Today is surgery day at last! May not be up to blogging on Friday, although we will post a surgical update once we have it, but I thought I’d share something light-hearted and fun that happened last week with a very dear friend of mine of about 20 years. If you’ve read my book she is one of the gems mentioned and continues to shine as bright as ever in my life.
As Elisa knew about the diagnosis and impending surgery she like so many others have reached out and wanted to spend some time with me. So I get a text asking me first if I want to take a beach walk at 8:30a.m. Despite not being a morning person I agreed. The next text came and said oh wait I can’t I have to take my car into the shop but I am reading to a group of young children at 11:00 perhaps you might like to come along with me and read. Knowing I am a sucker for kids I agreed to that as well. Then in the next text she tells me we are dressing up as Bert & Ernie. Now we are stretching my comfort zone a bit but I respond okay as long as I don’t have to be the pervert, Tickle Me Elmo! In the mean time I am supposed to be with Juan and my designer picking out appliances for our remodel project at the same time. So I tell Juan that I think this will lift my spirits a bit, so does he mind going without me, and I will catch up right after the book reading. He agrees which scares me, because I manage the money and he thinks big while I think budget.
I show up at Elisa’s swanky condo in Jacksonville Beach, with a security guard and a sign-in guest book, a little early so we have time to chat a bit before we go. It is there that I am presented with the option of being the Cat in the Hat or Thing 1 or 2. I opted for Thing 1! She just looked like a natural as The Cat in the Hat and I figured the blue hair would match my eyes better!
Then she informs me that we need to dress at her condo, ride the elevator in the condo, and then drive in our cars in costume. Wait, what? The guard didn’t look like he wanted to let me in as it was, wait until he sees how I’m leaving. It’s Sept. 1, not even close to being Halloween. We sneak out her door onto the elevator only to be met with a woman from her building. “It’s a little early for Happy Hour ladies” she says laughing. No, no we are going to read books to young children we say. “Ugh huh of course you are”! Thankfully Elisa’s car is in the garage but she has to drive me around to the front guest parking where I have to get out again in my costume on the street. Now anyone living in Jacksonville knows that in Jacksonville Beach on any given day or time you could see someone or something strange, but when strange, looks at you and laughs, and points, now that’s a whole new experience!!
Thankfully the school is relatively close by so there is no more finger pointing until we park and walk to the school. Once inside of course we are safe except for snickering of the front office staff especially since in all the commotion we forgot to bring a book to read. Quickly we grab Dr. Seuss “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, when we are called into the class as today’s mystery readers.
Elisa’s son Teddy sees his mom and yes I can confirm that even four year olds roll their eyes especially when their mom asks him to hold her cat tail.
So we sit in the chairs provided us as the children pepper us with questions like “Is your hair really blue”? “Why yes it is” I respond .Where is Thing 2? “Out shopping for appliances” say I. “Is Thing 2 as funny as Thing 1? “ “No he is much funnier!” And so on…. The children have no idea what we are talking about but the teachers are laughing hysterically at the subliminal adult banter going on between the mystery readers.
As Elisa begins to read the book, the children calm down some even though they can’t quite comprehend if we are for real. So then The Cat in The Hat decides to be really funny and tell the children that she taught Thing 1 how to read! “Thing 1 can you say the letter F” says the Cat in the Hat. “F” says Thing 1. “Very good Thing 1 now can you make the sound of the letter F?” Thing 1 then looks at The Cat in the Hat trying not to bust a gut laughing as I say “FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!” because I was so afraid knowing The Cat in The Hat like I do, that the next question was going to be “can you say a word that begins with F and use it in a sentence” and at that point I would have lost it. You can see the look Thing 1 is giving the very glib Cat in the Hat at that moment above. Thankfully we made it through the rest of the book with no major incident or breach of the pre-schools code of conduct. The kids loved us, fist pumped us, and wanted to know when we would come back and if I would bring Thing 2 with me next time. I promised I would.
Back outside by the cars as we got undressed out of our costumes, laughing at our antics, I thanked the Cat in the Hat for the best possible gift of love anyone can give someone, and that is the gift of laughter. In those few moments, cancer did not exist, there wasn’t anything but children, laughter, love, joy, and one friend helping another going through a tough time. It was just what the doctor ordered for this patient!
Laughter is indeed the best medicine!