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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Clergyman's Visit

The following is a creative account of one evening ten years ago when Hillary had bilateral hip surgery to correct a leg length discrepancy and disjointed hips.

It was the quiet time of the evening in the pediatric ward as the mother sat reading a Dean Koontz novel. She was too young to be old, but too old to be young. The best you could say was that she was born in the last years of the baby boom, and her youngest boomlet lay recovering from double hip surgery in the hospital bed next to her chair. In a full body cast and heavily sedated, the only noise in the room was her breathing and the tick of the IV pump. As her mother lost herself in the book, she reveled in the quiet. Just as she reached a particularly creepy part of the story, a voice came out of nowhere and caused her to jump and give a little yelp. She looked up into the kind face of a young clergyman who was doing his rounds in the university hospital, seeking those who needed a bit of comfort as their children recovered from surgery or illness. She laughed and apologized for yelping, just as he apologized for interrupting her and giving her a fright. She put the book aside and gave her full attention to the visitor.

It was at times awkward as the two sat there in the quiet room, noises from the hall and other patient rooms filtering in through the partially closed door. He tried to offer some comfort as best he could while she attempted to give him the short version of her daughter’s medical history from the past 9 years. She realized that each of them found themselves in the position of trying to explain the unexplainable. He however had the advantage of being trained for this. They managed pretty well, falling back on the way they met for a chuckle. The visit lasted about a half an hour and he seemed reluctant to leave. This was a mother who wasn’t hysterical, or even close to tears. Rather, she had the manner of someone who was on retreat, relaxed as she was although she did seem a bit tired. The child made not a sound while he was there, and her mother frequently looked over at her and gently touched her face from time to time.

The visit ended with a prayer for healing for the girl, and comfort and strength for her mother. They wished each other a good night and he left. The mother picked up her book and continued reading with a more tranquil feeling than she’d had before.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Evening Thoughts

Lately I've been pondering some things I don't quite understand.

How is it that the company that builds and sells the wheelchair can tell me they have no idea how much a part costs until they get a quote from the manufacturer when I can find the price on the manufacturer's website in less than five minutes?

How can the people who work at the company that builds and sells the wheelchair not try to do the repair in a day or two instead of taking weeks, even when I've paid them up front so we don't have to wait for the insurance company to approve the repair, and how can they sleep at night knowing they are leaving vulnerable people in an even more vulnerable situation?

How can the mechanic tell us that the new exhaust system is louder than the old one because we have to wait for soot to build up in the system and call the noise the "harmonics" of the system, and say it with a straight face?

Why are there so very many HUGE spiders in my yard this year?

How is it that I can look into the eyes of the neighbor's cat, tell her to get the mouse I just saw by my basement window, and the next day a dead mouse is by my front door?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Princess

 Nineteen years ago today,
a precious princess came our way,
sent for us to learn and love,
 sent from only God above,
 I've done some things nurses do,
 teachers, therapists, doctors too,
she's made us laugh, she's made us cry,
 she's made us stop and wonder why,
one thing we know without a doubt,
 she's someone we can't live without,
 so Princess Hillary, today's your day,
 Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Week

Here it is almost the end of the first week of school/work and we haven’t seen the sun once. There are leaks in our stockroom, coatroom, bathroom, and kitchen at work. Another freezer is broken, (we lost one last year), and we started with barely enough food to serve a limited variety at all our stations and vending machines. One of our ladies called out today because of flooding, and one is not feeling well with an upper respiratory infection. We have classes meeting in the lunchroom because their classrooms are flooded, slightly impeding some of our preparations and clean up. It’s been crazy and intense so far, and it hasn’t been more than a few days since we started. In spite of all that, we are a cheerful group of women. Everyone is pitching in and helping each other as time permits, and I’m sure that anyone in the general area can hear the laughter and chatter.

Hillary seems to have gotten right back into the swing in spite of looking like a “thundercloud” the first day back. Seriously I took “first day of school” pictures that morning and she is obviously not pleased! Her regular aide, or “school Mom” as I think of her, is there to make sure her day goes smoothly. In spite of a couple of transportation issues which had me making some phone calls before work yesterday, I think the first week has gone well.

It’s very likely that by Friday night I’ll be so exhausted that I’ll fall into bed early, but that’s ok. I’ll get into the swing of these early, hectic days in no time. And perhaps the sun will come out this weekend.