She called. Kathy LeClair was already with me so she helped by putting the bed-side commode into the bathroom and shutting the bathroom door. She put the tray table against the wall so there would be room for Kathy G, and three beautiful girls. I took the wig out of the box. Put the stocking liner on my newly balded head and fit the wig as best I could. I didn't ask Kathy L. what she thought. She didn't say. The nurse came by and liked the red/brown color. "Sassy," was the comment she offered.
I tried waiting in the bed but couldn't. Kathy unplugged my I.V. tree and set a chair out in the hall. So, I sat outside my door watching for my girls. Here they come. They didn't see me as they went from the elevator to the front desk to be screened for infectious disease. They disappeared for a few moments while the receptionist asked them questions like "are you sneezing? do you have stomach pains, fever, etc." and then stamped a label that reads "Screened, with today's date," onto the shirt of each visitor that passes.
And, then they were coming down the hall toward me. "Mom, your hair," Kayla saw me first. Korrina got a very big smile. "I love you mom. I pray for you every night," she said as I hugged her. Micala came more slowly down the hall. I've seen her skip, hop and giggle with her friends but hey, she was visiting mom at the hospital. I don't know how this girl does it but she looked poised and put together even while wearing a mask. This is the nearly 13 one who when 3 could eat a cupcake in a high chair and not smear chocolate nor spill crumbs on her clothes.
We talked. I listened. "What do we do when you and dad both die?" asks Korrina. Wonderful and loving people would take you in. "Like Kathy L.," asks Korrina. "Yes." "I want a wig too," said Korrina many more times than once.
"I'll be here about another week and then will be home with you at the apartment," I explained. The nurse came in and talked with them about the mucasitis and why mom has a suction wand just about planted in her mouth. Kayla started singing songs from "My Fair Lady." A few of my favorite things and Do, Re Me. Micala told about straightening her hair. "It didn't hurt mom." She got away with it, I've always wanted to avoid the chemicals but on a shopping trip with a volunteer with $5.00 to spend in the grocery any way she wanted a hair straightener is what she wanted and I wasn't there to say no. She showed the new ear piercing --- that makes two on each ear -- another trip with volunteer that she had talked with me about. "Will I be here on my birthday?" she asked. "We are on Day 12 and we have 88 days left to go. " I explain. Micala, the straight A student says in less than a minute "my birthday is on Day 72. That means we will be here." She didn't seem too upset. And, proceeded to tell me about going to a home church with Kathy on Sunday where she met a woman with the same birthday as her - August 17. Kayla starts doing jumping jacks and dancing in the room. I'm loving it. Korrina has dry skin so I share some of my cream with her.
I ordered ice cream from the kitchen. One cup for each person. I don't think that was allowed for visitors but since I haven' eaten in days, the hospital has been saving money on me. We watched t.v. and hung out. I took the wig off while they were here and put my usual knit cap on so I could be more comfortable. Then they left with Kathy L. to catch the last shuttle to the Pete Gross apartment. Everybody hugs me good bye. Kayla goes down the hall calling "I love you mom. I'm praying for you mom. You are going to make it mom." I can still hear her voice calling out though her body is leaving the building. When they are gone, I realize how much energy it took to be with them. I lay back in the pillow and decide I had best go to the bathroom. I don't make it before my p.j.s are soaked and the floor is puddled brown. They got out just in time.