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28 November 2008

Black Friday...

My mother and I had a favorite tradition on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. We would get up at 5 in the morning, dress warmly, and head off for the mall. We'd get the front line parking space and sit in the car waiting for 05:55 when we'd go stand at the door and walk in with the rest of the crowd.

We had our list. We'd do our shopping. And, at 08:30, we'd be done. While the rest of the cars were circling the parking lot, my mother and I would be allowing some lucky soul to take our spot as we headed off for breakfast. We might hit a specialty store or two after breakfast. Maybe go to a movie. Pick up something to snack on. Then come home and watch TV while eating leftovers from the night before.

We haven't done this in many years, but every Thanksgiving I still ask my mother if she'd like me to pick her up early to go shopping. She always laughs and asks what plane I'm landing on and is Starbuck's going to open early as well.

This year, I shared my Thanksgiving with family and friends, not my family and not my friends, but nonetheless, a warm loving atmosphere and good food throughout.

I do want to share a poignant vignette shared by one of my attendings yesterday. He stated that they had received a small child in cardiac arrest. The E.D. staff did their best, but there was no resuscitating the child. The family was in hysterics, and this increased as more family members arrived. The child was the youngest of three. It appeared to be a SIDS death.

The family stated that they had never heard of "Back to Sleep," and that the child was always placed to sleep on their stomach, covered by blankets. They didn't know any other way.

My attending stated the obvious, that a child's death is always hard on the staff. He shared that the way he dealt with it was by personally carrying the child down to the morgue. Which he did with this child. No cloth-covered gurney for these smallest of patients.

Tonight I'll be going in for a string of overnight shifts, and I'll be hoping that we're not "in the black" in the E.D. We'll see.


cw2smom said...

That's just so touching about the Dr. carrying that baby's body to the morgue! I find that heartbreaking and yet the most wonderful display of humanity that I've heard in a long time. He must be an awesome man! Please tell him I said so! How sad that they hadn't heard of "Back to Sleep!" I thought it was a well known thing among mothers.
Based on some people's behavior it is probably best not to shop on Black Friday anymore. Here in California there were two killed by gunfire in a Toys R Us! And..then the Wal Mart incident! I am so glad that I don't do crowds and I can believe that retailers will risk their customers safety as the fight over a few of the advertised items! Crazy! Maybe these incidents will change their thinking! Take care! Lisa

cw2smom said...

That one line should have read..I CAN'T Believe..sorry!

Jeanie said...

I'm not one for shopping in any Sales.
Having said that it is traditional that my daughter and I go out shopping for last minute items together, prior to Christmas, and without the children around. That's when I get to spoil her and we have a girly time too.
I have no idea about "Back To Sleep" living as I do in England.
What a very traumatising time for that family and what a decent human gesture towards the little child from your colleague. What a heart warming true story.
Thank you for sharing this insight into your daily life.
Much love.
Jeanie xxxx

a corgi said...

oh my gosh, what a touching thing that physician did; how compassionate and kind; what a humbling sweet gesture. The poor parents and Thanksgiving will always be associated with grief for them :(

on the other hand, I did enjoy reading about your memories about Black Friday. Visit my journal between now and Monday night, if you can, and just write a brief comment on my Frugal Friday/Black Friday entry about Black Friday and your name will be put into a raffle for a Dairy Queen gift card. The deadline is Monday night.

its funny, when my kids were babies (1989) the thought was for them to sleep on their stomach not back to prevent SIDS.

take care of yourself Veronica


Julie said...

I always hate losing children, we lost a 4 year old here. We also carry them to the morgue. Its so sad.

Please stop by my blog, I have left an award for you.

Anonymous said...

Awwwww black friday was a messed at the mall!

Lisa said...

I was amazed and deeply moved to read a doctor would carry the child to the morgue. I don't have children and I know about "back to sleep", so sad for the parents. I can't imagine the grief & guilt they must be feeling.

The day with your mom sounds like it was a wonderful tradition. I'm sorry your holiday wasn't as you would have hoped.