Monday, August 29, 2011

My Best Friend-RemembeRED

I enter the house, excited.  My happiness dampens a little when I am handed the mask.  I put it on and am immediately stifled.  The air becomes hot and stale.  I feel like I'm suffocating.  I try to ignore the feeling.

Once I'm ready to play, she comes out of her room.  Erin is my best friend.  She has leukemia.  But today is a good day for her.

We run to the basement, giggling and squealing.  I want to play Nintendo-Erin has Zelda.  All I have at home is Duck Hunt and Mario Brothers.  Erin wants to play dress up.  We pull the bin of clothes and accessories from its storage spot.

I choose the green floral dress like I usually do.  It is pale and long and covered with flowers.  My mom once wore it as a bridesmaid.  Erin picks her clothes and goes to the bathroom like she always does to put them on. 

I rip off the mask and gulp as much sweet, fresh, cool air as I can.  I cannot even tell you how much I hate this mask, but I know I can make Erin sick if  I don't wear it, and she's sick enough already.

Erin comes back into the room in a dress, hat, and boa.  We giggle and play.  We end up rolling on the floor, wrestling.  I try to roll Erin off me, then it happens.

Oh my God, I panic.  I made her hair fall out.  Erin's hair lay on the floor.  I burst into tears.  I didn't know how I did it, but I knew I made her hair fall off her head.  I was terrified. Erin ran upstairs, distressed.  I thought her mom was going to yell at me.

After calming myself down a little, I slowly trudged up the stairs, still in tears.  Erin was at the kitchen table.  Her hair was back on her head.  I learned that day that your hair falls out when you get treated for cancer.  Once I was assured I did not make her hair off by wrestling with her, everything was back to normal.

We ran downstairs to play Barbies. 

This post was written in response to this week's Write on Edge RemembeRED prompt.
Your assignment for this week is to write about a memory of yourself WITH someone else.

Note: Erin meant lot to me, and I will be writing another post about her soon.  I wrote some of it for this, but there were too many memories and more than 600 words.


  1. This takes me back to time with my daughter's friend who also had leukemia. We had many play dates at the children's hospital. This situation really does involve learning each and every time the children get together. You really highlight the mix of normal child play tinged with the special medical issues.

  2. Your moms should have warned you about her hair... :) I would have been scared too. Glad it all worked out okay...

  3. Oh wow...did she get better?...

  4. @May-Thank you. Seeing someone suffer from cancer is rough, but I'm glad we made the best of it so it seemed almost normal to have play dates at hospitals and go to long doctor appointments together.
    @Elaine-It was terrifying and a shock, but I guess when you're 5, you accept and get over things more quickly.
    @insideoutrightsideup- Thankfully she did. She did relapse once, but has been cancer free for a long time now. She also became a camp counselor at a camp for kids with cancer.