Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sick. Sick. Sick.

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.

20 comments:

Sandy's Notes said...

Cherie, I'm sorry I don't live near by, I'd make you some chicken noodle soup, with bigs chunks of chicken and those large noodles. I'd also put a little bit of love inside to make your whole family better.

tony said...

I would make you a great Big Chicken Vindaloo& rice!
I hope your all on the mend.
People Can Surprise Us With The Kindness They Offer.
Take Care
Regards
Tony.

Cecily said...

Oh no Cherie... if only I lived closer too! I'd bring spaghetti bolognese and garlic bread and parmesan cheese and maybe even a salad to go with it. And I'd offer to do some cleaning or washing...

May you all get better real fast!

Cherie said...

You guys are the BEST!!!

Sun is shining today and I am heading back to my care taker chores, but I shall print up your kind words and well wishes and read them to my patients. Good for the soul, you know.

Tony, I shall have to look up Chicken Vindaloo, for I've not heard of it. Bet it's great!

Sandy, your soup sounds divine, especially with the love included. = )

And Cecily, oooooh, yum! And help with the cleaning and washing. Wow, I am wishing Tassie wasn't on the other side of my world. ; )

Again, thanks. Your kindness is appreciated and worth a whole lot.

tshsmom said...

More than anything, we want someone to say "Go to bed, I'll handle this".

My baby girl called last week, sicker than a dog..."I want my Mommy." I told her that's the worst part of growing up..having to take care of ourselves. :(

Pam said...

Here's hugs for all (germs be danged) and plenty of love and good wishes for the return of good health. Nothing makes us appreciate it more than not having it... And an extra hug for Cassie for hanging in there as the well one!

liz said...

Cherie, I'm struggling to live and love in a community just now that doesn't know how to love. Maybe just one of my tasks is to show them how. It makes all the difference.
Sending you lots of love and hugs hoping that even virtual ones will make a difference.
xxx

Mike S said...

Nice to hear you're feeling better. This place is so like what you remember of your past. One sure way to gain weight in winter here is to recover from an illness prior to all the extra food running out. The schools here have several private groups where students do community service voluntarily and one thing they tend to do is clean homes for the sick and elderly from time to time. Hope all are well soon. (by the way, gonna be sunny for a few days after zooming past 125" yesterday. Thats 10' 5" or about 3+meters and doesn't count the rain earlier in the week that reduced the ground cover a tiny bit.)

Cherie said...

Tshs: You've got that 100% right. "Go to bed. I'll handle this." That'd be perfect. And yes, growing up is great, but the mommy factor - who can top that? Daughters do a pretty good job. So sorry that SME was ill. Poor thing. ;(

Thanks for the germs-be-danged hugs, Pam. Your hugs are so great! And Cassie appreciates her extra hug, too.

Liz, I know you are having a rough time so for you to take a moment to comfort me, well, I sure appreciate it. Perhaps that is what your trial are about, as you suggest, teaching others the ways of love. It does make all the difference, and your virtual hugs and well wishes help a LOT. Thank you!

Mike, how I envy you and your community minded, service-oriented neighbors. Wonderful! How well I remember. 125" Holy Smokes!!! Your white pile has grown since last I heard from you. Take more pictures, okay? Love them!

I'm printing up these comments and will read them to the Living Room Gang! Makes them snuggle under their little blankets and smile. Joe, our son, found he didn't have to go to work today so he made a big pot of chicken soup (from scratch!) and brought it over with some hearty whole grain bread. It went down like the taste of love. We shoo'd him out the door so he wouldn't be exposed too long. This sickness is reminding me of things I'd stored away too long, and teaching me new things. Thanks again, everyone. Consider yourselves part of our recovery.

reckless said...

Community- life is nothing without it.
This time of the year between the depths of winter and the hope of new life is a time the body struggles.
I try to focus on spring/new life, and hope.
I wish you all a speedy recovery, and new joy.
Sean;-)

tony said...

Vindaloo is a very hot&spicy pakistani meal.it would blow your socks off its Soooo chilli-Hot!

Cherie said...

Thanks, Sean. I think you are right about the struggle during this time of year. Like a rebirth of sorts - not an easy transition. New joy is something we eagerly await, even as poor Cassie woke up this morning miserable. Our brave little soldier has fallen ill - quite ill. Sigh...

Tony, soooo chilli hot, huh? Wow! We love hot stuff. Perhaps the heat in the food would make us forget our troubles, blow the sickness right on out of our bodies! Ha! ; ) As soon as I get well I'm heading for the recipes to see what I can find. You've got me curious.

Deanna said...

Cherie, I hadn't been here to read until today, and I'm so sorry to hear what you've been struggling with. I could've come, but I didn't know. Could've only heated canned soup, but thankfully you got a treat from your well-raised son. (I hear he's a GREAT cook, and that Valentine's Day at Gutenberg was special because of his skill.)

What breaks my heart is that you haven't found yourself fitting in at church here. I wish I could help - I well relate to being a lone individual, and God gives me just what I need, but now always what I'd prefer.

Could you use some canned soup later today? :o)

Cherie said...

Thanks, Deanna. I'll email.

Today: First thing this morning the dog hopped onto the bed, burrowed under the spread, and emptied the contents of his stomach. Joy.

Later on, after I managed to make mush for everyone for breakfast (yes, Tom's still hot and coughing/sneezing, Caroline's nose is slowing down a little, I am tired tired tired, but worst of all, Cassie the Brave is feverish and bedridden - we're all pitiful, I have to say. Deep sigh...) oh, I was about to say, I dropped the thermometer and it broke on the tile floor, teeny shards of glass and blobs of mercury.

What's it like to be energetic and normal....?

sean said...

We were just talking about Mafia, and corruption- today in the BBC NEWS I read this report.

reckless said...

click on sean above to get the BBC report.

Cherie said...

I'm printing it up, Sean. I just skimmed it - frightening!! Thanks...I'll get back to you after I do the article justice. Tom'll read it, too, no doubt.

Annie said...

Cherie! I haven't been here in awhile and am saddened to know you and your cherished family have been struggling. I know what it's like to miss Mamma and also what it's like to have had a strong support system that falls apart over time. How I wish I lived nearby. I'd join the others in bringing you food maybe a home cooked beef stew with biscuits plus a fruit salad and a yummy chocolate cake. And don't forget a bouquet of flowers for you to enjoy. I'd join Cecily in helping you clean and do laundry, too. I am happy that you are all doing better knowing that brave Cassie will be well soon. She has all of you.

Prayers, love, and lots of care going your way from my family to yours. Hugs.

Cherie said...

You're sweet, Annie. How I appreciate your kindness to us. Your words are like health - good for body and soul. Thank you very very much!

Tom and I are feeling much better today. More energy, less symptoms. Cassie is napping, using tissues, and reading Jane Austen off and on, Caroline is doing great, almost 100%. All in all I think we are about ready to face the world again. Yay!

Enough of the 'sick talk' from me.

Moving on...

:D

Cherie said...

Sean: We read the article. It's like watching a cancer return, there's a certain hopeless frustration isn't there.

I remember when, during the Iran-Contra affair way back when, Col. Oliver North said: It's a dangerous world. The powers that be in the government and media laughed at him, mocked even.

He was right. It is.

Are those powers that be simply trying to keep the truth from the average citizen, as though we can't learn it on our own? How stupid do they think we are? Pretty stupid, I'd guess.