In the Snow

Once I found a little girl in the snow. She was little, maybe three years old. It was back when we had winter here. We had just had a snowstorm. A really snowy snowstorm. The streets weren’t even plowed yet. Some of the drifts were two feet. My little car was struggling down Aurora Street, a residential side street. The snow was soft, but the ruts were deep and the going was tough. I was on my way to work. In my nice long wool coat and my good heavy boots, I was prepared for almost any eventuality.

My niece had been living with my family for about 6 months. She was three and a half. Her mom was going through some hard times and she just couldn’t cope. We were able to take Bailey and sort of work her into our lives as if she were our own. I loved her, I still love her. But after about 6 months, the strain of trying to parent someone else’s kid got to be too much.

My sister was feeling like she had a better grip on things and we decided to try to work on gradually having her live with her mom again. I didn’t feel great about it. She was a wild girl, a tom-boy in a lot of ways. She and my son Jasper were like two peas in a pod. Both loved climbing, running and screaming and dressing up. They fought over the sequined leotard, so we had to eventually get two of them. She was a good fit in our family.

I loved doing her hair, buying her clothes. I didn’t like potty training her or trying to get her to eat fruits of vegetables. Meat. The child loved meat. And she was stubborn. Once Andy tried to get her to eat oatmeal. She held a bite of it in her mouth for 30 minutes. Andy gave up. She doesn’t eat oatmeal.

I used to bring Bailey with me to work. She went to daycare in the school where I worked. My co-workers always wanted to see her before I dropped her off. They had to check out the hairdo and the outfit and slip her a treat. She was a little star, shiny brown hair, round apple-pie face, huge wide-set green eyes and rosy cheeks with fabulous dimples.

When I found the little girl in the snow, I had a car seat in my car, but no Bailey. I was a little sad. I was only a block and a half from work when I saw a beautiful little caramel colored girl standing in the snow in the street. She was in her pajamas and slippers. Standing in the snow. I couldn’t quite grasp the situation and so I drove just past her before I stopped.

But I stopped. It was about 8:30 in the morning. I was so puzzled. Wasn’t there a car nearby that was running? A front door standing open? A gramma trudging along nearby? There was nothing. No running cars, no open doors, no humans at all. Just a little brown girl in pink pajamas. I got out and tromped over to her in my righteous boots. I bent down, “Honey, are you OK?” she shrugged. “Honey what are you doing out here in the snow?”
“I was waiting for you.” She answered without blinking, looking me dead in the eye. She was eerily calm. Not the least bit upset. I scooped her up and tucked her into my coat. She snuggled in. Then I closed my car door and looked around some more. “Where do you live, baby? Where’s your mom? Where’s your dad?”

She lived “At home”, and they were there. They’d be coming around the corner any minute, right? I held her for a while, my car stopped in the middle of the street. We thought for a little while. Her pajamas matched her slippers. Her hair was done beautifully, her diaper was dry. Somebody loved her and she was out in the snow.

Can you pick up a little girl off the street and put her in your car and take her somewhere? You can’t, can you? Isn’t that kidnapping? But you can’t leave little girls standing in the street in their pj’s either, can you? No, you cannot.

I put her in the car, brushed off her feet and asked her name while I strapped her in.

“Hailey”she said seriously, looking me in the eye again.

I brought her to work, called the police and dropped her off at the daycare. I went off to work. Daycare dressed her and fed her breakfast. As it turns out, She had come two blocks in the snow. Somebody did love her. She had awakened at least an hour before the rest of her family and let herself out for an adventure. When her mom and dad woke up, she was gone

I Did My Best

I wrote this when my mom was still alive. When we still really thought she might get better. She was at Fairview Southdale:

I am sending this email to all the nice people I can think of who have cared, asked, and listened to how my mom is. It’s not poetry, but it’s reality. If you don’t want to read about my week it’s OK. Just keep being as good as you’ve been.

We had a pretty bad week so far. Fairview Southdale has been a nightmare. The nurse button goes unanswered for 10 minutes or more. Which is one thing when your mom has to pee and doesn’t want you to help her, but she’ll let you if she must. But when she’s got a nasogastric tube in her nose and down her throat and starts to retch and drool into it while you hold the bucket and no one comes, that’s quite another deal. When she’s lying on her side and one little tear wells up on the bridge of her nose because she’s just had enough, and the nurse doesn’t come with her pain meds… It’s like a bad dream.

