First an update – Silverstein the cat is much better – he’s not quite one hundred percent yet, but he’s so much better. He and I became best buds, he liked to lie on my chest, making it really hard to type or read or do anything but pet him, which I suspect was all part of his master kitty plan.
Random Opponent 9587 beat me by three points in Scrabble, after having nudged me again. From now on I will stick to playing against the computer – apparently playing random opponents does not bring out the best in me.
“I’m a stone,” he states, matter-of-factly as we’re eating breakfast. Three pairs of adult eyes look over, wondering what this five-year-old means. “Why do you say that, honey?” his mother asks gently. “I have gray pants and a gray sweater – I look like a stone.” We chuckle with relief, glad he’s just talking about his clothes and not about his feelings or anything. Funny how kids are so literal at times.
Quietly he sneaks into my room, tells me he’s come for a cuddle. It’s a rare treat – he’s usually the latest riser so time alone with him seldom happens. He’s also the one who’s never still, is always playing, always focused, doesn’t spend a lot of time being mushy. We cuddle for a while and he tells me all the things that are really, really important when you’re almost four. It’s been hardest for me to get close to this little guy, not for any reason related to him, he’s smart and funny and adorable, I could just eat him up. No, because he was born a couple of weeks after a terrible tragedy when I was fragile and broken, wondering if I would ever be able to feel anything good again. Getting beyond it took a while but the love I feel for this little guy today is proof that joy does come in the morning.
When it’s time for me to go, he says, “I wish you could stay until Easter. I was going to share my chocolate bunny with you. It’s going to be delicious and chocolatey.” It won’t happen this year, but I trust that he would make good on that offer if I stayed. Love that he lives in a world where he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that there’s going to be a chocolate bunny for him on Easter.
A scratchy throat and a headache turns into full blown sick overnight. 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30 – each time I try to get out of bed, I fall back asleep. Around noon, I manage to shower and dress, go to an appointment, visit my Dad for a bit and then, spent, need to take a nap. The human body is an amazing creation – ingenious, creating large quantities of mucus to flush the body of harmful viral substances. But God? Could there be a one and done rule? Like twenty-four hours and then we’re done? Sure would like to breathe through my nose again.
It’s a big table, but it’s full, ages eighteen months to seventy-nine. Picnic food, hot dogs, burgers, cooked on the grill, because it’s spring and it’s what needs to happen. Potato salad, baked beans, all the fixen’s, but the most popular items are sour cream and onion chip dip and Rice Krispie treats. Multiple generations mesmerized by the youngest as she scoops copious amounts of dip from her plate, occasionally even taking a bite of the chip or other items she’s been using as a scoop. How can someone so tiny eat so much?
Deciding it would be a brilliant idea to take a scalding hot shower to kill off my virus, I waste no time getting to it. Dizzy and nauseated, I take a little rest on the bathroom floor after drying off and dressing. Contemplate the wisdom of driving for eight hours back to Nashville. Realize and accept I don’t really have any other options and keep going. Mom’s already worried when I don’t eat breakfast, so I don’t tell her about my little rest period post shower.
On Easter Sunday, I stop by to say goodbye to my Dad in the Care Center. We hug, he tells me to be careful driving. Because it’s what we always say, I tell him I will watch for deer. Holding the tears back until I get to the car, I cry just a little bit, so thankful that today, this Easter Sunday, when I’ve already received the most precious gift from God, that he also gives me the gift of my Dad being a Dad and telling me to be careful.
Driving, driving, driving. At some point, my odometer rolls over one-hundred thousand miles. It should have been commemorated, but instead I’m focused on alternating between turning on my heated seat to ease the sore muscles in my back and turning on the air conditioning as the temperature climbs to seventy-nine degrees.
Waiting my turn for the Sunoco ladies room, I croak out Happy Easter to the guy wearing the I Love Jesus hat. It takes him a moment to figure out what I said, but he returns my smile and tells me to be blessed. Thought it might be creepy to take a picture of his hat, so I opted for the Sunoco sign instead.
Have I lost weight or have I just worn these pants too many days without a washing? The scale shows a number that I haven’t seen since high school. Secretly I’m thrilled – not because that number has been a goal for me – it’s a perfect number for an eighteen-year-old, a ridiculous number for a woman my age. Thrilled because once I finally do feel like eating again, I can eat A LOT before I have to start exercising even the smallest amount of restraint!
Finally home again, looks like spring happened while I was away. So excited that I have a space right in front of the building so I don’t have to walk to far when I carry seven trips worth of stuff in.
Will my housemate still come home after her spring break trip if I tell her I’m sick? Seems better to just let her find out when she gets here . . .