Sunday, March 17, 2013

Why We Don't Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Despite having some Irish blood in me, I haven't ever really embraced St. Patrick's Day. It's not like I didn't like it, we just never really celebrated it. When I was a kid I would dress in green and maybe do some green crafts. As an adult, I never went out for green beer, never really took part in any of the festivities, drunken or otherwise. I would usually try to wear something green, but that's about the extent of my "celebration" of this holiday.

Six years ago today, I spent the my last day with Natalie. I didn't know it was our last day together - and I distinctly remember that the fact that it was St. Patrick's Day wasn't even on my radar. I was too busy dealing with two active girls on a cold, rainy, slushy day in March. Natalie and I had both come down with colds over the night and neither of us felt that great. But somehow she managed to have way more energy than I did. We got through our day and we had spinach pie for dinner (having a green food was a total coincidence).

The next day, I found her lifeless body. She was gone and our whole world fell to pieces. We called 911 and it took what I thought was a long time for them to get to our house - maybe it was five minutes. When she had her febrile seizure six weeks before, they were here in about two minutes. I remember noticing the difference in response time. I thought it had to do with the fact that I had told the 911 operator that she was dead.

When they arrived at our house, they took one look at Natalie and just shook their heads. There was no frantic attempt to do CPR or help her in any way. She was gone and beyond anyone's help. They stood there waiting for the police to come. After some time passed, the two EMTs started chatting with each other about their St. Patrick's Day fun the night before. One of them commented that he wasn't supposed to be "on", but someone else had called in sick. He joked about how hungover he was. This was the conversation that took place in my living room, in my presence as I sat cradling my daughter's dead body. These people didn't even have the decency to keep quiet out of respect for our sorrow and our baby girl.

When the detective came and I asked about why it took so long for them to get here, he said they were short staffed due to so many people taking the day off after St. Patrick's Day. That upset me, too.

Call me what you will, but this is why I hate St. Patrick's Day. I know that if it had been any other day, it probably wouldn't have changed the outcome. Natalie was still gone. There was nothing they could have done. But this "holiday" is forever associated with her passing and so will forever not be celebrated in our house.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so sad and sorry for the insensitivity of the crew called out to your house. I would not ever celebrate St. Pat's day either.