Kaylee and the Coach

Green Bay Packer Coach Mike McCarthy visits Kaylee 5/10/16

Matt posted this picture on Kaylee’s Caring Bridge site. He gave no details at first about the visit of Mike McCarthy to Kaylee’s room. When I asked, they were a little anti-climatic. But it did inspire this leap into a possible future scene. (I managed without help of the Tardis.)

Kaylee’s Tales

The bedroom was a fun place. Kaylee liked to play in it with her friends. Today was special because her new friend Taylor was coming over for the first time. The first time was the best. Kaylee was excited for her to come. She danced and skipped from one window to the next. Living room, dining room and kitchen, each had a window to a street. From the kitchen you saw the side street and part of the corner. Kaylee did not think Taylor would come that way. Still she brought a stool to see out over the kitchen sink. No car. She hopped down and ran to the living room. A thump sounded from the kitchen.

“Ouch! Kaylee,” Dad said her name like a scold.

The stool, she had left it in front of the sink. “Sorry, Dad,” she called and went back to looking out the window. The street was empty. Though you could see the drive from here, you could not see very far down the block. She hurried to the next window.

The dining room was busy with her parents’ work. Laptops were open among papers which were both spread and stacked on the table. Cords, which began their journey to the power strip as single lines, mixed freely before separating again to end in an orderly row along the strip. Mom was busy at the table. Dad came from the kitchen with a mug of coffee in one hand, while he rubbed his shin with the other.

“Put the stool away,” Dad told her.

“Be careful of the cord,” Mom said.

Kaylee took a huge step over the power cord plugged into the wall. She remembered too well what happened if she tripped and pulled it loose. Kaylee did not want that, not today. Before she pushed the stool back to its corner, she looked one more time. Kaylee called to Mom, “Isn’t it time yet? When will they come?”

“I’d say right about…now.”

Ding, dong went the doorbell. Wow, Mom was good. Kaylee raced to answer it. Almost before Taylor was in the door, Kaylee had her hand and dragged her to the bedroom.

Taylor’s wide eyes and open mouth made Kaylee laugh. “Isn’t it great?” Kaylee jumped gleefully from foot to foot. “See on that wall are my owls. The big one is Whom, the smaller one is Who, and the one on the branch below them is Little Boo. See that black mark their on her head? It’s a scar like mine.” Kaylee parted her hair and bent so Taylor could see. Taylor was impressed. “It’s okay you can touch it,” Kaylee invited, but Taylor backed away. “Mom was sort of mad when she saw the black mark I made on Little Boo. When I explained she wasn’t mad anymore.” Kaylee pulled Taylor to the opposite wall.

“Here is my Packer place,” she announced proudly. She had saved the best for last.

“Who?” Taylor asked, clearly puzzled by what the wall meant.

“The Packers? Only the best football team ever. Green Bay Packers,” Kaylee announced and pointed to the posters in turn. “That one is this year’s team. That is Lambeau Field where they play. These are my jerseys, the ones I grew out of. Mom wasn’t sure the wall was the best place for them, but Dad helped me put them up.

“A Cheesehead hat is on the shelf right next to my Packer cap.” Kaylee picked up the cap and pointed it to the last poster. “That’s me and Mom and Dad and the Packer coach. Mike McCarthy, gave this to me.” Kaylee did not offer to let Taylor hold the cap.

“His visit was really special. I had just come out of my sixth or seventh surgery and because I had been sick and stuff  I hadn’t even smiled yet for Mom or Dad. But when the coach picked me up he was awed by what a beautiful, brave little girl I was and he promised that someday he would send a car to bring me and Mom and Dad to see a Packer game. He’d put us in a V.I.P. box and let us come down to the sidelines before the game.” Kaylee petted the cap. “Then he smiled at me and I opened my eyes and smiled and cooed right back at him.” Taylor was awed.

“Yeah, and my Mom, who wasn’t a Packer fan, became one. Just like that.” Kaylee’s attempt to snap her fingers failed.

“Nice story Kaylee,” Mom spoke from the doorway, “now tell Taylor what really happened and later you can write out this version and we’ll add it to our collection of Kaylee’s Tales.”

Kaylee sighed and whispered to Taylor, “She’s no fun.”

“So what really happened?” Taylor wanted to know.

“”I was really sick, and the Packer coach stopped in my room, but he was visiting all the kids and not just me. He talked a little, held me, signed four hats, and left. But Mom is a Packer fan now and someday Dad said we might go see a game at Lambeau Field. And when we do I’ll wear my signed hat and me and Mom and Dad will yell ‘Go Pack Go’ so loud that Coach McCarthy will hear and ask to see us and he’ll remember me and…”

“Kaylee.” This time it was Dad who stopped her.

“Hey, Taylor, wanna play superheroes? I have some capes.”

The girls ran to the hooks for the capes. “You can pick first,” Kaylee offered.

“Remember,” Mom cautioned before she left the room, “doctor said, ‘No more Kaylee jumping on the bed.’”

“I told you,” Kaylee whispered again, “she’s no fun.”

Deborah Ude

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