Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A kitchen update

This is my perspective of someone else's story that I have been granted permission to tell.

Once upon a time, I had a dear friend. We were close. .... Oh, and we still are ....

My friend had to give birth to her last baby horrifyingly early. I was called to her side and stood by for the entire thing. I stood guardian by her boy as he was wheeled by a full medical team to a city hospital NICU.

My emotions remained completely under a lid, firmly close so that I may serve my very dear friend as her own life - and that of her son's - lay in the balance.

It was a trauma, as a friend, that I am deeply honoured and still sort of disbelieving that I was involved in. That friend is alive and walking today. I still can't quite comprehend how close she was - she was dying, literally, and nobody knew until it was very nearly too late.

What does all this have to do with a kitchen, I hear you ask? Ah, well, dear reader. That is where my friend's husband comes in.

Those first days in the hospital, he was walking around in his work clothes, having sped for three hours to be by his wife's side. He literally only had his car and the clothes on his back and he was far from home for a convenient change of attire. He was not to make to the operating theatre in time before she went in. "There is no time," the doctors had told her. And she lay there helpless, pleading in vain. Both of us were crying - I was shedding tears for her and for her precious babe and this unavoidable situation. My thoughts were also torn for her man, driving, driving, driving. So far to come and with only a mobile phone as contact. What a drive that must have been for him. Fuck.

The first I saw of him was through the windowed door of the NICU. I congratulated the new father and left him to meet his son, having kept a very respectful distance while the staff had worked to make the little man comfortable. I did not look at the baby. How could I when my friend, under general anaesthetic and beginning the race of her life, had not yet sighted her own baby boy? I cry now as I think about how hard that would be for a mother to give birth and wake up, suddenly "unpregnant" and then not able to lay eyes on him for days. Days.

And then, her husband came out after about half an hour and we sat chatting idly. Mostly about names for the baby. He had that new dad shakiness about him. His eyes were red rimmed with emotion, but gallantly, there were no tears.

Weeks passed and my friend was still recovering from her own ordeal and now left to single-handedly watch over and tend their baby. Her husband had had to return home - they had other desperately worried children to care for. I supported as best I could. I felt absolutely useless but did what I was able, mostly making the drive in to the hospital as often as I could manage. That first week, I was virtually camped there, willing her on from the sideline and sometimes from the frontline as she slipped in and out of lucid states. It was damn frightening. And that was just how I, as a friend of this family, felt.

Some time into the NICU stay, my friend phoned me and said she and her husband had been discussing us. More specifically, our kitchen.

"Yesss...." I said, dubious at what was coming next. I'd seen him wandering the hospital halls and café in his "****** Cabinets" polo shirt.
"We've spoken and decided that the least we could do is give you a quote, something to benchmark the other quotes you've been getting," she offered.
I tried to desist. She's probably a more stubborn person than me, if that's possible. I lost.

They came over. He quoted us. Took meticulous care with samples and measurements. The quote came in. How could we not commission him to do the job.

"I would be absolutely honoured to have him build this for us," I said to my friend. Every time we are in it, we think of our friends. I think of how different, how very different, it might be. That first Christmas after their baby was born, my mind had started to think the unthinkable and I was beginning to prepare myself for how best to show my love and support for their children at what could well have been a tragic Christmas.

He has left nothing out of this masterpiece and catered to all my requests - er, he nipped one or two in the bud too! - and the craftsmanship is awesome. I have an appliance cupboard, which the long bench runs into. I have a beautifully curved island bench with separate dark wood panelled backing (to hide the shoe scuff marks from people sitting on the stools!). I have a split cupboard-and-drawers-under-bench pantry (SO good on the back, everything accessable). There are soft-closers on all the cupboards and drawers. Low voltage halogens in frosted glass display cupboards. Halogen task lighting under the display cupboards.....

He is my Kitchen McDreamy!

I love it. Thank you, Peta, for putting him out on loan for us. He did you so proud. xoxox

Ummmm... p.s. Any bright cookies out there want to tell us whether to keep or turf the ceiling roses? We're getting rid of the fan you can see in the photo. But our families are split 50/50 with regard to keeping them. Steve says they go. I say they stay :(

And you can't see, but the white has metallic flecks in it. Like sparkles. Looks great.

Archived Posts


Related Posts with Thumbnails