4 Days of Labour, 3+ Months Premature and 2 Miracle Babies

17 Nov

The Story of my Miraculous Birth

{ My mother holding my twin brother. ( He was allowed to be held eventually ). Note the size of her hand compared to the size of my twin • Ottawa Civic hospital • Oct 1974 }
•••

“Mr.Flood? I’m going to have to ask you to leave the room now please,” said the doctor to my father after my brother had been born. I was still hanging out in my ‘womb. My chance of survival was low.  Living would take a miracle…

Would you like a little brother or a sister?” my mother asked my 6 year old brother. “Both” he said with confidence. I imagine the universe at that moment coming and saying, “And both you shall have!” I also imagine the 32 year old part of my mother saying,  “I don’t know if I could handle two more…then again, kill two birds with one stone…have ’em both a once and the other part of her saying to my brother, “You got it Pontiac!”

And so she did. They did. My father and mother. Eventually after one of the ultrasounds they were told they were having twins! I have no idea what my 34 year old father was thinking at the time! And this was all natural. They did not know however know the sex of their twins or if they would be identical or fraternal.

Fast forward to October 1974. My mother was only near the end her second trimester. She was only six months pregnant. Three more to go. My father and her designed a beautiful home that was to be finished in time for our birth…in January. She was now standing in our big beautiful white kitchen on the red and burnt orange checkered linoleum floor hanging out with my older brother. And what happened next would turn into a very long 4 days. “Mommy! Why did you pee on the floor?” Obviously my mother had not peed on the floor. Her water broke. Three months early. It wasn’t time. It really wasn’t time. There were twins in there. It really really wasn’t time. As the story has been described to me over the years my mother did say she was panicked. She knew it was way to early. She was also at the house in the country alone with my brother. I’m not sure if they had a second vehicle then, but even if they had, would she had been able to drive herself to the hospital? I know she was also worried for her little 7 year old son in front of her. Trying to contain her panic. She called my father at his office and I don’t know how that conversation went, but I was told that my father drove like a bat out of hell to make the ~ 20 minute drive to get to her. And then again once she was in the van to bring her to the hospital. I’m sure my father wished he still had his 67 Stingray that day to burn his way to the hospital.

I don’t know very many details of the hours that turned into days that followed of course even though I was there! I only know the things my mother always shared with me. I know that she was in labour for 4 days. I know that there was much confusion because of this situation. I know that there were many, many nurses and doctors there trying to save the twins trying to be born 3 months to early. I know that there were even more doctors and nurses because Ottawa’s best hospital, the Ottawa Civic is also a teaching hospital and there were many residents wanting to watch and participate. On the fourth day at 9:00pm,  my twin brother was born.

This is what I know of what followed. My father was there for my brother’s birth. Once my twin was born, the doctors placed him  in a mechanical ventilator to help his breathing.  I learned once that the lungs do not fully mature until the 3rd trimester. My twin, for now, was safe. I on the other hand, was not coming out. No way, no how. Not moving. I was tucked up way high and not coming out. The doctors had a very difficult time reaching me. There was quite a lot pf panic in the room, numerous doctors and specialists trying to figure out what to do with me. I think they contemplated leaving me in at one point…you know to bake for another 3 months kind of thing. This was a passing thought. Not possible! Then, the doctors turned to my father and said, “Mr.Flood, we’re going to have to ask you to leave the room now.” My mother used to say at this point she was just pleading, “Save my babies, save my babies!” to the doctors. I believe my younger brother was outside of the room for some of this time. Could not have been very reassuring for  a seven year old. When my mother would recount this story to me I asked her why they asked my father  to leave the room. She told me, “Katie, the doctors, we, had no idea if  you were going to make it or not. They would not want your father to see if you came out alive or dead.

To be continued…
Kate

{ If I get any more details or clarifications from my father I will add accordingly.}
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Listening to: Bruce Springsteen
Locale: Ottawa by the canal.
• State of mind: Happy to be out of a crux.

Into the Heart: Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

8 Sep

{ Chapter 1 • Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche }

{ The Porsche 911 Accident }

{ The Porsche 911 Accident }

Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

“Shit! What’s happening? The car’s moving to fast. We’re going on the wrong side of the road. Shit. We’re going over the bridge. The cars aren’t going to see us. Shit. My legs. I don’t want to be a quadriplegic.

“Hoist them as far into your chest as you can,” says a loud, deliberate and calm voice in my head.

“Shit! My head. My Brain. I don’t want to be a vegetable.”

If I cross my arms in front of my forehead, if there’s any glass, it’s going to have to go through two layers of bone before it gets to my skull. It won’t cut that deep. It won’t. My face. I can’t cover it all with my hands. Did I learn that on Oprah? Oprah’s life saving moments. Check date later.

“Shit.”

I crouched over then, in some kind of contrived crash position trying to protect my face from any flying glass that might come, but then I exposed my skull. Damn, I can’t protect enough of my body! The seat belt in this Porsche 911 was like a race car belt – there were two straps over my shoulders, so I couldn’t crouch all the way forward. I tried covering my head with my arms.

