In the seventies, under a black light, posters everywhere had snippets of the Max Ehrmann poem… mine did. “… no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. “
Similarly, in the Bible, Isaiah 55:8 reads “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”
The Sufi poet Rumi wrote “Fihi Ma Fihi” , in Persian literally meaning “It Is What It Is”
The Beatles sang “Let it Be”
Acceptance. It’s all about acceptance. As Rich’s fever hovers back and forth over and under the magic number for discharge yesterday, we could feel the frustration growing.
There is a negativity to letting this frustration take hold. We need to change course before it can attach itself too firmly. We may not understand the why of Rich’s fevers but we can choose how we deal with them and how they affect us.
Lao-Tzu said, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
OK Lao, challenge accepted…. We’re going to find our equilibrium today and allow the universe to unfold as it should, let it be, acknowledge that our ways are not in control here and accept it is what it is.
We started the day with stomach pain, lack of appetite, queasiness, general malaise and…. fever. The cultures have all come back negative so the doctors decide to take a swab culture to look for viruses. As we’ve said before, there are so many things you do without questioning the need when you begin a journey like this. So when the nurse hands you a rather long Q-tip and instructs you to shove it up your nose into your sinuses and swab away, you do. Even when the box of cotton swabs admonishes you to never ever stick it in any orifices, you do because the nurse said to.
Until the results come back, and since there were no bacterium detected in any of the cultures, they assume a virus. Which means masks are now to be worn by all who enter our Amtrak cabin. I’m now encased in materials that are guaranteed to hold in all moisture. With diaper rash already developed on my hands from the constant wearing of gloves, I shudder to think of what a 24/7 mask will do. Zinc oxide on your face is socially acceptable on the beach. Not in the supermarket. I now spend my days and nights in what feels like a giant condom.
After some meds in the morning to manage the early discomforts, Rich takes a long nap and wakes refreshed. His temperature still plays around the cut-off point. Our discharge clock is reset again and again. But he eats a light meal, showers and takes a couple of laps up and down the hallway. Dinner is another success. We play a few games of Mancala before discussing the nighttime medication plan.
It is good to see his color come back, his eyes bright and his sense of humor as horrible as ever. I groan at his jokes but rejoice at the return of that spark.
We settle in for the night, hand in gloved hand and looking forward to a fever free tomorrow. If not, we’ll accept another day in our little room in the little hall.
Rich’s mom had a small plaque in her home with her favorite, the Serenity Prayer: ′′God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.′′
We decide to lean towards one of our favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut: “Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.”
Let the merriment begin!