Stomach flu…it had been so long.
You forget how it wrings you of all your strength. You’re afraid to move, fearful of making the nausea worse. You begin to wonder if you’re over-reacting, over-exaggerating. Do you always feel like this? Are you just making a big deal about it right now? Will this roiling feeling ever end?
I find myself praying incessantly during this time. I always wonder if God’s giggling at me since I pray so passionately and fervently, as if my life’s coming to an end.
I find myself thinking of my mom a lot, too.
I don’t know about you, but I always feel like I need my mommy at times like these. If for no other reason, I just need to hear the empathy in her voice. I just need a word or two of advice from her. But she’s not here. I won’t see her again, not this side of heaven.
I would have to rely on my memories.
What about those pink mints she always carried around? They always made me feel better.
I happen to have a whole bag of them in my nightstand. They’re part of our nightly bedtime routine.
Every night after we’re washed up and ready for bed, I’ll have one and give one to my dog Gus. The poocher loves this little nightly ritual. He’ll stop whatever he’s doing to sit politely before me, as soon as I open the nightstand drawer. (For some reason my husband gets two. I’m not sure why. That’s just how we’ve always done it—or, at least how we’ve done it since I rediscovered the Wintergreen Lozenges.)
The mints. It would entail my sitting up, reaching over, pulling the nightstand’s drawer open, and rifling into the sealable bag, all while my stomach flip-flops. It will be worth it. The wintergreen will make me feel better.
By late afternoon, I feel strong enough to call my daughter, who is struggling with the same virus. When she picks up, she says, “Hi, Mommy,” in her cutest grown-up little-girl voice. I know in an instant that she needs me as much as I need my own mom.
I start talking about how my mom would have me sleep on the couch rather than in my room during my childhood flu bouts. She would cover the cushions with crisp, cool sheets that soothed me as I crawled between them. She would drape a towel over the edge of the couch and toward the pail, in case I couldn’t make it to the bathroom.
She was always so gentle during those times, I remember, despite having five other kids and a husband and who knows what other responsibilities.
She took her time. She spoke softly. She called me Sweetie Britches. She brushed my hair from my face and held it back for me during the roughest parts, no matter what time of day or night. Her fingers on my forehead felt like angels’ wings. And those mints — they worked wonders at taming my tummy.
In the middle of all this reflection, my daughter says, “I remember when you used to do those things for me when I was little, too.”
So that was it, then. My mother’s legacy would live on — after I was gone — after my daughter was gone. My daughter would care for her kids the way I cared for her, the way my mom cared for me. It’s what she knows. She won’t forget.Your Inspiration Prompt: Until next time, tell us about the legacy you will leave behind for your children. Long after you’re gone, what life events will make them pause and think of you?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section.
About Anna Bradfield
Anna Bradfield has been spinning tales, exaggerating the truth, and flat-out lying almost as long as she could talk. Nowadays, though, she calls it fiction. Buy her ebooks, Hey Grampa! or Barnyard Babies today. Join the online community and receive a free copy of her ebook, Boy Crazy.