I’ve been absent for a while in my travelogue. I try to lead a dramatic life, but sometimes events let you know that drama is created by a far greater power.
We were on the ferry from Naples to Capri last Saturday afternoon. About 20 people relaxed on the 200-person craft, and the Mediterranean was a tad too rough to allow me to read during the 40-minute trip. Randomly, I pulled my IPhone from my pocket to see if it would work.
It did, and there was a message from my daughter. It had been sent at 7:30 am New York time. I knew it couldn’t be good.
My parents, who live independently, are in the 80s and 90s. Maria’s mother has Alzheimer’s, is in her early 90s, and resides in an assisted living facility. Danielle is expecting twins in December.
I didn’t tell my wife, sitting next to me, and returned the call. Danielle answered, and informed me we were grandparents to twin girls born at 27.5 weeks. I told my wife, though I didn’t have to, as she looked at my face, and we just stared at each other, speechless, in the middle of the sea. Before we knew it, we docked in Capri.
After a frightening ride at speed up a twisting, narrow mountain road, we arrived at the Caesar Augustus, high atop Ana Capri. We were shown to our room and I made a cell phone call to my most powerful contact. In less than 20 minutes, the rest of our trip was cancelled, and the next day we had a taxi, ferry, limo, reservations from Naples to Paris and Paris to New York on Air France, and a limo from JFK to the W Union Square Hotel. We awoke in Capri and went to sleep in New York.
We had dinner Saturday night at the Caesar Augustus, toasting our good fortune but worried about the future.
As far as anyone knew, we were still away. The first 72 hours are the most critical for premature babies. We spent Monday and Tuesday visiting Danielle and her husband, Jan, in the hospital, and looking at these two miracles. (The hospital has a level 3 natal intensive care unit, and is famous for work with premature births.)
We returned home Tuesday night, and Maria will return to New York next week to see Gabrielle Victoria and Alaina Marie again. They are still critical, but stable, and doing well under the circumstances. Danielle is recovering nicely.
My wife and I are still trying to understand what we’ve been through. We do realize that we have two miracles, and are blessed.
I am sharing this to be honest and to include my community in what we’ve been through. And I have a favor to ask.
Please DO NOT send us email, regular mail, or phone messages about the girls. These will complicate, not help, our lives right now. We know that you understand the gravity of the situation and what we’re all going through. Feel free to post here on the blog.
But please DO take a minute out of your day to say a prayer—however you tend to do so—for the girls. We’re convinced that will help, and we’re appreciative of that effort.
I’m running my business as normally as I can, because we have to get on with our lives. Feel free to call and write as you normally would in terms of our relationship.
Just don’t forget that small prayer. Thank you.