About Cheerio

My photo
In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

At the hospital, Visiting Pistol

When we moved to our new neighborhood in 2006, our neighbor introduced herself.  She made sure we know her nickname is Pistol, because she used to work for security and carried a piece.  Anytime someone new moves into the neighborhood she introduces herself the same way. 

Funny thing is, we all just call her by her first name and she's the only one who mentions the "Pistol" nickname.

Pistol lives across the street from us.  She is an animal nut.  She doesn’t like the circle of life because it means a living creature will die.  She had an arbor put over the many birdfeeders, and added lattice to keep the hawks from dining on the cardinals, mourning doves, or squirrelles.

Pistol has a big heart and is generous.  She looks out for her neighbors and we all look out for her too.  She’s retired and has many physical problems.  Most of the problems stem from the cancer treatments she went through years ago.  I can never keep up with her schedule of when she is going for a PET Scan, Blood work, visiting the cander doctor, the kidney doctor, the lung doctor, or family doctor.  She’s a tough cookie though.

She’s never been married and when I go to visit her, she could talk your ear off.  But she’s funny and interesting and I don’t mind.  She recently had surgery and was in the hospital for over two weeks.  With my work and school schedule I wasn’t able to visit her until this past Thursday.  It was really good to see her!  She looked good and was talkative.  She moved slow, but was getting around. 

Pistol was talking about the little she remembers from being in ICU, she talked about the procedures of the operation, she showed off her new artwork of the 30 staples holding her together.  We joked about the many ways she could keep and reuse the staples as memorbilia.  She could make a necklace, she could have rows of staples lining her earlobes, she could have saples in her nostriles or on her eyebrows – like the young kids piercings these days.

She was talking about a shot they gave her.  Almost mid-sentence she stopped.  “I don’t know if you had to go through any of this kind of stuff when you lost your baby," she said.  She went on by saying, “You don’t have to talk about it if it upsets you.  We didn’t even know you were pregnant.  I guess you didn’t want anyone to know, in case you wouldn’t be able to carry full term.  Was that your first pregnancy? Was it a little girl?   Do you know why you can’t have a baby?”

Wow, needless to say, I wasn’t at all expecting any of that.  I actually DID want to tell her about the pregnancy 2 years ago.  I was trying to take her and one of her other friends out to lunch so I could tell them the good news.  But Pistol was having physical problems at the time, and kept putting off going out for lunch.  Well, then it was too late and the good news turned out to be not so good news anymore..

Nevertheless, here I am visiting my neighbor in the hospital and she brings up one of the most important subjects of my life.  I assured her that I was not bothered at all, and actually was glad for a chance to talk about it. I theorized that I possibly lost her either because of the extreme amount of stress from my job at the time.  I told that I considered it was a little girl. I didn’t remember everything that happened at the hospital.  I know I had to have a RhoGAM shot, I don’t remember if there were other shots or not. 

She was surprised when I said it was not my first pregnancy and asked what happened.  I told her that I carried full term and had a healthy beautiful baby boy.  When he was 3 days old, I left the hospital without him.  I summed it up by telling her that hubby and I weren’t married yet, and I was made to feel that I had to give my baby up for adoption, that if I had kept him it would have ruined his life.

She said, “ That really pisses me off!  Why would people do that?  I know you and your husband, and you both would have been wonderful parents to that child.”

Then a nurse walked in and the conversation changed.

As visiting hours was coming to an end, I brought up the subject of my son again.  I told Betty that he turned 17 last month.  So in a year or so from now, if she sees a tall young blonde fellow at our house, it just might be him.  She smiled at this thought.  I hugged her goodnight and moved her stuffed animals around to keep her company through thenight.

It is crazy that it worked out this way.  I have been trying to figure out a way to tell Pistol about our son, and just didn’t know how to bring it up.  I was afraid that she would have a negative reaction that I sometimes get from older gererations.  Often I’m told that I gave him up and had no right to even call him my son - or that I deserved it – or that he is where he belongs and I should forget about him. 

But the clock is ticking and as his 18th birthday approaches, I am trying to make sure everyone knows about him.  The last thing I would want him to hear someone say to me is “Oh, I didn’t know you have a son.” 

So I am glad Pistol knows now, and I was pleasantly surprised with her supportive reaction.
Here I thought I was visiting the hospital for her, and she’s the one who ended up helping me.

At the Hospital


  1. Lovely! It is nice to hear that not everyone of that generation is so closed to reality that they can't see what is in front of their faces.... particularly if it has not touched their lives! Kudos to Pistol!

  2. Awww... thanks,Linda. It is truly because of you and so many other adoptees who have risked opening up and shaaring, that I've come to see and understand the importance to an adoptee of not being a 'secret.' While making that happen for him, I have found an unexpected freedom for myself. Keeping secrets really does take a lot of work. I didn't realize just how much until I've stopped trying to hide this one.

    YES, LORI!!!! Kudos to Pistol!