A Poem For Rebecca Meyer, 2008-2014

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 13.266% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

When I was one I had just begun
When I was two I was nearly new

When I was three I was hardly me
When I was four I was not much more

When I was five I was just alive
But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever;
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.

– A. A. Milne, “Now We Are Six”

Rebecca Alison Meyer, who had been so sick she barely talked or moved, rallied last night to go to her birthday dinner at her favorite restaurant.  She ate her favorite Sasa Matsu fries and gorged on birthday cake frosting.
At 2:00 a.m., the rally faded and she began to die in earnest. We got the call at 6:00 a.m., and drove to her house just in time to hold her hand as she officially made it to her sixth birthday at 7:24 am this morning.  She was no longer “Becca,” she had informed us beforehand.  A big girl of six should be Rebecca.  Though she was always Rebecca to me, and she was always larger than her age in every way that counted.
Eleven and a half hours later, she died.  If love alone could have saved her, the caring in that room would have incinerated her disease, lifted her up, floated her away.  But it couldn’t.
Rebecca’s last words were to her best friend: “Goodbye Ruthie, I love you, mwah!”  Which, you know, not bad words to go out on.
She is six.  She made it to six.  She is six now, and she is Rebecca, and God oh Christ I will miss her for all my days.
Rebecca and the Purple Cape


  1. Josh Morrey
    Jun 7, 2014

    Although no words could never fully assuage the pain of this tragedy, this poem is so beautifully appropriate. With the nostalgia of it from my youth, I read it now with tears streaming down my face, my heart wrenched with agony for a little one I never knew except through your accounts. My prayers are with you and Rebecca’s family.

  2. Lydia
    Jun 8, 2014

    I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  3. Charity Froggenhall
    Jun 8, 2014

    Oh Goddammit.
    I am so sorry.

  4. Rosemarie
    Jun 8, 2014

    There are no words. “Sorry” doesn’t even seem like a word anymore, it is so incredibly inadequate, but it’s all I have.
    I’m sorry.

  5. Kristi
    Jun 8, 2014

    Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. She is a beautiful child. I will pray for her parents, for you and yours and all who loved her. I pray you find the peace that passes understanding.

  6. Sonja
    Jun 8, 2014

    I am so, so sorry.

  7. Michael Johnston
    Jun 8, 2014

    I read this while watching my own six year old, whom I think is like unto Rebecca’s spiritual twin, and my heart breaks for you and all who knew your darling girl. I keep saying “I’m sorry,” and I know it doesn’t help. But we are out here, and we are legion, and we are grieving, in our own limited way. Our heartache will never equal yours, but if knowing we are here listening helps…
    Strength to all of you.

  8. Sara Harvey
    Jun 8, 2014

    I’m not sure how much it help, but Matt and I are hurting with you, and if you need us for anything large or small, don’t hesitate to call on us.
    And if you need something stupid and trivial for a mental break, I can totally talk Magic with you now, even though I am still a n00b.
    Some days, the loss was all I wanted to talk about, some days I wanted to talk about ANYTHING but…so whichever is best for you. We understand completely and are more than happy to be there for either.
    Sara and Matt

  9. Anna
    Jun 8, 2014

    Like many others, I cannot find the words sufficient to express my condolences on the sorrow you and your loved ones are feeling. Even so, I felt the need to assure you that you are in my thoughts, like the others who are mourning with you.

  10. Bookscorpion
    Jun 11, 2014

    I am so sorry. I keep you all in my thoughts.

  11. PA
    Jun 13, 2014

    My favorite poem from childhood. Still have the Now We Are Six book from my childhood. A sad irony is that this poem (the one you’ve shared) is on page 104 and is labeled “The End.” It’s the last poem of the interior of the book. The back cover has Now We are Six (shares the book’s name).
    What an unbelievably happy picture you’ve included. She IS clearly a light so bright that life as we define it does not confine or encapsulate her. I’m sure her life on earth will forever serve those she knew, for the better. Laugh and play in peace little one:)


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