So, you think your life is interesting – Part 7

My wife apologized for my mother.

In the past month, besides the obvious excitement of adding two brand-new babes to the world, my sister-in-law received both a kidney and a pancreas. Those of you with any experience at all in the world of organ transplants know that when the decision is made to proceed, nothing involving teams of human beings moves faster. Except for carrier ops. So, getting the highlights of the procedure nearly a month after the fact is no surprise. In fact, considering that it was my sister-in-law herself that provided the details is not nearly as surprising as what didn’t happen.

As I’ve recounted in these pages, the Twins were born July 1, and after an “other-than-textbook” delivery, my wife was released from the hospital four days later (which included 48 hours in ICU – use your imagination). On July 11, my sister-in-law underwent the transplant. Over the next couple of weeks, knowing nothing of the organ transplants, both my wife and I tried calling my mother to see when we could have her meet her latest grandchildren. Finally, on the 20th, I sent my sister a text asking if she knew anything about our mother. She responded: “Since L’s double transplant last week mom and I are down helping out. We get back on Sunday ….”


No surprise that my brother didn’t send out invitations to have a party during his wife’s hospital stay. And, it doesn’t particularly surprise me that my mother and sister, who couldn’t be bothered to visit the newest members of the family (my mother lives an hour away, my sister about ten minutes), managed to decide to fly to another city, buy the tickets, arrive in the destination city, and set up camp – all without saying a single word to me. But, what does (still) surprise me is that, if I hadn’t asked my sister if she had heard from our mother, I would never have found out that they had left.

(Since I am writing this, I am going to cleverly ignore the fact that I still had no idea how my sister-in-law was doing.)

Like I said, some things don’t lend themselves to alerting the media, or holding a press conference. But, it’s not like my mother and sister were present during the procedure – they didn’t arrive until after my sister-in-law had returned home. And, while there, what was it they were doing that they were too busy to, I don’t know, tell me where they were? What, no telephone? No email? No carrier pigeon?

So, this past Wednesday, August 5 (the Twins have been breathing more than a month), I caught my mother in a weak moment and she condescended to say it would be ok to stop by. For those of you with kids, you know every excursion is an undertaking, and packing up two babies and all their impedimentia (“accessories,” “support equipment” also work, but I have always loved Latin) is a task not to be undertaken lightly. Then there’s Seattle’s traffic (the less said the better).

We picked up Ivar’s (as much as I love Seattle, and Ivar’s, we don’t stop by Ivar’s often enough) and had lunch while mom held the little darlings. In the course of the two or so hours we were there, mom never said a word about the logistics of their trip. Never a word about the messages I left on her telephone answering machine. Heard lots about the health of my sister-in-law. And, of course, some juicy tidbits about her own health and how the latest crisis (organ transplants long forgotten apparently) is something called “Fuch’s Dystrophy.”

Yep, took some photos.

Mom never asked why my wife spent a couple of delightful days in intensive care (amazing how much more thrilling seeing some actor intubated on tv is than walking into ICU to see my own wife “hooked-up” – medically-speaking, of course).

My wife had already heard all the above; and more.

So, it wasn’t a surprise when, on the trip home, my wife apologized to me for my mother. That says a lot more about my wife than it does my mother.

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