Sunday, August 29, 2010
nou la (we are here)
We went back to the Livesay house to spend the night. Geronne, the amazing woman who lives and works with the Livesays, has gotten to know Amanda over the past few months, and they've become good friends. She immediately began taking care of Amanda--took off her shoes, helped her lay down for a rest, made sure she had a fan, prepared dinner, washed her clothes, gave her one of her own shirts to wear the next day, helped her get ready for bed, and set up a movie on a portable DVD player. She ended up sleeping in the bunkbed above her, at Amanda's request. It was so, so sweet to watch. Geronne is a caretaker in every sense of the word.
Seeing air travel through the eyes of someone who is flying for the first time is interesting. I never really thought about it before, but the safety instruction video makes it seem like needing to use the oxygen masks, having to put on a lifejacket, and needing to evacuate the plane in a boat are all normal occurrences. As the video played on Amanda glanced at me and asked "Why do we need to do that?" I told her about emergencies and explained that I've been on many flights, and I've never had to do any of it. She seemed fine with that explanation and never looked nervous on any of the flights. She loved flying through the clouds and, like me, thinks airplanes are entirely too cold. We "borrowed" 2 blankets from first class on the second flight. Whoever decided to do away with blankets in coach is obviously more warm-blooded than I (and many others) are.
I had forgotten many little details of Amanda's story, so I had her tell me, day by day, the whole story again. She's been in seven hospitals since the earthquake. Mayo will be her 8th. She has suffered a lot--more than I even realized. She described the misery and death that surrounded her at every hospital, on every street corner, in each moment. Physical healing is really only the beginning for so many who've suffered since January 12th.
We had wheelchairs lined up at all of the airports and it worked out great. We easily passed through immigration and customs in Miami without any problems.
Amanda will be staying with Theresa and her husband, as well as with Theresa's mom and dad, while she's in Minnesota. They picked her up at the airport last night. I talked to Theresa this morning and she's doing well. Theresa's parents live on a farm with many roosters. Amanda's feeling right at home :)
We head down to Mayo soon to begin the last leg of Amanda's journey of physical healing. Thank you to everyone who's worked so hard on her behalf!