Monday, April 20, 2015
My friends don't bring soup when I am sick.
For the past several weeks, I've been sick with asthmatic bronchitis. It all began, of course, during my spring break. This was actually a good thing, as all teachers can relate, because I didn't have to create sub-plans. Those plans take me hours to compile and I was too sick to do anything, but sleep. I was even sick while my son came home from college, and over my birthday weekend, and Easter. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself!
One dear friend, Lori asked if she could host a small birthday dinner for me once break was over, friends were home from their vacations and I was well. I am not usually one to accept such offers, but agreed and thought it would be nice thing to look forward to. I told her, " I don't know who will come, but if even just 5 gals show up, it will be fun to be together!"
However, after break, I was still ill. I tried to go back to school, managed to struggle through a day and then went to see the doctor that afternoon.
"Breathe into this peak flow meter," the nurse requested as I sat hacking in the room, waiting for the doctor to arrive.
"Huh?" I huffed and puffed and that little red flag only went up a tiny bit. She looked at me strangely, left the room quickly and suddenly, the doctor appeared. She looked stressed. Your peak flow is less than 200. I looked at her blankly.
"You must do a nebulizer treatment right here, right now," Dr. Chang implored. So, I complied. After it was finished, she re-tested my peak flow rate and was slightly pleased to see it had risen to 200. She then told me 400 would be normal for someone like me. Whatever that means?
"Go home, take the antibiotic, use this inhaler, get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids and soup," she recommended, "you will probably feel lousy for at least another week. But the fluids will help."
Wonderful, I thought to myself. How can I miss a week of school? I can't. So I only took a day off and went back to teaching. I could only muster strength to get through the days with my class, and then every afternoon came directly home and slept for hours.
Now where does the soup come in? No where.. None of my friends called and offered to bring soup! I had to make it myself! I, who always volunteer to make meals for families who need help. I even make nice 4 course dinners complete with wine and dessert! I make dinners for families who typically have a mom and a dad and teenagers. I, who have the teenager, have no spouse to intercede when I am sick! I wanted soup. I was not happy. ( I should mention, I did not ASK anyone to help me, of course.)
One evening, while still sick, I lamented to my friend, that I always make other people dinner who have spouses who could for "Gods sakes make their own dinners." I could tell she was laughing at me, "LOL," she texted. I was miffed.
A few days later, she called to say, " Well, they might not bring you soup, but they certainly want to party with you! I have already received 7 RSVPS for your dinner party!"
I still didn't get soup. I didn't get anything, but some texts throughout the weeks, inquiring as to how I was feeling. However, as I gradually returned to the life of the living and started to feel better, I began to look forward to the weekend ahead eager to get back to regular life after 3 weeks of coughing and need I mention, irritability?
Last Friday night, as I walked down the path to Lori's door, I immediateley sensed that she had gone to a lot of trouble for my "little" birthday dinner. Through the window, I glimpsed candles sparkling on the mantle, a huge vase of my favorite spring flowers on the entry table and could hear laughter coming from inside. As she opened the door, she greeted me with a big hug.
"They might not bring you soup, but they brought you champagne!"
There, inside her beautiful home, were 24 of my dearest girlfriends there to celebrate my birthday! I was shocked and surprised and somewhat chagrined. I had thought no one cared about me, and here they all were to hug and love and laugh with me. There were jugs of roses from their gardens, presents wrapped in cheery paper, bottles of wine..and yes, many bottles of champagne. But most importantly, there was the realization of how blessed I am to have so many friends to celebrate the good times with.
The next morning, as I reflected on all the conversations and laughter and how lucky I am to have such loving and dear girlfriends, it dawned on me, that some of us in life bring soup, and others of us bring champagne.
Here's a toast to champagne- toting friends!