Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Breast Clinic

After a two hour wait

at the Elizabeth Wende

Breast Clinic, my name was

called, and I was directed to

a Results Room. “My name is

Naomi,” the young woman holding

my Results slip-of-paper informed me.

“Nice to meet you.” She then compliment-

ed my necklace and asked what the symbol

meant. “Clarity,” I said. “In what language?”

she asked me. “Japanese,” I replied - quickly.

“Can you confirm for me your date of birth?”

“Yes,” I said, (pausing ever-so-slightly so she

could give me a date to confirm. She did not

do that, of course). I informed her of my date

of birth, “April 16, 1948.” “You’re fine,” she

said, handing me the slip-of-paper, “We’ll

see you in one year.” Passing a woman I’d

been sitting with, I gave the “thumbs up”

sign, mouthed, “Good Luck!” as I walked

out. I inhaled the fresh air, as I left the

Clinic, saddened by the sight of giant

trees being felled, probably to make

room for an even larger parking lot.

I walked over to a new memorial:

Surrounded by freshly-planted

geraniums, covered with

mulch, stood a smooth

and perfectly round

three-foot tall rock,

embedded, with an

engraved plaque,

honoring Dr. Wende

Logun-Young’s 25

years in the breast

care business.

As I realized that rock

looked a lot like a breast,

I thought briefly, “Why not

two?” Then, swallowing the

lump in my throat, I thought

of all the one-breasted (and

breast-less) women –all of

the cancer survivors –

those female rocks,

grounded in the

earth of their forts,

subtly showing their

friends and daughters,

husbands and others -

how to get past the fear,

hurt, anger or confusion,

how to press on with their

lives and their dreams, how

to find balance, even in the

presence of great falling trees.

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