Monday, March 22, 2010

The Countess and I

A woman contacted me about three weeks ago asking me for information about the cochlear implant. She explained to me that her forty year old son contracted meningitis on January 1st, was in a coma for a period of time and was waiting to have his toes amputated as a result. He was left profoundly deaf. I talked to her about Jordan and gave her support. She knew much of what I told her and had the situation under control. She had already performed the exams necessary, which confirmed the hearing loss and had begun the process of exams pre-ci. She asked excellent questions and her voice wavered not once.

One week later she contacted me again to ask me if I could help speed up the process for personal motives which she explained. I made an appointment for her and her son at Pisa last Friday. I went to meet them there.

This woman is at least seventy years old. Her eyes are those of a twenty-four year old fresh out of law school. Intelligent. Kind. Determined. She floored me totally. They arrived at Pisa in an ambulance, I met her first at the entrance and then her son with two ambulance attendants in the waiting room. He had a magic marker and an erasable board in hand. After we introduced ourselves, he wrote "nice nails" to the ambulance attendant, who wrote back "nice everything."


I moved towards the window and the mother followed. She proceeded to inform me of the exams completed, the general state of the situation and how she hoped Professor Berrettini could help her. She asked about Jordan, I love when people I help ask me about Jordan. So, I talked about him and his life for a while.

We connected was something in her eyes. And her hands. She had beautiful, wrinkly hands, and well-manicured nails. The nails weren't long or polished, they were simple and her fingers were long and elegant. Her pale pink shirt collar was buttoned right up to the top and a gold cross rested just beneath the second button, her earrings were pearls.

She told me she lost her daughter when she was 19 years old.

Her son will be operated on next Tuesday.

She looked me straight in the eyes and asked, "How much should one woman have to suffer in a lifetime?"

She is the first Countess I've ever met.


Debbie said...

What a beautiful and sad story to add to the plethora of stories you've told us. Straight out of a Shakespeare tragedy. How wonderful that you were able to help her and that you felt connected to her too.

Dianrez said...

This sounds like the beginning of a beautifully drafted novel! You have the touch for writing and I hope you follow up on it!

K.L. said...

Meningitis talk will always bring back memories. Some are good. Most are difficult. They all shaped me.

That lovely lady is right on. they need to be quick in order to get the surgery performed before ossification can set in. They should do bilateral surgery as soon as possible.

Send along my prayers and hopes for a good outcome.

lphelan said...

Wow. Interesting story, but What's a countess? Some royal family?

tammy said...

Ditto to everything Debbie said ... I was thinking the same exact thing. What a wonderful, wonderful person you are Jodi.