Our father who are in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done…I hear music. Fairground music. Like I’m at the Richmond Fair…On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this stay, our daily bread. There’s my twin. Why can I see Twin brother right now? There is a little movie playing in slow motion in my head. This isn’t movie time! I need to stay alive! Ahh, cute. There’s the two of us. We’re just babies sitting naked in the river among the rocks and the sun is glistening off the water. There we are on a ferris wheel.  Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. (God, would that one ever come in handy after this happened!).  I don’t want to be injured. I don’t want to die. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. I don’t think I have ever tried to use everything I have in me to stay alive. Don’t ask me what that was. I just pressed my feet into the floor like mad like I had my own breaks and hugged my body insanely tight and I…prayed. This wasn’t deliberate. The words just seem to come out of me automatically. I remember thinking, there is someone waiting for me. I’ll be good. I’ll be good. Please, I want to stay. He’s waiting for me. I know he is. I’ll find him. I have things to do here. It’s not time. I’ll do anything. I’m too young to die. I haven’t even finished my BA yet…

I glanced from the side of my head over at Alex somehow managing to keep looking forward and look at him in case this was the last time I would see him. “Goodbye Alex, I love you.” Out-loud or under my breath, I can’t remember – as he was trying to do anything to the car to control it, but it really seemed to be driving its own course on the wet asphalt. If this car ever stops spinning I have to get out right away. Stop already stop. My feet are pushing on the passenger breaks with vengeance. It’s not working. I think I am screaming, but I’m not sure, I don’t want to upset Alex or distract him. I can’t see anything. The car comes slowly to a halt. (I would find out later, this was not the case, but my body’s way of dealing with the insane speed, the things coming at us and impact of what we hit). The car is stopped I think I hear in my head. Get out! Get out! I hear in my head. I can hear the music turning over in the car. U2 no less. Probably With or Without You. Why is the radio on? It shouldn’t be working. If it’s on, there’s still a power supply but the lights are out. That means there’s gas. Shit, the cars gonna blow. It’s gonna blow. Cars always blow up in the movies.

Get me the fuck out of here now! I fumble for the door handle on my right. I can’t see anything. Everything is moving so fast I think I’m going to hurl. Why do they make everything pitch black in Porsche 911’s? I think I try to open it, but I can’t tell. I can’t even find the door. Where is the flipp’n door? I can’t find the handle. It’s not where it should be by my minds estimation. I don’t even remember opening a door handle. I feed my right leg out where the door should be. God, is there even ground under me? I felt like I was going to step sky and fall to my death. I try to find ground, I stand up before I am out of the car and immediately my legs give way from under me like a raggedy ann doll and I am falling. I can’t stop it. When I fall I don’t hit the hard ground.

I think somebody has caught me. Who’s there? Alex couldn’t have been there so fast. He’s still in the car. I don’t care.  I can feel my heels being dragged against stone. Must be the road. I can’t see anything. It’s pitch black outside. I feel blind. I’m placed so gently on grass. Why is there grass near the road I wonder? I want to fall asleep. “Don’t fall asleep,” a male voice says. “Stay awake ok?” the voice says. “Who are you?” I ask. “Where’s Alex?” “We were behind you,” he says. “Is that guy your boyfriend? He was driving really fast.” I hear a girls’ voice. There is commotion of voices coming in and out. I want to go to sleep please on the grass. “Is that your girlfriend?” I say to the stranger. I think he smirks or something. “No, we were just the two cars right behind you.” Oh. “Is that your girlfriend?’ I ask again. ‘What’s your name?” the guy asks me. I tell him, Kate Flood. “Do you know where you are?” he says.

I am too scared to look up. I am too scared to look anywhere. I just want to fall asleep on the glass. I remember just trying to look at the ground. The stranger is holding my back up with his legs and keeps pushing my wobbling head up. “Stay awake,” he says. “Oh my God!” I think to myself. I see blood all over my purple Sierra Design jacket. “Why is there blood? I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding!” I say.”Where are you hurt? Tell me where your pain is and I’ll try to see where the blood is coming from.” the guy says.  Then I finally hear Alex’s voice. He is standing right behind me now. He wasn’t before. “I’m going to go now.” What do you mean your going to go now, you just got here.” “They’re just going to take me down to the station.” Before I can say a word, I just see the rear lights of a police cruiser and he’s gone. I don’t remember anything in between except telling the boy he should get together with the girl. Then I am in the back of an ambulance and I think a handsome young paramedic is asking me if I know my name. “Yes, of course I know my name. Why do people keep asking me if I know my name? Do you know your name?” I say to him. He smirks. “Kate Flood.”
“That’s not what your health card says,” he questions. “Seriously? You want my whole name? Geesh! Why you asking me that? I say my whole name -with my middle two names – like the Irish Catholics have. “There. Satisfied?”
Seriously if there was anything I was going to remember don’t you think it would be my name?” I think he’s finding me funny. “Stay awake, ok. You’ve been in a serious car accident. You need to stay awake.”

