Friday, May 28, 2010


I felt down so far and long that I had no celebration in me. Enter Liz Budd Ellmann. She came into my room announcing the good news of my increasing counts. Her face was smiling and her voice happy and excited. She was sitting down but it seemed that she was dancing in her chair as she talked about how my body is healing through this transplant and how wonderful I look today and the progress she sees from this past week when she came to visit when I could hardly talk. My lunch comes and she agrees to eat with me. She gets the blueberry yogurt. Instead of eating alone, we've got company. And Liz talks to me about Miriam, the sister of Moses and the dance and song of Miriam that she feels such a part of because of a friend of hers who explored and illuminated the story some years ago. "Did you bring the tambourine?" I ask. "No," she admitted. At first it was hard to make eye contact with Liz. I felt so tired and worn down. While she was here, I kept thinking that here is a new friend who came to celebrate with me. Came in with celebration in her heart and invited me to put on my dancing shoes. Then, the doctors came in and called me a "champion." "You can go home tomorrow." "But Kathy LeClaire is sick and two of my girls were out of school today being sick," I explain. "Well, Sunday or Monday, we won't send you out to be with the sick." I am not alone anymore trying to conjure energy of joy. My friend Liz has come to celebrate. The celebration is multiplying. I am swept into the celebration. Have you ever played hidden pictures? You are invited to look at a dense drawing and find the pear or find the feather hidden between the lines. Sometimes it takes turning the drawing upside down and looking long and hard to find the shape inside. My celebration was like a hidden picture. I found the tambourine. When the doctors left the room, the hard plastic lid of the food plate on my tray and the bottom hard plastic liner that keeps the food hot became my tambourine. I stood up and started marching in the room beating the the two halves together in Miriam's song.

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