In light of Meilin taking a bit of a break for the holiday season before kicking off the next Book, and in honor of her particular style I thought it would be interesting if the rest of us could do a bit of storytelling ourselves.
The History, as she writes it, is a very in depth depiction of some of the key human interactions that go on ‘behind the scenes’ in the official history of this rich world she’s created. The whole theme of history ,as it is written, leaving the vital things that truly drove it’s characters out, strikes a chord with me. I wonder how many of you have thought the same thing in regards to your own life experiences.
Can you recall a story, one you would be willing to share whether happy or sad, confusing or clarifying, warming or uncomfortable, that would flesh out your life history a bit? Do you remember a heartening detail at some point in your life, where if someone else wrote your story they might miss what really happened (or held the most meaning for you) unless you told that story yourself?
When I ask myself these questions I find I recall little details that no one else but myself could have recalled. Small things that made a moment special, or memorable at all,. even within normally memorable occasions. Like the birth of a child:
If someone wrote a story about my life they would say that on February 20th, a little less than two years ago, I went to the hospital to be with my best friend for the birth of her daughter. Needless to say, most people would agree this is a memorable moment in anyone’s life and would describe it thus, but the things that make it mean the most to me are small, special details…
I was given the opportunity to be the person who went into the surgery with my friend for her c-section. Before going into the room I was given hairnet, surgical mask and a large paper mesh jumpsuit of sorts to put over my clothes that was much too big for me as it was made for a man. I was surprised that it didn’t itch. And I was surprised I didn’t feel funny wearing it despite how funny I must have looked in it!
The nurse preparing me led me through confusing halls of the hospital, to a waiting room that was empty of people accept for me. I thought it was odd, but in the end I was glad of it since I was growing more and more nervous the more I thought about the fact I was getting ready to go into a room where my best friend would be cut open. Blood and I don’t mix, at least not in a state where I remain conscious for long. Someone telling my story of that twenty minutes while I waited would say just that. “She waited a nervous twenty minutes before being called to the surgery.” What I and I alone know is that I came to grips with the idea of blood and dealing with the momentous occasion of the birth of a little person we’d all been waiting for for months now…by acting like a complete dork.
There was a chair in the waiting room.
Now, it wasn’t just any chair, it was one with wheels. I’m sure you can see where this is going. On the cold, hard, sterile floor of that empty waiting room I had a hell of a time pushing myself back and forth across the room. Don’t ask me why, but what started as nervous fidgeting in a chair, an idle push from one side to the other, ended up in giddy giggling and flights across the room. So, I can tell my little ‘neice’ that Auntie spent the last twenty minutes before her birth playing with a rolling chair in the hospital waiting room! Something she would probably get in trouble for! I didn't tell her mother that any time soon.
The birth itself was so much faster than I’d ever dreamed it would be, and I spent most of that time hiding behind the sheet that blocked our view of the actual surgery. I held my friend’s hand and talked to her through her fuzzy medicated state as the doctor pushed her tummy this way and that to free her daughter.
Now she was completely numbed and didn’t feel it when the doctor was finally able to lift that baby into the air. So I got to be the first person who looked on this new little person. I remember that moment partly because I was thinking just that. And I remember telling myself not to cry since I didn’t want to have a runny nose to deal with! In the next few seconds, as the doctor turned the child to start cleaning her, and show her to her mother. I turned my friend’s head toward them and remember the emotion in the small word she uttered at the sight of her. All she said was “Oh.” Then, “look at her.” But that was enough to make me cry.
I watched as she was cleaned, weighed, and clothed for the first time, and then I was ushered out before they really finished sewing my friend back up. I knew before that day that I would be there for this birth, and that it would mean something to me forever, but I really couldn’t have dreamed up all the little details that made it mean so much.