If you know me at all, you know something must be afoot for me to reference a story I dread more than any other. I have always hated the movie The Wizard of Oz and its creepy characters. I found them terrifying as a child—really? trees that slap you?—and still shudder at the thought of a flying monkey picking someone to pieces. But there is something about that scene in the movie, when all the motley characters are finally assembled, and Judy Garland kicks up her ruby-slippered heels and takes that first jaunty step down the yellow brick road. She does this jazzy skipping step that just embodies spirit, determination, and optimism. She’s so darn hopeful, so certain that someone, somewhere will help her find a way home. That’s how I feel today.
Of course I am terrified that we’ll finally get to the Mayo Clinic, pull back the curtain, and find a dithering idiot behind the hype. Don’t you just hate how the wizard makes excuses? And complains about all the pressure people put on him to fix everything? (Oh, poor wizard. Sorry we built this beautiful Emerald City to honor your brilliance.) That’s what I’m afraid we’ll find. If that’s the case, it had better end like Dorothy’s saga—all just a bad dream and Toto intact, damn it.
In the meantime, I am so completely overwhelmed at all the last-minute preparation to get through. Seriously, I have a two-page list. And I thought packing a diaper bag was complicated! At least if you ran out of formula on the road, you could buy it in a grocery store. No such luck with this stuff—you can’t even buy it in a pharmacy. So we’ll be hauling heavy bags, lots of paperwork, but hopeful hearts. And tons of gifts from friends and family whose generosity and kindness is the most amazing discovery of all. Hell, we don’t need no stinkin’ wizard! We got peeps. Thank you, everyone, for getting us to this point. See you back in Kansas!