- It was held in a little garden attached to the University of New England’s School of Rural Medicine. The campus is all rolling hills and autumnal trees like a huge park. Upshot: parts of the ceremony, especially the introduction by softly-spoken Professor Geetha Ranmuthugala, were drowned out by a mob of cockatoos who were having a bloody good time in some nearby trees.
- There were lots of family members there. That surprised me. Grief is so lonely and our predicament seems so peculiar that I forget there are a lot of people in situations just like ours. I loved all these mourning strangers very much.
- The speakers included quite a lot of the medical students who had taken the anatomy course and dissected our loved ones’ donor bodies. The students talked about how the work informed their medical practice and, in many cases, drew them towards surgery. They were all women and/or people of color and I don’t think the university did that intentionally; I think it just happened. It was also a completely non-religious ceremony, thank Christ.
- We got to speak to one of the students, who told us she had assisted with a dissection aimed at developing a new neurosurgical technique, keyhole surgery via the nose. She probably worked on Dad’s brain, Dad’s nose. She was being careful not to say anything to upset me! I told her that Dad would have been delighted to know that his gift helped train new surgeons and discover new techniques.
- There were lots of us there, surviving members of my own decimated family: my husband and our kids and my brother and my sister and her kids. We all loved our wonderful, impossible Dad, and we all still love each other, and somehow we are piecing together some meaning out of all of this.
Archive for April, 2016
This is what the Stanford campus looks like in spring and it is completely unacceptable.
Look at this. It’s outrageous.
Something ought to be done.
Horse, brown, smol:
In fact he only looks little because I am such a sturdy bruiser these days, marvel at my hypertrophied quadriceps. I can’t see over Sam’s wither when I am standing next to him, which I guess makes him at least sixteen hands? A very respectable size. (It’s funny that I can possibly think 16hh is little! I grew up among wee ponies and was grateful for even a galloway. I only think it now because Nick-the-horse, a Dutch Warmblood, and Jackson, a Thoroughbred, were both immensely tall. Hedonic treadmill!)
The pictures helped a lot. I’ve been focused on keeping my heels down and sitting square in the saddle, and as a result we’ve had a series of excellent rides. Salome is the bestest ever.
I had a pretty Gothically terrible week for various reasons beyond anyone’s particular control, mostly to do with generational inequity and centuries of systemic oppression. The least of it was that my trainer Facebooked a picture of me jumping Sam in which I’d lost my balance and caught him in the mouth. Salome insisted it was just a bad moment. I argued that I have learned nothing in all these years and am wasting my trainers’ time and ruining my good horse.
Salome got up an hour early this morning so she could bring her camera to my riding lesson and get better pictures of us. I love her so much right now I can hardly stand it. From such small kindnesses to one another we will build a less sucky world.
(Apparently my blog is just 24/7 schmaltz these days. I’m not sorry.)