I am typing away this morning with a winter cold. Runny nose, coughing fits, watery eyes, achy body…the whole package. Overall, I feel pretty miserable. Whenever I am sick, I am reminded of my mom bringing me soup and hot tea as a child. Sometimes my mind wanders to the way I care for my own children when they are sick (I am famous for a concoction called sickness tea), but often my heart aches with the desire to have a special someone that cares about exactly how bad my cough is, nags me to go to the doctor, or allows use of his lap as a pillow for watching movies or taking an afternoon nap. I can really gear myself up for a self-pity session when a winter virus takes hold.
Once you suffer the death of someone you love so intensely, shouldn’t you have racked up some hardship credit with the universe? Haven’t grievers earned a grief bonus somehow? A punch card that says, “Take it easy on this one for awhile”? Isn’t having to navigate the daily challenges of living life without your mate enough without having additional challenges, like colds and flus, financial woes, romantic disasters, and suddenly urgent house repairs thrown into the juggling match as well? Where is the get out of jail free card anyway?
As my nose stops running, my head clears up, a friend stops by to bring me soup and my kids whisper down the hall, “SHHHH, Mom is SLEEPING!” I realize that life isn’t so bad. There are good days and bad ones. There are times I scream at the universe because Phil is dead, and others when I am able to thank God for all the gifts Phil’s life, and his death, have brought into my life. There are moments when I would take the easy way out without a second thought, and others when I recognize the value of each life experience–even the painful ones. There are moments of utter despair, and moments of crystal clarity. All in all life calls, and we choose whether or not to answer. Even when we feel miserable.