Monday, January 7, 2008

My reputation precedes me

You know, it's not often I get concrete evidence that a stranger has come away from meeting me and is changed even in some small way by our story.

The last time that truly happened was when Ella's longest-running nurse, a really sweet young girl called Jade, ran after me in the halls of the hospital when I had mustered up the nerve to go back to visit (looking heavily pregnant with Lolly by that time) - I was there anyway, for foetal monitoring, such was the LGBB's blasé existence in the womb - and she caught me by surprise and said "I THOUGHT it was you! What happened?" She went on to explain she'd been on days off when Ellanor had passed away and she had always wondered what events led up to her (quite sudden, in the scheme of things) death, for they were not expecting her to die and certainly not on that day.

Well today, an even less likely candidate has left an emotional lump in my throat. I've just dusted off the business card of the tradie who did our electrical wiring for the memorial pond Steve and I built with our bare hands in 2004. This guy came and did the wiring for the pump and lights and he also came back to wire up the new kitchen in December 2005.

I didn't think he'd remember us, but he interrupted me and said he remembered the job well. One thing I do distinctly recall feeling kind of uncomfortable (for him) about was the fact that Ella's nursery was still all set up as it was the day I'd gone into labour. I suppose for some it was bizarre that it remained set up almost two years later. We installed a ceiling fan in our room and one in that nursery/spare room (Steve's and my thoughts were that we had to keep "living the dream", that one day we would be bringing a baby home and seeing as we had no plans to move and nowhere to store all of the furniture even if we had taken it all apart, we may as well keep it set up as it was).

And I do recall my heart skipping a beat after Dean left, when I wandered in to the nursery and saw the post mortem photo of Ella sitting neatly on the bookshelf where I had left it, unable to put it away but unable to look at it in the main part of the house either....

I guess maybe that could make us more memorable than I'd assumed we might otherwise be to a passing tradie.

And when I organised his services again today for some more electrical stuff we need done at the new place, he tentatively asked, "Did you have the baby?" I assured him that, yes, the Bliss Bomb was most definitely in our lives. He sounded relieved, "I wasn't sure if I should ask," he blurted. Mind you, the baby he was asking after was the one we ended up having to terminate at 10 weeks - I had been about 8 weeks pregnant at the time and had thought, seeing as I'd probably not require him for any more electrical type stuff at this place, it was safe enough to sort of "round off" our story and tell him I was expecting again. Given, I mean, that he knew we had lost Ella (hence the pond, the empty nursery, the photo, the weepy housewife, you know all those give-aways).

I guess he'll mentally calculate that I either have the gestational period of an elephant or we lost that bub too. It doesn't really matter. The point is, he remembered us enough to ask the question. And I think that is entirely heartwarming that he cares and was obviously touched. It's lifted my day no end.

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