I have never in my life been so excited to see daffodils and yellow hyacinth making a splash against the dull, brown terrain, or been as sick of cold weather as I have this year.
I am seeing signs of life. Small buds pushing their way through the dark, rich earth.
Our family recently had the flu, and even today I am still coughing. We lost a loved one suddenly to cancer. It had been there for a year, but he never shared it. His last months, he refused to get treatment, just kept smoking, and as he said, "living life the way he damn well pleases."
There is a lesson in that. Life is a choice. How we live it is not a choice for some. A friend has chronic fatigue syndrome. A recent documentary called Unrest on Netflix will have you realizing there are so many fighting for a day of normalcy. Director Jennifer Brea chronicled her struggles with illness, and the doc was shortlisted for an Oscar.
I have a new sympathy and empathy for those who battle with sickness on a prolonged basis. I was lucky to have only one week down-and-out hard in my bed, with fever, the flu, and all that entails.
I am finding the spring in my step again, but I notice in the grocery store now the moms pushing carts of children, coughing, looking for the soup aisle and the Excedrin.
I want to hug them and say, "I see you! Hang in there!" And yet there I am in the store, walking with my wet wipe that kills 99 percent of germs – but not the one that got me.
We need to all notice when others aren't feeling well. We can't heal them, but we can be a light when they feel darkness. I have one friend who has had horrific things going on in her family, and I have not even been there. I text from afar. I have cried for her from a distance. I think today I will give her a call and hope she forgives me for the months I just went about life and didn't know how to reach out to her.
Here in Tuscaloosa, we have colleges full of "kids" away from their parents. One week of being down with flu taught me that I need to open my home and heart to those who just need a hug.
Blessings and health and cheers to the coming of spring,