life…death…life

Just returned from visiting blogger friend, Jeanne, at http://nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com/. I came away with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat after reading her most recent post, Lucy’s Light…A Mother’s Story. After viewing the youtube video, I remembered a story that also tugged at my heart.

Suncadia - Destination Hotels & Resorts

On a recent getaway to Suncadia Resort in Eastern Washington, I luxuriated in having a manicure/pedicure. Not something I normally have done, but when offered for free, I find very difficult to reject. And as it turned out, I’m glad I did because it meant money in the pocket of a very deserving young woman.

Because I’m inclined to chat with everyone as though they were long, lost friends, the manicurist and I “hit the ground running.” I told her my life story…and she told me hers. In a nutshell, of course. We were only together an hour.

I learned that my new friend has 2 young sons. Her husband is a high school baseball coach. During the summer months he helps coach local youth groups. Because it takes up so much of his time, he’s planning to cut back so he can spend more time with his own boys. But given the current economy, he’s planning to return to school to become  a teacher. With family and friends living nearby, the children have ready-made babysitters when their parents are at work.

Bill and Melinda Gates during their visit to t...

Bill and Melinda Gates during their visit to the Oslo Opera House in June 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As if I didn’t already wish I was Melinda Gates who doles out megabucks to families in need, the end of the manicurist‘s story humbled me further.

Speaking softly, as if lost in her own reverie, my friend recounted how she had been pregnant with a girl. The family anticipated her arrival with unimaginable joy. A joy that wasn’t to last. 

The umbilical cord had wrapped around the baby’s neck, causing her to die. To compound their sorrow, the baby had to be delivered at full term. No shortcuts allowed.

If I remember correctly, having a Caesarian would’ve proved fatal for the mother. 

There is a happily-ever-after to the story, however. When I met my friend, she had just returned from an 8-week maternity leave. The family is now complete…with a girl. The baby’s middle name is that of her sister…had she lived. 

Tears streamed down my cheeks, co-mingling with the water in which my fingers were soaking. I wanted to reach for Mrs. Gates’ checkbook…   😦

Umbilical cord

Umbilical cord (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This story made me reflect back to my own daughter’s birth. She too had been in distress because the umbilical cord had wrapped itself around her neck.

At the time, heavily into labor, I’m sure I wasn’t thinking I’d lose my baby. That was probably the furthest thing from my mind. I’m certain I assumed the doctor would correct the problem, even if he had to perform a miracle. Doctors do that, don’t they?

At 36-years-old, death was not something I contemplated. Ask me now…that I’m going to be 63.

Funny thing…the manicurist and my daughter share the same name.

And now back to Lucy’s Light…A Mother’s Story, You might want to view it on Youtube as narrated by her mom Monica. And be prepared to tear up. By the way…she’s a friend of Jeanne’s, my blogger friend who got me thinking about…

…life…death…life…

 ………hugmamma.

if i were to speak

I’m not a public speaker. I heard my husband speak once at a community gathering of “movers and shakers” in the small, eastern Washington town of Okanaga. He was starting a conversation about possibly bringing employment to some of their citizens in the form of a call center, where questions could be fielded, and reservations booked for his company. Initially fearful for him, I was soon mesmerized by my husband’s comfortable, conversational style of public speaking. He smiled easily, added small touches of humor, and to my way of thinking, knocked their socks off! He did mine, anyway.

My daughter has also taken to speaking publicly without anxiety. At the end of her ballet company‘s season, the end of April, she and 3 or 4 fellow dancers choreograph pieces, setting them on the trainees. These are dancers hoping to be hired into the company one day. Unfortunately most don’t make it, so they audition elsewhere, or go on to do other things.

It seems my daughter has emerged as the spokesperson for WIP, “Works In Progress.” On the day the pieces are performed for a non-paying audience, she gives a brief introduction about the history of the project, and the choreographers, and the pieces to be danced. Evidently my daughter’s been congratulated by the artistic staff for her eloquence, and ease of delivery.

I’m not sure if I’ve always felt tongue-tied, with a panic attack near-at-hand just before standing, or sitting, to speak before a group, large, medium, small, or tiny. I know I begin to hyperventillate, trying, in the last few moments, to memorize an entire speech which I’d not written beforehand. But, of course, I can only visualize a blank wall, staring back at me.

So if I were asked to give a fantasy speech, for example about blogging, in front of a group of professional writers, here’s how it might unfold.

I’m not as good a speaker as I am a writer. That’s not to say I’m a great writer. It just means I don’t speak as well as I write. But I’m sure I don’t write as well as you all. If I could speak like anyone, I’d like to speak like Colin Firth, not the stuttering Colin Firth, but the tongue-in-cheek Colin Firth. Know what I mean? No, of course not.

I was asked to talk about blogging. Well, I’m only a novice, having started a mere 7 months ago. I can only tell you what I know, which is not a whole hell of a lot. Oh, sorry. Excuse the language. Getting old you know, words just slipping out, just as other things are apt to do in old age. Oh, sorry, sorry. TMI. TMI. My daughter’s words, not mine. Now where was I?

Blogging! Right! Pretty mind-boggling stuff, you know. Couldn’t do it without wordpress.com. Those buggers set the whole thing up, I just “click” wherever they tell me to “click,” and voila! I’m good to go. As long as I’ve got pictures with the directions, I can get most things. But when they start throwing around techy-speak, well I’m as lost as the cow who flew over the moon and never came back.

You want to know the truth? I don’t know why the hell they asked me to talk to writers about blogging in the first place. We’re birds of a different feather. You’re all flamingos, and I’m just a Hawaiian mynah bird.

But you were real nice to listen to me jabbering away about nothing. Mahalo!

i’d say the same about you, dear reader…hugmamma.