And so today’s moment of happiness despite the news.
Hooboy. It’s been a rough 24 hours. I wrote yesterday about being at the Sybaris, a place I consider the ultimate in relaxation, in respite, in getting away from it all. I told Michael last night that the Sybaris is about the only place where I don’t mind not seeing the sun. It is that quiet, that soft, that stress-free. Or it was, until this trip.
This trip was my Christmas present. We are at the end of this year, and this year has not been the easiest to get through. When I found out that Michael’s gift was to bring me to the Sybaris, I can’t tell you how excited I was. It was like the perfect buffer between this year and the next. This year – done. Buffer – take a breath, recover, revive. New year – Let’s go! In my mind that thrives on metaphor, this was just perfect.
Well, it wasn’t.
As I left home, my daughter began to vomit. Thus began the tug of war – should we go? should we stay? should we go? should we stay? Olivia is seventeen. One of her brothers was stopping in and he agreed to bring chicken soup, jello, and crackers. We had white soda in the fridge. Our connection was never broken – my cell phone remained on throughout the Sybaris time and Olivia texted and called with writer-graphic details of what was going on. She also called in panic after she read everything on a WebMD type of website and decided she had everything but stomach flu.
Then Michael set in. Not with the flu. But his big toe, which had been bothering him, suddenly turned into a massively painful, swollen digit. He couldn’t put any weight on it, which made getting in and out of the pool interesting. If I approached him, I constantly bumped into his toe. A romantic getaway where your partner flinches every time you draw near? Oh, nice. He had trouble sleeping, because even the weight of the sheet bothered him. Again, we played tug of war. Do we stay, do we go, do we stay, do we go.
We stayed. He flinched and moaned, Olivia texted and moaned, and I cursed the universe.
After checking out, we drove straight to the Urgent Care, with twenty minutes to spare before it closed. I dropped Michael off, went to fetch myself a latte at Starbucks, and got stuck in a line that didn’t bring me back to the UC until three minutes after it closed. The doors were locked. I texted Michael that I was stuck outside and then I sat and stewed in the car until he came out – forty minutes later. Cellulitis in his toe, and he regaled me with writer-graphic details of what they did.
So now we’re home. He’s in his recliner, under my electric throw. Olivia, who is feeling just great today, sat on the arm of my recliner with me while we had dinner. I’m up here, trying to find just one moment of happiness out of all of this. I’ve already said I want a do-over of my Christmas present. I may want to go by myself. Snarl.
Then, on my Facebook page, after a status that summarized this last 24 hours, a friend, an angel named Angel, said, “This might just fall under the category of ‘nobody died’ which some days is a good day. After this year of yours, perhaps that you are here for all this glory is the gift today?”
I personally would change it to, “After this year of yours, perhaps that you are here for all this GORY is the gift today?”
But Angel is right. After this past year, the category of “nobody died” has special meaning to me now. Yesterday afternoon, soon after we arrived at the Sybaris, Michael was napping in the massage chair and I knew Olivia was sleeping at home and I was alone in that wonderful heated pool. Only the pool lights and the fireplace were on and the radio was softly playing and I was singing along. I glanced down and saw the shadows playing over me, and I couldn’t help but notice my breasts, half-submerged. This is the Sybaris, so there was no bathing suit. There was just me and the water. And there they were. There they both were. One is scarred now. The skin where the radiation plowed into me is a darker, duskier color. I can see the pit where the tumor was removed, though I’m told that only I can see it. I am also still numb in that area.
But both breasts were still there. And they looked pretty damn good. And I was there too, able to see them.
I am here to see the glory. Of even really bad days. Which is so much better than no day at all.
Thank you, Angel.
And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.