Monday, October 27, 2008

The Homeliest Lamp

A while back, I went to yard sale. I was still recovering from thyroid surgery, and even after a month, my vocal cords had not healed. I was becoming concerned, but there was nothing I could do about it. Since I couldn't speak, I hung my head low hoping no one would speak to me. As I browsed, one of the two elderly sisters who hosted the yard sale approached. I was holding a homely lamp that I had picked up to examine. The woman began telling me the history of this lamp and how she had chosen it years ago to complement her daughter's bedroom decor.

After the woman finished telling me about the lamp, she lifted her hand, extended her index finger, and touched her neck. As she ran her finger along her own thyroid scar, she asked about my fresh scar. I whispered that I could not talk. She told me not to worry because her voice had returned exactly six weeks after her surgery. Her words gave me comfort, and by this time I had bonded with this woman's lamp.

I brought the lamp home with plans to make it over, but when I walked into my house with that lamp, my family laughed at me. "That's the ugliest lamp I have ever seen," my daughter announced. Even my husband rolled his eyes, and I know he wondered what I would ever do with that tacky lamp. I couldn't protest vocally, so I went to work on my makeover. I spray-painted the lamp's base black. I removed the outdated rattan and fabric from the shade form, and then I sewed a new shade and slip-stitched it onto the frame. I chose black-and-white toile for the new shade to complement the lamp's shiny black base. Black gimp trim added a decorator's touch to the hand-sewn shade.

After my homely lamp received its extreme makeover, my family was very impressed. More than once I heard members of my family say, "I never would have believed it is the same lamp." How they had changed their tunes! Looks like I had the "last word" even though I still couldn't speak!

At last, though, just as the woman at the yard sale had promised, my voice returned! And it happened exactly six weeks after my surgery.

The Lamp "Before"

The Lamp "After"

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