23 October 2007

Make a Wish and Blow

**** October 12

** 9 am

The effects of the accident wash through our family. Others have become sick from stress and all are feeling a loss. My nephew has been amazing. His father is the man whose head needs to be supported when he is propped up. He said, “Papai, don’t think of what you can’t do, think of what you CAN do.” This from a 15 year old when he saw his father for the first time after the accident. I didn’t even try to keep it together over that very long distance call. The boy is a marvel.

I spend a lot of time trying to focus on each moment. Motherhood and loved ones with cancer and even my own near drowning are the stuff that inspire a good look at life. They are the stuff that, if we are lucky, make us pause and take it all in.

I am working too many hours each week covering shifts for a doc who is out. Stella is in school full time- other than when I pull her out for a zoo trip (or today’s ghost making party that starts in an hour). Otto keeps me present and charmed by his giggles and broad leaps growing up. But I constantly butt heads with Stella.

** 5 pm What a day.

After I dropped of Stella at school, I went home and took a nap upstairs with Otto. It was pouring glorious tent-in-the-rain-sounds. I heard a noise that woke me. It was a boom, then walking. I relaxed when I thought it was only my neighbor bringing in her garbage bins. I dozed off. About 30 minutes later, I was in bed nursing Otto when I heard what sounded like Augusto's footsteps on the stairs. It was 2:45. He had a meeting at 4. It didn't make sense. Then I heard 2 male voices approaching the bedroom door. I hopefully (?) cautiously called out "Augusto?" and the door opened to two men in black clothes and black watch caps. A million awful scenarios went through my head, and then the guy who opened the door said "Oh shit!" and they both ran back down the stairs. I grabbed the phone and dialed 911 then took Otto into the bathroom and locked us in.

The guys (we think there were more than 2) tried to interrupt my 911 call (so were possibly thinking of coming back upstairs?). The police surrounded the house within 4 minutes with the dog and guns and warning shouts. When they determined the place was clear, they let me out.

They messed up our AV equipment, took pictures off the walls (looking for a safe), took about $600 of electronics, and made a general mess. They pried open the french doors with a screwdriver.

I can't get that image of them out of my head. I'm so glad Stella was at school. I know we were really lucky.

**** October 23

How do I pause and take it all in? How do I slow down the pace?

Fingerprinting. Visitors. Hypervigilant nights. A birthday party. Mounds of mail- growing. Home form work at 10 pm. Up at midnight with a puking baby. Out of your pajamas before oatmeal at 7:30. I won’t wind the jewelry box until you brush your teeth. Two kids, a lunch bag, one very important bunny, a car seat, keys, wallet, shoes, don’t forget to set the alarm. Thirteen stairs. School drop off. Nurse in car. Sleeping baby up to the crib. Move load from washer to drier. Wash breast pump, bottles, breakfast bowls. Take out trash and compost.

Each moment rushes into the next and before I can wrap my brain around a spinal cord injury, a robbery, or an unsafe furnace report, Otto has five teeth, Stella says “I’m already three,” and the amount of free space on my desk shrinks to twelve square inches. Do I hide my overwhelm (ha, ha, good kidding myself on that one) or just make sure everybody survives? Stella had a great dance party. We did the limbo with a broomstick and my dad wore the crab hat and set up a tattoo station. Pizza. Ice cream cake. It really was a good time.

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1 comment:

melissa said...

that story made me sick. you are so brave, and quick thinking. thankfully you are you and know how to stay calm enough to act fast. i miss you and hope that life regains some sense of normalcy for you all. it's certainly different having 2 kids and a job and trying to balance it all isn't it? take care of you and happy, happy birthday to stella.
love, melissa (mom to nate and oliver)