I spent some time with Edwina today. It was the first time we’d seen each other since I returned from Nepal.
We met in Clinic D on the 5th floor at Cooper Green, where Edwina was getting her staples removed. A couple of weeks back, she had the chemo port that had been causing her so much trouble taken out and the incision had healed enough to get rid of the hardware. Whereas I was offered detailed instruction in how to clean my port when undergoing chemo the second time around and provided enough supplies to get me through, Edwina has always been expected to go to the oncology unit to have her port cleaned. The result was a badly clogged port, a swollen arm, and pain around the area.
Running a little late, I knocked on the door to the room where Edwina, Tyrone (her husband), and four-year-old Aubrey (Edwina’s son’s girlfriend’s daughter) were waiting for the doctor to come. Edwina beamed when she saw me and reached out her arms for a big hug.
I gave Edwina a bag of spice tea from Nepal. I told her that I’d need to get her a tea strainer since the leaves were loose, and then she could use the bag as a purse once it was empty. I told her that I’d thought of her when I saw the purse, because I figured she could finally stop carrying her treasures around in her bra! She told me I was a “mess”–probably am.
Later in the day, I took Edwina and the others for a bit of grocery shopping. She picked up just a few items, but as I wheeled Aubrey around in the shopping cart bumping “accidentally” into Edwina’s mobile cart, Aubrey spied a carton of sugar cookies with pink icing. Her eyes got big, and she said “Auntie (her name for Edwina), I want me some pink cookies.”
“Y’all come on now. Ya’ don’t need no cookies,” Edwina told her.
Out of the corner of my eye, Edwina gave me a smile and shook her head. I picked up the cookies and told Aubrey that those pink cookies sure did look good. “How about I get them and you keep them at your house?”
Aubrey held tight to the carton of cookies all the way back to Edwina’s apartment, making sure that Tyrone knew that they were hers (oh, and mine).
Sometimes a girl just needs a little pink icing.