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10/27/2004

Senseless

This morning I had my three-hour glucose tolerance test. While I sat patiently in the waiting room in the long intervals between blood draws, I was unable to avoid overhearing the conversation of the women at the registration desk.

Familiarity breeds contempt, I suppose, or at least a breezy nonchalance. Their tone was perfectly matter-of-fact, brisk and businesslike, this-won't-hurt-a-bit, even when discussing the most heartbreaking matters. "Her beta's only 62, so she's not going to bother to come in." "Yes, but the baby died." "Oh, when they miscarry, I just throw away their purple sheet."

They were not especially callous, I think; they were just getting through their day. Yet it shocked me — not their talk or their tone, but the fact that this is the stuff of their every workday. And how do you make sense of a world when such circumstances are commonplace enough to inspire anything but a shaken silence?

This is the silence I felt upon reading Sarah's posts on Cecily's blog yesterday and today. This is a world where such things happen every day, but never ever should.

How can this make any sense?

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