As I Passed the Magnolia Tree

Some odd and spontaneous memories come to me while I am out walking, and I guess this class on The Philosophy of Death and Dying is really getting to me, because today while out on my walk I remembered the day I met the pediatrician who cared for JT when she was born.  She walked into my room on the 4th floor of the brand new Women’s and Infants Hospital, and we were both taken aback by the striking resemblance we had to each other; in fact I think we were proverbial doubles.  Same facial shape and contours, eyes the same color, both with light brown, blondish hair, similar body shape, except for my being taller, and similar frame styles on our eyeglasses.

And I remembered the conversation we had and her concern for me as a new mother and how I was going to work things out once we went home.  When she found out that I had no real support system at home aside from TT, who had to work because he was a business owner and had to be on site with his crew, and with all my friends and family members working, my in-laws 150 miles away, and no one, really, who I could call for company if I was feeling lonely, inept, or just plain blue.  We left it that if I decided I wanted an extra day in the hospital, on the next morning when she made rounds with the nurse before discharging us,  all I had to do was pull on my left ear, and she would come up with some excuse so that JT had to stay an extra day.  Otherwise, Blue Cross/Blue Shield has us scheduled to check out 48 hours after the birth.

I don’t think she knew that at age 30, I had never changed a diaper or fed, burped or bathed an infant; in fact I had never heard an infant cry longer than I wanted to hold it.  I don’t think she knew that I had just lost my own mother and, and I don’t think she knew that I had already called my therapist for an appointment, because I knew I was suffering from postpartum depression on top of everything else and needed help to work through the foggy swamp of emotions.

And I thought again, today, while out on my walk, damn, why didn’t I pull on my left ear?

We managed, though, JT, TT, and me.  I fell in love with my beautiful baby girl and she trusted me with her life.  We soon figured things out, thanks to TT, who had to teach me how to care for this little life we had produced, and so far, we have lived happily ever.

Haven’t had this memory in years.  I wonder why today, when the neighbor’s magnolia tree is in full bloom, and daffodils are brightening the neighbors’ yards this memory should come flooding back.  Maybe I need to be reminded of some inner strength I have forgotten.  Maybe I need to be reminded to accept help when it is offered.  Maybe I need to remember that I have gone against the odds and prevailed.



  1. Chris said,

    March 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Not being a mother (of a human) myself, I can only imagine the emotions you had in that hospital room. Just looking at a baby scares me beyond belief, let alone being so totally responsible for one…on my own! Nope! Cats work for me! I see cats and I melt, I see a baby and I run screaming!

    It sure seems to me that you did more than fine with your little bundle over the years. Maybe all the beautiful blooms on those trees reminded you of new life, new season, new beginnings…

    • Andrea Twombly said,

      March 24, 2010 at 8:11 pm

      Thank you, Chris. Hadn’t thought of those blossoms in the way you suggested. Keep loving those cats.

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