I am sitting at my computer feeling shellshocked yet intact. A meatloaf and two kinds of rice simmer in the kitchen; my husband and son snuggle on the couch. My mother is bathing my daughter. It is quiet, briefly. All I want is to be told I can stop working, stop worrying about the laundry, stop feeling like a jerk for having a needy family.
Ralph seems to be on the mend. What a brief, if staggered, stint these illnesses have been! If it wasn’t for the worry I have been plagued with, I could say it was No Big Deal. But, too bad – I Worried. I still worry. I am going to need to go through some sort of PTSD detox (or perhaps getting “toxed” is what I do need) when this is over.
Why, Lord, could it not have been me that got sick? Strike that; I don’t really mean it. Please Lord, don’t let me get sick – for a while at least. Let me just do some ass-kissing and say Thank You that no one got sicker than they did and Thank You for my friends and Thanks Especially for my own Mama taking care of me. We are blessed, we are. But a tiny voice inside me asks why couldn’t it be me who lolled on the couch playing Freelancer, ate fistfuls of noodles, or shit my pants (Sophie, Nels, and Ralph, not necessarily in that order) without worry of reprisal or chores or financial obligartions or dietary needs?
The thing is, when it’s me that’s sick and needy I feel even more guilty. Maybe when everyone’s better and everyone’s spots are cleared up I can go on some sort of five-day house party bender (I happen to know a little lady who’ll be freed up for five days come March, [wink!] [wink!]) and my family can clean the bodily fluids off me for a change. No, wait, that’s just gross.
Guess I’ll try some Dignity instead. Borrrring.