Swedish Lace Held Us
"You know we canít treat
Rhonda any longer unless you leave her here full time." This once
smiling person suddenly had become detailed and cunning I felt.
My first reaction was one
of incredible disbelief. There was just no way this woman could have
made this statement, I was thinking. Had these people not seen how
devoted I was to this little bit of humanity who was so at risk? How
could she open her mouth with such a blasphemous, loose statement? What
constituted her thinking to believe that someone could simply hand over
something so precious as their own blood and to do so with ease? To
further abuse a life that already had been put at risk was beyond my
comprehension. My mouth wouldnít open to answer her.
For a moment I dropped my
eyes to the Swedish lace around Rhondaís dress. Something about the
power this bit of fabric had to resist stress gave me strength. Maybe it
was only machine made but certainly the original artisanís work had been
caught and rendered intricately beautiful. It wasnít the delicate lace
of a Spanish lady but had a heavier and more durable look to it. I
couldnít have voiced my opinion at the time as to how I felt but for
some reason the lace represented a depth of caring and desire to create
something of value for whoever picked it up so they could be pleasured
by it. Certainly if a cold set of threads could be worked into an art
piece then why couldnít something as complex as flesh and blood be
With no sound made from
my voice tears began rushing down the sides of my face and I was
embarrassed but there was no stopping the flow. Without a word, I stood
up. With Rhonda in my arms I turned and walked straight away from the
office, down the hallway, through the front door and to my car. I donít
remember driving home, changing Rhonda into play clothes, and leaving
the house with her in the stroller. When the strange neighborhood around
me brought the realization that I had been walking for a length a time.
This was the time I began to think.
"I must call Uncle
Dennis. He will know what to do." I was admitting that this was more
than I knew how to handle.
We had not been home but
for a short time when Auntie Pud came to the door. She was the
professional and the customary cigarette the woman always smoked was
held casually in one hand.
"The center called and
said you left somewhat abruptly and they were concerned about you." She
was certainly, still honestly trying to manipulate what she had
discovered was a delicate situation.
By this time I had begun
to understand I was on shaky ground. I had no idea what was working
behind my back and it made me very cautious about what I said to her.
"I am just very upset at
the moment, but Iíll be better. Rod will be home soon and Iím sure he
will help me with all the inís and outsí of things."
"You are depressed?"
Auntie wanted to know.
"To be sure." This
statement, at least, was innocent but very true.
My girl-like behavior
Auntie probably defined as unsophisticated and inexperienced as only a
childís actions might be.
"Iíll leave something to
settle you down. You have been crying. Your face is all swollen."
As she turned to leave,
she pulled a bottle from her pocket and left it on the top of the
After she left instead of
picking up the bottle I picked up the phone and called home.
"Mom! Did I wake you?"
Even as I asked the question I knew this was true.
"Whatís the matter?"
Mother was instantly awake and alert even though I had only spoken one
"Oh there are things
going on here Iím not sure I can handle. Do you think you can ask Uncle
Dennis to come down?
We continued to talk for
a brief time and I explained what had happened.
"Heíll be there in little
over a couple of hours," Mother reassured me.
"Thereís no hurry, Rod
will be here at five oíclock." I didnít want my uncle to worry.
"Your uncle will be there
before that." Mother ever true to her position at the military school
was always the captain and made quick, sure decisions. I knew Uncle
Dennis would be in route. Heaven help the person who wasn't in quick
obedience to her orders.