Monday, May 11, 2009

The Priority List of Sickness

We woke up Saturday morning sick as dogs- even the cat. My husband soon recovered and attempted to attend a meeting and instead crashed the windscreen of the car. The cat managed to leave his litter box, leaving only me to suffer alone.

One thing I thought of between trips to the toilet, even during them actually, was how sickness is very greedy. As soon as you are sick, nothing else matters. Sickness will be the star. And as usual when I'm sick , I kick myself in the ass thinking why oh why can't I be thankful when I'm healthy? We aren't are we? We mouth the words but we don't really understand it until we are sick and then it is too late as health is gone. I guess it is our ungrateful nature (I'd hate to think it is MY ungrateful nature- alone).

I do the same with the people I love. Yesterday was Mother's Day. Being that my appointments with the toilet were fixed and frequent, my husband's offer to take me to breakfast had to be declined. He did stay, as he had all weekend, and rushed to the shops (in the car with the un-crashed windscreen) for anything I thought my stomach might allow for more than a few minutes. In the end, that was a better Mother's Day present than any he might have bought.

With both of my children at boarding school, I didn't expect to hear from them but my son sent a short message around dinner time admitting he only just found out it was Mother's Day and apologised for being late. It's difficult to remember such holidays without the help of television, which they don't have at their school.

Then just before going to bed I got a message from my daughter that defined for me my role in this whole mothering gig; I've had only a very loose handle on it for these past 16 odd years. I grew up without a mother and the remaining adults around me would only be able to be defined as parents if you chose the strict legal definition. Basically I've been winging it.

The message started with my 16 year old daughter's take on the manipulative nature of such days. I smiled. So like her to accept nothing on face value and instead to find the real meaning behind it all. She went on to explain how she didn't need a day such as this one. And ended saying how I had done a good job- look what I made- HER. And that's it isn't it? Look what I made -Her. A wise, critical, strong, kind young woman. That's certianly something to be grateful for.

I wish only one thing as I sit here contemplating if eating an egg on this not quite yet settled stomach is a sensible thing to do. I wish that I could be happy and grateful for what I have when I have it and not have to have it taken away before I can see how important it is. If I could truly be grateful, in my heart, in my body. I wish my gratefulness could take over my body like my sickness did so that I wouldn't have an option to think of a single other thing, for that is the very, very least that it deserves.

Now for that egg....


Sue Guiney said...

Sorry you've been ill, but at helped lead to this wonderful post, so it's wasn't for nothing. I feel the same way about gratitude. If only I could remember to be grateful when the going gets tough. How about this: I'll remind you if you remind me!

Lauri said...

I think that's a fantastic deal Sue- I'm in!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I got dreadfully ill on Friday night, missed Disneyland on Saturday and a party at a rock stars house Sat. night and yesterday we went to see the kids but I wasn't myself. You said it well. When we are feeling fine we aren't grateful. But when we're sick we are reminded of how lucky we are that we aren't sick all the time. Today I am trying to be grateful that I feel half-assed "good".

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Hi Lauri
Im sorry to hear about the sickness - wow... it got the cat too?

But it must feel like it is almost worth being sick to get those messages, especially that lovely thoughtful and sincere one from your daughter. That is some teenager!

Congrats on having lovely kids, and hope you are 101% very soon


Lauri said...

Elizabeth- so sorry you missed all the fun. I had nothing as wonderful as Disneyland in my plans. Instead I stayed on the sofa and watched almost the entire Jacob Zuma inauguration. (Who dresses Qaddafi BTW? And is that hair real?It's all so ridiculous- almost drag-queenish)
Hope you're feeling better!

Vanessa- Yes the cat too. But he must blame himself for always begging for people food. He's very greedy. I am almost 100% better though for some reason I can't stand the smell of cooked food. Am eating all sorts of odd things almost as if I'm pregnant. Thanks for your kind words, V.

Anonymous said...

I hope you're feeling better.

It's true what you say about sickness - it does take centre stage. Ick.

Your daughter sounds as wonderful as I expected her to. I think (I know) you would make a brilliant Mum.

Look after that tummy.

Lauri said...

Selma what a sweetie you are! XXOO