sick days

I haven’t posted here in a bit because … well, because life. School started, we reconnected with some estranged family members (no, not my brother), and we’ve had a series of houseguests and visitors. During the surprisingly rare  moments of quiet time, I’ve been writing. I have this idea for a book that I’ve been playing around with, and unlike my last writing attempt which stalled at chapter 15 when I realized I didn’t know what the ending was, this one has a general plot arc and planned ending.

But today I am ill. I am nauseated and sniffly and phlegmy. My head hurts and my stomach roils and my bowels quiver. In other words, it’s difficult to concentrate on the story. So instead I’ve been sketching out some of the characters and settings, in the hopes it will further inspire my writing. I’m also sipping chamomile tea, in the hopes it will calm my tummy.

As always, illness brings on melancholy. Besides simply the discomfort of being physically ill, it reminds me of my mom. She used to play the film Hello, Dolly when I stayed home sick. She would make herbal tea with honey and bring me crackers and soup. She also made an absolutely horrific concoction that her grandmother used to make when mom was sick as a child, called “milk toast.” It’s exactly what it sounds like: shredded toast soaked in warm milk and served up as some sort of meal for sick people. It’s gross. I much prefered Cream of Wheat.

I never really experienced being sick without my mom nursing me back to health. She died when I was 23, and I got married when I was 21. Despite the severe depression that preceded her death, she was still there to care for me when my son was born, and her absence otherwise made sense because, well, she was ill. But I always knew in the back of my mind that she would get better some day … I guess I just never realized that as an adult with my own family, mom would no longer be nursing me through my colds. Because moms don’t get to be nursed by their moms.

Anyway, I got distracted from this entry. My bff came over with some lovely knitted fingerless mittens for me, and then some family came over with their new puppy so I (and my dogs) could meet the new family member. And now I’m watching a comedian with John while sipping chamomile tea, and feeling much happier and much less sorry for myself. It turned out to be an unexpectedly great day.

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