Saturday, April 22, 2017
"My Color" by Rowan
While Rowan was in Seattle for his transplants, he had the opportunity to work with a wonderful creative writer on several occasions, from his hospital bed. He wrote poetry with her, and even worked on the writing that would eventually become his eulogy for my mom, which was read by her Pastor in Ohio on Rowan's behalf. It is a wonderful writing program and though some days were harder for Rowan than others, the outcome of his writing with her, will be cherished for the rest of my life. For instance, this poem:
While I was in Seattle this month, I was asked by the Pediatric Advanced Care Team, to read Rowan's poem while they recorded it on video, so it could be a part of a Poetry Program this week. I did my best to get through it without crying too hard. Rowan helped me out, and I was able to do it in one take.
Yesterday, they sent me photos of it being presented on a projection screen, to a room full of people. If you know me, you know that I do not like to speak in front of people (I prefer writing:). However, I was so blessed and honored that they shared Rowan's poem as part of their collection this year. I know it must have made Rowan so very happy too.
I got to visit with the Creative Writer who worked with Rowan, along with all of his other therapists (PT, OT, Music, Art, and Speech), again while I was in Seattle this month. I brought them donations from his foundation, in his memory. They brought coffee, bagels and fruit to our little get together...and ironically (or not;) there were oranges. The creative writer's adorable son (also a red-head;) was with her (because it was her day off and she so sweetly still came up to the hospital to visit with me).
As we talked, she gave her son an orange wedge, and I teared up immediately...it was a sign...it was like it was a scene straight from Rowan's poem... (not to mention the fact that her son looks like Rowan when he was a baby)...
"...biting it to suck the juice out, the best part,
especially when they're very juicy,
then using the rind to make a smile..."
It was such a sweet moment, and I knew that it meant Rowan was there with us.
But that is not the end of the story... when I returned from Seattle, I received this letter:
Such an amazing honor.
I love you baby, and am so very proud of you! You're legacy continues to live on in so many, many ways...and now your poem will too. And orange will forever be "your color"... sunrises, sunsets, new day, new life.
*A funny side note, for those that don't know why Rowan mentioned my perfume in his poem... when he was receiving my t-cells during transplant number one, nurses recommended that we have a bucket of cut up oranges for him to smell, because the preservative that they use to keep the t-cells safe smells horrible. It's called DMSO and it smells like a can of old creamed corn (there is no other way to describe it). They warned us that his skin and breath would even smell like it for hours after the cells were infused. Well, they were right! We tried the cut up oranges, but it wasn't strong enough for Rowan. At one point he pushed the tub of oranges away and said, "That's it! This isn't working Mom. Please, get me your Dolce & Gabbana perfume!" We all laughed out loud and the nurses applauded his good taste in perfume. I did get my Dolce & Gabbana for him, by the way. I sprayed him, his pillow, his bed, myself, everywhere...and it worked...and it's one of my favorite parts of his poem.*