Sometimes I can’t talk without crying. Frequently I can’t write without crying, but it’s less embarrassing when I cry and write. So I am sending it to you in answer to “how is your mom? ” I’m not the best judge of how she is. It keeps changing, and my heart can only accept so much at a time.

So when you read this and think, ” oh the poor thing, her mom’s dying.” just remember, I’m still thinking she’s going to get better. Even when I hear myself say things I can’t even believe I am saying. Things that, if you were talking about your mom or anyone else you loved, would make me think, “oh the poor thing, s/he hasn’t accepted it yet”. So be gentle about that, OK?

Jenny and Erin are my sisters. We have been taking shifts. My mom keeps telling us to go and stop watching her suffer. We kneel on the floor next to the bed and cry and tell her we can’t go. Cut us some slack, we say. Our mom is sick, and it’s all we can do to bear witness sometimes. She wants us to go home. But she’s too sick to kick our asses, so we stay. And there’s nothing we can do to make this better.

I washed her feet today with a hot wash cloth and rinsed and dried,even between the toes and behind the ankle bone. And rubbed her feet and pinched her calluses. I think it was good for her, I think she liked it. It kept me busy and felt like the right thing to do. I feel inept and clumsy handling her body in ways I never learned how to. I’ll sleep pretty good tonight. We did our best.

She has totally given up her will to live. She’s miserable, humiliated and depressed. But her bowels are functioning today (and people actually helped her empty the colostomy bag, which they didn’t even look at yesterday). Her surgeon is optimistic, and if we can just get her fighting… she won’t even hold my hand. I don’t know how sick she really is. But this isn’t an uncommon complication after surgery. She could get better. The pain management team is on the case. If she dies, she dies. But she can’t die in such pain… It will haunt me.

They did ask us to get them a copy of her living will. Jenny wanted to know what that meant. “What is a living will? Is that what you don’t know?” I asked in the nicest way possible, not wanting her to think I thought she was stupid. “No. What does it mean that they asked for it?” “I don’t know, Jenny, but they probably need to have it on file. ” Between that and them asking if she wanted to see Father Fein…(she didn’t). I am in touch with reality maybe as much as I can be.

She looks like Dachau. And she looks like she could die. I am thinking
of putting up picture of her when she was healthy, so they know that
she was once something other than a cancer patient. That she’s not really a colostomy patient. She had the grandchildren convinced that she didn’t poop at all. That she’s funny. That she’s a good cook. Hospital food makes her cry. She has issues and obligations which have nothing to do with cancer. And she’s not done dealing with them. She used to be strong. She’s real, or she was once. It makes me cry.

That’s how she is, and be careful when you ask, because the answer is so long and complicated… Thanks

Too Hard

Some of these stories just need to be written, I keep trying to think of a good reason to do it, but I can only come back to the fact that I have to write them. Because they were real. Because they were REAL. Because they happened to me and my family. They washed over us, ready or not. And even after my mom has died, they are still real and I need to tell. Thank you for reading,you must be tired of the theme by now. I’m not done yet.

I think the heart of all these stories is this shocker: No matter how dysfunctional your family is, no matter what you’re in the middle of, how alcoholic or mentally ill or immature or arrogant, how brilliant or stupid the people are… Death and dying will come to you, right in the middle of all that. You will never be ready except in the rarest of cases. I don’t know why that was such a surprise to me. But it was.

If you have or haven’t done care for the dying, it might or might not comfort you to know that it isn’t all soft-screened graceful moments of acceptance and bonding. It’s like labor, delivery and a new baby, in that it is natural, normal, inevitable, universal, unavoidable in addition to being much uglier and clumsier than you think it should be. As far as I can tell, helping my mom die is the only thing I’ve ever done that felt as important as helping my kids to live. And I wish I’d known in advance that people make mistakes, no matter how hard they try.

Some of these stories would be embarrassing to my mom in her live version of herself. I like to think what’s left of her loves her as much as I do and did, and can see beyond things like pride and shame. The following vignette is one I tell as confession, I must tell it. I don’t want to, my cheeks burn when I think of it, and I feel pity and some sort of compassion for myself. It was just a tiny little moment.

