Monday, February 8, 2010

The Strangest Three days in NYC

We left for the airport Thursday afternoon for a 3pm flight to New York City. I had to stop by the hospital to say another good-bye to my beautiful Aunt. I gave her a kiss and watched as she lay peacefully in her bed.

We rushed through the airport and boarded our Virgin America flight. My little cousin was having a marriage reception, and everyone I asked said I must choose life over death. So I did.

We landed at midnight and finally got to our hotel at about 1 AM. Of course, because of the time change, it was dinner time for us.

Probably because of all the stress my back was killing me. I mean I could barely walk the two blocks to Carnegie Deli. But I did. We chowed down on pastrami sandwiches the size of Carneige Hall. Will had a foot long hot dog filled with grilled onions. Ahhh, New York!

Two hours later, I awoke with searing pains in my stomach. I had the worst intestinal thing happening. In a city that never sleeps, my bowels were very much awake. I was miserable. Every time I feebly made my way to the toilet my back screamed out in pain but it was my intestines that were on fire. And I spent most of the night on the lovely little porcelain abode.

I finally feel asleep around 11:30 AM and woke about 2 PM--just in time for the reservation I had made at Mikimoto in the meat packing district. I stood up and made my way to the kid's room. They were fully dressed--a miracle. I took one look at them and knew there was no way I was going to make Mikimoto--Iron Chef or not. I went back bed and stayed there for most of the weekend.

I was determined to make it to the wedding. I had just flown thousands of miles and left my dying Aunt, and I was not going to miss the event. I ran over to a beauty salon looking like a chewed up piece of hot pastrami and asked Ernesto to make me beautiful. He was kind not to laugh. He washed my hair, blew it dry and curled it with a hot curling iron. My "practically perfect in every way" husband sat with me just in case I had to make a quick get away to a clean toilet. But I let Ernesto do his magic and thought about my Aunt who used to go once a week to the hairdresser. She then would cover her newly done do with what she called a babushka to keep her hair from falling flat. I loved her babushkas! I was lost in reverie when the call came, right there in the beauty salon. Auntie was gone.

Now, poor Ernesto had to deal with a sick, ugly looking chick who now was crying. He stroked my head tenderly, and I thought it quite fitting that I was sitting exactly where I was.

Time passed too quickly. I had to rush back to the hotel and put on my black tie finest. This I could have lived without. Auntie hated dressing up and I so get it now. And stockings! I had to wear stockings. I haven't worn stockings in a decade. The only consolation was that with the stockings I could go without my spanks which I could not have been able to put on my gurgling, aching stomach.

Tom got the kids into their tuxedos and with all the cufflinks and pocket squares and tiny little tuxedo hooks I was starting to feel sick again.

I lay on the bed fully dressed not sure I was ready for a life of 'life!'

But I did it!

I watched lobster tails and oysters pass my way. I declined the ten glasses of champagne that were offered to me. I watched Will gorge himself on endless Chinese dumpings and small glasses of wild mushroom soup--and dinner had not even been served.

At dinner, I sat and ate rolls. Three to be precise. I stared at my lobster salad, lobster bisque, perfectly cooked lamb chops au jus, creamed spinach and twice baked potato. I had to leave the room after the wedding cake was cut, because I couldn't bare to look at the pastries that were pouring out of the kitchen.

I danced. I celebrated. I didn't have to go to the toilet once!

The next day, we caught a flight home. That was yesterday I think. We flew back, and the boys were able to watch the Super Bowl flying high above the clouds. I read my book and looked forward to my own bed.

I fell to sleep quickly last night at about midnight (thankful for all your helpful sleep hints.) At two in the morning, I heard a strange sound coming from Kyle's room. I knew that sound. No, it couldn't be! He was violently throwing up. Tom and I both spent the night up with him. It has been about twelve hours, and he is finally feeling better. I love how kids rebound.

And in all this I have not had the quiet moment of peace I really need to mourn my Aunt. Maybe it's her way of saying, "I'm gone, I'm at peace. Don't stop your life because of me."

But Auntie, I want to, because I love you. You will always be my second mother.


  1. Terry, it sounds like you've had quite a week. I'm sorry your life-embracing trip to New York was marred by illness.

    The moment that stands out most for me in your narrative is the significance of Ernesto's kindness when you learned the news about your aunt. What power there is in gentle human touch when we are at our most vulnerable.

  2. Oh, so sorry about your aunt. "Choosing life over death," how poignant. I'm so impressed at how you soldiered on thru this NY weekend. But that's what we do, huh?
    Glad you husband and Ernesto were with you when you got the call...