1977. What a crazy year it had been: Elvis died in August, kids went nuts over Star Wars, Jimmy Carter scared everyone talking about the energy crisis, and there was a drought in California. Here it was December and it hadn’t rained in months. And ten days before my due date, we moved from Albany to San Jose–an hour’s drive away from the hospital in San Francisco where I was planning to have my baby.
We worked fast to get the nursery ready: we put the crib together and placed all the brand new baby clothes in the dresser. I’d hung up some gauzy white curtains that were edged with a sunny yellow. We’d painted the room the color of a robin’s egg. We put a mirror on the wall alongside the crib, and hung a musical mobile, right where the baby would see, that played “You Are My Sunshine.” The rocking chair and cradle were standing by for rock-a-bye-baby. All we needed was the baby.
|Ten days to go. Yes, that’s a Vega.|
Two days before my due date, we’d gone shopping for an infant seat and a stroller–something we should’ve done much sooner. A woman in the store had looked at me and said, “You’d better hurry!”
It started to rain.
|Yes, sir, that’s my baby!|
When we finally brought her home and placed her in the cradle, we tried not to think about the inevitable trip back to the hospital for her surgery. We practiced being a family and I loved being able to rock her in the rocking chair and play the mobile for her.
But by the middle of January, she struggled to breathe, and we knew it was time to make that drive back to San Francisco. We could not have known what a long journey was ahead for her– or for us.