Monday, April 13, 2015

The Yellow Rose


This winter offered multiple snowstorms with single digits and never ending cold that an engine belt squealed every morning I started the car, announcing to neighbors I was leaving for work. During the month of March, our home was visited by the flu, aches and sore throats as more snow and sleet roared in, adding inches to our back yard already filled with three-feet of snow. In addition to licking our wounds, we nursed a beloved ailing cat of 16 years who died peacefully in front of our woodstove. Now that the snow has melted and spring thaw in New England has begun, we were able to break ground and bury her on April 11, 2015.

My morning quiet time helps ground my heart before I head out to work and to a world that can sometimes bombard me. During the morning of March 25, I forwarded my sister the photo of her yellow rose with a text that said, “Thinking of you.” My phone buzzed her response back, “Yup, we’re related,” because vocally or silently we can’t help but think of each other on this day. Quiet time over, the mad dash begins. After blending my breakfast drink, ready to run out the door, my eyes catch swirling red lights out the kitchen window.

Fire trucks are next door at the green house where a young newlywed family live. I don’t see smoke. I’m sure the husband is already gone because he’s a teacher. Well, what a stupid assumption, maybe that’s why the fire trucks are there. Something is obviously wrong. In milliseconds chills run through me as I say to the kitchen, “Oh no, the baby. I hope it’s not the baby.” I text my co-worker letting her know I’ll be late. My husband and I run next door.

The ambulance unloaded the gurney, wheeling it up the sidewalk in through the front door. I walked around the house and entered through the back door. Two firefighter paramedics were in the kitchen with the young mother who was crying while holding her three-month old baby boy. Making my apologies for being bold to come in I asked if everything was okay. Mom said her baby had stopped breathing for one and half minutes. Fortunately she had called our other neighbor who is a mother and works with prenatal moms. She helped save her baby.

I stroked his little cheeks, kissed and hugged mom and baby. Through tears of joy, she insisted I go to work, that her mother would arrive any minute and she still had the aid of the paramedics.

I walked outside where my husband Curtis waited with other EMT's.

He said, “What’s wrong, what happened?”

“It was her baby. He stopped breathing but he’s okay now. Mom and baby are fine.” Then unexpectedly, I burst into tears.

Befuddled he asked, “What’s the matter, I thought they were okay?”

I blurted, “Today is the anniversary of Sandy’s death.”

Curtis held me in his arms as I cried.