One of the wonderful things about being me (not) is that lying down hurts.
I’m not complaining but dang, can’t a girl even rest without pain? I realize that pain is relative, pain builds character, pain allows you to appreciate pleasure. But really, Universe And All Things Holy? Pain just from touching the flat surface of my bed?
As I pull myself out of bed this morning, I find myself thinking about a child whom I saw in Incarnate Word Hospital in the early 1970s. I had a job as a Unit Secretary. I mostly hung out at the nurses’ station, transcribing orders and filling med requests. But one evening I strayed to a floor where burn victims slept. I can’t recall why this child had not been transferred to Children’s Hospital or the Barnes burn unit. but there he lay, small and forlorn, swathed in bandages.
I couldn’t breathe as I watched him. I wanted to wrap my arms around his frail frame and rock him to sleep. I could see his eyes, the tip of his nose; gauze covered the rest of his face. He opened his eyes as I watched, blinked, and then shut them as a tear seeped out one corner and gathered. It could not fall. The surrounding cotton absorbed the tear.
I swing my legs over the side of the futon and grope for my slippers. I stretch my spine. The slight chill in the room feels good against my face. I stand, and find that I’m intact. It’s not so bad. I take a step forward into my day.
It’s the twentieth day of the forty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.