Ring that bell and ring it hard!
Today was remicade day…one of many…..
I was one of the first patients to walk into the Baylor Infusion Center in 2003. Seems like centuries ago and then again it seems like yesterday.
Nine years….every six weeks of those nine years. I have walked into that infusion center, and curled up in a chair to take the drug of choice. Remicade.
I have seen many things over the years that have changed me… but nothing has affected me more than the ringing of the bell.
I have been honored to witness that monumental life changing experience 4 times. ONLY 4 times in 9 years.
Today I was blessed to watch it twice.
The first was a lady probably in her late sixties who cried with emotion and gratefulness as she rang that bell.
It is such a heart warming event to watch. I always stand up and let the emotion take me back…
The gift of watching this is indescribable for me.
Things settled down and my heart was full of joy watching her leave.
Then I over heard the nurse telling the lady next to me, that she was almost finished and then she would be able to ring that bell.
I was like…. oh my gosh I am going to witness this twice in one day!
Then I heard her mutter under her breath and looked at me and said Good Lord they want me to ring that stupid bell.
I asked her, why don’t you want to.. Well it is silly and embarrassing to stand up there in front of everyone to do that.
I must say I was impressed that the anger just didn’t explode from within me!
I simply gave her a sad smile and nodded. I didn’t trust myself to speak.
I couldn’t help but think about the hundreds of thousands of women who would have given anything in the world to ring that bell, at least once in their life time.
I politely ignored her and continued working on my computer.
Then she leaned over again to whisper her displeasure at having to “perform.”
I turned to her, not with righteous anger or thoughts of my Aunt Norma, Becky, or Trisha but with an overwhelming sadness, not for those who had died, but for this woman, the one who may get to live and doesn’t truly appreciate the gift given to her.
I softly smiled, with tear filled eyes, and whispered…
Since you don’t want to ring it for yourself, maybe you could for those who would have given anything to have had the privilege to do so.
Ring it in memory of those who have died before you, who are dying now as we speak and for those who will die in the future.
She never said another word.
When they unhooked her chemo bag hopefully for the last time. She walked over to the bell and rang it four times.
I pretended it was….. Once for my Aunt Norma… Once for my boss Trisha Carr…Once for my friend Becky Wyatt and once for Kelly’s mom Sherri Chrystal.
Today I am grateful to be blessed by medical miracles that gave me the gift of hearing.
Clang Clang Clang…. music to my soul.