When I was in sixth grade I got sick one day after returning from Christmas break. I was out for another three weeks with a horrible cough, and a host of other symptoms that, for whatever reason, came during the night. That illness, because of too many missed classes, cost me a full year of honor roll. Moreover, I missed out on a school patch at Holly Oak Elementary, awarded to those who had four brilliant quarters. I used to wonder why my teacher didn’t give me a patch anyway; after all, I had stellar grades on almost every assignment. She obviously subscribed to what I believe today: grades are earned not given.
During the summer before my junior year of high school I got sick again. Other than my birth, it was the only time I spent days in a hospital (Alexian Brothers). I don’t remember what I came down with; all I recall is asking, in fact begging my cousin, Guillermo, to smuggle in Taco Bell. The nurses refused to let me eat anything but hospital food, and quite frankly, by day four I was sick of it!
The best part of that stay was watching a bunch of movies, starring Danny Kaye, and a string of others, starring Bob Hope. The Princess and the Pirateis still a favorite.
Like many of you, I’ve had some close calls. I wouldn’t say that I had any brushes with death, but I was once rushed to our family doctor, Herman Hyatt, because of a terribly high fever, replete with convulsions. My dad said that without hesitation, Dr. Hyatt took me out of my mom’s arms, said something like “Your kid is burning up!” And then carried me to another room and dunked me into a tub full of ice and water.
Incidentally, the Good Doctor, saved my older brother on a separate occasion due to a very serious illness. In that case, it was a brush with death.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve occasionally had the flu; although I’ve learned that if I continue to run during the winter, which I hate, it reduces my chances of getting sick. To my chagrin, I’ve become a year-long runner, enjoying every season save winter.
Unfortunately, I’ve had pneumonia twice! The second time caused me to miss my brother-in-law’s wedding. I recall trying to give it a go on the day of, but I just couldn’t do it. On the bright side, my other brother-in-law had two partners for the wedding, his wife and mine.
Getting sick sucks. We all know that. This virus has changed even the healthy among us. And it has us behaving in ways that many of us couldn’t imagine. Heck, I don’t think I’ve ever posted this much to Facebook. I guess being cooped up has us all a little stir crazy.
The best part of being quarantined is that most of us are able to spend a lot of quality time with our families.
As much as I want to see my close friends and extended family members, it’s best for all of us to stay put. This morning I ran into a family member at Target, and instinctively wanted to hug her, but I know that keeping our distance is imperative. Still, it was a pleasant surprise to see someone from my broader family in person.
While we are eating simple lunches, like grilled cheese sandwiches and the like; we are also, thanks to my wife, enjoying finer meals.
There are so many of you out there that I want to hug and appreciate. And in time, I will. For now, let’s continue to love and share with each other from a distance.
Your posts, memes, arts and crafts, dance moves, movie suggestions, and messages, are making this time of uncertainty and craziness also a time of love, laughter, and admiration.
In some ways, being apart has brought us closer together. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that.