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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dotson

Live oak

I recently borrowed a memoir from the local library. It caught my eye instantly because it was called Marrow, a word that entered our vocabulary uninvited in May – without even a gentle knock. The book’s author, Elizabeth Lesser, is a perfect match for her sister who needs a bone marrow transplant. The sisters want to have the best possible chance for transplant success, so they quest to understand each other – and themselves. Much more than a book about a bone marrow transplant, it’s a book about love, about soul, and about life. Though I have only a few chapters left, I am reading as slowly as possible because I don’t want it to end.

I keep thinking about a passage from the book, so I wanted to share it. There are so many amazing parts that it feels almost criminal sharing just one, but I’m a little rebellious, so here goes:

We come into the world a potent little acorn, a distillation of the oak we were put here to become. The ego fears it is less than others, or it strives to be better than everyone else. But the acorn only yearns to be the oak. That’s the better urge; that’s the original urge—to be the oak. To be the oak we do not have to keep others from growing into their full selves. We can stand side by side and still reach for the sun. We all belong here. There is room for all of us.

Whew. This morning, as I entered the kitchen to start some coffee, I was struck by a card that was sitting on the counter. It has been there for a few weeks, but it stopped me in my tracks because I realized it was a beautifully illustrated oak tree, with the words Live Oak beneath it. I felt like that card had been patiently waiting for me to read the passage from Marrow.

Though we don’t yet have results from Ramón's recent bone marrow biopsy, I believe in my heart that we are on the way to oak-dom. Over the past several months, we’ve been blessed to have so many people alongside us, reaching for the sun. It got me thinking, though; we don’t have to wait until an oak is visibly wilting to help it flourish. Instead, we can all stand together, seeking the sunlight; we are all worthy.

We are also worthy of pancakes. Well, not all of us.


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