The next memory I have, I am in the KJH bed by myself. No one seems to be around. It ‘s like pulling teeth to talk to anyone. Yo, can I get some service around here please, I think to myself.  I’m being sent for x-rays of my leg I’m told. Gosh, I just realized my parents happen to be in town tonight.  It’s my Dad’s 25th Anniversary for his Queens’ MBA. I try to get anybody’s attention,  “Listen, my parents happen to be here tonight, can you call them? They’re at this hotel.” I say to the nurse. They do, but it seems to take an eternity. “Did you call them?” ‘Yes, we called them they’re on their way.” Ahh Shit. Maybe I shouldn’t have had them called. They’re going to kill me. I don’t think they like Alex. Ahh Great. Ah well, as if I wouldn’t call. I’m taking by wheelchair to get x-rays. I’m still in a droopy fog. The x-ray technician comes out from behind the glass. “Ahh, excuse me.” She seems perplexed. “Did you know you had a screw in your left knee?” Oh my God, I think to myself. Are you frick’n serious? I had an ACL repair in that leg from a soccer injury. ( Another great story. Tell you in a another chapter). “The other leg lady, the other leg.” I say to her.  Geesh! She’s re-does the x-ray of my right leg that was hurting really bad. I had no idea why.  I really need to go to the washroom. Weird. I probably haven’t gone in hours. I come out and I am almost at my bed. There is blood all over the hospitals white sheets.
… { to be continued }
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Overheard at the accident from one of the eventual many people who had formed a crowd on Kingston’s main thoroughfare at 2 in the morning on alumni weekend: I’m not sure if the bystander saw the Porsche fish tale, catch air and take flight towards the bridge or saw the angle at which we hit the hydro pole, but he said to my ex,

“Do you have a pilot’s licence to drive that thing?”

I’d love to hear from you. What did you think…

I’m still standing,
Kate

Leave me your comments below or share…

• By Kate Flood
Locale: In the Autumn forest under a rainbow of trees
On Deck: Angel { In the Arms of an Angel } by Sarah McLachlan
My irish love said whenever he heard this song and the line, “You were pulled from the wreckage” he got sad and thought of me being in the accident. Endearing.

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Shhh…It’s Summertime in Canada…

9 Aug

I’ll have a new blog post coming soon… { when i get off the dock }

Until then, I hope you are soaking in this Summer!
There is no better place to be, then the great outdoors!

• By Kate Flood
Locale: Pool side with a breeze a blow’n…
On Deck:Dog Days Are Over” – Florence & The Machine
Dog days are not over…yet! I swear I pressed shuffle and this
song came up!
Thank God El Nino goes until Thanksgiving now in Canada! Fall is my favorite time of year..

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Turning into Female Agent 07 Bond Over Night

13 Apr

( It’s a single digit for a reason )
Uncovering the Synchronicity of my Life

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 3.27.30 PM
I’ll never forget this night. This was the night where I figured it all out. ‘Most of it. It was the first clue. The biggest clue. The biggest AHA moment as Oprah calls it. I went to bed like any other night. I was reluctantly sharing an apartment with an Italian boyfriend. We were sleeping side by side and I’m sure I had been asleep for several hours. I wasn’t having an easy time, but handling everything really well considering what I was navigating.

A little after 2 in the morning, I was startled in my sleep. I am an extremely light sleeper and wake at the drop of a hat. My mother use to get up in the night to use the bathroom and as she would walk back down the rose coloured hallway, she would walk past my room and without peeking in, whisper to me in the night.

“Go back to sleep Katie.”

She knew I would wake every time. This particular night wasn’t like any other as I had never ever experienced what happened next before. I doubt there are many that have. Some yes, but not many. I heard someone calling my name out loud in the night. There shouldn’t have been anyone else in the room.

“Kate, Kate, Kate.”

I was petrified to open my eyes. If i don’t open my eyes, whoever, whatever is saying my name will not know I can hear them.
I brought the cover over my eyes and left it a little open on one eye. I heard the voice whisper loudly again,

“Kate, Kate, Kate.”

I very slowly opened one eye into the night of the room.
It was pitch black, but there up in the air floating above me, just floating there, were two little blue pinholes of light in the night. They were cobalt blue. I stared at them to make sense of them. Were they coming off of the street light? I was living at High Park, and the street lights could be seen from the large bay window that went into our room. We had two large french doors into the bedroom. Were the lights playing off of the glass panes? Were they reflections off of the tv screen? Were they dust particles from the moonlight? No. No. No.

I was scared. I closed my eyes hoping they would go away. I opened one eyes slightly. They did not go away.

“Bruno?” I nudged Bruno beside me. He didn’t answer me.
“Bruno Bruno? Bruno – Wake up. Did you hear that?”
“Hugh? What? he mumbled sleepfully.
“Did you just call me?”Bruno
“No. I’m asleep. Or I was asleep.”
“You didn’t just call my name?”
“No. Maybe you’re having a nightmare.”
I was confused. Rolled over and tried to fall asleep. The lights were still there. I was too scared to sleep, but didn’t think of what I could do. Eventually I fell asleep.
In the morning I woke and said nothing to Bruno. I went to bed that night.
And the very next night, at the very same time, even though I was fast asleep, I woke startled to here my name being called in the night.
“Kate .Kate. Kate.”
This voice was not in my head. I was not dreaming, I was wide awake and I have never slept walked. This voice was audible clear as day and it was calling my name. It, whomever, whatever new who I was. They knew my name.
I stayed under the cover.  Again,
“Kate, Kate, Kate.”

