And What Followed...

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

I visited Christine tonight near the end of visiting hours. I had the sniffles, so I opted to talk to her via phone thru the big glass window to her room. She lay in the bed and we talked for well over an hour. She was a little bummed because she so loves the Fourth of July, and always tries to do something special on the day, like camping or last year’s fireworks in New York. And no, her friends didn’t shoot off fireworks in the parking lot tonight, probably for the best ;)

We talked about all sorts of things, from Bali to her learning guitar to her love of scavenger hunts (warning: there’s a scavenger hunt in your future once Christine’s 100 days are up). She stole my “this feels like visiting hours at prison” gag when she said that with my shaved head, she felt like she was visiting *me* in prison. I found out that when her dad heard that I had shaved my head for her, he went out and shaved his head.

We joked about the machines that fed the tubes that led into her body, and how the stack of machines and tubes and their Hulk-green lights looked like a Christmas tree. (I was saddened to learn that Christine wasn’t saving any morphine to take home for her friends.)

I told her of the power of positive thinking: Jim’s friend Steve, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and given six weeks to live the same week he found out his wife was pregnant. Steve decided that nothing was going to stop him from seeing his child being born, and focused on that goal. With no treatment, his tumor went into complete remission. It’s four years later and Steve, wife and child are all doing just fine.

It was getting late when I signed off so she could get to sleep. I was signing her big Get Well card when I heard her yell “Den! Fireworks!” From across the dark room I could see her pointing out her window: she had the perfect seat to see numerous fireworks shows exploding their beauty across the night sky. Christine grabbed her video camera and settled into her chair to enjoy the shows.

It was the perfect close to a long day for her, and I thought of her on the drive home on the westbound 210 freeway thru the cities of Duarte, Monrovia, and Pasadena as they were lit up by huge firework blossoms.

Den S

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