Y’all. I got the flu twice. Let me clarify. It was suspected that I had the flu twice. A few weeks ago, I had all the symptoms, and because it was too late to get meds, I stayed home and tried to keep the germs to myself.
Almost exactly two weeks later, after feeling great for a number of days, it was back. Every symptom, including the achy body that made me want to cry. I joked that the last time I felt such intolerable pain, I got an epidural and a baby. That’s a bit of a stretch, but in the moment, it felt terrible.
For the second round, the flu swab was negative, but the doc I saw didn’t want to take any chances. Home with meds and orders for isolation, just to be safe.
In case you’re wondering, the flu swab is no picnic. Much like a strep test, it involves a long Q-tip like thing. Unlike the strep test, they ram the Q-tip up your nose and spin it around. Mercy.
I was all up in my feelings and had a major pity party about the inconvenience of being sick again. I ranted about the woman I saw in Walgreens who coughed right out into the open air for 20 minutes. Occasionally, when she would cover her mouth, she coughed on her bare hand, which she’d use to touch everything in the pharmacy section before putting it all back.
Resting on the couch, wallowing in my misery, I was thinking about the fact that The Man had jury duty, putting him home later than usual. The kids had a busy week. How would we manage? Who would make my mom’s chicken soup?
Ding! My phone. I had a text. “Please pray for us. My husband’s dad had a heart attack this morning and died. We are on the way to be with his mom now.” Gut punch. Sunday night, this husband, father, grandfather and friend was FaceTiming with his granddaughters. Monday morning, his family was making funeral arrangements.
We say it all the time, and it’s a popular cliche, but a reminder never hurts. Life is short. Moments are fleeting. We are busy. We miss those moments. We can’t be around for everything. Life gets busy.
My oldest turns 14 this week. I have friends with new babies, which admittedly gives me baby fever. I see why people go back and have another after a decade or more has passed. Our family is the perfect size, so we won’t be adding a bundle to the mix, but I’m reminded to pause. I don’t want to ever be too busy to listen or watch. This moment, once it passes, never comes back.
I may sound sappy, and that’s okay. It’s birthday season in our house, and I always get a little weepy. The teenage years come quickly, and you can feel them passing at warp speed.
Hold those babies tight. Make sure your husband knows you love him. Don’t just assume; tell him. Hug your people, people.
And for the love of all things holy, please cover your mouth when you cough.