Emma has been sick for about two weeks now. It is a really nasty virus that started as a sore throat and has now morphed into a cough. On Wednesday of last week, I caught that virus. I do not know how she has survived these past two weeks with such poise. I have not been as graceful.
The first two symptoms of this virus are sore throat and fever. I checked my temperature on Thursday morning to discover that it was true; I had contracted this death plague, however a funny thing happened when I was checking my temperature. I found myself hoping for a fever. I cannot remember the last time I had a fever, and my most vivid memories of fever are from my childhood. I remember waking up and feeling sick, and telling my mom that I did not feel well. She would always bring me the thermometer to see if I was actually sick or faking, as we younger siblings are known to do. That was the moment of truth. I was never quite able to master the, hold the thermometer against the light bulb trick, in order to feign a fever. Don’t get me wrong, I tried it a lot, it just never worked. Apparently a temperature of 152 degrees is “wildly ridiculous.” But I went to church and I knew how to pray. So I would take that thermometer, stick it under my tongue and hit my knees.
Then I would pray with all my might for a fever.
I remember watching the little digital numbers climb higher and higher, knowing that a Ferris Buellerian day off from school was just a few degrees away. Higher and higher it would climb, but it never seemed to reach 99, no matter how hard I prayed. Ironically, the day that it far surpassed my expectations and reached 101, I soon realized that having a 101 degree fever does not coalesce with the shenanigans I had hoped would fill my day off from school.
It was really a lose-lose scenario.
Yet because these memories were so etched in my mind, I found myself last Thursday, as a fully functional adult, praying for a fever. I immediately regretted it, because taking a day off from work is not the same as taking a day off from school. You idiot! I thought to myself. Who prays for a fever? And yet, I love these little associations that we make in our minds. Every time I smell red beans and rice, I think of my grandmother. That used to make me sad because it only reminded me of her death, but now I see it for the joy that it truly is. In those brief moments when I smell the beans cooking, I have my grandmother back with me. I can hear her quoting the Bible, and yelling at me to get my elbows off the table. I have to stop and cherish those moments, because they are rare and precious, and I am easily distracted by the busyness of life.
I hope that you have not caught any sickness recently. I know that it is going around, compounded by the many allergens in the air. Either way I leave you with these words from Ferris himself, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Have a wonderful week my friends,