Beth’s Woes

Posted: July 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

Everyone who knows me knows
that I am forgetful.  Especially when I am busy and/or a tad stressed. 
The ADD side of my personality kicks in when I am busy and details
become  blurry.  This is not a handy attribute.  It is really not handy
because we are busy a lot and getting busier.  It does make for good
laughter at my expense.  Today was one of those days.
We have hosted
a bunch of young adults lately.  Mom’s home cookin, wireless Internet,
safety, a shower and a bed bring these young folks to our home.  The
last of them left today.  So, we have a busy life with lots of guests.
I
got up this morning knowing today was going to be busy and I felt a tad
overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed always means I start forgetting things (did I
mention that already?).  I ran, got John to take the first set of
visitors to the airport and headed to the women’s center.  I had
shopped yesterday for tonight’s dinner since I had special guests
coming.  We were scheduled to host 4 "Midwives for Haiti"
nurse/midwives.  I was very excited at the thought of getting to know
these ladies and learn from them.  I had the emails, flight schedules,
date and times all written down.
We
have two new moms in our program.  One is not producing breast milk no
matter how hard she tries.  Not having breast milk is a tough thing for
a mom with little or no money.  She is cooperating with all our tricks
and pumps  yet has no milk.  We have another mom with milk but does not
want her baby.  Oh the injustice.  We are buying breast milk from one
mom to give to another.  The negotiating, the arranging, all takes up
time.  Then another mom has a husband that took off to the Dom Rep and
has not returned.  She has no money but wants us to set her up in
commerce.  I tell her no since I’ve been scolded at giving away money
too freely.  We talk to John, the authority on high, and he offers to
set her up in business.  Relief.  We have another mom- to- be who has
pain we cannot figure out.  She is depressed, poor and her sister that
lives with her just lost her baby.  These situations weigh heavy on
those of us in the program.  Tara and I often go home at the end of the
day weighed down with the needs of these ladies.  We can only imagine
how they feel – they live with these needs every day of their lives.
I
finally get out of the program today.  Made appointments for tomorrow
morning.  I take Sarah to the airport and plan to stop at the store,
start dinner and then head back to the airport to pick up the four
midwives coming for an overnight stay.  I’m excited, have my questions
thought out for them and arrange an appointment for them to see one of
our ladies before their flight in the morning.
I
get to the store, rush out to my car, lock the electric lock doors and
my car won’t start.  The doors won’t open.  I’m hot, I start to panic,
I’m hotter, I see the sweat on my arms.  I call John crying.  I’m stuck
in a car that won’t go and the doors won’t open and it’s 95 degrees
out.  How long can I last in a hot car?  I start getting visions of
smashing the window.  John calls Junior to come rescue me.  Somehow
before he arrives I get the manual lock to open and fix the battery
myself.  I’m still sweating but feel empowered by success.  I head home
to put in dinner before I go back to the airport. 
Dinner is in
the oven.  I get to the airport on time.  I stand outside the airport
and watch all the travelers meet their relatives and navigate with
their mountains of luggage.  Four white women are not hard to find.  I
look, I scan the crowd, I walk up and down – two hours later no group
of four white women.  I finally talk the security into letting me
inside.  He senses my urgency and lets me in.  I shout "Midwives for
Haiti" to every white person inside.  They are not there.  Panic sets
in.  Where are these ladies?  Are they worried?  Are they safe?  Yes,
they have my phone number but my phone has not rung.  Where could they
be?  I leave the airport in defeat.
I
get home – I check the email.  I call John.  I check the flight number
again – it is correct.  Everything is correct except the date!  They
are coming August 28th and not July 28th.
John laughs, I cry.  He
calls Troy and Troy laughs.  Tara calls me and laughs but her laugh has
true compassion in it.  I laugh too – between my tears.  John sits down
to eat chicken for 10.  I am eating chocolate.  A lot of chocolate!
I’m heading to bed.  I am in the right house aren’t I?
Beth McHoul

From John:
We haven’t had electricity for about 36 hours and so we are running generators to power up the houses, women’s center, and office.  This afternoon at about 4:00 the generator at the Women’s Center broke.  It won’t run, which is not good when there is an office to run and a Women’s Center to run.  I hope that we will have city power tonight to charge the batteries so that we have power while we see what to do about the generator.
John

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Comments
  1. John says:

    Hey I can\’t speak for Troy, but I laughed with compassion. I heard Tara laughing and she sounded like a hyena.

  2. Tara says:

    Listen here John …. I love Beth more than I can even express – I know when it is okay to laugh and when it is not. It is YOU that has not yet figured that out. I know, I know … you\’ve only had 35 years to get to know her — you need time. (SLOW learner.)

  3. Carsen says:

    Oh Beth! How terrible. And terribly funny. When I lived in Haiti I proclaimed that it was going to be my birthday tomorrow. Well, tomorrow rolled around and I was convinced it was my birthday. Angela said "I thought your birthday was on the 22nd?!" I said, "It is!" Angela smirked and said, "but it\’s only the 19th." Sigh. I suppose dates and times just run away from you. They must be in that dang black hole. I\’m sorry your day was so… Haiti.

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