I am very careful with words like “blessed”. It has been abused and commodified like a badge you can buff on social media – one can be #blessed but perhaps not truly #believe.
This week, I was very sick, but this week I was blessed. It seems a contradiction. There was nothing glamorous about taking antibiotics – I am suspicious of any pills. The irony of working for a pharmacy does not escape me. Nothing glittered as I nebulised myself in my pajamas, while pumping polluted breastmilk.
Yet, between the coughing fits and mountains of medicine I became aware of how blessed I am.
It started with a good friend who brought us soup and bread. It was a delicious and comforting blessing.
I spent time with my two little girls – who I kept home when they also showed the first signs of coughing. I was blessed because they didn’t get any worse.
I baked flap jacks (two mornings in a row and on demand) because I could. I ate breakfast with my kids – sitting on the floor next to a small red plastic table – all still dressed (and blessed) in our pajamas.
I realised that, while becoming ill is not a blessing (that is just the collusion of bacteria, biology and a weak immune system); the blessing was the little time I was forced to reduce speed. The surprise of becoming aware of the blessed beauty hidden in those two horrible sick days.
Ilness and sickness cannot be glamourised. It’s always a vivid and heartaching reminder of the frailty of life.
From now though, I am less afraid of my weaknesses (physical or otherwise); those moments of being dependent and utterly frustrated: as that is when I find myself most blessed of all.