10 January 2009


You know how after you're sick for a long period of time, you wonder if you'll ever again feel the way you're supposed to feel? You reflect on how it feels to be normal and have a hard time remembering? The pattern of the shower curtain fabric is burned on my brain because it is what I was staring at when I thought I was going to faint from fever and fall off the toilet. I will forever associate that white puckered diamond pattern with feeling like I had been set on fire and left to fester. But then mom comes to the rescue with gatorade and chicken noodle soup (the Lipton instant kind in the box with the tiny noodles -- that's my favorite) and the doctor prescribes drugs and they all join forces and begin to make me feel like I might come back to the land of wellness.

A week of couch-dwelling doesn't do much for the countenance. Dirty hair, creaky joints, a hot face, shivers, totally obscene and incessant infomercials for products called "Shamwow!" and "Snuggies," an out-of-whack sleeping pattern, a throat that feels like someone took an excavating tool to it. Strep throat is not for pansies. Late yesterday afternoon I went to my front door and found a bag full of "get well" cards from my fifth graders. I smiled and giggled as I read each one. One student said "I've heard that a spoonful of honey can help a sore throat." Bless you, James, for your sage advice. They love me, they really really love me!

Well, today is the first day that I feel just FINE. No aches, no pains, no seeing stars when I sit up. I woke a little late, made a strong pot of coffee and a bowl of steel cut oatmeal with gooseberry and raspberry preserves. The rain is falling with gentility on the metal awning over the back door. Candles light the dim kitchen, and Chris Martin sings "It's such a perfect day...." in the most perfect song on Coldplay's new album, "Strawberry Swing." I have a day that is laid out in front of me like a gift, and I hope to do a little drawing, a little cleaning, and maybe even take a bath. I am filled with gratitude and have all but forgotten how I wallowed in self-pity a short five days ago. Praise the Good Lord for antibiotics, oatmeal, Coldplay, and my health.

It's such a perfect day.