Blessings & a little perspective

by flowers on November 4, 2009 · 17 comments

We had the flu. It felt like the flu does–horrible. Our entire flow dissipated into marathon movies, couch pile-ups and enormous amounts of emergen-C. I had it a bit longer than the kids and I think it’s because they were able to sleep more. I was up at night soothing them so they could sleep and it seemed to inhibit my healing.

We’re better now. There were a few really rough days and now we all have a lingering cough and I’m so thankful.

I am so thankful to be healthy. I am thankful to have access to quality food and clean drinking water. I am thankful that we have a comfortable home. I am thankful we could stay home and do what we needed to do to get better. I am thankful for the friends who dropped by elderberry syrup, picked up our milk share and dropped off a few Halloween treats when we couldn’t go trick-or-treating. I am thankful for the dozens of offers I received from neighbors and friends to bring us food or groceries or anything else we needed.

I understand that some people die from the flu and for someone with another health condition it may be very dangerous. I am thankful we did not find ourselves in that situation and my heart pours out for families experiencing this right now. I am reminded that life is fragile and there is a blessing in this mindfulness. Because at any moment, at anytime, someone in my family could die. It could have been the flu, or a car accident, or a terminal diagnosis.

Essentially that is what life is about–waking up in the moment, savoring it because it’s just a blip in the whole scheme of things. In a way our lives are insignificant and in that same way they are magnificent. Life is so short and death is inevitable. When I am reminded of this my patience is longer and those two year old antics make me smile instead of cry. Days can be so long, but one lifetime seems so short.

When I was sick last week it was amidst the media frenzy of H1N1. As I lay on my couch I thought about all of this a lot. Usually when I’m sick, I’m just sick, but this time I was thinking about fear and families and flu shots. I was happy my family was so healthy to begin with, but what if they weren’t? Would we get the shot? I’m someone who errs on the side of Nature. I think we get the best immunity from experiencing illness, but I also respect science and the amazing things we have discovered. It is a difficult choice for many people and the media frenzy makes it that much harder for people to wade through the information and their intuition.

I’ve been trying to write this post for a few days and it’s been tough. It’s a touchy subject (fear, death and H1N1), but mostly what I want to say is that blessings come in all sorts of packages. Sometimes what we fear the most holds the most abundance for us. This is true for our experience with the flu. I didn’t necessarily want it and everyone is so afraid of it, but for us it brought out the best of life–the love, the safety, the comfort, the friends and it in the middle of a fever I found out we are expecting another child. Talk about unearthed blessings!

I hope your family is safe and well today. I hope you are wading through this craze with a steady mind and centered heart. I know many people are sick right now and I hope your family fares as well as mine did (well minus the pregnancy if that’s not your thing ;-)). Savor this time together and be well.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

exhale. return to center. November 4, 2009 at 11:11 pm

congratulations again on your wonderful news!!!

and thank you, as always, for sharing your beautiful perspective.

i hosted a mothers’ retreat this past weekend and the subject of the flu came up and one mother voiced how much energy fear and worry are taking from her being able to live and enjoy her time with her child. she clearly struck a nerve with all the mothers who were there, myself included.

we have had two deaths in our state in the last two weeks. i don’t watch any network news, but i still heard about them, and it really made me stop and think about just how fragile life is and what our family is doing to stay healthy.

i even had a talk with my kids about it and explained to them why people are acting differently (really stressing handwashing, providing hand sanitizer everywhere, talking about germs and coughing into elbows etc.) and what i wanted them to do to help stay healthy (take elderberry syrup, eat the energy nuggets i make that include astragalus powder, get enough sleep and rest time, wash their hands carefully, go easy on sugary foods etc.)

i’ve also been thinking a lot about the impact of stress on our family’s health and have been trying to find much more space for fun and laughter and dancing and singing….and reiki, which just makes us all feel SO good!

love, light and joyful congratulations…

~erin
.-= exhale. return to center.´s last blog ..barney black big eyes =-.

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Alisha November 4, 2009 at 11:38 pm

so glad you are all feeling better!
.-= Alisha´s last blog ..Fragile Ego =-.

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TheOrganicSister November 5, 2009 at 3:56 am

Well I started composing my comment in my head about how DH just got over something that may or may not have been a 24 hr flu bug or one type of another when I saw your NEWS!

Holy moly! Congrats!!!!! I hope that bug didn’t put a damper on your excitement. :)

~Tara
.-= TheOrganicSister´s last blog ..Elusive Creativity =-.

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steadymom November 5, 2009 at 6:53 am

Another baby??!! Congratulations!!! What a wonderful joy to come in the midst of a storm.