We’d been in the hospital for a while, maybe 5 days, maybe more. My mom had bad days and really bad days. OK moments and moments of despair. She and I had been chatting and the nurse came in to check on her. She seemed ok to me. But when the nurse asked about how she was feeling, her face crumpled, her voice cracked and she started to cry, the cry of a tired, beaten and hopless and begging woman, high and sad “I just feel like I’m going to explode. And I’m so thirsty, but nothing will go down, nothing fits. I want to drink all the water and orange juice in the world, but I will hurt more and then throw it back up”

My mom’s cancer had caused a complete bowel obstruction. Nothing was moving through her system. It got as far as her stomach and then sat there. It trickled out, about a dropper-full in a day. The cancer in her abdomen was weeping fluid which was also filling her abdomen and pushing on all of her organs. She had IV fluids to help with dehydration and a TPN line to give her some calories, but what we were really hoping for was that her guts would start to work again so she could get strong enough for chemotherapy to shrink those tumors.

I am hardwired (is everyone?) to cry whenever I see my mom cry. There is no getting around it or growing out of it. So now you have myself and my mom crying, while the nurse tries to find something that will help. But nothing will help, and I suspect most of the staff knew my mom was never going to feel better again. But they tried.

My mom took the last refuge of the miserable, she put her pillow down at the foot of her bed and lay there. Curled on her side, rocking and crying because her tummy was just so bloated. She was literally skeletal, but her tummy looked like she was six months pregnant. It was rock hard. And wrong. Sometimes rubbing it felt good to her, she didn’t know why, but we did it.

She’s rocking, I’m rubbing, and the nurse is talking about heating pads or cool pads or different things that make a person feel better. My mom is weeping and talking about how she just “can’t do this anymore, it hurts, I can’t…too hard” I’ve got my head hanging down and I’m crying and saying “I’m sorry, I know it’s too hard”. She continues to cry and says twice more that it’s just too hard. “ I know, mom.”

She turned her head and said to me, through tears except there were no tears because she just didn’t have them anymore, “No. You’re rubbing too hard.” I am so haunted by my own ineptitude. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it.


Abbot Northwestern is nothing like HCMC. The entrance looks like a hotel; a really expensive hotel. The lobby is huge with open escalators and walkways to the second floor. Little shops line the walkways. Little clusters of furniture are arranged around the open atrium. Each cluster has some combination of chairs, sofas, lamps and coffee tables. The colors are rich and dark. It’s a beautiful place. There’s a huge salt lamp against one of the pillars.

A salt lamp looks like a huge chunk of rose quartz glowing from the center. This one is the size of a 5 gallon bucket. I knew what it was only because I saw one like it in a catalog. Well that, and it had a little plaque talking about whoever donated it and how wonderful salt lamps are. When I told Jenny what it was, she didn’t believe me. We waited in the lobby for Patrick, so he wouldn’t have to find his way up to my mom’s room by himself. He’s pathologically disoriented.

Things to talk about are at a premium when you are dealing with a serious illness. They were with my family, anyway. We told Patrick he had to see this salt lamp. He looked at it and said, “It’s cool, but it isn’t really salt. They probably mean like mineral or something, not like a real block of salt.” I shared my extensive knowledge of the negative ionizing properties of salt lamps, and said it must be a Real Live Salt Lamp or they wouldn’t say it was.

Jenny’s very sensible. Sometimes overly so. She can remember the price of anything she’s ever bought. She’s also very proper. She almost never talks too loud or dresses out of style. She’s the only white sheep in our whole family. So when we headed for the elevators and she ran back and licked the salt block, Patrick and I almost wet ourselves laughing. Then we remembered we were in a hospital and got thoroughly grossed out.

She says they’re made of real salt.
Things are funnier when you’ve been worrying all day.

My mom went in for Surgery early in the morning. I got there about 8am. Erin was there, Renee was there, Jenny was there, Ramon was there. Patrick , Tim, Martha, Bart and whoever else showed up later in the day. The surgery was supposed to be done by 1pm. They give the family blinking, vibrating beepers to keep in touch. If there’s a development, they alert you.

About noon they beeped us and the surgeon came out to give us an update.

He had good news and bad news (but you knew that, right?). The bad news was that they had to give my mom a colostomy. This had been a possibility but not a certainty. It was one more thing to have to deal with emotionally, physically and logistically. But we steeled ourselves, we’d just deal with it.

