My late grandmother, who lived to the ripe old age of 98 and died peacefully in her own home, who was tougher than anyone I’ll ever meet, who my dad actually said he was scared of when he first started dating my mom, who drove too fast and loved others too deep, who always offered to feed you and do your laundry when you visited, that same grandmother had a sign hanging in her kitchen that read, GETTING OLD AIN’T FOR SISSIES.
I don’t know where she got it. It wasn’t even a sign really, but a photocopied, yellowed, piece of paper with the edges curling up that someone had printed out for her. It was cute to see it thumbtacked to her wall along with and next to scriptures and framed cross-stitch patterns.
I’ve been thinking of her a lot and her particular sign since Monday when I turned 39 years old. The date rolled over on the calendar and I met it willingly. I’m not one to fuss over getting older. I’m not going to stay 29 forever or even 39 forever. I’m going to shout out my age to anyone who wants to know. There are so many who don’t get the privilege to grow older, who die young, that we should celebrate every year we’re given. Personally, I had been looking forward to my birthday because it was one year closer to my forties and my forties will be fabulous. I am actually ready to embrace my forties.
However, as my birthday progressed I began to feel poorly. EK had been fighting a fever for the past couple of days prior and then Ashlynn was struck down with some sort of vile illness of the kind which had her writhing and moaning. I almost thought I should skip the doctor and the mortuary and just drop her off at the cemetery to save some money. I spent my day running a small infirmary, wiping snot and making potato soup and the likes. By the time I crawled into bed, I was wiped out and hit hard with something myself. Honestly, I need a do-over on my birthday.
Tuesday I was worse. But I am on occasion an optimist and I hoped that Wednesday would find me whole again. I arose and said my healthy affirmations. I am happy, healthy, and alive. Every cell in my body is filled with health. But as you can see, here it is Friday and I’m still down with the funk. Although no one has yet to bring ME a kleenex or a bowl of soup. What is up with that? There’s a hammering in my ears so strong now that I don’t even know if anything I’m typing is making sense.
In order to whip what I believe is a viral infection that a doctor can do nothing for, speed it along, and try to find some relief at the same time, the last few days I have tried a variety of homeopathic, home remedies here at home, and a few over the counter ones, including but not limited to herbal teas, gargling salt water, pain relievers, cold relievers, allergy relievers, humidifiers, Vicks Vapor rub, honey, ginger, cinnamon, garlic!!!!
GARLIC! I put an entire clove of garlic (cut in two—-a piece in each cheek) and sucked on it like a lozenge for like an hour. And I’m here to tell you, sucking on garlic for nearly an hour AIN’T FOR SISSIES! (Neither is living with someone who sucked on a garlic clove for an hour, my family would like to add).
The remedy list continues: oil pulling, yoga, lymphatic massage, thymus thumping (think of a gorilla beating his chest), vitamins, sitting in the sun, exercise to sweat it out, hot showers with steam, lozenges, alka seltzer, calling on my facebook prayer warriors to pray and my momma too, and the biggest no-no in the world: leftover antibiotics belonging to someone else (because why the heck not at this point).
After all that, I’m still alive! Not sure if I want to be at this point but nevertheless I am alive.
And still sick.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that the fates, the gods, the universe—-whatever—-is playing a really mean, cruel joke on this 39 year old, allowing me a taste of growing older. Chiding me for believing my forties will be fabulous and thinking the best is yet to come. No, no, no, I don’t believe that at all. I have come to the conclusion that incidentally a really tough virus got in my body at precisely the same time I had a birthday making me feel like it’s all downhill from here. But it’s not.
I will overcome. I am an overcomer. I am ready to be done with this sickness, have a DO-OVER birthday and have the greatest year of my life.
Starting tomorrow, I hope.