So glad you are all on the mend, and thanks for the thoughtful reflections,

Jamie
.-= steadymom´s last blog ..3 Weeks to a More Thankful Thanksgiving =-.

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miranda November 5, 2009 at 10:53 am

OMG Congrats!!!!! I’ll send you all the little girl energy I can muster, if that is what you hope for… :-)

And as for blessings in the flu, I can relate. The fear of Lyme disease and ticks completely dissolved for me as soon as E got it. And we all we sick these past few days, not the flu, but if it was an influenza bug, our immune systems rock! I am not afraid of little ol’ H1N1. ;-b

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flowers November 5, 2009 at 11:39 am

Thanks everyone.

M-my style is that I’m planning on the third boy and a girl would be a pleasant surprise. I’ve made peace with my role as the Queen bee and my many admiring boys, lol.

Glad you girls are all feeling better!

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kate November 5, 2009 at 12:04 pm

YAY! CONGRATS! BLESSINGS! WHOOOO-HOOOOO! THree is *such* fun (and ps– remember, I have two boys and a girl…so you just never know:))….

I love your reflections, your ability to look to the upside of what happens when a family in a a strong community gets ill…and also the truth and questions and fears that have hit all of us with this thing. I’m with you, on usually erring on the side of nature, and we’ve been busy staying home, stockpiling vitamins, and getting fluids and rest…that being said, Lizzie was, as an infant, hospitalized for six days with RSV– and with an infant in the house I took all the above precautions and more– it seems she’s just got a predisposition to nasty lung issues when she gets sick. THAT being said, this whole H1N1 thing has been weighing so heavily on me. I just don’t know what to do…so we’re taking it one quiet day at a time.

Again, big hugs and blessings on your wonderful news!

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flowers November 5, 2009 at 2:50 pm

kate, that’s so tough. We are friends with a family in a similar situation. Their youngest has a terrible time with lung stuff and he gets very sick every winter. They did choose to vax and I do understand.

I’ve been reflecting on what a huge responsibility this is for us as parents. If I was just looking out for myself it would be such a different game. Making these decisions for the well being of my children adds a entirely different level of responsibility.

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Melanie November 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Wow, Hillary! Congratulations on the pregnancy! Wishing you a wonderful, glorious nine months! (Please do stop by WWoW and let everyone know when you have a minute. :))
.-= Melanie´s last blog ..Freeing ourselves from the if/when then trap =-.

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Zanna November 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Wow! Congratulations!

And isn’t it convenient that if anyone says you should get the vax, you can say, nope, I’m immune already!

Keep feeling better!

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Leah November 5, 2009 at 5:52 pm

So glad you are all feeling better and that you have had such wonderful support. :) And holy moly, congrats on the #3!!!! Super exciting!!!! :)

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flowers November 5, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Yes, very convenient Z! I am so happy to have it over and done with.

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miranda November 5, 2009 at 7:55 pm

So, you know for sure it was swine flu? Because if you did not get tested for it, it could be something completely different. CDC numbers are showing a vast majority of samples sent in for testing not even coming up influenza, let alone H1N1. And that is from “possible and probable” cases only.

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flowers November 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm

We don’t really know. We never got tested. The symptoms were spot on flu, but there’s no real way for us to know. I might just think we did b/c of all the drama and there is a part of me that wanted to get it to build up my immunity. My own little theory.

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Kate November 6, 2009 at 7:54 am

lol, Hill! I love how you just casually mentioned your pregnant at the end of your post! Congrats again, dear sister, from another Queen Bee.

I’m so glad your family is feeling better. And once again I’m inspired by your writing!
Love you!
.-= Kate´s last blog ..My Everyday Magic 11/6/2009 =-.

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Melodie November 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Congrats on your pregnancy! Yay! Great news! My oldest daughter was sick with *something* over the weekend. it wasn’t H1N1 because there was no fever or body aches or chills, coughing or runny nose but she threw up for 12 hours straight, every 1/2 hour. Most of the time it was just bile. It was horrible. But I stayed calm because I knew she was going to be okay and that it wasn’t the dreaded H1N1. I remembered being sick like that when I was a kid and I lived! My husband on the other hand flew into a panic and wanted to take her to emergency. (yeah, great place to REALLY get the flu dear!) It took a while to calm him down and make him see that she was going to be fine. And she was. After a day of resting on the couch, she was eating and drinking and feeling just fine. So glad you are all okay.
.-= Melodie´s last blog ..Breastfeeding, Formula Feeding and Social Oppression =-.

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Carrie November 10, 2009 at 4:54 am

Congratulations again Hillary, I just loved how you slipped that in :) Another Queen Bee in the family here, wasn’t ever what I imagined but I love it!
Glad you are all well again xx

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