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Merriott column: A very personal connection to our front-line health workers

Frosty Merriott

It was November of 1989 and Carly and I were relaxing at home. Carly had been on bed rest as we were having a difficult pregnancy. She had spent the prior night at the hospital in Louisiana. We had made multiple trips for sonograms, and our baby was kicking and moving and had a discernible heartbeat.

We thought we were out of the woods. We were gonna be proud parents.

I was in the dining room when I heard Carly scream in horror and, rushing towards her, I screamed back “what’s wrong?” She said, sobbing and crying, “I just lost our baby,” and collapsed into my arms.

I picked up our baby out of the toilet and rushed to the hospital with Carly. We had already bonded though all the sonograms.

Fast forward four years to November 1993. We had done everything we could to get pregnant. It was just not happening. Carly, ever the pillar of faith, pointed out that the upcoming weekend would be the prime time to try again. I remember saying, “Carly!! I am so sick of this. We set ourselves up for a disappointment every month. I just can’t do it anymore! When God wants us to be pregnant again, we will be pregnant again. I don’t want to hear it any more.”

Well, it so happened this was our 10-year anniversary weekend and we were invited to play in the State Flag Football Championship, which we had finally won the year before. So, I thought, OK, better not spend it at the Holiday Inn with the team. I will surprise Carly.

We stayed at Chretien Point Plantation in Sunset, La. We had Felicity’s master bedroom; the staircase had been used in Gone With the Wind. The furniture was all made by Mallard out of New Orleans and Jean Lafitte was a frequent visitor there on the Bayou. There were bullet holes from the Civil War on the outer wall. It was not burned down, only because the Union Commander was a Mason and so was the plantation owner.

At any rate, Carly had thought we were staying at the Holiday Inn, but as it turned out we were the only people at this gorgeous ante bellum home. I had placed a dozen red roses on the dresser. We had mint julips on the veranda and Anna Maria Pancakes for breakfast with our private chef and butler.

It was a storybook 10-year anniversary. Meanwhile, I had accepted a job starting in December in Lakewood. I still remember waving goodbye to Carly as I pulled out of the driveway in a U-Haul Trailer with one of our Goldens that we had named Shiloh, as we had given up on having a baby.

Imagine my absolute amazement when Carly called the day before I was to fly back to Louisiana and excitedly told me we were PREGNANT! I tell folks we moved west in a modern-day Conestoga wagon, a U-Haul truck, a pregnant wife and two dogs.

Another fast forward to 2020. Here we are, our baby is an RN at a Front Range hospital on the cardio floor. We have not seen her now in several months, as she was told not to expose her “older dad” unnecessarily to the coronavirus. The overflow from the ICU comes to her floor, and all the nurses take extra patients. She works 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. officially, but is there early and stays late sometimes, wearing the same mask almost 12 hours without taking it off.

Carly got a text about two weeks ago that Shiloh had “floated” to the COVID floor. We were so scared, we just held each other and sobbed. Turns out she had volunteered for a friend with four children who could just not go that day. We owe those nurses and docs so much!

So, when I see these protesters carrying guns wanting to undo the recommendations of the scientists, it really pushes me near my limit. Carly will probably say our Savior would say, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Me, I’m still Old Testament and “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

If our baby was working in Georgia where this reckless governor is prematurely opening his state back up to physical contact jobs, we would be in our car to go get our only baby and bring her home.

Frosty Merriott is a CPA in Carbondale and a registered independent. He is understandably against anyone playing fast and loose with the lives of those on the front line of this deadly coronavirus pandemic.


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