Wednesday, we flew in for Richard’s sister’s son’s wedding, got our rental car, and drove to my parents’ for a visit and a late lunch.
And as we sat eating, their phone rang.
It was my sister’s son, calling his grandparents in Salt Lake to let them know that his wife had just had an emergency c-section at seven months along and the baby had been airlifted to Children’s Hospital near them. His wife, meantime, having just had surgery, was going nowhere for the moment. He had a toddler to watch, a wife in one hospital in one city and a baby in intensive care in another where things did not look good.
He was trying to figure out if he needed to ask if he could crash their place from time to time while having no idea how long he’d be having to ask for or how much. The baby had had a mass…
Michelle, meantime, hadn’t joined us for that lunch because she was going to meet up with an old college roommate at a restaurant. The roommate had a toddler and was also seven months pregnant.
Michelle arrived and waited, and waited, and waited, no answer either… And finally just ordered and ate, wondering what on earth was up.
Her old roommate was suddenly in the hospital with no time to call and explain.
She lost her baby.
And so we went off to the rehearsal dinner the next night intensely grateful for the lives of our loved ones and our newly loved ones we were meeting and everybody else’s everywhere, keenly aware of how good it was to see ours. Of the fragility of life. Hugging our grandchildren, cradling Madison to sleep, and looking around at the entire wedding party and thinking, Let the love not be fragile. Ever. We need each other for this.
Saturday, our niece was able to be released from the hospital in time for them to make the drive to Salt Lake, where there was nothing more to be done. The medical staff disconnected their son from the machines and he passed peacefully in his grieving, loving parents’ arms, together.
Saturday, we celebrated Gwyn and Sterling’s wedding in San Jose, and for the second time in two days rejoiced with all our hearts over two people who were so clearly and dearly meant for each other.
It wasn’t till the next day that we got the message that the brother of our sister-in-law had passed while we were flying and celebrating.
There was a knock at the door tonight. It was Michelle, and her hands were too full and she needed help with an enormous, gorgeous floral arrangement she was trying to bring in.
It was left over from Gwyn’s wedding and Nina had asked her to share them with us. I inhaled the orchids: they were perfect and so was the timing. I’d needed that. I exclaimed over the colors and Michelle explained, They’re dyed, Mom.
Okay, somehow that felt just too funny. A moment of comic relief.
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