My mom’s life philosophy was, “You just do.” How do you deal with 4 kids under the age of 7? How do you make all your meals from scratch? How do you clean up a mess like that? You just do. We would just do. How do you handle losing everything piece by piece, all at once? You just do.

Saying there was good news was stretching the concept of good news if you ask me; but we take what we can get. The good news was that they had removed much, much more tumor material, more cancer, than they thought they would be able to. Because she had much more than they thought. She only weighed around 112 and he said he removed about 5 pounds of tumors. The reason they never saw actual tumors on the scans and X-rays is because there was so much that it appeared to be background.

He described it as a “carpet of tumors across her abdomen” and masses of tumors around her intestines and organs. But not in any organs. Good news, Bad news.

He drew pictures and answered questions. He would have to go back in and actually hook up the colostomy, so it would be a couple more hours of surgery. People in my clan were starting to wilt. We had brought water and power bars. But they were talking hours more. I for one, kept comparing my suffering to my mom’s. Such a ridiculous response, so pointless. I could stand a couple hours of low blood sugar if she could handle chemotherapy and surgery and everything else.

But when they told us she was out of surgery and would not be allowed to see anyone for at least a couple of hours, and when one of the nurses told us to go and get something to eat for gosh sakes, we decided to do it. Jenny went home and Ramon, Erin, Tom and I went to go get some food. We were exhausted, hungry and overwhelmed.

We sat somewhere that wasn’t a hospital, ate decent food, stared into space and made small talk. It was nice. But the heaviest burden for me was always the feeling that no matter what I was doing, I should be with my mom. It was a constant nagging that was only quiet when I was with her or on my way to be with her. It started whenever I left and got more persistent by the hour.

We got back to the hospital and they said she had already been moved to a room. It wasn’t a cancer ward. It was a back pain ward, but it was available, so they put her there. When we, en masse hit the 8th floor at Abbott, I could hear her. She was angry and loud. She was clearly in pain. But she was also very upset and irrational.

The head nurse might not have actually been a nun, but that had to be due to an error in processing early on. She should have been a nun. Big old glasses, shaped like a tank with breasts, short gray hair and sensible shoes. A complete lack of empathy and love for authority, the whole nun yards.

“Where were you?” “Are you the family?” “We’ve been paging you for over an hour, we did overhead pages twice.” That was the nurse.

“They’re lying! They said they paged you, but they didn’t. I want to go home. I don’t want to do this anymore. They won’t give me pain meds. I’m going home, where I can take my own meds. I can take as much as I want. This is bullshit. If they paged you, you would have come, you were here all day. Ramon, take me home. ” People descended on her as she tried to get up. No way could she get up.

First I listened to the lecture from the nurse-nun about how she would get pain meds as soon as they were approved. “She’s not due for painkillers for another hour. We can’t give her more than that without approval from her doctor. We are trying to reach him now.” “Isn’t there someone here on the floor who can approve it now?”
“No, the doctors on this floor are not oncologists, they’re blah, blah, blah…” Meanwhile my mom is getting ramped up, crazy, recently sliced from stem to stern, and obviously in incredible pain. I told her I was sorry, I didn’t know they had moved her. I would take care of it.

Imagine my whole family- my mom’s whole family standing around while the nurse and nurse’s assistants are talking in code to each other about boluses and bumps and overrides. Then sister Hairy Phyllis leaned against a wall, crossed her arms and addressed my family, “I just gave her some blah blah and it should kick in pretty soon here, but if she doesn’t calm down it will not be able to work. So I need every one here to just stop asking questions and be quiet and think nice thoughts for a couple minutes. Just think quiet, happy thoughts.” She dropped her arms and looked at the floor.

I thought happy thoughts for about 0 seconds and then I broke. I was pissed. “Ahhh, excuse me. I don’t want to think happy thoughts. The only thing I want to think about is getting my mom’s pain controlled. Maybe you and I can go outside and talk about this while every one else thinks happy thoughts. The only thing that will make me happy is getting something done. Now.”

