Signs and trains

15 Mar

There are street signs you see only when you have reason to see them. The clearance signs that dot the nation’s highways, for instance. Only when I was driving a big U-Haul truck from Chicago to New York did I actually notice that these signs are in front of all bridges. In a car, who needs to know? And not needing to know, I didn’t see.

So it is with the little one, and blog entries around the web that have to do with serious child illness. I’m finding that these pop up on my radar, and knock me over.

I go from this tutorial on making an iPhone web application, to this blog chronicling the author’s child’s medical disorders – the tech guy’s son.

The Dreamhost blog has a post by the CEO, chronicling his boy Wren’s birth and death. Unnecessary fucking death, due to a home birth and lack of awareness of Group B Strep infection.

And Whoorl shows up in my RSS reader, and today she marks the death of her cousin’s daughter, 2 months after diagnosis, of a malignant brain tumor, DIPG. Five years old, diagnosed in January, passed away Sunday.

Our baby turned three months on this past Sunday. These stories hit me like a train, or a serious punch to the stomach. I found myself crying in a coffee shop over a little girl I never knew.

I don’t search for tragic stories of the deaths of children. I promise. I think they have always been there, and that in this age of blogging the private trials that people go through are oh so much more public. I read these posts not because I’m obsessed with death, but because I don’t want to turn away from the grief that having a child opens you up to. I would want people to read it if I was writing.

So anyhow, back to the business of living. But I think I’m doing the equivalent of driving a new kind of truck, newly attentive to low clearance. And universe? I would appreciate it if bad things would stop happening to kids, please. I can’t really take it.

2 Responses to “Signs and trains”

  1. Kim March 31, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    This post hits hard…it’s so deeply true, the way these stories resonate in a way they didn’t before you became a parent. I’ve also become so much more aware of what my parents went through, and why they did the things they did, raised us the way they chose to. Every day we have with each other and our kids is precious…sounds cliche, and yet it’s easy to forget, to get caught up in the rush of what seems important but so isn’t.

    XO

  2. Peter March 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    I think perhaps it makes me a bad person, but I didn’t have that ‘Oh my lord, I should have been nicer to my parents’ moment when the baby was born. It’s not that I’m unsympathetic, but I guess I don’t really think in that circle of life kind of way.

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