Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ on

I felt it first- a slight movement. And was that a barely perceptible rumble? Or was I imagining things? I mean earthquakes have been in the news for several days. But, I assured all my friends who emailed their concern: It was way far north. We didn't feel a thing.

I've been here long enough to have developed very sensitive radar and sure enough…. “Temblor!” I called to my husband who was brushing his teeth noisily in the bathroom. The overhead lamp swung, the room jolted and something crashed upstairs. Then it stopped. A 5-point-something the news said. No sweat. We'd lived through THE BIG ONE. “Better go check your office upstairs”, I told him. “Something fell with a bang.” Nothing broken.

That rumble from deep in the earth and house-shaking jolts are strong reminders that we live our lives ON A PLANET.

The morning after the earthquake in northern Chile our fourth grandchild, and first grandson, was born. We were at the Clinica Alemana early. Mr. S. and I entered the spacious labor room, where around our daughter-in-law’s bed stood her parents, our son, the midwife, the doctor and the anesthesiologist. Soon they wheeled her off. An hour later she was back with the infant in her arms. It was almost too much to take in….looking at that tiny boy just minutes old. A brand new person.

The event brought back shreds of memories of my sons’ births in the same hospital almost forty years ago. I feel deep regret now, looking back, that my husband wasn't with me (unheard of then in Chile) and that my infants weren't immediately passed to me to hold. Cleaned and dressed, they were placed in hospital cribs and wheeled to my room. That important first contact was denied me. I didn't know enough to request it.


I don't want to be a pest, but I'd love to see that child every day, hold him, feel his warmth, his weight in my arms, hear his little mouse-like squeaks, and soak in every detail of what I no longer remember about my own newborn boys.

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