My love for the light can be traced back to a single stream of memories.
When I was twelve I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. I had good days and bad days. My life consisted of doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and numerous hospital stays.
During chemotherapy, I would have to stay in the hospital for up to a week for each treatment. On good days right around sunset my dad would come up to me with a smile on his face and say
“Lets go to the solar-ium.”
He would always emphasize the “ium” and I’m not really sure why. He is filled with quirky things like that.
I would put an extra layer of fuzzy socks on to keep my feet warm and slowly crawl out of bed. With one hand on my IV pole and the other in my dad’s hand we would make our way down the hallway to the solarium.
Once we reached the room my dad would open the door for me and I would escape into another world. The warmth of the room would touch my pale cheeks and I would smile. It was usually empty so I would take a seat on the couch and look over the city from the top floors of the Children’s Hospital.
The entire room was glass. The sun’s streams of light would invade the room and touch my bald head. It was as if the sun was coming down to the Earth to touch my cold, sick skin. I felt as if I could conquer the world but most importantly I could conquer this cancer. I was no longer a patient being tested on but rather an important leader with hair so long I would need to cut it so they could make wigs for other bald girls.
I would watch as cars drive by below and wonder what was happening in the passerby’s lives. Were they facing their own battles? Were they okay? I wanted to know. I wanted to talk to others to see what the world was really like. I was an outsider observing the city below.
Before long, I would need to return to my hospital room and be hooked back up to my machines. My dad would take my hand and lead me down the hallway where I would peak into the rooms of the other patients and say hi to the nurses. My feet were getting cold now even with two layers of fuzzy socks. I crawl back into bed and lay my head on my pillow I brought from home, breathing in the familiar scent as to forget that I was in the hospital.
Perhaps I would take a nap and dream of the sun’s light.