Even after all the time Ashley and I have spent together, yesterday something new happened. Actually three somethings new.
Thing the first: She woke up at 8AM on a weekend…and stayed awake.
This is tantamount to Lindsay Lohan turning down free alcohol – it just never happens. Usually Saturday and Sunday mornings are my time with the cats, my time to read or do research, my time to watch movies she won’t like and play video games because I can count on her to sleep until probably noon or so. When she sat up in bed I figured she needed to use the restroom. But she stayed in bed and even more surprisingly her eyes stayed open and she voiced her intent to remain part of the conscious world. I was about as surprised as if I’d woken up with an opposable toe or a prehensile penis. Then I learned why she was up.
Thing the second: She woke up early…to read.
Ashley’s not much of a reader. Not that she doesn’t like books, but they have a habit of putting her to sleep. Almost every time I’ve seen her sit down to read for class I’ve seen her asleep 30 minutes later.(1) So it was very strange that as I did my normal Sunday routine – cats, laundry – she was awake and reading in bed. It’s like those dreams in which you go to work and everything’s totally normal…except maybe all the furniture has fur or all the people are green.
Thing the third: Ashley in professional-type attire
This was maybe more jolting than when she sat up at 8AM. Ashley is very much a blue-jeans kind of gal. Even her nicer clothes are what I’d call relatively simple.(2) So when we went shopping for more professional clothes, it was something I’d never seen her in before. And she looked stunning, of course. But it was odd, like seeing your boss in a ballcap or something.
And the reason for all of the strangeness?
Today Ashley starts graduate school for a Master of Science in Biomedical Science, Human Donation Science.
In layman’s terms, she’s looking to become a transplant coordinator and/or an organ-procurement specialist.
Every time she’s ever talked about a potential career her interest has always been to help people go through what she’s gone through. At first she wanted to do art therapy, to help children in hospitals deal with being in hospitals. But she’s now settled upon this, and I think it’s perfect for her. She’s not sure which aspect of organ-procurement she wants to be part of, but part of the program is to learn that sort of thing. She wants to help others give and receive the gift of life just as she did.
Wish her luck in your spare thoughts. And cheer her on. She’s gonna be great.
- Though of course reading for class is totally different and way more narcotizing than regular reading.
- Of course, what I know about women’s clothes could fill a dwarf’s thimble, so…