Many years ago my wife Margaret or Margo as she prefers, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that affected her liver. She went through many years of testing, procedures, and hospital stays, waiting for the day they would call her for the liver transplant that she so desperately needed. Then one day, the doctors told her that a liver transplant could possibly happen within the next few months; giving her and our family the hope that she could finely return to a normal life. The doctors began to have her come in to the hospital more frequently; just to make sure they had her most up to date medical status. It was during one of her MRI results in July that the doctor noticed something abnormal in the image. The next day, he asked her to come in for a few more tests. They suspected a form of Lymphoma; further testing confirmed his suspicions. The transplant was then called off. The cancer treatments would not cure the Lymphoma, so the best the doctors could do was to treat the cancer and try to maintain her liver functions for as long as they could. Her quality of life, a big concern, would be limited. She would spend the next couple of months in the hospital, and ultimately her liver would fail.
It was at this time she met another patient named Kay. They would pass each other in the hallways and give one another words of encouragement; always with a thumb up and a great big smile. One day her new friend Kay was discharged from the hospital and transferred to a Hospice care facility, we said our good-bye's to her and her daughter, Tracy. We grew to know them well while visiting our loved ones in the same hospital. Three days later, my wife made the difficult decision to stop all treatments and to spend her last days in Hospice Care.
The day my wife was transferred to Hospice, I was walking towards the building, and as I crossed the parking lot, I noticed Kay's daughter Tracy getting out of her car. We stopped and gave each other warm hugs and spoke for a bit. This being my first visit, Tracy offered to showed me how to sign in and find my wife’s room. As it turned out, my wife and Tracy's mother Kay were in the same room, across from one another! Both of them looked up at each other with great big smiles; they realized they were together again. The bond that had developed between them was something that we could not explain.
When our family came together that afternoon, my daughter, who purchased ruby red slippers to cheer up her mother, put them on her mother's feet. Once the slippers were on, it was magic! From across the room Kay had noticed the red slippers on my wife’s feet, and she was fixated on them. Later that day, Tracy informed me that her mother was a big Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland fan; the red slippers were what she remembered most about the movie. Tracy said that her mother was in love with Margo's ruby red slippers, so I told her that the following day she would have her very own pair. The next day, just as I had promised, Kay had her own pair of ruby red slippers. Tracy put them on her mother's feet, and all of a sudden, my wife and Kay looked at each other with smiles of joy on their faces. Kay had grown very weak as the days past, but something told her that when she had those magic red slippers on her feet, she was home. Every once in a while she would look down at her feet and ever so slightly wiggle her toes with a smile on her face.
It was at that moment the ruby red slipper idea was born. I was determined to find a way to supply ruby red slippers for as many wives, mothers, and daughters in Hospice as I could. Hopeful to find a way to raise the money to supply the ruby red slippers for any woman in Hospice who would like to put them on and continue Margo and Kay's story . If nothing else, I feel that I must keep a promise I made to myself in the memory of my wife, Margo, and her new friend, Kay.
Our family's goal is to now gather and raise funds to purchase as many ruby red slippers for women in Hospice care as we can, preserving the good times Margo and Kay shared together, and to remind the rest of us that, “There's no place like home.”
DONATIONS CAN BE MADE TO "MARGO AND KAY'S RUBY RED SLIPPERS” AT ANY WEBSTER BANK