Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Being There

on May 1, 2015

Photo by Susie Jarvis/Waterkopf Photography.

Her eyes told me what I needed to know. Pure misery. And if there’s one thing I don’t like to see, it’s someone I love in pain.

Since last August, I’ve been teaching high school English at the small Christian school my nieces attend. Though Katy, who’s in eighth grade, isn’t in either of my classes, I usually see her when I’m there. It’s become routine for her—and a few of her friends—to give me hugs as we pass in the hall.

Wednesday was different, though, and I knew right away that Katy wasn’t her usually cheerful self. In fact, she looked near tears.

I put my arm around her. “What’s wrong?”

She said, “I don’t feel good. I have a headache.”

“Do you want me to take you home?”

Katy nodded, then turned to get her stuff out of her locker. Fortunately, I was done for the day, so I touched base with the school office, then took her home. Katy, it turned out, was the latest victim of a stomach virus that’s been making its way through my family for over a week.

It hit me last Saturday while I was at the Ohioana Book Festival in Columbus. I had hoped to stay for at least one more author panel and to do a little networking, but this bug came on me suddenly—starting with a headache and nausea. By the time I got home, I had a fever and spent the rest of the night lying on the couch watching Hallmark movies.

Earlier that day, a friend and I had talked about a botulism outbreak after an Ohio church potluck just the week before. I didn’t know if what I had was a virus or something I ate, so I texted my sister, Susie, that I was really sick and asked her to check up on me if she didn’t hear from me by the next evening.

Sunday was a little better, yay!, but I still couldn’t eat. All I wanted was some Sprite or 7-Up. I texted Susie and asked if she’d bring me some if she was in town. And she did.

This week reminded me how blessed I am—not only to have family close enough to help me out in a pinch but to be close enough to be useful myself. I hope it’s never something I take for granted.

Do you have someone who’s there for you when you’re sick? Are you quick to offer assistance to others, especially singles? I know it’s something I should do more of. What about you?


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