When Illness Heals

It’s been a rough few weeks in my house. My husband came down with the flu. Yes, the real flu; positive flu test at the doctor’s office and everything. I gloated for a day or two, because I got the flu shot and I did not have the flu. Then, I got the flu. When one parent is down with the flu, it’s tough, when two are down, it’s catastrophic. If you’ve never had the real flu, congratulations! I’ll briefly describe it for you: all of your bones and joints feel like they have been smashed with a hammer, alternating teeth-chattering chills with full-body sweats, exhaustion so great you don’t even have the energy to watch TV. Later, comes the sinus congestion and cough, which, bonus – very often turns into pneumonia.

In the week preceding flupocaylpse I’d been feeling really crappy. Without getting into too much detail, a person I considered a good friend just completely stopped all interaction with me. Yes, I’ve been ghosted. Funnily, during the height of my feeling sad and confused, the NYT published a great article about how ghosting someone is a shitty, psychotic thing to do to someone.  

But, here’s the thing, when both Mike and I were sick, my friends and family came through for us and supported us in a way that helped me realize who the real superstars are in my life. They brought us groceries and medicine, they cooked us fancy soup, they offered transportation for the kids, they sent numerous texts checking on us. One of my oldest friends, who is a nurse, offered to come over and listen to our lungs to make sure we weren’t getting pneumonia. These are the superstars in my life. The people that shine a light so bright on what real friendship is that it blots out the darkness of four days of fever.

So, even though I wouldn’t wish the flu on anyone, and I certainly don’t want to experience it anytime soon, I’m a little glad I caught it when I did. Because through the kindness of my true friends in a time of need, it helped me get over the strange sadness that occurs when a friendship ends. I am grateful for this healing illness, and my loving friends and family, and I would encourage all of you to think about who brings light into your life, and perhaps shine a little on their lives, because it might mean more than you think.

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