Monday, June 7, 2010

Enjoying poor health

I remember my mother's expression for days when she chose to lie on the couch in her lounging pajamas and receive selected guests. She said she was "enjoying poor health." She was taken of some mild affliction which benefitted from polite gossip and iced coffee on a lazy afternoon, but there was certainly nothing debilitating about it. I became a silent gnome receiving sly winks and pats on the head before becoming bored and slipping away for more challenging adventures. I am not sure that her private joke was good for my evaluation of how to avoid social situations or obligations.

I was sick last week, but it lacked the grace of my mother's "poor health." I did not want to see anyone. I wanted to be left alone to endure my misery in private agony. And I felt mildly guilty about missing choir practice and church. It is taking longer to recover from the illness that seems reasonable, too. I feel fine, but my endurance and stamina is compromised, and I feel embarrassed by the weakness.

My mother's somewhat lengthly final illness was painful and insulting, and nobody enjoyed it. It's ironic to have these mixed and confusing images of health and sickness circling in my mind. I try to cling to the humorous one in regard to her and her life. I want to remember her in scenes of joy. "Enjoying poor health" has advantages.

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