That's not my catharsis. It's just the rant and the reason for the need. Whenever I read or hear anything about MRSA my thoughts immediately turn to sweet Raisa, who has been dead for almost 20 months now. She's been gone almost twice as long as she was here and that makes me angry. I know that God had a plan and I know that she was leaving one way or another, but MRSA is a savage and horrifying way to go. If our government was any kind of competent then this particular virulence would never have happened but there you go.
Anyway, I thought about posting this on Raisa's birthday or the anniversary of her death but I decided today was a good day. The week after she died I started writing down all of my memories of her. I know how memories are, as they get replaced with the minutae of life and I always wanted to have them to go back to, to remember the good times. So, here they are:
1.It all started when Raisa showed up with one of her horrible diaper rashes. I had been studying the benefits of coconut oil and decided to use it on the rash that responded to nothing else. Having coated her thoroughly, I diapered her and turned her loose in the playpen/crib, leaving the little tub of oil within easy reach for the next diaper change. Unfortunately, it was within reach of her tiny fingers too. 15 minutes later I happened to really look at her and realized she had gotten hold of the tub and eaten all the coconut oil, smearing a goodly portion across her cheeks, chin, lips, eyebrows and forehead! She looked like a miniature gangster, with her greased hair. A Dapper Dan baby!
2.I had been teaching Raisa to respect the switch by switching her hand while saying “no”. Her playpen was next to a shelf that had many colorful and enticing things to play with but she was becoming so good about looking and not touching. I put the switch on this shelf so I could deal with discipline immediately. As we’re watching tv, I hear a small clatter in the rungs of the crib and look over to see the switch laying on the floor. When she saw me watching, Raisa ducked her head and peeked at me under the top rail, knowing she had been busted. It was too funny to get mad!
3.The first time she discovered her bouncy seat could also serve as a swing. She routinely bounced the seat but she couldn’t figure out how to get it to keep bouncing when she picked up her feet. She had been sick with a cold and hadn’t been in it for a month or so but the next time I put her in it she immediately began to swing it back and forth instead of bouncing it. I looked underneath and watched her pick her feet up and hold them until she had swung to a stop. She did this for hours!
4.She had the cutest chipmunk laugh and she always had a grin for me when she came.
5.The morning that she was born was sandwiched between a week of clear, sunny weather and clear, sunny weather. It was the stormiest, snowiest day I have ever seen in April. It snowed just for her! I had been sleeping with the phone for a week because she was four days late and when Kiki called at 4:30 a.m. I was immediately on high alert. It took an hour and a half for Tony to bring the older girls but I was so blitzed I couldn’t understand why he had his tiny car. How on earth could they squeeze a laboring woman into that miniscule backseat? India filled me in later. They had called an ambulance, duh! Nearly born in the ambulance, Raisa almost didn’t wait for her daddy to get there before she made her appearance.
6.Her favorite chewy was the top rail of the crib.
7. You had to be careful while carrying her cause she would grab anything and everything.
8.Kissing her mouth sounded exactly like a duck call. She loved being tossed up. (And caught)
9.She had just started playing with the ties on my hood during church, just like Phaedra did.
10.Her tired raspberries were just like Phaedra’s.
11. Just like Phaedra, she couldn’t resist an animal.
12.She carried things in her mouth while she crawled. If it was too big to fit in her mouth she crawled with it in her fist.
13.If she put something in her mouth that she wasn’t supposed to then she would take it out and put it on her head when she was busted.
14.She loved to stand backwards in her crib and yell at us when we weren’t paying attention to her.
15.When she couldn’t see me in the kitchen she would call out “Mama, mama?” until I showed myself.
13.She loved to play with her sisters, no matter what they were doing. She even wanted to have her teeth brushed like Phaedra, though she could never seem to keep her tongue out of the way.
14.Putting her in her car seat usually put her to sleep. She hated wearing the hats.
15.She snored! Softly but definitely.
16.She hated pacifiers but would suck on her thumb or index finger to fall asleep. It made it really hard to take her temperature.
17.Dad called her Rufus, Mom called her Snicklefritz, I called her “Hey You and Baby Girl”, Phaedra called her Raisapie, her parents called her Raisa Rea and Snickerdoo.
18.She loved to play peek-a-boo in her car seat.
19.When she fell asleep her body temp rose five degrees!
20.She slept on her face with her butt in the air.
21.When she was younger she needed to be on her side to sleep. It made it tricky to put her in the swing.
22.Her hair kept wanting to part in the middle. It made her look strange.
23.She had six teeth, three on top and three on bottom.
24.She hated showers.
25.She was ready to go to a big girl car seat.
26.Her favorite place to be tickled was her tummy, right at the bottom of her sternum. If you tickled her with your chin she would shriek and grab your head.
27.She could hold her own bottle and she loved kefir in her bottle.
28.Her favorite vegetable was sweet potatoes and she didn’t care for peas.
29.She crawled as softly as a hippo. You could always hear her palms slapping and her knees thudding on the floor.
30.She liked the bag of pine cones hanging in front of the Stoker exhaust.
31.Blue was her favorite color.
32.The day I changed her diaper and found a small handful of dog food! Then changed it four more times as what had been behind the dog food came out.
33.If she got into trouble while she was crawling she would put her head on her hands and start to cry.
34.She could stand alone, with a toy in her hand.
35.She loved to bang on things with her palm.
36. She would wrinkle up her nose and breathe really fast. She thought it was the funniest thing in the world!
37. I caught her with Jasher "berries" in her mouth. She was very upset when I dug them out and threw them away.