Tuesday, December 7, 2010

When You're Sick

I'm sick and I'm not happy about it. I guess I'm not a very good patient and maybe it's because my patience with being sick is also sick. I'm sure it has a lot to do with having so much to do and not having the energy to do anything at all, except lay around sucking down juice, blowing disgusting stuff into tissues, gargling salt water, and feeling sorry for myself ... know what I mean?

I always miss my mother, but this is when I really miss her love the most. It's the many caring things she did, especially when any of us were sick. We knew whatever we were sick with really just had to run its course, but it was so soothing, knowing she was there with us. We had the feeling that she could heal anything with her love. She would sit and hold us and whisper that we would get better, or maybe surprise us with a cherry popsicle, knowing it would help our sore throats. If we had the flu, she would steady us as we stood over the toilet to be sick, and run a cool washcloth over our foreheads after we had thrown up, yet again. Mama was just there, and that always made everything feel better.

It wasn't until I had children of my own that I understood. You can't help but be soothing when your child is sick. Your heart is filled with such love for them anyway, and when they're sick, you intuitively feel they need you even more -- and you need them to feel even more than usual just how much you love them.

A few weeks ago, my youngest daughter, nearly a thousand miles away, called. She told me she and the kids were down with strep throat. She had given the boys their antibiotic and cherry popsicles and then tucked them into bed with a couple of bedtime stories and kisses. Then she added, "I'm feeling really awful and I just needed my mom. I called to be with you, and to hear your voice."

I've come full circle now. I understand. I truly understand, and tonight I'm going to have a cherry popsicle ...

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