Saturday, 23 May 2009

Out of the blue

I met Alice when I was first pregnant.  She and I went to the same ante natal classes.

I discovered that Alice sometimes struggled to get to or from the classes because she didn’t drive.  I offered to help by going to and from the classes via Alice’s house.

As the ante natal class due dates approached the group had started to meet socially.  As babies arrived the group was a mixture of bumps and babies.

Alice wasn’t as lucky as the rest of us.  She had a midwife visit just before her due date and the midwife couldn’t find a heartbeat.  Alice had to give birth to her dead baby.

That is such a tragic and terrible thing to happen to anyone and, in general the group didn’t know how to respond.  I was probably closest to Alice because of the car sharing but I didn’t know what to do either.

I imagined that the last person she would want to see was someone who was still pregnant with a healthy child.

I can’t remember exactly how I kept in touch but I did.  We did talk about her loss and how she was feeling.  I remember broaching the subject of meeting the other mums.  I was honest and said we had hesitated to invite her along because we didn’t want to get it wrong, but I made sure she knew that when, or if, she was ready to meet us she would be very welcome.

We did meet a few times but we didn’t have much in common.  We drifted and became people that send Christmas cards.  Until yesterday.

We hadn’t spoken for years, but yesterday she called, out of the blue.

Perhaps I should have asked why she called, but I didn’t, so we just started talking in a very stilted fashion through lack of familiarity.

She’s become a grandmother (her first child, a daughter, has started her family) but has also suffered terribly with cancer.  I got the feeling she just wanted to talk to someone, anyone.  So we talked.  I listened and shared.

Today, out of the blue, a bouquet of flowers arrived from Alice.  Whilst this is lovely and kind and sweet, I don’t understand it.

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