Battle Axe breathed in through her happy thinking nose and we stepped into the hall. No amount of my trembling, inarticulate anger could get anything done. I had to know that. But goddammit! How could it be impossible to get pain control for a cancer patient? In 2005, when the people on the radio tell you that there have been ‘great strides in pain control’ and ‘no one should have to be in pain while they are in the hospital’, how could this be? With people who loved her and would fight for her, how could my mom be in this situation? In the most elegant hospital, where the elevators are lined in cherry and brass, how is it that this woman is in misery and no one can do anything? They had the cabinet and the key and the medicine. And they couldn’t break it out until they heard from one guy who was incommunicado. How could this happen?

The answer, unbidden and unwelcome, filled me with shame, with guilt, with anger and with sadness. It happened because we left. It happened because we weren’t there to make sure everything was in place before they moved her to this purgatory of a room, where there weren’t cancer specialists or cancer nurses. It happened because for an hour or more, there was no one to stand up and demand that she get what she needed. We were all gone.

She had needed us, asked for us, demanded to see us, asked them to page us on the PA and we weren’t there. We had sat useless for 8 hours while they cut her up, but when she came to, came fully out of the anesthesia, none of us were there. I took a big breath. I covered my mouth and nose, started to cry and walked away from the nurse. It’s hard to find a place to cry in a hospital.

I walked into the hospital room, my mom was starting to get some relief from whatever they could give her. I walked in and my mom saw my face and said, “Honey, what? What’s wrong?”. I put my hand on her leg and fell to my knees. My stupid, hungry, tired, selfish, worthless, bony, sad, overwhelmed, eating-in-restaurant, leaving-the-hospital, all-about-me, completely powerless knees, on the hospital floor. My tired,hot, heavy, salty, tear-streaked head on the hospital covers against my mom’s leg. I wailed. “Mom, I’m so-o-o, so sorry” She laid her hand, heavy on my head, and scratched my scalp a little, “Honey, don’t…”

Nurse wicked got the call she was waiting for and my mom got a bucket full of morphine with an Ativan booster. She begged forgiveness from the nursing staff once she felt better.

I am traumatized to this day. I know it wasn’t my fault. Part of me knows. Right?

My Blog Has Been Bad

I’m sorry to all of you who have been looking at my blog by way of a Microsoft or Mac browser. I’m also sorry to my husband if I just said that wrong. Sorry you all had to look at an impossible to read screen, sorry you had to be interrupted by indecipherable symbols (). I am merely the manufacturer here and was woefully ignorant about the actual mechanics of getting it disseminated.

I think it’s fixed, mostly. The punctuation and spacing is still weird,this is a low tech operation. Bear with me.


Grandpa Jim Dunn

It’s funny how one part of your brain seems to know what’s going on. Knows enough to tell you to make the right preparations, enough to keep you moving in the necessary direction, even while you yourself have no clue. My whole family marched dutifully towards my mom’s death while being in complete denial of the fact that she was going to die. So while we thought my mom was on her way down the difficult road to getting better, we thought we were helping her get through this, we were actually preparing for her death. It doesn’t stop the shock from blindsiding you, but it gets things done.

When we called my grandpa to tell him that my mom was in the hospital again, he thanked us for the call and then said, “Now your mom has things that she likes to keep private, things she doesn’t tell me, and that’s her business. I don’t question that. But I, I… I’d like to think that if she… If she goes into hospice care or something like that…. Well, I’d like to know that somebody would tell me that. Is that understood?” Yes. I understood. But only in the abstract. I never thought that was where we were headed.

She got her will done, cleaned out some closets. Wrote a long, long list for Ramon of how to run a household. She was sick, bedridden, mostly, but writing frantically about the things that she had always done. The little things no one else ever had to think about. Turn off the water to outside in the fall. Clean out the gutters when they don’t flow. Close the storm windows before you turn on the heat. Turn it down if you are going to be gone all day.

I told people my mom was terminally ill, sometimes I even said she was dying and I felt overly dramatic. I felt guilty for saying it, not because it was a bad thing to acknowledge it, but because I believed in my heart that when I said it, I was lying. It seemed like a lie. I said it anyway, some part of me must have believed it. Maybe the part that knows the neighbors will bring food for the living while you care for the dying. But I felt like I was taking advantage just a little.

So when the time came, and the nurses told us, “She’s dying. If there’s anyone who wants to see her, if you want to call in a minister, do it now.” I didn’t believe them, but we called my Grandpa. Uncle Tim went to pick him up.

