Sick but still wanted

There is nothing worse than being sick for the holidays. I don`t know where I picked it up but I certainly do have my suspicions of where this killer bug came from. In any case, I am delirious, coughing, feveryhot, and walk like a robot because my muscles hurt so much. This is weird. I have never experienced the “muscular pains” they speak about with flu and cold season. But now I know. It pretty much slaps you across the head and yells SIT DOWN.

It started the other day when I was with my mom shopping for fruits and veggies. By the time we got back to her house, I had to lay down. I ate up all the split pea soup that she had just made and slept for hours. It was strange how quickly it came on. I wobbled around trying to get my bearings after my “nap” and discovered some oranges. I knew I should have some for the Vit C so I gobbled them up. I realized I was probably in the contagious stage so I piled back into my car and took myself home.

I knew as I ambled up the steps of my condo that I was getting really sick. I had been invited to some parties but I couldn`t even find the energy to return the calls. I was more than spent. I went into bed and slept the rest of the night.

Christmas Eve morning, I wasn`t feeling any better. But I knew I had work to do so I tried to pace myself. It took me 4 hours to make an angel food cake and chocolate rice krispie treats. *BTW, there is a reason that the chocolate variety are not so popular…stick with the original, it can`t be beat.* By the end of my baking frenzy, I was exhausted. My neighbor saw my dopey clumsiness and helped me with the cake as I tried to lock my door.

Finally, I made it to my sisters` house where dinner was almost ready. I lugged the kids` gifts in and wrapped them up before putting them under their tree. It seemed to take all my energy just to make small efforts. The dinner was yummy and certainly ate way too much, despite my illness. The marshmallow sweet potatoes were so tender and the ham was so juicy. I think I ate half a jar of pickled beets all to myself! When I couldn`t eat anymore, my body pretty much went into shutdown. It was quite amazing how quickly it happened. I barely remember crawling into my nephews bed to sleep. I was so chilly and no matter how I snuggled into the blankets, I just couldn`t seem to get my spine warm.

I woke a while later and the kids were about to open presents. Sipping on tea seemed to help a little bit and though I knew I shouldn`t, I tasted the array of desserts. They were as good as they looked, that is for sure. Everyone pretty much conked out early which was fine by me because my fever seemed to be getting worse. My hair was pasted to my head with sweat and I knew I only had a short time before I wouldn`t be able to drive.

I thanked my sister for hosting such a great meal and realized this was one of the most calm peaceful Christmas dinners I had attended. I found my way home as quickly as I could and started drinking water. Sebastian stayed on the phone with me for hours while I mucked around muddled and befuddled in my delirium.

I had a broken damp sleep and wandered around my house intermittently every few hours. I was grateful when a neighbor came by bringing me orange juice. Then Omari came all the way to pick me up to go for dinner at my brothers` inlaws house. I didn`t feel contagious anymore so it was nice to be able to be out of my own sicky realm and into public. The set up was elaborate and there was laughter throughout the meal which produced so many leftovers, it looked like we had barely made a dent! After stuffing myself silly once again, they delivered me home again and I crawled back into bed.

Although I am ill, I feel so very loved and supported. I know that I am safe and there would be nowhere I could be that I wouldn`t have people caring for me. This is what the season is all about. It`s not about the presents, and not about the turkey either. To me, it`s not about the religion or tradition or sacred ceremony. It`s not about the tree or the man in the red suit or the cranberry sauce….ok, maybe it`s a little about the cranberry sauce.

But seriously, I now see the whole “spirit” of this time of the year is just about togetherness. Whether it be your friends, family, or even the camaraderie you feel when some random stranger “helps” you in the street or smiles at you bashfully when you catch them belting out the Xmas carols in the next car. This year could have been quite lonely and sad if I would have let myself feel that way, being sick and all. But there was no opportunity. As grumpy and useless and whiney as I was, everyone just put up with me and did so with a smile. I sure wasn`t at my best this year but everyone seemed to love me anyway.

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.” – Sophocles

Grateful for togetherness.

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