Story for Thursday, May 18, 2000
Welcome to 2THEHEART!
Win $100 in our membership drive! The 2theheart member who refers the most new members by May 31st will win $100! We are now pleased to announce that second and third place winners will receive a six-piece box of mouth watering Dan's Chocolates! Questions??? Email: Editor@2theheart.com
When you read today's story, you'll know why its author, Patricia Uhde, was selected for this month's Writer of the Month.
by Patricia Uhde
12 weeks in the neonate intensive care nursery is a long time. It is the length of time my granddaughter has been at Riley.
The bonds formed are close, even when we may never touch each others lives again.
On one of my 'bad' days, the baby was 3 days post-op, second surgery. I was disappointed because she was still on the ventilator. On the first surgery she was only on the vent for 3 days after. This time she was unable to maintain her oxygen levels without assisted breathing. The mind wanders to 'what if'. I was crying inside, but maintaining what I thought was a calm exterior. One of the fathers, also waiting for the elevator, ask how our gal was doing today. I could mumble 'alright, but not as well as I want'. A tear escaped the corner of my eye. I found myself comforted by a loving hug . I pressed my face deep into his jacket and wept. I did not know his name. I did know he was there with his son, the surviving twin.
Last night instead of going back to the McDonald house, my daughter and I spent the night in the nursery. We missed the last shuttle bus. We were going to call for hospital security to take us back 'sometime'.
We crocheted together, my daughter and I. There was silence between us, The kind of comfortable silence that comes not from of loss of words, but from an understanding that requires none. As the hooks looped over the yarns, over and over, forming the fabric of something yet to be. A hat that would fit over my doubled fist, would fit a 2 pound baby nicely. . The beginning of a blanket.for the grandbaby. A pair of booties for the twin.
At 2:30 am we decided to go get some coffee, walk around a bit, maybe go back 'home'. When we first began staying at the McDonald house, we would correct ourselves when we would say "We are going 'home'" Now it feels natural to call it home. Although not by blood line, we certainly nonetheless have 'family' at 'home'. We came out of the module. In the small waiting area there were 2-3 people. Even at 2:30 in the morning this is not unusual. My daughter and I were chatting about our projects.
The woman spoke up. "You can make booties?, Really small ones?"
Sure, the tiny ones take less time.
"Could you make my nephew some booties? His feet are only about an inch long, and very narrow."
I can make those tonight, take me about ½ hour. What color?
"His mother wants him to have some blue ones".
You going to be in this area? I'll bring them out when I have them done.
"Yeah, we will be here"
My daughter and I took a little walk around, got a cup of coffee. I would make the booties, maybe go home after. We came back though the waiting area. 'Aunt' introduced us to 'Mom'. She was young, barely 20 at best. Shoulder length blondish hair, tired eyes. I wondered how long ago since she was out this late, with friends, maybe a senior prom? She would have been lovely with her hair in an upsweep, Long blue silk gown.
I opened my crochet bag. I have all kinds of blue. I have dark blue, baby blue, sparkle blue. I could mix a white stripe in if you like.
She picked up the sparkle blue. "This is nice, I really like this one". "His feet are so small, not as long as my finger".
Back in the module my granddaughter slept peacefully. I began making the small booties. An f hook, 20 stitches for the base, shells around the top to make them fancy, but still look like a boy, not lacey. 45 minutes later they where done. I went back to the waiting area. No one there. Jackets, no people. They must have went back to the baby boy. I had not asked which area they were in.
I slipped the booties over my fingertips. As I was walking back to my grandbaby's module, another module door opened. A nurse was stepping out. I caught a glimpse of the family, the ones who ask for blue booties. I held my fingers up in the air, wiggled the booties, as if on two tiny feet. Someone came to the door, took the tiny creations and said "Thank you so much".
I went back to the grandbaby. I sure hoped they would fit. Most my projects had been made for babies around 2 pounds, the grandbaby's birth weight. I was told this boy was just over one pound.
The next time I came into the waiting area, The young woman was holding onto a young man. Tears streaking down her face. She was clutching a tiny blue blanket, neatly folded.
'Aunt' told me, 'Mother' wanted booties for her baby, but was sure none could be found that would fit. The ones I had made fit perfectly. NICU had found a small blue outfit, but his feet were bare. 'Mother' slipped the booties over his tiny feet. He wore them the rest of his life, all fifteen minutes.
I slipped back into our baby's module.
Yarns of many colors and variations. Double, half double. Cluster stitch.
Copyright Patricia Uhde 1/30/99
I am married to my high school sweetheart for nearly 25 years. We have Five children. Two girls and three boys. we have two grandchildren, one with multiple handicaps (Trisha). I have been a nurse since 1985. See pictures and more of Grandma Patricia's stories on her 2theheart Writer of the Month web page: http://www.2theheart.com/writer_of_the_month/
*Get the best books at the best prices at Barnes & Noble!
*Get $10 off your order of $20 or more at Pets.com!
The Letter Box:
Dee Simmons story was wonderful and I can't wait to see more of her work here! Poignant, touching, and very well crafted, her writing did what you warned us about - made me cry. At the end of the story I found out that our author is just an hour above me in Michigan's "mitten". Also, Dee works in education for the REMC 8 district. My day job is in education as webmaster for REMC 12. (http://www.remc12.k12.mi.us/kresa) How nice to discover this talented new author is a neighbor of mine!
"Grandma & the General" was such a unique and touching story - I could picture her Grandmother and I know she is smiling down on her from Heaven - and so is the General! This story made me cry and I look forward to reading more of Deborah Simmons' stories!
-Ursula L., Australia
Deborah's Simmons story really melted my heart and made me decide to make a new goal for myself. I have a trunk filled with my grandmother's journals, letters and scrapbooks. "Grandma & the General" showed me how important it is to hand down the legacy of my own grandmother and I have already begun putting her memoirs together in story form, which I hope to submit to 2theheart one day!