Oh My God, what on earth is going on? I’m thinking to myself. I peered out from under the cover. There they were again, two blue pinholes of cobalt blue light in the night. I felt calmer now. Nothing was happening. Just hearing my name being whispered in the night and two blue lights staring at me. Normal right? I stared at them for a long time. They went know where. I didn’t want this to continue another night. I stared and I relaxed. I grew frustrated. Why was this happening. I got distracted…or so I thought I did. My next clear thought into the night was,

“Why me? Why another car accident? Why? Why? Why?”

It can’t be coincidence. It can’t be. This doesn’t happen to people.
I lay there for maybe a minute and then out of nowhere I had a rush of energy. I am not a night owl. I’m an early bird. I used to get up at the crack of dawn and look for my father who was usually in the garden and I would go and help plant the morning glories and the pansies. I’m not a night owl unless I am partying or falling in love over long conversations that run the night into the wee small hours of the morning.
I jumped out of my bed deliberately and went to my computer by the bay window. The moonlight was shining through and the street was quiet. I never “get up” to do things in the night. I’m the person who will not grab the extra blanket at the end of the bed if I’m to cold to move. I’m the person who will wait until the morning even if I feel have to go to the loo in the night. I turned the power on and waiting for the screen. I didn’t know what I was doing – really – it was moment to open. I opened up a new page on Microsoft excel. I stared at the blank columns in front of me.
This is where is where I had my first female 007 Bond moment.
I typed in the date of the car accident I had just had along the left side of the column and beside that I put Car Accident. Then I plugged into the other bad car accident I had in University in the Porsche 911. Then I plugged in other smaller car accidents I had over the years and the year I had them. The others I couldn’t remember the exact dates as they weren’t as significant, but I remember how old I was so I put the year it happened and the month if I knew it. Then I decided to plug in the surgeries I had over the years. The age I was and the surgery.
1982  – 8 Years Old – Adnoids removed.
1992 – 18 years old – ACL Repair { Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair – Soccer Slide Tackle Injury }
1997 – All wisdom teeth removed surgically.
Then I went and plugged in if there was some significant emotional trauma that had happened to me. The most major being:
1990 – 15 years old – Held at gunpoint by Shotgun
Finding out Santa didn’t exist didn’t make the list.
Beside the incident column I put point form the list of what ever injuries happened to me.
1995 – 21 years old Car Accident – Whiplash – Body Bruising – Shock – Near Death Experience
I ran down the list and added these.
Them I decided to plug in whatever was significant with them Usually they offered the involvement of other people. Specifically, in all the car accidents I have been, people wonder with so many car accidents, is she the driver? And, a bad driver at that? No.
I AM NEVER THE DRIVER IN ALL OF THESE CAR ACCIDENTS. ALWAYS A PASSENGER.
So, I put in who was with me in the car accident. Who was driving the car?
5 years old – Car Accident (Blue Van) – A Nun hits Mom in the Van – Mom Driving, my twin and I.
15 years old – Car Accident (Minivan) – Dad keeps us from skidding on ice, headed into oncoming main artery and we land in opposite snow bank minutes after I ask, “Dad, what do you do it you skid on black ice in the car (I was learning to drive). Dad, my twin and I.
His response,
“Depends on where you are. If you’re in the country, you gotta head for the CLEAR!”
He certainly did exactly that. We were going down a hill that had a stop sign at the end and main street coming into it. I remember the van spun right around facing the opposite direction on the wrong side of the road and landed safely and softly in a big deep snow bank. We were all completely safe and sound. I still remember my twin saying,

“Does this mean we don’t have to go to church now?”

1991 – 16 yrs old – Garbage Dump Road – Van flip – Camp – Christine, Tanya and I.
1995 – 21 yrs old – Porsche Car Accident – Queen’s  – First Love and I.
2003 – 29 years old – Car Accident Christmas – Dad, twin and I.
Only two were major – the one in university in the Porsche and the one at Christmas. The others were of significance as there was impact. There have been others that were really spin outs or nothing too major.
The early sun was starting to come up and I could hear the birds walking up.
I sat back from my computer and looked at this excel spreadsheet. What happened next scared the shit out of me. Looking at all the dates and the things that had happened to me,
There was a pattern.
There was a pattern to when the things happened, how many years a part, what had happened to me and who was with me. It freaked me right out.
Who is trying to kill me?
Who is in charge?
Who is running the show? My life. Who is running my life?
Am I not?

I remember feeling petrified. Freaked right out. Honestly, like someone was trying to get rid of me, and that it was deliberate, and that I wasn’t controlling it.

That’s ridiculous. I looked at the chart again. There has to be something else to this. If I retrace the steps, where do they lead back to? What was in the beginning?

My birth.

My miraculous birth. Those words were heard in my household time and time again.

“Katie, you were miracle honey. A miracle Katie. You don’t understand. You almost didn’t…”

She often wouldn’t finish those words.

But what did these patterns have to do with my birth?

What was the similar about these things that happen to me?

I almost die.

But I don’t. I make it. I stay alive.

I didn’t believe it. I also still didn’t understand why. Why go through these car accidents and being held at gunpoint to have my life threatened?

The chart staring right at me. The number of car accidents, the time between them, the surgeries. The pattern. I still didn’t believe it. I made excuses. It’s just a coincidence. It doesn’t mean anything. I’m just drawing conclusions.  I did everything to convince myself out of what I had seen. Another part of me fought this and must have known.

