the good ole' days

the good ole' days
Photo by Kristine Wook / Unsplash

Ya' know how you know the good ole' days are over?

It's the first day that whole world doesn't stop when you're sick.

I remember this day vividly: I woke up feverish, dehydrated, and feeling deathly ill. When I told my mom, I fully expected her to drop everything, call work, and spend the rest of the day coddling me just like she'd always done.

Boy was I surprised when she gave me a red Gatorade, sent me back to bed, and walked a half block away to her job.

Yes, one-half of a block away! How on earth would she hear me gently whimpering in misery as I nursed my stomach bug? How would she come running with an empty ice cream bucket to catch my vomit between the time it exited my mouth and just before it hit the floor? How would I survive???

That day, as I lay in dark and lonely solitude, I felt way too sick to pull a Ferris Bueller, so I closed my eyes and thought about the latest dispensation of adulthood I'd entered.

"Am I a grown up now?" I thought miserably to myself. "Is this what it's like?"

All that happened in middle school. My mom and I laugh about it now!

Let's fast-forward to college:

The first time I was sick in college was very bad. Did I call my nearby friends who might actually be able to do some service for me? Nope. I called my mom. She offered to make the six-hour drive to meet me in Houston, but I generously declined even though I really wanted her to come.

On that same day, one of my close friends (who is a mother herself) came to sit with me in the emergency room and even listened to me ramble for many hours while I was high on morphine. I vaguely remember waxing poetic on such topics as bioethics, heart valve tissue layers, human identity, and recipes for cornbread. It was just like the good ole' days of mom sitting next to my bed as I convalesced. Fortunately, I never had to ask my friend for the ice cream bucket!

excuse for recent silence

I try to write 2-3 blog articles per week. Alas, that didn't happen this week. On Monday, I'd just returned from a retreat. I wanted to blame my lack of blogging on that retreat, but they posted this sign in the locker room specifically to absolve themselves of that responsibility:

So, I guess I'm to blame for no article on Monday!

On Wednesday, I was sick. I didn't get out of bed until the very end of the day.

Today, I'm feeling much better! Rest assured that the good ole' days of having moms to worry about me when I'm sick are not over. One phone call would have had plenty of people over to take care of poor little me. Strangely, though, I feel like I'm getting older and those days are almost gone. These days, it's strange to be sick. It's as if all responsibilities take a brief pause and the people around me are shockingly accomodating as I cancel meetings, miss classes, and reschedule my responsibilities. The problem is that I feel too awful to enjoy it! In other words, when I'm sick, I receive a lot of gracious generosity, but don't have the wherewithal to fully enjoy it or show my appreciation to those who give it.

For everyone out there taking care of sick people (I know there are at least a handful in my audience), remember that your work isn't in vain. If the person you're caring for doesn't or can't appreciate what you're doing, don't let it discourage you. That's just part of being sick.

It doesn't matter if it's allergies or chronic heart disease. Your work matters. Thank you.

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