I ordered a pizza for pick-up, but when I got there it wasn’t quite ready. To kill a few minutes, I walked down the street, and there on St. Anthony between Iberville and Canal I came across a cemetery I’d never seen before. The gate was ajar and I ventured inside. I’m wary of New Orleans necropolises at night, but this wasn’t the kind with above-ground tombs allow people to hide, nor was this an area frequented by tourists. I walked about halfway in. There was Hebrew script on many of the stones. I started to turn when a stone marked “Glucksmann” caught my eye. By moonlight I read:

Melanie Gorney and Infant

I did the math, and then I did a double-take. Apparently she died in childbirth at age 38. That’s Xy’s age. The proverbial chill ran down my spine. No, I’m not superstitious. I do not regard this as a bad omen. But I do take it as a reminder. Nothing is guaranteed.

  1. We’ve come a mighty long way in health care since 1914. The number of women who died in childbirth and infant mortality of those days would look like a national crisis today. For an American woman, despite any alarmist news stories, there has never been a safer time to have a child.

  2. Ed B:

    Penicilian and medical advances……good points.
    Still, as a 1st time father a few years ago, I will say that the experience can certainly give the husband a strong dose of respect for his wife’s courage and committment when you consider that she’s really putting her life on the line for this little joint venture.
    And I wouldn’t be surprised at all, admittedly having never met you or your wife, if sometime in the next few months she doesn’t have a moment or two of hormone-fueded anxiety or outright panic and fear about various “what if” scenarios.
    But I think your last sentence is right on the mark – we are guaranteed nothing and need to be reminded to be thankful for everything.

  3. When I considered all the ways to have my baby I was happy with the sciency way. I considered natural, at home, birthing pools… my word for you is “epidural”. I’ll say a little prayer for the Glucksmann’s, may they rest in peace. I’m not worried about you guys.

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