Death Awaits Us All

noThere is always something creepy about New Orleans. No matter how many times I visit I still find myself jumping at shadows in the French Quarter. The moss covered brick buildings, the wrought iron, the shuttered windows that have fallen into ill repair… For some reason my kids were less impressed than I always am.

We walked for two hours, visiting my favorite shops and cafes. The Mississippi River was there in all her power. I bought the children pralines in the French Market and somehow missed Café du Monde despite having been there several times. Bourbon street raised all the usually elementary questions from my children: “Mommy, why are there so many strip joints?”

I somehow also managed to bump into an old friend from Los Angeles. Small world. He looked well, despite the fact that the last time I saw him I was dropping him off at the welfare office in Pico Union.

In the end, I decided to take the kids to a cemetery to see the old New Orleans style burial grounds. I couldn’t remember the one I visited before, but somehow managed to pick it by chance. The last time I was there I was 20 years old, bright eyed and filled with idealism. I had a crush on a fellah whose last name was McCall and took a picture of a grave with that name because it was there.

I told my kids about the story and they demanded to see it. But by the time we got in the gate it was three minutes until closing. I told them to shoot some quick pictures because there was no way we would find it in rows and rows of possibilities before the gates were locked.

mccallAnd then we turned a corner and there it was! The kids were full of smiles and wanted their pictures taken with a grave to some ancient ancestors. Looking through the camera glass, I was struck by the oddness of it… 18 years later, here I was with the children of the boy I had a crush on. Here was the grave, still here, not looking even a day older than when I left it.

It was a reminder that death is waiting for me. For all of us. We don’t have much time here. I, for one, want to live my life with purpose and with no regrets. “Live free or die!” Death is not the enemy and it is not to be avoided at all cost… because, in the end, it comes for us whether we lived in light of it or not.

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About supportmidwifekatiemccall

Katie McCall was born at Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California by scheduled c-section as a frank breech due to the current medical system insistence that breeches should always be delivered that way. Katie's father's family was filled with teachers, her mother's family was filled with healers. It is no surprise then, that she went on to have her own two children and spend her adult life involved in a combination of teaching and healing through midwifery, childbirth education, doula work and serving families in Southern California. Katie attended USC for her general education and then went on to study with the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth to become a certified childbirth educator. Shortly thereafter, she certified as a birth doula (labor assistant) with the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. Katie was also mentored through a pregnancy and birth support business called The Birth Connection in Glendale, CA, which Katie later purchased and expanded to include a 1500 square foot education facility, retail store and birthing center. She enrolled in midwifery school and apprenticed with the midwives who ran the birth center as well as with midwives who attended homebirths. She sold her business to pursue her midwifery education full time in 2006 and passed her midwifery (NARM) exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife in 2008. She went on to gain her Midwifery License from the State of CA Medical Board in 2010. Katie has received supplementary education in lactation to become a lactation educator, vaginal birth after cesarean support, support of sexual abuse survivors, aromatherapy and is neonatal and CPR certified. She assisted over 500 couples through childbirth education and attended over 550 births as of 2011. As a Southern California native, she has a wide range of experience, serving mothers from diverse backgrounds. She believes her job is one of empowering women to develop their own trust and connection with their bodies and their babies during their own unique journey into motherhood. If she has learned anything through her experience with birth, it is that every birth is as different as the women who are laboring. On August 17th, 2011 Katharine “Katie” McCall, a licensed midwife, was convicted of practicing medicine with out a license for a 2007 birth she assisted as a student. The charge arose from a home birth where Katie's supervising midwife could not arrive because she was at another birth. Instead of leaving the family to birth unassisted, Katie stayed. She recommended that the family transfer to the hospital and the family refused. They were aware that she was only a student midwife and that she was unable to secure an overseeing mid
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One Response to Death Awaits Us All

  1. Ellen says:

    Seems like this was your day for coming across old acquintances – both the living and the ones etched in stone 🙂

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