So the car accidents and being held at gunpoint are connected to my birth? Whatever. Fine, if they really truly are I need proof. More proof. How can I get that? What could I do? Hmm….

I know! Birth records! I’ll order my birth records!

By this time the sun had come up. I was wide awake, curious and a bit shaken. I felt altered. Was the hospital open yet? I watched the hands on the clock turn. They weren’t turning fast enough. Am I crazy? This is ridiculous.

8:00am – I called the Ottawa Civic Hospital where I was born.

“Ottawa Civic hospital. Can help you?”

“I’d like to order my birth records.”

“Your birth records?”

“Yes. Do you do that?”

“Uhh.Yes. What year are we talking about dear? We only keep a few years on computer.”
“1974.”

“1974?!”

“Yes, 1974. Can you do it?”

“Ughh. Yes, it’s going to take some time. Those will be paper and they’ll be in boxes. Any year before 1990 is housed in a different library.”

“Ok. How long will it take?”

“I’m not sure honey. Two weeks minimum for sure. Could be 4 weeks. It’s $45 minimum to get the charts and $45.00/ an hour after that to search and retrieve them.”
“Ok.”

“We can’t process the order until we’ve received payment.”

“Ok, here’s my credit card.”

“Cheques only.”

I was so close. I felt like I was my own P.I hot on the trace of a mystery. My mystery. The mystery of my life. The mystery to why I’ve been in so many car accidents. Why I had come so close to dying. What did I do wrong? Why was this happening to me. I was a good person, I did good things, I was an A student, I exercised, I ate right, I…I had finally started a salaried position job in the biggest branding company in the world only to be in another car accident again. I needed to figure this out. I wanted to get on track.

“I’m in Toronto though.”

“Cheques only. When we receive your cheque. The records request will go through.”

I mailed the cheque and waited. I followed up with a phone call and waited.

9:00am: I called my holistic friend who I had just connected with 2 weeks before the car accident.

“Holly?”

“Yes?”

“Hi – It’s Kate”

“Hi Kate. How are you making out?”

“Holly. I’m not sure how to say this, but I didn’t know who else to call. Who would believe me and not think I was a crackpot or something.”

“Uhuh.”

I explained to Holly what had happened. I told her about the chart and mapping out my life on the Excel spreadsheet.

“I’m scared Holly. This is freaky shit.”

I could heard hear her smiling on the other end of the phone again as she’d done when I called from my hospital bed. Not this again I thought.

“I was waiting for you to get this.”

“Get what?”

“Well, what you got.”

“Ahh, please don’t be secretive at a time like this!”

“It’s ok Kate. You’re going to be just fine. Don’t worry.”

We agreed to meet another time. I needed some support at this time. Someone I could talk to who was understanding.

In the mean time, my hospital records arrived. It was a pretty substantial pile. It was home for the first 2 1/2 months of my life after all.  I opened the file. Wow! So neat. Photocopies with the dates October 1974 on them. This was cool. This was really neat to see. There were doctors reports from my birth. Giving some basic details but not the nitty gritty of what went on. I read them one buy one.

“Baby B – female is quite alert.  The Apgar score reading of….”
Weight: 1.5 pounds at birth. Current: 1.2 pounds.
“Baby B despite her lower birth weight if anything is more alert then her brother, Baby A.”

I laughed at this. I was smarter then you (my twin) when we came out!

The notes were really neat to read. The language initiative of the times, 1974 were polite and official. The doctors spoke of my mother and her concern for her babies and calling into the hospital.
I read through everything. So I had been though a lot. So I was there a long time. I didn’t see anything of any significance to why I had been in all these near death experiences. I had not proof. No substantial evidence, coincident or synchronicity. It was fun to read these reports none the less. Then towards the end of the pile, I picked up the last paper. It had a stamp on the top of it,

FILE TRANSFERRED

Interesting. Transferred where. I’ve hardly been here and the file’s moving ship? What’s this I wondered? I looked at the top of the page and read on.

Twin B, Katherine was to be discharged today, however on routine discharge, nurses found a heart murmur and Katherine is being transferred to the NEONATAL unit at CHEO, The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. I knew my heart wasn’t fully formed at my birth. I knew that. I knew that there were months where the doctors thought they would have to do surgery and operate. The risk was too great on the tiny size of my body. And then I looked on the date I was to be discharged:

October 22, 1974

Holy Shit. I stared at the date. My hands began to shake. The world around me became incredibly still, the sounds around me disappeared and became background noise.

October 22, 1974. You have got to be kidding me.
That’s the same date as the car accident. At Queens. In the Porsche. Will Alex. The exact same date. Of all the days of the year, you mean to tell me the day I was going to go home to be in my mothers arms who I had been crying for 3 weeks for, and the nurse finds a hear murmur and I”m being transferred to another hospital is the SAME day as a my first major car accident where I almost died?

This is not a coincidence. It isn’t anymore. It can’t be. I flumped into my crossed legs on the living room floor with the papers spread all around me. Then I jumped up sending the papers flying.

“FINE! I believe it! I Believe it! I believe it’s all connected! I yelled out loud into the living room to no one but myself.

“Now what?”

How come there isn’t a female James Bond?

