Sunday, March 27, 2011

the truth about...having a sad best friend

(written in February of 2010)

I won't be able to put it into complete sentences. I can barely sort it out in my brain. Leukemia. My friend's 4 year old. I love my friend, I love this child too.

A 9 p.m. trip to the ER...dangerously high white blood cell count. Phone conversations, tears. Helplessness, then empowerment. Money donated, almost too much to sort through. No, you know what? Never too much. Grateful beyond words.

Then last night: my trip to the hospital, parking garage, outrageous parking fees. They pay this every day that thy spend here, waiting by their child's bedside? Good thing I have already raised enough money to park their car here for a thousand years, but I would rather they park it at home and put that boy in his own bed.

Winding through the maze of the city hospital, seeing her shoes, legs crossed, as I round the corner to MRI in the oncology wing. Knowing, when I see his 4 year old sneakers on her lap that I have found the right waiting room. There are so many.

A crib gets wheeled by with a baby in it, tubed. I cry, she comforts me, tells me lives are saved here every day and it is uplifting. I am amazed by her.

We laugh about other things, I glance sideways at her and tell her I brought her favorite dinner, I smile. She bursts into tears, unexpectedly for all of us, because my smile reminded her of when her life used to be normal.

I rub her back. I'm right here, I whisper -- a mama to her child. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere.

I tell her our hometown is like a Wii game you are kicking ass at -- as you win and win, the crowds gather and cheer. We are cheering for her. For him.

Time to go, Elmo doll in her lap. Woman in a full burka looking out the window at the end of the hall. I stare too long. I am small here.

Child in a wheelchair finally going home, cold in the outside...which she hasn't felt long?