It is 2 a.m. I am tossing and turning, hoping I don’t wake the most amazing man on the planet. He is sleeping peacefully at my side. For that reason, I am the luckiest woman anywhere. I am also the mother to the most amazing daughter. And son.
Between my fits of discomfort and squirming, I ponder the past few years. I don’t do that often. It hurts. Down one child, I notice his absence moreso as we enter the holiday season. Always, there is one seat at or family table that remains empty. It belongs to him.
Absent contact with the sandman, I disable the house alarm and wander outdoors to look at the night sky. I needed to leave my bedroom nest so as not to wake my husband. He must work tomorrow, but I have been instructured not to work for now. My first of two hip replacements has left me with a level of pain that most would find intolerable. As an added bonus, nausea and fevers grace most every waking moment.
My hip replacement surgery seemed to have gone well, but the months that followed became increasingly difficult. Still today, the experts have not identified the problem. I am weary from invasive, painful tests, medications that make me feel strange and long drives back and forth to the Northwest’s best trauma hospital.
In the meantime, the quality of life my new husband and I were meant to enjoy remains in abeyance. We grab moments when we can. Even so, as newleyweds, now is a time when we should be busy living our lives to the fullest. But I am sick, so that is delayed. He is handling it much better than I.
Struggling to find a star between the heavy, dark clouds, I shift my focus to the positive. Even with my hardships, I cannot complain.
Every day I have a roof over my head, clothing to wear and food to eat. Each time I turn on the faucet to take a shower, warm clean water comes out. And I have a solid, awesome family and good friends that love me. Even my step kids are amazing. How can that be anything but an extreme blessing? Millions of humans on this planet do not have such luxuries.
I step back inside the house. The sky is fierce with evidence of eminent rain and the winds are picking up. The 68 degrees of our home feels too warm as I enter. That is the fever.
I put the tea kettle on high and gather my favorite cup – the purple one my daughter gave me. Reaching for a ginger teabag, I am reminded that I do not like the taste of ginger. Turns out it works well for nausea. To dull the undesireable flavor, I follow the old spoonful-of-sugar adage from my grandma’s generation. My choice, however, is raw honey, which makes even the most bitter taste go down smooth. It is also good for just about all-things-health.
Thinking about it, a spoonful of sugar is an apt analogy for my entire situation. This hardship is more palatable with an amazing man at my side. He is the sweet that makes even the most bitter of pills easier to swallow. He reminds me to stay positive, for this too shall pass.
And it will.