inauguration day: a new era for the country, for you and i

by christy on October 21, 2009

Dear Max,

You and I on Inauguration Day

Tuesday, January, 20, 2009, was inauguration day for President Obama. As that realization hit me in the shower, I began to cry. Your Daddy and I had been so excited about this day, friends were down in Washington D.C., going to Times Square, etc. And I was stuck in the hospital, definitely not getting out that day. You had been due the day prior, January 19th. If you had been on time, I would have been in the maternity ward, watching it with your daddy on the small screen there, celebrating the inauguration and your birth. It was also the first day that visiting hours would only be an hour-and-a-half, groups were proceeding as usual, and I was just feeling lost, back in my head.

I went to my nurse, Nancy, and told her I needed an Adivan, I was having a panic attack. She told me to go lie down and breathe and she would be in in a few minutes. When she arrived she helped me calm down. She told me to think of this as a beginning not just for the country, but for our family, and to remember that this was all for you. I tried to focus on the fact that, because you were early, really, I hadn’t lost much time with you, just a day or two, and I had even been expecting you to be late. So the truth was, I tried to convince myself, that I actually got you longer than I planned.

We had a community meeting that morning. Everyone on the floor met in the cafeteria, along with all the nurses and doctors. In addition, student nurses were spending a day in there observing. We felt as though we were in a zoo, they were just a bit too nice, as though we were children (later, in an art class, some came in to take it with us, and it just felt so strange to have them sitting there, trying to act disinterested in why we were there, but at the same time obviously studying us). That’s where I first saw Dr. S, who is now my psychiatrist. We listened to “The Rabbi”, a Hasidic jewish man, complain about the limited amount of coffee for a good 20 minutes or so (I gave him my coffee the next morning, and he was so excited), and a lady complain about patients not taking their clothes out of the washer or dryer as soon as they were finished (she got my laundry detergent when I left, as she’d only brought one outfit and had to wear hospital gowns and pants when the outfit was being washed). It was actually pretty amusing, though the hour dragged on and we watched the clocks.

We were supposed to go to various groups, each of us supposed to attend at least two classes or groups each day, but my friends and I were anxious for the inauguration to show on that tiny television screen, only 15 inches or so. We gathered for the pre-show, watching the gathering crowds in D.C. It was very exciting, and slowly people began streaming in. The janitor, some nurses, a few patients. About 10 minutes before the actual inauguration, Dr. S. asked me to come with her, but I asked if we could wait until after the inauguration, which was fine, and she sat down.

Pretty soon about everyone on the floor- doctors, nurses, the students observing, patients, janitors – were in the cafeteria. You could’ve heard a pin drop as everyone silently watched Obama inaugurated. Once he was announced President, we all cheered and clapped, and many of us had tears in our eyes. It was really amazing, and I will never forget where I was the day President Obama was inaugurated!



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