Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In Our Absence

For Sunday, September 25, 2011

When I am under the weather I get awfully impatient. I come by this quite naturally as I well remember the grumblings of my Dad when he was sick with a cold and the frustration of my Mom when she’d find herself getting sleepy in the middle of the day. “Nap? The only time I ever nap is when I’m ill. I have too much to do”. My brothers and sister all seem to share the same intolerance for being sick too.

Despite this, we are all quick to sympathize with another’s illness. We dispense advice quickly such as “Listen to your body”, or “Drink lots of fluids and get your rest”. We push others to “Know your limits” and to “Take care of yourself so you can take care of others”. Why is it then that we push ourselves to recover quickly and grow irritable when we lack the energy to do our normal routine when we are in need of rest ourselves?

This morning, after having spent most of Saturday in bed, I missed Sunday mass and stayed home to sleep. My husband and children went off to church, however, and upon waking up I went downstairs and saw that the three of them had the kitchen clean, laundry done and folded, garage organized, garbage taken out, and the house, all in all, looking pretty decent. It wasn’t anything surprising really, for I have long known how thoughtful my family is, but I found myself smiling and getting teary just the same.

It’s important that we take care of ourselves when we are under the weather and that we, indeed, listen to our bodies and know our limits. It’s the surest way to recovering quickly so we can be there for our loved ones. But it is certainly a blessing when our loved ones come through and remind us that it’s okay to stop and rest, that they will be happy to keep the world running in our absence.

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