i have a relationship with my surgeon's mother.
right before surgery, my surgeon--looking like a cast member on Grey's Anatomy, while I, unfortunately, appeared to be playing the part of a faded but spunky late-middle-aged patient--said she had something for me from her mother, something her mother had made for me. in a hot pink bag nestled in hot pink tissue paper was a guinea pig-sized bright pink pillow. she said it would make me more comfortable while i recovered.
over the next few days, i snuggled up with this pillow, tucking it just so--so that my breast was supported and the incision in my armpit was protected--and it worked, it made everything feel better. and while i lay there, i thought about my surgeon's mother, who had raised this brilliant daughter who could use steel and lasers in a cold operating room to excise cancer, and how proud she must be of her daughter.
but as i felt the hand-stitching that closed the pillow, i thought about how she also knew that even brilliance and steel and lasers weren't quite enough, and how she wanted to help her daughter's patients, too. and how her daughter let her help, and was proud of her mom for helping.
her mom made that pillow for me.