After almost a two year hiatus from my blog to finish my memoir, I’m back. I pushed the key that sent my best effort to my writing coach RJ Thesman for final edit. Final edit, hmm that’s a tricky concept. I’m beginning to wonder if there is such a thing.
In the middle of questioning my decision to self-publish Locker Room Angels, I found a graphic artist willing to work within my budget. It felt like a sign. Michael Freeman did the cover art for my book. I loved his ideas. I believe Michael designed a cover that tells enough of our story in pictures to make readers want to open the book.
With the help of Sally Jadlow, I uploaded Locker Room Angels to Amazon as a Kindle book. My thanks to those of you who purchased it!
The paperback was another story. Formatting with their easy instructions was noteasy for me. My son, Jason, came to the rescue.
It was a big day when I received my proof copy. What an amazing experience to see my story in book form. Proofing it was much easier than proofing a manuscript. Small needed edits stuck out like a cat at a dog show. They were easily remedied with Jason’s help.
I’m going to be more constant with my blogs and catch you up to date quickly. Progress has been made.
Since I’ve written about peanut butter sandwiches, I should explain Mayo refers to the famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, not mayonnaise.
Doug and I spent last week there. We came as many others do seeking hope for difficult medical problems at the clinic. So much has happened, I’m loaded with fodder for several blogs.
I’ll start with the small blessings and move up. How’s that for keeping you in suspense and anxious to read future blogs?
Small blessings at the hotel – Hampton Inn South – created a home away from home for us during our five day stay. I’ve got a theory there’s something in Rochester’s water that makes people kind, compassionate and welcoming.
The staff at the receptionist desk smiled and asked “Can I do anything for you? or How are you? How’s your husband? Do you get to go home today” each time I passed the desk, many times a day. I got the feeling they meant it. They kept the large newly remodeled lounge spotless and ensured that hot drinks, cold water and fruit were available 24/7.
A large varied breakfast was complimentary and available from 6 am to 10 am. The staff is well aware that probably 95% of their guests during the week are patients seeking hope and help at Mayo. I’ve seen the pantry open well passed that for those who sleep in or take extra time for morning routines. Many customers leave for tests and procedures by 6 am. For them brown bag breakfasts are ready for grab and go or they might slip in for a late breakfast after they return from early morning appointments.
A free shuttle manned by drivers who drink liberally from the water leaves the hotel for the clinic every thirty minutes on the hour and half hour and circles back to the hotel after the ten minute trip. They’ll fill you in on the town and its awesome medical capacity, their grandchildren or drive quietly if that’s what you want. The shuttle will also take you to a restaurant in the evening or drop you at Walgreens to fill a prescription. The driver is on call until 7:40 pm. For someone like me who hates to drive in a place I don’t know, a huge burden of stress is removed. Gone is the fear of getting lost or figuring out where to park.
After a long day at the clinic, the shuttle brings you home to free hot soup, oyster and assorted other crackers and bread if you don’t feel like going out. Their loaded potato soup is amazing. Makes me smile and remember going home when my Mom was still around.
This picture shows two of many valets available to help you in any way they can as if it were a fancy hotel. Large numbers of wheelchairs lined up in front are reminders of the true purpose of the building. More about the facility next week.
Some days are full of surreal happenings. A few Saturdays ago I got a text bearing very sad news. My daughter’s brother-in-law, passed away after a two year struggle with ALS. He was a brilliant and caring neurosurgeon, a wonderful family man. A very spiritual man, he put his faith into action, reaching out to many people to help and support them. He was generous and sociable, sharing his abundance. His loss is hard to bear for many whose lives he touched. There is peace and comfort knowing he is in the heaven of his faith, and my prayers are for those left behind who have to pick up the pieces.
Not ten minutes later, my phone dinged another text. This one notified me of a joyful miracle of healing. My 14 year old grandson’s friend who had been in a horrific car wreck was wowing the doctors. The prognosis had been devastating, no one expected him to live. Now, two months later he said he wanted to try standing. A few days ago, he surprised his therapists by sitting up for 15 minutes when all they asked for was 60 seconds.
In that short amount of time tears of grief changed to tears of joy and thanksgiving. My emotions ping ponged so quickly, my whole day stood still in wonder. It was as if the day was so full already, I couldn’t plan the rest of it and it was only 10 am. I accepted the rest of the day as it came, and thought about the grief of one family and joy of the other intermingled.
I was mindful of how small I am in the scheme of things and how inept at understanding the mysteries of life. I also was reminded that no matter how dark and hopeless a day seems, there is always hope for joy on the roller coaster ride that is life.