January 27


Last fall at National Jewish, doctors discovered that the raspiness and occasional breaks in my voice that had developed over the past few years as a result of stomach problems were treatable. So they sent me to speech pathologist named Steve who specializes in voice disorders.

From the moment I walked in the office I knew I was in good hands. Steve put me through a series of tests and exercises and gave me daily homework to retrain my vocal mechanics all while making me laugh. He told me how he became a classical singer because of his love for Celine Dion as a teen and how we warms up his voice by singing to Celine in the car on the way to work.

Six sessions later my voice quality has improved a great deal and it was time to say goodbye. Voice therapy was surprisingly difficult. To thank him for his patience and expertise I wanted to do something fun for my last appointment yesterday. So I made him a Celine Dion paper doll for his office. It’s on a little stand I thought it would make him laugh. For a speech therapist, he was speechless. “Whaaaaat?!” then he ran to his other co-workers to show him his Celine. He said she would be his new social media profile pic and that he had plans for all of the places he would take her and photograph her. It was a dime given and a dollar received.

It reminded me of my definition of the perfect gift. It’s a perfect gift if it says, “This is to celebrate what’s important to you because I want you to know that I care about what’s important to you.” And you get bonus points is you make the recipient belly laugh.