears choking me, and I told her that God could hear our hearts, even in silence. Then I prayed anyway.
What do you pray for in such a moment - at a time when the uncertainty floods in and overwhelms you? What do you pray? I think at some point in my life, I have realized that I should just be honest. At times, I have said out loud that I could not think of the words to say. In this particular moment, my honesty had to address my daughter's fear: no matter what was to come, I could not bear for her to be afraid for her life, afraid to face the end, or afraid to step into the unknown. At the same time, I wanted her to face everything she was (and is) going through as a challenge that she could overcome.
I have let her know that she has an opportunity to become inspiration for others - that she can lead the way for others to face their own challenges/monsters/demons and overcome them. If anyone can do it, my daughter can.
The comments and hugs from some of my students have boosted my morale. I don't want to ever take them for granted of underestimate their ability to understand and be able to say the right things to comfort.