Here I lie, sill sick in bed with the flu, while watching the thick, fluffy snowflakes falling softly in the yard. My bedroom windows are tall and deep, so as to not miss a thing. I can hear the geese honking overhead, playing in the wind and the powder that flies all around them. Its the only sound I hear, as the lake is quiet and calm once again. The last few days have been stormy, as has been my mood. The waves crashed against the rocks of the perimeter of the house, but have always proved to be a source of comfort for me. They do, in fact, lull me to sleep but not before I wrestle with thoughts of unfinished business and loose ends.
Seemingly endless days and nights of bathroom jaunts (I’ll spare you the nasty details), of hacking coughs and constant nose blowing, of high fevers followed by awakening drenched in sweat become a process my body is performing. I don’t believe in the flu shot – never have- and don’t plan on getting one anytime soon. I only get sick like this about every 10 years, so I look at it as my body detoxing and cleansing itself. Except my body has lousy timing.
Today is the Ides of March and in two days it will be St. Patrick’s Day – a national holiday for me and my family & friends. I love to go to parades, slap on a green wig, drink green beer and listen to bagpipes, fife & drums. It stirs my soul and Amazing Grace never fails to move me. Its a time of partying and celebrating, of being loud and silly, and drinking just a little too much for my own good. It reminds me of my heritage, where I came from, and who I am. Its when I pay homage to those who have come before me and are now gone and laughing along with us as we prance around, foolish, giddy and childish. Its a great day.
Plus, its when I celebrate my birthday.
But not this year, I’m afraid. My horoscope for that day said that I should expect a miracle, and I was.
I jokingly stated I was requesting a ‘do-over’ and would celebrate my birthday AND St. Patty’s day another day. It didn’t seem fair that I had been away from my family & friends and co worker for a few years, off in another house in another land with a different man, celebrating but missing them all. I was looking forward to spending this year with them.
The cards and the calls and the well wishes came, of course, greeted groggily as I awoke from another drug induced sleep. The sweet little voices of my grandchildren sang sweetly through the airwaves, soft “Miss you, Nina” from the younger and “Get better, Nan” from the older ones. The concern in my adult children’s voices was touching – mom was never sick, so this must be bad. I assure them I will be fine.
“Happy Birthday!” “Love You!” “Get Well Soon!” They were all welcome reminders from cousins and relations from marriages past – that I was loved. But one message in particular stood out, and jousted me from my fuzzy mindset.
Easter is early this year, the end of March and I had planned a cooking extravaganza of sorts to celebrate the way we used to when my family was younger. The aroma of baked lamb and ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes drizzled with caramel, and endless crocks of veggies and soups will fill this little house at the lake, and they will lovingly fit around a not quite big enough dining room table to enjoy it all. Some will say the best part is dessert that they all bring, and the giant basket of chocolate for the “children”, no age limit necessary.
It will also be a time to get acquainted with new members of the family, and introduce those who are important to each other. There is a new man in my life and he is part of them all now too; so much so that I want his children to meet my children. The circle has started turning.
I moved back home for the last time April 1 of last year, so the day after Easter will also signal another milestone. I decided that will be my day of a do over. I will be whole again by then in both body and spirit, and what a fitting way to celebrate. Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, signaling a new birth for all of us and a new beginning, a chance at the ultimate do over.