story 1: growing up my sister and i would do silly things to entertain ourselves as i'm sure most siblings do growing up. for example, there was the time my sister and i mixed baking soda and water to make "magic paste," to be followed by a "magic paste" food fight, to be followed by frantically trying to clean up "magic paste," to be followed by some peculiar white gunky goo (aka magic paste) stuck on my parents door to this very day. or there was the time that we buried all of our favorite things somewhere in the desert behind our house and created a treasure map to the exact place where we buried the treasures. turns out we weren't the best map makers so our favorite things are still somewhere a foot deep in the vast desert behind our house. who knows why we did the things we did growing up, was it something we saw on tv? was it sheer boredom? or was it because we always knew that one day it would all make sense?
beyond these silly things we would always do something that felt like it had purpose, that thing was to salute the time at 11:11. It didn't matter if it was 11:11am or 11:11pm but when we noticed this time we would stop whatever we were doing and salute the clock, military style, as if we were paying homage to something or someone.
little did we know that many many years down the line my little lady and my reason for existence would be born on 11.11.
story 2: the days following ina's birth, my mom stayed at our house and helped us take care of the dogs while we were in the hospital. on her way to the hospital the day following ina's birth my mom stopped by starbucks and as she was leaving the coffee shop she noticed a hunched back old lady trying to walk across the shopping mall. the lady was so severely hunchbacked that there was no way she could see anything more than a couple feet in front of her so my mom approached her and asked her where she was going. the old lady explained to my mom that her helpers were out of town and she was trying to get to the grocery store across the parking lot. so my mom decided to stay with her and guide her to the store. during the 45-minute walk across the parking lot my mom told the lady all about her new granddaughter. once they finally arrived at the grocery store the lady asked my mom for her granddaughter's name and my mom said, "Ina." the old lady replied with, "my name is Ina."
story 3: those of you that have ever taken a baby home from the hospital know how equally dreadful and exciting that moment can be. on one hand you can not wait to get your little human home and on the other you can hardly believe that the hospital is just releasing this tiny little being to your custody. so on the day we were scheduled to take our baby home, we followed the movements and went with the flow, signed all the proper paperwork, dressed her in her "going home" outfit, strapped her into her car seat and carried her out of the hospital. once we got to the car we buckled her into the carseat base, i sat down in the back next to her and off we went!
my husband is a cautious driver but on this 15-minute drive from the hospital he was the most careful driver i had ever witnessed in my life. i'm pretty certain he was going below the speed limit on the freeway and i'm pretty sure i saw his white knuckles holding on to the steering wheel diligently at 10 and 2 all the way home.
as we exited the freeway inching ever so closer to introduce ina to the dogs and her new best friends, i noticed that a funeral caravan was heading up the freeway onramp and driving away. now, i don't mean to get all poetic and mushy over here but how ironic is it that we were exiting the freeway with our new life as a caravan was entering the freeway saying goodbye to a life. all i could think about at that very moment was this song by john mayer. its so true, so very very true: