Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Like a Baby Coming Ready or Not

In Keep It Moving, my book about Baja by Canoe, I noticed that Christmas comes like a baby being born, ready or not. Leaving Seattle is like a baby coming ready or not. I'm not done packing. I sit and stare at a three foot high stack of lab results, procedure guidelines, copies of releases I've signed, my transplant notebook, brochures about transplant, magazines about cancer, transplant notes and schedules. I try to weed it out but I can't throw it all away. I'm just getting to know me as transplant. It is all too close to discard. I know where Shipping and Receiving is on the SCCA first floor. Shipping and Receiving has boxes. The clinic became my home. The chapel on the first floor is haven. The Patient and Family Resource Center is office. The laboratory where my blood is drawn is the window on my body's world. The 6th floor is where the bone marrow clinic is. I know where the charge nurse sits and how to find Doris in social work. Mr. Jones has my file at the front desk when my mail comes in from scheduling. I know where Anitra sits behind her computer if I have a question about my agenda. The tooth fairy who is really Michelle has the dental office down the hall. Rodney in the Bristo not only cooks and serves the food but defines it as mid day restoration. Rebecca in bone marrow aspiration is so good at what she does that I could go in there right now to have another bone marrow aspiration if that was the only way to see her again and say goodbye. I know when her son Eli's birthday is. I know where to find expert Dr. Petty if I need to hear a new joke. Jennifer the chaplain got to know me. She always waited for my invitation but knew that I wouldn't let her quit an appointment without me asking her to put her hands on my bare head and pray. Becky is the volunteer who drove Shammond, Joshua and me from the airport to the Pete Gross House when we flew in from Detroit just this side of midnight on July 4th. Becky is a volunteer in the gift shop too. She calls out to ask how I am whenever she sees me walk by. I notice the man who walks around silently with rubber gloves, cleaning solution and cloth to sanitize surfaces for all of us. All of us patients, those in wheel chairs, some with masks, canes, care givers, bald with central lines. I miss you already.

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