“I’ll have my life shaken, not stirred.”

By,
Kate, Kate Flood 07

{ This was originally posted October 2013 }
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fingerprintLocale: Rose leather tuffed banquette,
Dineen Coffee Shop { King/Adelaide St. }  The Canadian Stumpdown Coffee of ACE Hotel, NYC fame ~ Amazing place all round.
On Deck: Synchronicity by The Police
James Bond Theme Song by Monty Norman
Mood: Determined.

Birdie Sanders: What Message Did The Little Brown Bird Bring?

26 Mar

The Deeper Meaning Behind the Little Brown Bird and Bernie Sanders


{ Bernie Sanders, Presidential campaign rally. Moda Center, Portland, Oregon. The Oregonian }
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A little brown bird fluttered into Democratic candidate Bernie Sander’s Portland rally Friday night. Behind Bernie’s podium, the audience were already stirred up giggling before Bernie turned to address the little feathered friend with pointed finger. If it weren’t enough of a sweet nod from the animal kingdom of messengers ( birds are thought to be winged messengers since the beginning of time), the little guy swooped up and landed front and center ( and a little to the left leaving Bernie’s camera angles open) on the podium.

“I think there may be some symbolism here. I know it doesn’t look like it, but I think that bird is really a dove  asking us for World Peace. No more wars.”
– Bernie Sanders

You were right Bernie Sanders. There is symbolism behind that little brown bird.  And while it wasn’t a dove standing for peace, it did potentially bring an equally powerful message to the American people. Webster’s Dictionary describes a totem (such as an animal or plant) as the symbol for a family, tribe, etc. All animals bring messages. Our First Peoples and Native Americans refer to as animal totems. Whether you chose to believe this sparrow had a message or not, for the naysayers and non-believers of this notion that a little sparrow could bring a message there is a reason for that. Here before us, our ancestors were – are – interconnected to their environment, including animals. They were open to, listened to, observed and guided by animals. What’s got in the way of this?  People have disconnected, checked-out and turned away from that which we are. We have connected to the tangible – technology, smartphones and how tall a skyrise we can build instead of staying connected to our selves, our people, our species.  I am sure every person has had a brush with an animal bringing a message and he/she does not even realize this. What animal has crossed your path this week? What message does this sparrow bring?

The sparrow is one of the most common birds around, yet it:

Flourishes when other species have failed
It reflects self-worth

If a Sparrow totem has entered your life, ask yourself if you know your own self-worth. Do you know your self-worth?

For all the “put a bird on itPortlanders and alike minded open thinkers out there,

The song sparrow reflects the awakening from the heart and throat. It reminds us to sing out our own song of dignity and self-worth.

And who is this little sparrow rallying for?

In ancient Britain, the sparrow was the symbol of friendly household spirits.

During the middle ages, the sparrow was the symbol of peasants and the lower classes.

Fact: There are at least 35 types of sparrow species in North America. In the southern states and Northern Mexico alone the sparrow species make up a large 29% of the total 35 sparrow species. That is a large group of Spanish singing sparrows don’t you think? To register to vote in Spanish follow this link.

Common in Portland all year round are the Spotted Towhee and during the fall to spring season the Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow  and the Golden-crowned Sparrow. I like the sounds of those Portland specific sparrow varieties – an air of messengers, slyness and victory. Official  links to register to vote are included below this post.

How does this particular explanation of the symbolism behind what a sparrow bird represents end?

The sparrow will show you that even a common little bird can triumph

I hope the US presidential election on November 2, 2016 ends and begins in kind.

On that songbird note, I leave you a song from fellow talented songbird of deeper meanings Neko Case’s (New Pornographers) popular “Maybe Sparrow ”
(Buy the album here) off of her solo LP Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.

Neko Case –  “Maybe Sparrow”

{ Neko Case – “Maybe Sparrow”,  Fox Confessor Brings the Flood ANTI Records }
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In the animal kingdom, a predator never alerts their prey…

Bernie, I think you just found your presidential campaign mascot.
On the fly, it would appear the sparrow, this common bird has no
assignment as a nation’s official bird.

Vote #BirdieSanders for a Bernie’s official mascot!

There are no coincidences. This is particularly true in brushes with our fellow animal kingdom. Particularly if they’re going to steal the show and grab some camera attention in front of 10,000 audience members and tweet their message to the tune of 300K trending tweeters. Tweet! Tweet! People and animals. Let us not exclude the other, the minority or the marginalized. Let us include the other.

