Dispatches from a sick bed, and a word of hope
This letter is coming to you after a week of it’s-not-covid-it’s-not-strep-but-it’s-awful-and-I-can’t-get-out-of-bed. I’m finally feeling more like myself, but it’s been slow going. My husband finished a two month sabbatical from church and the last three weeks have been a series of unfortunate situations (cue in sickness, an overheating truck and broken transmission, more sickness, a day stuck in the airport, etc…).
Yet, I can’t help but think that this time of Sabbath rest for my husband and for our family was just as it was meant to be - a reorientation to the here and now. From my bedroom surrounded by diffusing oils, cough drops and tissues, I heard Charlotte and Isaac laughing and playing. As superheroes they flew up and down the hallway. Dishes clanked as they were being put away. The refrigerator opened and closed and meals were prepared over and over.
One morning, laying in my bed, a knock came and I heard Isaac’s voice, “Put on your mask, Mama, we’re coming to do a check-up.” With doctor glasses on, Isaac stood beside me pondering where to give me a shot and how to check my reflexes. Charlotte dropped off a yellow marker as a popsicle for being a good patient.
This forced rest and weariness was not what any of us had in mind for a sabbatical, but perhaps here in the throes of temperature checks and sore throat lozenges, perhaps in the sickness and changed plans and the unrest and the unknown, and in the missed opportunities, there are lessons to be learned. There is grace to be experienced.
Which brings me to a few weeks ago when I flew for the first time in years. Waiting in line at the check-in, a woman in front of me tapped her foot and kept checking her watch. She gripped a wad of tissues in her hand. I asked if she missed her flight. "Yes," she said. Tears pooled in her eyes, I held the silence with her and then she told me, "My dad died this morning."
My heart broke. It was Father's Day.
But I also remembered being in a similar position racing in the airport after my dad died. I remember how being in the air *almost* made it feel like nothing had happened and that I was just having a bad dream. I remember the fog of walking through the next few days and the texts from friends. I remember not being able to breathe.
In front of me I saw this woman's grief, and my own. In the few moments while we stood in line, I didn't tell her any of those things, but I did ask the name of her dad.
Because I want to remember with her. To show in some small way that she's not alone.
I hear the saying we’re all just walking each other home. But really I think most days we’re just trying to find a piece of home right here, right now. And we want someone to remember us.
So from our home to yours, in sickness and in health, in grief and joy, I’m remembering with you, friends. And giving thanks for this moment, right now.
// This is an excerpt from my monthly newsletter. Every month I send a note to readers with a short reflection as well as a few of my favorite things from online. I love connecting with you! The best way to support my writing is through signing up for my newsletter, or sharing my writing with a friend. When you subscribe to my monthly newsletter you'll receive a free downloadable resource: Walk and Talk with God: Reflection, Scripture references, and a how-to for your own contemplative walk.