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Chef Crushes Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson should have a baby and impart to it their cooking skills and personality. It would be a sublimely dichotomous child, but man would it be able to cook.

Just a thought.

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Electrical Storm Sunday, February 3, 2008

Posted by Grace in la famiglia.
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It was a little boy.

Lily, Placid’s wife, suffered a grade three abruption, at 26 weeks gestation, and when they got to the hospital they had already lost their son. A hemorrhage during the Cesarean section almost lost them their future chances at having children, followed by disseminated intravascular coagulation and other bleeding issues that had her in bad condition and accounted for trips back to the operating table. Thankfully, a dedicated team of doctors, surgeons, and nurses have her on the mend, at least physically.

You just can’t say anything to a person when they have been faced with that kind of loss. No words are enough, there is no explanation. Placid and his wife are facing just that, an unexplainable loss so profound that there will not be any comfort until grief has healed things over a little. Attempting to cheer them up or rationalize what happened does not help. What does help, though, is being there so they aren’t alone, and getting done all of those little things that creep up that need to be done, but that they can’t or aren’t ready to do yet.

When Lily’s parent’s flight landed Friday night, Placid would have had to leave his wife, while she was still at a very touch-and-go state, to pick them up. First, he couldn’t just leave the hospital, he had just lost a baby and had been informed that he might soon lose his wife; he needed to be there. Second, driving in that state would have been wreckless at best. We were there so that someone could go and get Lily’s parents from the airport, and so he still wouldn’t be left alone when 10 0z did.

Placid’s only concern was for Lily. He worried about her well-being and how she would handle things ahead of the loss they had just had. We were there to remind him that he still needed to eat once in a while, that making himself sick was not going to make anything easier. We were there to help fill out forms when his hands shook too much to hold onto the pen. We were there to listen to him rant about not being allowed to see his wife, about vague messages periodically conveyed by the staff for the long hours spent wide awake with worry.

At the base of it all, we were there to sit in those halls and waiting rooms with him, in the quiet he needed, so that he wouldn’t be alone. Not to ask questions or get coffees, but to be a hand to hold or a shoulder to lean on because it was all too much. To let him talk if he could, but to just be there if he couldn’t.

Saturday evening I realized that he had been wearing the same clothes since Thursday night when it happened, that there was the rust stain of dried blood on the sleeve of his shirt. I went with The Resident Italian to their house to get him a set of clothes to change into, so that Placid wouldn’t have to make the trip himself, as Lily was finally at a state and location that he could be with her, and she needed him more than he needed the clothes.

Upon entering the house, I new there was work to be done. After picking out some comfortable looking articles I bagged a set of Placid’s clothes and gave the bag to The Resident Italian, who was waiting in the car, and asked him if he would come back for me in a little while. Tired as he was, he asked no questions, and pulled onto the roadway and drove back towards the hospital.

It was like scenes from horror films in certain rooms, because in the rush to the hospital, there was obviously no time to clean up. I spent a good few hours laundering and washing before going back. So much had happened, they did not need to come home to that.

Lily was still under sedation when I got back to the hospital, but Placid was right there at the bed with her, holding her hand, and it seemed that he’d finally succumbed to sleep. We still stayed, waited in the rooms designed for just that purpose. Not making demands with the plethora of still yet to be answered questions, not disturbing them trying to lighten the situation; just being there. He knew exactly where we would be if he needed us.

Song of the Day: Electrical Storm – U2

Sleep Don’t Weep Monday, January 28, 2008

Posted by Grace in marble & holly.
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This weekend I was away visiting a cousin (who has always been like an almost sister), and her new baby. In the starter house with thin walls, if she was up with the baby in the middle of the night, being the very light/non-sleeper that I am, I was up with them too. I offered to get up with the baby, grant her a reprieve and some much needed sleep, but not being the one able to feed her, both of us had to be up anyway.

It was the middle of the night and we were both up in the living room. The baby was fussy but not hungry, and had a clean diaper, so I was walking around with her, humming whatever tunes ran through my head. She was just crying and crying and crying. Her mom was drifting in and out of sleep in the rocking chair.

Gradually, the walk turned into more of a dance, and Moon River became our song of choice. The baby gradually settled and fell asleep. As I turned to leave the room and lay her down to sleep, her mom got up (also to lay down to sleep) and said to me, sleepily smiling with eyes heavily lidded, motions slow, “Grace, you’re going to make a good mom some day.”

Even though she was half asleep, alright, more than half, and probably doesn’t even remember saying it, I don’t think its a comment I’ll soon forget.

Song of the Day: Sleep Don’t Weep – Damien Rice