I’m sick. I caught a late season cold. It’s about time. I’ve burned the candle at both ends for a while now, and as much as I love kissing 2 year olds, they don’t keep their germs to themselves. Last night, at 2 am, when I awoke for the 3rd time coughing and with a head full of snot, I started to have a pity party. I was thinking how, now that I am single, I have no one to take care of me when I am sick. Then I roused a little more, and said, “Get real Kathie, NOBODY has ever taken care of you during an illness.”
When I was young, my parents thought that if we were sick enough to stay home from school, we were sick enough to be in bed, and that…..was pretty much it. I might get a special request from the grocery store if my mom was going there anyway, which is how I discovered that if you eat an entire fresh pineapple by yourself, you can add a raw mouth to the pain of strep throat. I was so jealous of other kids that got set up in front of the TV, parent stayed home from work, special coloring books and home activities. And then I realized that I missed a lot less school than they did, and got better grades as a result. Nobody spoiled me when I got sick.
Jim was not a caretaker. He was a busy guy, he ran his life off of a to do list, and he had little time for sickness. The kids, mine, or his own. I remember many an evening, pulling myself up off the couch with a fever, a cold, or just exhaustion, to make dinner for our family. Jim had the after school hours to catch up on work, run errands, or go for a bike ride. This didn’t change just because I got sick. There were many times after Jim’s cancer diagnosis where friends said, “It’s a good thing Jim is sick instead of Kathie….he couldn’t do this for her.” And, they were right. Jim was not a caretaker.
So, I am sick. I take care of myself. I went to bed early last night, and when the alarm went off for swimming this am, I punched it, rolled over and caught 2 more hours of sleep. I took a decongestant, and went for a lovely mountain bike ride. I don’t stop the daily habit of brushing my teeth when I have a cold, why stop the daily habit of fresh air and exercise? I went slow. I walked my bike when I hit snow. I took a rest break at my favorite spot on Moscow Mountain, where the wind always whispers through the Ponderosa Pine. I have time this afternoon to put my feet up, and there is even homemade chicken soup in the fridge. I take care of myself.
I am sick. It is just a cold. If I take care of myself, it will be gone in 7 days. If I don’t, it’ll take a week. I’ll be fine. But still, I wonder, what would it feel like to have someone spoil me when I am sick?