Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 100: Bittersweet

Some weeks, we get a mix of the highest highs and the lowest lows.  On Sunday of last week, we brought Lime home from the hospital and began the all-too-brief period of bliss with a newborn baby at home.  On Tuesday, I lost my last living grandparent, my Grandma Frieda, in whose honor Lime is named (his real name, of course).  Frieda was a great inspiration to me and to all 13 of her grandchildren, with whom she forged very individual, very deep bonds.  She was a member of the MIT graduating class of 1945 (predating my own graduation by a mere 53 years)--one of just a handful of women brave enough to enroll at that time.  She carried out a war-time courtship with my grandfather, Felix, largely by mail as he served in the military and she remained home in Boston attending school.  After 6 years, they married and in due time had four sons, my father and his three brothers.  She dedicated herself to raising them and viewed her family as her greatest and most challenging creative project.  As we grandchildren came along, she devoted the same intense energy and focus to her relationships with each of us, and taught us by example to improve ourselves through education, culture, and our relationships with others.  She was the matriarch of our family and a true force to be reckoned with, and we will all miss her and cherish her memory.

With a week-old baby in the house, I was unable to travel to Boston for the funeral, marking yet another family event for which I remained stuck here in Wisconsin.  At least thanks to modern technology, I was able to view the moving funeral service and talk to some of my aunts, uncles, and cousins afterwards.  It was certainly not the same as being physically present but much better than not participating at all.

With all this running in the background, we tried to make this week as normal as we could for Lemon and Lime, since they of course had no idea what was going on.  Their presence was a huge comfort, especially because young children really live in the moment; nothing that has happened in the past makes much of a lasting impression, and the future is inconceivable.  Spending hours each day in that mindset makes even the most painful times go by.

So, we did some of the usual fun things--the playground, construction sites, the train set--and also went on a family field trip to the county fair.  Lime was pretty oblivious to the whole experience, but Lemon absolutely loved the fair--all sorts of interesting animals that you could see up close, a huge tractor, and baby chicks and ducklings that he could touch.


Other than that, we are still playing what we've come to refer to as the "Wisconsin Waiting Game."  I've mentioned before that everything here seems to take at least twice as long as it did in Boston, and now we're waiting for two things--Lemon's vest and the results of Lime's newborn screening to find out whether he has CF or not.  Lemon's vest is still tied up in some phase of paperwork.  As of our last contact with the company, they were waiting for a letter of medical necessity from our doctor, which, as Papa Bear put it, is probably on its way to them on a camel  as we speak.  As for Lime's results, we were promised when I was pregnant that his testing would be expedited.  I called his doctor today to ask if there were any results yet, which there were not, and might not be until Thursday.  I declined to mention at the time that Lime is now 10 days old, the same age as Lemon was when he was diagnosed in Boston, and the fact that it took Lemon 10 days to get diagnosed in Boston provoked a hospital-level inquiry and implementation of new quality control guidelines.  We have a clinic visit for Lemon tomorrow so rest assured that they will be hearing my (sleep deprived, unedited) opinion on all this!

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