Tuesday, September 06, 2005

PAY ATTENTION!

On Friday morning, it was tough chez WannaBe, so Partner came home early and we had a great night out sitting in street cafes and generally being light and blithe. It was the most wonderful evening, one that we could ill afford, and as much fun as we were having, I was a little troubled about it too. (Spending money! Baby to pay for! Rotten real estate market! Ack! Ack!)

Then we were driving home, down the pretty and dark road that leads to our house, keeping our eyes peeled for deer, which now have horns and I haven't seen these newly mature deer yet but Partner has. The windows were down in the car and evening's chill slipped around our necks and hair.

Then my mobile phone rang-- an unknown number,and it was marked, "Louisiana call." It didn't take me two seconds to pick it up, something I usually balk at if I don't know the number. It was our friend who owns this place, where we have always stayed on our trips to New Orleans. It's just as gracious as it looks, and our friend is the most wonderful host. Over the years, our family has really looked up on the Claiborne as a home away from home, and we love this friend. I look forward to our visits to New Orleans as much as anything to talk with her since her opinions are always well thought out and she's such a great conversationalist. Don't you know people like that? People who can string out a conversation and talk about what could be the most mundane detail but make it incredibly interesting and you walk away from your chat and think, "Wow, do I feel alive and vibrant," and then you realize you were talking about something like, oh say, green peppers, and that only makes it better? Yes, then you have this friend too.

She stayed in the city until 3:00 am on Sunday, when she decided it was too scary, packed up her dogs and got out of Dodge. I told her to come stay with us, dogs and all. I told her to go to our family house outside of Charleston. And she said, sweetly, she knew she wouldn't even have to ask to do either, but decisions weren't easy in the middle of all of this. And it was hard to think about being so far away. Something I hadn't necessarily thought about-- how hard it would be to go states away from your home where you have left everything behind on the off chance you might be able to get back.

I told her we were glued to the television, and she said, "Oh you can see it? We have no power-- we didn't know if the rest of the country even knew what was happening down here." When I told her about all we'd seen and how sick we were about it, she sighed, "Oh thank you. Thank you for knowing."

Thank you for knowing. Clearly, we can all act in very concrete ways to alleviate some of the suffering going on in that part of the world, but for all of us who have felt that we weren't making a dent or a difference with our donations or offers of bedrooms or whatever, just think about our friend who was breathless with thanks that we were even paying attention.

Let's just keep paying attention, eh?

3 Comments:

Blogger Anna said...

That was a great post, making it personal. I don't know anyone there, but I loved that city. I just can't even wrap my head around what's happened. It doesn't compute.

On happier notes, I'm excited for you guys to start soon with your IVF cycle. Now that is cool. I can't wait to read all about it when it starts! Be well. : )

2:17 PM  
Blogger Career Guy said...

Wow--that's amazing. 'Thank you for knowing'. What a sad small thing that is, but if you were the one in the dark, I can see how just knowing that other people were trying to get to you would be immeasurably comforting. And what a wonderful friend you are for taking her in, dogs and all.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

Anna and John,
Thanks guys. I can't believe what a small thing "Thank you for knowing" is either and it certainly makes me feel I could do more than that.

No refugees here yet, but we're waiting.

10:59 AM  

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