Lookout motorists, Melinda is—as of today—a licensed driver. Please don’t ask me why I am speaking in the third person:)
The whole process feels like it began eons ago… like I have had my permit since I was three. It was tough to schedule in those pesky driving lessons, and even tougher to brave the DMV for testing and paperwork. But the icky-sticky process is complete, and this Quail now has wings (that is how my brother, Nicholas, describes it!)
While I am on the subject of driving and wings, I will tell you about a trip my mom and I are planning for this summer. I am so excited about this!
I will begin explaining by sharing this excerpt from Grace:
“With self-pity once again sneaking in the back door, I became suddenly distracted by a girl, slightly older than me, walking into the room. She filled the room with her shining smile and warm, radiant glow. Nurse Pam introduced her as Rachel, one of their patients who had beaten Hodgkin lymphoma about a year before. We shook hands, and I noticed her short, wavy hair. It looked cute. As I continued to receive chemo, she approached me, and we began to talk. She told a little about herself, and then we started in on a discussion of treatment and recovery.
“Poor Melinda here has had a tough first round,” Nurse Pam empathized,
flushing my PICC line with saline.
Rachel gave me a compassionate look. She had once been there. I could read it in her soft, brown eyes.
She looked straight at me and said reassuringly, “Don’t worry.”
Her calm, gentle voice was soothing.
“The first time is the hardest, and then it gets easier and easier with each
I believed her. She had been in my spot a year ago, and I trusted her completely. It is amazing how two strangers, people who have never met, can be instantly bonded by something in the world. Our lives are an intricate web of roads, each an option to go down. Yet, it seems to me that every single person we come into contact with is meant to be. Rachel and I are two humans, plopped down here on Earth, bonded by an unforeseen medical nightmare.
As she waved good-bye, I waved back, feeling like I had known her my entire life. I believe God placed her there that day to give me hope, determination, and courage. Looking to Mom, who sat in a little blue chair, I saw she had tears in her eyes, and that’s when I realized that, I too, had eyeballs brimming with tears. I wasn’t even exactly sure why I was crying. Rachel had inspired me, and her simply standing there, a happy and healthy girl, gave me a picture of my future. It gave me a goal. I was in awe of the way that God created a bridge for us and used one life to touch another.”
Copyright/Melinda Marchiano/ Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery
I will never, ever forget what Rachel did for me the day she visited. She gave me hope. Children with cancer fight and fight and fight, and they need a vision of hope. I want to be able to do for childhood cancer warriors what Rachel did for me. I want to visit with them and spread hope.
As my mom and I travel to visit the children, I plan on writing my next book about our adventures and the remarkably courageous children I meet along the way.