The Gathering Place
by Lynda Nuttall
I arose this morning. The sun was shining on another golden day in Denver, Colorado.
Today I will wear a yellow, or perhaps a golden outfit. Every 21 days I attend this gathering and I always wear this color. During the time I have attended these sessions I have become acquainted with many of the participants. I am the only one to wear this golden yellow color… the color of life and hope. Other participants like to wear pretty scarves or hats. The men like to wear baseball caps. The gathering is held on the 12th floor of a high-rise building in downtown Denver; the view is spectacular.
When we arrive and when we leave they always give each one of us a special gift. As we enter they give us a bracelet with our name engraved on it. After that we each go to our assigned seats. Some of us will be here only a couple of hours, and others unfortunately will be here five or more hours. I used to be here five hours, then I would pack a picnic and bring my music. Now I am only at the gathering place for a couple of hours. Amen to that, I say.
At the gathering we can talk or we can take a nap if we get tired. We can dream or sleep so deeply we have no dream. When I sleep I go to that place somewhere between dusk and dawn and plan my escape from this “room with the spectacular view.”
We can have as much yogurt and juice, as we want. Sometimes the hosts walk around with cup cakes for us. They try to treat us really special.
Today I asked one of the hosts of this party: “How long would I need to keep coming?” She said, “Indefinitely, Lynda, or at least seven years or more.” Then she gave me my parting gift: she wrapped my arm with a cloth bracelet as she pulled the needle from my arm.
I left the Chemo infusion room with a silent golden tear running down my cheek and back into my heart.
Lynda Nuttall is the Director of the Native American Multi-Cultural Education School in Denver, Colorado. The Native American Multi-Cultural Education School (NAMES) was founded more than five years ago to address a need within the Native American and Southwest Denver community, for a school for adults seeking an education.
Lynda presented The Gathering Place at the LifeSpark Cancer Resources annual Touching Tomorrow event on December 3, 2009.