Maybe that sparrow has your back Bernie Sanders. And maybe Bernie Sanders has got your back America. Maybe Sparrow…

In Richness of Being neighborly from the country
with the Prime Minster you wished you had,Kate Flood

P.S. Has anyone seen Captain Jack Sparrow? Who’s he tweeting for?

thumbprint.
Locale: By the Canal, Canada’s Capital (Ottawa)
On Deck: “SongBird” – by Anne Murray
Twiiter: @richnessofbeing
{ note: on my Twitter banner, the correct identification of the woman pictured with Prime Minster Pierre Elliot Trudeau is my mother Judith Charbonneau (Flood). Not Margaret Kemp Trudeau…Kim Cattrall.}

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REGISTER TO VOTE Now:

1. Register to Vote here: https://vote.usa.gov/

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Disclaimer: All information provided on my blog is for entertainment purposes only.I am not providing legal, medical, voting or music advice or suggesting a change in migrating patterns such as moving to Canada (our Prime Minister has already been inclusive and welcomed 25,000 Syrian refuges with open arms to our homeland). I make no link or endorsement of presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders, Sparrows or Neko Case. I have no idea who Neko Case is voting for, except that she endorses doing your part and registering and voting. That and she is often referred to as American AND Canadian. I am not a bird watcher or a Shaman; although I’ve had my own experiences with both and I trust both.
No one paid me – including Barry Sanders or any one affiliated to his campaign – to link the sparrow and this lovely democratic candidate who has fought tirelessly for the commoner, the marginalized, women and the environment for over 54 years on paper and in his heart since he was a child. Bernie Sanders let that sparrow have his voice and I think that little brown sparrow is a fan of Bernie Sanders…
graphics-birds-253406

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{source:bird facts - http://nwbackyardbirder.blogspot.ca/2009/03/backyard-birds-of-portland-oregon.html }
{source:all animal totem meanings -  http://www.linsdomain.com/totems-sn-2-sz.htm}


Take your tiny wings and learn to fly
– “SongBird” – Anne Murray
( Canadian )

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The Day my Life Flashed Before My Eyes and I Almost Died

25 Mar

{ Chapter 1 • Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche }

{ The Porsche 911 Accident }

{ The Porsche 911 Accident }

Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

“Shit! What’s happening? The car’s moving to fast. We’re going on the wrong side of the road. Shit. We’re going up hill over the bridge. The cars coming over the hill aren’t going to see us. God, it’s pouring down rain. I can hardly see in front. The cars aren’t going to see us for certain.”

“Shit. My legs. I don’t want to be a quadriplegic. Hoist them as far into your chest as you can,” says a loud, deliberate and calm voice in my head. “Shit! My head. My Brain. I don’t want to be a vegetable. If I cross my arms in front of my forehead, if there’s any glass, it’s going to have to go through two layers of bone before it gets to my skull. I saw that on Oprah once. How to save your life in certain situations…It won’t cut that deep. It won’t. My face. I can’t cover it all with my hands. Shit.” I crouched over then in some kind of contrived crash position trying to protect my face from any flying glass that might come, but then I exposed my skull. The seat belt in this Porsche 911 was like a race car belt – there were two straps over my shoulders, so I couldn’t crouch all the way forward. I tried covering my head with my arms.

Our father who are in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done…I hear music. Fairground music. Like I’m at the Richmond Fair…On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this stay, our daily bread. There’s my twin. Why can I see Twin brother right now? There is a little movie playing in slow motion in my head. This isn’t movie time! I need to stay alive! Ahh, cute. There’s the two of us. We’re just babies sitting naked in the river among the rocks and the sun is glistening off the water. There we are on a ferris wheel.  Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. (God, would that one ever come in handy after this happened!).  I don’t want to be injured. I don’t want to die. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. I don’t think I have ever tried to use everything I have in me to stay alive. Don’t ask me what that was. I just pressed my feet into the floor like mad like I had my own breaks and hugged my body insanely tight and I…prayed. This wasn’t deliberate. The words just seem to come out of me automatically. I remember thinking, there is someone waiting for me. I’ll be good. I’ll be good. Please, I want to stay. He’s waiting for me. I know he is. I’ll find him. I have things to do here. It’s not time. I’ll do anything. I’m too young to die. I haven’t even finished my BA yet.

I glanced from the side of my head over at Alex somehow managing to keep looking forward and look at him in case this was the last time I would see him. “Goodbye Alex, I love you.” Out-loud or under my breath, I can’t remember – as he was trying to do anything to the car to control it, but it really seemed to be driving its own course on the wet asphalt. If this car ever stops spinning I have to get out right away. Stop already stop. My feet are pushing on the passenger breaks with vengeance. It’s not working. I think I am screaming, but I’m not sure, I don’t want to upset Alex or distract him. I can’t see anything. The car comes slowly to a halt. (I would find out later, this was not the case, but my body’s way of dealing with the insane speed, the things coming at us and impact of what we hit). The car is stopped I think I hear in my head. Get out! Get out! I hear in my head. I can hear the music turning over in the car. U2 no less. Probably With or Without You. Why is the radio on? It shouldn’t be working. If it’s on, there’s still a power supply but the lights are out. That means there’s gas. Shit, the cars gonna blow. It’s gonna blow. Cars always blow up in the movies.

Get me the fuck out of here now! I fumble for the door handle on my right. I can’t see anything. Everything is moving so fast I think I’m going to hurl. Why do they make everything pitch black in Porsche 911’s? I think I try to open it, but I can’t tell. I can’t even find the door. Where is the flipp’n door? I can’t find the handle. It’s not where it should be by my minds estimation. I don’t even remember opening a door handle. I feed my right leg out where the door should be. God, is there even ground under me? I felt like I was going to step sky and fall to my death. I try to find ground, I stand up before I am out of the car and immediately my legs give way from under me like a raggedy ann doll and I am falling. I can’t stop it. When I fall I don’t hit the hard ground.

