Sunday, May 29, 2005


I was feeling glum earlier tonight, for no reason other than that it's Sunday evening, the rain has returned, I spent too much time on the couch reading the paper and... that's about it, really. It was an all-purpose, non-specific kind of melancholy, which I was planning to solve by perusing the contents of some interesting blogrolls and eating the insanely sweet Ghiradelli brownies I made last night.

Then our friend D. called from the hospital, where he and B. have been with their 16-month-old son since Wednesday. It's been a tough couple of years for them; the baby was born seven weeks prematurely after a very difficult pregnancy, D. left a few weeks later when his National Guard unit was called up to serve in a war he didn't support, he spent a year in Iraq, came home safely in March, B. had an emergency gallbladder-ectomy and, now, this. The baby has had two surgeries in the last three days, both to correct a bacterial abcess in his throat.

We'd been trying to get over to the hospital to see them for a few days, but every time we'd call, the baby would have taken a turn for the worse, or was headed into surgery. So tonight when D. called, we dropped everything and ran over to see them. B.'s mom smuggled us into the children's wing after visiting hours, telling the nurses that we're the baby's aunt and uncle -- "And it's not a lie," she said. (D. and Darren grew up together; they've been best friends since they were five, and were the best man in each other's wedding.)

It was heartbreaking to see them. This sweet boy is now rasping like an old man, and has his entire right arm wrapped in a velcro tube to keep him from tugging on his bandages. D. and B. look gaunt, worried and exhausted. It's been so much for them to deal with in such a short time -- D. has only been back for two months, and both his wife and his son have been hospitalized during that time -- and the upheaval is clearly wearing on them. In the long run, things should be fine; there is no serious concern about the boy, but in the short term it's an awful lot to handle.

So my nameless navel-gazing self-pity has been postponed for another day; instead, I sit here and count my blessings.