Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I cannot believe this day

My day started with me having an argument with a client about whether or not she should fight to regain custody of her children. The simple answer is that she will lose. It is an answer that makes me sad, but, the case is complex and that answer is, sadly, the truth.

Immediately after that, my assistant buzzed me and said, "B~" is on the phone for you. I lunged at the phone. B~ is one of my very best girlfriends, and she and her husband moved to Austrailia last week (for his job, he has been relocated for one to two years), and I had not heard from her since she got on the plane for Sydney. She has not answered my emails.

I heard B~'s voice cracking and shaking from half a world away. What's wrong? Oh dear God, what's wrong??

What's wrong is that her husband is having emergency brain surgery in the morning. Well, in the morning in Sydney, which is 6:00 PM Eastern Time this evening. They've been in Austraila for SIX DAYS. And he collapsed and had stroke like symptoms, which improved dramatically and went away, but, they ran a bunch of tests, and then they told them that he had "a time bomb in his brain", an anerysm (sp?) and that it had to be operated on.

And then, then they threw poor B~ out of his room. The told her she had to go to the "dormitory" attached to the hospital, and wait there for the night, and get some sleep, but, NO, SHE COULD NOT STAY WITH HER HUSBAND.

On the other side of the world, I could hear my friend's world falling apart. She asked me, "why can't I be with him, why can't I be with him?" I had no answer. I asked her where her children were, and she said that her husband's company was hiring a nanny for them, but, in the meantime they were with another American couple employed by the same corporation that employ's B~'s husband. "I left my children with total strangers" she wailed. But B~, it's better for them to be there, than to be at that hospital in the middle of the night.

I listened to her cry and I wanted to crawl through the phone line and wrap myself around her and take care of her. "What can I do for you, B~, what can I do??"

So, I did the only things I could do. I called our priest, Father Paul, (B~ and I go to the same parish) and told him what was happening. He sent an email to every person in our parish, asking them to pray tonight at 6:00 PM. (Which will be when the surgery is starting).

I called her former neighbor, to let her know. And I took care of a small legal matter regarding the sale of their home here in the US. These small things do not seem like enough. Not by a long shot.

I have nothing more I can do for her, not from here. And I feel so helpless. And I hate that she is on the other side of the world, and I cannot hold her hand and tell her that I believe her husband will be okay. I hate that I cannot be there for her.



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