I think somebody has caught me. Who’s there? Alex couldn’t have been there so fast. He’s still in the car. I don’t care.  I can feel my heels being dragged against stone. Must be the road. I can’t see anything. It’s pitch black outside. I feel blind. I’m placed so gently on grass. Why is there grass near the road I wonder? I want to fall asleep. “Don’t fall asleep,” a male voice says. “Stay awake ok?” the voice says. “Who are you?” I ask. “Where’s Alex?” “We were behind you,” he says. “Is that guy your boyfriend? He was driving really fast.” I hear a girls’ voice. There is commotion of voices coming in and out. I want to go to sleep please on the grass. “Is that your girlfriend?” I say to the stranger. I think he smirks or something. “No, we were just the two cars right behind you.” Oh. “Is that your girlfriend?’ I ask again. ‘What’s your name?” the guy asks me. I tell him, Kate Flood. “Do you know where you are?” he says.

I am too scared to look up. I am too scared to look anywhere. I just want to fall asleep on the glass. I remember just trying to look at the ground. The stranger is holding my back up with his legs and keeps pushing my wobbling head up. “Stay awake,” he says. “Oh my God!” I think to myself. I see blood all over my purple Sierra Design jacket. “Why is there blood? I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding!” I say.”Where are you hurt? Tell me where your pain is and I’ll try to see where the blood is coming from.” the guy says.  Then I finally hear Alex’s voice. He is standing right behind me now. He wasn’t before. “I’m going to go now.” What do you mean your going to go now, you just got here.” “They’re just going to take me down to the station.” Before I can say a word, I just see the rear lights of a police cruiser and he’s gone. I don’t remember anything in between except telling the boy he should get together with the girl. Then I am in the back of an ambulance and I think a handsome young paramedic is asking me if I know my name. “Yes, of course I know my name. Why do people keep asking me if I know my name? Do you know your name?” I say to him. He smirks. “Kate Flood.”
“That’s not what your health card says,” he questions. “Seriously? You want my whole name? Geesh! Why you asking me that? I say my whole name -with my middle two names – like the Irish Catholics have. “There. Satisfied?”
Seriously if there was anything I was going to remember don’t you think it would be my name?” I think he’s finding me funny. “Stay awake, ok. You’ve been in a serious car accident. You need to stay awake.”

The next memory I have, I am in the KJH bed by myself. No one seems to be around. It ‘s like pulling teeth to talk to anyone. Yo, can I get some service around here please, I think to myself.  I’m being sent for x-rays of my leg I’m told. Gosh, I just realized my parents happen to be in town tonight.  It’s my Dad’s 25th Anniversary for his Queens’ MBA. I try to get anybody’s attention,  “Listen, my parents happen to be here tonight, can you call them? They’re at this hotel.” I say to the nurse. They do, but it seems to take an eternity. “Did you call them?” ‘Yes, we called them they’re on their way.” Ahh Shit. Maybe I shouldn’t have had them called. They’re going to kill me. I don’t think they like Alex. Ahh Great. Ah well, as if I wouldn’t call. I’m taking by wheelchair to get x-rays. I’m still in a droopy fog. The x-ray technician comes out from behind the glass. “Ahh, excuse me.” She seems perplexed. “Did you know you had a screw in your left knee?” Oh my God, I think to myself. Are you frick’n serious? I had an ACL repair in that leg from a soccer injury. ( Another great story. Tell you in a another chapter). “The other leg lady, the other leg.” I say to her.  Geesh! She’s re-does the x-ray of my right leg that was hurting really bad. I had no idea why.  I really need to go to the washroom. Weird. I probably haven’t gone in hours. I come out and I am almost at my bed. There is blood all over the hospitals white sheets.
… { to be continued }
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Overheard at the accident from one of the eventual many people who had formed a crowd on Kingston’s main thoroughfare at 2 in the morning on alumni weekend: I’m not sure if the bystander saw the Porsche fish tale, catch air and take flight towards the bridge or saw the angle at which we hit the hydro pole, but he said to my ex,

“Do you have a pilot’s licence to drive that thing?”

I’d love to hear from you. What did you think…

I’m still standing,
Kate

Leave me your comments below or share…

• By Kate Flood
Locale: By the Canal, Canada’s Capital
On Deck: Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
My irish love said whenever he heard Sarah McLachlan ‘s song  “Angel” and the line, “You were pulled from the wreckage” he got sad and thought of me being in the accident. I always thought that sweet…

In Always { a poem }

21 Mar

Happy World Poetry Day

{ Moon over Pantheon,  Piazza della Rotonda, Roma, Italy }

In Always { a poem }

I want to be with you in the night,
in the morning,
in the day,
In the snow and in the cold,
In the sun, in the heat,
In the rain, in the wet,
In the spring, in the air,
In the fall, in the crisp,
In confusion, in perfection,
In enthusiasm, in delirium,
In the heat of the moment,
in the doldrum of the day
In the minute, in the hour,
In your arms, in my arms,
In your sighs, in my sighs,
In our silence, in our room,
In our agony, in our laughter,
in always, in forever.

In Richness of Being a poet…
Kate

fingerprint• Originally posted 9:22am, 2009
• Toronto
• Writing in my cozy cashmere robe and suede mukluks
• Happy World Poetry Day! ♥

Source: In Always { a poem }

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