Stanford Medical Center offers art class in their atrium, a sun-filled place where small concerts are also held. Heedless of the fact that I am the world’s worst artist, I sat down to paint–anything to get away from reality. But reality flowed off the end of my paintbrush anyway.
But now, instead of seeing red, we are laughing. Gabriele, the human boomerang, has returned from the brink once again. She is doing so well that doctors are trying to wean her off the tube in her nose–which makes her look slightly like Mr. Snufflleupagus from Sesame Street. Most importantly, her determination is back.
“The climb through cancer is dreadful and I can understand why people just give up,” she said to Simone and me, rumpled and tired from spending the night in the Oncology Family Room, its narrow hard couches and chairs not ideal for sleep. ”They don’t want to be put through the needles and torture and sickness. But I can’t give up because each day when I wake up, it just boggles my mind that I get to look at this world.” My mom flutters a graceful hand toward the window of her hospital room, which looks out onto dirt and an ivy-covered hill. ”Every morning, whether it’s the sun streaming in or a wonderfully overcast day, it is just too beautiful to leave.”
Later, Gabriele was so frisky she did some can-can kicks in bed. And when we took her on a walk she saw one of her doctors and started dancing as joyfully as she could with so many tubes coming out of her small body. And seeing her sweet, kooky dance, I was reminded of a quote that decorates my Pinterest page.
My mom hears the music. And I believe that alone can work miracles.