It’s been a rough week around here. My family had a nice Christmas, and I’m thankful for that. But for everything else that has happened in the past ten days or so…well, all I can say about that is, “Hey world, go fuck yourself.”
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
The entire week of Christmas my son was terribly sick with RSV. For those of you who don’t have young kids, that’s a nasty respiratory virus that likes to linger and can often cause hospitalizations. Bryce didn’t need to go to the hospital, but he did require round the clock breathing treatments and he had a fever for six days. We were pretty much house bound the entire week of Christmas. My husband and I started coming down with symptoms on Christmas day. It only makes sense given how Bryce repeatedly coughed in our faces while we were caring for him. He can’t help it. He’s five. The upside to this was that during our quarantine, we binge watched all the Star Wars movies and all eight Harry Potter movies.
We then had to cancel our holiday travel plans due to the respiratory virus that began sweeping its way through our house. Our relatives thanked us for not exposing them to our hateful contagion.
Two days after Christmas, while this virus was happily laying waste to my holiday cheer and energy levels, I got on Facebook and found that the world had turned itself upside down. You know those moments in life where your reality sort of tips over and sends you free-falling? Two days after Christmas I discovered that an old friend whom I had known for more than twenty-five years had passed away. We went to high school together and we kept in touch mostly through Facebook. I know many people wouldn’t call that friendship, but I went to a small school, and many of us keep in touch with each other through this medium. We post pictures of our kids and laugh with each other over the trials of parenting. Well, this friend was a beautiful human being. She radiated sunshine and light. She was 40 years old and a mother of five beautiful children. And, as it turns out, most of us didn’t know she was suffering. I had no idea she suffered from depression. I think most of us didn’t know. She was always happy smiles and kind words, always giving of herself to help others. She was a great mom and the kind of parent you sometimes envied. You know, the one who seems to find the time to make everything from scratch and still look beautiful and like she totally has everything together. The day after Christmas she took her own life. My heart is broken for her family. For her children. I can’t even imagine the emotional pain she must have been suffering to make that choice. To feel like that was the only option left to her. Depression is a dirty, rotten, lying mother-fucker and it has claimed another beautiful soul.
Yesterday, my husband called our plumber out to the house because he noticed our hot-water heater was leaking. Well, not only does the water heater need to be replaced, but unbeknownst to us, it had been leaking for a while, and we discovered black mold growing inside the wall and under the flooring. We had a crew working all day yesterday, ripping out moldy drywall, wood boards and flooring. We had no idea it was inside the wall. I now have an industrial size de-humidifier in my house that sounds like a damn jet engine. And because of the holiday and drying out/treatment process, nothing can be done for about five more days. Half of my garage is tented off and part of the stairwell inside as well. The noise from the de-humidifier is deafening, and I have no hot water for the next week or so. I know, first world problems. Blah, blah, blah.
Last night, I went to urgent care to deal with this respiratory virus that seems to be getting worse. My lungs feel like they’re on fire and my throat feels like I’ve been swallowing glass. The doctor at the urgent care was super hot. (Huge sigh, accompanied by an eye roll.) I look like death warmed over and I’ve got that awesome bright red ring around my nose that’s all chapped and painful. I accidentally coughed in his face. I’m sure he gets that a lot. Whatever. He says I have bronchitis. He gave me good drugs, so I’m thankful for hot doctor.
Today, after not sleeping much and dreaming about friends lost, I was woken up at the crack of dawn by the sounds of the moldy men crew using electric saws to cut apart my walls, once again. After they left, my husband left for San Diego. He’s going to the Holiday Bowl with his best friend. While I’m home…sick…with two kids…all the pets…in a house that sounds like it’s sitting on an airport runway. He’ll be home tomorrow. He’s staying with his friend in San Diego tonight because it’s a night game. That means he’ll get a hot shower tomorrow before he comes home. I can’t shower. Because there is no hot water. For a week. I think I hate him a little bit right now, but it’s not really his fault. But I’m going to act like it is because I need someone to blame. I know, it’s the bronchitis talking.
This past week has really kicked the shit out of me. I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally. So instead of writing a Happy New Year post filled with bullshit optimistic resolutions, I’m just going to be thankful for my life. I’m thankful for my family, my recovering health (Yay for drugs!), that I have a house and the resources to fix what’s broken. I’m thankful for my friends, both real and imagined (that means you WordPress!). I’m thankful for hot doctors and urgent care centers. I’m thankful for pharmacies, pizza delivery guys, Advil, coffee and that box of homemade fudge my neighbor brought over. I’m thankful for endless boxes of tissues and Carmex ointment to put on my chapped nose. And lastly, I’m thankful for the heart that beats in my chest. The heart that fills with joy at the sight of my family and also breaks with sadness at the loss of a friend. I’m thankful for my ability to feel and love and grow from the hard things in life.
Happy New Year, world. Wherever you are, may your New Year be filled with light and love.