I check our board each day for more discussion and sure do miss hearing the insights from others.
Here are some responses from me to the questions Bonnie posted:
2. Melody ~ Melody burned herself on "the red spiral of the element" (pp. 133-134), just as Cerise had burned herself "against the hot edge of the iron" (pp. 21-22), leaving "stripes on Cerise's wrists [that]turned to scabs" (p. 30). Why do people do things like this? A young woman told me once that cutting herself was less painful than her life, but I don't understand that thinking at all.
Although I hope that I never reach the point of feeling that discouraged with life, I somewhat understand what this thinking is about. Basically, the physical pain is less than the emotional pain that they are going through. I don't know if the self-inflicted physical pain is their way to trying to draw attention to their pain to others or if it is a diversionary tactic hoping that the physical pain will make it easier to cope with the emotional pain. I suspect it is more the latter than the former as it seems that no one around cared enough to even notice the scars.
3. NICU ~ When Ellen was born (pp. 137-146), she was rushed to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Have you ever been in an NICU? Tell us about it.
4. Respirator ~ One of my granddaughters (not the one I mentioned last week) was in the NICU for the first days of her life and then was on a respirator, like Ellen. If you have experienced anything like this, please share.
The first three days of Ellen's life, the alarm on her respirator rang so many times that Anna got almost used to the sickening flush of terror that swept over her each time it sounded. (p. 153)
Although my oldest son was not in an NICU or on a respirator, he was transferred to a regional medical center when he was six days old and placed on oxygen because of the hole in his lungs. Walking around the unit and seeing all of the babies in such sad shape was very difficult. My son looked perfectly normal and I could hold him for intervals during feeding. When I expressed my sorrow to one of the nurses, she said that the babies all had a good chance of making it or they wouldn't have been transferred to the medical center. Those with no hope were not transferred. I was surprised at how hard my dear son tried to free himself from the oxygen device (sort of an upside down transparent dish tub was what was over the top of his body)by scooching out of the device. Although this was the first time the oxygen therapy had worked at this medical center, it worked for Brendan and he did not have to have the surgery that was scheduled to remove a third of his lungs. We were sent home and he lived what we thought was a healthy life, but only for 29 years when he died unexpectedly of cardiomyopathy.
5. Cerise ~ After the fire in the trailer (pp. 157-160), Travis suffered "respiratory insufficiency (p. 164) before he died (p. 171). That's hell in itself for a mother, but can you put yourself in Cerise's shoes enough to understand what she did after that?
I can understand why she wanted to get away from everyone. I could relate all too well. Except I was fortunate in that I had people around me who did care and who also loved my son. It is better to have people around who care yet at the same time, I can appreciate why she would just want to get away from all the memories of the tragedy and suffering that she had just gone through.
6. Homeless ~ What would it be like to know, suddenly, that you were quite literally homeless? What would you do?
It would be horrible. If I knew of no one who could help me, I would probably seek a homeless shelter.
I hope that other posters will start posting. I sure miss the dialogue.