We just dropped off 10 adult hats to keep chemo warriors warm. Walking into the Kaiser Permanente Oncology Center in Ontario without my sister-in-law can be difficult. I see the familiar faces of the nurses or staff and memories start to flood my mind. But, I have been taking my son, who is a great and constant distraction with all of his energy and curiosity, plus he provides a loving hand to hold.
This delivery was a bit different, as the charge nurse personally accepted the hats and thanked us with a hug and kiss. She told us how much these hats mean to her patients. I recognized her, as she gave us an orientation and tour before my sister-in-law started her chemo there. However, without my sister-in-law, she didn’t seem to recognize me and I didn’t verbally respond to her. I could have told her who my sister-in-law was, or that I was continuing this in honor of her, or that I know personally how much these hats mean to chemo warriors. I just smiled, prayed that the tears wouldn’t fall out of my eyes and mumbled “Thank you”, holding my son’s hand as we walked out.
I hope she understood that I just couldn’t speak with any composure, not yet. I ‘m only at the point of being able to walk into the building and take the elevator to the basement without having becoming an emotional wreck. But I go here, specifically for Wanda, my sister-in-law, whom I love and miss very much.