I want my mother

I have the ’flu. It seems very single time I fly, I get sick, so I’d like to blame those people carrying germs with whom I was locked into the cabin of a Boeing 737 and those who followed me around in various airports for the 18 hours it took me to get from Vancouver to home in Nova Scotia.
But if we examine the facts, the truth would have something to do with the lack of sleep during the long journey—and the germs got to pounce on me when my back was turned and my guard was down.
I took the overnight flight because I had some foolish idea I would sleep as the aircraft droned over province after province trying to get me home in one piece.
I arrived home and within a few hours of landing, I was down and out—in bed with a fever and trying to cough up a lung. And I’m feeling very sorry for myself, I must say.
I’ve also realized that if I were lost in the wilderness, there would be no epic feats of strength and perseverance; no “Reader’s Digest” story of my heroic escape from the jaws of death.
I would find a cozy spot to curl up in and officially give up the fight.
I got a ’flu shot this year after not having done so for many years. I realize it’s a bit of a crapshoot as to which virus is going to attack in any given moment, but I felt armed and somewhat protected.
And now I lie here wondering which breath will be my last.
The thing about being sick is no matter how old we are, we want our mother to come and make it all better.
My mother was a wonderful nurse when we were sick. She never tired of wiping our foreheads with a cool cloth or wiping down our arms with “tepid” water when we had a fever (I liked that word “tepid” that she explained was not warm and not cold, a bit like Goldilocks and her porridge).
The very best remedy for all that ailed us was a serving of toast with brown sugar on it. It almost was worth getting sick just to have that toast.
She brought us honey on a spoon when we coughed into the night. She tucked a hot water bottle in under us to keep us warm when we had the shivers. She sang to us and told us stories. And she never complained about losing sleep because of our ills.
I think there are moments in our life, no matter what age we are, when we want our mother. We want her to gather us up in her arms, figuratively speaking or literally, depending upon our size.
We want her to put her lips on our temples and chase away the aches and pains of being sick. I want to hear my mother coming down the hall with a sip of ginger ale for me.
I want to hear that footstep that has been gone too long, but not so long that I have forgotten.
I want to be her child when I am sick; someone who can be rescued by a hug and a promise that tomorrow will be better and my germs will have given up the fight and moved on.
But instead, I lie here promising not to move in case it wakens another fit of coughing. There, there, my mother would say. Just lie still.
So I shall lie still, and hope for the best and try not to give up the fight just yet.
wendistewart@live.ca

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail