|Sunset in Vilas, NC|
A Week—Makes Me Think
A week ago last Friday night my daughter was bitten by a copperhead and her sister and husband (who is mortally afraid of snakes) arrived from New York City to enjoy their Durham wedding reception held at our house in their honor. Saturday two dear college friends arrived from Florida and Virginia respectively and stayed with my other college friend. They had offered (and I eagerly agreed) to help with the reception. Everyone in the group above had decided as two separate groups (young and old) to spend Saturday night touring the new downtown Durham with its new galleries, bars, restaurants and just unusual places. But, sadly, my snake bitten daughter spent two nights in the hospital, while I totally sleepless for over 24 hours joined my friends and the newly weds in Durham tours and dinner.
So, there are sidelines in each of the stories of course. First, the snakebite. My daughter and I were so proud that we had gotten through the week, not only intact but made progress in a number of things that pertained to reception and to child care. We had purchased most of the food for the reception, and only had a few things left to do, and to top it off we had learned quickly how to change a very wet and “poopy” baby boy’s diaper.
I would put a word in for 3-month-old babies. Perhaps they are not as cute as my grandson, but they still are fairly helpless in terms of their own autonomy. My grandson is adorable. He loves his own reflection and talks to it constantly while wiggling and banging his foot on the baby mat. He becomes quickly angry if he does not get his bottle when he wants it but oh so grateful when he does. He loves making bodily noises and functions. He is a boy so of course you have to be quick on the diaper changes, even while he would much rather have no clothes on at all. He is talkative and cooing and then drops off to a sleep so deep that he is completely limp.
|Grandpa & Alex|
What a triumphant week. We had fallen in love with a baby, gotten all ready for the reception, and then my daughter decides to go to the garden to pick basil for bruschetta and the the baby copperhead bites her ankle. Most people know that the babies’ bites are much worse than an adult’s because they do not know how to control their venom and let it all go into the first bite. Somehow I forgot that my back really hurt and flew to the phone to dial 911. It never occurred to me to try to help my daughter into the car and drive her to the emergency room myself. It might have saved money, but I would probably have died from anxiety and then missed my other daughter and son-in-law’s reception and the tour of Durham with my old college buddies. I wouldn’t have experienced the frantic feeling of “what do I need to do,” the watching of the fire department and the EMT’s working over her, the night in the hospital as I meet so many very caring people who hung anti-venom and pain medicines and fluids all night and the next day and the next, even while I would have gladly had my lower half amputated because the chairs were so incredibly uncomfortable and that the restroom seemed oh so far away. I wouldn’t have known that my neighbor saw the fire trucks and thoughtfully checked the front door, of course to find that I never thought about it in my dash to pick up purse (not clean underwear or a change of clothes for the daughter). That I wouldn’t have seen the kindness of the valet parking agent who let me come and go and park with him for free when that is totally against all rules. (I did give him tips). I wouldn’t have been able to experience with my daughter the high anxiety about the cost of anti-venom and my daughter’s health insurance, if I had died. I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate the kindness of the friends who had picked up the other daughter and son-in-law at the airport and taken them to their home, fed my daughter brandy and bourbon until she fell asleep as she wept over her sister’s snake bite and her own anxiety that she might lose her sister (never thinking that if her mother had driven that daughter to the emergency department, she, her own mother would have been dead from anxiety).
If I had died of anxiety, I would not have gotten or known about the amazing group of friends of mine and my snake bitten daughter all around the world reaching out to my family, even offering to start a “Go Fund Me” kickstarter to help with the payments of the anti-venom ($10,000/vial—she got 6 with only 70% paid for by her insurance). I wouldn’t have enjoyed the reception so much, a reception that was reel of old friends and acquaintances and friends of my daughter’s who came and seemed to enjoy themselves. (At this point the snake bit daughter was upstairs sadly feeling very uncomfortable and having too many visits from well meaning friends and acquaintances!)
|Katrina wants to steal Alex|
|Scott Hill together with some of the her students from DSA|
But, I am alive, and the week continued with more well-wishers, and dramatic improvement. Now, I am so grateful that my daughter got the anti-venom as her swelling and overall improvement have been seemingly better than those who do not receive it. We have made huge progress in calling old contacts who are “fundis”, (kiswahiili for “fix-it” people), and finding that all are willing to visit our house and appraise the needs of “this old 69 year old house.” I also talked at length to my friend who hosted my daughter and son-in-law and came to a realization that fears of snakes can honestly create “haunts (pronounced ha-aintes)” that might follow you. And, I appreciate even more that my wonderful husband came home from the mountains a day early to make sure that my daughter got good care in the hospital (she did). Emotionally, his coming certainly helped me.
Last weekend, we were even able to go to the mountain cabin and garden, weed, look at the beauty around us and get all the things that we need for the upcoming family beach trip. I had a break through (I hope) in recorder playing with one of my fippling friends, (hope it holds) and even limped my way through some new guitar melodies. We attended our super wonderful church St. Luke’s in Boone, and as usual listened to an incredibly thoughtful sermon from our Priest, and sang old faithful hymns that you practically know by heart if you were born and raised Episcopalian. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgYg7DDveM0
(this is an amazing sermon....if you watch it you will understand why we love this church)
To top it off, the organ postlude was one of my all time favorites sadly lacking the trumpet, but set for organ by itself was just wonderful.
(not our St. Luke’s but just as wonderful and with the brass)
|Lots of Wooly Mullen on our mountain, but this one always makes me happy|
Sunset again on the mountain in Vilas....from our deck.
So, despite anxieties about money, back pain, foot pain, and our country, there is so much good in this world we each live in. And for me this past week, the good was right around the corner all week long. I named no names because the list would have been too long, but everyone knows who they are. Thanks all!