FINAL UPDATE: For you who have wondered...We are well!! Tom's back at work and nearly cough-free, Cassie is back to normal, so is Caroline, and I feel better than I have in a long long while. School is back on track, so are meals, the house is coming together. We are vital and grateful. Thanks everyone!
UPDATE, FRIDAY:: Good news for some of us! I woke up with some energy - what is this? - and it's wonderful. I'll be careful where I spend it. :) Tom's fever is gone, his coughing and lungs are unhappy, but he's feeling much perkier. (Though he's not going to work, he, being Tom, wants to do all sorts of things he doesn't have the strength to do. He gets up, moves around, then crashes.) Caroline is doing much better. Cassie is not doing well at all, but she has all of us doing what we can, and empathizing totally. In addition to Joe's pot of soup, which is almost gone, two kind, generous ladies brought us food yesterday and we were lifted by it. So good. We have enough for today as well. It's surprising the difference a good, hot meal - and lovingkindness - makes. Thanks to you both. You have our hearts. I will be posting a fresh post one of these days, something I've read during my 'down time.' (Oy.) Be well and thanks for the support both physical and virtual. You remain the BEST.
UPDATE: Tom has a low-grade fever but is making some headway. So tired, though. Caroline is coughing less, getting better. But, Cassie is getting headaches and is becoming lethargic and so am I. We're hoping we are just tired and strained and not getting sick. Being the healthiest at this point, she and I had to run errands today - kind of funny. Just putting our shoes on seemed like a big deal. Got the meds at the pharmacy and felt tuckered out by the time I got to the car. I look pretty bad, I think, judging from the looks I got. Again, sorta funny. I'm careful to keep any germs I may carry to myself as best I can. Our wonderful son, Joe, made a huge pot of chicken soup from scratch and brought it over with some hearty bread. I about cried. The soup tasted like love and perked us all up quite a bit. (Thank you so much, Joe. It was delicious!!) Thanks for all your encouraging words! We cherish each and every one! They really do lighten the load and help us feel less alone here in our isolated world of yuck.
Tom is hacking and snorting and tired on the couch.
Caroline is tired and using lots of tissues and on the futon.
Cassie is exhausted from being the well one for weeks and doing the brunt of the work. She's exhausted from lack of sleep having to share a room with a noisy-sleeping Caroline.
Me? I think I'm having a relapse, but I don't dare succumb. Cassie needs me. I've been making soup, cutting orange and apple slices, cleaning, sanitizing, shopping, making trays of foods for my two sickest, and dragging my tired self around. The concrete limbs are returning.
I remember our life in Myrtle Creek all those years ago. Tom and I spent our first seven years as a married couple there, with family nearby. Tom's mom would bring us her homemade soups when we fell ill. My mom would double the meals she made for Dad and herself and bring the leftovers to Tom, the kids, and me. Both moms brought flowers, and cookies, and games for Benny and Joey. Sweet friends and tiny ladies from church would bring us their time-tested nourishing foods.
The kindness and compassion lifted our spirits. I swear it helped us recover quicker.
When we first moved here, a place we've lived for over twenty years, we had a home-school support group. We made many great friends. When I had my first miscarriage the ladies outdid themselves bringing us complete meals for two weeks. Full meals of roasted turkey, enchiladas, pork chops, soups, chicken and rice and so much more. They brought entire meals setting them out for us on our kitchen table. Such humility we felt as we savored the work of these kind families, a different family each night. Invariably there'd be a lovely get well card presented along with hugs and kind words.
A second miscarriage, a vicious bout of pneumonia, and two healthy births replayed the scene over and over and over. I was pleased to know giving people such as these. Pleased to do the same for them when they needed help.
But people move on. Only a couple of these friends remain in our lives and they are so busy.
We've never found a church that embraced us. We've never fit in.
I miss the niceties. I miss the nourishing. I miss my mom. And Tom's mom. I miss the care.
I miss my health.
I am sad that we are all ill. Sad to see my kids suffering so. I am tired, not able to care for them as I'd like. I feel inadequate. And alone.
But this will pass. We'll be well again.
And when energy returns I'm going to send beautiful, sincere cards to our moms and thank them again for their compassion for us all those years ago. Then I'll get on my knees and thank God for the family and friends who showed me what being human is all about.
And I'll thank him for the contrast he has sent my way.
And I'll ponder these things in my heart.