Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From the Jar... #16

Describe the most serious illness you've ever had.

I have always been as healthy as a horse. A healthy horse, that is. The worst I've seen is a very bad flu when I was in 7th grade. I had a high fever for about five days (around 103) and on the fourth day it spiked to over 104. I was hallucinating and delirious. There was a hornet that I could see and it was buzzing and stinging the "tight" air. "Everything's tight", I said over and over. The air looked like a hornets nest, papery and gray and swirly. And then it was wood, swirled with the grain and that hornet was trying to drill into it with it's stinger. I was fidgety. I couldn't stop twirling my gold ring on my finger. My eyes darted everywhere taking in the brown paneling on our kitchen walls, the stools haphazardly strewn around the table, the blue of my clothes they were putting on me, the way my mom's fingers looked as she tied my shoelaces. My ears hurt. Likely my parents were talking softly, but sound of their voices was sharp to my tender ears.

My parents were getting me dressed to take me to the E.R. and while they were doing so they called my grandpa, who is a doctor. He told them to put me in a lukewarm bath to try to break the fever. They did that before they took me to the hospital and it did, indeed, break the fever. I never left the house.

I believe that was a Wednesday... possibly a Tuesday. Regardless, shortly thereafter was Thanksgiving. I was on the mend after that night of hornets and swirls, but I remember feeling weak and "puny" on Thanksgiving and only eating nibbles. It was my own personal measure of how sick I was that I didn't eat one bite of pumpkin pie.

I've always been very healthy and I feel profoundly grateful for that today. I read about NieNie for a long time the other night. I read her blog and saw her joy in her husband and her children and her life. My heart ached as I read about she and her husband laying burned in a Phoenix hospital while their children are lovingly cared for by her sister. There are no mistakes in this life. This family, whom I've never met in person but feel like I know on some personal level through the magic of blogging, has challenges ahead of them that will not be easy but they have so much to gain. The lesson and the growth is always compensatory to the challenge. Imagine how much they get to gain and grow and love in this "tragedy"! They are expanding their capacity in this moment, as are you and I. But we do get to choose to expand and learn and grow. Or choose to not learn, be bitter, stagnate or even shrink our capacity. The choice is ours, and that, my friends, is the hardest and best choice we face everyday.


Genene said...

Well put, my darling one.

(my word today is dhweliip)

Ginny said...

Crazy blog world...I read about NieNie on my sister's blog and spent a huge amount of time reading about their story. I, too, am struck by the strength so many show and the choice they so clearly make to learn, grow and teach those of us who are fortunate enough to witness their story, even if only from a blogger's distance.

ps. loved the hornet hallucination

Kristin said...

You are amazing... you turn a journal blog into an inspirational. I love it! You make such a good point. I'm pretty sure Ginny has told me about the same family (and glancing above it appears I'm right). I'm not as in tune as the two of you are, but I am grateful to have you as friends to help me stay in touch.

Love ya!

Kristin said...

OH! I meant to write about the question... I'm also a very healthy person and can't even think of the worst illness I've had... maybe chicken pox when I was a kid? The absolute worst I can think I ever felt was the first couple months after my first husband left me. I felt sick constantly and couldn't stomach hardly anything (I lived on baked potatoes). Does that count?

beth s. said...

Thanks for inspiring words at just the right time. They may not have been just for me but I'm going to take them like they were because I needed to be reminded of that before I shrunk too far. I'm glad we can turn things around, even if it is hard!

bv said...

you are beautiful and i love your words, dear heart.