Just a Vestige

I started this morning by baking chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips

and cleaning the kitchen (simultaneously) since we are having friends over tonight.

(Thank you Amina for my Cath Kidson cookie cover.

I also promised to bring a treat when I go to my new friend’s house for coffee – a treat presented in a little Easter-decorated goodie bag.

It’s a mom date! I may even wear make-up.

But there’s just a vestige of reluctance in picking up where I left off with baking and hosting and teaching English (and cleaning my house).

There’s perhaps a vestige of sadness over losing my baby. When my gynecologist asked me what happened, I started crying as I told her the sequence of events in clinical terms.

(Perhaps there is more than a vestige of sadness).

There’s a vestige of … debris remaining in my womb that is still being followed by the doctors and which caused me slight panic on Wednesday that it might be getting infected. (I don’t think it is, and have a follow-up on Tuesday).

I wonder if that’s why my pants still don’t fit? The vestige.  No? Grr.

There’s a vestige of trauma among the children. When Young Knight glanced at the frame on a plastic sheet that Sir had painted dark red, he drew a quick breath and said, “I thought that was blood.”

I thought that was your blood.”

(Sir meticulously cleaned everything when he came home from the hospital, but merely tossed the duvet cover over the sheets. Of course the first thing the kids did in the morning was to jump on our bed and uncover the huge stain).

There is a vestige of fluid behind Petit Prince’s ear, which could be causing his minor hearing problem. We have a fun three weeks ahead of us cleaning his nostrils twice a day with salt water.

There’s a vestige of fear as I tossed and turned this morning wondering what life would be like without Sir, who had the suspected spot removed from his face last night in a highly unpleasant procedure.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

There’s a vestige of late bloomers that I haven’t gotten around to clipping

and a bunch of ambitious spring buds

that don’t know it’s January,

and that a cold front is coming in.

There is just a vestige of this whirlwind that recently skittered through our lives, tossing our comfort around like Autumn leaves.

But what do you want to bet, when all is said and done, there won’t even be a vestige of this batch of chocolate cookies left by sundown?


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I am the daughter of a symphony musician who was raised in upstate New York, and I simply breathe all things classical, be it music or 19th century literature (English and Russian). I married Sir Renaissance in New York City, and before I knew it, he had swept me up and brought me back home to his own country. So here we are. Three children, a rather ordinary life in a rather exceptional place. I am now ‘A Lady in France.’

Posted in Family, La Famille (The Family), La Femme (The Lady), The Garden, The Lady, Tout le Reste (Everything else)
25 comments on “Just a Vestige
  1. Stephanie says:

    I am sending a ton of hugs winging across the ocean!! Although I know it is impossible not to worry I do pray that you have some peace along with the worry.

    And I think you are right, doubtful that any cookies will last past 24 hours 😉

  2. Lindsay says:

    Cookies with peanut butter chips are a perfect way to heal.
    Just sayin’
    I’ve experienced the same heaviness of womb.
    {hugs} to you.
    Found you on the Empress’s Blog… glad I did, I’m your newest follower :)

  3. How do you manage to take so many issues of potential concern and pain and render the message lovely?

    I know that’s not the right way to describe it. There is nothing lovely about your concerns and pain.

    But your writing. It’s transcendent. And you are a gift to those in your life.

    You leave more than vestiges of love in our hearts.
    I assure you.

    p.s. I wouldn’t mind having one of those cookies left for me, either.

  4. Galit Breen says:

    There’s so much whirling around your heart, and you laid a hitch of it bare for us {me!} to read.

    Your words are lovely, your heart I’m hugging.

    {And those cookies? Yum! :) }

  5. Alexandra says:

    Oh , my lady of france.

    You are the lady of my heart.

    besos a ti, mi querida muchacha

  6. Carole says:

    You’re such a wonderful writer.

    I used to be the ultimate worrywart until I had my worst year ever. Then I realized all that worrying didn’t help one bit. I now have this taped to the shelf above my laptop:

    you decide.

    Somehow it helps.

  7. Sounds like you’ve had a tough month. I also miscarried my 4th baby. I was only about 8 weeks along and if I hadn’t taken a pregnancy test the week before I would have never known I was pregnant. I’m glad that I knew. Not glad for the pain of the loss but glad that for one short week I knew about his/her little life.

    It seems impolite to switch from such a heavy topic to talking about cookies but that’s the way a mom’s life is, right? The cookies look delicious. Chocolate and peanut butter are my favorite flavor combinations!

    Thanks for visiting Stephanie’s Mommy Brain,

  8. joann mannix says:

    Oh my darling! I am so sorry, so very sorry. I didn’t know.

    I am sending you my love and big warm hugs from across the continents.

    Take that bible verse and tattoo it to your heart. My wise father who lived life so joyously, always said, “You know ten years from now, you will not remember this worry. So why even bother with it.” You are a warrior girl. I see it in this brave way you’ve lived your life. Keep that warrior spirit going. And know, this too shall pass.

  9. angela says:

    Oh Jennie,

    There is a melacholy in your words, but serenity and peace as well. I hope you’re taking care of yourself. Sending good wishes and prayers across the seas.

  10. There is more than a vestige of love and ache for you over here in America. xxoo

  11. Somehow chocolate cookies always help with vestiges (as do red velvet cupcakes).

  12. dumb mom says:

    I stumbled from another onto your blog and I have to admit to avoiding my visiting family reading through your posts for a better part of an hour today. You are a wonderful writer. And you cookies are beautiful. and you make me miss France. Hope your worries don’t haunt you much longer (and that Sir is okay), although somehow there’s always something, isn’t there?

  13. Ameena says:

    Chocolate…along with the caring words of others…can always fill a void. I’m glad that you have both.

    And as an aside… you have another friend named Amina? How very cool!

  14. ayala says:

    My thoughts are with you. xo

  15. Amber says:

    Oh, so much going on. I hope you find a vestige of healing…which is probably not the right word to use, but you know what I mean.

    Silly flowers. I hope they make it through the cold spell.

  16. SE says:

    I read so many blogs, and you are, hands down, the best writer out there in the blogosphere. Just so special. Thank you so much for opening up your heart and life to us- you bless us!

  17. I have had days where it feels like the little things, and the big worrys could quickly add up and drag me down to a dark and sad sad place. I think those days are unavoidable. I am so thankful they are countered by the blessings in my life….from the cookes to family and friends. I do hope your good is out weighing your bad these days. Hugs.

I'm Jennie. Welcome to A Lady in France! I write books, and also this blog on faith, French culture and recipes ... ( To continue reading, please click here. )

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