Well, the stomach flu happened, despite my best efforts to avoid it. A nasty, highly contagious, very violent stomach flu. It had been making its way through my family while I was out in Seattle, so I postponed my trip back to New York in order to: a. avoid getting sick while on the plane, and b. avoid infecting my husband, who’s had a hard enough month as it is. I imagined I’d be upchucking in a big old plastic cake lid that has long served as the go-to bedside vomitorium in my childhood home. I had accepted my fate and even got a little nostalgic about using the ole cake lid once more.
But, in fact, rather than rendezvous with the cake lid, I appeared to have dodged the bullet. Seven days and no virus! I merrily hopped on the plane and headed home…and promptly began to get sick. Life’s been giving us the big middle finger this month, so of course I did. I barely made it off the plane at JFK in time to heave in the relative comfort of our Brooklyn bathroom.
I’m not gonna lie. It was bad. That was Saturday and I’m only just starting to feel up to eating again. The moral of this story? Not sure. Maybe that you can’t outfox a stomach virus. Or maybe that when it rains it pours – I mean, after the grief of the unexpected death of my father-in-law a few weeks ago and ongoing difficulty of dealing with the aftermath of that…obviously what Sid and I most need right now is a horrific stomach flu.
But what I choose to take from it instead is that shit happens and you’ve just got to roll on. That’s life. Both the human body and human spirit are remarkably resilient. Yes, my husband and I are feeling low right now, but we are lucky in many ways. We have each other. We have jobs we love, and amazing friends and family. And the sun is out and the brutal heat of summer is fading and we will get through this – virus, death, and death’s coldly practical, financially stressful, and emotionally draining aftermath.
So, onward. School starts next week – a bright spot on my horizon. And this has been a surprisingly good summer for writing, especially considering the circumstances. I’ve got some book reviews planned for the blog. My husband is getting back into his groove at work and we don’t have a single trip planned until late September, so we’ll actually be home for a whole month continuously. Maybe we can find the new normal around here. In fact, I know we will.
Still, reflecting on it, I would have preferred to have gotten sick with my arms cradled around the cake lid, to feel my mom’s warm hand on my back and her voice telling me everything will be okay, just like when I was a kid.
But we all have to grow up sometime.