i am just now recovering from quite possibly THE worst flu of my entire life. if i thought i could’ve been vaccinated to prevent it, in hindsight, i think i would’ve. as much as i hate vaccines.
it was one of those illnesses that make you feel like you’ve been to hell and back.
last nite as i took my place on the couch. to wallow alone in my misery. for the fourth nite in a row. so as not to wake my husband and the baby. the most horrendous chills. fever. and aches overcame me.
and as i lay there. all i could do was pray.
there was no rosary to grasp. i had taken my scapular off the day before to take a shower. and in a fog i never put it back on. it was just me. the pain and the darkness.
and for some reason. when i asked Jesus to have mercy on me. He didn’t. it was as if the pain intensified. every. time. i begged Him to take it from me.
but in that darkness. out of the blue. (that’s a contradiction, no?)
a thought came into my delirious mind: i imagined that i had read recently about a man who was told that whenever he was alone. even if he was sinking at the bottom of the ocean. all he needed to do was call out to the Blessed Mother. and she would rescue him. and lo and behold. he happened to find himself in that exact predicament. drowning. sinking to the bottom of the ocean. he quickly remembered to invoke the Queen of Heaven. and she came to his rescue.
so i grasped for the words HEALTH OF THE SICK. and i repeated them slowly. and with God as my witness. i was relieved. but no sooner did i finish. and the pain would return to me. and so for four hours. in and out of consciousness. drowning in my misery. i invoked the REFUGE OF SINNERS. TOWER OF IVORY. COMFORTER OF THE AFFLICTED. MYSTICAL ROSE….every name and title i could think of. from her litany. the only devotion i have managed to recite. and poorly at that. during this month of hers.
i called out to her. mother in my time of need. at an hour long past when my own mother had gone home. leaving homemade chicken soup and a clean kitchen in her stead.
but i really have to give credit here to my mama. not just for the chicken soup. because just the other day i shared with my children that part of the reason i knew that litany so well was because every morning on my way to school. my mama and i read our morning “prayers” from a tattered little dominican prayer book. and that was one of them. the words so poetically rolled off of my tongue. first as a child. then later as a bratty teenager. and now as a mother myself.
chicken soup for the soul you could say. then and now.
that’s what a real mother gives. nourishment not just to the body. but to the soul as well.
and never has that been more apparent to me than during this bloody week.
as my family has been existing on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and frozen chicken pot pie. my poor husband can only do so much.
looking back to last week i was so whiny and worn out. complaining and grumbling about all of the work. the schedules. the misbehaving.
and today i longed. as i have never longed. to wash out the soap dish of all the grime it had accumulated during these past few days. to prepare a meal. to do a reading lesson with fervor.
i can see now why HE didn’t take that pain away from me. sometimes HE uses fire to purify us. it is HIS way.
and not that i ever have. but friends, do not ever discount the help that only the Mother of God can give.
she knows only too well the weariness of motherhood. whether we are sick or well.
it’s really too bad that sometimes we have to go to hell and back to realize these things.
hope you are all well. and i wish you a glorious weekend!