The hero in this story is the evening nurse, Brenda. In the beginning of the story she tries to encourage Michelle to have a positive outlook by saying that her friend will probably still come and that she’s well on her way to remission. Brenda also tries to help Michelle find a little bit of humor when she puts on her wig and when she tries on her pink house coat, which makes a huge difference when all the hope in her life seems lost. At the end of the story when Rob shows up at the end of the hospital but is too late for visiting hours, Brenda lets him stay for half an hour because she knows how important it is for Michelle to get visitors to help her get better and have hope.
When Michelle meets the mystery guitar player, Claude, she learns that he has had leukemia for eight years yet remains hopeful and optimistic. She opens up to him and tells him that she would sometimes rather die than be poked by one more needle in her arm. Claude tells her that they are each given a life, and you don’t throw that out like garbage. He also reassures her by saying that their all in this together. Claude inspires Michelle and gives her hope at this point in the story which changes Michelle’s outlook on her life.
The overall message is that no matter how hopeless a situation might seem, maybe we’re looking at it in the wrong perception. If your only focusing on the negative things in life, how are you supposed to see the good things? We have to re evaluate our current state of mind in order to keep us sane, and help us survive. At the beginning of the story the mood is despairing and sorrowful but towards the end of the story the mood shifts to being more hopeful.
Humor helps people get distracted from their current situation. It helps people forget about how tragic their life might be. It can also help people become more hopeful, because how awful can life be if you can still smile or laugh? Humor gives people a distraction and helps them to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I believe that Alison Lohans calls her story “The Michelle I know” because everyone has those days where we view our life like Michelle. For some people everyday is like one of Michelle’s, we rather die than see that one person, or sit through that one class. Our life seems hopeless yet we have to keep moving forward. It may seem like were trapped and will never get out, but eventually you must find hope, because we only get one chance at life.