My grandpa is a big man, still, although he’s shrunk a little. So big that watching him get into anything but a pick-up truck is similar to watching someone fold up one of those old-fashioned rulers. His legs are so long that they hit the dashboard in my car when the seat is all the way back.

The fact that he’s long and lean is the second thing you will notice about my Grandpa. The first is his big, big voice. He speaks like a military man. A loud military man. Even when he’s talking to the toddlers. When he walks into the room what you hear is, “Who’s that? Jenny? Jeeesus, Jenny baby, you look beautiful. And who’s that with you?! Eli? Christ, kid, let me get a look atcha! Ya look like yer Dad! Trevor, Sir! This kid looks just like you, I’ll tell ya, man, you do nice work. Those kids are alright! Chloe! Hello young lady…”

He is known far and wide as Big Jim. He speaks loud and long, in part, I think, because he is so deaf. As long as he talks, he doesn’t have to try to hear you. He’s also mostly blind. He still walks a couple miles every day.

My grandpa is larger than life in every way I can think of. I always thought of him as a cross between John Wayne and Johnny Cash. I thought he walked on water. Whenever I see him, I am instantly an 8 year old. My mom used to tell stories of him in younger days that make me sure he was a better grandpa than he was a dad. His temper was bad, and he was heavy drinker for many years.

So when he showed up with almost nothing to say, it hit me hard. I heard him ask someone by the back door where his baby was. When he walked silently into the living room of the house he had built in 1945; the house my mom grew up in; the house I grew up in, just the quiet made my eyes start to sting. I knew this was for real.

He held onto the door frame when he walked into the living room. His baby was in a rented hospital bed set at an angle near the picture window. She was unconscious, skeletal, hooked up to 3 different bags of fluids and breathing shallow and loud. She looked like an old woman. She wasn’t.

His mouthy, naughty little girl was burning up, hot. Her hair was starting to come back, downy soft on her head. Her skin was clear. Her jaw was slack, her top teeth showing. One hand was pulled up to her chest, frozen. He approached the bed, but stopped before he got there. He put one hand on the picture window, lowered his head and shoulders and began to shake.

My grandpa was crying. He was wracked with sadness. He was silent except for the gasps and sniffles. One or two people approached him to offer support and he looked at them like they were insane and pushed them away. He cried.

He sat on the piano bench by the bed and held his daughter’s hand. He cried, with his big hand over his eyes. Cried while I lay in bed with my mom, while Jenny put her head on his shoulder, Erin covered her face and while Patrick walked out of the room. My grandpa cried.


She is shunted directly over to the Chemotherapy place which is like a hair salon, sort of. Strike that, it’s an unfortunate comparison for obvious reasons. It’s an area. An area with a long nurses’ station on one side, facing about four little bays or divisions. Each one has a sort of dentist chair in it.

Outside these bays there are mini areas, just little chairs with arm rests sitting out along the wall. Like overflow chemo parking. When I came back from plugging the meter, she was sitting right outside the bathroom, (where you have to flush twice during chemo because your pee is toxic waste; radiation symbols all over) with this bear of a man.

David was the Chemo nurse. Gay as a party. Keep in mind that my mom worked at the gay rehab for a long time. They loved her, she loved them. She never was a homophobe. But neither was she known for her discretion or her diplomacy.

This was David, the oncology nurse. Tall, maybe 6 feet. Blond hair, beard and mustache, glasses. A bit overweight. He’s sitting with my mom, explaining to her about chemo, how it works and why it works. What it will do to her and why. I walked in just in time to hear “And remember, Susan, I told you about all those busy little epithelial cells?”

“Oh shit” I thought, “that guy is toast.” Never talk to my mom like a child or a little old lady.

He finished and went to get the next instrument of torture. My mom looked at me and said, way too loud, “ If that gay-boy talks to me again about ‘busy little epithelial cells’, I’m gonna shove that stethiscope down his throat and pull it out his ass.”

I’m sure he heard. She was snippy like that until they loaded her up with Benedryl, Compazine and chemo drugs. Then she was out like a light. Snoring like a big, hairy man, most indelicate.

David was nice. Turned out to be one of the few little pleasures in this whole ordeal. Checked on us, clucked his tongue about knocking her out, “We don’t want her so zonked out like that. Next time we’ll cut back on the Benedryl. She’s very sensitive. Plus, she’s so small. We’ll do better next time.” I think he might have really been sorry.